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australia:camping_winter

camping in Australia in Winter

see also:

  • You are NOT permitted to camp or sleep in cars near a snow resort in Victoria
    • many alpine roads are closed from Kings Birthday weekend until Melb Cup weekend
    • chains must be carried in declared alpine areas where the roads are open
    • thus if you wish to camp in snow in Victoria, you will need to either:
      • hike through snow up to snow line where there is no snow resort (eg. Craig's Hut, Mt Stirling), or,
      • go to a more remote camp site near an open road and do a short hike in (eg. JB Plain Hut camp ground, Dinner Plain), or,
      • wait for a really cold period when snow is forecast to fall down to 600-700m and camp at accessible altitude (eg. Firth Park, Trentham), or,
      • camp at a snow resort such as Mt Hotham's glamping accommodation
  • NB. camping in snow is more accessible in NSW and Tasmanian alpine areas
  • in southern states of Australia or inland Australia
    • consider looking for a camp ground which gives good morning sun to warm you up and dry out your tent
      • remember the winter sun will rise in a much lower arch and will rise in the north east
      • tall trees to your north or north-east are likely to block out most of your sun
    • wind protection is a good idea as wind chill can make camping unpleasant
      • camping around lakes or on exposed mountain ridges may not be the best idea as they can be windy
    • nights will be cold - see keeping warm when camping or hiking
  • winter is a great time to do the Larapinta Trail near Alice Springs or explore Uluru and Kings Canyon
    • beware the overnight temperatures can fall to sub-zero temperatures even though the days are sunny and warm - however, the winter Milky Way is an awesome sight to see in the desert

Introduction

  • the main downside of winter camping is the short days and cold long nights - but you do get the lovely camp ambience of nice camp fires and camp fire chats
  • camping in winter in the southern parts of Australia generally means cool to cold days and longer, colder nights but if you are prepared for this, it can come with many benefits:
    • no crowds
    • wonderful winter clouds and atmospheric (albeit cold) morning fog and perhaps ice
    • minimal insects such as bullants, flies or mozzies
    • snakes are less active (but still will bask in the morning sun on walking tracks)
    • less water needed to carry on hikes
    • hikes can be more enjoyable as you don't have the hot summer sun
    • no bushfire risk - especially important when alpine camping but also allows campfires
    • waterfalls are likely to have water flowing
    • the wonderful Winter Milky Way will be visible if there are no clouds (the summer Milky Way is far less interesting)
    • unlike hot summer camping when it is hard to cool down - you can always warm yourself up to get comfortable (if you have a heat source and warm, dry gear)
  • camping in winter in northern parts of Australia or in central Australia has the most enjoyable weather for swimming or exploring
    • no cyclones, minimal thunderstorms, less rain and thus less flood risk
    • roads are likely to be more accessible
    • much less humid and hot
    • no stingers in coastal waters (there still be crocs and sharks!)
    • less water needed to carry on hikes
    • hikes can be more enjoyable as you don't have the hot summer sun
    • even the insect numbers are less especially if there has not been rains in the previous two weeks or so
    • see also:
        • water is just warm enough to swim, no tropical nasties around in general, temperatures generally 12-22degC in August (cooler in the ranges / hinterland which makes hikes to waterfalls a pleasure)
        • there is one camp ground on Magnetic Island near Townsville and lots of lovely beaches which will be warmer than Sunshine Coast and dryer with less rain and humidity than far north Queensland
    • the wonderful Winter Milky Way will be visible if there are no clouds as is likely to be the case in Central Australia or in Broome
    • HOWEVER, these times are the most popular, especially for grey nomads who may book out camp grounds, and in inland Australia the nights will be very cold and even sub-zero temperatures while the many waterholes around Alice Springs are also very cold and generally unattractive for swimming even if there are no crocs.

Mean climate in June (eg. for King's Birthday weekend)

locale Max Temp Min Temp RainDays CloudDays rainfall near beach
Darwin 31degC 21degC 0.4 4 2mm yes, crocs
Alice Springs 20degC 5degC 2 6 13mm no
Broome 29degC 15degC 1 4 18mm yes
Port Douglas 25degC 18degC 6 47mm yes, crocs
Cairns 26degC 18degC 7 10 47mm yes, crocs
Townsville 26degC 15degC 2 7 21mm yes, crocs
Hervey Bay 22degC 12degC 8 77mm yes
Sunshine coast 21degC 12degC 9 119mm yes
northern NSW beaches 20degC 13degC 10 10 165mm yes
Wollongong coast 18degC 10degC 7 10 112mm yes
Merimbula 16degC 6degC 4 8 69mm yes
Mallacoota Vic 15deg C 7degC 9 97mm yes
Lakes Entrance 15deg C 7degC 8 14 62mm yes
Sale 14deg C 4degC 8 15 47mm yes
Wilsons prom lighthouse 13degC 9degC 15 20 120mm yes
Wonthaggi 14degC 7degC 13 19 96mm yes
Echuca 14degC 5degC 6 14 42mm no
Mildura 16degC 5degC 5 12 22mm no
Flinders Ranges SA 16degC 5degC 5 9 38mm no
Warrnambool 14degC 7degC 11 17 77mm yes
Apollo Bay 14degC 8degC 14 109mm yes
australia/camping_winter.txt · Last modified: 2024/06/13 22:18 by gary1

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