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Alyssa Tresider
/ Categories: AU Blog

Ultimate Guide to Finding & Booking Caravan Parks in Australia.

Planning a campervan adventure across Australia? This guide is your go-to resource for holiday parks in Australia, helping you find the perfect campgrounds to stay in your campervan – from beachfront vistas to Outback retreats. What's more, we'll dive into how to secure the best spots, ensure value for money (for those wondering how to travel Australia cheap), and scoop up last-minute holiday park deals. Let’s dive in. 

 

How does a caravan park work, exactly?

Caravan parks and holiday parks are the unsung heroes of the Australia road trip scene. Offering a place to park your campervan, recharge your batteries, and enjoy various facilities, they're essential for travellers. Holiday parks are often strategically located near tourist hotspots, providing a base camp for daily adventures. Unlike freedom camping, which is restricted in many areas, caravan parks are a reliable and legal option. Best of all, they offer amenities, ranging from power hook-ups to shower facilities, that can make your Australia road trip more comfortable and overall enhance the van travel experience significantly.

 

How to find and book a caravan park

In an ideal world, finding the right holiday park would be as simple as pressing “book now” on the first thing that popped up on your Google search. This is great if you are booking as you go and just want something convenient, but if you're looking for the best deals or unique spots, it's worth digging a bit deeper. Luckily, there are plenty of specialised apps and websites that can ensure you find the perfect Aussie campgrounds (and savings!) that are not always visible through a standard search.

 

thl Roadtrip App

For campervan travellers, the thl Roadtrip App is a game-changer. This app offers an in-depth hub of campsites, holiday parks and freedom camping, as well as a search engine for finding other campervan amenities like dumpsite locations and LPG swap spots. What’s more, it features exclusive content for THL vehicle renters, including helpful vehicle walk-through videos, ensuring you know everything you need to know about your campervan in one convenient app. The app is designed to streamline your travel experience, ensuring you have all the necessary information at your fingertips. Whether you're after practical resources or looking to enhance your road trip itinerary planner, the thl Roadtrip App has you covered.

Image: Instagram -  @kleinstadtcoco

 

Caravan and holiday park aggregator websites and apps

In the quest for the perfect holiday park, there are several tools at your disposal beyond Google. Aggregator websites and apps specifically designed for campervans can simplify your search, offering comprehensive listings, user reviews, and the ability to filter by your specific needs. Let’s dive into some of the most popular platforms.

 

WikiCamps Australia

WikiCamps Australia is another top app for many campervan travellers down under. While its primary function is to help you book caravan parks, it also offers user reviews, photos of the campgrounds, and a small description of each site's facilities. 

 

CamperMate

Another valuable resource is CamperMate, an app that lets you find, compare, and book holiday parks across Australia. Its user-friendly interface and comprehensive database make it a popular choice among van travellers.  

 

Findacamp

For a web-based interface, Find A Camp is a robust database of holiday parks, bush campsites, free campgrounds and more. While direct booking isn’t an option, it’s an excellent tool for planning and discovering unique spots across Australia.

 

Caravan park and holiday park chains

When it comes to caravan park booking, opting for a chain can make decisions easier and offer consistency in quality and facilities. Let's explore some of the big names in the industry.

 

BIG4 Holiday Parks

BIG4 Holiday Parks is synonymous with quality. They offer powered sites that often include access to on-site amenities such as pools, playgrounds, and BBQ areas. These parks are ideal for families looking for a mix of adventure and comfort during their Australia road trip.

 

NRMA Holiday Parks

NRMA Holiday Parks are known for their prime locations and wide range of accommodation options. From beachfront to bush settings, they cater to all types of campervan explorers.

 

Discovery Parks Australia

Discovery Parks Australia stands out for its extensive presence across the country, providing a uniform experience of comfort and convenience, ideal for those plotting an extensive Australia road trip.

 

Reflections Holiday Parks 

Focusing on New South Wales, Reflections Holiday Parks offer stunning locations throughout the state, making them perfect for nature lovers on a van travel adventure.

 

Social Media

While this one may seem a little left field, don’t overlook social media in your search for the perfect caravan park. Platforms like Facebook can reveal hidden gems not listed on Google, especially in remote Outback regions where holiday parks operate on word-of-mouth. Instagram hashtags and Pinterest boards can also be fantastic places to gather inspiration and real-life insights into holiday parks and campgrounds around Australia.

 

State Tourism Boards

Each Australian state and territory boasts its own tourism website, offering a wild array of information on caravan parks, local attractions, and unique activities located within that state. These websites are invaluable for planning Australia self-drive tours tailored to your interests and travel style. Below are the tourism boards for each state:

 

Google

Lastly, good old Google remains a powerful tool for comparing prices and finding caravan parks. It’s especially useful for getting a quick overview of your options and reading recent reviews to ensure your chosen holiday park meets your expectations and criteria (more on that soon!) for an unforgettable Australia road trip.

 

What to look for in a good caravan park

Choosing the right caravan parks for your Australia road trip can significantly enhance your campervan experience in Australia. Here’s what you should consider with each booking, to ensure your stay is comfortable, convenient, and memorable.

 

Quality facilities

Staying at a caravan park offers a host of advantages over freedom camping spots, not least the range of facilities available. Look for holiday parks that offer essential amenities such as power hook-ups, laundry services, refrigeration, and cooking areas. A playground for kids can be a real bonus for family travellers. These facilities not only add convenience to your Australia road trip but also help in making your journey more enjoyable and less stressful.

 

Length of stay limits

During the high season, some caravan parks may limit the length of stay (or require a minimum number of days). To avoid rearranging your road trip itinerary, check the length of stay limits. Matching your stay length with your itinerary ensures a smoother Australia road trip experience.

 

Location and nearby attractions

The location of your caravan park can significantly affect your holiday. If you're looking to escape and spend quality time with the family, a remote location might be ideal. Conversely, if you want to explore local cafes, shops, and attractions, choose a holiday park within walking distance of these amenities. Generally speaking, caravan parks in Australia are conveniently located near tourist spots and essential services – but it is still good to check, just in case! 

 

Flat surface

A level parking spot may seem like a small thing, but it can be a huge game changer. Levelling your vehicle can be a hassle, particularly if you're moving frequently. Opting for a caravan park or a site that’s as level as possible saves you time and frustration – no items rolling off the countertops, no clothes falling out of cupboards. It really makes your campervan experience so much more pleasant.

 

Compare prices to get the best value

Travelling in a campervan is easily one of the most budget-friendly ways to see Australia, but don’t overlook the cost of caravan parks. It is worthwhile taking the time to compare prices and facilities to ensure you find the best value for your money. Spending less on accommodation means you can splurge more on activities and dining out during your Australia road trip.

 

The average price of a caravan park

There are several factors that influence the cost of staying at a caravan park. Everything from the type of campervan site to its location, facilities and the season will change the cost. To help you get a better idea, we have broken down these price considerations into the following sections.

 

Powered or unpowered site

Across Australia, expect to pay up to $40 AUD per night for an unpowered site and over $50 AUD for a powered site. The difference between these two sites lies in the availability of an electricity hookup, which is crucial for powering your campervan’s appliances and charging devices such as phones and cameras overnight. 

 

Time of year

Holiday park prices fluctuate with demand, peaking during the Christmas to January holiday period and school vacations throughout the year. If you have the flexibility to do so, planning your Australia road trip outside these times can save you quite a bit of money. If you find yourself booking in peak seasons, try to get your caravan booking sorted as early as possible to take advantage of any early-bird prices. 

 

Location of the park

Proximity to popular attractions or city centres can drive up the price of holiday parks due to higher demand. It is worth considering how important location is to your Australia road trip and whether staying a little further out could make your holiday more affordable.

 

Range of facilities available

The range of facilities a caravan park offers can also affect its price. While some parks boast extensive amenities, others might be more basic but, as a result, cheaper. Maybe you are travelling with kids, and a playground and laundry are worth the additional cost. Or, maybe you prefer a more play-in-the-dirt experience and are happy to skip out on these amenities. Ultimately, the choice is yours. Decide what’s essential for your comfort, and that way, you can explore Australia without compromising on the quality of your experience.

 

The most popular caravan parks in Australia

Australia's varied landscapes are dotted with some of the most scenic and well-equipped caravan parks, catering to every kind of Australia road trip. From sprawling franchise holiday parks with top-notch amenities to quaint, independent campgrounds offering a more personal touch, there’s a perfect campsite for every campervan itinerary. Let’s explore the top picks from each state, promising unforgettable stops on your campervan journey.

Image: Lachlan Gardiner

 

Caravan parks in South Australia

South Australia, known for its vineyards, historic towns, and stunning coastlines, hosts several top-notch caravan parks:

 

Caravan parks in Western Australia

With its vast deserts, ancient forests, and pristine beaches, Western Australia offers some unique caravan parks for campervan travellers. For a comprehensive guide to family-friendly campsites and holiday parks in this diverse state, including those in Perth, check out the best family-friendly holiday parks in Western Australia and the top holiday parks in Perth.

 

Caravan parks in Victoria

Victoria's caravan parks stand out for scenic beauty and proximity to cultural and foodie hotspots. For the full selection of the best family-friendly and pet-friendly sites, including those around Melbourne, check out these guides:

 

Caravan parks in Tasmania

Tasmania’s caravan parks are gateways to exploring this island state's rugged wilderness and historical sites. For our top picks, check out the full guide to the best family-friendly campsites and holiday parks in Hobart.

 

Caravan parks in Queensland

From tropical rainforests to beach paradises, Queensland has it all. Explore some of the best caravan parks in the state, including options for family and pet-friendly stays with the following guides: 

 

Caravan parks in New South Wales

NSW is blessed with some of Australia’s most iconic beaches and vibrant cities. For the best beachfront caravan parks and holiday parks in Sydney, check out 

 

Caravan parks in Northern Territory

The Northern Territory offers an authentic Outback experience, with caravan parks that place you in the heart of Australia’s most stunning natural landscapes. Here are a few of our top pics for holiday parks in the Northern Territory: 

 

Ready to lock in your campervan itinerary?

A campervan adventure is the best way to explore Australia and all its beauty at your own pace. To start your journey, book your Apollo camper online today and pick it up from any Apollo branch across the country. With your home on wheels ready, Australia’s vast and varied landscapes await. Whether you’re drawn to the serene beaches of Queensland, the historic wonders of Tasmania, or the rugged outback of the Northern Territory, your perfect caravan park is out there.

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