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Top Winter Activities in South Australia

Friday 28th June 2019
By Jessica Goode
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By Jessica Goode
Put a hold on your hibernation plans this winter and pin down a week of free time- you’re going to South Australia. That’s right, the bottom state of Aussie is calling your name, promising a long list of discoveries, distractions and experiences. 

Leave city-stays behind, and take to the open road - it’s time to do winter camping the right way in glorious SA. We know Oz is a big place, so if you’re not a local, a flight or two may be required to get where you need to be… and you do need to be in the great outdoors, away from bright lights to see the brilliant star-filled skies the outback has to offer.

Your best bet? Fly directly into Adelaide and hire a local caravan from our bustling Camplify community. There’s a van or trailer to suit every travel speed and itinerary. So, where should you go first? While we don’t want to tell you how to see Australia’s unsung southern state, the following four suggestions are great starting points, making camping in the cold easy-peasy.

Find a van, motorhome, campervan or camper trailer in Adelaide

Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary

Arkaroola, SA
Image credit: Duncan Cunningham-Reid (on flickr)

Give the kids something to smile about from day one with a rough and tumble take on family winter activities. The Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary is a 4-hour drive north-west of Adelaide, hiding an unforgettably awesome tour between the brambles and golden spinifex. The famous Akaroola Ridge Top tour transports scene seekers into a world rugged with pristine granite mountains, big dips, rough tracks and stomach-churning ascents. Enjoy 360 degree scenery, as the custom-engineered, open-topped 4WDs drive to the pinnacle of Ridgetop Track, delivering Instagrammable views of Freeling Heights, Lake Frome and the Northern Flinders Ranges, including the great expanse of the desert beyond. 

Included: Morning or afternoon tea at Sillers Lookout.

Departure: 8am and 1pm

Duration: 4.5 hours

Camping Facilities: Features include 50 powered sites; many unpowered sites; 300 bush camping grounds for tents. Laundry, shower and toilet and BBQ facilities available. Restaurant nearby.

Rates: Contact (08) 8648 4848 for the latest rates and prices. 
Things to Know: You’re not limited to structured tours - Akaroola Wilderness National Park features a wide range of bushwalks for all fitness levels, in addition to mountain biking and bird watching. 

Roads: Unsealed and bumpy in places. When hiring a caravan, ensure your selection can stand up to trickier terrain. 

Ghost Mushroom Lane, Limestone Coast 

How do you feel about mushrooms? Although their edible cousins taste great in a range of winter camping recipes - who can say no to lamb stew - the luminous fungi littering the earth of South East pine forest are something else entirely. If you’re lucky enough to be in the MT Gambier region through May to the end of June, you’ll witness science in action, as fungal enzymes meet oxygen, producing a vibrant green glow. 

Included: Natural magic, as the Ghost Mushroom (omphalotus nidiformus) blooms for an extremely limited time. 

Camping Facilities: Stay at Mount Gambier Central Caravan Park. Features include powered and unpowered sites; free WiFi; amenities block; camp kitchen; TV area; laundry and dump point.

Fees: Get the full rates picture here.

Things to Know: You’re not restricted to the car. Ensure you wear sensible walking shoes and warm clothes, taking a working torch from your winter camping gear stash in case extra light is required.

Things to Do in the Area: After illuminating your night with a forest walk, why not spend your day exploring the Blue Lake, Umpherston Sinkhole and Engelbercht Cave?

Roads: This sealed, easy drive is only open for two months per year. If you miss out this time around, why not begin planning for next winter now?

Wilpena Pound

Wilpena Pound, Flinders Rangers, SA
Image credit: Simon Waterhouse (on flickr

Located 5 hours and 30 minutes drive north of Adelaide, Wilpena Pound has been attracting travellers in their droves since the mid-1950s. There’s something about this time-hewn amphitheatre that leaves visitors desperate to explore more of the Flinders Ranges, as the dusty, intriguing landscape reveals the ancient face of Australia without missing a beat. Of course, convincing the kids a bunch of rocks, sand and mountains should be high on the must-visit list would be difficult if there wasn’t so much to do. From scenic flights into true wilderness territory to rock climbing, hiking, 4WD tours, Indigenous explorations, dirt biking, horse riding, and even hot air ballooning, there is something for every holiday taste. 

Camping Facilities: Stay at Wilpena Pound Camp Ground. Features include 44 powered and 400 unpowered sites; four bus bays; three amenities blocks; two laundries; a pay phone; and a general store.

Fees: Begin budgeting for your stay here.

Things to Know: 
  • Your stay at Wilpena Pound can be as long or short as you like, stopping by for a quick tour and photo op or several days, traversing the interior of bushland Australia. Whatever you choose to do, we highly recommend spending at least one night stargazing - the night sky transforms into a glittering blanket before your eyes. 
  • Dogs are not allowed in the park - the family pet may have to check into a canine hotel for the duration of your holiday! 
  • If you see a piece of deadwood lying around, leave it! The collection of firewood is prohibited in Flinders Ranges National Park. 

Roads: Unsealed and bumpy in places. Be careful, assess hourly conditions and drive safely!

Deep Creek Conservation Park 

Deep Creek Waterfall, Heysen Trail

Image credit: Andrew Shipway (on flickr)
Deep Creek Conservation Park is ideal for day-trippers, weekenders and those searching for a seven-day escape, lending itself to all types of exploration without giving you a break long enough to get bored. Located an easy two-hour drive south of Adelaide, this hikers paradise doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to green abundance. Home to 400 native plant species and the largest surviving stringybark forest for 100s of kilometres, you’ll spot western grey kangaroos, southern brown bandicoots and yellow-tailed black cockatoos as you sample a morning wander.  

Camping Facilities: Stay at Stringybark Campground. Basic shower and toilet amenities; a mini camp kitchen for washing dishes and a single water tap. A true back to bush experience.

Fees: Find your dates, book a spot and pay here.

Things to Know: 
  • Like all of the destination we’ve highlighted, the ground you’re camping on is highly sacred to local indigenous nations. Ensure you don’t leave any rubbish behind and preserve the untouched beauty of Deep Creek Conservation Park. 
  • The family dog is not allowed in Deep Creek Conservation Park. 

Things to Do in the Area: Give yourself time to really enjoy the 15 very different walking trails surrounding the caravan park. From the turquoise waves of Blowhole Beach to the other-worldly Heysen Trail, your feet won’t be able to stop moving. Make sure to pack a camera and back up memory cards!

These are just a few examples of winter camping South Australia has up its sneaky, gorgeous sleeves. Camplify has your next holiday under the stars covered; we have thousands of luxurious motorhomes, family caravans, camper trailers and retro campervans all available to book now. Stop waiting for the right time to take the Australian caravanning holiday you’ve always dreamed of - reclaim the family getaway with Camplify! 

So what is Camplify? 
We are Australia’s largest caravan hire and RV sharing community, helping connect thousands of holidaymakers with RV owners. 

What does that mean?
Essentially, we provide a unique sharing service where owners of caravans, camper trailers, motorhomes, and campervans list their RV for hire while not in use. As an owner, this enables you to earn over $10,000 each year instead of having your RV just sitting around while you’re not using it. 

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. Interested? Learn more about Camplify here.

Feature image credit: Lee Merchant (on flickr)

To find out how Camplify can work with you and your RV, register today here.

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