10 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Australia

Close your eyes and envision the quintessential Australian holiday. Did you imagine clear skies, stunning coastlines and tanned bodies? Or the sun scorching over the red land with dingoes and kangaroos roaming about? Either way, you likely don’t associate Australia with dreary weather, but it can happen and is especially likely during the summer months in Darwin and northern Queensland. Rain can put a damper on a traveler’s itinerary, especially for those exploring in a campervan, but with a little flexibility and a positive mindset, one can embrace those dreary days and make the most of it!

The availability of the following activities depends on where you are when rain pours in, but keep these ideas in mind in case the weather turns against your favour.

Warning: Exercise extreme caution when driving in the rain. Floods can happen anywhere and roads shut off when conditions become dangerous. Avoid driving in such conditions, if possible.

1. Get cultured at a museum or gallery

Most towns have some kind of a museum or gallery for you to learn, whether it be an opal mining museum in Coober Pedy, the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, or an Aboriginal art gallery (many of them scattered throughout NT). These museums can be a highlight of your time in Australia and you’re guaranteed to learn something.

Tourist information centres sometimes have interesting displays. At the very least, the gregarious volunteers would be more than willing to strike up a conversation with you and boast the best of their neighborhood. CamperMate lists such places of interest in the map, so look out for the purple tags!

2. Have a slow morning tea at a local cafe

Independent cafes rule over franchises in Australia. Sure, you might find a Starbucks or two sprinkled into the big cities, but Aussies tend to prefer the cozy atmosphere of local shops.

Australians take their coffee seriously, especially, Melbournians, so stay a while and savour every sip of strong brew or tea paired with a delightful cake.

3. Check out the local library

If you feel like trip planning or perusing magazines without having to buy a coffee, the local library is the place to do it. You might even discover an interesting new read to add to the list. Some libraries are particularly known for their impressive architecture, such as the Perth City Library and Geelong Library and Heritage Centre. 

4. Read under a shelter

The sounds of raindrops can be meditative. Rest areas and trailheads often have picnic tables or gazebos under shelters, so get comfortable under one and thumb through that book you’ve been meaning to finish. You can often find if a park has a shelter by looking at the icons in CamperMate as well as reading the comments.

5. Rummage through second-hand goods

You never know what treasures you’ll find in an op shop or second-hand bookstore. Each item has a history behind it, making it even more unique. Op shops are also a great way to find a one-of-a-kind souvenir at a bargain while also supporting a good cause.

6. Take a brewery tour

If you’re into beer and your travel mates are of age, sign up for a fun and informative brewery tour to learn about the craft behind the bubbles. The Little Creatures Brewery in Geelong is a bit like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory … but for beer. A true brewery village experience, with a bustling Canteen and the colourful Mystery Lane.

7. Meet your “neighbours”

If you’re parked at a campsite for the day and bored of staying in your vehicle, chances are, fellow travelers are, too. If you catch anybody out, don’t be shy to strike up a conversation. Chatting with new friends can easily make the time pass by quickly. You might end up swapping travel tips, stories, and even some books!

8. Write a letter to a loved one

Who doesn’t love receiving snail mail? Think about someone you miss from home and write them a letter or postcard. They will appreciate it and love hearing about your adventures.

9. Watch a thunderstorm from your campervan

Mother Nature can put on a dazzling show by lighting up the sky and rumbling the Earth. Watching thunderstorms can make one appreciate their surroundings and the moment. Being out in the elements can be dangerous during a thunderstorm, but you are much safer inside a vehicle, so curl up and enjoy the show!

10. Go outside anyway

You won’t melt, after all! If you’re in the north, head into the rainforest for a meditative walk amongst the elements. The earthy scent is delightful to the senses and canopies act as natural umbrellas. Swimming in the ocean or lake can be also exhilarating, given the conditions are safe. Don’t let some rain hold you back from exploring.

The most important thing to do when it rains is to stay flexible and keep a positive attitude! There are plenty of ways to stay entertained and make the most out of your adventures.