Deciding where to stay for your upcoming campervan Australia road trip? Caravan parks are a great option when travelling around in a campervan. Featuring nearly all the conveniences of hotel accommodation for a fraction of the price and with hundreds scattered in top locations all around the country, how can you go wrong?
Want to learn more about how to travel Australia cheap and how to find and book a caravan park before you arrive in Australia? Look no further. We have put together this ultimate guide to finding a caravan park, including cost considerations, what to look for in a caravan park as well as a list of the most popular caravan parks in each state in Australia. Here’s what we’ll cover:
Let’s dive in.
Caravan parks are a great cost-effective option for where to stay as you explore Australia in a campervan. Sometimes called tourist parks and holiday parks, caravan parks are scattered across the country, often in places near tourist destinations. As you can’t just park up and camp anywhere in Australia, caravan parks provide a convenient option to park up after a day of exploring. Caravan parks also have a lot of facilities to take advantage of, so you can recharge your campervan batteries, take a long hot shower and so on, as you travel. Some caravan parks are independently owned, some are part of large franchises, whereas others may be owned by the state. There are many options to choose from.
Caravan park prices can vary from $20 to $100. Many considerations may affect the cost of your site. Here are a few things to consider to ensure you get the best value deal:
Generally, you will pay upwards of $30 AUD a night for a non-powered site and upwards of $40 AUD for a powered site. A non-powered site is usually a grassy or gravel patch designed for campers to park up for the night. These sites give access to the amenities in the caravan park, such as toilets, kitchen, laundry and so on, just without mains power. Powered sites, on the other hand, have a mains power hook-up available. Powered sites also give access to the same amenities as unpowered sites. Simply - if you don’t require a power top-up, the unpowered sites are a great way to use the amenities without the extra cost of power.
Like tourist attractions, sometimes the cost of a caravan park will be more expensive during the peak holiday season. In Australia, this is normally from around Christmas until the end of January. School holidays are also another time of year that can attract crowds. If you want to keep your prices low, be sure to check the Australian school holiday calendars before booking your campervan holiday. In saying that, even during peak times, caravan parks are usually really cost-effective.
When you’re travelling in your campervan, it’s likely you’ll want to stay as close to the action and popular spots as possible. The issue can sometimes be that the more desired locations for caravan parks are more expensive due to demand. It's a good idea to pick a town or destination and look around to see who has the best price in the area.
Not all caravan parks are created equal. Although you’d expect every caravan park to have basic facilities like a washing machine to power, this is not always the case. Sometimes, the very secluded caravan parks may not have all the bells and whistles of their city cousins. The plus side? If a caravan park has fewer facilities, you can usually expect it to cost less.
Overall, there are a number of factors, including the type of site, time of year, location, and facilities, that will affect the average price of a caravan park site. Looking to stretch your travel budget? Make sure you book your site early to get the best prices.
There are many ways to go about booking a caravan park. Sure, you can just google where you’re going to compare prices with the top results. However, you may be missing out on discounts through certain apps or suppliers/ chains. Here are a few of the top ways to find and book a caravan park:
A thlRoadtrip App is a road trip itinerary planner perfect for helping to find caravan parks. On it, you can also look for dumpsites, LPG swap locations, local shops, laundromats and more. With its offline capabilities, easy map view and more, it really is a one-stop-shop for finding caravan parks and more on a campervan road trip.
While many caravan parks have websites detailing their facilities and costs, it is common for more secluded caravan parks not to have a website and instead be only found on Facebook. This can be a big consideration if you’re planning to travel through the outback, where many of these businesses operate.
Top tip: Using Instagram hashtags and Pinterest can also be a great option to get inspiration for caravan parks.
WikiCamps is another popular app in Australia that features a database of caravan parks, as well as hostels, info centres and so on. The WikiCamps app is another great tool to help search for caravan parks.
Now that you know how to find caravan parks, the next question is how do you decide which park is right for your trip? Here are the top things to consider when deciding which caravan parks to book for your road trip itinerary:
If you’re paying to stay at a caravan park versus a freedom camping spot, you’ll want to make the most of as many facilities as possible. Facilities to look for in a caravan park include:
Overall, you want to find a park that offers as many of these as possible. Or at least the ones you know that you will make use of. That way, you can get the most from your stay.
Especially during peak season, some caravan parks only allow you to stay for a few nights at a time. Alternatively, they may have a minimum number of nights in certain periods. It’s a good idea to check in advance how long you’re able to stay or if there are any minimum stay requirements you need to meet.
If you’re staying at a caravan park, you’ll want to avoid packing up, rolling out and then setting up again every time you want to leave for ice cream or to explore. It can be nice to simply park up and wander around on foot to explore the local area. Generally, caravan parks are pretty close to popular tourist spots and supermarkets, but location is definitely something worth checking!
Levelling your vehicle can be a time-consuming and irritating procedure when first arriving at a caravan park. If you can, pick a caravan park or site that is as level as possible such as those with a concrete slab. A flat and level site can save you time and hassle on your trip.
One of the benefits of travelling in a campervan is saving money that you can then spend on activities and food. It’s a good idea to compare prices for caravan parks to find the best value. It’s a balancing act between being as cheap as possible and the caravan park ticking all the boxes you need it to.
Australia is home to some stunning caravan parks. Some holiday parks are a part of a large franchise, while others are smaller independents. Each spot comes with its own charm. We have put together a list of the most popular caravan parks in Australia that are well worth adding to your itinerary:
South Australia offers an eclectic mix of rugged coasts, aquamarine beaches and wineries-galore. Here are the top caravan parks to visit in South Australia:
Western Australia is the largest of the Australian states and home to the expansive outback, ancient rock formations and world heritage reefs. Here are the top caravan parks to stay at when travelling through Western Australia:
Victoria is the second smallest state but packs a punch with its rolling farmlands, vineyards and cosmopolitan cityscapes. When in Victoria, be sure to check out these top-rated caravan parks:
Tasmania is home to pristine beaches, rugged mountain ranges and tranquil forests. With over 40% of the landmass being national parks and reserves, there is endless untouched beauty just waiting to be explored. Here are the top caravan parks in Tasmania:
Queensland is a tropical oasis best known for the ancient beauty of the Daintree, the year-round sunny weather and the stark inland desert landscapes. Here are the top caravan parks in Queensland:
New South Wales is a stunning mix of hinterland retreats, coastal getaways, and outback adventures. Here are the top caravan parks in New South Wales:
Northern Territory is a rugged landscape home to Australia’s revered Uluru, Kakadu National Park and Darwin city. Here are the top caravan parks in Northern Territory:
Caravan parks, or holiday parks, are easy to find and book once you know what you are looking for. Using the thl Road Trip app, you can check out the facilities, location and value before booking to ensure you find the perfect spot.
Ready to lock in your campervan itinerary and rent a van to travel Australia? Book your Mighty campervan online today and check out our popular Australia road trip itineraries to start planning! Curious to learn more about caravan park alternatives like free camping? Be sure to check out our guides to free camping and other top tips for a cheap campervan trip in Australia.