A camping trip OFF The Grid has a way of making us feel refreshed and rejuvenated and is a therapeutic escape from the daily grind of life and winter is no excuse to stay indoors and hibernate.
Being amongst nature and hearing the sounds of birds chirping in the morning or the crackle of a fire at night are good for the soul.
It’s an inexpensive way to spend quality time outdoors with your friends and family.
Southwest WA is full of amazing locations to pitch your tent or roll out your swag and create some lifelong memories.
Here are just a few we recommend:
Marrinup Camping Area, 5km west of Dwellingup
The camping area is a simple, open grassed area set on the site of the old town. It’s a pleasant area in the forest beside Marrinup Brook. Nature lovers will enjoy the serenity of the forest and its flora and fauna while following trails along the creek to the falls or visiting the remnants of the old POW camp. Marrinup walk and cycle trail runs through the site as well as the long distance Munda Biddi mountain bike trail.
It’s a free campsite and does have a drop toilet.
At only 90min from Perth, it's a great place to Get Off The Grid and spend the night to break up the drive south.
Jarrahdene, 21km south of Margaret River
Jarrahdene is a relatively new camping ground in Margaret River and is located off Caves Road between Margaret River and Augusta offering easy access to beaches, whale watching (seasonal) and wineries. Jarrahdene offers a range of camp sites suitable for caravans, camper vans, camper trailers and tents nestled within a mix of jarrah, marri and peppermint bushland.
You do need to book online and each of the 36 sites are slightly different in size, location etc. A drive through is recommended before booking if possible to get the best site to meet your needs, otherwise for $11 per adult per night just get online and book a site. Facilities include drop toilets and camp kitchens with BBQ’s. A great bonus was that firewood was supplied.
Fernhook Falls, Mount Frankland National Park South (35km north of Walpole)
An amazing find on our journey north.
It’s a small place with eight tent sites and two camp huts. There are also drop toilets and a covered camp kitchen with BBQ’s and a sink. We were fortunate enough to score one of the huts for the night. The hut is equipped with a bunk bed (no mattress), benchtop and indoor fire (some wood provided). Timing was great as the weather turned and we were happy to have a solid roof over our head, out of the rain. Visiting in winter, the water was gushing furiously over the granite boulders creating a whitewash of froth but did not look inviting for a swim. We will return in the summer when the flow is reduced to a trickle and Rowell’s Pool is a calm, tranquil place to cool off.
Camping fees apply but for only $8 per adult it is certainly a great place to get Off The Grid and spend a night or two. Access to Fernhook Falls is via unsealed roads from either the South West Highway or North Walpole Road (suitable for 2WD).
Parry Beach, William Bay National Park (30km west of Denmark)
Being part of the Bibbulmun Track, we had walked along Parry Beach but never stopped in and camped. We are so glad that we did this time!
Only a short distance from the beach, these generous campsites complete with fire pits are in a tranquil location under the shade of peppermint trees. Set up mainly for campers with tents, swags and small camper vans, the park felt remote and Off The Grid. There are two amenity blocks with solar showers. Being the middle of Winter we had plenty of choice for sites but believe it would be quite busy in the Summer as there are no bookings and it’s a first come first served setup.
The site is run entirely by volunteers, who keep the place clean and tidy, and are not paid anything in return for their hard work. Camping fees apply but for only $17 per couple per night, it is certainly a great place to get Off The Grid and spend a night or two.
Cosy Corner (east), 30km west of Albany
Cosy Corner is a stunning coastal area with a white sandy beach, granitic headlands and limestone islands offshore. A secluded camping area near the foreshore, the cutely named Cosy Corner has 10 sites scattered around the trees in a coastal scrub environment. It is a good site for self-sufficient campers who enjoy a bit of fishing or swimming in a beautiful beach setting.
The camp site is FREE but be prepared to take “Pot Luck” as to whether you get a site or not. It’s quite popular with many travellers. If you are thinking of getting Off The Grid and coming here for a night or two keep in mind that the weekends do get quite busy.
Panorama Caravan Park, Albany
Situated on the Princes Royal Harbour in a waterfront setting this Holiday Park was great. Whilst we try to avoid commercial parks when camping, this was a real find right by the water. The sites are not structured so we were able to snag a corner to ourselves which felt like we were Off The Grid. The views are amazing especially at night with the lights from the town across the harbour.
The facilities include a well equipped camp kitchen with power and running water along with a microwave and BBQ and amenity blocks with hot showers.
Bookings aren’t essential but I can imagine it would be very busy in the warmer months.
If you’re into camping as much as we are then I would definitely recommend investing in this book - Camping around Australia. With over 3,200 campsites included across the country, particularly highlighting free and dog-friendly campsites, the problem isn't finding somewhere to camp – it's deciding where to camp!
Basically the only thing the book doesn't do is set up your tent for you.
All of the campsites and national parks have been updated in the latest edition, so you'll be across everything from Queensland's compulsory booking system for national parks and Victoria's new fee scale. So whether you're an urbanite wanting to get back to nature, a family wanting to spend quality time outdoors, or backpackers wanting to see the real country, there's no better guide for navigating Australia's campsites.
So what are you waiting for?