Categories: CampingGuides & hacks

How to Choose the Best Campsite for an Easter Camping Getaway

Regardless of whether you’re a first-time camper or a seasoned outdoorsperson, the campsite you choose can determine the success of your trip, especially during a time of year as popular as the Easter long weekend. Finding the perfect campsite isn’t just a matter of avoiding ant hills, though—it takes careful consideration of several factors.

For the best chance at success, here are six tips to keep in mind to plan the ultimate Easter camping trip with your crew.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Julia Costa Pereira at River Escape Yarramundi, NSW

1. Opt for a beach camping spot with water access to stay cool

Even with the weather cooling down, Easter still falls during a great time for swimming thanks to comfortable water temperatures. One of the greatest joys of camping is a long day spent cooling off at the beach or in the nearest waterhole, whether it’s in the local dam, a swimming pool, a gurgling creek, or even in a waterfall hidden high in the rainforest at a nearby national park.

Hipcamp makes it easy: Simply use the “terrain” filter to search for campsites near lakes, beaches, swimming holes, or even hot springs. Alternatively, you can use the “activity” filter to seek out swimming, floating, or even snorkelling opportunities on a property. Many Hosts also indicate whether it’s possible to SUP or kayak nearby.

However, while it can be tempting to wake up directly waterside, remember to follow Leave No Trace’s advice: Your main camping area should be at least 50 metres away from water sources. Again, this isn’t just to prevent water contamination, but also for safety in the event of rain or quickly rising water levels. Plus, mosquitos and other bugs breed on water, meaning you’ll be more likely to find yourself in a buggy spot.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Kate Murray at A Tent in the Forest, QLD

2. Consider a campsite with communal amenities or a camp kitchen

Whether you’re camping in a tent, caravan, or a bivy sack often dictates the camping gear you’ll bring and the amenities you’ll want. At any time of year (but especially if you’re on a family-friendly group camping trip over the Easter school holidays), it’s important to determine whether you need access to running water, a toilet, a fire pit, a camp kitchen, or dump stations.

And during summer and early autumn—when the days are just a bit longer and you’re less likely to climb into your sleeping bag at 6pm—you might want to consider additional amenities that also allow for more social fun. Barbecues, camp kitchens, and communal fire pits aren’t just about the functionality of cooking a meal or washing up—they’re also about creating memories.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Megan Dunn at Mungalla Station, QLD

3. Choose your level of privacy

Before booking a campground, determine what type of outdoor experience you envision having. Is the purpose of your trip to take your loved one on a secluded romantic getaway? Do you want to be immersed in nature with easy access to bushwalking? Or are you looking for a fun family-friendly holiday complete with an Easter egg hunt?

The general vibe you’re looking for will dictate the type of campsite you choose. Maybe camping directly next to your neighbours is your worst nightmare—or maybe you love sharing a beer with someone you just met an hour earlier from the next campsite over. If you fit into the latter category, caravan parks are likely more your speed. But if you’re trying to get away from it all, it’s best to choose a campground with fewer sites—perhaps on a single tent site on a farm or a solitary glamping stay, both of which are likely to provide a quieter experience. On Hipcamp, input the number of members in your party to search for spots that work for you.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Martha Weruing at At One With Nature, Western Australia

4. Try to set up camp in previously used areas

There’s something about loading up the car with camping supplies that ignites our inner explorer. We envision heading into the deep wilderness and hammering in tent pegs where there is no trace that anyone has gone before.  

But the reality is that setting up camp in previously undisturbed areas can also be harmful to the very environments we’re immersing ourselves in, with the potential to damage vegetation and disturb Australian wildlife.

The good news: Many Hipcamp Hosts offer that true wilderness feeling by allowing dispersed camping anywhere you choose on their property. Just keep your site’s footprint small and focus your activity in areas with minimal plant life. By choosing a camping spot where it looks like others have previously camped, you’ll minimise disturbance of the surrounding environment and ensure you’re following Leave No Trace principles.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Jimmy Cornish at Knuckey Lagoon, Northern Territory

5. Prioritise shade

Sure, you want to be out in the great outdoors—but Mother Nature can be decidedly pretty exhausting when she’s raining, blowing a gale, or blisteringly hot. Even on a pleasant day, it’s easy to end up with a sunburn if there’s no shade to be found. 

Choose a campsite that has minimal exposure to the elements, including the sun and wind. This protection may come courtesy of trees; shade cloths provided by your Host; or tarps or shelters you erect yourself. 

There’s an important caveat though: Be sure to inspect the surrounding area for hazards like overhanging limbs. Some trees—such as Australia’s gum trees—are notorious for dropping branches in the middle of the night, while the nuts of bunya pine or kauri trees are large enough to cause serious injury. Never camp directly under trees in high wind conditions or in lightning storms.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Yo Yo Lo at The Paddock Stay, QLD

6. Know that level ground is key

Hipcamp campgrounds with multiple sites typically offer maps that outline the terrain and proximity to amenities to help campers get their bearings—and know exactly where the hot showers are. Knowing the lay of the land before you arrive will help you choose the best setting for your outdoor adventure. (After all, a camping spot next to the toilet block might be great when nature calls in the middle of the night. But on a hot summer day, you’ll likely want to be as far from the dunny as possible!)

When you’re identifying potential spots, look for a level site. It’s not just critical to getting a good night’s sleep; it’s also a matter of safety, as flat sites tend to have better drainage. Avoid setting up at the bottom of a slope or in a dip, especially if there’s any chance of rain.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Merilyn Smith at Habitat Noosa Everglades EcoCamp, QLD

Where to find the best Easter campsites

The old adage rings true: “The best campsites are found, not created.” And the easiest way to find your perfect spot for an unforgettable Easter camping experience is with a search on Hipcamp, where you can carefully consider and choose the best campsite for your crew—even at the last minute. Start searching below.

Looking for more inspo for your Easter holiday?

Check out these articles for more ideas on how to plan an epic trip.

Jessica is an award-winning Canadian journalist, editor, and guidebook writer based in Australia. Best known for her adventure and ethical travel writing, she's covered everything from heli-fishing in the Australian outback for The Toronto Star, to losing toenails in New Zealand’s mountains for Outside. Her work frequently examines the intersection between science, conservation, and tourism. She's the author of the "Frommer's New Zealand" guidebook (2023), and the co-author of Lonely Planet's "Experience East Coast Australia" (2022).

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