When you’re planning your route, it’s worth taking the time to locate a campsite near or around water—this can make a good camping experience into a great one! Search for locations near either fresh water (a river, creek or lake) or a beach, and you’ll find that having water around you adds another whole dimension to freedom camping.
3. CAMPING WITH A BOAT
Wherever you go, being actually out on the water gives you a completely different experience. Small recreational boats today come in many forms, from air-inflated to a tinnie (or car-topper, as they are sometimes called). You have a range of options if you want to tote some sort of watercraft on top of your vehicle. If you are considering a boat with a motor, you will also need to obtain a boat licence. Not all waterways lend themselves a motorised boat. A canoe or kayak is light and has a shallow draft. A major benefit of a canoe is that you can glide silently through the water. With less noise, your ability to get closer to the wildlife is increased.
“THERE IS SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT HAVING WATER WITHIN VIEW OF YOUR CAMPSITE”
WHERE TO SET UP
Imagine that you have turned off the highway and the road you are taking runs alongside water. What do you need to look out for, apart from the standard setup criteria like flat ground, shade, sun and wind direction?
• The view: there is something relaxing about having water within view of your campsite.
• Don’t get too close to water: it may look picture perfect right now, but consider how it might change. Be wary of crocodiles if you want to camp near water in northern Australia, be mindful of tides if camping by the sea, and be ready to make a quick exit if the weather changes.
• Wildlife: are you likely to be in the pathway of animals that use the watering hole nightly? Also check above you, as trees can be home to birds, possums and other animals.
• The popularity of the location: it might be quiet and peaceful now, but a popular water sports location could lead to an influx of more neighbours than you anticipated (or want!).