Eight reasons why winter camping is wonderful
For many of us, camping isn’t the first thing to spring to mind in the midst of winter, but there are many great reasons to cure your winter cabin fever by going camping in a National Park on the NSW coast.
Great coastal campgrounds
There are many beautiful campgrounds up and down the NSW coast and it is off-peak season so deals maybe available.
The blissful silence
One of main reasons people go camping is to get away from the noisy hustle and bustle that everyday life brings. But the silence we crave is even more pronounced at a campground in winter. There are fewer people sharing your campsite (if any) and the world seems to have slowed down. The only noise that remains are the soft breaking of waves on the beach or the gentle sounds of birdlife and wildlife going about their day.
As great as camping in summer can be, the bugs are usually a major annoyance. But since mosquitoes can’t stand the cold, winter means no more itchy bites, buzzing in your ears, or smelly mosquito repellent. The
Perhaps it’s because there are fewer people around, but wildlife seems easier to spot during winter. The national parks on the NSW coast are home to a large variety of birds and animals. Arakoon National Park, on the north coast, is abundant with birdlife, such as herons, spoonbills, hawks, falcons, and the glossy black cockatoo, while a highlight of Murramarang National Park on the south coast near Batemans Bay is the population of eastern grey kangaroos, which are often seen relaxing on the park’s many beaches. Keep an eye out for the famous surfing kangaroos at Pebbly beach!
Whales, whales, everywhere
This happens to be a great reason for camping on the coast in winter. The whales are migrating! Many of the campgrounds along the NSW coast are right on the doorstep of some amazing whale watching vantage points. Diamond Head campground in Crowdy Bay National Park near Port Macquarie has spectacular beach views and, with several hiking tracks, there are plenty of spots to watch the humpbacks cruising past. The campgrounds within Bouddi National Park, such as Putty Beach and Tallow Beach, are just a hop, skip and jump from some of the best whale watching lookouts in the region.
A new perspective
A camping trip in winter offers us the chance of experiencing our national parks in a new light. There is something very tranquil and calming about a winter scene and there is nothing like stepping out of your tent in the morning to that crisp and cool winter air.
The winter night sky is magnificent
Days are shorter in winter, meaning the stars come out quite a bit earlier. And, with the coastal campgrounds in our national parks being away from built up areas, there are no city lights to block the stunning views above.
Your friends might think you are crazy for pitching your tent in the cold of winter, but you can be proud that you did it!
Tips for the best winter camping experience
There are some things that are a must if you are going camping in between June and August. You will need:
- a good quality winter sleeping bag
- a foam sleeping pad – an inflatable mattress is no good as it doesn’t block the cold ground from sapping the warmth out of you.
- The key with clothing in winter is layers. A waterproof shell on top, followed by a hooded jacket with warm base layers underneath. And, of course, beanies, gloves and warm socks are a must.
- a thick dry sponge is great for wiping up condensation from the inside of the tent
- sharing your sleeping bag with a hot water bottle at night feels amazing.
Image: Courtesy NPWS, Little Beach – Photo: Eduardo Martinez