Camping – one of the most quintessentially summer activities you could do. Since we’re right in the middle of the season, what better time for a list of top camping grounds in Australia and New Zealand? Pull out your tent, sleeping bags and camp cooking gear as we give you a tour of some great campsites on either side of the Tasman.
Camping in Australia
1. North Era Campground, Royal National Park, NSW
Overlooking gorgeous views of North Era Beach, the North Era Campground is a charmingly secluded bush camping site that’s accessible only by foot. If you’re thinking of hiking the Bundeena to Otford Coast track, this campground makes a beautiful overnight stop. The winning photograph of Kathmandu’s recently concluded #OurRetreat competition was taken here by Eric Yip, doing North Era more justice than words ever could.
2. Rocky River, Flinders Chase National Park, Kangaroo Island, SA
Home to Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, this well-facilitated campground sits at the gateway to the island’s wonderful south. The abundant wildlife means kids won’t have to walk too far from the tent to spot a resident koala or even a platypus. Campsites in South Australia doesn’t get much better than this.
3. Mt Field National Park, TAS
With its tall swamp gum forests, massive tree ferns and alpine heath, this is the ideal campground for families to cool off in summer. Rainforest walks, beautiful Lake Dobson and the abundant wildlife will keep the kids exploring for hours on end. This is camping in Tasmania at its finest.
4. Lucky Bay, Esperance, WA
Cape Le Grand National Park overlooks one of the region’s most famous beaches and the meandering coastal trail runs right through the campsite. Pitch a tent, set up your gear and take all the time in the world to enjoy one of the best campsites in Western Australia.
5. Cowes, Philip Island, VIC
Renowned for its gorgeous seaside atmosphere, Cowes is a great family camping destination that’s got something for everyone, making it ideal for first time campers. Take a pleasant stroll along the beach, or take in the beauty of Philip Island Nature Park to watch penguins, seals, dolphins and more. #OurRetreat competition runner up Uzman Naleer shows us just how beautiful Cowes is in the photo below.
Camping in New Zealand
1. Waipatiki Beach Farm Park, Hawkes Bay
On the edge of a working property, this campsite is great for kids who want a close-up of the farm’s friendly animals. Then there’s fishing, surfing, wildlife spotting, coastal walking tracks through ancient forests and a safe lagoon for a cool summer’s dip.
2. Uretiti Beach, Whangarei
The Uretiti DOC Campground provides an array of outdoor activities that make it perfect for families. From surfing, fishing and swimming the blue waters of Uretiti Beach, to tramping through the beautiful Waipu Caves, there’s certainly plenty to do. And, for fans of astral photography, #OurRetreat competition runner up Gabriella Morton shows us just what you can capture at Uretiti.
3. Poukaraka Flats, Whakanewha Regional Park, Waiheke Island
It’s hard to go wrong camping in New Zealand, and this spot is no exception. Explore beautiful beaches, kayak the bay or just kick back and take it all in. Walk through coastal forests, wetlands and historic sites then quiz the kids on their experiences. Amenities are basic but if you pack well you’ll have an adventure to remember.
4. Pohara Beach Holiday Park, Golden Bay
This South Island jewel is an ideal blend of gold sand, iridescent water and warm weather; the perfect backdrop for a spot of New Zealand camping. Walk through neighbouring Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks and when it’s time to cool down, kid-safe Pakawau Beach is not far away from this lovely campground.
5. Te Araroa Holiday Park, East Cape
Nestled between the region’s most spectacular beaches, the campground’s set amongst tall shady trees with only a short walk to the ocean. The kids will love exploring the caves, tidal waters and miles of sandy beaches. It’s basic but come prepared and the family memories will last forever.