After more than 10 years of looking for the best camping near Perth, I reckon we’ve finally found it. There’s lots of things we look for to make up the ultimate camp ground, and its rare to find one that one ticks so many boxes. After an absolutely fantastic weekend at Carmel Cider though, I’m going to call it. I don’t think you’ll find a better camp site close to Perth.
We stumbled across this gem a few hours after the camping ban was lifted in WA while jumping around Wikicamps. Its comfortably in the Perth and Peel Camping region and was the perfect place to check out!
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About Carmel Cider
Carmel Cider is a small family run business in the Perth Hills making handcrafted apple and pear ciders and juice. It’s set on a beautiful property with its own orchard full of some of the best apples you’ll ever eat. They sell a range of cider and juice created metres from the orchard in bottles and kegs. It’s a fantastic place, and back in January they opened their property up for campers.
Where is it?
You’ll find Carmel Cider almost directly east of Perth, in between Forrestfield and Pickering Brook. It’s only 25km away, and about 30 minutes by car. The property is really only just out of the built up area, and is the perfect camp site close to Perth.
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Carmel Cider has a beautiful apple and pear orchard, plenty of natural bush, a big dam and some stunning views from on top of the hill.
What makes it so good?
We loved our stay at Carmel Cider, and will be back for sure. There are lots of things we love about it:
It’s private property
There’s something incredible about being invited onto someones property, and to experience a portion of their day to day life and livelihood. Not only are you guaranteed no random visitors, but the numbers of campers are capped and you aren’t boxed into a little limestone section with bollards around you. Seeing the way these guys have turned their property into a little sanctuary and production setup is incredible.
You can camp in the orchard
Not many people get the opportunity to walk through a beautiful orchard, let alone camp in one. If you have a small setup, you are able to camp under or next to the apple and pear trees, and experience some of the most amazing camping ever. Obviously big trailers and van’s aren’t going to fit, and you might prefer to camp on the hill with a bit more room, but its a brilliant spot to wake up.
The owners are brilliant
You don’t have to do too much reading to know that the guys running Carmel Cider are lovely people. Andrew was incredibly welcoming, happy to show us around and explain what they do, and give us some delicious samples of their produce. They are friendly, proud of what they do and are slowly developing the property to be more camping friendly.
You can swim and play in the dam or tank pool
When the weather is warm enough, you are welcome to swim in the dam and their concrete tank pool. It wasn’t quite hot enough (I know how cold dams can be!) when we were there, but it looks amazing, and they have kayaks on the bank for you to have a ball with.
Local, amazing produce
There’s nothing like produce that is hand made by locals. We bought a number of bottles of apple juice, and ate plenty of the apples off the trees. They’ve harvested what they need for this year, so the rest are free to grab if you are camping there. Andrew even passed us a number of bags to collect and take apples home, which have been put to great use already.
We’ve had lots of apple juice, apple jelly, apple crumble and plenty on their own.
The main apples grown are Granny Smiths, which have a reputation for being green and are often bitter. Andrew told us that the shops will only buy the greenest apples, and ironically this is when they are the most bitter. Leave them on the tree for a bit longer and they go a more yellow colour, get sweeter and are absolutely delicious. I’ve honestly never had an apple taste so good in my life!
It’s cheap as
Unpowered sites are $20 a night, for the site. That’s for one person, or a family. That’s cheap as chips compared to caravan parks, and even national parks, and we rate it much higher than either of those. If you want power, its $30 a night per camp site. Still a good deal!
The orchard is amazing
We spent a number of hours wandering through the orchard. Some spots are tight, but its nice and shady, incredibly picturesque and a great experience. Grab an apple and munch on it as you walk around and enjoy the scenery!
You can take dogs
Dogs are permitted, as long as you are respectful with them and keep them under control.
Registered mechanical workshop
Yep, these guys have a small mechanical workshop and are more than happy to help you repair, service or fit new components. Have a chat to them!
What else do you need to know?
Being an orchard, it doesn’t fruit year round. This means if you visit in the middle of winter, or late in the year there probably won’t be fruit. We are keen to visit and see the flowers growing in spring, and the grass green and lush. It was quite dry and dusty on the hill that we camped on, but that’s to be expected given its the end of a long dry spell. I reckon in a few more weeks it will change dramatically.
The orchard is just off Canning Road, which means you will get some road noise. We were on top of the hill, and could probably hear it more than you would in the orchard, but its background noise and certainly not loud enough to wake you. The road is very busy though, with trucks and local traffic. It never bothered us, but its worth knowing about.
Also, the orchard naturally loses some fruit to birds, or they just fall off. Obviously these degrade, and form perfect little bombs that you won’t enjoy stepping on! The fruit going off does have a bit of a smell, but its not exactly unpleasant. Just watch where you walk, especially when you are in thongs. Yep, I managed to squash one perfectly!
Toilets are available, although not necessarily super close to where you are camping. Water is also available, and power too if you require it.
How do you book?
You must book. This place is relatively new, and I can see its going to be incredibly popular in the coming years. To book, ring Andrew on 0438 562 775, or send him an email at andrewcarruthers at bigpond.com
Check out our YouTube Video
If you want a different perspective, here’s the video from our weekend away. We’d love it if you subscribed to the channel!
Check it out!
If you are looking for an amazing place to camp near Perth, Carmel Ciders is well and truly worth a look. We will be back, and we might see you there!