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15 Destinations You Have to Conquer if You Want to Call Yourself a Grey Nomad

Posted by Bob Newman on Mar 24, 2014 - 0 Comments

Caravanning around our sunburnt country is one of the most rewarding things you can do – there are surprisingly few Sydneysiders who can lay claim to having seen every nook and cranny our fair country has to offer. Here are a few of our favourite destinations for grey nomads – how many have you been to?

 

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Tasmania’s Port Arthur has many historical buildings and scenic forests for grey nomads to explore. Image via Shutterstock.

WA: Kalgoorlie-Boulder

For grey nomads set out to do the big lap of Australia, you’ll strike gold (ha… ha) in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Situated around 600 northeast of Perth, this gold mining city, while updated for the 21st century by the mining conglomerates that dot WA, it somehow retains a hint of Australia’s rugged past.

WA: Esperance

With peaceful, white sandy beaches as far as the eye can see, there’s a reason that the region of Esperance is a must-do on most grey nomads’ lists. Go to Pink Lake – a massive salt lake which often bears the colour of its name, thanks to the dunaliella salina algae that inhabits the lake.

VIC: Grampians

When it comes to breathtaking sights, it’s hard to go past the beautiful mountain views of the Grampians. Check out Reeds Lookout, which is a feast for the eyes with its valleys, lakes and mountains.

VIC: Bright

Somewhere along the Great Alpine Road lies Bright, a tourist town which came into its own during the gold rush and where you can still successfully pan for gold today. Check out the town for its rich history, and the surrounding Alpine National Park to get in touch with nature.

TAS: Smithton

Just a couple hours drive from Devonport, this tiny Tasmanian town is well-known for its blackwood forests, as well as being the gateway to the Tarkine. There are great free camping spots and caravan parks abound, so it’s well worth bringing the caravan across the Bass Strait.

 

TAS: Port Arthur

Port Arthur is Australia’s best-preserved former penal colony. While in the 19th century it was the stone cold home for thousands of convicts, today it is a beautiful sight to be seen, surrounded by English oaks and elms, and offset with the backdrop of the Tasman Sea. Make sure you take the night time guided ghost tour.

 

SA: Mount Gambier

Located smack-bang in the middle of Adelaide and Melbourne, Mount Gambier is a no-brainer stop over for grey nomads on the go, with excellent shopping and service amenities, as well as a bevy of van parks for you to rest your weary head on. However, it’s not the town that you go to Gambier for, it’s for the glorious ancient caves and craters that you can wander through with ease.

SA: Coober Pedy

Grey nomads who neglect to do their research on this opal mining town may find themselves mildly disappointed by the lack of apparent lack of life in this South Australian town. Fear not, it just so happens that about half of the town’s 3500-strong population have chosen to burrow underground and make their homes there – you have the option to stay in an underground hotel as well, if that takes your fancy.

 

SA/QLD: Birdsville Track

Arguably the most iconic dirt road in Australia, the Birdsville track stretches for 517km, running from Marree in SA to Birdsville in QLD. Not for those nomads wanting to take the easiest route, travellers are often warned to ensure that their vehicle is running well and that they are well-stocked with food, water, fuel and spare parts.

 

QLD: Moreton Island

While located not even a full 50 kilometres east from Brisbane, Moreton Bay could not be further (metaphorically) from the hustle and bustle of Queensland’s capital. It has everything for the adventure-seeking grey nomad: white sandy beaches, freshwater lakes and lagoons, the 280-metre high Mount Tempest and much more.

NT: Katherine

Originally established as an outpost during the set-up of the Australian Overland Telegraph Line, today Katherine is a must-do for any grey nomad traversing through the Territory. With a town basically set up for grey nomads, the area’s main drawcard is, without a doubt, Nitmiluk National Park. Take a cruise down the gorges or go for a bushwalk – there is a range of walks for novices through to seasoned bushwalkers. Edith Falls is a must-see, the natural pool of which is safe to swim in for most of the year – a massive boon for travellers, who will struggle to find safe swimming holes in the Territory otherwise – there’s a reason why crocodiles feature prominently on the front page of the NT News!

NT: Litchfield National Park

Located a short hour-and-a-half drive south from Darwin, Litchfield National Park, this national park is visited by more than a quarter of a million locals and tourists each year, and it’s not hard to see why. When you get there, make sure you check out Wangi Falls and Florence Falls, and see if you can ‘find’ the Lost City.

 

NSW: Summerland Way

Stretching from Grafton to Woodenbong, close to the QLD border, Summerland Way is often billed as the ‘shorter, scenic alternative’ to the Pacific Highway. When used in conjunction with the Orara Way and Mount Lindesay Highway, it can be a handy route for nomads to travel from Coff’s Harbour to Brisbane.

 

NSW: Waterfall Way

Voted the third most scenic view in Australia, the 191-kilometre-long Waterfall Way in northern New South Wales goes between the Coffs Coast and the New England Tableland. The route winds through villages, up mountains, around rainforests, with a number of potential side trips to take, including Metz Gorge and Gara Gorge.

ACT: Namadgi National Park

While many travellers, grey nomad or otherwise, may go to the ACT to satisfy a political bent (or observe first-hand just how well-planned the city of Canberra is), it’s the countryside that makes them want to stay just a little bit longer. It’s not hard to get to, either – Namadgi National Park is just 40 kilometres out of Canberra. Visitors can camp at either Honeysuckle, Orroral, or the somewhat remote Mt. Clear.

Make sure you’re well prepped before heading out on your big adventure. Caravan towing safety is a must as is mustering a bit of knowledge about your route before you set out.

This blog was posted in Travel and tagged in Arthur, Australia, blog, destinations, Esperance, Gambier, Grampians, grey, Island, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Moreton, Mount, nomads, Port, Travel

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