Discover 8 of Australia’s Winter Camping Destinations and How to Pack Smart

So, you’re thinking about embracing the winter chill? Brave (and smart) move! Winter camping in Australia offers stunningly serene landscapes, crisp, refreshing air, and best of all, fewer crowds. Imagine the peace and quiet! However, while winter camping can create unforgettable memories, it can quickly turn into a frosty nightmare if you’re not prepared. That’s why we’re sharing our favourite hidden winter wonderlands and essential tips to keep you safe and warm on your adventure. Grab your gloves, and let’s dive in!

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Best Winter Camping Sites

1. Kosciuszko National Park, NSW

As you breathe in the crisp, fresh air, you’ll catch the subtle scent of pine and eucalyptus trees. This, friends, is Kosciuszko National Park. It’s a true winter wonderland, boasting alpine scenery and diverse wildlife. If you feel the call of powder-white snow, you’ll find excellent skiing here. The snowy terrain and breathtaking views make it a top destination for winter camping adventures.

Camping Information:

  • Campsites: The park offers several winter camping sites, including Thredbo Diggings, Ngarigo, and Tom Groggin.
  • Activities: Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and hiking are popular winter activities.
  • Wildlife: Keep an eye out for unique wildlife, including kangaroos, wombats, and various bird species.
  • Facilities: Many campgrounds provide basic amenities such as toilets, picnic tables, and fire pits. Check for seasonal closures.
  • Permits: Camping in Kosciuszko National Park requires a camping permit. Make sure to book in advance, especially during the peak winter season.
  • Weather: Be prepared for cold temperatures, snow, and icy conditions (but you, already knew that, right?). Pack appropriately with thermal layers, waterproof gear, and a sturdy tent.

Highlights:

  • Mount Kosciuszko: Australia’s highest peak, offering breathtaking views and a challenging hike.
  • Thredbo: A bustling village with ski slopes, restaurants, and shops.
  • Snowy River: Famous for its picturesque scenery and tranquil environment.

Kosciuszko National Park is perfect for those looking to enjoy a snowy escape with plenty of activities and beautiful landscapes. Just make sure you’re well-prepared for the winter conditions!

Winter campsite with a tent in Kosciuszko National Park, surrounded by snow-covered trees and mountains.

2. Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, TAS

When winter rolls around, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park morphs into a winter wonderland. Picture yourself among snow-dusted peaks, a motley crew of wildlife, and trails begging for a good hike. It’s the ultimate winter camping spot, offering jaw-dropping views and adventures that’ll keep you grinning from ear to ear.

Camping Information:

  • Campsites: Winter campers, you’re spoiled for choice with spots like Waldheim Cabins, Lake St Clair, and Pencil Pine –each with its own charm.
  • Activities: Dive into snowshoeing, winter hikes, spotting critters, and snapping some epic scenery photos.
  • Wildlife: Keep your eyes peeled for the likes of wombats, echidnas, wallabies, and a bunch of bird species. They’re the real locals here.
  • Facilities: Many campgrounds have heated shelters, clean loos, and cooking spots. Just double-check what’s open for the season.
  • Permits: Don’t forget your National Parks Pass for camping. You can grab one online or at the visitor centres.
  • Weather: Pack your thermal gear, waterproof stuff, and a sturdy, insulated tent. Expect cold temps, snowfall, and winds that’ll keep you on your toes.

Highlights:

  • Cradle Mountain: This iconic peak dishes out stunning views and hikes that’ll test your mettle.
  • Dove Lake: A serene lake with trails and mountains looking their best with a sprinkle of snow.
  • Overland Track: Take on this famous trail in winter for a trekking experience you won’t forget.

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is the perfect playground for those craving a winter adventure packed with natural beauty and a diverse cast of wildlife. Make sure you’re kitted out for the cold, and you’ll have a cracker of a time in this snowy wonderland.

Winter campsite near Cradle Mountain with snow-capped peaks and a clear lake.
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Snowy River National Park, VIC

When winter hits, Snowy River National Park becomes a serene, snow-covered haven. Think peaceful landscapes and crisp air, making it a prime spot for a winter camping getaway. If you’re craving some tranquillity and a bit of solitude, this place is spot on.

Camping Information:

  • Campsites: Check out Jacksons Crossing, McKillops Bridge, and Waratah Flat. These spots have basic amenities and knockout views.
  • Activities: Get into snowshoeing, winter hiking, casting a line for some fishing, and snapping pics of the stunning scenery.
  • Wildlife: You might run into kangaroos, emus, and various bird species just doing their thing.
  • Facilities: Most campgrounds have toilets, fire pits, and picnic tables. Check what’s available during winter.
  • Permits: There are no camping fees here, but you might need permits for certain activities. Check the local rules before you head out.
  • Weather: Prepare for proper cold weather, snow, and the odd icy patch. Pack your warm, waterproof gear and sturdy camping equipment.

Highlights:

  • Snowy River: This iconic river offers peaceful views and top-notch fishing spots.
  • Little River Gorge: Victoria’s deepest gorge serves some breathtaking winter scenery.
  • McKillops Bridge: This historic bridge gives you stunning views of the Snowy River.

Snowy River National Park is spot-on for winter campers looking to enjoy peaceful, snowy landscapes. Pack right for the cold, and you’ll have a ripper of a time in this pristine environment.

Secluded winter campsite in Snowy River National Park with snow-covered trees.

4. Mt Field National Park, TAS 

Mt Field National Park transforms into a winter wonderland with snow-kissed forests, breathtaking waterfalls, and top-notch hiking trails – perfect for those who crave diverse scenery and winter escapades.

Camping Information:

  • Campsites: Check out Lake Dobson and Mount Field Campground. These spots offer the basics, but the views are anything but.
  • Activities: Dive into winter hiking, strap on some snowshoes, spot wildlife, and snap some fantastic photos.
  • Wildlife: Keep your eyes peeled for pademelons, echidnas, and various birds just hanging out.
  • Facilities: Most campgrounds have toilets, picnic areas, and basic shelters. Always check what’s accessible during the winter season.
  • Permits: You’ll need a National Parks Pass for camping. You can snag one online or at the park entrance.
  • Weather: Be ready for chilly temps, snowfall, and the occasional ice. Pack those warm layers, waterproof gear, and a sturdy tent.

Highlights:

  • Russell Falls: This iconic waterfall is even more spectacular with a winter backdrop.
  • Lake Dobson: A serene lake surrounded by snow-dusted trails, perfect for a winter stroll.
  • Pandani Grove Walk: A scenic trail offering stunning winter views.

Mt Field National Park is a top choice for winter adventurers looking to explore snowy landscapes and spot diverse wildlife. Pack well for the cold, and you’ll have an unforgettable winter escape.

Winter campsite near a snow-dusted forest and waterfall in Mt Field National Park.
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  • Includes national parks, farm stays, and more.
  • Spiral-bound, easy-to-read format with clear maps and symbols.
  • Latest maps, campsites, and dump points.
  • Full-color photos for nearly every site.
  • Trusted by travellers for over 30 years.

Looking for a sneaky discount? Enter the code Save15 to receive 15% off your purchase.

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5. Barrington Tops National Park, NSW 

Barrington Tops National Park is a winter camping treasure, boasting alpine forests, snow-capped peaks, and scenic hiking trails. Its diverse landscapes and natural beauty make it a prime spot for winter adventurers.

Camping Information:

  • Campsites: Head to Polblue Campground, Devils Hole, or Horse Swamp Campground. These spots have basic amenities and some seriously picturesque views.
  • Activities: Get into snowshoeing, winter hikes, wildlife spotting, and snapping some epic photos.
  • Wildlife: Keep your eyes peeled for kangaroos, wallabies, and various birds enjoying their natural habitat.
  • Facilities: Many campgrounds have toilets, picnic tables, and fire pits. Always check what’s available during winter.
  • Permits: You’ll need camping permits, so book in advance, especially during peak season.
  • Weather: Expect cold temps, snow, and icy patches. Pack your thermal clothing, waterproof gear, and a reliable tent.

Highlights:

  • Polblue Swamp: A beautiful alpine swamp with serene winter views and easy walking trails.
  • Gloucester Tops: Scenic area with stunning lookouts, waterfalls, and snow-dusted forests.
  • Devils Hole: A unique spot with interesting rock formations and winter scenery.

Barrington Tops National Park is ideal for winter campers seeking adventure and tranquillity in snowy landscapes. To fully enjoy your stay, make sure you’re well-prepped for the cold.

Winter campsite in an alpine forest with snow-covered peaks in Barrington Tops National Park.

6. Mount Hotham, VIC 

Mount Hotham is an absolute gem for winter camping, offering heart-pounding winter sports and jaw-dropping alpine scenery. Perfect for thrill-seekers who can’t get enough of skiing, snowboarding, and the vibrant mountain vibe.

Camping Information:

  • Campsites: JB Plain, Mount Loch, and Wire Plain are your go-to spots. They’ve covered the basics and are a stone’s throw from the slopes.
  • Activities: Get ready for epic skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and winter hikes.
  • Wildlife: Spot some of the local wildlife, like wombats, wallabies, and an array of bird species.
  • Facilities: Campgrounds feature toilets, picnic areas, and fire pits. Make sure to check accessibility during winter.
  • Permits: Don’t forget your camping permits! Book them online and secure your spot early, especially during the busy season.
  • Weather: Gear up for cold temps, heavy snow, and gusty winds. Pack your thermal layers, waterproof gear, and a sturdy tent.

Highlights:

  • Ski Slopes: Renowned for top-tier skiing and snowboarding.
  • Mount Hotham Village: A lively spot with restaurants, shops, and gear rentals.
  • The Razorback: A famous ridge walk with stunning winter views.

Mount Hotham is a must-visit for winter camping fans who love snow sports and alpine beauty. Ensure you’re all set for the cold and snowy conditions to enjoy every moment of your adventure.

Winter campsite near a ski slope with snow-covered alpine scenery at Mount Hotham
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7. Mount Buller, VIC  

Mount Buller is a standout winter camping destination, famous for its top-notch skiing, snowboarding, and winter hiking trails. This lively spot offers stunning snowy landscapes and a ton of activities for outdoor enthusiasts.

Camping Information:

  • Campsites: Check out the Alpine National Park and Mount Stirling. These sites offer basic amenities and are close to the slopes.
  • Activities: Dive into skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and winter hiking.
  • Wildlife: Look for local fauna, such as wombats, wallabies, and a variety of bird species.
  • Facilities: Campgrounds come equipped with toilets, picnic areas, and fire pits. Make sure to check accessibility during the winter season.
  • Permits: You’ll need camping permits, which can be booked online. Secure your spot early, especially during the busy season.
  • Weather: Prepare for cold temperatures, heavy snow, and strong winds. Pack those thermal layers, waterproof gear, and a sturdy tent.

Highlights:

  • Ski Slopes: Known for fantastic skiing and snowboarding conditions.
  • Mount Buller Village: A buzzing hub with restaurants, shops, and gear rentals.
  • Summit Nature Walk: A scenic trail with breathtaking winter views.

Mount Buller is perfect for winter camping fans who crave adventure and alpine beauty. Make sure you’re well-prepped for the cold and snowy conditions to make the most of your visit.

Winter campsite near a ski lift with snowy trees and mountain views at Mount Buller

8. Baw Baw National Park, VIC

Baw Baw National Park is a ripper winter camping destination with snow play areas, cross-country skiing, and beautiful winter landscapes. It’s spot on for families and winter camping fans.

Camping Information:

  • Campsites: Check out Mount Erica, Mushroom Rocks, and Jeep Track Flat. These spots have the basics covered and offer some great views.
  • Activities: Get into snow play, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter hiking.
  • Wildlife: Keep your eyes peeled for wombats, echidnas, and the elusive lyrebird.
  • Facilities: Campgrounds have toilets, picnic tables, and fire pits. Check for winter accessibility.
  • Permits: You’ll need a camping permit, which you can grab online or at park entrances.
  • Weather: Expect cold temps, snowfall, and icy conditions. Pack your thermal gear, waterproof clothing, and a sturdy tent.

Highlights:

  • Mount Erica: A scenic area with snow-dusted trees and winter hiking trails.
  • Mushroom Rocks: Unique rock formations that are perfect for snapping some great photos.
  • Baw Baw Plateau: Ideal for cross-country skiing with stunning views.

Baw Baw National Park is a top spot for those who love snow activities and serene winter landscapes. To fully enjoy your visit, make sure you’re prepped for the cold weather.

Winter campsite with a family enjoying snow play in Baw Baw National Park.

How to Pack for Winter Camping

1. Clothing for winter camping

When you’re gearing up for winter camping, think layers, mate. Start with a base layer that wicks away sweat, then chuck on an insulating layer to keep you toasty. Finish off with a waterproof jacket to stay dry. And don’t forget the extras: thermal wear, extra gloves, socks, and a warm hat. You’ll be snug as a bug in a rug.

Layered winter camping clothing with base, insulating, and outer layers, plus gloves, socks, and a hat.

2. Shelter and Sleeping Gear for winter

For winter camping, you’ll want a four-season tent that can handle the cold like a champ. Pair it with a sleeping bag rated for low temperatures and a good sleeping pad to keep you insulated from the icy ground. This setup will ensure you stay warm and cosy all night.

Winter camping setup with a four-season tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad in a snowy landscape.
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  • Includes national parks, farm stays, and more.
  • Spiral-bound, easy-to-read format with clear maps and symbols.
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  • Full-color photos for nearly every site.
  • Trusted by travellers for over 30 years.

Looking for a sneaky discount? Enter the code Save15 to receive 15% off your purchase.

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3. Cooking and Food Storage in winter

Cooking when it’s freezing can be a challenge. Make sure to bring a portable stove with fuel that works well in low temperatures. Pack easy-to-prepare, high-calorie meals, and use insulated containers to keep your food and drinks from turning into ice blocks.

Winter camping scene with a portable stove, insulated containers, and high-calorie meals in a snowy environment.

4. Safety and Emergency Gear when camping in winter

Staying safe is a top priority in winter camping. Pack a first aid kit with winter-specific items, and bring navigation tools like a map, compass, and GPS. Don’t forget emergency blankets and fire-starting materials to keep warm and safe. Better safe than sorry, right?

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03/09/2024 03:14 am GMT

FAQs

What kind of sleeping bag do I need for winter camping?

Choose a sleeping bag rated for temperatures below the expected lows of your camping location. Down-filled sleeping bags are excellent for insulation and warmth, but synthetic options are more effective and affordable. We’ve compiled a list of the warmest sleeping bags for you.

What should I pack for food and cooking in winter camping?

Bring high-calorie, easy-to-prepare meals, a portable stove with fuel that works in cold temperatures, and insulated containers to keep food and drinks from freezing. Avoid foods with a high water content that can freeze solid.

What safety gear should I bring for winter camping?

Pack a first aid kit with winter-specific items, navigation tools (map, compass, GPS), emergency blankets, fire-starting materials, and a whistle. It’s also wise to inform someone of your camping plans and expected return time.

OUR CAMPING BIBLE
Camps Australia Wide Free and Budget Sites
  • Over 6,000 free and low-cost campsites across Australia.
  • Includes national parks, farm stays, and more.
  • Spiral-bound, easy-to-read format with clear maps and symbols.
  • Latest maps, campsites, and dump points.
  • Full-color photos for nearly every site.
  • Trusted by travellers for over 30 years.

Looking for a sneaky discount? Enter the code Save15 to receive 15% off your purchase.

BUY NOW
.

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MEET THE WORD-SLINGER

G’day, I’m Stacey, CAW4D wifey, author of all our CA4WD blogs, and builder of all things website-ey. When I’m not writing about our family’s camping adventures, you’ll find me kicking around on social media with the incredible camping and 4wd community we’ve built.

Ohhh, and sometimes, you may find me doing ‘actual work’…which, ironically, is very similar to what I do ’round these parts – marketing. You can find more of my pen-pedalling atrocities here.

In the meantime, kick back, grab a coldie, and check out some more cool camping content I’ve put together for you here. Cheers.

Wanna hear about a tale about an emergency dunny roll and the Mundi Mundi Bash? Read it here.

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4 June 2024

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