Grey nomads across the country can rejoice as state borders across Australia are slowly starting to reopen after months in lockdown due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
Last week Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the Sunshine State would be opening its border to everyone bar Victoria on July 10, while the Northern Territory is due to reopenson July 17. It’s an exciting time for travellers who have been itching to leave their homes and get away for a holiday.
And, despite the pandemic putting travel on hold for a while, Phillipa Harrison, managing director of Tourism Australia, said that the desire among Aussies to get out and explore their own country hasn’t waned.
“We know people still want to travel and that they want to get out there and explore, with our recent consumer research showing that over 60 per cent of Australians are keen to travel around Australia once restrictions ease,” she said. “Taking a road trip is a great way to not only explore but to also spend locally and help regional tourism businesses and communities get back on their feet after what has been perhaps the most challenging period the industry has ever faced.”
If you’re one of the many people eager for a getaway, but aren’t sure where to head, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best caravan parks to stay at in each state and territory, to help remove some of the stress and get your planning started.
The Australian Capital Territory has managed to keep case numbers of the coronavirus relatively low, so locals are eager to see some visitors return there for a holiday. And while it may be a bit chilly in the country’s capital Canberra right now, if you pack on a few layers, there’s plenty to see and do in the city and the surrounding region.
The Alivio Tourist Park, is nestled in a quaint bush setting and is located just 4 kilometres from the city, so you won’t have to go far to get to all the major attractions. Visitors of all ages can stay entertained at the park with a swimming pool, table tennis, tennis court, basketball court and playground sure to keep every one occupied. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of mountain bike trails and bushwalking to be done in the area, if you’re wanting to stretch your legs and get outdoors.
The Capital Country Holiday Park is also a great place to stay, and while it’s only 15 minutes from Canberra city, the park is set on 40-acres of charming countryside. Accomodation includes villas, bungalows, cabins and powered and unpowered sites.
New South Wales borders have remained open during the pandemic, but now as restrictions are eased further, travellers are heading east to explore the state. And one of the great areas to explore is the Central Coast, with the Blue Lagoon Beach Resort in Bateau Bay a popular place to stay. The family friendly holiday park has powered sites for caravans and tents and opens onto sheltered beaches with stunning views of the surrounds.
Meanwhile, further north, the Big4 Koala Shores holiday park is the place to stay. Located on the waterfront of Lemon Tree Passage in Port Stephens, it’s in a private waterfront location, which is great for swimming, fishing or just relaxing. The park features abundant wildlife with regular koala sightings.
The Northern Territory is inching closer to opening its borders to tourists, and it’s the perfect place for the more active types who want to experience all that nature has to offer. From hikes to waterfalls and of course Uluru, there’s heaps to keep you busy on a short – or long – getaway.
For those travelling to the Top End who are eager to tick Litchfield National Park off their bucket list, Batchelor Resort is the perfect stepping off point from which to explore the unspoilt landscape. Just 15 minutes from Litchfield, this park makes caravanning easy; not only is there a mini-mart and fuel pump on-site, the park can organise for tour companies to collect guests from the front of the park and return them at the end of the day.
Meanwhile, if it’s the gorgeous Katherine you’re looking to explore, the Knotts Crossing Resort is at the heart of it all. It’s set among acres of tropical gardens and just a two-minute walk from the Katherine River. Don’t miss canoeing along the Katherine River, exploring Cutta Cutta Caves and bathing in the nearby hot springs!
However, if it’s Uluru you want to see, Travel at 60 currently has a great deal on offer, which includes a trip on The Ghan from Adelaide, up to Alice Springs. From here you’ll explore Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon.
South Australia has already opened its borders to some states, and from July 20 everyone, bar Victorians will be allowed to enter. You may have to pack your winter woolies if you’re planning a getaway to the southern state, but there’s so much to see and do, you certainly won’t be bored!
Located only 100 kilometres south of Adelaide in the beautiful Deep Creek Conservation Park is Stringybark campground. This well-equipped campground is nestled among a native stringybark forest and offers plenty of shade and protection from the elements. With 12 sites suitable for caravans, it’s a great base to explore the park from, with plenty of birdlife to spot and walking trails to explore.
In a different direction, three hours drive from Adelaide on the southern tip of the Yorke Peninsula, you’ll find Pondalowie Bay in the Innes National Park and the Pondalowie Bay Caravan and Trailers Campground. There are nine sites suitable for large caravans and 16 sites suitable for smaller caravans, and the beach and bay is only a short walk away from the two campgrounds, with opportunities to surf, fish, boat, swim and snorkel.
Meanwhile, if you want to explore other areas of SA, why not spend some time adventuring through the Murray River? Travel at 60 is offering a great four-night, Murray River cruise package which takes you from the historic river port of Mannum to Blanchetown.
Tasmania may be a little cold this time of the year, but if you can handle the chill factor, it’s a beautiful state to explore. The White Beach Tourist Park is in the perfect beachfront location, and is a great option for travellers seeking a scenic overnight stay. By day you can drive just 10 minutes to experience the World Heritage-listed convict ruins at Port Arthur, or relax with some fishing.
Further to the north of Tasmania you’ll find the Big4 St Helens Holiday Park. St Helens is the largest town on the coat and has access to prime beaches, restaurants and family-friendly activities, if you’re travelling with the grandkids. Plus, it’s just a short drive to the stunning Bay of Fires, which is home to some of the best beaches in the world, and spectacular scenery.
Meanwhile, if you want to take planning out of the agenda, you can join a 12-day guided holiday through Tasmania offered by Travel at 60. The round trip from Hobart takes you to all the most popular areas and sites such as Wineglass Bay, Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain.
Victoria has unfortunately experienced another outbreak of the coronavirus in the past few weeks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get some plans in place for when it’s safe to travel to the eastern state. The Best Friend Holiday Retreat in Yarram in the southeast of Gippsland, is Australia’s first tourist park specifically designed for people travelling with their four-legged friends. When guests want to explore the area pet free they can confidently leave their dog behind as all caravan sites are individually fenced.
Further to the west of Victoria lies Phillip Island. The island has been named one of Australia’s top tourist destinations, with tourists flocking there each year to view the adorable penguins which call it home. The Big4 Phillip Island Caravan Park is set on the beachfront and surrounded by nature, with spotless facilities and shady sites. Each night visitors can view the Penguin Parade at sunset, as the world’s smallest penguins come ashore after a day at sea.
Queensland borders are due to open very soon, and we’re sure travellers are eager to enjoy the sunshine that the state has to offer. One of the most popular areas to visit is the Sunshine Coast, with Noosa an ideal destination for people of all ages. And the Habitat Noosa Everglades Ecocamp is the perfect place to stay. You’ll find a range of accommodation including glamping tents and powered campsites.
Meanwhile, further north is the famous 1770 Camping Ground. It’s a hidden gem in a secluded bay inside Round Hill Headland, surrounded by natural attractions. 1770 is home base for the Larc day trips to Bustard Head and port for Lady Musgrave Island cruises. Guests can even catch their own mud crabs and fish for dinner after a round of golf, paddle boarding or bushwalking.
Western Australia is yet to announce when its borders will be opening, but planning a holiday there is definitely recommended when travel is allowed. Being such a big state there’s plenty of places to visit, but you can’t go past the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort. It’s a rare place in Australia where dolphins visit daily, not seasonally. Redeveloped in 2018, the resort now includes new guest amenities and over 120 caravan and camping sites.
If it’s a beachside holiday you’re after instead, the Esperance Seafront Caravan Park is the place to stay. It’s just 50 metres from a safe swimming beach and all sites have ocean views and are close to the town centre. It’s the perfect place to settle before venturing off to explore the rugged national parks of Cape Le Grand, the nearby pink lake and cobalt blue water of the Bay of Isles.
For a longer holiday through Western Australia, check out Travel at 60‘s current offer for a 13-day adventure from Broome to Perth. You’ll get to experience a cruise along Ningaloo Reef and even have a chance to swim with Exmouth’s whale sharks if you’re feeling brave!