8 best snowy camp sites around Australia
Don’t let the cooling weather deter you and your clan from camping in winter because Australia has some stunning snowy camp sites.
Winter camping does have several perks and a few challenges to embrace (but really, this nation’s wintry weather is exceptionally mild).
Many Australian campsites drop their fees in the offseason, spaces are less crowded and – best of all – if you pick the right spot there’s even the elusive opportunity for your kids to experience snow.
Here are some suggestions for snowy camp site destinations that offer authentic camping experiences and the best chance of glimpsing some white powder.
NSW Snowy mountains camping
Camping at Thredbo: Thredbo Diggings
This Kosciuszko National Park camping site is bordered by snow gums and the peaceful Thredbo River. The upside to camping 19km out of Jindabyne in winter is you are in a prime position to access the ski fields at Thredbo Alpine Village. And you’ll pay a lot less than you would for accommodation in Thredbo.
Diggings Thredbo camp site has 20 sites. It can get busy, but generally, it’s nice and social.
The camp ground has spaces for caravans, camper-trailers and of course your faithful tent. There are no booked sites, flushing toilets or rubbish bins here. And you won’t have access to water, so bring your own supply for drinking and cooking. Don’t forget to bring plenty of wood and firewood. Stay warm and cosy next to the fire.
Leave Jindabyne on Kosciuszko Road and travel three kilometres. Turn left onto Alpine Way and drive 19 kilometres. The campground will be on your right. Though the road is unsealed, it is possible to reach the grounds in a 2WD. Tyres will require chains after snow.
This Snowy mountains camp site is snuggled beside Swampy Plains River next to Geehi Hut (originally built back in 1952).
It’s one of the bigger Kosciuszko National Park bush-camping options, with 150 undesignated snowy campsites. Nature comes alive at Geehi, with rainbow trout in the rapids (fishermen, bring your rods) and Eastern grey kangaroos dotting the landscape.
Even if snow eludes you, the family will enjoy making use of the nature trails for walking, biking and horse riding.
The camp ground does not have phone reception, power or generators so you will be forced to get back to nature. Bring your own firewood.
Geehi Flats is in the southern part of Kosciuszko National Park. Travel west along Kosciuszko Road for three kilometres, turn left onto Alpine Way and continue 78km. You’ll turn left into the campground after crossing the bridge at Swampy.
NSW National Park fee
Camping at both these sites is free, but park access in winter is $29 per vehicle per day (as opposed to $17 per day in summer). If you frequent NSW’s parks, the $190 12-month pass is worth considering.
Don’t want to ditch the creature comforts? You can go camping in Jindabyne and have running water, hot showers and maybe even a cabin.
Discovery Holiday Park sits on the shore of beautiful Lake Jindabyne. In really big snow seasons, it does get a lovely dusting of snow. The caravan park offers powered and unpowered sites for caravan and camping as well as a range of cabins and villas – so you can keep it as rustic as you desire.
You’ll be in a prime position for accessing either Thredbo or Perisher (both around 30km away). The ski tube is about 15 minutes drive up Alpine Way. Wild Brumby Schnapps Distillery is just 10 minutes by car.
Discovery has barbecues, a boat ramp, games and movie rooms, jumping pillow, kiosk, laundry, playground and more. So it’s not difficult to make your family right at home.
The Jindabyne caravan park is just outside the town centre following along Kosciuszko Road, opposite the turn off onto Alpine Way.
Fees will depend on your holiday style. Unpowered sites start from $34 a night, Economy Studio Cabins from $86, and top-of-the-range Deluxe Lakeview Villas start at $191. There are other options, all of which enjoy full access to park amenities.
The Alpine Tourist Park is 30 minutes from Selwyn Snowfields and close to Lake Eucumbene and the Murrumbidgee. The ski fields were burnt down in the 2020, bushfires, but they will be rebuilt soon bigger and better than ever before.
Nearby Adaminaby provides all you need to make yourself at home. Don’t miss having your photo taken with the big rainbow trout.
This snowy camping ground is around two hours from Canberra. Take Boboyan Road or the Snowy Mountains Highway; when you arrive you’ll be an easy 40 minute to Selwyn Snow Resort.
Victorian high country
Snow-capped ridges and open plains make the Victorian High Country an example of alpine topography at its finest, and there are a number of camping spots speckling the region to help take in all of its joys.
Langford West Campground is one great option, found out on the north-eastern branch of the Alpine National Park. Families will enjoy the walking paths and horse yards that encircle the campground, whatever the weather, though cycling tracks may be better left for summer.
There are only ten available sites so it’s first in best dressed, but the relatively high chance of snow makes securing a spot undeniably worthwhile. The campground’s facilities include picnic tables, barbecues and toilets, however, there’s no rubbish disposal so be vigilant and ensure you take any litter away with you.
Langford West is 15 kilometres south of Falls Creek. You’ll turn left off Bogong High Plains Road onto a sign-posted gravel track before the second Langford Aqueduct. The track is accessible to both 2WD and 4WD vehicles and is camper trailer friendly. Ensure you call ahead in case of road closures.
There is no camping charge to stay here.
Right between Mt Hotham and Mt Buffalo, Bright is a beautiful name for a beautiful region. Whether you’re after luxury cabins or basic cabins and sites, Pine Valley can help you enjoy it all. It’s well-maintained, well-run and well-located, so when you’re ready for a break from the skis, the whole family will surely appreciate the games room, playgrounds and numerous shops in the nearby CBD.
The park is found near Porepunkah, around 3.5 hours from Melbourne. Head east from Glenrowan on the Great Alpine Road.
Barrington Tops National Park camping
Escape to Barrington Tops National Park, considered the most northerly chance of snow in Australia, where kangaroos and wombats are your nearest neighbours. Pitch your tent among the subalpine woodland of Polblue Campground, a site easily accessible for 2WD vehicles and caravans alike.
Cosy up around a barbecue to beat the high-altitude chill, revelling in the tranquillity of this remote location (but don’t forget to bring your own water and firewood). With snowfalls possible at the peak of winter, it’s an ideal wonderland escape, but even if snow eludes you, the easy, family-friendly Polblue Swamp track is a must-do journey through the wetlands and snow gums.
A 4.5-hour drive from Sydney, you’ll travel north on the F3, following onto the Hunter Expressway and New England Highway. Once past Muswellbrook, turn right at Halcolm Road and take the first right onto Segenhoe Road, then right onto Gundy Road. Continue on the Scone-Nundle Road before turning right at Moonan Brook Road. Turn left at Barrington Tops Fore Track, and Polblue will be on the left after passing Devils Hole.
Adults cost $12 per night while children stay for $6 per night.
Tasmanian snowy camping
Cradle Mountain, in Tasmania’s central highlands, is the highest point in Tasmania with Mount Ossa reaching 1,545 metres. Winter temperatures range from -3 to 4 degrees celsius. Cradle Mountain National Park can receive snowfall from July to September.
Discovery Parks – Cradle Mountain is well equipped for these chilly temperatures with an open fireplace inside the camp kitchen. The kids can sit around the fireplace while you use the indoor barbeques and pizza oven.
You can also warm up with hot showers or a walk through the World Heritage Listed national park.
$69 for powered sites and $49 for unpowered sites
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