Driving & Caravanning

Escape the winter chill with these Aussie caravan road trips

May 22, 2024
Source: Discovery Parks

As winter’s icy fingers begin to beckon, the warmer climates of northern Australia feel more and more appealing. So what do you do if you have time on your hands, a lust for adventure and an aversion to cold, wet, winter weather?

You pack your sunhat and shorts, organise the caravan and hit the great outdoors!

The Northern Territory, the Red Centre, the Top End, North Queensland and WA’s Kimberley region… all present some spectacular and accessible holiday options, whether you’re new to caravanning or an old hand.

The challenge is deciding where to go, where to stay, and how long to spend in each glorious destination.

Discovery Parks and Resorts make the “where to stay” easy, with plenty of well-equipped caravan and camping parks to call home during your journey.

As for “where to go”, Aussie caravanners are absolutely spoiled for choice. Read on to get inspired for your next winter road trip.

The Red Centre

With sealed roads all the way from Melbourne and Adelaide to Alice Springs, towing a van is a breeze. But there are also flights, buses and trains if you prefer to travel another way and hire a caravan when you arrive.

Alice Springs is a perfect home base from which to explore the Red Centre. Take in the natural delights of Standley Chasm and Simpsons Gap, or explore plenty of home-grown indigenous art and cultural events.

If you’re looking for a more rustic, “back to nature” outback camping experience, we recommend heading further west to Kings Canyon, a great place to rest for a while or as a stopover on your way to Uluru. Discovery Resorts – Kings Canyon has all the red-dirt outback charms you could dream of, but certainly doesn’t skimp on the more leisurely comforts, with a restaurant, bar, swimming pool and tennis court to keep you entertained.

It also boasts something utterly unique: the Light-Towers experience. This immersive light and sound installation is the work of renowned artist Bruce Munro (who also created the famous “Field of Light” at Uluru). As the outback sun rises or sets, guests can lose themselves in a field of 69 two-metre tall towers, each changing colour in response to the music within.

Source: Discovery Parks

You can visit the Light-Towers with one of three ticketed sessions: ‘Sunrise’, ‘Sunset’ and ‘By Night’. The first two are hosted experiences with food and beverages included (pastries and coffee at sunrise; premium canapes and drinks at sunset.) Learn more about this wonderful experience here.

The Top End

If you’ve been considering a trip to Darwin and Katherine, winter is the absolute best time to visit, with lovely dry season temperatures of 20 to 30 degrees between June and August.

Darwin has an utterly unique charm that has visitors returning again and again: a city of poignant wartime history, fascinating cultural experiences, thriving beachside sunset markets, and a gourmet food scene to die for.

Three and a half hours’ drive south, Katherine is described as the place where the outback meets the tropics. There you’ll find nature’s true glory, a plethora of natural gorges, sparkling waterfalls and thermal springs. And if you’re travelling with pets, Discovery Parks – Katherine also welcomes your friendly pooch.

The Kimberley

If your caravanning road trip extends from the NT into Western Australia’s most northern district, you’re in for a treat. From the Bungle Bungles to Horizontal Falls, the Kimberley region showcases those uniquely Australian life-changing experiences that bucket lists are made of.

From Darwin across to WA, your first pitstop is Discovery Parks – Lake Kununurra. Nestled among 10 acres of pristine Kimberley bushland, it’s the only park positioned right by the water; an absolute haven for swimmers, fishing enthusiasts and bird watchers. It’s also an ideal home base for visiting destinations such as the Bungle Bungles and Mirima National Park.

Another nearby option, just 40 minutes’ drive away, is Discovery Resorts – Lake Argyle, which offers something truly special: a famous infinity pool with a breathtaking view of Australia’s second-largest man-made freshwater lake:

Source: Discovery Parks

Guests will also have the opportunity to cruise Lake Argyle aboard the Kimberley Durack. This magical tour will take you along the region’s pristine bays and inlets before setting sail for Hagen Island. You’ll have the chance to enjoy a tranquil swim at the ‘Bay of Islands’, capped off with beer, wine and nibbles as the sun sets.

From there, most travellers will continue on to Broome. This historic pearling town is your perfect home base for Cable Beach camel rides, seaplane journeys to the incredible Horizontal Falls, and — if you time your road trip smartly — the spectacular Staircase to the Moon phenomenon.

The Savannah Way

An epic 3,700km journey crossing five world heritage areas, the Savannah Way stretches all the way across the top of Australia, linking Broome in WA’s Kimberley region with Cairns in tropical North Queensland. Boasting natural wonders galore, this incredible journey is the ultimate caravanner’s winter escape.

You will need 4WD driving capabilities for some of the more rugged sections along Savannah Way, so the complete stretch is a trip for off-road caravans and vehicles. However, there are sealed stretches more accessible to the casual caravanner, including the Cairns-Normanton and Broome-Katherine segments.

Highlights include the amazing 190,000 year-old Undara Lava Tubes in the Undara Volcanic National Park — with Discovery Resorts Undara conveniently situated nearby for easy access to amenities. Heading west, many nomadic travellers like to stay at the popular hub with beautifully shaded campsites and ‘surprising’ accommodation options – Mount Surprise.

With so many wondrous sites to see during the perfect time of year for dry season comfort, you could easily spend the entire southern states’ winter exploring Australia’s spectacular north. And if you time your winter escape caravanning road trip perfectly, you should arrive home just as the spring arrives too!

More Experiences, For Less

Planning a trip around Australia? A holiday on the road with Discovery Parks is a total gem! With incredibly spacious sites, and top-notch company, it’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy your surroundings.

Book now