WHO SAYS A TRIP ABROAD IS THE ONLY CURE FOR WANDERLUST? THERE ARE PLENTY OF NATURAL WONDERS AND MUST-SEE DESTINATIONS RIGHT HERE IN OUR OWN BACKYARD, AND THESE BUCKET LIST CAMPING SPOTS ARE JUST A FEW OF THEM.
It wouldn’t be a Queensland travel bucket list without mentioning a town that sits right on the Great Barrier Reef, and beautiful Bowen is one of the best. Famous for fresh mangoes and crystal-clear water, this dry tropical town is perfect in summer or winter, seeing less rain than others in the Whitsundays. With the reef itself just a short distance away (Bowen is one of the only places where the coral is mere metres from the shore) and plenty of historic landmarks and natural attractions nearby, the Harbour Lights Tourist Park is the best place to set up camp.
In Central Queensland, there is a gorge so long and deep that Indigenous peoples believe a Rainbow Serpent must have carved it out. The most visited destination in Carnarvon National Park, Carnarvon Gorge includes a number of must-see sites, from the Ampitheatre to the Moss Garden, as well as many caves – which feature Indigenous rock art – and basins. Takarakka Bush Resort is the best place to be to explore all that Carnarvon Gorge has to offer. An adventure in the northern Atherton Tablelands has everything: hikes through stunning scenery, rarely-seen animals, rich history and culture, plus craters, crystal caves and plenty of other geological wonders. But perhaps the most picturesque part of the Tablelands are its many cascading waterfalls and large natural rock pools – which one you float around in is up to you. The quiet, relaxing Atherton Halloran’s Leisure Park is the place to be to experience everything the Tablelands have to offer.
New South Wales
Another world heritage-listed national park, Wollemi is part of the Greater Blue Mountains region just a few hours north-west of Sydney. Soaring cliffs, lush forests and caves filled with glow worms are just some of the natural wonders you can expect at Wollemi, which lays claim to the title of New South Wales’ largest wilderness area. But, never fear – it’s a ‘wilderness’ but there are still powered sites for you to park your caravan and enjoy a night in these tranquil surrounds. Ganguddy, otherwise known as Dunns Swamp, is one such place. Perched on the banks of the Cudgegong River, it’s an ideal spot to watch the native wildlife at play – you might even spot a platypus.
People travel from far and wide to drive the famous Great Ocean Road. Stretching 244km between Torquay and Allansford, the road takes you past waterfalls, iconic surf breaks, wildlife reserves and the natural wonder that is the Twelve Apostles. Naturally, the Great Ocean Road Tourist Park is the ideal stop-off – not only is it a beautiful caravan park, but just 20 minutes from the Twelve Apostles and close to the ancient crater, volcanic landforms and abundant wildlife of Tower Hill, it’s perfectly positioned for those hoping to take their time travelling the Great Ocean Road. Whether you visit in summer or winter, Victoria’s High Country town of Bright is a must-see destination. Avid hikers and cyclists use Bright as a base for exploring the peaks of Mount Buffalo National Park, but there is plenty to see and do in and around town, too. Once a prosperous rail and gold mining town, Bright is as rich in history as it is in natural beauty – the huge, decades-old oaks, elms, poplars and Japanese maples are an example of both. Spend a night at the Bright Holiday Park to soak up all of the history and beauty. With cascading waterfalls, stunning mountainscapes and an abundance of river pools, it’s little surprise that Oxley Wild Rivers National Park is world heritage-listed – it looks like something on a postcard. Peppered with historic sites and panoramic lookouts, the national park is perfect for hiking, camping and even fishing, in the rivers that give the park its name. Set up camp at Aspley Falls campground, which offers scenic waterfall views and plenty of native wildlife. Beautiful Byron Bay is known worldwide as one of Australia’s ultimate seaside destinations, and after a stroll through its vibrant streets, a dip in the crystal water of its beaches or a look around the eclectic markets, it’s not hard to see why. Whether you’re catching a live act at the Byron Beach Hotel or enjoying being the easternmost person on the Australian mainland at the Cape Byron Lighthouse – even if it’s only for a moment – you’ll be glad to have stopped by this iconic town. Stay at Reflections Holiday Parks Clarkes Beach to be in the centre of it all. A visit to the riverside town of Echuca truly feels like a trip back in time. Hop aboard a paddle steamer at the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre and ride down the Mighty Murray River, or explore the historic buildings of the town’s High Street to really appreciate the legacies left behind by Echuca’s early residents. Car connoisseurs will love the National Holden Motor Museum, whilst avid golfers will relish a day on the greens of the nearby Rich River. At just 2.5 hours from Melbourne, the Echuca Holiday Park makes a great first port of call for your road trip.