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What makes a favourite camping spot?

© Jess Olson
© Jess Olson

Amongst camping enthusiasts, there’s always one campsite that stands out for the rest. It’s gotten us thinking, what’s necessary to class a campsite as a favourite? Many families and groups of friends return to the exact same campsite annually. You’ll find some campsites even have waiting lists years in advance because people don’t want to give up their spot!

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Below is a brainstorm of reasons we think a campsite can become a yearly favourite.

Escaping the crowds

Trying to hit up the Mt Barney region of QLD at Easter and you may be sorely disappointed. There are three camping locations with facilities within 15 minutes of each other in the Mt Barney region and they’re all full at Easter. What makes Mt Barney Lodge a favourite is that even when it is full, it doesn’t feel crowded. In fact, it still feels spacious and friendly unlike other spots which feel crowded and a little tense with so many campers jammed together.

© Tegan Mierle

The company you keep

Who you go with will also determine your favourite spot. Going with your mates will probably reduce the need for decent bathroom facilities. However, if your partner and kids are coming along, the bathroom is pretty important. In summer a great swimming hole can replace a shower, but in winter a hot shower can be a huge selling point. Outside of Easter and other extremely busy holiday times, the experience of a campsite can be totally different. The number of people around can make or break a campsite.

Being vehicle friendly

You no doubt have a 4WD and would enjoy stretching its legs on some nice trails. Maybe you need a 4WD to get there or maybe you don’t, but there are probably some great trails nearby to rip around on regardless. Around Mt Barney you’ll find a 4WD climb to the middle of some spectacular scenery that you won’t want to miss. There’s also a crowd favourite trail with 14 river crossings and a pub at the end. You can of course turn the 14 crossings into 28 if you return the same way – and why wouldn’t you?

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Space to run around

If you’ve got the kids in tow you’re going to want to have a campsite where they can run wild as well as have a hit in cricket or a game of footy. No one likes their mum and dad lurking around constantly, so if the campsite is big enough where they can play freely while you can keep an eye on them at a distance, even better.

A fire

A much loved camping activity by many is roasting marshmallows over a campfire. There’s also a fan base for bush cooking (think potato jackets and curries) so having a place to light up a fire is brownie points for the site. Being able to feed the fire with locally collected firewood is another big plus.

© Jess Olson

A creek or river nearby

As many fishermen know, a day of fishing requires the commitment of a few hours to try your luck in getting a nibble. Having a lake or creek by your campsite means you can throw the line in while still being a part of the campsite activities with friends and family.

A place to swim

Creeks and swimming holes to swim in are particularly important when determining a favourite spot. Being able to cool off in a swimming hole after a big day of hiking is a real bonus.

© Jake Melara

Plenty to do

Beloved activities vary from person to person. A city-goer may want nothing more than a quiet place to read a book and some sun to soak up. Another person may want a variety of walking tracks, caves or the ability to swim. As long as a campsite has an option that you eagerly look forward to then it’s easy to see how it could quite quickly become a favourite spot.

Everyone has a favourite spot, but you may not have taken the time to consider why you love it so much. Knowing what the driving factors are can help you in finding a new one that you’ll love just as much.

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