The Wet and Wild Life: Camping for Water Sports

Nothing beats jumping into the water to cool off on a summer’s day.

From all over, Austalians love their beaches, rivers and lakes -hell even the dam on their property if it gets hot enough. But for some, the water calls to us.

One of the great Australian past times is hitting the waves and getting your hair wet.

At we crave the thrill and adrenaline that only water sports can fulfil.

It’s the hair blowing in our face on a jet boat. It’s the joy and relaxation of a kayak through remote rivers and lakes. It’s the perfect wave, and the feeling as our board slices through the torrent.

The best part of any water sport is that you get to choose your own adventure.

Whether it be the golden beaches on the Sunshine Coast or the remoteness of Western Australia and the red swept Northern Territory.

In this blog, we’ll look at the places you can find your favourite water sport while still indulging your camper side — and better yet, we’ll show you the best places for camping near water sports with a camper trailer.

camper crossing river

Surfing

We couldn’t mention water sports without including one of Australia’s most popular activities.

Surfing is one of those things that you must try at least once, even if you think you’re not going to be good at it. And if you frequent those waves, we don’t need to tell you why you need to travel to find the best beaches in Australia.

For campers and surfers alike, we have a fantastic blog on A Surfer’s Guide To Owning A Camper Trailer.

We go into detail about how to go surfing and camping; caring for your campsite and surfboard; how to pick a good wave; where to surf for beginners and where to surf for the experts.

Surfing can be rather easy to do, all you really need is a surfboard, a good beach and some practice. However, there are many other water sports that aren’t as easy to pick up and practice.

Maybe you’re a surfer that wants to pick up wakeboarding or a camper that’d like to hit the open river on a canoe — we’ve got you covered with the best places to do all of these activities in Australia.

Jet Skiing In The Whitsundays

Remember the first time you drove a car? Revving your first jet ski is just as rewarding if not more so. There’s a real sense of freedom and openness with a jet ski and it’s the same experience and feeling that drives campers.

Owning your very own jet ski may seem like a very posh thing to do, they can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000. In reality, it’s the mobility of a jet ski that limits a lot of people.

Hiring a jet ski, on the other hand, is a very reasonable option and if you’re thinking about jumping onto one, you’ll have plenty of options to do so in the Whitsundays.

The classic option is to hire a jet ski, per hour, and ride around to your heart’s content.

However, the Whitsundays is a cluster of famous islands that can be explored through jet ski tours to one or more of the islands. It’s a great way to see the land and sea.

It feels less like a tour and more like your very own exploration as you ride around on your jet ski in a group exploring the different island over the course of a day. If you are interested in seeing the Whitsundays and jet skiing, this is the perfect combination for you.

Where To Camp?

If you’re looking for water sports while camping in the Whitsundays, you’ll need to stay in the Conway National Park. The other islands are great for trail walks and island camping but you won’t be able to swim or play in the water due to sharks.

Swamp Bay Campground sounds exactly like Shrek’s favourite campsite but it’s a beautiful treelined campsite right next to the beach.

It’s a great place to set up shop, your front lawn is the beach and your backyard is the Conway Conservation Park.

When you’re not exploring and swimming, you’ll be able to pop down to Airlie Bay to hire a jet ski for the day.

Kayaking And Canoeing Along Noosa And Katherine River

Let’s ask the age-old question that everyone’s been wondering but never been bothered to Google:

  • What the hell is the difference between kayaking and canoeing?

There is a difference, but the confusion comes from the fact that canoe is the umbrella term and kayak falls into the category of canoeing — thank the Brits for this genius idea.

Simply, the difference comes down to the boat, paddler’s position, the paddle they use and the objective of the activity.

A kayak:

  • The paddler is seated on the hull/bottom with straight legs
  • The boat is closed
  • Uses a double-bladed paddle
  • Typically, a competitive sport

A canoe:

  • Paddler kneels or sits on a raised seat with bent legs
  • The boat is open
  • Uses a single-bladed paddle
  • Typically, a leisure activity

At least now you’ll never mistake a kayak for a canoe again … a vital piece of information that everyone needs to know.

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Kayaking On Noosa River

The best place to camp is the Noosa North Shore Beach Campground. It’s within walking distance from the opening of Noosa River, so if you’ve brought your own kayak or are looking to rent one, you’re in the best place.

The North Shore Beach Campground is a great central hub to pop into town, go kayaking or even fish along the banks of Lake Cooroibah.

If you’ve only ever done kayaking along the beachfront, then you’ll have to experience the Noosa River and Everglades for a truly unique experience.

The overhanging trees that can be seen in the locally dubbed ‘River of Mirrors’ is a sight to behold as you paddle along thin maze-like rivers and lakes. There are plenty of places to stop off and have a scenic picnic.

If you’re looking to spend a few days in the area or have your own kayak, we recommend going at dawn or dusk to see the low hanging sun reflect the water as you paddle along the lake. It’s a calming experience you can’t miss out if you love kayaking.

Canoeing On Katherine River

You can’t trek all the way to the Northern Territory and stay in a 5-star villa can you? One of the most authentic bush campsites in the Northern Territory is the 8th Gorge Campground located in along the Katherine River.

You won’t find a campsite quite like this one, with stunning views of the national park, hidden rock pools to swim in and secret caves to explore.

If you’ve brought along your own canoe you can find places to enter the water along Katherine River, however, if you’re looking to hire one you’ll need to head back into Katherine to find a place that’ll get you sorted.

The river itself is rather long, 328 km to be exact, so you’d best know where you want to go and how to get back.

If you don’t quite trust yourself there are plenty of tours along Katherine River that’ll stop off are various landmarks to explore the rich nature of Katherine Gorge.

But maybe, paddling along a calm river isn’t quite your thing?

Camper set up as tent by the beach

Wakeboarding Along Blackwood River

As a quick refresher, wakeboarding is the sport where a person is on a board and is towed by a motorboat. For many, it’s a matter of staying on as long as possible, while for others it’s an opportunity to do flips and tricks.

No matter your reason, it’s a fun past time that needs quite a bit of set up before you can fully appreciate this activity.

The first two can be hired; a boat and a board — the last thing you’ll need is a calm open stretch of water.

There’s no better spot for wakeboarding than Blackwood River, a famed location for wakeboarders.

The calm open water that flows throughout the southwestern regions of WA is a prime spot for wakeboarders due to its snaking path and 300 km long river.

To begin your wakeboarding journey, you’ll have to start off in Augusta to find a wakeboarding tour.

When it comes to campsites there are plenty along the banks of Blackwood, however, Alexandra Bridge Camping Ground is a peaceful campsite that’s perfect for a quiet camping trip and even a bit of fishing.

The campsite has plenty of shade to keep you cool in the warmer months with a bridge to explore the other side of the river at your leisure.

Next Steps

From camping to canoeing, you need to be prepared for almost every occasion. Some of that comes down to experience and the rest is what you bring. If you’re a camper looking for the very best in camping, a camper trailer from Mars Campers is the companion you’ve been looking for. The Mars team can help you with any questions about our on and off road camper trailers. Give us a call today.

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