River murray camping title large
River murray camping title large

Top tips for visiting national parks this winter

04 Jun. 2024 4 min read

Exploring a national park in winter can be a magical experience but before you go, check out our handy hints to get the best out of your visit.

Top tips for visiting national parks this winter

National parks in winter offer a diverse range of adventure opportunities, like cooking over a crackling campfire, breathtaking stargazing and spotting unique flora and fauna.

Whether you’re looking for some tips on how to pack for cold-weather camping, what to wear to walk in cold weather or the best places to camp in winter in South Australia, we’ve got you covered!

Check out these top tips to make the most of your visit:

1. Check the weather

Before heading out, always check the weather forecast. Winter conditions can change rapidly, so it's essential to be prepared for cold, wind or rain. As the Swedes say “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes!”

2. Dress in layers

Wear multiple layers of clothing to stay warm and dry. Start with moisture-wicking base layers, add insulating layers like fleece, and top it off with a waterproof and windproof outer layer. Don’t forget your feet and head – waterproof shoes, warm socks and a beanie will help you stay warm if it’s cold and wet!

3. Stay on marked trails

Stick to designated paths to avoid getting lost and to protect the park's natural environment. Wind or storm damage can obscure trails, so use a map or GPS to navigate.

Did you know that you can download PDF mapsfor most of our national parks straight from your phone? All you need to do is download the free Avenza PDF Map app, find the park you’re looking for and install the map on your phone. When you’re in signal, the maps will work with your device’s built-in gps, but you can use them offline too!

4. Know your limits

When heading out in winter, make sure you’re planning activity levels to suit your fitness and capabilities. Read up on the latest safety advice here in case there is ever an emergency. Are you travelling with children? We have some great ideas on how to have a fun camping trip with kids!

5. Know the park rules

Familiarise yourself with the park's winter rules and regulations. Some areas may be closed or have restricted access during winter months – and not all parks allow campfires. To check, head to the National Parks and Wildlife Service website and Find a Park before you leave.


Top tips for visiting national parks this winter

6. Respect wildlife

Winter can be a challenging time for wildlife. Observe animals from a distance, do not feed them, and avoid interrupting their natural behaviour. You’ll be rewarded with spectacular and unique wildlife over the winter months, such as whale migrations and the incredible cuttlefish breeding season.

Top tip: Check out our top spots for whale watching in South Australia.

7. Stay hydrated and bring snacks

Even in cold weather, it's crucial to stay hydrated. If you’re heading out on a long walk or hike, carry a water and bring high-energy snacks to keep your energy levels up.

8. Inform someone of your plans

Let a friend or family member know your itinerary and expected return time. This is vital in case of an emergency – and it’s always great to show off your incredible pictures with someone!

9. Leave no trace

Pack out all your rubbish and leave the park as you found it. It’s important we keep our national parks clean and tidy for all to enjoy.

10. Enjoy the silence

Winter offers a serene and quieter experience in national parks. Take the time to enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of the winter landscape. Spending time in nature is a great way to ward off the winter blues and evidence shows that spending time in the great outdoors can help reduce your stress levels, improve your concentration and generally help you to feel happier. If you’re looking for some other ways to boost your wellbeing this winter, check out these top tips for looking after your mental and physical health.

By following these tips, you can enjoy the magic of winter adventures in South Australia's stunning national parks. Happy exploring!

Wondering where to explore? Check out these 5 perfect national parks for a winter escape in South Australia (environment.sa.gov.au)or this list of 28 experiences in South Australia perfect for winter.

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