Humans are creatures of habit. We rearrange our favorite meals at our favorite restaurants, listen to the music we love on repeat, and often return again and again to our favorite travel destinations. Nothing wrong with that, of course. But sticking to what we know can rob us of the opportunity to make exciting discoveries. This is especially true when you live in one of the most impressive and geographically diverse countries.
Of course, anyone who has planned a restorative camping weekend will tell you that the trickiest part isn’t fueling up the car, stocking up on supplies, and leaving on time, but finding a campsite that hasn’t been reserved months in advance. – and not crowded with other humans.
Here are five off-the-beaten-track options worth bookmarking for your next adventure.
Ord Valley Delight, Western Australia
Set on farmland overlooking the beautiful Ord Valley in the Kimberleys, Ord Valley Delight has two main campsites, each offering privacy and sublime views of the surrounding ocher landscape. Watch the sunrise and sunset framed by majestic boabs, head to the nearby Ord River to fish for barramundi, inspect examples of native art near the campsite, and meet the property’s friendly poddy calves. Despite the site’s remote appearance, campers can stock up on basic necessities in the nearby town of Kununurra, a ten-minute drive away. Dogs are welcome, but you (and they) will need to provide your own camping toilet, as well as a shower and water supply – there are no facilities here. Ord Valley is synonymous with unplugging, disconnecting and recharging in nature.
Wally’s Roost, Queensland
An 80-minute drive southwest of Cairns, Wally’s Roost offers three separate secluded campsites – options are farmland and hill views, or stream side). There are also plenty of furry friends to keep you company. The owners are wildlife keepers who have turned their property into a wildlife sanctuary. Residents include agile wallabies, bettongs, brush-tailed opossums, and a host of birds — the hosts can even arrange a nighttime visit upon request. There are plenty of other options for nature getaways, with Granite Gorge Nature Park, Davies Creek State Park, and Emerald Creek Falls within a 30-minute drive. Each offers excellent bushwalking and hiking opportunities.
Ayrshire Downs, Queensland
Located in North Central Queensland, Ayrshire Downs holds an important place in Australian colonial folklore. It houses the remains of an original Cobb & Co pub and the original ruins of the shear shed from the 1891 shear strikes and is also where the poet Banjo Paterson wrote Waltzing Matilda. Ayrshire Downs Caravan and Camping puts you right at the center of this story, set along scenic Wokingham Cove with plenty of public bathing spots nearby. Water, cold showers, flush toilets, and a picnic shelter with seating are all available on the campground, as is a communal fire pit if you want to mingle with other campers. Tours and mowing demonstrations are also available on request.
Captain Matthew’s Hideaway, Tasmania
Off the southeast coast of Tasmania, between Murdunna and Eaglehawk Neck, you’ll find this aptly named spot, a real hideaway. Sitting on the Forestier Peninsula overlooking Norfolk Bay, here you can set up camp by the calm waters of the bay and let the hours pass by. Swim, fish and paddle to your heart’s content on the secluded beach, while the surrounding groves of trees invite bush walking, bird watching and viewing of the area’s wildlife. Nearby Murdunna offers a range of activities, including 4×4 and off-road excursions, and is the perfect place to stock up on local honey and craft gin, while historic Port Arthur is a short walk away. driving distance further south.
Jackaleah Farm Stay, Victoria
A short walk from Sam Miranda’s Winery and the famous King River Cafe, and a five-minute drive from Milawa Cheese Company, Jackaleah Farm Stay is a foodie’s delight. On the farm itself is a lagoon for paddling, plenty of greenery and shade – thanks to excellent irrigation in the area – and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. A cycle path connects Miranda and Oxley to Wangaratta, just 31km north of the campsite, if you fancy a bit of exercise to make up for the indulgence. Ideal for a romantic weekend or getaway with family and friends, Jackaleah is just 2.5 hours north of Melbourne by car.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Hipcamp. Find yourself outdoors – book with Hipcamp.