Even though the nights are cooler and the sun sets a little earlier, winter brings beautiful conditions for camping. There’s a certain sweetness to sleeping under the stars when it’s cold outside – campsites tend to be less crowded, there aren’t as many bugs, and the crisp air gives the outdoors a pristine quality.

Planning ahead is key for outdoor winter holidays in Australia; otherwise you run the risk of freezing your tush off. If you’ve never pitched a tent in the cold, grab your snuggest sleeping bag and join us as we share our expert winter camping tips.

Get good gear

Aussies are known as a hardy bunch, but we have our limits when it comes to the cold. Investing in decent camping gear will take the bite out of winter so you can relax and enjoy yourself. If you already own good camping equipment, check it’s still in working order before setting off. Don’t be that camper who shows up with a broken tent and a moth-eaten sleeping bag.

Consider your destination when investing in camping gear – campers in tropical North QLD won’t have to worry about the cold, but single-digit temperatures aren’t uncommon at our holiday parks in country NSW. If you’re planning a winter escape to an especially cold destination, you may want to buy a tent that’s designed for brisk weather conditions.

Keep out the cold

Once you’ve got all your gear organised and ready to go, there are certain tricks to setting up a campsite to guard against the cold. Putting an extra layer between your tent and the ground will keep you warm when the temperature plummets overnight. You may also want to string up a tarp to block icy winds.

Your campsite’s location will make a big difference to how much you feel the cold. To maximise warmth, choose a spot where your tent will be exposed to plenty of sunlight throughout the day.

Rug up

It goes without saying you should pack plenty of warm clothes for a winter camping trip. Even if the weather’s mild, you never know when a cold snap might roll in. Jackets, tracksuit pants, slippers, flannelette pyjamas, and even thermal underwear will all come in handy. Avoid tight-fitting clothes that could cut off blood flow to your extremities, and be sure to pack some gloves and a beanie.

Don’t forget your sturdy footwear either. Woolly slippers and socks should keep you warm in dry weather, but trying to navigate dewy (or even frosty) grass in unsuitable shoes is never a good time. Pack some waterproof footwear like gumboots to keep your feet nice and toasty.

Cook hearty meals

Warm yourself up from the inside out by cooking delicious winter dinners. From soul-warming soups to tasty roasts, it’s amazing what you can whip up in a camp kitchen.

Cooking in the outdoors can be a daunting endeavour, especially if you’re new to winter camping. The trick is to keep things simple. Stick with recipes that only involve a few basic ingredients, and plan out all your meals in advance. Remember your body needs more calories when it’s cold, so don’t be afraid to treat yourself.

Please keep in mind that not all our parks allow campfires. Make sure you check beforehand by asking our friendly staff.

Make the most of winter

There’s no need to fear the cold when you’re well-prepared. Our holiday parks are well-equipped for cold weather camping, so you can enjoy a comfortable winter holiday surrounded by stunning scenery. Embrace the cooler weather by spending your holiday exploring the local sights and attractions, or cosying up around your campsite with loved ones.