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Television / Documentary

Happy Campers

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Proposed Running Time

4 x 30 min episodes


Julianne Deeb


Kylie Bryant

Production Co. & Copyright

Moppet Mode Pty Ltd


HAPPY CAMPERS tells the story of our outdoor life, a surprisingly rich history held deep in the collective and cultural memory. The series explores how Australian camping evolved and constructs a family tree of camping types, branching out in all directions. In each episode we follow a branch of the family tree, exploring the motivations that have sent us into the outdoors and meeting people who are continuing those traditions. From the earliest campers to the generations who followed, their stories are told in the first person by actual historical characters (in their own words, voiced by actors) and contemporary campers.

The Australian qualities we most admire stem from a close association with the outdoors - being laid back, egalitarian, resourceful and adventurous. And although much has changed in the rest of our lives, the essentials of the camping experience have stayed the same - boiling the billy, unrolling a swag and spinning some yarns around the campfire. The abundance of fancy camping gear available indicates that we do want to be outdoors, but the fact that most of it is used within an urban setting, tells a different story- part of us also wants to be home watching TV.

That we love and hate camping (in equal measure) is just one of its many contradictions: it was a necessity and now a choice, a holiday but hard work, it’s temporary yet enduring, primitive but full of gadgetry, a chance to be at one with nature or at its mercy. We clearly have a complicated relationship with camping, and this series shows where that stems from and how the simple act of putting up a tent reconnects us with our history while providing a glimpse into our future relationship with the outdoors.

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