Thirsting for somewhere different to stay? Here’s our six favourites on which to slake your thirst.
By Philip Lord
1 We Love – Weeroona Caravan Park, Manning Point, NSW
Just 30km east of the Taree CBD, Manning Point has an old world coastal charm a world away from the bustling region around it.
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Weeroona Caravan Park is nestled between the Manning River and the ocean beach, and offers the rare combination of a bush-camp setting with all caravan park essentials. The park has plenty of shaded power/town water sites, a dump point, barbecue facilities, a swimming pool and a vehicle and boat wash-down area. The park also has a lagoon and bush walk on its grounds.
Weeroona’s office offers a small selection of bait, food and drinks. The general store, 900m up Main Road, has a more comprehensive range of provisions.
The beach stretches for 10km and with a permit 4WDs can drive south to Farquhar Inlet. Good fishing can be had at the river from several piers and at the beach. Oyster farms are dotted along the Manning River and fresh oysters can be bought from the farms just before you arrive at Manning Point.
2 We Love – Lake Lyell Recreation Park, NSW
This hidden gem is just 11km from the centre of Lithgow on the shores of Lake Lyell and its vistas over the lake to lush rolling hills are sure to set you into the mood for relaxation.
The park has a kiosk, boat ramp, jetty, a covered barbecue area, kayak hire, picnic benches, a childrens’ play equipment park, designated swimming area at the lake and powered and non-powered sites.
Lake Lyell was built in 1982 and captures water for Delta Electricity to use at Mt Piper Power Station. Good fishing can be had on the lake, with the waters well-stocked with rainbow trout, brown trout and Australian bass. The lake is also popular for water-skiing and birdwatching and great 4WDing spots such as Lidsdale State Forest and Sunny Corner are within 20 minutes’ drive.
3 We Love – 1770 Camping Ground, Seventeen-Seventy, Qld
There are very few caravan parks where you can set up just metres from a beach, but the Queensland sunshine coast’s 1770 Camping Ground has such enticing powered sites on offer in its sheltered bay location inside Round Hill Headland.
The park has mostly powered sites, free Wi-Fi and permits campfires on the beach for beachside site holders. The park is a short walk to cafes and restaurants in Seventeen-Seventy, a town that got its name from Captain Cook’s second landing on Aussie soil on May 24, 1770.
Supplies and be restocked at Agnes Water, 7km back down the peninsula, but essentials can be bought at the camp kiosk. Activities include reef and estuary fishing, mud crabbing, golf, paddle boarding, surfing and bushwalking while the town also serves as the base for LARC amphibious bus day trips to Bustard Head and the port for Lady Musgrave Island cruises.
1 We Long For – BIG4 Iluka on Freycinet, Tas
Tasmania is more difficult a touring destination because of the sea crossing involved, but
its breathtaking natural beauty and ebullient food and wine industry make the effort of getting there from the mainland well worthwhile.
BIG4 Iluka on Freycinet Holiday Park is at Coles Bay, on Tasmania’s east coast. The park has plenty of large powered/town water sites, a playground and barbecues. There’s a bakery, tavern, takeaway and supermarket on site plus gas bottle refilling and free wireless internet.
Muirs Beach is opposite the park and offers safe swimming. Further afield, there’s Freycinet National Park and Wineglass Bay; it’s just one kilometre to the Freycinet National Park Visitors Centre and 5km to the start of the walking tracks.
Like much of Tasmania, this is an area marked by stunning natural beauty and offers great bush walks to make the most of it. Other activities include beach fishing, sea kayaking, fishing charters, scenic flights over the peninsula or four-wheel driving. The region’s produce ranges from berries to wine to seafood.
2 We Long For – Cable Beach Caravan Park, WA
The once-lively pearl industry in Broome now hosts a thriving tourism industry attracted to the area’s natural beauty and history. Cable Beach is Broome’s drawcard, with 4WD beach driving, camel rides and beach fishing the hot tickets.
Cable Beach Caravan Park is a five-minute walk to Cable Beach and offers a camp kitchen, barbecues, pool, playground, wireless internet shady powered and unpowered sites, swimming pool, a kiosk, children’s playground, barbecues, gas bottle refills, laundries, fish cleaning area and dump points.
In Broome – a five-minute drive away – there’s an outdoor cinema, Chinatown’s Sun Pictures, and at Roebuck Bay, Pearl Luggers and the Broome Museum, both documenting the town’s pearling history. At Broome Bird Observatory on Broome’s outskirts, you can observe thousands of shorebirds, some flying in from as far away as Siberia.
To the north east of Cable Beach, the Dampier Peninsula has Aboriginal communities and offers sheltered beaches. There’s also the Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park and Animal Refuge, 15 minutes’ drive from Cable Beach.
3 we Long For – Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort Camping, WA
The crystal-clear water of Monkey Mia is best known for its dolphin experience (where you can feed the wild Indo Pacific bottlenose dolphins) but the area is also host to abundant wildlife, diverse flora and incredible scenery.
Like Queensland’s 1770 Camping Ground, this park offers sites right on the beachfront and all Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort Camping caravan sites have power and water within a short walk to Shark Bay.You can stock up on supplies and be fed and watered at Denham, the local township of Shark Bay with its supermarkets, pubs, cafes and restaurants.
There are abundant 4WD tracks to explore nearby in the Francois Peron National Park and fishing is popular here, with catches of whiting, flathead mackerel or tailor to put on your camp barbecue to sizzle.