Why would you want to experience Camping WA?
Australia is one of the most unique places in the world, which is why it is so popular for tourists from all over the world. It has such a large amount of variety that you will be sure to find somewhere that you fall in love with. Western Australia offers a great portion of what Australia has to show, and there is more than enough variety to keep you occupied for months. From deserts that stretch for thousands of kilometres through to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, incredible natural landscapes and huge lakes there is plenty to see.
Camping WA is a life changing experience, and one that you will never forget. Camping is one of the cheapest ways to travel around, and being such a huge area this takes considerable time. People love to travel Western Australia to see what it has to offer and to experience the different climates and the Western Australian lifestyle.
Perth – WA’s Capital
Perth is one of the most isolated places in the world, but you wouldn’t know that unless you looked on a Map. It’s a decent sized city with everything you need, and it is very spread out! There are plenty of good places to eat, lots of entertainment and accommodation. Most people fly into Perth as a starting point, and then make their way to wherever their noses take them.
Where can you camp?
I mentioned above that Camping WA is one of the favourite ways to experience what we have to offer. This is largely to do with the fact that it is simple and cheap. In many places in WA you can camp for free, or for a few dollars a night. Even camping in a Caravan Park is usually not that expensive (except for a few of the very remote communities!). Many of the beaches in WA allow camping, meaning you can follow the coast around WA whilst saving your money and waking up each morning to the best view in the world!
It’s worth investigating thoroughly where you can camp though, as there are rules and regulations that are in place to stop people camping in certain areas. Within a few kilometres of Caravan Parks you are not allowed to camp on the beach, and camping on the side of the road will usually get you in trouble with the Rangers. There are plenty of designated camping spots throughout WA, and with some quality planning you will be able to have an amazing trip without breaking your budget!
The DEC has recently updated a page on campsites in WA. You can find it at http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/campgrounds/
Weather in Western Australia
I mentioned above that the weather varies considerably in Western Australia. By that, I don’t mean that it goes up and down by 10 degrees each day; it varies much more. In the deserts it can hit 50 degrees Celsius in the middle of the day and drop well below 0 at night. The rainfall varies considerable as you move north, and in many parts of WA rain is a very uncommon sight. In the North West, rain tends to fall more in summer than in winter, which is known as their wet season. It can be 30 degrees and pouring with rain in Broome at the right time of the year, which is actually very pleasant.
Perth on the other hand receives the bulk of its rain in winter, and very little through summer. Perth temperatures often reach 35 – 40 degrees Celsius on summer days, which is a huge difference to what many international tourists are used to. Generally the further south you go the colder it gets, but it is still very comfortable throughout the majority of the year. You need to research the weather thoroughly before leaving and prepare based on what it is going to do; the weather in WA plays a very important part of your travel plans!
In the North West, rain will often force roads to be shut, including many four wheel drive tracks. You don’t want to get stuck in the middle of the bush when a storm comes through, because you could be there for days (or even weeks).
Camping in comfort in WA
I am a firm believer that you can camp in comfort, without spending massive amounts of money. People who tell me that Camping is uncomfortable simply don’t have the right set up, or don’t know how to do it properly. Sure, it’s not as luxurious as sitting at home or in a Hotel, but it certainly doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. For starters, base your travel around the weather. Make sure that you have clothes and sleeping gear suited to where you are travelling. There is nothing worse than being too hot or too cold when you are camping; and no reason to be either.
You need to decide how you are going to travel and camp. If you are towing a Camper Trailer or Caravan, or driving a Campervan then you have plenty of luxury. If you aren’t doing any of these, then you need to take a swag or a tent with you. Either way, make sure that your sleeping gear is very comfortable; a good night’s sleep is important! Cooking equipment needs to be quick and easy to use, and you should be able to prepare meals with minimal fuss.
I would recommend taking a Camping Toilet and Camping Shower with you, if you have room to do so. In remote locations these are much appreciated (even males!), and they don’t cost that much either. Having plenty of protection from the sun is vital in Western Australia, as it is very strong throughout the majority of the year. A decent awning is well worth purchasing, and your skin will thank you for it! There are plenty of Camping Accessories that you can purchase – make sure you buy gear that is going to last. There is a lot of junk for sale that is very cheap, but as always you get what you pay for! There is nothing worse than a light or tent breaking when you are miles away from anywhere with the sun beating down or a storm about to roll through!
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Caravan Parks in Western Australia
Western Australia is fortunate to have some great Caravan Parks situated across the state. I would recommend taking advantage of these, depending on how well you are set up. They are considerably cheaper than staying in a hotel for the night, and you have a few luxuries that you might not have when camping. If you choose to you can rent a Chalet over night, which is good for a break from time to time. Personally though, I prefer to stay away from Caravan Parks as they are busy, they cost money and you can usually find a better camping spot away from all the hustle and bustle for free!
Camper Trailers in WA
If you don’t know what a Camper Trailer is, it would be worth looking into them. They are a tent built into a trailer which can fold out. Most have kitchens in them, with water pumps, sinks, lighting, a fridge/freezer and everything you need to live in comfort. Most people tow these with four wheel drives (giving you the best access you can to Western Australia) and set them up each night. They can be purchased for quite cheap and they make your life much more comfortable than using a tent. Many of these are designed for serious four wheel driving, which is great when you are towing them along the beach or through rough 4x4 tracks.
The alternative to using Camper Trailers is to hire or buy a Campervan. These are just vans or buses that have been converted to accommodation on wheels. Most have a kitchen, beds (some sleep up to 8 people), a toilet and shower. These are considerably more expensive, but then they require very little setting up and you have a greater level of luxury. The main issue I have with these is that you can’t take them off road very easily, which limits you in terms of what you can see when Camping WA.
Things to see in Western Australia
I could make a list here that would go forever in terms of things to see. There is so much that Western Australia has to offer, and you just need to look around and go off other peoples experiences. Both the northern and southern parts of WA have a lot to offer. I would plan to visit both if you have time, but make sure you plan it around the right seasons. The most common places to visit in WA are usually Wave Rock, the Outback, Esperance, Albany, Margaret River and Dunsborough, Kalbarri, the Ningaloo Reef, Karagini, the deserts and Broome.
In saying this though, the beauty of Western Australia is that you can go anywhere you want and find some of the most amazing places you have ever seen. Western Australia is a huge place, and that means that there is so much to see. If you are going to visit the ‘tourist popular places’ don’t be afraid to visit the smaller towns on either side, and look around in the national parks. There are truly some incredible places in WA, and you won’t know they exist unless you look around!
Is a 4x4 worth it in WA?
Being someone who loves his four wheel driving you are going to get a biased answer here, but here goes. The main cities and towns in WA are connected by bitumen roads, but there is still a LOT of places that are only accessible by four wheel drives. This includes most of the coastline on the beaches, the many four wheel drive tracks around the place and often even the vast array of gravel roads in Northern WA.
In my opinion, a four wheel drive is the best way to travel WA. They offer good protection against anything that decides to run across the road, they can tow a Camper Trailer or boat easier, a greater fuel carrying capacity (which is very important in WA) and have a considerably greater amount of room for luggage and often passengers. To many people, the best way to Travel Western Australia is with a four wheel drive and Camper Trailer, or swags and tents.
In saying this, travelling Western Australia without a four wheel drive will still be incredibly rewarding. There are so many places that are accessible which are truly stunning, which explains why so many tourists hire out cheap campervans and drive around Australia for months on end! Most of these are not four wheel drive, so don’t be put off if you don’t have access to a 4x4.
Staying safe in WA
Ask any tourist that has visited WA – it is different in many ways to other parts of the world. The temperatures can make life difficult, the distances between towns can be huge and the terrain is very different to what many people are used to. There is nothing more important on your holiday than staying safe. Do your due diligence, don’t rush things, make sure you plan carefully, think things through and relax and enjoy yourself. WA is a great place to be!
WA is a big place
Many tourists visit Australia and don’t realize the size of it. The number of people who come over and think that they can drive from one town to another in a few minutes is staggering, and it often puts people in a lot of trouble. There is a lot of space in between towns and cities, and this can be dangerous if you are not prepared. You don’t want to spend every day driving, so take things slowly and carefully, and plan for the distances. In the northern part of WA you will likely have to take jerry cans of fuel with you because the distance between towns is greater than what many cars can drive on one tank of fuel.
Take plenty of Fresh Water
Make sure that you take plenty of fresh water. The general rule is 10 litres of fresh drinking water per person per day. There is nothing more important than having water to drink; especially in the hot parts of Western Australia. Don’t rely on streams to fill your water up, as they just might be dry when you get there! Don’t take the risk – make sure you have plenty of water.
Do your due diligence
Regardless of where you travel, doing plenty of research is never a bad thing. Find out the weather, what there is to do, cheap places to stay, favourite experiences and anything else that you can. Book ahead in your accommodation; plan to do things slower than what you might think is reasonable, because there are often problems along the way. Make sure you are well prepared and you won’t ever have to stress when something goes wrong. A few simple steps along the way and your Camping WA trip will be much more enjoyable!
You only have to read some of the experiences of tourists that have visited Australia to realize that it is truly a beautiful place on so many different levels. I guarantee you will have a great holiday in WA – it will be a trip of a lifetime.