Picture it: You’ve just spent hours enjoying the crisp fresh air and now it’s high time you got cosy back at camp. You cuddle up by a roaring campfire, toasting marshmallows to oozy, golden perfection as you belt out classics and tell stories under the stars. This is winter camping at it’s finest!
But before you light that kindling, make sure it’s safe and permitted.
Australia boasts an extensive range of natural parkland for camping adventures. It’s critical to be mindful of any bushfire dangers when exploring these great outdoors, especially during spring and summer - Even the tiniest flicker can become a raging inferno in hot, dry conditions (And we experience a lot of those in Australia!).
Luckily, the colder weather this season means that you can ignite your night in many campgrounds across the country. We’ve put together a list of the best fire-friendly spots for your winter camping trip! All you have to do is decide which one sparks your fancy.
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You’ll need a 4WD to reach this awesome spot on beloved Bribie Island. While you won’t be camping the cold at Poverty Creek
, there’s nothing quite like a glowing campfire to end your day in Mother Nature - Especially when you’ve got views of Pumicestone Passage, the Glass House Mountains and Donnybrook. So gather around one of the fire rings in the group camping area for an evening of embers and beers by the beach.
Lake Tinaroo Tourist Park
Set up camp right by the water at Lake Tinaroo Tourist Park
in Danbulla National Park. After an active day of family adventures with kayaks, paddleboards and boats, build a campfire and bask in the warmth of its dancing flames (because things get a bit chillier on the Atherton Tablelands, especially in winter!).
Get a real dose of country life at Woodleigh Station
in Outback Queensland. This Ravenshoe cattle station is open to the public and only a 15-minute drive from Innot Hot Springs. Unwind in one of nature’s soothing spas before heading back to camp for a communal bonfire under the starry night sky.
Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area
Just a 10-minute drive from Rainbow Beach, camping spots at Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area
are shaded by coastal trees, bordered by vast ocean beaches and nestled by sheltered estuary shores. When the sun goes down, lie between some roaring flames and gently lapping waves! You’ll probably forget it’s winter.
Broken River Bush Camp
For a mountain refuge feel, visit Broken River Bush Camp
west of Mackay. Perched on the misty peaks of Eungella National Park, this site is full of scenic walks and unusual wildlife. Nestle around the crackling campfire to toast marshmallows as you argue over who spotted the resident platypuses first.
Big Crystal Creek Campground
At Mount Spec in Paluma Range National Park, you can park your campervan, small caravan or trailer right next to the aptly named Big Crystal Creek
. Once all of the day-trippers have headed home, throw a log on the fire and relish in the peaceful beauty of this World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics rainforest.
Isla Gorge Campground
You’ll find Isla Gorge Campground
at the core of Central Queensland’s Sandstone Belt, which boasts a labyrinth of sandstone monoliths, gorges and creeks. This remote campsite rests right on the cliff face so expect a dramatic, breath-taking backdrop for your campfire. As natural cliff edges lie close to this campsite, it’s best suited to adult campers. Please keep a close eye on children if you’re on a family camping trip!
Queen Mary Falls Caravan & Tourist Park
For a campfire surrounded by rolling hills and charming farmland, take the Boonah-Killarney Scenic Drive to Queen Mary Falls Caravan & Tourist Park
. This camping spot was designed with winter in mind - Plenty of sunken, stone-lined fire pits are available to warm you up after a day of exploring the nearby waterfalls.
New South Wales
Nestled away in Myall Lakes National Park, secluded Treachery Camp
is a surfer’s best-kept secret. And if the water is a little too cold for your liking, you can while away the winter’s day with some bushwalking, birdwatching or fishing. When it’s all said and done, purchase some firewood from the office and heat up by your very own campfire.
Palm Beach Caravan Park
Visit Jervis Bay to watch the migration of Humpback and Southern Right Whales all the way through winter. Make sure to keep an eye out for the adorable dolphins, seals and fairy penguins around Bowen Island, too. Once the sun has set, head back to Palm Beach Caravan Park
and regale your wildlife sightings around the fire pit.
BIG4 Sunshine Resort, South West Rocks
Avoid the crowds and head to South West Rocks
this winter season. Explore Trial Bay Gaol and soak up some Aussie history before taking in the sweeping views on the Monument Hill Climb. Afterwards, put your feet up by the campfire as you watch the sunset over the ocean - This pristine bay has one of the only Western-facing beaches in New South Wales!
Flat Rock Tent Park
Flat Rock Tent Park
is only a few minutes drive from picturesque Ballina. This hidden gem sits above a basalt outcrop, offering unobstructed views of unspoiled bushland and turquoise waters (which are warm enough for a winter swim). Hire a brazier or bring your own, relishing in the seaside serenity as you snuggle up by the flames.
Iluka Riverside Tourist Park
A tranquil getaway for wildlife lovers, families and fishermen, Iluka Riverside Tourist Park
is on the doorstep of the World Heritage-listed Yuraygir National Park. Perched right on the Clarence river, you can fish from the pontoon, banks or beach. Then cook up a storm with the day’s catch on one of the wood barbecues. This one won’t feel like winter camping at all!
Gateway Lifestyle Lorikeet
You’ll find Gateway Lifestyle Lorikeet
on the Solitary Islands Coastal Walk, just a stone’s throw away from Coffs Harbour’s incredible beaches, peaks, and countryside. Whether you’re a diver, surfer or fisherman, the Solitary Islands Marine Park will keep you entertained for hours. Just make sure to warm up by the campfire when you get back to camp.
Reflections Killalea Reserve
Whether you’ve been bushwalking through a rainforest, surfing at one of the best beaches on the south coast or estuary fishing along the Minnamurra river, you’ll want to gather around the communal fire pit at Reflections Killalea Reserve
for a toasty end to the day. This is a particularly great spot for camping in the winter months, with whales migrating along its shores between May and November every year.
Mungo National Park Campground
Avoid camping in the cold by heading west to the magnificent landscapes of Outback NSW. Explore the rich aboriginal heritage, spot some roos at or hike down the Grasslands Nature trail in Mungo National Park
. After watching the sunset from Mungo lookout, fire up the wood barbecue for a good old campfire sing-along.
Australian Capital Territory
Located just outside of Canberra, Cotter Campground
rests on the banks of the Cotter River. Cruise the river in a canoe or wander through a winter wonderland on the Bullen Track, which finishes up at the Cotter Caves. After you’ve worked up an appetite, grill up a feast on the wood barbeque. Just remember to bring your own firewood!
Honeysuckle Creek Campground
If there’s ever a place to gaze at the stars while you sit around a campfire, it’s Honeysuckle Creek Campground
. Situated right by the Australian Alps Walking Track, Honeysuckle Creek Space Tracking Station played a significant role in NASA's Apollo Program, snapping the iconic images of Neil Armstrong taking his first steps on the moon.
Situated on the old remnants of a historic sawmill site, Sawpit Campground
offers a pretty unique setting for your winter camping trip. The spacious, secluded camping areas spread throughout Mount Clay State Forest are ideal for large gatherings around the bonfire so grab your family and friends - Just make sure to collect only fallen wood for your kindling!
is found within the Mount Disappointment State Forest, and it is anything but a letdown! This wonderful little camping spot lies on a bubbling stream, with walking tracks, mountain biking trails and horse riding routes galore. Finish off your day with a creekside campfire in one of the many fireplaces.
Phoenix Park Ballan
Only a 50-minute drive from bustling Melbourne, the 65 acres of Phoenix Park Ballan
are perfect for a winter weekend getaway in the countryside. Visit the vineyards peppered across nearby Daylesford, bringing back a bottle or two to share around the campground’s open fire pit.
Doon Reserve Caravan Park
Doon Reserve Caravan Park
is only a 65-minute drive from Melbourne, with lovely family camping spots for all sizes of RV. Whether you’re after a relaxing break, an outdoor adventure or a foodie tour of fresh farm produce, you’ll have no problem making the most of your day in the Yarra Valley. And when night approaches, build your campfire on the banks of the Yarra River under towering eucalyptus trees.
Pettmans Beach Campground
Pettmans Beach Campground
is one of four campsites in Lake Tyers State Park, which stretches from Lake Tyers Beach all the way to Mount Nowa Nowa. Pettmans Beach also straddles the Ewing Morass Wildlife Reserve, so it’s no surprise that you’ll find heaps of forest drives, picnic areas, bush walks and fishing spots. But the best part? You can watch the sunset over the ocean as you kick back in front of a glimmering campfire.
Ulupna Island Campground
is settled between the Murray River and Woperana Channel in Barmah National Park. This incredible national park is the world’s largest river red gum sanctuary, with bush walks and swimming spots all around. Light a campfire in the late afternoon and sit back for some prime wildlife watching - This campground is teeming with kangaroos and koalas.
For a lakeside campfire in all its glory, head to Schulze’s Beach
on Lake Hindmarsh. The largest freshwater lake in Victoria is home to an extensive population of over 100 bird species, such as sea eagles and pelicans. Not to mention the crowds of fishermen, water-skiers and swimmers. Luckily for animal lovers, this reserve is much quieter in the winter months, creating excellent opportunities for wildlife sightings!
90 Mile Beach Campgrounds
The 90 Mile Beach Campgrounds
follow the gorgeous Gippsland Lakes, a string of coastal lagoons lined by miles and miles of sandy stretch. Each campsite is tucked away between sweeping dunes, offering peaceful seclusion for a beach bonfire beneath the stars. Night-fishing is a popular winter activity in this area, so give it a go and grill your fresh catch for dinner!
An easy 45-minute drive from Adelaide, JAKEM Farm
offers over 700 acres of 4WD tracks, mountain biking trails and bush walks! Explore the rolling hills, keeping an eye out for kangaroos, wedge-tailed eagles and turtles along the Mount Barker Creek. This campground is dog-friendly, so cuddle up with your pup next to the campfire when the stars come out.
Wallaroo North Beach Tourist Park
At Wallaroo North Beach Tourist Park
, you’ll have beautiful beach frontage overlooking Wallaroo Bay. Spend the day fishing, kayaking and paddleboarding or if you’re brave enough, take a winter’s dip in the ocean. To dry off, sit on one of the logs surrounding the communal fire or use a fire bucket for a seaside campfire on your own site.
Southern Ocean Tourist Park
Hire a fire pit and some wood at Southern Ocean Tourist Park
for a warm winter’s eve in the unspoiled parkland of Beachport. Located only a stone’s throw away from this quaint fishing village, you’ll have access to everything you need while still being surrounded by the natural beauty of coastal bushland. So slow down, chill out and enjoy the ocean views!
Browns Beach Campground
Experience the peaceful privacy of a winter campfire at Browns Beach Campground
on Kangaroo Island. With each site burrowed among the coastal vegetation and steep sand dunes of Innes National Park, it’s only a brief walk to the azure waters of Browns Beach. Winter is one of the best times to visit this natural gem, which is famed for its salmon fishing in colder months.
For winter camping beneath old river red gums, head to Koolamon Campground
in Aroona Valley. With the magnificent natural amphitheatre of Wilpena Pound at its centre, you can wander the natural grandeur of Flinders Ranges National Park for days! Hike the Heysen Trail or hop on a mountain bike to discover secret waterholes, aboriginal art and bustling wildlife before huddling around your creekside campfire.
sits smack in the middle of Nullarbor National Park, a 200km stretch of the Great Australian Bight with jaw-dropping 80 metre high cliffs. Traverse the world’s largest limestone landscape, checking out the fruit trees inside nearby Koonalda cave. Keep a watchful eye for migrating southern right whales from May to October, as well! Back at camp, recount the day’s adventures around a blazing bonfire.
At Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park in South Australia’s outback, you can wander around the world’s largest salt pan (and the lowest point on the Aussie mainland). Cooler temperatures make winter the prime time to visit this unique region - Set your firewood ablaze at Muloorina Homestead
and gaze up at the dazzling night sky. We promise it’s worth the dusty drive!
Port Arthur Holiday Park
As the name suggests, Port Arthur Holiday Park
is just a short stroll to the Port Arthur Historic Site. After your history fix, embark on the Cape Raoul Walk for a proper trek with breathtaking views of the Tasman Peninsula’s rugged scenery or book a boat tour to behold the beauty in relaxed comfort. At the end of your day, sit around the campfire for a marshmallow-fuelled recap of the area’s iconic heritage.
Top Camp at Musselroe Bay
At Top Camp in Musselroe Bay
, you’ll be surrounded by striking coastline with deserted beaches, jagged headlands and calm lagoons. Mount William National Park is also a sanctuary for Forester kangaroos, Bennetts wallabies and Tasmanian pademelons. These furry creatures are particularly active at sunset, so huddle around a campfire for an evening of wildlife spotting.
Myrtle Park Campground
Sitting on the St. Patricks River, Myrtle Park Campground
is a hotspot for trout fishing, kayaking and swimming. The water here can get very chilly in wintertime, so it’s best to follow your plunge with a toasty campfire in one of the fireplaces or elevated firepots. And if you’d rather stay on land, there’s plenty of open space to play cricket, have a game of tennis or throw a frisbee with your doggo.
Huon Valley Caravan Park
Get a real taste of farm life at the beautiful Huon Valley Caravan Park
. A proud member of the ‘Save the Tassie Devil Program’, this site is home to two of the endangered species. Watch their daily feeding, wander the grounds and catch up with Badge the working dog as he herds sheep. Complete your countryside adventure with a singalong around the campfire.
Mount Field National Park Campground
Titled the "Land of the Giants Campground" due to its 100m high swamp gums, Mount Field National Park Campground
was declared one of the best campsites in the country by Australian Geographic. The park is only an hour and a half drive from Hobart and an easy, fern-lined walk to Russell Falls. It’s also a base for skiing and snowboarding every winter - After you’ve hit the slopes, heat up by a fire pit in the day use area.
Wings Wildlife Park
No camping guide to Tassie is complete without a mention of Wings Wildlife Park
. Home to the greatest assortment of Tasmanian wildlife in the country, you’ll be sleeping next to wombats, wallabies, quolls, koalas, emus, devils and more. When winter is in full swing, you can beat camping in the cold with a cosy campfire by the banks of the Leven River.
Only a couple kilometres north of the fantastic windsurfing at Coronation Beach, Oakabella Homestead Farm & Tea Rooms
is so rich in history that it has been classified by the National Trust. Camp by wildflower meadows against the dramatic backdrop of Table Hill, Elephant Hill and the winter waterfall at Oakabella Creek. When darkness falls, share ghost stories around the flickering campfire at Western Australia’s most haunted property...
Silent Grove Campground
Situated on some of Australia’s most hard-to-reach land, King Leopold Range Conservation Park is perfect for a 4WD adventure. Set within almost 400,000ha of palm groves, sandstone peaks, granite formations and gaping gorges, the shady Silent Grove Campground
is an ideal base for exploration. And when you return, have a campfire below the sparkling winter sky.
Mitchell Plateau Campground
The Mitchell River National Park is an absolute must for Kimberley visitors. The huge Mitchell Plateau Campground
offers widely dispersed sites, many of which have a large fire pit. Book a scenic flight to Mitchell Falls at the helicopter office and landing pad right beside the campsite or walk across the Mitchell Plateau for a swim at Mertens Creek beneath a natural exhibition of ancient Bradshaw rock paintings. Whatever your daily activity, follow it up with a cosy campfire next to your RV.
Lake Mason Homestead
A very isolated and very old cattle station, Lake Mason Homestead
is now a campsite offering four-wheel driving, birdwatching and bushwalking. Set up camp within the remnants of the former homestead, like its shearing shed, machinery warehouses and workshops. Otherwise, camp further into the wilderness for incredible views of the rippling landscape and its vast salt lake system - With several fire pits, you can appreciate it all from the warmth of a campfire.
Cave Hill Campground
Experience the rugged Australian outback like never before at Cave Hill Nature Reserve. Accessible by 4WD, Cave Hill Campground
is not only frequented for its deep cave but also one of the tallest and largest granite outcrops in the state. Get a better look at the cave on its viewing platform, discover the four nearby dams or drive 38km down the Woodline track to Burra Rock. Afterwards, relax by a campfire at one of the fire rings.
Crystal Springs Campground
D’Entrecasteaux National Park hugs the southern shoreline, stretching from Augusta to Walpole. Along with giant dunes and sheer cliff drops, the park showcases a collection of hexagonal basalt columns, raging rivers and dense clusters of karri forest. Look out for smiley quokkas at Crystal Springs Campground
, which provides fire rings for a true winter camping trip.
sits just south of the renowned Margaret River. Join the spectacular Cape to Cape Track straight from your campsite and sunbathe, surf or fish at nearby Conto Springs Beach. When the sun starts to dip, ignite your campfire in a grassy field surrounded by the coastal peppermint woodland of Boranup Forest.
Big Brook Arboretum Campground
At Big Brook Arboretum Campground
, you can explore a varied collection of trees that were originally planted to test how they would grow in the local climate. The walking trail takes you past a giant sequoia grove, through some of New South Wales’ spotted gums and across a karri forest before looping back to the campground’s picnic area. When it comes to starting a campfire, bring your own firewood because these exotic trees are too precious to chop down!
Yeo Lake Campground
Yeo Lake Nature Reserve lies deep within the Great Victoria Desert, serving as a sanctuary for biological diversity in the arid Australian climate. Yeo Lake Campground
is only accessible by 4WD, upholding the peaceful solitude of this remote outback destination. A once-thriving homestead, the abandoned house is now supported by the Department of Parks and Wildlife. Luckily, it still boasts a great big fireplace for nightly gatherings around a blazing campfire.
For an unforgettable winter camping trip, visit Litchfield National Park. You’ll discover breathtaking waterfalls pouring into crystal pools, giant termite mounds and towering sandstone pillars at the Lost City. Follow up your Outback adventure with stories around the campfire at Wangi Falls Campground
There’s no shortage of stunning scenery or fascinating wildlife at Gunlom Campground
. Here, you can set up camp besides some of Kakadu National Park’s most famous plunge pools. So take a dip in the daytime heat and snuggle up by the campfire when the evening chill sets in. Palm Valley Campground
For a campfire beneath an epic night sky, drive along the oldest river in the world to Palm Valley Campground
in Finke Gorge National Park. If you can’t handle intense heat, visit this desert oasis and its surrounding sandstone monuments, pillars and crevices in the winter season.
Ayers Rock Campground
Located in the heart of one of Australia’s most iconic destinations, Ayers Rock Campground
is the closest camping spot to Uluru. Marvel at this magnificent natural wonder, enjoy the tranquility of the vast desert and learn about the area’s aboriginal history. Then top it all off with some toasted marshmallows by the campfire.
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As a holidaymaker, Camplify helps you find an RV that is perfect for you so you can experience the joys of caravanning - without having to own one yourself.
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Feature image credit: Jelle (on Flickr
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