About one in 300 Australians get seasonal depression. While Australia is blessed with one of the warmest climates, the cooler weather and long wait till summer still affect many. And what better way to combat the gloomy days than taking a few days off from work or school. A winter break can do wonders for your mental health, whether you’re taking your caravan with you, or hitting the hotel scene.
However, winter adventure requires more preparation with the weather a few degrees cooler and the tourism season over. Don’t worry; this article has it all covered.
Choosing the right destination
Whether you want to get away from the cold or head to one of Australia’s few snowy towns, you should plan your destination ahead of time. As the tourist season is well and truly over, you need to book caravan parks early, ensuring that you don’t drive ten hours just to find a closed caravan park.
Aussies rarely see snowfalls at any point during the year, though Victoria’s High Country, parts of Tasmania, and the Blue Mountains turn into winter wonderlands. Try skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing around these areas. But make sure you pack for the cold! If you prefer a bit of sun, head to North Queensland or the Northern Territory.
Preparing for cold
While many people worldwide head to warmer climates during winter, taking a trip to the cooler destinations is an excellent chance to see more of the country. However, as Aussies, we’re not used to cold weather. So, you need to prepare yourself and your caravan for the cold.
- Drain the water system: Open all the water taps and tanks and drain the water in your caravan when you’re not using it. While its rare temperatures get below 0 degrees, you don’t want to risk your caravan’s pipes freezing and bursting.
- Stock up on essentials: When traveling in winter, you cannot always control the weather. Make sure you stock up on freshwater (in case the pipes freeze!) and basic food supplies in case you get stuck on a mountain somewhere.
- Insulate against the cold: Most modern caravans have good energy ratings and standard insulation. However, you can add plastic sheeting to existing windows or install curtains for an extra layer of protection from the winter weather.
- Invest in a winter awning: Adding a porch to your caravan will add a lot more living space. However, braving the outside weather may not seem attractive. Winter awnings are made of thick and durable materials to keep you cosy and warm.
What to pack
It may be obvious, but packing warm and waterproof clothing is essential for winter holidays, particularly if you’re heading to caravan parks and camping grounds. Bring jumpers, coats, socks, hats, scarves, and gloves. Consider investing in a winter duvet or thick sleeping bag to keep you warm at night. You might also need snow boots when heading high into the mountains.
Remember that cars and caravans don’t have much storage space, and adding all your winter gear might seem like an inconvenience. However, it’s better to over-prepare for the cold than to find yourself shivering in your summer sleeping bag.
Beyond your own winter clothing, it’s sensible to pack a few supplies in case you’re stranded. Packing a spare battery, for example, could be a lifesaver. It’s incredible how quickly the cold weather can drain your battery.
Storing your caravan over winter
Most of us pack our caravan up for the winter and don’t see it again until the spring. When you get it out during winter for a short getaway, you’ll need to service it, clean it, check the pipes if they are clear and clean out the water container. It’s best to inspect the tires and wheel alignment too before your short getaway. Winter season would be a good time to pay a visit to your local tire dealers and get yourself a winter tire discount.
Also, check your caravan for any new inhabitants. Australia is home to many wild animals and creepy crawlies. Even when you keep your caravan locked up in storage, unwanted pests might still find their way in. After your trip, you’ll need to send it back into its winter home. Ensure you drain the water, disconnect the gas, and lock it up until your next adventure.
The winter weather requires preparation. You’ll need to know just how cold the weather will get. Remember, winter clothing takes up more room, so pack efficiently; and use every nook and cranny in your caravan or vehicle to pack as much as you can.