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10 Sneaky Overnight Stays When Heading South

25 Aug 2017

Returning home from this year's pilgrimage? We get so fixated on the Top End, we forget that the world keeps turning. All of those people on the southern coast are still working, eating and sleeping while we chase the sun in the tropics & red centre. 

Before summer illuminates life on the south coast and before the throngs of families pack up for the holiday parks, have a sneaky overnight stay at one of these ten lucky finds. Drive towards the places with sunsets and seafood that'll make your heart sing. 

Pambula Beach

Sneaky Stay Blogs

State: New South Wales
Must: Walk the Pinnacles Track at Ben Boyd National Park

Ditch your best friends from back home, because the kangaroos here are plenty friendly and won't cancel plans last minute. Crack open a cold one and sit among the local wildlife at our holiday park in Pambula Beach. The temperature is pleasant enough for a light jacket in spring and the beach itself is easily accessible. Whale watching from the Green Cape Lighthouse between September and November attracts people from across Australia - but the freshly shucked oysters over lunch will have you booking the extra night. 

Stay at: Discovery Parks - Pambula Beach

Streaky Bay

120461 - Murphy's HaystacksImage courtesy of Murphy's Haystacks

State: South Australia
Must: See the sun set over the rock formations at Murphy's Haystacks 

South Aussies know it and love it. It's the holiday town of their childhoods. Up and around the Yorke Peninsula you'll go, Streaky Bay sits on the coast as a gateway to the Nullarbor. You may know these waters as shark country, but that doesn't stop the surfers from surfing and the fishermen from fishing! Take a gander at the big guy himself and visit the 5m long great white shark replica at the tourist centre. It would be a shame if you didn't try a taste of the region. The Eyre Peninsula Seafood Trail is a mouth-watering touring route to stop for prawns, local wine and chocolate-coated olives (don't knock 'em til you try 'em!).

Stay at: Discovery Parks - Streaky Bay


Eden Killer Whale Museum

State: New South Wales
Must: Visit the Eden Killer Whale Museum for some local history

Who has the best whale noises out of the lot of you? Try them out on a guided tour of the famous Eden Killer Whale Museum. The exhibitions at this 80-year-old museum showcase killer whale skeletons, a memorial for World War I, and the Rag Tag Fleet from World War II. A trip here wouldn't be rightwithout exploring the natural environment. Spend the morning kayaking down Towomba River and the afternoon searching for tweety bird on a birdwatching charter. In the evening, sit on the beach of Twofold Bay and enjoy the peace of watching boats glide by.

Stay at: Discovery Parks - Eden

Port Augusta

Port AugustaImage courtesy of the South Australian Tourism Commission

State: South Australia
Must: Stop and smell the native plants at the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens

Be rewarded with a stopover on the Spencer Gulf. Some treat Port Augusta as only a place to sleep before heading up to the Flinders Ranges, but the outback is ripe to be explored from this town. Did you play with train sets back when you were a kid? Your young self will love the Pichi Pichi Railways. This moving museum, operating on steam and heritage diesel engines, coasts down one of the oldest remaining sections of the Ghan. For more of the local history, travel down the tunnel of time at the Wadlata Outback Centre. This unique experience is an opportunity to listen to the stories of the local Aboriginal people that have lived on this land for 40,000 years. 

Stay at: Discovery Parks - Port Augusta


Heading South BlogImage courtesy of Destination NSW. Photographer: Gecko Photographics. 

State: New South Wales
Must: View the night's sky, dizzy with stars, at the Dubbo Observatory

Black rhinos, elephants and tigers call this town their home. Don't get too concerned! They live in their own spaces at the Dubbo Zoo. This open range zoo isn't just for the little ones. Roaming over 300 hectares of bushland, animals from all around the world live and play here. If you've had enough of the fresh air and open space, spook yourself in the confines of the Old Dubbo Gaol. Take a self-guided tour through the restored gaol grounds and learn about its 119-year history. 

Stay at: Discovery Parks - Dubbo


Heading South BlogImage courtesy of the South Australian Tourism Commission. 

State: South Australia
Must: Take a tour of the ships at the Whyalla Maritime Museum

Stay for the seafood at Australia's snapper capital, grab your gear and go on a fishing charter. Or, get into the shallow waters and catch blue swimmer crabs during the warmer months. Searching for some peace and quiet? Enjoy the solitude and calm waters by the 22m tall Point Lowly Lighthouse. From the lookout, you can watch dolphins happily swimming by in their pods. Our tip: try the City Heritage Walk to learn about the local industrial heritage and to see the wetlands. 

Stay at: Discovery Parks - Whyalla


Heading South blog

State: Victoria
Must: Delight your palette and eat the best grub on the Bellarine Taste Trail

Go Cats? Even if you're loyal to your team, we'll guarantee you will still love a visit to the Simonds Stadium. Our holiday park is closeby to some of the best footy games and cricket matches in the country. But don't spend all day in there! The Geelong Harbour has plenty to see and do. Have a tasty brew at Little Creatures, see the public art installations, and reignite your senses at the Geelong Botanic Gardens. Geelong is a choice cultural, gastronomic, and historic hub along the Great Ocean Road. 

Stay at: Discovery Parks - Geelong


Heading South Blog

State: Victoria
Must: Take two steps back into colonial past at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village

Ahoy, matey - welcome to the mysterious Shipwreck Coast. True to the name, the destination was not so friendly to sailors as they tried to navigate through choppy waters. Today, 21st-century Warrnambool is now a pleasant getaway on Victoria's south-west coast. When you're not bouncing around the 12 Apostles and the Otways, rejuvenate yourself with fromage at Cheese World. Locally-made, award-winning specialty cheddar cheese, you will want to stock up on a few blocks to take home. What should you pair the cheese with? Taste the varieties in the Henty Wine Region (grab a bottle of Basalt Wines' Pinot Noir).  

Stay at: Discovery Parks - Warrnambool


Sneaky Stopovers blog

State: South Australia
Must: Go four-wheel driving at Little Dip Conservation Park

Have you ever heard of the Coonawarra? You should have, it is one of the premier South Australian wine regions (that most people keep secret). The cool climate is ideal for rich Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz blends. Walk off the buzz with a circuit around the Lake Butler Marina. With fishing boats sitting on the water and many different types of waterbirds, take a moment to enjoy this stop along the southern coast. For a calm spot to fish, head to Long Beach. You can expect to catch whiting, flathead, salmon, mullet and garfish.

Stay at: Discovery Parks - Robe

Koombana Bay

Heading South Blog

State: Western Australia
Must: Meet "Puff", the Western Bearded Dragon, at Bunbury Wildlife Park

Two hours from Perth, the Bunbury area is a destination for wine enthusiasts and nature lovers alike in WA's south-west. Discover the Geographe, an up-and-coming wine region in the rolling countryside next to Geographe Bay. From Ferguson Valley to Busselton, the area boasts a maritime climate suitable for producing elegant, award-winning Shiraz. Don't get too boozy though - there's too much to see outside. Wildflowers bloom and flourish between September to November in the Tuart Forest, a haven for an array of wildlife. We recommend the leisurely Possum Night Spotlighting Trail, a 1.5km walk guided by torchlight on which you're more than likely to see the rare western ringtail possum. 

Stay at: Discovery Parks - Koombana Bay


Heading South BlogImage courtesy of Destination NSW. Photographer: Dee Kramer Photography.

State: New South Wales
Must: See the water spraying 25m high at Kiama Blowhole, the largest blowhole in the world!

Overlooking the Crooked River, our holiday park in Gerroa is a hidden oasis on the New South Wales South Coast. Always wanted to see a rainforest? Grab your rain boots and venture into Macquarie Pass National Park. Take the Cascades Walk, a shaded 2km trail through a towering eucalyptus forest, that leads you to a gushing waterfall. You might be lucky and even spot a platypus along the way! Treat your thirst after the long hike. Few know about our wineries on the Shoalhaven Coast. Visit Crooked River Wines in Gerringong for reds, whites and Uncle Joe's hand-crafted beer. Come for the drinks, stay for the landscape of mountains and sea. 

Stay at: Discovery Parks - Gerroa


It's not about your Top End adventure ending - you're allowed to enjoy your journey on the return! Book your stay at one of our southern parks for a peaceful stopover on the way home.



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