Top 5 places to beat the crowds this Easter

Top 5 places to beat the crowds this Easter

I’ll have to admit, the idea of getting out camping for the Easter long weekend has always put me off a little bit. Four days won’t get you far enough from the city to escape the crowds, and consequently seemingly every decent camping area within a weekends reach is packed full of fellow holiday makers. But it was last Easter that I was coaxed out for the long weekend (to Mount Magnet of all places!) which got me thinking of likely area’s one could escape the crowds, and not require a passport to get there!

And so, in no particular order are my 5 top picks to escape the crowds this Easter.

1. Holland Track

Holland TrackStarting at Hyden about 350km East of Perth, this 181km stretch of 4WD track follows the path created by pioneers of the Coolgardie goldfields though pristine bushland. Many people choose a three day long weekend to explore the Holland track, which is too short in my opinion. The four day Easter weekend is perfect to take your time and unwind whilst exploring this historical trail and the towns and museums at either end.

Why does the Holland Track make the list? Well being a rough single lane track means only off-road enthusiasts will be interested in tackling this adventure, and with 181km of track to camp along it’s fairly likely you wont end up with any neighbours!

Holland Camping

 

 

2. Wellington DamWellington Dam

This one’s a no brainer. The dam is actually too salty due to logging in the area and as such the water is used for agriculture rather than drinking. What does that mean to us? Camping on the banks and surrounding forest of Wellington is fair game! Just a two hour drive from Perth (maybe longer on a Good Friday) makes it perfect even for a one nighter. Combine that with hundreds of campsites, the entire banks of the dam to camp on and a close proximity to water and you get a perfect Easter weekend for the whole family.

One note on this one, don’t confuse the Wellington Dam with the nearby Honeymoon Pool campgrounds. Although I highly recommend a trip out to this beautiful spot for a day of kayaking, swimming, hiking and BBQ’ing the reality is that being a DEC run campground the number of sites are limited. Honeymoon Pool will be packed before Good Friday even rolls around.

Wren

 

3. Nannup & Surrounds

Pine Plantation 4WDing

There is a heck of a lot of bush surrounding Nannup, and most of it is state forest full of historical sites and artifacts from our early pioneering days.

Equally exciting is the number of campsites around, many of them well known and even more of them hidden by the locals at the end of tough and inconspicuous bush tracks. As such, you are going to need to be prepared for some serious exploring to find yourself a nice and secluded campsite, but isn’t that half the fun?

I’ll give you a head start. Go out and get yourself a copy of “4WD weekends out of Perth” which has excellent trip notes and GPS waypoints to get you out there and in the thick of it.

Mud Map

 

 

 

4. Coalseam National Park

Coalseam Wildflowers

Now I think this one is going to be heavily reliant on the weather forecast. If it looks like the Easter weekend is going to be a hot one then Coalseam might better saved for another time.¬†Located approximately 100km inland between Dongara and Geraldton, Coalseam is an excellent spring destination for it’s brilliant show of wildflowers and picturesque Irwin River which flows through the park. It is a geological hotspot crammed full of cliffs, breakaways, lookouts and as the name suggests; a few seams of coal. This is the type of place you set up your camp and just kick back and relax, and maybe take in a sunset at the lookouts each evening.

It is a lesser known national park which should mean it is less busy though maybe not to the extent of the other locations. A bonus for those readers with 2WD vehicles or soft roaders though, Coalseam is easily accessible to both.

Camping

5. Ninghan Station

This is a relatively new one that I have been hearing a lot about lately. Although the details seem to be a little fuzzy I am led to believe that DEC has recently acquired at least a part of the station, and what was once a sheep station is now being scaled back to only a small herd of sheep. Ninghan is claimed to be the closest station stay to Perth, and at 380km north-east of Perth (80km north of Wubin) it’s gotta be worth a trip over Easter.

With half a million acres of land you are guaranteed a patch of land all to yourself, and plenty to explore including salt lakes, rock formations, old wells, machinery and ruins and plenty of lookouts. I’m beginning to doubt whether 3 nights is long enough!

The owners of Ninghan are the Bell family, and you’ll have to give them a ring to let them know you’re coming. They can be contacted on (08) 9963 6517.

DSC_0075

 

And there you have it! I would be extremely interested to know your thoughts on this post. Are you planning on heading to one of these destinations? Or do you have one you think would go well on this list? Leave a comment and let your fellow adventurers know!

Cheers,

Alex

Alex Garner

 

 

 

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  1. Steve H
    May 27, 08:22 Reply
    Hi there Alex Except for Nannup and it's Surrounds I've visited each of these locations mentioned at one time or another and heartily agree there well worth visiting and a good all round choice for top 5 Easter getaways. Luckily as a shift worker I don't have to wait for Easter to roll around as I get four days off on a regular basis and like you prefer to find other things to do at home over the Easter break. Steve H
    • Alex Garner
      May 28, 19:45 Reply
      I too would like to explore more around Nannup Steve. I've been there a couple of times but there is such an expanse of pristine forest down there that it'd take a few visits to see it all! I would like to follow the Blackwood river from Nannup to Augusta someday, I'm sure it would be mostly driveable.
  2. Ben
    August 01, 19:42 Reply
    Gday Alex - I've just stumbled on your website and really enjoying some good articles. I remember as a kid camping with family in Nannup (although I don't remember exactly where) right on the river and catching some monster Marron. Having a family myself now I'm trying to get back into camping but can't help but feel annoyed by the DPAW control over everything.. there's nothing better than having your own spot with nobody else around but that seems quite difficult these days. Do you know if the nannup region is fair game for campers like us or is it a matter of taking risks in the hope of not getting caught out??
    • Alex Garner
      August 12, 20:49 Reply
      Hi Ben, thanks for leaving a comment :) I know what you mean about DPAW, I mean I'm all for environmental management and I respect the rules they put in place, but when it comes to campsites nothing much annoys me more than bollards, campsites dedicated to type of setup etc... SO! I do happen to know that the nannup region is quite fair game when it comes to campsites, and some pristine places can still be found along the Blackwood River. Heading along the Bailingup-Nannup road from Bailingup you will find plenty to explore across the river to the right hand side of the road. There's loads of state forest around the area which is not under DPAW control.

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