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Ultimate Guide to Finding & Booking Caravan/Holiday Parks in Australia

Wednesday 6th September 2017
By Dave Eddy
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By Dave Eddy
Why opt for a caravan holiday in Australia? If you’re not already an avid enthusiast there are a plenty of reasons why you should consider this mode of transport and why Australia is one of the best places in the world to do it. Australia is legendary for it’s wildlife and natural landscapes, hence it’s one of the best holiday locations to reconnect with nature. At a caravan or holiday park, there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone, offering the best opportunities for family and pet friendly holidays, with activities to keep adults and kids alike busy.

A caravan holiday can give you the best of both worlds, one day you could be sunbathing on one of Australia’s many beautiful beaches, and the next you could be up in the mountains. Not only is it an eco friendly approach compared to your average hotel package, but it’s also perfect for those on a budget, and if love meeting new people, the sense of community that you will find at most camping and caravan parks may surprise you.

So, you’re pretty set on the idea, but you’re not sure where to begin. How do you go even start going about choosing a caravan park for your next holiday? There is an overwhelming amount of options at your disposal for planning, selecting and booking, both online and offline. We compare the best of the best and review prices here, to save you the hassle of trawling through the internet for hours at a time…

 

 


Caravan/Holiday Park Aggregator Websites and Apps

 

What it it? Utilising an aggregator site whilst planning your caravan holiday in Australia will save you lots of time searching on multiple websites. An aggregator site will collect a variety of resources from different contributors and collate it all on one easy to navigate website or app.

 


Do you own an RV? Interested in learning how Camplify can help you turn your caravan, camper or motorhome into $5000 - $35,000 per year? Learn more about how Camplify works for owners
here 





Wikicamps Australia
(App for finding caravan parks & campgrounds)

Online or Offline? Both (ability to save content to access offline).

Pros & Cons: You can search for park reviews and locations for just about anywhere, from caravan parks in Tasmania to caravan parks in Canberra, as well as also being able to search for freshwater and dump points. However, not the most user-friendly resource to use, and community lead reviews and comments can potentially lead to biased opinions.

How Best Used: Available on Windows PC, tablet and smartphones; Can be used at any point during trip thanks to offline feature.

Choices: 5 out of 5  - there is a vast amount of choice on what and where you can search for.

Ease of use: 3 out of 5  - could benefit from an easier to use interface.

Price: Free trial, full price purchase of AUD$7.99, in-app purchase options available.

Overall star rating: 3.5 out of 5


  


Find A Camp
(Website for finding caravan parks & campgrounds)

Online or Offline? Online

Pros & Cons: Simple design and easy to use website, but need a clear idea of where you are going as search bar can search by suburb, town or county but not generalised area such as “caravan parks in western Australia” or “caravan parks in South Australia”. Also has route planning options, able to save favourites and trip plans, as well as leave suggestions for campsites and view suggested campsites for yourself. No obvious option to save routes and trip plans offline or sync to offline map.

How Best Used: Pre-trip planning; Would need to save routes and resources elsewhere or print them to refer to during trip.

Choices: 3.5 out of 5 - Good variety of choices to search from, could benefit from expanding their categories into more specific niches or facilities available.

Ease of use:  5 out of 5 - Very easy to use.

Price: Free registration.

Overall star rating: 4.5 out of 5



 


Turu
(Website for Booking Caravan Parks)

Online or Offline? Online

Pros & Cons: At first glance, appears to be a search resource for package holidays, but on closer inspection under the accommodation category various options can be found that include camping sites, caravan sites and holiday parks. You can also search pet-friendly places and search for specific attractions and activities. Blog experiences on what to see & do, trip ideas and information gives a nice touch.

How Best Used: Perfect for planning and booking for accommodation or campsite beforehand and getting a feel for what to do in the local area, not really any help in regards to actually route planning or saving information in one place.

Choices: 5 out of 5 - Extensive choices, with lots of photographs available of campsites and accommodation, as well helpful information on the sites such as amenities, local attractions and special events.

Ease of use: 3 out of 5 - Very user-friendly website, easy to navigate, with lots of helpful information and imagery however, could benefit from a save option or favourites feature which it does not currently seem to have.

Prices: No Cost

Overall star rating: 4.5 out of 5



Source: Turu 

 


Best Resources On Social Media Platforms

What it it? Social media is a powerful tool in a multitude of ways, but an under-looked way of using such platforms on the web is to employ them as a resource. When you know how and where to search for on social media, you can find a lot of useful information specific to what you are looking for.

 


Facebook Pages and Groups

Online or Offline: Online

Pros & Cons: Facebook has a number of interactive groups and pages for almost any given subject. A quick search along the lines of “caravan and camping in Australia” leads you to several large groups all about just that. The great thing is that you can ask questions directly to a group of people who have no ulterior motive.

How Best Used: Discussions, queries, insiders tips and tricks, recommendations.

Choices: 4 out of 5 - Multiple choices though nowhere near as extensive as the aggregator websites and apps.

Ease of use: 5 out of 5 - Incredibly easy to use the search bar for groups and pages on Facebook.

Prices: N/A Free Platform.

Overall star rating: 5 out of 5 (If your goal is to connect with likeminded people to share tips and ask questions).



Source: Facebook 

 


Instagram

Online or Offline? Online

Pros & Cons: Instagram is great in terms of visual aids and inspiration but aside from perhaps coming across the odd community or blog post, you’re not likely to find any useful information.

How Best Used: For inspiration, to check out locations, not for practical information.

Choices: 2 out of 5 - Limited.

Ease of use: 3 - Fairly easy to use, search by hashtags or try searching under location or “people” for communities and personal accounts.

Prices: N/A Free Platform.

Overall star rating: 2.5 out of 5



Source: Instagram 

 


Pinterest

Online or Offline? Online

Pros & Cons: Not dissimilar from Instagram, Pinterest is a visual social media platform, however, you have a slightly higher chance of coming across travel guides and blog posts on the subject than you would on Instagram.

How Best Used: Again, Pinterest is best used more for inspiration on locations to visit more than anything else. Try using the search bar for “holiday parks in NSW” or “caravans parks in qld” for tips, guides and inspiration.

Choices: 3 out of 5 - Limited

Ease of use: 3 - Easy to use search bar, can further filter with categories or click circular logo on images to search more similar posts to selected image.

Prices: N/A Free Platform.

Overall star rating: 3 out of 5


 


Source:  Pinterest

 


Holiday Park Chain Websites

What it it? The benefit to consider with holiday park chains, is that you can find a provider that meets your requirements, with multiple consistent sites across Australia. While they may not be off the beaten track, many of these parks offer memberships, discounts, and loyalty rewards, perfect for inexpensive getaways.

 


Top Parks
Holiday Parks

Online or Offline? Online

Pros & Cons: Offers options to search for holidays parks and pet-friendly sites, has deals and gift vouchers section, park pages with all the information you need and directions.

How Best Used: Excellent resource for booking and getting good deals.

Choices: 5 out of 5 - Extensive choices all over Australia.

Ease of use: 5 out of 5 - Very user friendly

Prices: 5 out of 5 - Good value for money. Membership is $40 and valid for 2 years, most sites are around $30 per night.

Overall star rating: 5 out of 5


 


Source: Top Parks 

 

Online or Offline? Online

Pros & Cons: Options to search for pet-friendly parks, discounts and deals available,

How Best Used: Good for booking holiday parks and accommodation, also offer good vehicle insurance and motor services packages.

Choices: 4 out of 5 - Good amount of choices.

Ease of use: 4 out of 5 - Fairly easy to use, simple categories to look under and all the information you need on the sites is readily available.

Prices: 4 out of 5 - Memberships range from $165 to $383 per year, which include various services and insurance. Powered slab sites lean more into the range of $50 per night, and unpowered sitting just under $40.

Overall star rating: 4 out of 5



Source: Facebook 

 

Online or Offline? Online

Pros & Cons: Loyalty scheme in place, discounts and gift cards available, able to search for pet-friendly sites, offers tips for first time campers, helpful ‘touring routes’ section on the website, you can also search by activities that interest you. Cannot view prices of camp sites as you browse, you have to specifically search availability.

How Best Used: Great for helpful tips and advice for first time campers planning their trips and routes, also a good resource for booking.

Choices: 5 out of 5 - Excellent range of choices

Ease of use: 5 out of 5 - Very easy to use interface and layout, clear and concise categories to browse through.

Prices: 5 out of 5 - Good value for money $50 for membership valid for 2 years but goes down to $40 upon renewal of membership.

Overall star rating: 5 out of 5



 


Directories and Community Sites for Finding Caravan Parks

What it it? Directories are collated lists of products (in this case campsites or holiday parks), and communities are public based websites and forums with real-life advice, tips and experiences that you can discuss with other members.

 

Online or Offline? Both. Online website, app available with offline feature.

Pros & Cons: Focuses on showcasing alternative camp site options and local businesses, and connecting people in the traveling community. Directory only available after registration, but this is free.

How Best Used: Good resource if you are interested in supporting local businesses and getting insider tips.

Choices: 4 out of 5 - Seems to have fairly good variety of choices.

Ease of use: 3 out of 5 - Somewhat easy to use, could benefit from some streamlining.

Prices: 4 out of 5 - Free registration, premium membership currently available for $29.95 per year with additional access and benefits, price will increase in near future to $49.95

Overall star rating: 4 out of 5



 

Online or Offline? Online

Pros & Cons: Featured deals section, limited content, little to no information on parks and sites (mainly just contact details).

How Best Used: Good for finding deals, getting lists of sites in particular areas and making bookings.

Choices: 3 out 5 - Fair amount of choice.

Ease of use: 3 out of 5 - Very simple website to use with pinpoint map and search bar.

Prices: N/A Free website

Overall star rating: 3 out of 5

 


Tourism boards

What is it? Usually tourism boards are location specific for each country (so ‘Tourism board of Australia’, ‘Tourism board of Morocco’ etc) and then often have sub-divisions for different parts of the country. They’re dedicated to providing the best information to attract you to their area, so it’s well worth checking out what resources they have to offer. Have a look at some of the examples below…

 


Victoria
Tourism Board

Online or Offline? Online

Pros & Cons: Has a search bar function for parks and sites, also sections for arts, culture, festivals and events. The offers section has some interesting deals available but not particularly budget friendly.

How Best Used: If you’re looking for holiday parks in Victoria and inside scoops on events, activities for kids etc. then this is a useful site. If you’re looking to treat yourself, there are good suggestions and upmarket deals/offers.

Choices: 4 out of 5 - Lots of options though many not a huge amount specific to caravan parks in Victoria, so will take some searching.

Ease of use: 5 out of 5 - Extremely easy to use website.

Prices: N/A

Overall star rating: 4 out of 5



 

Online or Offline? Online

Pros & Cons: Clear categories, helpful tips for planning your trip, camping and caravan section with all the information you need.

How Best Used: If you’re looking for tourist parks in Northern Territory, then Kakadu National Park is the perfect place, and this site has all the information you will need.

Choices: 5 out of 5 - Lots of good choices for camping and caravans within the park.

Ease of use: 5 out of 5 - Very easy to use.

Prices: 4 out of 5 - $40 to purchase one pass for an adult over 16 years of age, $100 for a family pass of two adults and two children. Although if you’re planning on camping outside of designated areas you may be required to apply for additional permits, due to various biodiversity and caravan park acts.

Overall star rating: 5 out of 5





 

Online or Offline? Online

Pros & Cons: The tourism board of Australia website has a vast amount of information on everything you could possibly want to do in whilst Australia. You can also use the search bar for something more specific such as “caravan” which will show route, location and accommodation suggestions.

How Best Used: Great for pre-planning your trip, it can also be used for booking but it seems a bit difficult to streamline the list of accommodations to a specific area.

Choices: 4 out of 5 - A good variety of choices.

Ease of use: 4 out of 5- Mostly easy to use apart from location specific accommodation or holiday parks and caravan sites.

Prices: 5 out of 5- Free website to use, hows good range of budgets/prices when searching.

Overall star rating: 4 out of 5



Source: Australia 

 


Printed guides

What it it? Printed guides hardly need an introduction, and you may wonder what use they have in a digitally dominated world. Printed guides will be handy when you’re on the go, as wifi won’t always be readily available.

 

Online or Offline? Offline

Pros & Cons: Well organised guide with lots of information and detailed maps

How Best Used: Can be used at any stage of your trip from planning and prepping to when you’re on the road.

Choices: 4.5 - Really good selection of choices.

Ease of use: 5 out of 5 - Easy to use comprehensive guide.

Prices: 3.5 out of 5 - Around $49.45

Overall star rating: 4.5 out of 5



Source: Hema Maps 

 

Online or Offline? Offline

Pros & Cons: Divided into sections of Australia with what to see and do, several itineraries to choose from, also has “Australia Outdoors” and “On the Road” sections although the book is not specifically for camping or road trips.

How Best Used: Ideal for planning trip and can be referred to on the road, Lonely Planet has a high standard of content and accuracy.

Choices: 4 out of 5 - Not specifically for camping but encompasses a lot of helpful information.

Ease of use: 3 out of 5 - Easy to use but will have to flick around the book for relevant sections.

Prices: 4 out of 5 - Paperback copies start from around $31.99

Overall star rating: 4 out of 5



 

This comprehensive guide should arm you with all of the tips and tools necessary to compare caravan park prices and holiday park prices - getting the best deals possible; Find sites that offer the right facilities and best activities for you, and the best sites to book holiday parks in Australia.

In our opinion, the best options for family and pet friendly holidays as well as budget deals are holiday park chains. If however, you’re looking to go more off the beaten track, then communities (websites or Facebook groups) are the best way to go. For general searching and route planning, park aggregator websites are the ones you want to focus on, and the best offline options are apps and printed guides.

 


Do you own an RV? Interested in learning how Camplify can help you turn your caravan, camper or motorhome into $5000 - $35,000 per year? Learn more about how Camplify works for owners
here 

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

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