Jump on a ferry with your caravan in tow, and set sail on your next island adventure this summer!
Australia is home to some spectacular islands that are begging to be explored. But when you’re towing a caravan, the thought of getting to one can be daunting. But don’t let crossing the sea deter you; summer is the perfect time to park your van on a ferry-accessible island, explore untouched landscapes, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of island shores. Not sure where to start? Here are our top island caravanning destinations.
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Kangaroo Island is home to native bushland, untamed wilderness and wildlife-spotting opportunities. The easiest way to get around is to leave your van locked at your camp site, and head off in the car to explore this island paradise. Most of the main roads are sealed, and even the unsealed roads are well-maintained, meaning you won’t need a special vehicle to get around.
Be sure to head to Kingscote, which sits on Nepean Bay, during your time on Kangaroo Island. Foodies can also sample locally produced honey at Clifford’s Honey Farm, enjoy a fresh and seasonal brunch at Cactus, and finish the day with some of the world’s best gin at Kangaroo Island Spirits.
To get to Kangaroo Island, embark on the ferry leaving from Cape Jervis – a 1.5-hour drive from Adelaide – and cross a 20-kilometre stretch of ocean to reach Penneshaw Ferry Wharf.
Bruny Island, Tasmania
An island off an island – that’s right, if you’re having the best time exploring Tasmania but want more, then a visit to Bruny Island is a must. The Kettering Ferry Terminal is a 35-minute drive from Hobart and will lead you – and your van – to the stunning Bruny Island.
Bruny Island is one of the most popular camping spots in the country. The island offers plenty of options for caravan camping and parking in a stunning location, boasting a mix of rugged and charming landscapes, lush foliage, and beautiful beaches.
You will need a Parks Pass to enter any camp site in proximity to the South Bruny National Park, so be sure to plan ahead. The park features towering cliffs that overlook the wild Southern Ocean, and any stay here will be a magical experience. While here, be sure to head to the Cape Bruny Lighthouse, which sits on top of the southern headlands.
Magnetic Island, Queensland
Magnetic Island is not only a buzzing destination for caravanners, but it’s also a perfect place to park your home on wheels.
Home to 23 beaches, the island is packed with adventure – from the Forts Walk through the national park, to exploring the marine life at one of Queensland’s top snorkelling destinations. You’ll definitely need more than a day or two to enjoy this stunning holiday destination.
The only caravan park on the island is Bungalow Bay Koala Village, which boasts several tent and caravan sites with plenty of space for your rig. The island itself is so untouched that it remains a haven for wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for koalas napping in trees, or get up early to spot rock wallabies – they’re said to hang out at Geoffrey Bay.
To get here, jump on a ferry across Cleveland Bay, departing from Townsville. The journey will take roughly 40 minutes, and bookings must be made the phone through Magnetic Island Ferries.
The Summer Edition of Caravanning Australia is out now!
Pictured: Pennington Bay, South Australia. Image (C) Jordan McArthur and Mattea Carson