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It’s no longer regarded as a popular pastime just for retirees and grey nomads. The popularity of caravanning and camping in Australia is now going viral and is appealing to a wide range of age groups and cross section of Aussies.
A 2020 report from the Caravan Industry Association of Australia states that: “In 2019, the total caravan and camping visitor nights exceeded 60 million and 14 million trips for the first time”.
The report goes on to say that: “There are 24.8 million Australians and 8.4 million households, that consider caravan and camping holidays have become an integral part of our national travelling behaviour”.
What are the reasons for this uptrend in caravanning and camping? Partly it is about the current Covid-19 crisis and the restrictions placed on international travel. Travellers that had saved for an international holiday are now looking at investing their savings into a motorhome or caravan and are heading off to see Oz.
There has been a recent spike in demand for recreational vehicles across Australia with the lifting of travel restrictions in states across Australia. More than ever families with children are taking camping trips, highlighting that the family market is the largest segment of caravan/camping enthusiasts.
Plus the Australian Government have recently allocated $250 million in a regional Australia package with $150 million specifically for tourism and infrastructure projects to assist regional tourism. Australians are ready to rediscover the attractions and experiences which are plentiful in regional Australia.
Caravanning and camping options are huge depending on specific budgets and preferred mode of camping. These days these include luxury motorhomes, small to large caravans with all the mod cons, camper trailers, tents to swags. The variety is almost overwhelming!
A swag or bedroll consists of a mattress and bedding wrapped in canvas for protection. It is laid on the ground for sleeping and rolled up for transport. They are ideal for outdoor adventurers and tourers, and as an extra bed for a child under the annex of a caravan.
The choice of different types of tents available for camping are plentiful. They range from dome tents, touring tents, family tents, cabin tents, rooftop tents to hiking tents. Tents also come with a season rating depending on how hot or cold it will be at the camping location.
A step up from a tent is a camper trailer that also comes in a wide range of types. They are towed behind your vehicle and either pop up or fold out for fast and easy set up. Camper trailers offer a bed, kitchen facilities and storage spaces. They’re a great option for campers that want some of the features of a caravan but with a cheaper price tag, a lighter weight and ease of towing.
Caravan brands and types are diverse and range from 11 to 25 feet in length, that can sleep up to six people. Some are luxurious and offer everything from beautiful kitchenettes, ensuite bathrooms, queen-sized beds, comfortable club lounges, washing machines, air conditioning to outdoor kitchens. They also differ in types from pops tops, expanders, outback, toy haulers to fifth wheelers. Sleeping capacity and budget generally dictates what type of caravan suits each individual buyer.
If you want the convenience of a vehicle and caravan combined, then a motorhome may suit certain individuals. Motorhomes range in size from small campervans, large van conversions to class C, B and A cab chassis motorhomes. They can also range from being very basic to the luxury “home away from home” types. Generally they are not built to be taken offroad, can be expensive and once you’ve set up camp you no longer have a vehicle to go exploring in. But otherwise are growing in popularity for their convenience and ease of set up. Try before you buy by renting a motorhome HERE
The long running debate about the benefits of camping in a caravan park compared to the benefits of free or low cost camping continues. More and more caravans are self-sufficient and no longer require the amenities that a caravan park offers. However, caravan parks are generally located in some of the best spots, have great facilities and offer a high level of security, that is very important to a lot of caravanners.
Free camping is more about the freedom of not staying within the restrictions of a caravan park. Most free camp areas are nature based where you have privacy and the room to spread out. Some of the best spots we’ve stayed at have been either free or low cost. For example, we stayed right on the beach at Perlubie Beach on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia for $5 a night.
It gets down to personal choice and your ability “to rough it a bit” and go without a few luxuries for a couple of days. Most modern caravans or RVs are equipped with solar power packs and long battery lives so that you have plenty of power. We like to mix it up a bit with some caravan park camping and some free camping.
At the end of the day nothing beats camping amongst nature, with clear starry skies at night, the only sounds being ocean waves and early morning bird calls. I believe caravanning and camping in Australia is the quintessential Aussie experience.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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