The Places We Set Up Camp in 2020

In 2020 we bought our first van, a 2008 Jayco Hawk. Unfortunately, also in 2020, travelling and camping became highly restricted for obvious reasons. Considering that, we think we have done all right, setting up camp in 25 different locations over three trips of about two weeks each, and a few other short getaways.

We always do quite a bit of research to find the best places to stay, and we like to think that each place is unique and worthwhile. We were fortunate to have a photo of our set-ups at each of the locations we have stopped at, a nice resource to have to look back and reminisce on the year of travelling, from the first night in the van to the last.

1. Flinders Bay Caravan Park, Augusta, WA

Flinders Bay Caravan Park
Here we are on our first outing in our new van. Those with a keen eye will notice that this is a Jayco Hawk outback, and all the others are images of a tourer version. Yes, we changed vans after our first trip away, realising that our car was not up to pulling an outback version.

2. Chuditch Campground, Lane Poole Reserve, Dwellingup, WA

20200201 Dwellingup
Another test run. Our first night in our new van, after swapping from an outback to a tourer version. We have camped here at Chuditch campground in Dwellingup in tents before, but a weekend away in a van was such an easy experience.

3. Karalee Rocks, WA

20200318 Karalee Rocks, WA
Our first night of our planned 2-months on the road, and an easy free camp with the large Karalee rock, a pipeline and dam for the kids to explore while we set up the van for this one-night stay.

4. Fraser Range Station, WA

20200319 Fraser Range Station
Fraser Range Station is a great example of a station stay – friendly service, grassy sites, wildlife, farm animals, communal firepit, bushwalks, finished off with a beautiful sunset.

5. Bunda Cliffs, SA

20200321 Bunda Cliffs, SA
We skipped the caravan parks at Eucla and Border Village, and continued to the start of the Great Australian Bight. The free camp on the Bunda Cliffs was a little windy but compensated with a beautiful ocean view to wake up to.

6. Shelly Beach Caravan Park, Ceduna, SA

20200322 Ceduna Shelly Beach Caravan Park and Cabins
We were happy to find the Shelly Beach Caravan Park on the edge of Ceduna (after first trying A1 Cabins & Caravan Park). Friendly travellers, games room for the kids, and a quiet beach and sand dunes to explore.

7. Pildappa Rock, Minnipa, SA

20200325 Pildappa Rock
Pildappa Rock is touted as a quieter version of Wave Rock in WA. We stayed a couple of nights at this free camp and essentially had the place to ourselves. The kids never tired of climbing all over the rock, and the sunset drinks on the rock were hard to beat.

8. Port Augusta Caravan Park, SA

20200326 Port Augusta Caravan Park
We needed to stopover in Port AUgusta for some car and van repairs. The Port Augusta Caravan Park was a low key convenient overnighter, just what we needed. It was the best value of all the parks in Port Augusta. We were given a quiet site out the back in the unpowered section, near the backpackers in tents.

9. Cowell Foreshore Caravan Park, SA

20200327 Cowell Foreshore Caravan Park
The Cowell Foreshore Caravan Park was a little smelly being right near marshy wetlands and the nearby fish cleaning station, but provided easy access to this cute little town and excellent short mangrove boardwalk.

10. Streaky Bay Foreshore Caravan Park, SA

20200328 Streaky Bay Foreshore Caravan Park
We had looked forward to returning to Streaky Bay Foreshore Caravan Park after a 12 year hiatus, but with the start of the coronavirus, most facilities were closed and the place was not very welcoming. The best spots are the unpowered sites on the beach, but we missed out on that.

11. Newman’s Rocks, Fraser Range, WA

20200330 Newmans Rocks
Newman’s Rocks is a great free camp a good distance off the Eyre Highway, with plenty of space to find your own secluded place. We waited for the camels to come to the waterhole were were overlooking, however only some cows came along.

12. Wharncliffe Mill, Margaret River, WA

The Wharncliffe Mill, now known as the RAC Margaret River Nature Park, has been our winter getaway for a few years, but this was the first time in the van (previously in our tent, then a safari tent). This is the only time the annex has been used, and with the wet weather we had it was useful, but painful to set up and it won’t be travelling with us very often again.

13. New Norcia, WA

20200704 New Norcia
We were offered a powered site in New Norcia next to the roadhouse, but a much better option was the cheaper unpowered grassy site in a nearby paddock, which is only for those self-contained as the are no facilities nearby.

14. Kirkalocka Station, Mount Magnet, WA

20200705 Kirkalocka Station
Kirkalocka Station, near Mount Magnet, was another great station stay. We stayed a couple of nights on our way further north. It was easy to relax, explore the area and enjoy the ambience. A highlight was catching yabbies down at the creek.

15. Karalundi Caravan Park, Meekatharra, WA

20200707 Karalundi
Karalundi Caravan Park is an oasis of grassy sites near Meekatharra. It is a pleasant place to stay and refresh before Karijini. We liked our spot on the end of the row, and the no-alcohol rule was probably good for detoxing.

16. Dales Campground, Karijini National Park, WA

20200711 Karijini National Park
Site 21 at Dales Campground at Karijini National Park. Despite the holiday crowds, there is so much space between sites you can really appreciate the vastness of the landscape and the clear night sky. There are spectacular gorges and swimming holes a short walk away.

17. Cheela Plains Station, Paraburdoo, WA

20200713 Cheela Plains Station
Cheela Plains Station in Paraburdoo is easily the best option to stop overnight when travelling between Karijini and Coral Bay. It’s a very friendly place topped off by a sublime sunset walk up the overlooking hill.

18. Peoples Caravan Park, Coral Bay, WA

20200717 Peoples Caravan Park Coral Bay
We felt lucky to slot into the Peoples Caravan Park in Coral Bay at late notice, and the overflow camping was much better than we expected. Definitely not as crowded as the main part of the park during these school holidays, but still easy access to the beach and other facilities.

19. Wintersun Caravan Park, Carnarvon WA

20200718 Carnarvon
The Wintersun Caravan Park in Carnarvon threw us out the back with a couple of other unpowered vans, a pretty rubbish spot but away from the rows and rows of caravans. It was just an overnighter, and it enabled us to explore Carnarvon as we wanted.

20. Northbrook Farmstay, WA

20200719 Northbrook Farmstay
Set up anywhere in the paddock they said. We chose the spot down by the creek, looking out to nothing but nature.

21. Nambung Station Stay, Cervantes WA

20201002 Nambung Station Stay
Nambung Station Stay is located just inland from Cervantes, in Western Australia. It was a welcome surprise to find such a peaceful place to stay during the busy school holidays, and we were able to take advantage of their private tour of the Pinnacles.

22. Linga Longa, Lynton Station, WA

20201004 Linga Longa
Our second stop on our second journey north, another farm. Linga Longa at Lynton Farm does not have many animals, but makes up for it with super friendly hosts, historic convict era buildings, amazing views, and close to the beach, sand dunes and the pink lake.

23. Galena Bridge Rest Area, WA

20201005 Galena Bridge
Galena Bridge Rest Area is free camp with sites on the Murchison River. We chose a spot on the north side of the river, and were in early to get our own riverfront site and a picnic table too.

24. Hamelin Station Stay, WA

20201007 Hamelin Station Stay
Hamelin Station Stay is an old sheep station which is now a nature reserve run by Bush Heritage Australia. Easy camping on the shell grit surface, and fantastic new facilities. It is just a short drive to Hamelin Pool stromatolites.

25. Monkey Mia Resort, WA

20201010 Monkey Mia Resort
It is a busy and big caravan park at the Monkey Mia Resort, but easy camping close to the water, with lots of quality facilities and things for the kids to do, like the dolphin visits every morning.

Wow, we are impressed with ourselves having covered so much ground in the first year of owning our Jayco van. We are also impressed that we managed to get a photo of every setup! Bring on 2021, when we hope to be able to hit the road for a longer period, and check out more great sites around Australia.

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