Are you planning to go bush camping in Australia or just want to know a bit more about it? There are seven essentials that you need to know about. And yes, some of them are different from other continents. At least according to us.
1. Find a spot to camp
The great thing here in Australia is that even the most basic campsites can have tables, benches and a fire pit. Free or wild camping is not allowed in Australia, so you always need to go to a designated area.
This does not always mean staying at a full facility campground, there are great alternatives. Many of campsites in the national parks here in Victoria are run by ParksVictoria. Most of the, mostly basic, campgrounds need to be pre-booked and you have to pay a fee, however there are still are some free campsites available that can not be booked, but run on a first come, first served base. The Grampians currently still has three free campsites: Kalymna Falls, Wannon Crossing and Plantation campground.
2. Bring a good Esky
We bought our Esky (cooler box for any non-Australian) here and have been very pleased with it. We cool it with a two liter bottle of frozen water, this keeps it cool for more than two days. Works a lot better than any element, especially designed for it, that we have ever bought and is a lot less messy than loose ice cubes that are commonly used here.
3. Bring your own water supply
As most of the bush camps do not have (drinking)water. This is what we took for two nights for four people:
Left to right:
1 liter in the Fanta bottle
2 liters frozen water in the juicy container (used as cooling element in our esky)
2 liters in the juicy container
2 liters in a milk bottle
1 liter in a fizzy bottle
2.25 liters in three bottles of 0.75 liter each
6 liters in the black and blue sack
4 liters in two camel bags (not on picture, the kids wear them when we hike)
20.25 liters in total
There was no water at the campsite at all, so we needed it for dish washing, and cleaning as well. So it was a bit on the tight side, we managed, but we only went on one hike and left after breakfast the second day.
4. Bring good weather
Not a necessity for everyone, but after our last camping experience and another hole that we found this weekend in our ‘not so new tent anymore’ we do our planning after we look at the weather forecast if possible.
5. Get an axe
On our first camping trip here we tried to buy fire wood. When we went to a DIY store and asked where we could find fire wood, this only resulted in a strange look and ‘on the side of the road’ with the ‘duh’ just being swallowed in.
Although you will find plenty of good fire wood everywhere, if you plan to do any camp fire cooking, it is extremely handy to cut down some larger pieces of wood. They keep your fire going longer and it is better to cook on it.
6. Do with the facilities that are there or not
This is all the facility that our campsite had, two toilets. The water tank behind the toilet that is filled with the rainwater from the roof had been used up. Although having a toilet might still be considered ‘glaming’ by Australians.
7. Take your own booze
To forget about the toilet experience, or to simply enjoy while looking at the bush TV. Can not get more Australian than this.
Oh, yes, of course it can! It could have been beer. But that would get too expensive, as that would involve getting a bigger Esky, which would lead into needing a bigger car. Which would have to be a 4×4 and then one of those cool ones with a roof top tent…….