Booking ahead at campsites

Submitted: Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 15:35
ThreadID: 95396 Views:2060 Replies:4 FollowUps:7
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Hi All,

We're about to head off on the big lap, from Melbourne, through the centre, turn left at Darwin, round WA and back across the Nullabor. We have a camper trailer and will do a mix of powered/unpowered, from resort-style caravan parks to free camping.

We leave July 1 and are taking 3 months, roughly a month to Darwin, a month to Perth and a month getting home.

How far ahead should we book sites?

We've so far booked in Darwin and Broome as I've heard they get very busy. Is there anywhere else we should be booking now, or is it OK to book a few days in advance as we travel (or even to leave it until we show up in each town!)

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Reply By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 15:43

Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 15:43
G'day Rupert,
I used to make bookings but gave up years ago because firstly it makes the trip inflexible & secondly I got sick of arriving to find the place was not as described.

Travelled Australia for 2 years & never booked anything. Mostly free camped & a few times arrived in a town where nothing was available so just found ourselves a bush camp down the road out of the town we wished to visit.

If you plan to stop early afternoon & not drive till all hours it really is not a problem finding somewhere to bunk down for the night be it a Caravan park or bush camp.

AnswerID: 485140

Follow Up By: Rupert W - Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 19:39

Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 19:39
Thanks Stu,

We've planned out our route, not sure how flexible we will end up being as unfortunately I need to go back to work at the end of the trip, and I think 3 months is about the minimum it will take to get around comfortably.

Looking forward to trying more free camping - we haven't done it yet, but I'll bet some of your fondest memories are of places you never thought you'd stay.

FollowupID: 760408

Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 16:06

Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 16:06
Hi Rupert

We never book, but if approaching a place known to be hard to get into in season, we may ring when on the way if in phone range, but mostly we bush camp and get there mid morning when there is usually a vacancy. Otherwise i keep an eye out for a bush camp as a fallback, but we have never needed to use it. Some caravan parks have a large open unpowered section with plenty of space when the powered sites are fully booked. This can be used as a 'waiting' zone for powered sites.

When approaching Darwin, we planned to camp at a lagoon to get there in the morning, having selected a small CP as our preferred option as it was close to where we wanted to go for maintenance.The lagoon was signed no camping, so we moved on and got to Darwin late afternoon, getting a suitable place in our chosen busy park.


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AnswerID: 485142

Follow Up By: Rupert W - Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 19:40

Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 19:40
Thanks Motherhen,

Great advice that I'm sure we can use, sounds like travelling and arriving early is a good tactic.

FollowupID: 760409

Reply By: steamfire01 - Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 19:25

Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 19:25
Hi Rupert
Hope you have a great trip.
I went around again last year and didn't book - except for Darwin and Broome, and for Darwin, we only booked a few days ahead.
My preference has always been to spend as much time a possible on the north coast of WA, there's just so much to see. Broome is probably one of those places we all need to visit at least once, and I won't be hurrying back!
A month inPerth in August or September you may find a bit too cool after spending so much time up north but I guess it's horses for courses, in any event have a fabulous time.
AnswerID: 485159

Follow Up By: Rupert W - Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 19:36

Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 19:36
Thanks TJ,

Yes have seen mixed reviews of Broome, but it's looking pretty good compared to a Melbourne winter!

We are spending as much of our time in Northern WA as we can - not a whole month in Perth, but around a month to get around that corner of the country and home... it's a long way from Melbourne :)

FollowupID: 760405

Follow Up By: Member - Justin O (QLD) - Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 22:26

Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 22:26
Hey Steamfire. I'm guessing Broome is not what it used to be? I was there last in 1982 and from what I've read and seen on Google Earth, to say I would be disappointed would be a fair comment? No resort at Cable beach. It was still a frontier town then. Used to watch the old Chinese go into the LL Tack shop to smoke opium. Cops didn't worry them. I'm getting carried away here!
FollowupID: 760421

Follow Up By: steamfire01 - Monday, May 07, 2012 at 21:16

Monday, May 07, 2012 at 21:16
Hi Justin
Yep, Broome has certainly changed. It's more like Darwin in many ways, getting really big and busy.
Full of what we used to call yuppies, fresh off the jet from down south or over east, poncing around in designer clobber. Many come so they can ride a camel on Cable Beach at sunset !!! Firstly the camels are really on the nose and secondly the beach is very very ordinary - flat and fairly featureless. The Cable Beach drinking hole is fairly civilised and a good place to watch the rest of the toursists. We prefer the simple life when we are in WA, it's really a great place.
Keep the shiny side up!!
FollowupID: 760482

Follow Up By: Member - Justin O (QLD) - Tuesday, May 08, 2012 at 20:31

Tuesday, May 08, 2012 at 20:31
North of the rocks on Cable Beach used to be a nude beach. Is this still the case?
FollowupID: 760557

Reply By: scoots68 - Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 22:47

Sunday, May 06, 2012 at 22:47
Hi Rupert, we are also heading off from Melbourne on July 1st for 3 months but are going up through Bourke, Longreach & Mt Isa before cutting across to Tennant Ck & then going to Darwin & around the west. We haven't booked anywhere as yet & probably won't more than a few days in advance. We're just hoping for a bit of luck in that we can find somewhere to stay either in a CP or free camping. Friends did the same trip as you last year & had no trouble getting in where they wanted to. Good luck with your trip, might see you on the road. Cheers Rachael
AnswerID: 485171

Follow Up By: Rupert W - Monday, May 07, 2012 at 20:50

Monday, May 07, 2012 at 20:50
Hi Rachael,

Good to hear from a few people that we should be OK and can stay somewhat flexible.

Sounds like you'll have a great trip too, I guess we might see you somewhere in WA!

FollowupID: 760471

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