In an age where children spend more time indoors than out and parents are permanently attached to technology, Easter time represents the perfect opportunity to get outdoors, escape the realities of your 9 to 5 grind and explore some of the lesser known destinations of our beautiful country.
With the Easter break right around the corner, there is still plenty of time to plan the perfect getaway. REDARC are proud advocates of travel, our products are designed to make your journey more safe, enjoyable and most importantly more memorable. We hope that this blog can help inspire you to get out of the city (or town) and explore some of the roads less travelled.
Our nomadic State Area Managers are lucky enough to spend a good part of their time on the road servicing all corners of their state; here are their favourite destinations to travel to at this special time of year.
Northern Territory – Garig Gunak Barlu National Park
Without doubt, the most secluded and isolated destination on this list is Garig Gunak Barlu National Park. In this day and age it really is getting harder to get away from it all; however, Garig Gunak Barlu really is away from it all. Getting there is a mission in itself as its located 550km from Darwin where you have to travel through Kakadu and Arnhem Land – when people talk about the Top End, they may just be talking about GGB National Park.
When you finally arrive you are met with a mosaic of sandy beaches, enchanting red dunes, wetlands, swamps, lagoons and pristinely blue waters. The number one drawcard for people visiting GGB National Park is the fishing and various fishing charters who come in search of the trout, mackerel, salmon and barramundi of course. If fishing isn’t your thing there are plenty of bushwalks and wildlife on offer just make sure you resist the temptation to swim as there are plenty of crocodiles and sharks awaiting their next meal.
There are only two camping spots in the national park both located near Smith Point. They both have composting toilets, cold showers, bore water and barbeques. There are no powered sites so before you depart ensure you have an appropriate battery management system in your vehicle. It is also worth noting that camping here costs more than you would pay at other National Parks across the country. It is also important to note that caravans are not permitted in the national park.
New South Wales – Port Stephens
An hour’s drive north of Newcastle lays the cosy harbour of Port Stephens, with quiet beaches, extraordinary national parks and distinctive sand-dunes. Port Stephens is the destination of choice for NSW Area Sales Manager Wayne Magennis and is also home to Hummingbird Electronics.
With over 25 golden beaches, Port Stephens is an idyllic beach getaway for the family. Easter time is the perfect time of year to visit as the weather is still warm and the beaches not as busy as Christmas time. The beauty of Port Stephens lies in its diversity; you can spend the day 4WDing along the beaches and dunes or exploring Tomaree National Park. At night you can experience fine dining in Nelson’s Bay and Tea Gardens or explore some quality wineries and craft breweries. Whatever you choose to do it’s sure to be a winning combination; the possibilities are endless at Port Stephens.
Accommodation wise Port Stephens has it all – from cosy Airbnb’s to a vast assortment of Caravan Parks and resorts, there really is enough options to suit any need or budget. Sometimes you just need to escape the hustle and bustle of the city – we promise that when at Port Stephens you will forget that you are only 2 hours away from Australia’s biggest city.
South Australia – Coffin Bay
The ghastly sounding Coffin Bay is renowned for its world-class oysters and arguably the most gorgeous estuaries in Australia. The days of Coffin Bay being a hidden gem on the South Australian travel scene are well and truly over, however, Easter time sees fewer visitors than the at-times frantic summer season.
Nestled in the bottom corner of the Eyre Peninsula, Coffin Bay has it all. The pristine, calm water surrounding the Bay are perfect for swimming, fishing, diving, boating and any other water-based activity you can think of. On shore, Coffin Bay National Park offers unspoilt scenery, towering dunes and stunning white beaches making it the perfect place to create your own adventure.
Accommodation wise, the Coffin Bay region has something for everyone – from ritzy homestays to remote unpowered sites, the world really is your oyster when you are at Coffin Bay. Area Sales Manager of SA, Steve Moore, prefers the serendipity of the outdoors and recommends exploring some of the isolated campsites on the fringes of the national park. Steve was reluctant to give away his favourite camp but when pressed for an answer Morgan’s Landing was his destination of choice.
Tasmania – Mt William National Park
The often forgotten and isolated Mt William National Park is a fascinating place. Nestled in the far north-east corner of Tasmania, Mt William plays an important role in the conservation and protection of the apple isles flora, fauna and wildlife. The national park features long sandy beaches, low ridges and abundance of wildlife including Tasmanian devils, echidnas, wombats and just about any other clichéd Australian animal you can think of (You may even see the Easter bunny).
Located north-east of Launceston, Mt William National Park is reached by backroads from Gladstone, it is the perfect place to chill out and unwind with your family with an abundance of activities on offer such as wildlife spotting, swimming, surfing and diving. The natural landscapes are also a highlight with the famous Bay of Fires extending to the South of the National Park, to the North the sleepy fishing village of Anson’s Bay has stood the test of time and is home to the Eddystone Lighthouse.
Mt William offers a variety of unpowered sites available at a low cost. Our recommendation is the beachside campground called Top Camp on the Northern fringes. It is important to note that you must bring your own firewood and drinking water as there is none available once you enter the park.
Queensland – Byfield National Park
There are not too many places in Australia like Byfield National Park, with a mixture of wetlands, rocky pinnacles, semi-tropical rainforests, deserted beaches and empty dunes it encapsulates the essence of diversity within Queensland’s landscapes.
Locking the hubs and feeling a sense of adventure are compulsory for those who visit Byfield National Park. To get the most out of your time here a 4WD is a necessity as most of the park is restricted to 4WD’s only; with remote walking trails, isolated beach and testing 4WD runs a weekend is really not enough time to explore this often forgotten treasure of Central Queensland.
Located 70kms north of Rockhampton, Byfield National Park is the perfect place to get off the grid, just make sure you have some portable solar panels to make the most of your time in the Sunshine State and you will probably never want to leave. The national park offers a range of camping experiences, from sites with facilities to secluded bush camps. REDARC’s Area Sales Manager of Queensland, Joel Maizey is a big advocate of Byfield and recommends splitting your time between the Nine Mile Beach camping area and the Waterpark Headland (Scout’s) Camping Area in the Southern tip of the national park.
Victoria – Mt Buffalo National Park
As you approach Mt Buffalo the first thing you will notice is the spectacular granite cliffs which sprawl across the landscape. If that’s not enough to let you know you are entering the Alpine region, the snowy woodlands, masses of wildflowers, deep gorges and crisp air all combine to create an environment that will stick with you long after you leave.
Beautiful Mt Buffalo is one of Australia’s oldest national parks. Located approximately 350kms from Melbourne in the alpine region of Victoria, Mt Buffalo can be easily accessed all year round – in the summer it’s a great spot for bushwalking, cross country riding, rock climbing and 4WD driving. In the winter it’s a tiny family friendly ski resort. Bottom line is that no matter what time of year you visit Mt Buffalo there are activities to cater to everybody’s needs.
Mt Buffalo is the destination of choice for Victorian State Area Manager Tim Chivers, he recommends staying at the campsite on the shores of Lake Catani. Tim recommends a dual battery charger setup as it is an unpowered campsite. The advantage of this was that he was able to run an electric blanket from his inverter to his swag– the perfect setup to enjoy those cool, crisp star-filled nights on the mountain.
Western Australia – Esperance
When he’s not on the road servicing the good people of Western Australia, Area Sales Manager Scott Montgomery is usually out camping and exploring Australia’s biggest state. When we asked Scott what place he would recommend he came back to us with a plethora of destinations which he admired, however, there can only be one winner and that place is Esperance on the South Coast.
Esperance is where the golden outback meets the Southern Ocean, framed by sand as white as snow and aquamarine waters. Despite its remote location, Esperance is still a favourite with city slickers from Perth and those from the even more remote Kalgoorlie (another of Scott’s favourites) who come for the peaceful vibes and stunning beaches.
Like Coffin Bay, Esperance offers a bit of everything with both marine and land-based activities – however, the beaches are without doubt the highlight. Lucky Bay is by far the most popular and is definitely worth checking out. If you are after something a bit quieter and not as busy, Scott recommends Duke of Orleans or Alexander Bay which offer an array of private and secluded camping spots.
New Zealand – Lake Taupo Region
Seeing as REDARC has a newly appointed Sales Manager of New Zealand, in Greg Mitchell we thought it would be fair to include his destination of choice. In truth New Zealand is arguably one of the most beautiful and diverse countries on the planet, so we were eager to hear where the locals recommend visiting. That place is Lake Taupo.
Lake Taupo is New Zealand’s biggest and (according to Greg) the most picturesque Lake on the planet. Created over 2000 years ago by volcanic eruptions, the region still bears its scars of its fiery birth in its mud pools and geysers. People come to the region to enjoy the various activities on the lake including water-skiing, kayaking, rock climbing and hiking. However, its biggest drawcard is fishing, with the world’s largest natural trout fishery in the world located at Turangi.
Accommodation-wise there is something to cater to every budget and need, whether you want to stay at a 5-star resort or camp under the stars at one of the many unpowered campsites surrounding the lake – we recommend roughing it out and getting in touch with nature for an authentic experience. Conveniently located 3 hours from Auckland and 4 from Wellington, its central location makes it easy to get to – however, be warned, the hard part is leaving.