The rise and rise of private campsites
With a host of new companies springing up offering private property campsites, it was only a matter of time before some of the Zeit team were to try them.
It came in January 2021 when some of the team were holidaying in Lennox Heads, NSW. After scurrying across the border to QLD due to border closures the Victorian based Zeit team members found themselves without accommodation in what was to be the busiest time in recent history for south-east Queensland. Accommodation everywhere was fully booked including campsites, hotels and airbnbs.
One option was to drive through Birdsville QLD on a 40 hours+ driving mission to Victoria, or to wait it out: Continue the holiday in hopes the borders would re open. We chose the latter, to stay, and turned our attention to private campsites.
I'm talking about the campsites advertised on platforms like hipcamp.com (formerly youcamp), aircamp.com.au, homecamper.com and now even airbnb. It's all pretty simple, they rent out a property like they would on airbnb and you get to set up camp. Some offer private plots and others you will be sharing with fellow campers.
Nomads Rest Campsite - QLD Finalist 'best campsite' on Hip Camp.
We stayed at a few different locations, one a beautiful paddock about 20 minutes inland from Noosa, the other a walnut farm near Coolum. They were both large properties and the privacy at both was much appreciated after such frantic few days.
The 4x4s and a Zeit 'Otway' 30 Kms inland from Noosa, we found this site found on hipcamp.com
But they do come with their downfalls.
PRICE - it is not so much different to a established private campsite, and more expensive that the fees paid to camp in paid national park sites. After chatting to some of the owners about potentially paying cash to stay an extra night or two in the hope of getting a better rate, we were told they couldn't do it because they had insurance through the camping platform we booked through and they would be uninsured otherwise.
FACILITIES - Most don't have any and all good if you only plan on staying the night, but make sure you scout all the public restrooms nearby and have all your cooking equipment and water needs sorted.
CONTACT - The owners of the plots you are staying on usually have other jobs and are not on their phones 24/7. Last minute bookings can be hard to sort out (trust us) and phone reception is often not the best so it's best to make contact hours in advance and get the gps location before you lose reception.
There is nothing better than the free National Park campsites scattered around Australia. Some with great facilities and others with great locations, we truly are lucky. We also have some great established private campgrounds often with much better facilities and usually great service.
But private campsites are a refreshing alternative to keep up your sleeve, they are often picturesque and secluded and make for some great photos.
They are a great option when your alternatives (national parks - established camprgounds) are fully booked and most likely uncomfortably crowded in those peak holiday times.
Private campgrounds can also be a great option when you are well equipped without the need for bathroom/cooking facilities. Allowing you to set up shop for a few days without the need to pack up and go in the morning.
Zeit Team x