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We all know the feeling…By early December, exhaustion has set in. The kids are tired, you’re tired, the dog’s tired - and you’ve still got Christmas to get through. But those five glorious weeks from Boxing Day onwards, when the summer sun shines so far into the distance that you can’t even contemplate the new year on the other side of it, are your saving grace. With so many bright, sunny days to fill, a family campervan holiday is the perfect answer. Everybody’s more relaxed on holiday, the kids can run themselves ragged out in the fresh air, and you’ll be spending quality time and making lasting memories with your family. In fact, it’s such a great idea, you can bet tens of thousands of other Aussie families will be doing the same thing., and your relaxing summer holiday just got a little more...crowded.
Any camper who’s been around the block knows that school holidays, particularly the summer ones, are the busiest time for caravan parks and campgrounds around Australia. So how can you have that relaxing summer camping holiday you’ve all been dreaming of, without battling crowds wherever you go? Fear not - we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you plan a peaceful summer holiday that the kids will love…
Choose Your Destination Wisely
Avoid the coast
We Aussies love the beach, especially the kids; that’s a given. So it makes sense that our coastal hotspots will draw holidaying families like bees to honey over summer. If you’re hoping for a little more peace and quiet, consider heading inland from wherever you are. Consider a riverside or lakeside holiday which will likely be less crowded but still allow your family to make the most of camping by the water with activities such as fishing, swimming, kayaking, floating and diving.
Head to a national park
Australia’s national parks are beacons for campers due to their natural beauty and varied activities, so they might seem like an odd choice to avoid crowds. But their sheer size (many are hundreds, or even thousands, of square kilometres in size) and the fact that many have multiple campsites to choose from means you’re usually likely to find a quiet patch for yourself if you have a good park map! And once you get there, the family will love getting out and about in nature and experience activities such as hiking, mountain biking, paddling, or meeting the local wildlife.
Summers are hot in Australia; there’s no denying that. And that explains why most families head south for their summer holidays. So if you’re looking for a little peace and quiet, consider heading north into ‘off-season’ territory to beat the crowds. Sure, the Tip of the Cape might be a little wet at this time of year, but cast your net a little wider with the help of a good map and discover some of Australia’s northern gems - just don’t forget to pack the sunscreen, mozzie spray and a hat!
About two-thirds of Australians live in one of our capital cities, so it stands to reason that the busiest campgrounds or caravan parks will be those within cooee of the city. Most families prefer a short drive to their destination, meaning less time in the car, fewer chants of “are we there yet?” and more time relaxing under the awning. So if you’ve got time to travel further away from the city on your holiday, chances are, it’ll be a lot less crowded.
WA is a massive state but is sparsely populated outside of Perth. So it stands to reason that the busiest holiday spots will be those within easy reach of the city. The summer holidays are basically the only time of year when the kids aren’t in school that you’ve got time for a long road trip, so why not stand out from the crowd and head north to somewhere like Broome? It’s not touring season in the Kimberley so you’ll find it much quieter, although wetter, than other times of year. Please note, our Broome branch is only open April- November.
Check out our most popular itineraries in Western Australia
Victoria’s Great Ocean Road is a summer holiday hotspot and for good reason. But it’s beautiful down there all year-round so save that one for another time and take the family north into the High Country for a truly Aussie bush getaway. You’ll find popular spots like Bright and Mansfield are packed out but keep going up into the Alpine National Park to seek peace and plenty of activities.
Check out our most popular itineraries out of Victoria.
At the opposite end of the size scale to WA is Tasmania - Australia’s smallest state. Less people live here but its small size means it can feel crowded quickly. Coastal areas around Bicheno and Freycinet National Park are popular choices, so look at heading inland to Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park for something wildly different.
Check out our most popular itineraries in Tasmania.
Anything that’s a little bit further or more expensive to get to is basically guaranteed to be quieter during summer. If avoiding crowds and planning an amazing summer holiday for your family is your aim, then Kangaroo Island, SA, is worth considering. You’ll need to take your Britz campervan over on the ferry from Cape Jervis (two hours’ south of Adelaide). It’s a few hundred dollars but well worth the money. Once there, you’ll find a myriad of holiday parks and national park campgrounds spread across the island, perfect weather, incredible beaches, gorgeous natural features and a spectacular array of Australian wildlife.
Check out our most popular itineraries in South Australia.