The Great Escape

Make These Campfire Cocktails Perfect for the Great Outdoors

Happy campers.

Instagram / @home_camp

Grab your swag, a map and a few mates—this is The Great Escape, your modern camper’s guide to getting off-grid under the Southern Cross. Cruise over to the rest of our coverage for stargazing guides, birdwatching tips, and learn how to get the most out of Earth’s best playground with sustainability in mind. Make campfire cocktails, discover how to forage safely, and cook gourmet meals in the wild (because you can do better than baked beans).

Enter here for a chance to win a night away in a tiny house, yurt, or train carriage.

What is a camping trip without some fancy cocktails to drink around the campfire? If you’re not confident behind the bar, the thought of making fancy and delicious cocktails in the wilderness seems daunting. But don’t fear, we’ve got you.

There are many delish cocktails that you can take on the road with you, but we’ve narrowed the list down to our five favourites.

Our advice: stock up on a good quality cooler before your trip, because every great cocktail needs ice. Also, make sure that you have a bit of prep time for each, so you can make sure you have all the correct ingredients and have time to store them well.

Here are five cocktails that you can confidently take into the great outdoors.

Instagram / @thehobbydrinkchef

Negroni

Making your own bottled negronis is super easy. This is always a simple go-to if you want to impress, but are either pressed for time or don’t feel confident in the mixology department.

Depending on how many people you’re catering for, the amount of ingredients will change. To start you off, here is a basic recipe:

Ingredients:
750ml (1x bottle) gin
750ml Campari
750ml sweet vermouth
1 x Orange
Still water

Method:
Add the gin, Campari and sweet vermouth into a mixing jug together. Stir until combined. Add 1 x cup of water and taste. Keep adding water by the 1/2 cup, until the bitterness of the Campari is subtle. Pour into a bottle, seal and store in the fridge.

To serve:
Pour this negroni mixture into a cup with ice and garnish with an orange wedge or peel. You’ll need less ice than usual, because you’ve already diluted the cocktail with water.

Instagram / @karasrumquest

Daiquiri

Daiquiris require lime juice, so there’s a little bit of preparation work to do with this one, but it’s so worth it. There’s nothing quite like a daiquiri in summer, especially by the coast. They’re refreshing and citrusy and thirst-quenchingly delicious.

Here’s how you can effectively impress your friends with daiquiris on the go.

Ingredients:
1 x bag of limes
1 x bottle of white rum (Bacardi is delish)
1/2 cup of white sugar
2 x (500ml minimum) empty bottles
1 x large empty bottle or a bunch of small ones
A cocktail shaker
Bag of ice
Jigger

Prep
Lime juice: Squeeze all the limes and pour the juice into an empty glass bottle. Write the date on a piece of tape and stick to the bottle. Lime juice usually lasts up to a week.
Sugar syrup: Pour 1/2 a cup of caster sugar into a 500ml measuring jug. Fill the jug up with boiling water and mix until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the mixture into a glass bottle and store it in the fridge.

Method:
There’s a few ways you could do this.

  1. If you’re going to the great outdoors with only a few friends, you could take your rum, lime juice and sugar syrup and make the daiquiris as you drink them
  2. If there will be more of you, you could make the daiquiris beforehand and either store them in one big bottle to serve up, or in little bottles for individual serves. Either way, here’s how you make the daiquiris:

Pour 60ml white rum, 30ml lime juice and 10-15ml sugar syrup in a shaker, and shake it good. Strain into your bottle or cup. You can garnish with mint if you have some, but it’s not necessary. Drink pronto.

Instagram / @teddysinthemixx

Dark ‘N’ Stormy

This drink may sound gloomy, but it’s actually super summery and delish. Think dark rum, ginger, mint and lime. V tropical.

This is definitely an easy drink to make in the moment, just pack all your ingredients and store them well and that’s all the prep you’ll need!

Ingredients:
Lots of limes
Ginger ale or beer (the more ginger, the better)
Dark rum
Angostura Bitters
1 x bag of ice
1 x bunch of mint
Jigger

Method:
Pour 60ml of dark rum into a cup over ice. Squeeze half a lime over it a drop in the cup. Top up with ginger beer or ale and put three healthy drops of Angostura bitters on top. Garnish with a fat sprig of mint and the other half of the lime.

Note: Fresh mint makes this drink, so make sure you keep store the mint wrapped up inside a damp tea towel. Mint goes off very easily and it just isn’t as great when it’s limp and brown.

Instagram / @serenagwolf

Wine Spritzer

This is one I learnt about in Italy. It’s the easiest, cheapest and most summery go-to cocktail to take outdoors. They literally serve these everywhere in Europe.

Ingredients:
Cheap white wine of your choice
Soda Water
Lemons
Ice

Method:
Pour about half a glass of wine into your cup. Add ice. Top up with soda water and a lemon wedge. If you want to get creative you can add in some rose petals or strawberries and a cute straw.

Instagram / @donkeys_sv

Michelada

Micheladas are basically a Mexican Bloody Mary. They’re great for a nasty hangover, or in any warm beach setting.

Ingredients:
Beer
Tomato juice
Worcestershire sauce
Limes
Paprika Salt
Tabasco Sauce
Ice
Cocktail Shaker
Jigger

Method:
Michelada’s are best made on the go. First, add a salt rim to your cup of choice. Add 60ml of tomato juice, a whole squeezed lime, a few shakes of tabasco and 15ml of Worcestershire into your cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake. Pour the mixture, ice and all into a cup and top up with beer and a lime wedge.

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The Great Escape

The 19 Best National Parks in Australia

Explore rugged mountain ranges, find secluded white sand beaches, and more.

best national parks australia
Photo: @nathsway

Grab your swag, a map and a few mates—this is The Great Escape, your modern camper’s guide to getting off-grid under the Southern Cross. Cruise over to the rest of our coverage for stargazing guides, birdwatching tips, and learn how to get the most out of Earth’s best playground with sustainability in mind. Make campfire cocktails, discover how to forage safely, and cook gourmet meals in the wild (because you can do better than baked beans).

Enter here for a chance to win a night away in a tiny house, yurt, or train carriage.

Australia has some of the most diverse landscapes in the world. There are ancient gorges occupying dusk red deserts, limestone cliffs outlining sapphire coastlines, and million-year-old rainforests, protecting our most treasured wildlife.

To date, there are more than 600 National Parks in Australia, each unique to its location and array of ecosystems, marine plants, and animals. That means over 28 million hectares of land is designated as national parkland, which accounts for almost 4% of Australia’s land areas.

While you probably won’t be able to tackle all of them in a lifetime, we’ve narrowed down the best ones to add to your next road trip.

best national parks australia
Photo: @helloemilie

Kakadu National Park

Northern Territory
It’s Australia’s biggest national park, covering nearly 20,000 square kilometres, and it’s one of the most magical places in the country. As with any desert landscape, you can watch the scene come alive as the sun rises, but here, you feel alive. From the lush rainforests to the rocky gorges, the swimming pools, and the oldest indigenous rock art in the world, it’s truly a place like no other. Embark on multi-day hikes, learn about the indigenous culture, or simply marvel at the ancient landscape. You can cruise along the Yellow Water Billabong to spot crocodiles and the millions of migratory birds.

best national parks australia
Photo: @megforbesphotography

Dorrigo National Park

New South Wales
Only an hours drive from Coffs Harbour, this national park resembles the set of Avatar more than a park. The World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforest is an adventure lover’s playground, offering waterfall walks, bird watching, varying levels of hiking, suspension bridges, and wildlife encounters. Make your way to the Skywalk lookout for the best views or venture deep in the rainforest to discover rocky caverns and Crystal Shower Falls, which you can walk behind. You can even go for a swim in rainforest pools.

best national parks australia
Photo: @ourwildwandering

Ningaloo Marine Park

Western Australia
Ningaloo Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, offering a slew of outdoor adventures, including swimming with whale sharks. Here, you will find one of the world’s largest aggregations of whale sharks, making it a great place to glide alongside these gentle giants, but also manta rays, turtles and humpback whales. On land, join a guided kayak tour, sleep in a luxe safari camp on the beach, and hike the nearby Cape Range National Park, known for its gorges and rock wallabies.

best national parks australia
Photo: @discoveryguide

Purnululu National Park

Western Australia
350 million years ago, this striking land formed, cultivating a maze of orange and black striped karst sandstone domes. Today, you can visit the domes, get up and close and marvel at the other sculptured rocks, formed by the semi-arid savanna grasslands. Join a guided tour to learn about the area’s Aboriginal heritage, hike into the gigantic Cathedral Gorge, tackle the Piccaninny Creek loop. There are dozens of remote trails to follow here, so get walking.

best national parks australia
Photo: @ingooeland

Mungo National Park

New South Wales
Mungo National Park is best described as Mars in Australia. This extraterrestrial looking landscape is made of ancient sands and is of great significance to the Ngyiampaa Mutthi Mutthi and Southern Paakantyi people. There have been several archaeological finds including Mungo Lady and Mungo man—the world’s oldest human cremations. Erosion has sculpted sand and clay into fragile formations, which are a marvel to see. You can camp here, or simply take the day to wander the sands of time, visit Lake Mungo, or learn about the long history of Aboriginal people and the establishment of the park.

Photo: @oursandyvan

Daintree National Park

Queensland
Growing for more than 180 million years, this rainforest is one of the most extraordinary places on earth. You will find species of flora and fauna, found nowhere else in the world, and feel the ancient energy with every step. Spot crocodiles or go spearfishing, the activities are endless. Visit the spellbinding Mossman Gorge, stay in a luxury lodge and heal in the spa, browse at art, and discover the rainforest at night with a tour that will show you a new side of the rainforest you don’t get to see in the day.

best national parks australia
Photo: @kate.hanton

Grampians National Park

Victoria
This incredible mountain landscape is for food lovers, wine lovers, and adventure seekers. Frequented by rock climbers, the Grampians offer rugged mountainous terrain for hikers, but also vineyards, rocky escarpments, and eco-cabins to bunker down in. It’s also one of the most popular places to see wildflowers in spring. You can taste the region’s wine legacy and indulge in local produce at the many small towns dotted along the landscape.

best national parks australia
Photo: @goshakaalugolla

Blue Mountains National Park

New South Wales
The Blue Mountains are renowned as one of the most spectacular parks in the state, if not the country. The ancient landmass is just under two hours from Sydney, making it a popular weekend destination. Here, visitors can walk along its cliffs, hike the temperate rainforests, explore the valleys and plateaus, chase waterfalls, and swim in spring pools. There are many popular hikes including the Ruined Castle Hike, the Grand Canyon Walk, and the unmissable, Three Sisters formation at Echo Point.

best national parks australia
Photo: @rhaneejayzee

Cooloola National Park

Queensland
Also known as the great sandy national park, Cooloola is made up of massive dunes, towering cliffs of coloured sands and wide ocean beaches, offering some of the clearest waters in Australia. You can venture through forests and paperback swamps, only to find freshwater lakes and turquoise beaches on the other side. Hike to Double Island Point Lighthouse for the views or paddle the Upper Noosa River. If you love being outdoors, this is the park for you.

best national parks australia
Photo:@keiranlusk

Litchfield National Park

Northern Territory
Thundering waterfalls and natural pools await in Litchfield National Park. Only a two-hour drive from Darwin, this park is a popular day trip, for hiking, swimming, and general exploring. Spot the surreal, tombstone like termite mounds dotting the park, swim under a waterfall or sleep in the park at a safari camp. You can also visit historic ruins, and stay for the clearest night sky you will find in the Top End.

best national parks australia
Photo: @racheldebels

Kosciuszko National Park

New South Wales
Also known as the snowy mountains, Kosciuszko National Park is a haven for snow sports, alpine hiking, mountain biking, camping and cave exploring. Climb Australia’s highest mountain, ride the slopes at Perisher or Thredbo, and stay in heritage lodges atop snow-capped peaks. Even when the snow melts, it becomes a popular destination for mountain biking and hiking. You can go 4WDriving in Jindabyne to discover hidden spots you can’t reach with a standard car.

best national parks australia
Photo: @photobohemian

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Northern Territory
Also known as Australia’s red centre, this national park is home to the world’s most famous monolith, Uluru. Rising from the red earth, this impressive ancient wonder is deeply spiritual and sacred to the local Anangu people, who have lived here for more than 22,000 years. You can explore the base and learn about the stories, but be mindful of its sacred status. Nearby, you can stay at a luxury campsite or there are plenty of resorts to choose from. During the day, explore the nearby tracks including The Olgas, or take it up a notch and go camel-back, for the ride of a lifetime. The Field of Light art installation is a must, as is the Sounds of Silence bushtucker dinner, where you will learn about Dreamtime stories under a dark sky and tuck into local bushtucker.

Photo: @joriccioni

Eurobadalla National Park

New South Wales
Situated on the south coast is Eurobodalla National Park, home to some of the best and most dangerous beaches in the state. Most beaches here are not patrolled and are known for their strong rips, so if you do go into the water, be cautious of conditions. You will also find stunning lakes, and plenty of hiking trails to conquer. The Bingi Dreaming Track is a full day hiking on the 13.5km coastal route, tracing the songlines of the Brinja-Yuin people.

best national parks australia
Photo: @deni_cupit

Freycinet National Park

Tasmania
Known as the jewel of Tasmania, Freycinet National Park is a remarkable place where crystal clear waters and curvaceous white sand beaches meet pink granite peaks, through a Jurassic Park-style rainforest. You can hike the ranges, swim at Wineglass Bay, take a boat ride from bay to bay, or camp at a luxury eco-retreat near the village of Coles Bay. The park is 2.5 hours from Launceston, and definitely deserves a few days of exploring.

best national parks australia
Photo: @oliver.whone

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

Tasmania
It’s a mouthful, but this national park has everything you could want and more. Expect dramatic, serrated peaks, glacial-carved lakes, grasslands, and a rainforest. It’s an alpine wilderness, like no other. Partake in the world-class hikes, connect to nature, encounter Tasmania’s unique wildlife, and stay at the stunning Pumphouse Point. You can also join a canyoning tour if you’re a thrill-seeker, or go wildlife spotting after dark.

best national parks australia
Photo: @_markfitz

Whitsunday Islands National Park

Queensland
This national park is a destination in itself. Frequented by visitors from around the world, the Whitsunday Islands offer postcard moments from silica sand beaches, clear waters, fringing reefs, and enchanted forests. You can walk along the swirling sands of Whitehaven Beach, swim with turtles, and hike the headlands for views from above. The best way to soak up the park is by taking to the air, to soar over the iconic reef and wavy sand beaches.

best national parks australia
Photo: @hooltaye_w_podrozy

Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park

South Australia
If you’re a hiker, the Flinders Ranges offers the best multi-day hike you will find. There are over 95,000 hectares to explore, including rugged mountain ranges, peaceful creeks lined with red gums, and dramatic gorges to see. You can camp under the stars, spot native wildlife, and learn about the rich cultural heritage. Of course, if you don’t want to spend the next few days walking the remote land, you can always stop by for the day and go four-wheel driving, or bushwalking.

best national parks australia
Photo: @babs.jojo

Dandenong Ranges National Park

Victoria
The Dandenong Ranges offers outdoor adventures, but also offers a place for families to enjoy. Less rugged than most national parks, this one provides an escape from the city, where you can wander through secret fern glades, towering forests, and eclectic villages. Stumble into Belgrave, and board the steam train that takes you through the Sherbrooke Forest. You can enjoy Devonshire teas, savour fresh-picked berries, and sink into a cosy cafe.

best national parks australia
Photo: @beginningofmay

Nambung National Park

Western Australia
Here is where you will find the amazing Pinnacles Desert, also known for its beautiful beaches at Kangaroo Point and Hangover Bay. It’s only a two-hour drive north of Perth and offers unique natural attractions. The Pinnacles, which were created millions of years ago lends to a landscape resembling mars, more than earth. You can walk around and get up and close to the natural structures, before visiting the nearby beaches, known for top-notch surfing, and bottlenose dolphins.

best national parks australia
Photo: @tribegonetravelling

Coffin Bay National Park

South Australia
Coffin Bay seems to fly under the radar, but is well worth a visit. This remote land is mainly made up of coastal scenery including glassy waters, windswept cliffs, and massive dunes. The waters are still, perfect for wading into. There are camping sites set up all around the park. You can go hiking, kayaking, and four-wheel driving. The best beaches are north, and you can only access them with a 4-WD. The fishing here is also great, given the clear waters and sheltered bays.

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