If you are traveling or planning to travel around Australia, an extremely reliable, often overlooked and great budget option for accommodation are the local caravan parks. I would be so bold as to say 95% of Australian towns have a local caravan park. I know many of you are groaning with visions of hippies in combi vans in a run down circle- but fear not! The parks I have stayed at have all been well run, clean, organized, and come fully loaded with amenities.
Accommodation options: The Parks I have stayed at have featured, most importantly for those of you non campers, Cabins or stationary caravans. These often times are far better than a motel room- they usually have more than one bedroom- accommodating large groups, a bathroom, sitting area, kitchen and a fridge. I have experienced prices from $65- $85. They also offer the namesake- Caravan or Winnebago style sites- that come with power and water for around the $25-$35 range, and finally the trusty tent sites with and without power- $8-$18 ish. If you are traveling during popular events without having booked accommodation in advance- the tent sites can be a god send! Cheap and there always seems to be room for one more.
The kitchens: have featured the very popular Aussie Gas Grill, communal fridges and a washing up area. If you are going to use the grill make sure you are prepared to clean it afterwards. These are a flat grill type of cooking surface- the grease hangs around if you don’t clean up after yourself. This will not endear you to your neighbors. A wet kitchen type towel, some water and a pair of tongs does wonders. Sponges will melt.
Laundry: The laundry facilities tend to be coin operated and offer lines for drying your clothes the natural and environmentally friendly way. If you MUST dry your clothes- you might have to find a Laundromat.
Other stuff: pools, mini golf, video game rooms, internet cafes, grocery marts, sporting areas, tours, and all kinds of things are available. Almost as good as most hostels, the park owners or office attendants are usually happy to help provide tourist information and help make arrangements.
Save your self some money and stay in a relaxed caravan park! You might even see a Kangaroo!