There’s nothing quite like waking up to a chorus of Australian birdsong. Come morning, the choir of native birds ricochets through the forests, bouncing off 500-year-old red gums as the local feathered friends greet each other for the day. Waking up in the middle of nature is easy when you camp in one of The Murray’s many national parks. Let us show you where to set up.
Murray-Sunset National Park
Autumn is the perfect time to visit Murray-Sunset National Park’s wide-open plains, catch a spectacular sunset and enjoy inky night skies, peppered with stars. What’s on the day’s agenda? Snap an Instagram-worthy photo of the pink lakes then pitch a tent and enjoy the remote wilderness of far north-western Victoria.
Gunbower National Park
Bring your tent and kayak to the magnificent red gum and black box forests of Gunbower National Park. Here the trails aren’t just limited to foot – there’s four best explored by oar, including a five-kilometre canoe trail through the wetlands that gets you close enough to take photos of the region’s rare native bird species.
This national park lists more than 50 camping areas, but the most popular spot is the well-maintained Masters Landing campground, offering a little comfort with bathrooms, picnic shelters and an all-important boat ramp.
Barmah National Park
Home to the largest red gum forest in the world, the 500-year-old trees of Barmah National Park soar 30 metres into the sky. It’s worth staying a rustic night or two in the bush to spectate the display of more than 300 native birds, fish and animals that call the forest, wetlands and waterways home. There are dozens of camping areas throughout the park, perfect to pitch a tent beneath the stars. With limited light pollution and milky way season fast approaching in autumn, pack the tripod and practice your Astro photography.
Hattah-Kulkyne National Park
The vibrant freshwater lakes of Hattah-Kulkyne National Park are a bird watcher’s paradise. Visiting in autumn skips the searing summer temperatures, making it easier to sleep well and spend your days exploring the dozens of trails through the 48,000-hectare park. There are two spots to camp – Lake Hattah and Lake Mournpall – both photogenic and home to basic facilities.
Woomargama National Park
Serious bushwalkers and photographers will enjoy the challenge of Woomargama National Park. Here the Hume & Hovell Walking Track is a 426km multi-day trail that follows in the footsteps of Australia’s early explorers. Of course, you can trek parts of the route and use the two campgrounds – Samual Bollard and Tin Mines – as your base. Both offer picnic tables, barbecues, fresh water and toilets.