Most people across the world picture hot beaches and deserts when they think of Australia. To them, the words “Australia” and “snow” wouldn’t be said in the same breath. While those people are right for the most part, there are actually many places around the Great Southern Land that not only have snow but are also excellent for winter getaways.
Mars Campers show you the best destinations across Australia to check out and camp at during winter. Although you might be currently thinking of staying indoors to keep warm, these tip-top places will hopefully make you think otherwise and keep you busy during the colder months.
As a general note, if you do go to any of these places, it’s highly recommended that you put snow chains on the tyres of your vehicle and camper trailer. It’s compulsory in some places. Snow chains are used to provide maximum traction and safety for when you’re driving through snow and it’s wise to carry them in and know how to fit them, even if you aren’t quite sure you’ll need them. Better to have them and not use them than need them and not have them.
Located within the Snowy Mountains region is the Kosciusko National Park’s namesake and the tallest mountain in Australia, Mount Kosciuszko.
Mount Kosciuszko is bordered by a mix of rugged mountains, gorges, mining settlements, waterfalls, and wilderness. The alpine climate of the mountains means that they are often covered by snow that’s a metre deep for around four months. The country’s highest town, Cabramurra, is also located here.
This is New South Wales’ largest national park, as it covers over 690,000 hectares. In fact, it’s also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, meaning it’s a place people want to keep in good nick.
Because of all this, it’s naturally going to be a popular spot for tourists to check out, especially for those keen on skiing and bushwalking.
Visitors are really spoilt for choice when they’re at Mount Kosciuszko, especially during the winter months. Not only does the place offer pristine views year-round, but during the snow season people can try out some skiing, snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, explore caves, and, of course, go camping.
The RMS recommends that snow chains are placed on all vehicles that go through the park during wintertime. This includes 4WDs and AWDs. If you will be driving a 2WD vehicle, it’s actually compulsory for them to have snow chains on them between June and October.
Although Thredbo is also situated within the Kosciusko National Park, and only about half an hour away from Mount Kosciusko, it is so well known that it deserves its own section. Particularly if you’re interested in skiing or snowboarding.
Thredbo has the country’s longest ski runs and is quite a popular spot, attracting about 700,000 visitors when the snow’s arrived. It also has great mountain biking and hiking trails to explore, and a village located at the base of the mountain where you can get supplies or check out its cafes, restaurants, shops, bars, and more that are all walking distance from one another.
Thredbo is a six-hour drive from both Sydney and Melbourne, and only two and a half hours away from Canberra. If you live in any of these cities, or don’t mind travelling a bit, it’ll be very easy for you to get here and enjoy the snow.
Only 180km from Sydney, the Kanangra-Boyd National Park is very easy for Sydneysiders to get to. They’re very lucky that they don’t have to drive their camper trailer too far to camp at such a beautiful destination and all its snow in winter. The word “Kanangra” is the Aboriginal word for “beautiful view”, and hopefully being part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area will keep it that way.
The park is about 68,276 hectares long, and all of that vast amount of land contains gorgeous rivers, gorges, lookouts, and in wintertime, snow. The snow happens because of the park’s high altitude and long distance from the coast, making the park freezing cold. Both the park’s isolated location and the snow make it a perfect place to go camping to get away from city life.
Make sure you bring warm clothes and wet weather gear to make sure you don’t get too cold while hiking or riding in the area. (Trust us, you’ll be glad you brought this stuff along!) The Kanangra Walls are a must-see, as it offers a great view of the nearby cliffs and Eucalyptus forests. Besides all the lovely snow, animal lovers are in for a treat as the park is full of possums and wallabies.
Melbournians are stoked that they get to live so close to a place as picturesque as Mount Buller – they only have to drive three hours from home to get there! Mount Buller is renown throughout the world as a first-class skiing destination, and rightfully so. Naturally, people can go snowboarding and tobogganing too. Even if you’re not into snow sports, you’ll love all the snow that you’ll be surrounded by.
The best time to come here to see snow is July and August. Although the ski season starts in June, there’s usually not enough snow then to have all the ski trails open at that time. So, if you’re keen on doing some skiing, you’d be best to wait until July when much more snowfall occurs.
For those thinking of going camping here, the best place to do so is Mount Stirling, Mount Buller’s neighbour. Camping is available throughout the year, and there’s both campsites and heated cabins available during winter, so whether you want to rough it up or enjoy some luxury while you’re there, you’ll have a cracking good time. Mount Stirling is included in your entry fee for Mount Buller, so this is probably your best option.
Located just outside of Hobart, you’ll easily see Mount Wellington if you’re in town (you can’t miss something so huge!). To be more specific, Mount Wellington is 1,271 metres above sea level, 18,250 hectares in size, and has a perimeter of 139km. In short, it’s massive! Not only that but in winter it’s all covered in snow, even sometimes in summer.
To answer your number one question, yes, you can go camping here. However, you can only camp in the Natural Zone, and there are no formal camping facilities available. You can only put on a campfire in designated fireplaces and when there aren’t any restrictions in place, such as a total fire ban.
The Ben Lomond National Park is only a one hour and 40-minute drive east of Launceston, and just half and a half hours north of Hobart. So, if you’re going around with a camper trailer exploring Tassie, then this place is definitely worth the journey.
This glorious mountain has an alpine plateau that’s over 1,500 metres high, making it an ideal spot to do some skiing. The ski season around here starts in early July and finishes in late September, so you’ve got a bit of time to head over here to make the most of the snow.
Besides skiing, you can also have a go at rock climbing and alpine walking. There are a few day walk trails available, including the Alpine Village to Little Hell walk that’s 1.5 hours return, and the Carr Villa to Alpine Village walk that’s 1.5 hours one way, where you can take in the lovely surroundings. If you’re lucky, you may even spot some wombats, wallabies, and even some Forester kangaroos.
With driving up the mountain, you’ll go through Jacobs Ladder, a sharply winding and narrow road that will have you in awe of its beauty. But don’t get too in awe of it while you’re driving around here though; it can be a dangerous place to drive through, especially in winter!
There’s a small camping area a kilometre inside the park boundary and several kilometres below the summit. This area has six unpowered camping sites that are suitable for tents, campervans, and, of course, camper trailers. There aren’t any other camping sites in the park; however, bush camping is permitted here, as long as you’re not within 500 metres of the road.