As the weather warms up, there’s only one thing to do: hitch up and head for the beach.
The sun will soon rise on summer. Carefree days and ice-creams on the beach, followed by fish and chips in the evening back at the van. That’s how we spend our summer break, wallowing in sun and sugar as Christmas spills into New Year’s. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. To help you in your hunt for a place to spend your long summer days, here are three spots that won’t disappoint.
WILSONS PROM, VIC
Wilsons Promontory National Park is on a peninsula a couple hours’ drive south-east of Melbourne, and it’s arguably Victoria’s most-loved national park. Glorious beaches, hiking trails, wildlife – it scarcely gets better than ‘The Prom’.
But camping here over summer is by ballot, and you’ll need to apply many months in advance. Its campsite – at Tidal River – really is that popular. If you’ve ever been, you’ll understand why.
An alternative is Bear Gully Campground in nearby Cape Liptrap National Park. The beaches and facilities here are not a patch on Wilson’s Prom but it’s only a short drive away and within striking distance of other beauties, such as Sandy Point. I highly recommend the walk from Tidal River to Squeaky Beach. Sure, you could drive it instead, but the walk – which children as young as six or seven could manage – offers breathtaking views. The reward is one of Victoria’s most renowned beaches.
MID-NORTH COAST, NSW
This is one of our absolute favourites. From Crowdy Bay National Park, with its campground behind sand dunes on the edge of Crowdy Bay, to the tourist trap of Coffs Harbour and our recent discovery, Forster-Tuncurry and the wider Great Lakes region, New South Wales’ mid-north coast is heaven on a very big stick.
The activities will vary according to where you settle, but fishing, surfing and kayaking are common in all parts, and you’re bound to discover no end of hiking trails and the like. It is a very popular stretch of coast, though, so best to get in early with your bookings.
CORAL COAST, WA
Okay, I haven’t actually spent the summer on the Coral Coast but with average daytime temperatures in the low to mid 30s, I see no reason it wouldn’t be as amazing as when I visited in mid-2018.
Stretching 1100 km from Perth to Geraldton, you can take your pick of gorgeous beachside spots, including Jurien Bay, Cervantes (from where you can explore the ancient limestone formations known as the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park) or head north of Geraldton to Kalbarri and marvel at its famous namesake national park. Like the mid-north coast of New South Wales, this part of Australia offers an abundance of freedom camps and holiday parks. Truth be told, it’s difficult to narrow it to one town.
But that’s the beauty of the RV lifestyle: you don’t have to. Book your sites well in advance and you can spend a long, lazy summer taking it all in. Oh, and if you’re really keen, arrive no later than October to see the wildflowers at their blooming best.