Campers from Canada

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Campers from Canada

Postby gcapfour » Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:11 am

Greeting from Canada!!!!

We are a family of 4 (children 10 and 12) who are planning to be camping in Australia from Mid July to end of Sept 2010. We are hoping to start our trip in the Cairns area (I am sooooo excited that I will be able to see the Great Barrier Reef!!), travel down the east coast and if possible end up with a train ride to Ayers Rock. We are experienced car campers in Canada but have no clue where to camp what to be aware of etc. when camping in Australia. As you can imagine cost does need to be kept down. From the forum I am starting to realize gas is crazy expensive in Australia!!!
I am hoping to bring our tent but we will be renting a car there and then buying the rest of our camping equipment.
SO….as you can probably guess, I need a lot of advice.
Where to go to get good camping equipment at a good price,
Place that you would recommend we see
Places that you would recommend that we camp<<<<need a lot of advice!!!
Places that you recommend we avoid!

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Re: Campers from Canada

Postby HGMonaro » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:07 pm

welcome gcapfour...

lot's of questions there!

GypsyLady should be along shortly to start the ball rolling... I gotta go to lunch!
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Re: Campers from Canada

Postby Tina » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:44 pm

Hi gcapfour,

Welcome to the forum, I saw a little of Canada recently when my son was competing in the Worldskills competitions at Calgary, would love to go back sometime.

Anyway, What you have planned sounds excellent, the Great Barrier Reef and Central Australia are both beautiful in very different ways.

This book is the best one for finding camping places, holiday parks etc
Camps Australia Wide 5 - 2 versions one with photos and without photos(bit cheaper)

Good Luck you are guaranteed a great time
Cheers Tina
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Re: Campers from Canada

Postby Blue Bravo » Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:00 pm

The distance and time frame you have set would mean you would see mainly road ways. Suggest you check the distances you propose to travel and divide by the days you have to see if you can fit in the trip you outline. By starting in Cairns you will not necessarily have access to the biggest chain of camping stores, however K Mart and Big W have a good range of cheaper stuff available. You will find that you will start the trip in the tropics and head south during our spring so then cooler weather will be experienced. If you want to visit places such as Snowy Mountains then some cold weather gear will be needed. The east coast has many camping and caravan parks with a variety of levels of facilities. Places of interest on the way south would include Hervey Bay/Fraser Island, Gold Coast for the theme parks, Sydney for the sights (Harbour Bridge , Opera House), Canbera the capital ( Museum, Parliament House), Great Ocean Road south of Melbourne for the scenery and Alice Springs for the desert experience, especially Uluru (Ayes Rock).
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Re: Campers from Canada

Postby Jo&Kev » Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:51 am

Hi gcapfour

If you plan on bringing a tent I would advise ensuring that it has been thoroughly cleaned before you leave. Our quarantine laws are pretty strict and the inspectors look for things like camping and hiking gear.

You will find gas (called petrol here) at about AU$1.30/litre at the moment - it can vary daily and is often higher than this in rural areas. Our range of camping stores is nothing like Canada and the US, and you will find camping gear to be more expensive here that over there. Market size and distance really. (We visited Canada a couple of years back on a trip that took us from Mt Whistler, BC in the north through the US and as far south as Tijuana, Mexico.)

Places to camp between Cairns, Melbourne and Alice Springs... You are contemplating a 6000km trip if you follow the coast from Cairns to Adelaide via Sydney and Melbourne then inland to Uluru. Probably 5500km or so on inland highways. There are lots of places along whichever way you decide to go, and camping can vary from free in some places like state forests where there are limited facilities to expensive in caravan parks which can have a 5-star rating.

A good website for a look at campsites is It uses a map so you can get an idea of where the campsites are.

As questions come to mind post them on the forum. We are a fairly friendly and helpful bunch, and we are located all over the country so someone will likely have the answer.

Have fun with the planning...
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Re: Campers from Canada

Postby Young Camping Family » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:04 am

Blue Bravo wrote:Places of interest on the way south would include Hervey Bay/Fraser Island, Gold Coast for the theme parks, Sydney for the sights (Harbour Bridge , Opera House), Canbera the capital ( Museum, Parliament House), Great Ocean Road south of Melbourne for the scenery and Alice Springs for the desert experience, especially Uluru (Ayes Rock).

Don't forget the Barossa Valley in S.A! :cheers
Phillip Island is a nice day trip from Melbourne to see the Little Penguins come in to shore after dark.
If you are looking at budget gear, I definitely recommend Big W. Their 'Escape with E.T' branded gear (tables, pop up shower/toilet tents, etc) are often well known brands just rebranded for a fraction of the price. For example, I got an aluminium roll top table from there and after unpacking it it has Coleman stamped into the top! Not bad for about $30-40 from memory. They have a decent sized range too including tents, sleeping bags, cookers, accessories, etc. I'd say if you only went to a Big W store you could nearly get everything you needed.
Not being from the Cairns area that is just a generalisation - there may be some great dedicated camping stores there. Google always works - try and use the "pages from Australia" function.
Also, Parks Victoria have a great website and lots of info about different regions in the state - attractions, free/low cost state camping areas (limited facilities), and I'm sure the other states would have something similar. Gives you an idea of what you may want to see and how long you should spend in the areas.
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Re: Campers from Canada

Postby Little Kopit » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:29 am

I'm from Canada's The Maritimes and plan to visit Oz once I get the airmiles to go there and back. I've been participating in forums for awhile now.

1. Economicial is further away from the coast, which suits me fine. I'm not a beach person.

2. Government parks, ie. State and Nationl Parks are accessible to those who have no pets with them.

3. There is a lot of land, the equivalent of Canadian Crown Land, where one can camp for free. Again these places are more apt to be inland.

4. If you want to see snow, google "skiing Australia". But again if you go near these areas you could run into high costs.

5. & some small towns have campgrounds at very reasonable rates because they figure, the campers will be spending $ in the town.

Keep posting please, I've lots to learn too.

& I, I took the road less travelled by

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