Categories: CampingGuides & hacks

9 Tips for a Memorable Christmas Camping Trip in Australia

Whatever your style of Christmas camping—whether it’s a campervan road trip, a glamping getaway, or a hiking holiday peppered with kayaking, bushwalks, and national park adventures—an Aussie camping Christmas needs careful planning to keep the whole group happy. Follow our Christmas camping tips for a memorable holiday in the great outdoors that you’ll be talking about for years to come.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Isabelle Kranhold at Jackaleah Farm Stay in VIC

Choosing a campsite

1. Book in advance to avoid missing out

Camping areas fill up quickly over Christmas school holidays, so it pays to book your campsite early—don’t leave it to the last minute! Locking it in allows you to take advantage of any special deals or discounts, and can be especially crucial for groups who want adjacent sites. Campers who book early also get to take their pick of the most sought-after campsites, like those with shady spots, near the waterfront, or with the best views. While you’re choosing your spot, start making a gear list too, so you’ll be well prepared when it comes time to pack the camper, caravan, or car.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Kate Murray at Blue Gums River Retreat in QLD

2. Stay cool with a waterfront camping spot

Stay cool during Aussie summer holidays with a Christmas campsite by the water. Whether you choose to stay beachfront, on the banks of a leafy river, shoreside beside a tranquil lake, or go completely off-grid near a forest swimming hole, water features always ramp up the fun factor for camping and boating holidays. Pack or gift inflatable SUP boards, inner tubes, boogie boards, kayaks, or snorkel gear for an Aussie beach Christmas the whole family will love.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Kate Murray at Billabong Bush Camp in Western Australia

3. Take advantage of Australia’s best Christmas camping destinations

Just how spoiled are we down under? Very. Check out the very best Christmas camping areas in Australia for fresh ideas on where to go.

Perth & the Coral Coast

With some 20 named beaches and plenty more unnamed, Perth is a beach lover’s favourite summer holiday hotspot. Caravan parks and camping areas abound, while further north, the Coral Coast is known for its own spectacular beaches, along with Ningaloo Reef, which rivals the Great Barrier Reef as one of the world’s largest fringing coral reefs.

Outback Queensland

Savour the wide open spaces of Outback Queensland, where the skies light up each night with the Southern Cross constellation and the ancient landscape is as colourful as the characters that call the Outback home. Queensland national parks make great road trip holidays with camping sites and caravan parks far from civilisation serving as popular choices for nature lovers.

North Coast NSW

Known for its artsy, nature-loving communities, NSW’s North Coast is popular for summer getaways from Byron Bay to the lush hinterland of the Scenic Rim—Christmastime included. Sweeping beaches lure surfers from around the globe, while tranquil rivers with leafy campsites offer peaceful seclusion.

Northern Tasmania

Around Launceston and beyond in Northern Tasmania, claim a beachfront campsite or take to the famed forests to camp out among mystical, moss-draped trees. An ideal campervan or road trip destination, this part of the state also offers award-winning vineyard cellar doors, plus roadside stalls full of fruit, vegetables, and dairy products to purchase for Christmas dishes with a distinct Tasmanian flavour.

Flinders Ranges, South Australia

Here, ancient national park landscapes are shared through Indigenous stories, and artists have captured the gumtree-lined beauty of the natural Wilpena Pound amphitheatre rimmed by the Flinders Ranges. Camp beneath skies brushed with twinkling stars and awake to a golden glow as summer sunshine tints the South Australian landscape a burnt orange.

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

Get in the Christmas spirit

4. Decorate your Christmas campsite

Pack some twinkling Christmas lights to give your campsite some spirit. LED lights are conservative power users, while 12V or solar-powered lights are helpful off-grid options. Campers can also create the soft glow of flickering candles with battery-operated tea lights in paper bags half filled with sand, or make DIY Christmas decorations with fallen pine cones collected from the forest floor. No need for a Christmas tree when you’re surrounded by nature in the great outdoors!

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Misha Robb at Mindful Earth Sanctuary in WA

5. Give useful camping gifts to your nature-loving crew

We all love space-saving gadgets when we’re out on the road and those little pieces of camping gear that add a touch of luxury to camping—think sleeping pads, solar-powered phone chargers, camp chairs, or quick-drying beach towels. In addition, warm woollen socks, neck buffs, and string hammocks are always welcome for outdoor adventures. Camp cooks will love gourmet spice selections and BBQ accessories.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Viki Blackmore at Fair Harvest in Margaret River, WA

6. Support local communities and visit festive area events

Nothing says the holiday season quite like community. Stop into the nearest rural town to your campsite to check out colourful Christmas light displays and decorated public buildings, hear some Christmas carols, or support local small businesses. You can also give back to the community you’re visiting by volunteering at a charity-run Christmas Day lunch event, or ask your Hipcamp Host if they sell any of their own homemade goods.

Photo by Rob Mulally

Eat, drink, and be merry

7. Cook up something tasty with our Christmas campfire meal hacks

The keys to successful camp cooking? Being prepared and keeping things simple. Depending on your setup, the onsite facilities, and how remote your campsite is, it’s likely best to plan holiday meals in advance. Stackable, take-away food containers are invaluable, taking up minimal space while keeping food fresh and free from critter invasions. And alongside portable BBQs, camp ovens are the ultimate campsite multi-tasker—use them for one-pot dinners, bread baking, damper, cakes, vegetable roasting, or simply to heat water for your morning cuppa. Also worth checking out? Our Milsons slow-cook pulled pork camping recipe for the ultimate dinner.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Mitch Richardson at Bee Haven, QLD

8. Toast to the great outdoors with festive drinks

Support local brewers, winemakers, or distillers by purchasing handcrafted food and drinks! Try infusing your Christmas festivities with international flavour through cultural favourites like spicy Swedish glogg, a rum-infused eggnog (replace cream with coconut for a tropical version), French-style kir royale (champagne and blackcurrant liqueur), or go alcohol-free with a classic Christmas punch laced with fresh fruit, mint leaves, and sparkling water.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Misha Robb at Mindful Earth Sanctuary, WA

9. Make new friends with fellow campers

Christmas is all about giving, sharing, and caring, so there’s no better way to embrace the Christmas spirit than by making new friends around the campfire—your camping neighbours all had the same holiday idea as you, after all! Communal Christmas Eve sundowner drinks or “bring-a-plate” Christmas day lunches are a great way to share the festivities, or you can organise an all-ages social game of cricket or boules.


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Fiona Harper is an author, travel writer, digital editor & photographer specialising in travel, soft adventure, fitness, boating & outdoor lifestyles. When not writing she's probably running a marathon, hiking a mountain or sailing into a tropical sunset blissfully disconnected from deadlines. She’s rather partial to mountains & mojitos, islands & highlands.

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