Buying a ute may be one of the best things you’ve ever done, but if you haven’t yet explored the Australian landscape in one, you haven’t lived.
There are plenty of Australians out there who have kitted out their utes with drawers, fiberglass capsules, and tents, among other things, as a cheap and handy alternative to a caravan. After looking at some setups we think we have an imperative to share their ideas and some awesome camping spots to try the setups with!
How To Camp In Your Ute
If you’d like to spend time creating your own ute-camper baby, you could go with a simple roof tent and build your own ute platform or canopy, dictated completely by how you want to use your ute. The Kulkyne Kampers “come with a bonus 3 piece awning wall set as well as an awning floor at no extra charge. In terms of the technical details the tent is a 9 foot tent, with 350gsm rip stop canvas heavy duty PVC floor and travel cover and also comes with an access ladder.” Making it a pretty heavy-duty, camper ready tent.
There are various slide on campers out there, like the GT Camper, which was built explicitly to fit Australia’s top-selling 4WD vehicle, the HiLux. It features: “a strong, vacuum-formed composite hard-deck, on top of which is a compact, fold-over tent, fitted with a double bed. Beneath the hard deck and accessed through the tub tailgate is a removable, roll-out kitchen, with two-burner LPG stove, LED lighting, sink and fresh water tap.” It’s quick and easy to set up, and would be a great companion for a long trip.
For Those Who Like Their Creature Comforts…
Adding the Ute Mate to your ute is as close as you’ll get to a caravan-ute. It’s a little bit insane actually… It’s got a kitchen, a wardrobe, a bed, and water and electricity. There’s a bunch of optional extras you can get as well, like air-conditioning (is this even camping anymore??), a shower, and a stove.
Location, Location, Location!
Once you’ve got your camper-ute set up, you’ll need to test it out somewhere. Here are some of the best camping spots in Australia.
Carnarvon National Park
A Queensland classic, the Carnarvon National Park offers beautiful “towering sandstone cliffs, vibrantly coloured side gorges, diverse flora and fauna and Aboriginal rock art” (Queensland Government, 2014). A 9 1/2 hour drive North-West of Brisbane, the Carnarvon National Park is a true Queensland oasis with plenty of great bush walks that can direct you to caves, canyons, moss gardens, and rock pools.
Grampians National Park
The Grampians (Gariwerd) is a series of rugged sandstone mountain ranges that boasts a rich arrary of wildlife. It’s a great spot to explore if you’re interested in climbing, scenic drives, and bushwalks – there’s even overnight bushwalks you can do.
For some of the whitest sands in Australia, go to Booderee National Park. You can relax on the beach, go fishing, go on some lovely walks, and you can even see humpback and southern right whales migrate with their calves from September to November!