Top tips for visiting national parks this winter

Top tips for visiting national parks this winter

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 (envi​ron​ment​.sa​.gov​.au)or this list of 28 expe­ri­ences in South Aus­tralia per­fect for win­ter.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living