Camping has all the fun of travelling somewhere different, living with nature, exploring a new environment.
Campfires, cooking in the open and walking in the bush - activities we don't normally get to experience - may all be part of the adventure. So pick up a tent and a sleeping bag and head out. But first take a look at these ten best camping spots for great places to camp with your family.
Some of these spots are in caravan parks while others are in the middle of the bush or by the beach. Some you have to walk to and others you drive right up to the campsite. However, they're all in exciting locations and all offer very special holidays.
The best thing about Springvale Homestead is that it offers something for the whole family. Great camping under shady trees, swimming, history (the actual homestead is the oldest stone building in northern Australia), wildlife roaming the grounds, and the attractions of nearby Katherine's thirteen gorges. An exciting crocodile cruise departs from here where very close encounters with these giant toothy reptiles means there's lots to talk about at the bush BBQ while you recover from the experience.
Ph: 08 8972 1355, visit Springvale Homestead.
Where else would you want to camp in Queensland but on a tropical island with lots of sand? Fraser Island is completely made of sand, creating soft beds for bodies. Located at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, the island offers great weather, safe swimming in over 100 freshwater lakes and ancient rainforests to explore. Waddy Point is on the eastern beach with showers, picnic tables, barbecues, toilets and tap water.
You share your campsite with a lot of visiting wildlife at Cradle Mountain, including possums and the small, furry, wallaby-looking Pademelons. This World Heritage Area, famed for its spectacular scenery, stretches through many miles of lakes, peaks, rainforests and moorlands into the mists. However when the weather gets cold and rainy - a common experience - its wonderful to return to sheltered facilities, including store, communal kitchen, BBQs, laundry and toilets.
Ph: 1800 068 574, visit Cosy Cabins Holiday Park.
There are many bush camping nooks catching the sea breezes, sprinkled along the 15 kilometres of coastline at Little Dip Conservations Park. The Park includes several unique lakes each with its own ecosystem and character, while the sea offers surf waves breaking over reefs. Walks reveal birdlife, wildlife, shells, flotsam and anglers. Nearby is the colourful town of Robe.
Ph: 08 8735 1177, visit Little Dip Conservation Park.
If you want to camp right in the 20,000 square kilometres of Kakadu's stunning wilderness, then Gunlom, a bush camping site in the south of the park, is a magical place. The site combines a waterfall and serene plunge pool with shady gums cooling the picnic areas. Nothing can beat Kakadu for vast plains filled with Magpie Geese, the adrenalin rush of sighting crocodiles while cruising rivers, walks around billabongs or the accessibility of indigenous culture.
Ph: 13 67 68, visit Kakadu National Park.
You can set your tent up metres away from the warm, crystal blue water of Broome at this shady grassed park, which is close to town and handy to shops, restaurants and opportunities for safaris, cruises, scenic flights and historical attractions. Barbeques and picnic areas let you enjoy the sweeping white arc of beach and wide expanse of glittering sea.
Ph: 08 9192 1366.
Over in the idyllic region of southwestern Western Australia, tucked away near the cute little forested village of Walpole, lies Peaceful Bay. Similar to places most parents remember from their own best childhood beach holidays, basic camping facilities in a locally run caravan park, clean sands and a local shop selling ice-creams and bait, still exist here. Swim, fish, laze on the clean sand, eat fish and chips on the beach or take a walk along the cliffs to view the rugged coastline, wildflowers and birds.
Ph: 08 9840 8060.
To get high on camping, this beautiful campsite in the mountains of Kosciusko National Park is 1850m above sea level, where the air is crisp and the scenery involves high mountains fading off into the distance. A guided hike with Kosciusko Alpine Guided Walks takes you over rocky peaks and across icy-clear rivers, before arriving at a grassy clearing sprinkled with twisted snow gums and offering panoramic views. By the time you arrive, the tents are already set up and the meal is cooking.
Ph: 1 800 020 524.
Bush camping under the teatrees at Golden Beach means you are just metres away from the sand and waves of the seemingly endless Ninety Mile Beach on the Gippsland coast. There's great surf and many wildflowers in spring, while a walk along the beach will take you to the wreck of the Trinculo, swept ashore by a gale in 1879 and still rusting nicely.
The easiest camping spot is actually in your own backyard. Set up a tent, build a little campfire if possible and toast marshmallows under the stars before wriggling into sleeping bags for the night. Best thing is the bathroom is not far away.