Up close with nature

Tasmania may be a small island, but there is plenty to please and excite both camping and caravanning enthusiasts, travel editor Winsor Dobbin reports.

Tasmania is an idyllic destination for anyone who wants to get off the beaten track. Be aware, however, that the roads throughout the island state are often narrow and winding – and maps can be misleading. It will almost always take longer to get to your destination than you first estimate. Also allow plenty of time to stop at roadside stalls and pick up gourmet goodies ranging from free-range eggs to fresh berries.

Southern Tasmania
The Mount Field Campground is situated inside the Mount Field National Park main entrance, adjacent to the visitor centre, around 90 minutes from Hobart. It is the forest next to the Tyenna River where you will find 14 powered sites as well as a range of unpowered sites.

Mount Field Campground has facilities including a toilet and shower block with coin-operated washing machines and clothes driers, and a communal cooking shelter with free electric barbecues and sink with hot water. 

Truffle Lodge, on the banks of the River Derwent in the Derwent Valley, offers luxury “glamping” experiences during the summer months. It is styled to resemble a bush camp.

Created in one of Australia’s first truffle orchards, Truffle Lodge boasts absolute river frontage and views to the mountains. It reopens at the end of October for the summer season. 

Truffle Lodge

The Huon Valley Caravan Park in Huonville is in a quiet level area around a kilometre outside the biggest town in the Huon, a twin-tailed valley that is rapidly building a reputation for its cool-climate wines and artisan ciders. 

It has powered and unpowered sites on the banks of the Mountain River. It is part of a working farm and is dog friendly, but dogs must be always on leash. Large motor homes can be accommodated, and five en-suite sites are also available. Explore pretty nearby villages like Franklin and Geeveston and explore as far south as Cockle Creek.

Rivers Edge Wilderness Camping, on the banks of the Russell River at Lonnavale (below), is much more remote and rustic – and popular with trout fishermen. It has over a kilometre of river frontage, a wild environment suitable for tents, recreational vehicles or caravans, a natural swimming hole and quiet fishing spots.

North and north-west Tasmania
Big 4 Launceston Holiday Park has a range of accommodation varying from villas and cabins to powered and unpowered camping sites. There is a brand-new amenities block, children’s playground including a giant jumping pillow, barbecues, and a camp kitchen.

Burnie Holiday Caravan Park has a quiet location with a backdrop of bush land with a beautiful beach opposite. It offers powered sites, tent sites by the creek, family cabins, two-bedroom deluxe cabins and a backpacker bunkhouse. There are free barbecues, wifi and a camp kitchen.

Greens Beach Caravan Park is among the best bases for exploring the Tamar Valley wine region. It is dog-friendly and located right on a popular swimming beach. There is a golf course next door. 

There are also free sites at Gravelly Beach Rose Bay Park Camp Site, Swan Point Paper Beach Free Camp and Beaconsfield Showground.

The East Coast  
Bay of Fires Bush Retreat is located at the Southern entrance to the Bay of F ires, twominutes’ drive to the township of Binalong Bay, and 10 minutes from St Helens. To the north, you will find iconic white sand beaches, crystal blue water and the orange-hued granite boulders the Bay of Fires is famous for. Head south to a lagoon that serves as the perfect location for kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. The Retreat offers three main accommodation options: bell tents, a bunk house, and a king room (for couples). All guests have access to amenities block and bedding and towels are provided with all options. 

The Freycinet National Park is around a 2-½-hour drive from both Hobart and Launceston. It is known for its granite peaks and spectacular beaches.

Camping inside the Freycinet National Park is extremely popular in summer and autumn and spaces are allocated by ballot in August each year. Set up among sand dunes mere metres from the ocean and explore the beautiful bays like Honeymoon Bay, Sleepy Bay and Wineglass Bay. Some sites are available all year and others only over summer.

For upmarket cabins with an on-site restaurant and many facilities check out NRMA St Helens Waterfront Holiday Park (top image). 

For details on visit Tasmania visit www.discovertasmania.com.au