See more of our sunburnt country for less with these inexpensive local travel ideas.
Summer is the perfect time to pack up the car, put on a killer soundtrack and grab the family for an adventure. Of course once you factor in petrol, food, accommodation and other expenses, holidays can get very pricey indeed.
To alleviate the strain on your wallet this year, check out our suggestions below some great outdoor family trips these school holidays and get some fresh air!
Camping is a fantastic way to see Australia on a budget – and the best part is, you might end up seeing more incredible sights than you would if you had stayed in a hotel!
It does require more preparation and supplies than a regular holiday though, but visit your local Target or Kmart at Stockland and you’ll find everything you need.
So pack some snacks and get ready for a road trip to some of our favourite camping spots around Australia:
WA – Cape Le Grand National Park
It’s 800km out of Perth – but once you experience the crystal clear water, white sand and sunbaking kangaroos, you realise the trip was worth it. The camping sites have toilets, barbecues and solar heated showers, plus at $12 per car you can save your pennies for another day.
NSW - Wollondilly River Station
A true bush experience for the kids, Wollondilly River Station offers river swimming, fishing and the most silent night’s sleep you’ve ever had 160km out of Sydney at one of NSW’s top-rated campsites. It’s incredibly affordable at $15 for adults and $5 for children per night, and you’ll find hot showers and flushing toilets onsite.
QLD – Carnarvon Gorge
Deep in the heart of Queensland’s central highlands, 700km north-west of Brisbane, you’ll find this hidden gem. Explore sandstone cliffs and gorges, and discover ancient Aboriginal rock art. It will only set you back $5.75 per person per night, and you’ll find safe drinking water, hot showers and flushing toilets onsite.
VIC - Wilsons Promontory
At the southern-most tip of mainland Australia, 220km out of Melbourne you’ll find Wilsons Promontory. Camp at the main site for $59 per night and enjoy showers and toilets, then hike to isolated beaches and secluded lighthouses only accessible by foot.
The traditional Aussie caravan holiday has seen a revival in the last couple of years, and it’s easy to see why – caravan parks offer an affordable alternative to roughing it in a tent and can take you to some spectacular destinations.
The best part is you don’t even need a caravan! Most parks offer a range of accommodation options, from onsite caravans to self-contained cabins, but you’ll need to book ahead. Here are some fantastic parks to visit this summer:
QLD - Argylla Tourist Park
Set among lush trees and shrubs with views of the Selwyn Ranges, this refreshing Mt. Isa retreat features powered sites for your caravan as well as a range of air-conditioned accommodation options, including studio units with shared facilities as well as family-sized self-contained cabins.
There’s a saltwater swimming pool and playground for the kids, plus a free cuppa with scones and pikelets every afternoon during the high season!
WA - Barn Hill Station
In the Kimberley, just off the Great Northern highway and in the middle of a cattle station in you’ll find Barn Hill. Just 50m from the beach, it's where the red dust of the outback meets the white sand and clear blue water of the Indian Ocean. Bring your own caravan or book into the onsite accommodation, and enjoy the wide range of activities on offer – from swimming and fishing to bingo and barbecue nights. There’s even a bowling green!
VIC - Cowes Caravan Park
Situated on a quiet bay beach and just a 10 minute car trip to Phillip Island's famous Penguin Parade, Cowes Caravan Park is an incredible family holiday destination. There’s so much to do! From swimming, windsurfing, boating and snorkelling to enjoying the park’s facilities including outdoor barbecues, a playground, an outdoor basketball court and a large recreation hall, you won’t get bored. Choose to stay in your own caravan or book one of the park’s self-contained units.
NSW - NRMA Ocean Beach Resort and Holiday Park
This park is regularly voted as one of the best in Australia, so book early! Sitting on Umina Beach on the Central Coast, this beachfront holiday park features fun activities for kids of all ages, including the Splash Away Bay waterpark, a heated resort pool and spa, plus Kidz Korner – a dedicated play area for children featuring giant jumping pillows, an adventure playground, and a games room.
If you’d like to stay in a hotel or motel but don’t want to break the budget, simply choose a cheaper destination – you’d be amazed by how much prices vary city to city! Talk to your local travel agent at Stockland – travel agents tend to stay on top of the latest deals and offers and can sometimes negotiate better rates than if you book on your own.
To help get you thinking, here are three of the cheapest areas in Australia for holidaying. You might be surprised!
QLD – Cairns
The third cheapest holiday destination in Australia, Cairns is the perfect spot for a tropical getaway. Plus with rooms (on average) at just $144 per night, you know you’ll be getting your money’s worth!
TAS – Launceston
If you can find cheap flights, Tasmania’s other major city is a picturesque destination perfect for a cool change during a hot summer. Situated in the north of the island, Launceston is amazingly Australia’s second cheapest holiday spot, with rooms on average at just $141 per night.
Vic – Melbourne
Surprisingly, Australia’s cultural capital is also its fifth cheapest holiday destination. With rooms going for around $168 on average, you can afford to take the family on an exciting city break!
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