Daniel Blechynden

First and foremost, I’m a traveller. I’m also a writer, marine scientist, entrepreneur, and long-time nature lover. 

I grew up near Albany, on the south coast of Western Australia. As a child, I was homeschooled. I also lived on a farm. Both of these things allowed me to spend much more time outdoors than your average kids, and from this came the first inklings of wanderlust that plague me today. 

At the moment, you will find me back in Albany after almost a decade of regular travel. But I’ve got a small ute with a rooftop tent that lets my partner and I get away at least a few times a month. 

I also have an old Mitsubishi Express van that I’m planning to convert into a camper before heading off on a new lap around Australia. 

When I’m not travelling, you will usually find me near the ocean - either relaxing in the shade with my laptop or actively enjoying activities like fishing, diving, and surfing. 

My favourite camper ever, a 4wd van. Unfortunately, I had to sell it at the end of a trip in 2019. 

Daniel Recommends: Beach Camping in Australia

My hometown, Albany, sits on some of the most amazing coastline in the world. I’ve visited oceans on 5 continents, and my favourite beaches remain in the areas where I grew up. 

The sheer power of the southern ocean is something that has to be seen to be believed, and the feeling of walking on a wilderness beach with no footprints except your own is just incredible. 

My local beaches often look like this - although this is a particularly calm day! 

After explaining this, I probably don’t need to explain too much about why I love beach camping. For me, parking a van or pitching a tent on the sand is as much the beach as it is the camping experience. There’s nothing quite like falling asleep under the stars with the sound of crashing waves in the background. 

If you haven’t experienced this, you need to. 

But at the same time, note that there aren't a whole lot of beach camping spots in some parts of Australia. Where I’m from, you can find beaches to camp on all the way along the coast. But in a state like New South Wales, beach camping is generally only allowed at marked sites, and you won’t often be able to actually camp on the sand. 

Daniel’s Favourite Australian Adventures

I’ve travelled in nearly 50 countries and spent more nights camping than I can count. But a few of my Australian camping adventures really stand out above the average trip. 

South-Eastern Victoria, 2019

In winter 2019, I decided to spend a couple of months camping in South-Eastern Victoria. For those of you who don’t know, this is a cold, wet, miserable place in the middle of winter, so I’m not sure what was going through my mind here… 

But despite the gloom of bad weather hanging over my head, this was undoubtedly one of the best extended camping trips I’ve been on. From the beauty of Wilson’s Promontory, the wilderness of the 90 Mile Beach, and the endless inland forest tracks, I got to experience it all. 

The highlight of the trip was the incredible and sometimes very remote coastline. 

One of my fondest memories of this trip, and one that sticks in my mind to this day, was sleeping on the 90 Mile Beach. After arriving at a campsite one evening, on a particularly sunny day for the time of year, myself and the friend I was with at the time decided to carry our sleeping bags down to the beach. After noticing a clear absence of mozzies and a wonderful view of the stars, we decided to stay there. 

If you ever get the chance to meander slowly through the wilderness that is Victoria’s SE corner, I’d highly recommend it.

Western Australia’s Coral Coast, 2021 

In early 2021, myself and a group of four friends set off from Albany for a 3-week trip to Exmouth and back. Near Exmouth, you will find the Ningaloo Reef, one of the most pristine coral reefs in the world. We planned to spend some time snorkelling, fishing, and relaxing on the beach. 

After numerous stops at interesting places on the way, we finally made it to Exmouth. And so began 2 of the best weeks of my life. Picture snorkelling with sharks and turtles, camping on remote islands that are only accessible by boat, and experiencing crystal-clear blue waters and perfect temperatures virtually every single day. 

The crystal waters of WA’s coral coast is something everyone needs to experience 

But things only got better. On the road home, I decided to meet up with a different friend, turn around, and head north again. I spent another 2 weeks at Exmouth, before slowly making my way through the Karijini National Park (a must visit!) and up to Karratha.

The entire trip ended up lasting for almost 3 months, rather than the planned 3 weeks.  

The Karijini National Park is an incredible place that just begs to be explored. 

Tasmania, 2013

One of my first large-scale camping trips was around Tasmania in late 2013. I had worked for much of the year with few breaks, and I felt that I deserved a little time off. I flew over with few plans, bought a cheap car and a small two-person tent, and headed off. 

Tasmania is covered in mountains, and you can even hike up one from the capital, Hobart.

The next month was one of pure bliss. Yes, it was cold - Tasmania always is - but the hiking and mountain climbing I experienced was something else. The coastline of Australia’s island state is almost as incredible as it is in the southwest, and the state’s small towns have a surprising amount of things to do. 

After this trip, I headed over to New Zealand, and then to France for the first time - but that’s a whole different story.

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