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Camping in Australia

We have been camping now for about three months. We go through phases of having enough of it and not wanting to see a tent again, to it being normal. The worst bit is as we head further and further North the ground gets harder and harder. The dry season is three months in now and the ground is like concrete. We have given up and no longer pitch our tent properly. If it rained or was windy we would be in real trouble. Luckily for us at the moment it is sunny every day. We did have our fair share of rain in Yamba and Brisbane though.

Our camping setup.

Our camping setup.

It is nice being in the campsites and being able to talk to lots of Australians on hols rather than just other backpackers. At this time of year the caravan parks are full of people from Victoria and South NSW trying to escape their cold winter. Like us they are up in the tropics staying warm and enjoying the sun. It has been good to talk to other people who have done similar drives to the one we are about to make and it has reassured us that we will be fine.

At night time the moon is so bright that you are able to walk around the campsite without a torch, although most places have lighting anyway. In the remote areas the stars are amazing and you can see huge clusters.  It’s free entertainment.

The councils seem to pick the best spots for the campsites and they are relatively cheap. They are usually in the town centre or right on the beach – ideal! We have had some amazing campsites where you open the tent door to be greeted by the sunshine, beach and gentle waves lapping on the shore. At night we often go to sleep to the noise of the sea. Although we won’t be hearing that for a while once we head West.

Kookaburra at camp site.

Kookaburra at camp site.

The other great thing about their campsites is the wildlife. We have so many great wildlife experiences whilst just sitting at the campsite or being in the tent. We have been regularly visited by Kookaburras (especially at 6am!), lizards and an array of birds. We have be treated to a few more exotic animals like Emu’s, Kangaroos, Goannas and Possums. A few creepy crawlies have also come our way, a couple of big Huntsman spiders and a few cockroaches! Mostly though, it’s been ants and some are a bit bite-happy! It has been wonderful to be this outdoors and it definitely beats hosteling whilst the weather is this good.

Each campsite runs on much the same rules as the last, for example check out is always 10am. Why they insist on cleaning the bathrooms at 9am and cleaning the kitchens at lunch we just don’t know. Common sense would suggest that these would be the busiest times of the day, but that does not seem to prevail!

The final advantage to camping is that it is cheaper. One night for both of us in a campsite is about the same price as one of us staying in a hostel dorm. Jo says he doesn’t mind going back to hostels but he doesn’t know where I’ll sleep!

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