Camping is often thought of as a summer activity, as something to do when the weather is warm, and you can spend your time on the beach. But cooler weather camping can offer its own charms. Not only is the temperature cooler and the risk of heatstroke less, but you can also choose campsites that offer views of the reds and gold that autumn is famous for.
If you’re looking to enjoy autumn in Sydney on your next camping trip, here we show you the best autumn camping destinations for your next trip.
Why Autumn Camping is Awesome
Autumn stretches from March to May in Sydney and its surroundings. This is actually a beautiful time of year for camping because the humidity drops sharply, and you’ll enjoy temperatures ranging between 14.6 and 22.2°C (58.3 – 72°F). The breezy weather also makes it much more comfortable to do your favourite outdoor activities.
Here are some other reasons why you should try camping in the cooler months:
- The cooler weather makes it easier to sleep
- Insects tend to vanish in autumn
- There are fewer travellers at this time of year, so you’ll find it easier to book prime spots
- There’s nothing like a campfire on a cool night
What to Take on your Camping Trip
Cooler weather camping demands a little more preparation, but not as much as you might think. Autumn in Sydney isn’t as cold as in other parts of the world, so with a few extra supplies, you’ll stay toasty warm while you enjoy the autumn leaves.
Here’s what you’ll need when you go camping in autumn:
- A sleeping bag that’s rated for cooler but not cold weather
- Clothing layers to stay warm on cool nights
- Lots of torches to light the earlier nights
- If you’re sleeping in a tent, take an airbed to protect you from the cold ground
Where to Camp in Autumn
Autumn in Sydney is a beautiful time. The only thing better is getting out of the city and seeing all those colours away from the hustle and bustle. Here are some of the best places near Sydney to do that:
If you have a little extra time for your autumn camping trip, why not head up to Armidale? Located about 5 and a half hours north of Sydney, Armidale’s autumn scenery is simply spectacular.
Armidale is filled with trees that take on the reds and golds of autumn and outside of it you’ll find extensive national parks with more than 500 km of natural features. Explore waterfalls, rainforests, and wild rivers or just spend your time marvelling at the quirky flora and fauna in the region. Whatever you enjoy doing when you’re camping, you’ll love it even more in the Armidale area in autumn.
The Blue Mountains
These mountains are beautiful at any time of year, but even better in autumn. The weather is perfect for hiking and climbing, and the mountains are only an hour from Sydney, so make for a perfect day trip or a longer autumn camping trip.
While you’re in the area, make sure you check out the Blue Mountain Botanic Garden in Mount Tomah as well. It’s one of the best spots to see the autumn colours. You should also try to time your trip so you can experience some of the amazing autumn events held in various towns near the mountains.
Cattai National Park
If you want to see the autumn colours and have the opportunity to do plenty of outdoor activities on your trip, then check out Cattai National Park. Located just under an hour out of Sydney, this is the ideal spot for an active camping experience.
Cattai National Park offers canoeing, bike riding, hiking, fishing, water skiing, and other outdoor activities. So, make sure that you’re planning to stay a day or two if you want to do all that and take in the autumn leaves at the same time.
Bathurst offers the best of both worlds: all the natural glory of autumn and some amazing man-made attractions as well. Located just over 2 hours from Sydney, Bathurst and its surroundings are filled with colourful trees in autumn, making the town look as pretty as a picture postcard.
The people of Bathurst know how beautiful their town is in autumn and they’re happy to share it with Bathurst’s Autumn Colours program. It runs from March to May and offers a parade of events that take advantage of the cooler weather and the beautiful natural scenery. So, make sure you check what’s on before you drive your caravan into town for your camping trip.
Tumut is about 4 and a half hours drive from Sydney, nestled at the foot of the Snowy Mountains. It’s the entry point to the Kosciuszko National Park and offers a huge range of sights and activities from water sports to hiking and animal spotting.
It’s also a great destination for camping, with rows of golden poplars in the towns and the Festival of the Falling Leaf welcoming the cooler weather and town visitors. If you have a bit more time to spare on your camping trip, this is the ideal place to spend it.
You won’t believe the colours in the Southern Highlands, located just 90 minutes drive from Sydney. With plenty of beautiful areas to set up your caravan, you’ll be surrounded by natural beauty in its cooler weather guise.
Head over to the Southern Highlands Botanic Garden in Bowral for autumn trees and events, Sutton Forest for the lookout on Mount Gibraltar, or Exeter for autumn and a history lesson. Whatever flavour of camping you want to enjoy; you’ll find it in this stunning area.
Don’t let the cooler weather scare you away. Set up your caravan and your luggage for cooler temperatures and head out on the road for an autumn camping trip. Because there’s nothing quite like enjoying outdoor activities while you’re surrounded by all the colours of autumn.