- Photo Essays
It’s the middle of the night when I wake to feel the excruciating chill of the hard mud earth beneath me.
It is 0 degrees (C) outside my tent and my now completely deflated air mattress is the reason I can hardly move my body from the cold. The chemical hand-warmers that helped to get me warm hours earlier are now cold.
I can’t move.
Camping in winter is often not possible, or at least extremely challenging, in many parts of the world. This is not the case in Australia. In the South West of Western Australia, the mild winters mean there are plenty of sunny days with temperatures often hovering just below 20 degrees – perfect for a winter camping trip.
The colder nights are usually nothing a good campfire won’t fix. Or, say, a mattress that stays inflated!!
Sleep is no longer an option and dawn is approaching so I huddle further into my down sleeping bag, grit my teeth and simply ride out the cold.
There is something wonderful about the night-sounds of the Australian bush.
All those infamous ‘dangerous’ animals are off doing their thing so you are left with the orchestra frogs and crickets and the occasional visit from a kangaroo or possum creeping through your campsite. I hear a rustling right by my tent and wonder what night creature is exploring our temporary home.
The night is completely still and the sounds seem to echo through the forest. The Warren River below us is quiet except for the occasional loud splash – a tree branch? A water bird?
It is not often I am awake and outside before sunrise unless it is for a worthwhile photo opportunity but I am always happy when I am. It’s one of those things you think “I should do this more often.” And then never do.
The others are still sleeping so I throw on my coat and tiptoe outside to watch the sun begin to press its way through the giant Karri trees that tower over this little piece of the world.
The morning is too beautiful not to share so I begin to clatter coffee mugs and breakfast stuff until I hear the girls stirring.
We have a day of hiking planned for later in the morning, once coffee and breakfast and general soaking-in-of-the-morning has been taken care of.
From our campsite we have easy access to the Heartbreak Trail, a hiking circuit that winds along the river and up through the Karri forest. More on that in a future post…
This is the first of several camping and hiking trips planned for the winter. But first things first….
Winter camping to-do list: buy a new mattress!
The bush campsites ($7 pp/night) can be accessed by 2 wheel drive via an unpaved road. There are minimal facilities Some of the sites have fire rings and firewood is available. Allow around 4 hours driving time from Perth. Check the weather forecast before planning a trip to this area. Despite the mild climate, the South West of WA is still susceptible to heavy rainfall.
Travel Info: Camping in Warren National Park
The Heartbreak Trail and Warren River campsites are located in the Warren National Park, 11kms south of the town of Pemberton in WA’s South West Region.
The bush campsites ($7 pp/night) can be accessed by 2 wheel drive via an unpaved road. There are minimal facilities Some of the sites have fire rings and firewood is available.
Allow around 4 hours driving time from Perth. Check the weather forecast before planning a trip to this area. Despite the mild climate, the South West of WA is still susceptible to heavy rainfall.