Camping with Your Dog in Central Australia

Dogs are man's best friend for a variety of reasons. However, you and your pooch may have something else in common aside from what you may already know or think about, like camping in the wild outdoors.

Yes, running free on the outlandish trails and sleeping under the stars is also a favourite activity among dogs, something which they have actually been doing before they were domesticated.

So if you're planning to head on to Central Australia for a great swag camping and outdoor adventure, then be sure to let your pet tag along, as there are a variety of parks and campgrounds where your favourite pets are more than welcome.

Glen Helen Resort

Glen Helen Resort is located in the West MacDonnell Ranges, about an hour away west of Alice Springs. The parks best asset would have to be its location, which very much reflects the true Australian outback's red centre.

The resort has the basic amenities that you will need for a wonderful swag camping experience, and since it's far out of the very populated towns and cities, no smog fills the sky so you can be sure to have a great lovely view of the stars while you camp out at night. There are also many local attractions in the area.

You can take a hike in the different gorges like the Redbank Gorge or the Glen Helen Gorge, or even up to Mt. Sonder where you'll have a fine view of the surrounding areas. You can also take a cool swim in the Finke River and various waterholes near the ridges.

They can even arrange a helicopter tour for you if you want to see Glen Helen from a bird's eye view.

TripAdvisor Review: "Anybody who operates a reasonably remote facility like this would appreciate the difficulties. There did not appear any problems here.

We camped one night in our tent and had dinner in the marvellous outdoor setting overlooking the ridge last month in our Central Desert drive. Well done Glen Helen."

Broome_12 (Perth Australia)

Kings Canyon Resort

This campground is located between Alice Springs and Uluru and provides one of the best outback camping in Central Australia. The campsites are grassy and plenty of shade.

In peak season, you may find a lot of other swag campers in the area, but nonetheless, the place is wide enough to allow you some privacy and peace.

They have various amenities, thus making this resort perfect even for a family swag adventure. The resort also offers various activities like "Under a Desert Moon" for couples who want to experience fine dining in the middle of the outback.

They also rent out bikes and ATVs (quad bikes) for exploring the Red Centre, and if you're looking for a ride that doesn't run on gas, then be sure to ask about their camel rides.

Marvel at this photo of Kings Canyon Gorge, Watarrka National Park, Australia.

 Image from Vinci Liu (

Alice Springs Heritage Park

The heritage park is located south of the town centre in Alice Springs and is the nearest camping site to civilization.

The park has various amenities that should make your swag camping stay convenient and comfortable, like a swimming pool to drench yourself on a hot day. For your dogs, a pet centre is available with a self-service dog wash.

They also have designated areas where you can let your dogs run free and without a leash.

The management is even planning on expanding their people and pet amenities in the next few years, so you can be sure that the park will be better than it is now.

Since it's located near the town centre, it is a great place to start your Central Australia Adventure, venturing out to the more remote parts of the region.

TripAdvisor Review: "Dog owners Haven! Nice young couple owners, hard to find dog-friendly places! The pool is huge and the surroundings are great!

It's a bit rough around the edges but hey you're staying in a caravan park! $15 per night for unpowered camping is hard to beat and I have been here for over a month."

Cameron K

Ayers Rock Resort

Finding Ayers Rock Resort is like finding a 5-star hotel in one of the farthest and remotest regions from Alice Springs - Uluru.

The resort actually has five hotels, but they also have campgrounds for those who are looking to experience swag camping in Central Australia.

You can set up your swags under thriving desert oaks and enjoy a night of peace and relaxing swag camping. The resort also offers various activities and amenities, as well as guided tours in for Ayers Rock and Kings Canyon.

Here's a breathtaking photo of the magnificence of Uluru.

 Image by Thomas Schoch licensed under CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0.

King's Creek Station

King's Creek Station is located near Kings Canyon, and have one of the best swag camping amenities that any caravan and swag camping park can offer.

The swag camping sites are absolutely great, some grassy while others not, but all shaded with the natural trees that grow in the region providing a nice and shady camping spot.

The best part is that the campsites provide wonderful views of the George Gill Range so you get to admire the beautiful outback landscape when you wake up in the morning or when relaxing in the afternoon.

They also offer various activities like camel safaris and quad bike adventures, as well as helicopter tours which offer great views of Central Australia's canyons, craters and amazing rock formations.

Dogs are allowed in the camp but be sure to keep them on a leash at all times so that they won't bother other campers.

TripAdvisor Review: "Absolutely loving staying here. And Charlie the dog has a new besty. The campsites are the best I've ever seen. Spacious, shaded and secluded and each with its own campfire place.

There are several cooking/camp kitchen areas and even a pool. There is a real feeling of being out in the bush. Friendly staff. Even a café and a cute baby camel called snowy.

Excellent toilets etc. the place is immaculately maintained. Gorgeous all around. Just about 30 from Kings Canyon. Great value all round. Had a delicious steak burger for dinner."



Camp Like a Champ Tips

Camping with dogs in central Australia

Image by Msandersmusic on Pixabay

Evidently, there are so many places you could go camping with your loved ones including your furry little friend. And that's great but hang on... Do you really know the insider secrets to camp like a champ? The kind that will elevate your campsite?

Now, listen carefully as we give you some quick tips that you could use right now.


Campng shelter - gazebo

There's more to good shelter than just a big tent. It should be the safest haven in your campground and a comfortable enough shelter even when you're adventuring in the great outdoors.

Therefore, you need to carefully select a campsite. Have these points in mind

  • Survey the landscape and observe neighbouring campsites. You don't want to spend your weekend next to loud neighbours who don't keep camping etiquette  
  •  Look out for dead trees that can fall anytime. Downed limbs and debris are great indicators of lurking trouble.
  • Know where the sun rises from and sets. You wouldn't want trees blocking your sunrise view or you missing a breathtaking sunset.
  • Choose a camping site with some trees. You wanted to be out in the woods, right? Trees are handy when light rain showers fall.
  • As much as you can look for upwind sites. Can you imagine how devastating it would be sucking smoke from your neighbour's fire all night? It pays to know the general wind direction. 


Image by Sorbyphoto on Pixabay 

A camp out calls for a campfire, especially after spending a long day trailing. Nothing can comfort you better than a good campfire. Take note of the following:

Know your burn rate: 12-14 split log sections can cook dinner and fuel your campfire up to midnight. Remember dry woods burn faster than hardwoods. And it's wise to carry extra wood for unforeseen contingencies. Sell the remaining wood to campers as you leave.

Essential tools to use

  • Folding military inspired shovel for moving
  • A poker - just get a handy branch. We know you can't resist making "adjustments" to the campfire all evening long.
  • Fire resistant gloves

Start fire effortlessly

  • Smear cotton ball with petroleum jelly. They make great fire starters. store them in resealable plastic bags for easy access.
  • Light fire the easy with by filling cardboard toilet paper rolls with dryer lint
  • Purchase fire sticks


Cooking food at campsite

Image by LUM3N on Pixabay

Great meals served in nature are the highlight of camping. And you don't have to settle for simple dishes just because you're cooking in the woods. Elevate your camp cuisine in these easy ways:

Prepare a mouthwatering camping menu

  • Go for canned items to boost your meal options
  • Tweak recipes to allow for one pot preparation. Everyone loathes clean up duty
  • Beware of your meals cook time. You may want to stick with quick steps meals when the evening is fun packed

Make meals at home

  • Prepare all the camp ingredients beforehand in the comfort of your home kitchen. Dice, chop, measure, mix all you can in readiness for camp
  • Take notes on the recipes you've adjusted. It will help make your next camp out cooking skills better.
  • Break down the meals into considerable servings and adjust accordingly when the number of people you are serving changes,

 In conclusion

Central Australia is one of the more famous destinations for swag campers and adventurers who are looking to experience the remote outback of the land Down Under.

The red centre offers varied landscapes and surroundings that truly reflect what Central Australia is really about.

Share the exciting experience with your family, friends and even your dogs - and experience great swag camping like nowhere else in the world.

As you head out to the campgrounds remember to get your pooch a dog bed. And definitely your camping gazebo for perfect shelter.

Happy camping!



Originally published: May 2018

Updated September 2018: Added camping tips for a successful camping experience.