Happy Campers and How To be One
With only a canvas ceiling between you and the great outdoors, camping could be the closest you can get to nature. There’s a feeling of true freedom when the night sky sparkles above your head, your bed is firmly planted on the ground, and you’re snug in the knowledge that the only thing waking you up is birdsong. Loved by Australians across the country, camping is the ultimate therapy. It’s a chance to unplug from your busy life and connect to the things that matter – family, friends, nature and wellness.
Why you should reconnect by camping
We feel good when we spend a night under the stars. However, in 2017 Real Richness Australia decided to find out just how good camping is for health and wellbeing. The study found that campers are happier, more satisfied, optimistic and energised than non-campers. They’re also less stressed, bored, frustrated and lonely. Scientists believe that the positive effects of camping come from increased exercise, sunlight and oxygen. These three factors boost serotonin which is the chemical our body makes to make us happy. Beyond science, camping connects us with our natural world. When we face wind, rain and fire – we understand nature in all its glory and find our place in it.
Can’t find the time to go camping? Our 30 Day reBoot will inspire you to find nature every day this month.
The 8 best camping spots in WA
Some families have their camping spot. It’s a special place where they’ve pegged their tents and cooked over fires for years. Others enjoy a more exploratory approach, visiting different campgrounds year-round. To help you pick a picture-perfect place to rest your head, we’ve rounded up the eight best campsites in WA (according to us anyway).
Wellington National Park | Honeymoon Pool
Only a couple of hours’ drive from Perth, Honeymoon Pool is the perfect weekend trip. Once you get there, you’ll discover that all 20 campsites are nestled under weeping peppermint trees and walking distance to a natural lagoon. Kayaking, swimming and hiking are on the agenda once you’ve set up your camp. Honeymoon Pool is popular so make sure you book ahead.
Cape Le Grand National Park | Lucky Bay Campground
With impossibly white sand and spectacularly clear blue water, Cape Le Grand National Park offers some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in Australia. Situated 50km south of Esperance, it’s a place where you can meet kangaroos on the beach or surf with wild dolphins. Lucky Bay is the best campground in the park, and it’s not just because of the hot showers.
Karijini National Park | Dales Campground
The second-largest park in WA, Karijini National Park is awe-inspiring. If you’re game, you’ll hike into ancient gorges, scale some of the oldest rocks on the planet, enjoy freshwater pools and shower beneath cascading waterfalls. Our favourite campground is Dales Campground. Or, you can upgrade and book a glamping experience at the Karijini Eco Retreat (https://www.karijiniecoretreat.com.au/)
Francios Peron National Park |Big Lagoon Campground
Vibrant red dirt meets deep blue water at Big Lagoon Campground in the Francios Peron National Park (https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park/francois-peron). Big Lagoon is an excellent spot to explore by kayak. Make sure you look out for dolphins and dugongs as you paddle. Four-wheel driving, bushwalking, swimming and beach fishing are other favourite past times in this remote campground. Big Lagoon is remote: it has basic facilities and you should bring your own drinking water.
Blackwood National Park | Warner Glen Campsite
Set up camp under the canopy of old jarrah forest and on the edge of the Blackwood River. With calm water and a small beach that’s a stone’s throw from your campsite, Warner Glen Campsite is popular with young families. As a bonus, there are fireplaces for cooking dinner and toasting marshmallows as you stargaze the evening away.
Beelu National Park | Perth Hills Discovery Campground
If you’re new to camping or short on time, this is the campground for you. You’ll discover secluded campsites in the forest with hot showers and a camp kitchen that even includes a fridge — talk about luxury! Beelu National Park is close to Perth, just near Mundaring. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking, bird watching or just relaxing around your campfire.
Stirling Range National Park | Moingup Spring
If you’re planning to tackle Bluff Knoll, one of the highest points in Western Australia, you should spend the night at one of the bush campgrounds in the Stirling Range National Park. Moingup Spring is the perfect base to explore, reset and take in the tranquillity. You’ll be shaded by Jarrah and Marri Trees as you catch glimpses of the Stirling Range from your campground.
Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park | Contos Campground
Want to enjoy wineries, caves, forest and cafés by day and sleep by one of the region’s best beaches by night? Welcome to Contos Campground. You’ll discover 116 campsites at Contos, each shaded by peppermint trees and close to Conto Springs Beach. The Cape to Cape Walk Track can be accessed via the campground and the nearby beach is the place to relax, surf or fish.
Plan before you go
Before you pack the car and head off into the sunset, make sure you plan ahead and are well prepared. The Parks and Wildlife Service website is a great resource for campers and will have the latest information. Want more camping inspiration? Sign up to the WA Parks Foundation newsletter and we’ll keep you in the loop.
Spring into Parks is a WA Parks Foundation initiative supported by Chevron.