Camping
camping lake gairdner cradle mountain free

Tasmania is Australia’s smallest state, but it has plenty to offer when it has plenty to offer when it comes to camping and outdoor activities. From rugged mountains and temperate rainforests, stunning white sandy beaches, an amazing array of wildlife, naturally grown produce from the land and seas and temperatures that are milder than many other parts of Australia,  Tasmania has something for everyone. And it’s the perfect place to go camping, which is our passion. We are lucky, we live in Tasmania and get to go camping all year round. And whilst people will tell you it’s too cold to go camping in Tassie in Winter, we disagree – it’s simply a matter of preparing for the conditions. Which is a message we continually try to pass on – be prepared when camping in Tasmania at all times of the year, as weather conditions can fluctuate significantly. Even in late SPring or early Summer, in more remote or highland areas the temperate can still drop to single figures during the day and night and you may encounter strong winds and even highland snow in late October or November. Similarly, Tasmania’s summers can be brutal and with high UV ratings, it is common for sunburn even if the temperature doesn’t feel that hot. Be prepared for all conditions and all eventualities. Camping in National Parks in Tasmania is a popular activity, but there are a few things to remember. Firstly, you must have a National Parks Pass to enter into Tasmania’s National Parks. Rangers are located at the bigger parks on a permanent basis, and they patrol all other parks routinely. Don’t risk a fine, pay the fee and help to protect and maintain Tassie’s brilliant National Parks and sensitive ecosystem. Dogs or other pets are not permitted in National Parks, not even in cars. Sorry, leave them home. Many of Tasmania’s national parks and reserves offer excellent camping opportunities, and with a lot of variety which allows you to more fully appreciate the specific area, you are visiting. A small number of parks also offer cabin-style accommodation, such as the Government Huts at Mt Field. Please also note that prices for campground and cabins vary from park to park – some are free, some are not so check before you leave. Camping fees, where applicable, will be in addition to National Parks entry fees and only apply to the campground or accommodation for which they are paid and are not transferable to other campgrounds or accommodation. Some of our favourite camping in National Parks, or at facilities managed, the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service, are at Arthur River, Coles Bay and Bay of Fires.

It seems that everyone who visits Tasmania wants to visit at least two places – Coles Bay in the Freycinet National Park for attractions such as Wineglass Bay, and also Cradle Mountain to see Dove Lake and other attractions. Cradle Mountain is in the northern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and is a very popular area for visitors and hikers due to its beauty and mountainous terrain where in Winter you are likely to have the chance to play in the snow. Cradle Mountain is also home to the world famous Overland Track, multi-day bushwalk. However, there is a multitude of things to do at Cradle Mountain (including camping) in addition to the Overland Track, with the park itself offering a variety of short walks ranging from a few minutes to full day. You definitely don’t need to commit to the 65km Overland Track walk to experience and appreciate the beauty of this area, but we definitely recommend more than a day visit to complete some of the shorter walks in the area and appreciate its beauty. Camping at Cradle Mountain is limited largely to commercial operators – see Caravan Parks Tasmania. However, there are a couple of nearby free options including the little known, but magnificent small Camping Lake Gairdner and Camping Waratah, where if you are lucky you might see a platypus at dawn or dusk.

Coles Bay in the Freycinet National Park is reached from Hobart by car in app. 3 hours. It is a spectacular drive if you take the coast road (Great Eastern Drive)and everything is very well signposted along the way. THere are many attractions to stop and look at along the way including the small coastal towns of Orford, Triabunna and Swansea. There are also many great wineries for visitors who enjoy their wine. In terms of camping, on the way to Freycinet, we highly recommend camping Mayfield Beach. In Freycinet itself, Camping Friendly Beaches is simply awesome, even though the campsite is located app. 20-kilometres before the town of Coles Bay. River and Rocks Campground is another great alternative to the more popular campsites in Coles Bay at Richardson’s Beach, Honeymoon Bay and Wineglass Bay. A very important point to note is that all campsites in Tasmania become extremely busy over the summer months and in particular over Christmas and the New Year. Please don’t turn up to Coles Bay, Bay of Fires or Cradle Mountain on Christmas Day and expect to find a campsite – it won’t happen.