Are we crazy to camp...?
April 26, 2011 8:43 AM   Subscribe

Will it be too cold to stay in a campervan in August in Victoria, Australia?

My husband and I are going to Australia for two weeks from the middle to the end of August. For about six days of that, we were hoping to hire a campervan (probably a Jucy) to get around Melbourne and the surrounding area (we're very keen on seeing the Great Ocean Road, for example). We're aware that August is winter in Australia, but will camping be unbearably cold at that time of year? We're from the UK, so it's not like we're not used to the cold - I do better in colder temperatures than in hotter ones - but we appreciate that camping in a British winter would not exactly be advisable. Is it possible...?

(Any recommendations of Things We Must Not Miss would also be much appreciated! We're also going to the Blue Mountains and Cairns/the Great Barrier Reef.)
posted by raspberry-ripple to Travel & Transportation around Australia (6 answers total)
On the coast, no. It will be chilly but unless you're up in the mountains it won't get much below freezing. Melbourne is not often below 3C.
posted by hawthorne at 9:26 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Hawthorne has it. It could get just a tad colder than that on the coast, and will if you head inland at all. But I'd think thermals and a couple of cheap doonas (duvets in England?) would keep you warm.

Warm clothes and wet weather gear for the daytime might also be a good idea. The big winter cold fronts can bring a lot of rain and wind.
posted by Ahab at 9:50 AM on April 26, 2011

Depends on where - even the coast can be OK. I did camper van on Kangaroo Island in SA mid-Aug and it was fine.

I love the gold rush towns en route from Melbourne to the GOR - Ballarat or Bendigo. THe Grampians just west of the GOR are also lots of fun. Only place I saw a live kookaburra

I spent a significant amout of time in Oz - so feel free to ping me with questions
posted by TravellingCari at 11:30 AM on April 26, 2011

You'll be fine. It'll be coming to the end of our winter, which on the coast probably means overnight lows in the single digits celcius with daily maxima up to the mid to high teens. I live in the Central Highlands, not far from the aforementioned Ballarat and in our area the temps would probably range from near freezing overnight to the mid/low teens during the days.

But even 0 degrees overnight is tolerable with a good sleeping bag and a tent, so I think you'll be fine in your van. You might end up sleeping in a thermals and a woolly hat, but it's totally do-able.

A good round-trip to consider would be heading out to the GOR and following it to its end, then turning inland and heading north to the Grampians, passing through Hamilton and Dunkeld, exploring the Grampians for a couple of days and then heading down the Western Highway through Ararat and Ballarat, before heading on the Midland highway for a night in Daylesford (mineral springs and spa country, beautiful but chilly) before heading back to Melbourne on the Calder. One caveat though - a lot of roads in the Grampians were damaged in bad storms earlier this year and have yet to be rebuilt. Message me before your trip and I'll point you to the latest road closure info.
posted by tim_in_oz at 1:16 PM on April 26, 2011

For warmer Victorian camping at that time of year, head the other way to Croajingalong National Park or around Mallacoota. It has seemed ok when I have camped there in winter, and it is all very beautiful (Croajingalong is part of the 90 mile beach).

You'll be fine whereever if you have warm gear.
posted by AnnaRat at 2:45 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thank you all for your responses - it sounds like we'll be fine. (My husband's a kind of human radiator, fortunately.) We'll be sure to take a bunch of warm gear with us!

Thanks for the suggestions of where to go too - I may well message a couple of you nearer the time for more information!

Thanks again! :o)
posted by raspberry-ripple at 10:18 AM on May 5, 2011

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