Tania’s Top 4 Camping Hates!

Welcome to our outlet for complaining about all things camping.  If you’d like to read something positive or inspirational, or are deciding whether or not camping is for you, you’d probably be best to close your computer now.

Here are the top 4 things we absolutely HATE about camping:

  1. People who set up right next to you when the whole park is empty.

You’ve purposefully found a camp spot that’s private.  You’ve set up your awning, your table and chairs and your roof is up.  You are just about to take off your clothes!! when….another van rolls up and parks RIGHT NEXT TO YOURS, even though THE REST OF THE CAMPGROUND IS VIRTUALLY EMPTY!  You could turn the music up, you could tell them you’ve got a baby that screams all night, you could pretend to start having a domestic with your partner, loudly.  This annoyed me no end, don’t you go camping for the privacy?  To drink beer in your undies?  Then we started free camping in Europe and after a while I caught on, these people want to come and park right next to us for the SECURITY.  They feel like they are safer when there are other people right next to them, watching over their van and able to hear them scream at night.  This makes sense in SOME situations but please, not really in Australia and definitely not in a nice family friendly BIG 4.


  1. The best campsites are always the furthest away from the amenities.

We always try super hard to park as far away as possible from other people in campgrounds.  They don’t want to see us drinking beer in our undies and we don’t want to hear their TV.  At reception we ask for the park map and have a look, 80% of the time the non-powered sites are on the fringes of the park, and hopefully the park is bordering a national park or some other type of greenery (just check it’s not a main road which is also often the case!).  Ask for the over-flow area, the area that fills up the last.  The only problem – these spots are always the furthest away from the amenities, the toilets, the camp kitchen.  Which means a longer walk in the middle of the night for a wee.  DAMN.

VW T6 Campervan for sale

  1. The time-consuming process of checking into campgrounds.

This might be slightly my fault for being so picky about which spot we get and coming back multiple times after walking laps of the park to suss out the best spots BUT if you are doing a real road trip and staying only a night or two in each place, the form filling, the key deposit, the boom gate codes, on-site restaurant opening times, are they really necessary?  Do you REALLY need my DOB, email address, colour of my van and blood type?  I’m essentially only parking my vehicle here for a night.  Even Airbnb doesn’t ask for half of this crap!


  1. Campsites that are way too close together and have no barrier between them.

Plant some trees or as they do in European campsites, get into Topiary.  I don’t want to hear my neighbours snoring at night.  I don’t want to be packed like sardines into what is essentially a carpark with a toilet and shower provided.  These places just scream MONEY MAKING TRAP!

vw campervan for sale

Achtung Camper Vanning Adventurers – Part 2 Christine and Graeme

We became the proud owners of a new VW T6 LWB 4 Motion Achtung Campervan with Nature Lover conversion in March 2020. We were lucky to drive it from Geelong back to Adelaide just days before the borders were closed due to the covid-19 pandemic. Travel restrictions then really set in and so our campervan sat in our apartment carpark until mid-May when travel to regional areas within South Australia was again encouraged.

We needed no encouragement! We booked 3 nights at the Mambray Creek campground in Mount Remarkable National Park, 40km north of Port Pirie and 240km north of Adelaide, about a three hour drive from home.  In SA all national park campsites must be pre-booked online, so sites have to be chosen from a map and photo. We wondered what site 46 would turn out to be like in reality, but were certainly not disappointed once we arrived.

All campsites are unpowered, there are two toilet blocks and a small shower block with satisfyingly hot water! The campsites are all on a level surface, set within magnificent, remnant river red gums, some of the oldest trees in SA. Most of the camping sites are spaced out well, giving plenty of privacy to each site, while there are a few sites closer to the shower block better suited to caravans or quick overnight stays.

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The campground was formerly part of a large sheep station, so walking to the Baroota ruins is an interesting experience, in addition to all the bushwalking tracks. One of the tracks climbs up onto a hillside with expansive views over Spencer Gulf, with the city of Whyalla in the distance. There are longer tracks that traverse the range and end up at spectacular Alligator Gorge or the picturesque town of Melrose at the foot of Mount Remarkable. We tackled several walks of less than 10km, which were well defined and easy to navigate, but with a couple of steep climbs included.

We used this first trip to test out our campervan’s features, to see how much water we use, how much power our 65 litre fridge draws and how comfortable the bed is. It passed with flying colours! When we first selected the various conversion components we decided not to have an attached awning, as we were very tight on the height of our vehicle for parking in the under-croft carpark of our building. So, on this trip we also tried out a free standing Oztrail day shade, as we like to spend as much time as possible cooking and eating outside. The shade structure worked well in combination with the campervan.

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Apart from bushwalking, cooking, eating, and drinking red wine in the evenings, we relaxed and revisited our long neglected interests of sketching and photography. We are looking forward to more great experiences in our Achtung Campervan in future!

campervan for sale


… Like a good recipe or the perfect holiday, the perfect camping spot is a combination of many different components of various quality that can contribute to the overall experience plus a sprinkling of good luck (good weather please!). And of course, just like the perfect holiday or perfect recipe, many of these components are largely personal.

We’ve devoted many a blog to the never-ending list of what to avoid when looking for the perfect camping spot but how about for a moment dwelling on the bits that can go right (and often do!).

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The non-negotiables:

For us, this is close and easy access to a beautiful beach – and if I’m going to be fussy I’ll say we have to be able to VIEW the beach from our campervan too!

A quiet, relatively private spot where we won’t be bothered by too many cars, people, being kept awake at night or woken too early in the morning. Some people love socialising. We like privacy and quiet (if you can go swimming naked it’s the right spot for us!).

The nice-to-haves for enjoyment (in order of importance!):

These are all, hopefully, within easy walking distance – if not, a short drive away:

A nice café

A nice pub

A playground

The possibility to do any type of surfing

A nice town to explore.

Walking tracks

Mountain biking tracks

The nice-to-haves for convenience:

Toilets super close

A drink water tap super close

Natural shade at the beach

A good supermarket in easy walking distance/a short drive away

Natural shade/and/or grass where your campervan is parked

Cold/hot shower super close

We are always searching for The Perfect Camping Spot and have found many places that come close (Ulladulla Holiday Haven comes to mind) but would love to hear if you’ve found this perfect place, the holey grail of camping.

Please share your favourite camping spots with us, be it a paid campground or beach carpark, we’d love to know!

Ronny’s Camping Essentials

A man in the bush needs his equipment – and with no further introduction we present to you Ronny’s camping essentials! 

Good knife 

One good quality, sharp large knife can be used in a multitude of ways: chopping vegies, cutting bread, making kindling, making a spear to go hunting…the possibilities are endless J 

Reusable stainless steel double layered water bottle  

For the cup of tea on long road trips the doesn’t get cold, and so you can have a drink of water anywhere, anytime. 

 Over sized (large and heavy) Maglite style torch  

Yes we know, big and heavy is not really campervan friendly BUT we feel secure when we need to go outside in the middle of the night to use the toilet when we have this 2kg aluminium ‘weapon’ with us.  Plus it’s lovely to have a powerful torch when you want to gush over/blind cheeky possums surrounding your van in the dark.  


Because we love hiking, love camping in summer and love camping in the bush!   

the blue pool

Top 3 places to visit in South Australia

We’ve researched the best and most interesting places for you to check out on your next jaunt through South Australia. From hidden caves, to bush campsites, through to glamour camping if thats your thing – Let us know what you think, and if you’ve been to any before!


Innes National Park.

A stunning area of South Australia, Innes National Park combines the beauty of rugged coastlines, perfect sheltered fishing spots, excellent surfing beaches and some historical landmarks – such as the Ethel Shipwreck. You’ll be spoilt for choice when deciding how to fill your time here, with a great variety of camping ground scattered around the park to chose from. 

It is also known for having an average high of 24 degrees in January, so it’s a great spot to enjoy some cool, pleasant adventuring weather!

There are many walking and hiking tracks, for all abilities, from 30 minutes to 4 hours. 

Tip: Don’t forget to check out the famous Blue Pool rockpool!  

the blue pool

The Blue Pool (image courtesy of Emma Smith), via the government SA website. 

image via
@achtungcamper supplied image

2. Wilpema Pound, Flinders Ranges.

The Wilpema Pound is a natural wonder, an amphitheatre created by millions of years of erosion. 

This area has many unpowered, powered and bush sites and also has a selection of luxury safari tents.

Climbing the ridge to see the sunset or sunrise will be an experience like no other, and exploring the Flinders Range in general will be an incredible experience – from following the Aboriginal Dreamtime Track to taking a flight over for an aerial view.

image via 
@achtungcamper supplied picture.

3. Talia Caves, Eyre Peninsula

For those of us who are fully equipped in our campers and ready to go off the beaten track, the Talia Caves need to be seen to be believed.

The sandstones cliffs have been eroded into caves and caverns, and the beaches are wild and empty. There is no powered sites or toilets, but room for 20 bush camps, and it’s a great place to test your fishing talent to catch dinner. 

image via

camping ground via the talia camping ground page on facebook.  

close by, this is farm beach at the eyre peninsula via,au


  1. Be friendly, clear and descriptive with the reception staff. Tell them exactly how many days you’ll be staying and what you want out of your camping spot – quiet, close to the bathrooms, private, close to the beach etc.
  2. Ask reception staff to mark any spots that are available for your stay on a park map (and ask them which they think would suit your needs/description above).
  3. Have a good look at the (most likely unreadable and badly photocopied) map and work out:- Where the toilets are (it’s nice to be close but not TOO close or you’ll be woken by people all night).
    • Where the tent area is (these are often groups of ‘younger’ people or backpackers who are likely to be noisier, try to keep away).
    • Where the main roads are (try to avoid parking near main roads or roads that visitors use to enter/exit the park).
    • Where the playground is (some kids get up super early, if you want to sleep in stay away!).

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4. If you are staying more an a few nights you might take the time to scope out the park/spots on the map on foot or with your van BEFORE you commit to one at reception when checking in. Most staff will let you take a look around and come back once you’ve decided on a spot that you like.

5. Once you’ve decided on your spot check that your neighbours look good (read: quiet!). We avoid: anyone with a baby, P plater cars or younger groups of people.

Got some tips or anything to add?  Please comment below and we’ll update our blog accordingly!



Here’s our checklist, most relate to free camping.  You can thank us later! 

-Are there any No Camping or No Sleeping in Cars signs?  This is only a deal-breaker if…

  • There are loads of backpackers around + 
  • Does it look like there’ll be police patrolling overnight?  Is there a local police station?
  • The signs say No Parking between 1-5am (this signals a backpacker infested and hjghly patrolled/fined area!).

-Does it look like there’ll be hoons or young people coming there at night (are there empty bottles around/burnouts/broken glass?) 

-Will there be much/any passing traffic overnight? 

-Are there any big bins or a collection of bins that might be picked up very early in the morning and wake you up? 

-Is it a surfing break carpark?  Again this isn’t a deal breaker but keep in mind you’ll have loads of cars arriving early in the morning with people checking the surf.  Again, this may not be a problem if the locals seem nice and you don’t sleep too lightly (or you surf)! 

-Is there a boat ramp nearby? (same as point above). 

-P plate cars or groups of young people together (couples are ok!).  Some might also avoid people with babies and young kids, and for this we don’t blame you! 


 What are your tips on finding a good spot to sleep paid or unpaid in a new town?  Please share them with us so we can add them to our list. 



The Thule camping rubbish bin

That’s right, I’ve written a whole blog post about a rubbish bin.

Am I crazy? You decide…

If you’re a free camping or national park camping enthusiast then you’ll understand the importance of rubbish removal in campervan travel, because you’ll have experienced THIS along the way…

Waking up in the morning to find your rubbish and food scraps from the night before strewn all over your campsite as surprise, surprise, there WAS an animal that could somehow get on top of your campervan while you were asleep and managed to not only open the expertly tied together rubbish bag that was placed up there but also make a rubbish tip of the entire campground.

This, along with putting leaking week old rubbish bags inside our van when we finally moved on to the next camping spot was enough for us to spend some time thoroughly researching rubbish removal options for campervan travel.

Although technically a 4wheel drive product, the Thule bin is the best we’ve found so far.

  • It packs up extremely flat so takes minimal storage space when not in use.
  • It includes a connection point so that you can hook it onto the outside of your van.
  • It has a handy ‘animal proof’ opening/lid, which makes it easy for you to throw rubbish away, but impossible for birds and other marsupials to get to.
  • It’s made of sturdy, waterproof material, which makes it easy to hose down.
  • At a price of $80 it may seem like a big commitment but in the name of easy campervanning waste management we think it’s worth it!

For more information on this product visit:

Campervan or Caravan? Take our quiz to help you decide.

Find out if a campervan or caravan is the right vehicle for your travelling style by taking our multiple choice quiz.

1. Circle one answer per question.

2. Mostly A’s mean you are best suited to Caravan Travel, more B’s = Campervan Travel. 


Will you be going on a trip for an extended period of time ie 6 months or more?

A. Yes

B. No

How much time do you plan on spending inside your caravan or campervan?

A. A lot, I would rather be inside at night watching TV etc than outside.

B. Not much, I prefer to spend as much time outside as possible.

Do you plan on staying for extended periods of time in colder weather?

A. Yes

B. No

Do you plan on doing a lot of cooking inside you van or do you prefer to cook outside?

A. Prefer to cook inside.

B. Love cooking outside.

Do you have the storage space at home for a caravan?

A. Yes

B. No

Do you have or can you afford to buy the correct vehicle with tow bar to tow a caravan?

A. Yes

B. No

Are you a confident and skilled driver that will easily tow a large trailer while driving to places you’ve never been before?

A. Yes

B. No

Do you plan on visiting/spending time in cities or bypassing them?

A. Hate cities.

B. Love visiting cities.

Do you plan on spending more time in national parks/off the beaten track or in paid caravan parks?

A. Paid caravan parks on popular routes.

B. Want to travel off the beaten track/stay in national parks. 

Have you checked the difference in cost to stay in a caravan park with a caravan as opposed to a campervan and calculated this cost for the duration of your trip?

A. Yes and I can afford the additional overnight fees.

B. Yes and I want to save $ by paying less to sleep in caravan parks and national parks or nothing by free camping.

Have you calculated the fuel cost of taking a caravan as opposed to a campervan on your trip?

A. Yes and it doesn’t bother me.

B. Yes and it works out too expensive for us with a caravan.

Why would I buy a caravan?

Campervans have ample storage space if you are 2 people and planning on travelling for up to a couple of months or even longer if you are only going to be staying where it’s warm or are a minimalist at heart! If you are taking 6 months off or longer and will be living in your van in different climates then you may decide you’d like more storage space and comfort plus the ability to do more complex cooking in your ‘kitchen’. In this case you may decide a caravan will better suit your needs.

Why would I buy a campervan?

You can sell your everyday car and replace it with a campervan, meaning a minimal expense initially. It is extremely economical to travel in, if you have a diesel campervan petrol costs are kept to a minimum and you are able to stay in free camping spots and National Parks so can keep accommodation costs down too. You may struggle towing a caravan and don’t want to be restricted to missing interesting travel spots and cities by the size of your trailer.


  • A campervan is by far the more economical option, initially and ongoing.
  • A caravan might be a better option if you are a family or two people who plan on ‘living’ in your van for an extended amount of time (grey nomads we’re talking to you!)
  • Consider your skill and confidence level when driving before you purchase a caravan and whether you want to travel ‘off the beaten track’ or stay in National Parks as this will be more difficult with a large trailer.

And as a last thought…

Caravan quiz