There’s no doubt that New Year’s Eve can be one of the most fun nights of the year, but it can also be one of the most challenging! Deciding what to do and then navigating crowds and public transport can often make the evening feel like more hassle than it’s worth. And if you want to go out to a bar or restaurant, you could be looking at forking out hundreds of dollars for a ticket. So why not leave the drama behind, throw the tent and esky in the car or campervan, and get away from it all instead? Here are 10 reasons to consider a New Year’s Eve camping trip.
Whether you want to relax by the beach or head to the country, Australia abounds with wonderful places to go on a camping road trip.
You’ll find some of the best golden sand beaches in the country on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, just 1.5 hours’ drive north of Brisbane, and with temperatures in the high 20s at this time of year, it’s the ideal time to make the most of them.
Temperatures on the NSW South Coast—where you can see kangaroos hopping through campsites and along the beach—hover around 25°C in late December and early January, so it’s not too hot for hiking in this area south of Sydney either.
It’s also a great time to go camping, hiking, swimming, or kayaking in the beautiful rivers and rock waterholes in Victoria’s High Country, where it snows during winter.
Camping here would also be pretty chilly during winter, but summer is when you are most likely to find its gorgeous white-sand beaches bathed in warm sunlight, and see calm turquoise waters in its glorious bays.
It’s also a fantastic time to sit outside and sip wines from the vineyards of the Fleurieu Peninsula, just over an hour’s drive from Adelaide in South Australia. Onkaparinga River National Park is a fun spot for bushwalking and river swimming.
The same can be said about Western Australia’s Margaret River wine region, three hours’ drive south of Perth, which also offers the best conditions to learn to surf at this time of year, with calm ocean swells.
Wherever you choose, remember that it’s also one of the busiest times of year for these camping spots, so be sure to book as far ahead as possible.
Don’t waste another New Year’s Day cooped up inside nursing a hangover—going camping provides a wonderful platform for connecting with the outside world. Research shows that being in the great outdoors has enormous benefits when it comes to mental health–it can help improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress and anger, and make you feel more relaxed.
The Christmas period is an extremely busy time, often spent running around buying presents and zooming from one social engagement to the next in a mad attempt to catch up with everyone before the year’s end. Taking a camping or glamping getaway for New Year’s is the perfect way to kick back and rejuvenate after the silly season, take a break from work and the computer, and immerse yourself in nature.
In Australia, we are lucky that NYE falls right in the middle of summer, which is the perfect time for a camping trip. Spend the day cooling off with some beach camping or a lakeside caravan trip at one of the coasts, bays, lakes, waterfalls, or rivers for which the country is famous, before relaxing with an ice cold beer or crisp glass of rosé in the balmy evening.
The already exorbitant cost of hotels and resorts skyrockets around New Year’s Eve celebrations, with kids on school holidays and employees all on annual leave at once. Camping is without a doubt the most affordable option—and you don’t have to spend a ton of money on expensive restaurant meals and bevvies when you have a barbecue available at your campsite.
Even the best of us can find New Year’s Eve party crowds overwhelming. When you go camping, numbers are restricted, and you’re often surrounded by wide open spaces. In the post-COVID world, it’s also a much safer option than being crushed up beside strangers trying to get a glimpse of New Year’s Eve fireworks or being crammed onto a train taking hours to get home. As Hipcamp campsites are typically on private properties, the numbers are further reduced.
One of the best things about going camping on New Year’s Eve is that you can play whatever music you want. Flick on Spotify, Apple Music, or whatever your preferred streaming service is, and pick the songs that put out the right vibes. If you are super organised, you could even prepare a New Year’s Eve playlist in advance, or have any musicians in your camping group bring a guitar or two for some cosy live music.
Rather than sleeping through the first sunrise of the year with the blinds down, camping allows you (if not the whole family) to wake early for light shining through your tent. Emerge to see a magnificent display of vibrant pink, orange, and red skies—if that doesn’t get the year off to a positive start, nothing will.
Australians have mastered the concept of BYO (bring your own) like no other people on the planet, and a camping trip is the ideal manifestation of this. All campers in the group throw some snags, a bit of salad and some booze in the esky and plant them near their camp chair for the night. It’s way better than standing in a long queue at the bar!
Sure, the fireworks displays put on by the government are impressive, but what can be more awe-inspiring than gazing up at a sky filled with bright white stars that are usually obscured by light and pollution in urban areas? The show presented by Mother Nature is the most splendid of all.
Check out these other articles for more tips and inspiration for your next summer camping trip.
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