National parks

Australia’s national parks contain some of its most spectacular sights and some of its best camping spots as well. By their very nature these are generally located in some of the most remarkable parts of the country and offer a completely different experience to staying in a caravan park.

Although the facilities at campgrounds in most national parks include little more than a drop toilet and occasionally a tap or a picnic table, the scenery and sense of being close to nature more than make up for it. The fees are usually pretty low, too. Indeed, they can sometimes be free.

Although they are called ‘national’ parks, they are in fact administered by different authorities in each state and territory, and there is a very different approach. These variations cover everything from booking methods and fee structure to payment methods and site presentation.

In some states, a good way of reducing the national park camping cost can be to buy both a long-term park entrance pass and long-term camping pass. Although these are not available in all parts of the country, they make a huge difference to those who camp in national parks a lot.

More information about access, availability, facilities and attractions for the national parks in tourist information centres, on the web or by phoning the relevant national park office. The following are the links for checking out the National Park websites for each state:

ACT: click here
NSW:  click here
NT: click here
QLD: click here
SA: click here
TAS:  click here
VIC: click here  
WA: click here

While national park camping facilities are traditionally pretty basic, that is not always the case and, in some of the more popular national parks camping areas, they can rival that of certain caravan parks. Hot showers, electric barbecues, and even camp kitchens have become part of the national park camping experience … although only in the prime destinations.

It should be stated as well that access to some national park camping areas can be difficult and will commonly require off-bitumen driving. It is always best to check that any given camping area is suitable for the size and sort of rig you are travelling in.

Furthermore, dogs are not allowed (bar a handful of exceptions) in Australian national parks and this has long been a bone of contention for many dog-loving grey nomads. As the rules stand, however, it means that unless they can make special pet-sitting arrangements many miss out on the wonderful national park camping experience.


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