When venturing out on your next adventure into the cold weather, it doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience. There are so many great things about travelling, caravanning and camping during wintertime. You will have an enjoyable experience if you have the right company, go to the right places and have the best products by your side.
The best things about winter
What’s good about the winter, I hear you ask? Going caravanning and camping in winter means you can enjoy things such as campfires (the bushies TV), marshmallows, hot drinks (like hot chocolates, coffees, teas), warming beverages (your favourite red wine), cups of soup and noodles, cozy bedding, snuggle blankets, rugging up in beanies, woolies, Ugg boots, and comfy track pants. There are still so many activities to do in winter, such as walking in the middle of the day without dying of heat exhaustion and if you fancy a swim you wear a winter wet suit or find a heated pool, spa or hot tub near you. Or simply head North.
Winter warmer camp food
When you’ve got a campfire in the mix, you can cook some delicious meals with that additional smoky flavour. There’s a lot more opportunity for this in winter because a lot of places have complete fire bans over summer but not during the cooler months. You could wrap a freshly caught fish (stored in your Dometic Icebox or CFX) in foil with some herbs, garlic and lemon and chuck it in the fire coals, or use a waffle / jaffle iron to make your favourite toastie, or try out your skills making a real camp damper or hot pot of anything you can find. Fun and yum for the whole family. Got leftovers? Don’t chuck it out, seal it up and store it in your portable fridge/freezer for later. Then all you must do is heat it up again on the fire or stove top. Easy.
Affordable and quiet
Travelling in winter can also be kinder on your pocket, with a lot of places being ‘off-peak’ prices. Not only will it be cheaper, but it will also be less busy in some parts of Australia so it’s the perfect time to do some sites and visit places that are usually overcrowded during the warmer months. Holiday and caravan parks or road stops will be a lot quieter, which many people prefer. The fact that road traffic might be a bit less thick is also a very tempting idea!
Enjoy nature at its finest
The surroundings change and there’s something quite picturesque about wintertime in some parts of Australia. Wintertime can be quite enchanting, with the frost covering the trees and grass in the mornings, fog or cold mist floating just above the ground and the sun shines bright during the day with clear skies. Unlike Europe, America and Asia, the winter conditions in Australia aren’t seriously extreme so there’s still a lot of things you can do without freezing and it being dangerous to continue driving and exploring. Until you head to the top of the Snowy mountains but then you will be prepared for it. It’s also good to know that in winter there are less creepy crawlies such as flies, mosquitos, sand flies and the bigger creatures like snakes. They go into hibernation in winter and only venture out to get a bit of sun sometimes so still be careful.
In winter, the sun goes down earlier and many families love it because the kids will go to bed earlier and easier when it’s dark and then it’s the best time to enjoy a warming drink around the fire and a great chat with your loved one or camping friends.
On top of all that, you will have beautiful night skies to star gaze at (see the image by Sean Scott). The Milky Way looks amazing during the colder times of the year. If you’re into photography, this can be a fun way to spend your time experimenting with light exposure and filters to get some beautiful starry night effects.
Tips for preparing for your winter trip
When venturing out into the cold, there are some things you can do to prepare and improve your comfort levels to ensure that you have the best time, despite the weather.
Take time to do some maintenance work on your caravan/vehicle for the weather, like checking everything is watertight and draught proof.
Check tyre tread and pressure are appropriate for driving on wet or icy roads.
Get to your campsite a bit earlier to avoid having to set up in the dark.
Invest in a good heater for your RV.
Have a few extra ground tarps for tents to keep the wet and cold away or try to pitch the tent on higher ground.
Park where the sun will warm your RV/tent most of the day.
Pick a spot that’s sheltered from the wind and use your car as a windshield (without blocking the sun).
Don’t forget your battery chargers so you can have working torches and lights.
Feel warm in your RV in winter
If you are travelling in an RV and you want the ultimate comfort, you can purchase heaters specifically designed for mobile living. These include the range of air heater and heater / hot water systems sold by Dometic:
Dometic air heaters work whether the engine is running or turned off. If you are driving on a cold winter day or during a chilly night, this allows you to enjoy comfort at any time. You just select the heat setting, fan speed, temperature and enjoy the comfortable warmth.
Before buying an air heater for your RV, consider what size and heating capacity you need. Dometic understands RVs come in many different sizes. We offer heating capacities ranging between 12,000 and 40,000 BTUs to match individual vehicle sizes and needs. You will need to compare the heating requirements of your RV with the capacity of our heating systems.
Our high-quality products are sold in more than 100 countries around the world. We partner with well-known RV manufacturers to ensure Dometic air heaters are compatible with nearly all makes and models. The rugged components and quality materials used in the construction of our air heaters means they will last for the long haul.
Our Dometic heaters operate on battery power when the RV's engine is off. This optimises your vehicle's fuel consumption and avoids any fuel fumes or by-products. Our state-of-the-art engineering has reduced air turbulence in and around the unit, which decreases the level of sound that it makes during a heating cycle.
The RV air heater must have outside access for exhaust. Some models come with outside access doors, others come without doors but access for an exhaust only. This allows for fresh air to be exchanged. Most Dometic heaters can be installed horizontally or vertically for a perfect fit within your vehicle.
If you buy a Dometic heater this winter, you receive a $100 Caltex card*. Click here to redeem.
If all this still doesn’t tickle your fancy, then your best option is to drive up to the northern parts of Australia in your mobile home. It doesn’t get very cold up in North Queensland. There’s always an option to follow the sun and keep warm all year round!
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Best places to visit this winter
Winter is a good excuse to combine a road trip with a visit to the snow! You don’t have to be a skier or snowboarder to enjoy what the mountains have to offer. If you really hate the cold, you can always head North and enjoy a tropical holiday.
Here are a few places to add to your list.
The scenic town is set on the edge of Lake Jindabyne and offers visitors adventure, tasty foods, vibrant nightlife and is the perfect base for the daily trip up to the snowfields. There are some great holiday parks for you to stay at and lap up the picturesque countryside all around you.
Image Credit: Destination NSW
For more information, click here.
Bright is a town you can enjoy all year round, particularly in winter, as it’s close to all the Victorian ski resorts. It is a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty. Situated on the Great Alpine Road, there are several parks, lookouts and reserves to explore.
Image Credit: Visit Victoria
For more information, click here.
Port Douglas, QLD
Tropical North Queensland is the place to be if you don’t like the cold! Head north to Port Douglas for the perfect base to relax, unwind and to see the iconic Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Prepare for it to be busy this time of year, so if you don’t like crowds, stick to the south.
Image Credit: Tourism & Events Queensland
For more information, click here.
At the end of the day, wherever you go this winter, you’re sure to find somewhere you like, things you like to do and there are always products out there to help you travel in comfort. Don’t let the winter put you off – happy travels!