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The Aussie family's camping bucket list

The Aussie family's camping bucket list

Aleney De Winter travels across our sunburnt country to find the must-see camping destinations for families.


When it comes to bucket list camping, Australia is a veritable gold mine with beach, mountain, outback and bush destinations liberally dotted all over the country. But with camping accommodation options from canvas to cabin, stunning locations, friendly community atmospheres and plenty of activities to keep both kids and parents entertained, these seven hotspots are a must for your next outdoors getaway.

The Aussie family's camping bucket list

Legendary Pacific Coast, NSW

Sun, sand and sea are all a family really needs for an unforgettable holiday, and NSW’s North Coast is abundantly blessed in all three. Follow the Legendary Pacific Coast, a magnificent touring route that runs through 48 national parks and 12 state forests, as well as buzzing tourist towns and quaint villages.

Must do

Go dolphin or whale watching at Port Stephens, by boat or by land

Stroll the elevated boardwalk at the Sea Acres Rainforest Centre in Port Macquarie

Enjoy a snorkelling adventure with turtles in Solitary Islands Marine Park

Bite into the Big Banana or get face to fin with the residents of Dolphin Marine Magic on the Coffs Coast

Swim and surf the spectacular beaches off the Tweed Coast

Walk to Byron Bay Lighthouse or learn the art of surfing on one of the bohemian town’s famous beaches

Simply find a deserted beach and enjoy!

Where to stay

Whether you want to stay in a tent to immerse your family in nature or would prefer to opt for a holiday park packed with fun and games for the kids, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

The Aussie family's camping bucket list

Uluru, NT

The Red Centre is the spiritual heart of Australia and an incredible place for a family holiday. The main attraction is, of course, Uluru and while you can marvel at its size and changing colour all day, here a family holiday is about more than a getaway; it’s about discovery and connection.

Must do

Ride a bicycle or a camel with the mega monolith serving as your stunning backdrop

Head to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Cultural Centre for a fun hands-on introduction to Aboriginal art

Explore the sacred rocks of Kata Tjuta

Take a scenic flight, hop on a motorcycle for a spin or take a bush tucker tour

If mum and dad need some couple time, enjoy dinner in the desert at the Sounds of Silence restaurant

Until 31 March 2017 visitors can also enjoy the spectacle that is the Field of Light installation by Bruce Munro

Where to stay

While there is no accommodation available inside Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, in nearby Yulara there are camping grounds within the Ayers Rock Resort complex offering everything from basic tent sites to caravan parks with a variety of services and facilities.

The Aussie family's camping bucket list

The Whitsundays, QLD

Nestled midway along Queensland's coast and encircled by the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday Islands are one of Australia's great family holiday destinations. Dig your toes into the sands of one the many picture-perfect beaches, island hop or explore the reef.

Must do

Take a family cruise around the islands

Try your hand at sea kayaking off Airlie Beach or learn to scuba dive

Snorkel among the abundance of colourful coral and marine life or head on a guided crocodile safari

Where to stay

Choose from more than a dozen national park campsites located throughout the Whitsunday Islands, sleep in a swag on the reef itself with Cruise Whitsundays’ Reefsleep, or stay at one of the holiday parks at Airlie Beach.

The Aussie family's camping bucket list

Coral Coast, WA

Stretching along the Indian Ocean from south of Geraldton to Exmouth, the Coral Coast is home to some of the world's most diverse marine habitats, pristine beaches and is a must to add to any nature-loving family's bucket list.

Must do

Explore the natural rock formations of the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park

Feed the dolphins at Monkey Mia

Swim with the largest species of fish in the sea, the whale shark, at Ningaloo Reef

Get spaced out at the Carnarvon Space & Technology Museum

Gaze in awe at Port Gregory’s pink lake

Get the adrenaline going by quad biking the Kalbarri or sandboarding Sandy Cape

Where to stay

Whether you are travelling with your own caravan, tent or camper trailer or prefer self-contained onsite accommodation, Coral Coast has great value accommodation options and offers an ideal way for families to enjoy the region’s wide open space, natural beauty and epic star-filled sky.

The Aussie family's camping bucket list

Flinders Ranges, SA

Take the k ids way back in time in the rugged 540-million-year-old landscape of the Flinders Ranges. From the jaw-dropping beauty of Wilpena Pound to the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, the Flinders Ranges offers an authentic outback experience.

Must do

Explore the natural basin of Wilpena Pound, which boasts amazing hiking trails, bush walks and off-road experiences

Visit Lake Eyre, the largest lake in Australia which is more likely to be a field of sparkling salt crystals than filled with water

Go underground or fossik for opals in Coober Pedy

Nosh on emu and kangaroo at the Prairie Hotel in Parachilna

Where to stay

The best way for families to experience the Flinders Ranges is by camping.

The Aussie family's camping bucket list

Kakadu, NT

Big sunny skies, a rich Indigenous history and a wealth of natural wonders make World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park a perfect playground for families which, at almost 20,000 square kilometres, is almost half the size of Switzerland.

Must do

Take a guided walk with a ranger to find nearby waterfalls

Spot crocs on a boat cruise

View the highest concentration of ancient Aboriginal rock art anywhere in the world

Where to stay

It’s one of Australia’s ultimate camping destinations, so whether you seek canvas or cabin, there are loads of camping sites.

This article featured in volume 49 of Holidays with kids. Enjoyed it? Subscribe to see more!

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