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Top 10 romantic things we've done while camping

About Kathleen

Having it all and enjoying every minute of it .... mostly

Photographer, traveller, adventurer.

You are never too old to go on an adventure.


Looking for something romantic to do for a long weekend away? Try camping. Seriously!

We’ve just had two long weekends in a row. Well, you did if you took the Monday before Anzac Day off, which I did, because it was my birthday. Thankyou, happy birthday to me!

Seriously, does it get much more romantic than this setting? Picture: Kathleen Swinbourne.

Seriously, does it get much more romantic than this setting? Picture: Kathleen Swinbourne

So what did you do with yours?

If you said, “went camping”, I applaud you. Camping is the most romantic way to spend holidays.

Seriously. Camping is both romantic and sexy.

Did you just have that reaction I see from my family when I say I’m going camping? You know the one – your nose turns up, the corners of your mouth turn down and you get a slight shiver all over your body – as if something particularly bad smelling has wafted past.

Or is that just my friends and family?

Admittedly, I used to have much the same views about camping – it’s uncomfortable and far too close to nature and all those stinging insects, snakes and spiders.

But then I met the huntin’, fishin’, shootin’ and campin' love of my life, and he dragged me kicking and screaming into the Outback in a swag. Now for those of you who haven’t seen one, a swag is a roll of canvas with a thin strip of foam that you sleep on. Ours is one of the luxurious ones with a mesh cover to keep insects out and a canvas top that you can zip up in case of rain – sort of like sleeping in a coffin.

And I – a former 5-stars-all-the-way girl – loved it. Even as ‘a woman of a certain age’ (ahem, 37) with a bad back, that thin strip of foam is comfortable. And there really is nothing to compare with the sheer beauty and romanticism of sleeping under a million stars, with no city lights to dim their beauty.  The Milky Way is something I hadn’t seen since I was a kid, but there it was, a long, thick glittering streak in the sky.

I haven’t looked back since.

For our trip up the Old Telegraph Track to Cape York, we swapped the swag for a roof-top tent (to get us up off the ground and away from crocs).  This had the added benefit of allowing us to lie in bed of a morning with a cup of coffee while watching the sun rise through the gum trees or over the ocean across our ‘balcony’, the roof of the car.

While on the Old Tele Track, we met a couple on their honeymoon. The question they most often got was “why?”  Well, apart from Cape York being one of the most romantic places in the world - where you can watch the sunrise over the ocean and then watch it set over a different ocean the same day, or walk on an isolated tropical beach where few have ever set foot - why camping?

Just imagine, you pull up at a bush camping site, set up your camp (even the most elaborate don’t take that long), sit with a glass of wine and watch the sunset, eat dinner by candlelight, then sit around an open fire looking for shooting stars among the millions in the sky before retiring to a comfortable bed. Who wouldn’t feel romantic?

So I’ve put together a list of the Top 10 romantic things we’ve done while camping. Some of these you can do without camping, but you often have to pay a premium. It’s hard to top the experience of doing them on a budge, and all on the one trip. And often with nobody else around.

Top 10 romantic things we’ve done while camping:

  • Laid in bed with our morning coffee and watched the sunrise through the gum trees off our ‘balcony’;
  • Drunk champagne on the northern-most tip of Australia while watching the sunset over the ocean;
  • Massaged each other’s feet while sharing a mud bath at Eulo;
  • Snuggled by an open fire and watched for shooting stars;
  • Made love and slept under the stars (yes, even in a swag);
  • Canoed through the serene beauty of a gorge that’s millions of years old;
  • Walked hand in hand along a deserted tropical beach that almost nobody else has ever seen;
  •  Sat quietly by a lagoon watching the birds and animals come to feed, drink and play;
  • Swum naked in the crystal clear waters of a waterfall;
  • Bathed in freshly caught rainwater on a deserted beach.
  • So who’s coming camping now? 

  • Read more from solo adventurer Kathleen Swinbourne: Driving through the Simpson Desert
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