Couple grilling on the portable STOV Gas BBQ while out camping in nature


Discover the Secrets to Enjoying a Memorable Winter Camping Adventure in Australia!

Winter camping in Australia offers a unique experience for anyone who likes being outside. Winter often means calm days with clear sky's, starry nights and less crowds. And with its diverse landscapes, from snow-capped mountains (some might say hills…) to picturesque coastal regions, this continent is a haven for camping enthusiasts all year round. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with the best tips to make your winter camping adventure in Australia a success. Keep in mind this guide is slightly focused on the the state of NSW. So grab your warmest gear and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the wilderness.


  1. Why Winter Camping in Australia?
  2. Essential Gear for Winter Camping
  3. Choosing the Perfect Camping Spot
  4. Staying Warm and Cozy
  5. Fire Safety Precaution
  6. Food and Cooking Tips
  7. Water Sources and Purification
  8. Exploring the Surrounding Wilderness
  9. Emergency Preparedness
  10. Respecting Wildlife and the Environment
  11. FAQs for winter camping in Australia


1. Why Winter Camping in Australia?

Camping during winter might seem daunting to some, but Australia offers unique advantages that make it an incredible experience. The mild winters in many regions of Australia make it an ideal time for camping, with fewer crowds and more peaceful surroundings. Additionally, the beauty of the winter landscapes, such as the Snowy Mountains or the Great Ocean Road, adds a touch of magic to your camping adventure. And winter sunsets can be unbeatable with amazing colours spanning the sky.


2. Essential Gear for Winter Camping

To ensure a comfortable and safe camping trip, it's essential to pack the right gear. Here's a list of essential items to include in your winter camping checklist:

  • Warm and waterproof tent. And a rooftop tent has the advantage of having an insulated mattress. Making sleeping more comfortable (and possibly warmer).
  • High-quality sleeping bag. Make sure your sleeping bag matches the temperature expected during your camping trip. Down sleeping bags are great for hiking because they can be lighter than the synthetic versions.
  • Insulated sleeping pad. Having a blow up mattress can be comfortable, but make sure you have some insulation between your mattress and the cold ground. A foam sleeping mat can do wonders.
  • Layered clothing for cold weather. Start with some thermals and don’t forget your puffer!
  • Thermals, gloves, and hats. Especially a warm hat can make all the difference. Even at night when sleeping. A buff/headsox can also mean more comfort and warmth at night or during the day when it is windy.
  • Sturdy hiking boots. This is a no brainer. Bring some warm shoes, that work well even if a little wet.
  • Cooking equipment and utensils. Something I cannot miss. I always bring my bbq equipment, that I can use in conjunction with our portable gas bbq.
  • Headlamp or flashlight with spare batteries. Always a good idea to bring some spare batteries!
  • First aid kit. This is a no-brainer as well. We recommend the Kea Kit from Kea Outdoors.
  • Portable camping bbq. Using a flatpack gas bbq, can make your life so much easier when camping. The gas bbq heats up in no time, you can cook anything on it and when you come back from camping, you can put it in the dishwasher to clean it up.
  • Fire pit. Depending on where you go, a fire pit can be a great addition, you can warm up by the fire in the evening and cook marshmallows.

Remember, having the right gear can make all the difference between an enjoyable camping experience and a chilly ordeal.


3. Choosing the Perfect Camping Spot

The key to a successful winter camping trip lies in choosing the perfect camping spot. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Location: Look for campsites that offer beautiful winter scenery and are accessible during this season. National parks like Kosciuszko and Wilsons Promontory are popular choices.
  • Facilities: Check if the campsite provides amenities such as toilets, showers, and picnic areas. These can greatly enhance your camping experience.
  • Weather Conditions: Keep an eye on weather forecasts and choose a location with milder temperatures and lower chances of heavy rainfall or strong winds. Apps like Windy or Willi Weather can be very helpful as they also have live weather readings.
  • Proximity to Activities: If you plan on getting active and do some winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, choose a campsite close to the slopes. And of course if you go surfing, find yourself a hidden campsite along the NSW south coast to catch some epic winter waves.

Researching and planning ahead will help you find the ideal camping spot that suits your preferences and desired activities. Soon, you’ll find some more blogs on our favourite campsites here.

Perfect camping spot for the the night. Fire place, camping bbq, hammocks and nature.


4. Staying Warm and Cozy

When camping in the winter, staying warm is crucial for your comfort and safety. Follow these tips to ensure you're snug throughout your adventure:

  • Layer Up: Dress in layers to trap heat. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add insulating mid-layers, and top it off with a waterproof and windproof outer layer.
  • Proper Insulation: Use a well-insulated sleeping bag and a sleeping pad with a high R-value to prevent heat loss from the ground (see above for extra tips).
  • Hot Water Bottle Trick: Fill a sturdy water bottle with hot water and place it at the foot of your sleeping bag to keep your toes toasty.
  • Heat Packs: Consider using disposable heat packs that can be placed inside your gloves or boots for extra warmth during chilly nights.
  • Stay Active: Get your body moving and don’t forget some physical activities during the day to keep your blood flowing and body warm. 


5. Fire Safety Precautions

Campfires are somewhat a must have, providing warmth and the perfect camp vibes. However, it's important to take some precautions to prevent accidents and protect the environment:

  • Check Fire Regulations: Before starting a fire, check local fire regulations and any current fire bans in the area.
  • Use Designated Fire Rings or Pits: If the campsite provides designated fire rings or pits, use them instead of creating a new fire pit.
  • Clear the Area: Ensure the area around the fire pit is clear of dry leaves, branches, and other flammable materials that could ignite.
  • Extinguish Properly: Before leaving the campsite or going to sleep, fully extinguish the fire using water or dirt. Make sure the fire is completely out and cold to the touch.

Responsible fire management is crucial to protect the fragile ecosystems and prevent wildfires, ensuring a safe and enjoyable camping experience for everyone for years to come. 


6. Food and Cooking Tips

Camping offers a fantastic opportunity to indulge in delicious outdoor meals. Here are some tips to make cooking a breeze:

  • Meal Planning: Plan your meals ahead of time and prepare ingredients at home to minimise food preparation on-site. It also means you only need to take what you'll eat.
  • One-Pot Meals: Opt for one-pot meals to simplify cooking and minimise cleanup. Stews, soups, and stir-fries are excellent choices. These can all be heated up on the STOV BBQ.
  • Precooked Meals: Consider precooking certain meals at home and reheating them at the campsite. This saves time and reduces the risk of food borne illnesses.
  • Portable BBQ or Stove: Invest in a portable gas BBQ for camping or even a camping stove that suits your cooking needs. These versatile tools make outdoor cooking more enjoyable. Using a small BBQ during your camping trip can make your life a lot easier. Set it up by your campsite and cook on it all weekend when you come back from your adventures during the day. And when you are heading back home, your flatpack bbq means that it slides easily into your car, 4x4 or caravan without taking up precious space.
  • BBQ recipes: Simple meals can be great but if you want some more, check out our recipes, such as the classic burger or others on our journal here.

Keep in mind to pack food in airtight containers and store them safely to prevent wildlife encounters and maintain hygiene standards. Even if temperatures are chilly, a decent esky will make your life so much easier by keeping your food cool and your drinks at the perfect drinking temperature.

Campsite bbqing on the STOV Gas BBQ


7. Water Sources and Purification

Access to clean water is essential during your camping trip. Here's how to ensure a safe and sufficient water supply:

  • Check Water Availability: Before you head out to your campsite, verify if there are nearby water sources such as rivers, streams, or taps. If not, bring your own canister with fresh water.
  • Carry Sufficient Water: If water sources are limited or unreliable, bring enough water to last throughout your trip. Calculate the quantity based on your estimated needs. We usually go with 3l per person, even during winter. You never want to end up dehydrated so much that it affects your camping trip.
  • Water Purification: If you need to use water from natural sources, invest in a reliable water purification system or bring water purification tablets. We can highly recommend the products from Garyl and have tested them extensively during fishing trips in Tasmania.
  • Boiling Water: Boiling water is a simple and effective method to purify it. Don't forget to bring a pot for this purpose.

Keeping hydrated and making sure the water you consume is safe will contribute to a healthier and more enjoyable camping experience (Speaking from experience here…).


8. Exploring the Surrounding Wilderness

One of the joys of winter camping in Australia is the opportunity to explore the surrounding wilderness. Here are some tips for venturing into nature:

  • Map and Navigation: Carry a detailed map of the area and a compass or GPS device to avoid getting lost. Familiarise yourself with the terrain before heading out. Apps such as Gaia GPS can be helpful.
  • Layered Clothing: Dress in layers and wear appropriate footwear to adapt to changing weather conditions and varying terrains. A rain jacket/hard shell can be very handy.
  • Wildlife Awareness: Research the local wildlife and learn about any potential hazards or encounters. Keep a respectful distance and never feed or approach wild animals. For example Dingos might look like cute dogs, but leave them to their own and don’t feed them.
  • Leave No Trace: Follow the principles of Leave No Trace to minimise your impact on the environment. Pack out all trash, respect vegetation, and stay on designated trails.

By exploring responsibly, you can immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Australia while preserving its beauty for future generations.


9. Emergency Preparedness

While we hope for a smooth camping experience, it's essential to be prepared for unforeseen situations. Here are some emergency preparedness tips:

  • Communication: Carry a fully charged mobile phone and consider investing in a satellite communication device for remote areas with limited signal coverage. Garmin has some great devices that can literally save your life.
  • First Aid Kit: Pack a comprehensive first aid kit with essential supplies and medications for common injuries and ailments. See above for what kit we prefer.
  • Emergency Shelter: Bring an emergency shelter, such as a lightweight tent or a tarp, in case you need to seek refuge from extreme weather conditions.
  • Emergency Contact: Share your camping itinerary and emergency contact details with a trusted friend or family member.

Being prepared for emergencies will give you peace of mind and ensure a safer camping experience overall. Don’t leave it to the last second or when things go wrong. Again, we learned the hard way and want to make sure you are prepared…


10. Respecting Wildlife and the Environment

Australia is home to unique and diverse wildlife, and it's important to respect their natural habitats. Here's how you can be a responsible camper:

  • Observe from a Distance: Enjoy wildlife from afar and avoid approaching or disturbing animals. Use binoculars or a zoom lens for a closer look.
  • Minimise Noise: Keep noise levels low to avoid disturbing wildlife (and other campers!). Silence is especially crucial during dawn and dusk when animals are most active.
  • Dispose of Waste Properly: Follow proper waste management practices by using designated bins or packing out all trash. Never leave food scraps or packaging behind.
  • Stay on Designated Paths: Stick to marked trails to prevent soil erosion and damage to fragile vegetation. This is especially important in alpine regions (e.g. Snowies or Tasmania) where vegetation grows very slowly.

By respecting wildlife and the environment, you contribute to the preservation of Australia's natural treasures for future generations to enjoy.


11. FAQs for winter camping trips in Australia

Q: Can I use the STOV BBQ while winter camping?

A: Yes, of course. When cooking in lower ambient temperatures, make sure you get so called “winter gas” or “four season gas” for your portable gas bbq. These gas cartridges have higher propane content which has a higher performance in lower temperatures than butane. You can also use the STOV windshield, which leads to higher efficiency and means that the surface temperature of the STOV BBQ stays hotter.

Q: Can I go camping in snowy regions of Australia during winter?

A: Absolutely! Australia's snowy regions, such as the Snowy Mountains, offer fantastic winter camping opportunities. Just make sure you have appropriate gear and check the weather and road conditions beforehand.

Q: Are campfires allowed during winter camping in Australia?

A: Campfires are allowed in most designated campsites during winter, but it's essential to check local fire regulations and adhere to any fire bans or restrictions in place.

Q: What should I do if I encounter wildlife while camping?

A: If you encounter wildlife, maintain a safe distance and observe them quietly. Do not feed or approach them, as it can disrupt their natural behaviour and pose risks to both humans and animals.

Q: Can I camp in national parks during winter?

A: Many national parks in Australia offer camping facilities throughout the year, including winter. However, it's recommended to check with the specific park authorities for any seasonal closures or restrictions. Most campsites require an online booking.

Q: Are there any special permits required for winter camping in Australia?

A: Most campsites do not require special permits for winter camping. However, some national parks or protected areas may.

If you made it this far: Thank you for reading and hopefully this blog helps you to get out there for a winter camping trip. If you are struggling to get started, start small and local and build your confidence and knowledge before venturing out further.

Let us know what you think and if you have any other tips!