THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CAMPING IN AUSTRALIA
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CAMPING IN AUSTRALIA
This guide will persuade you that camping in Australia is the best way to experience this incredible country. Whether you plan on caravanning around Australia, looking for a romantic weekend away or backpacking on a budget this guide will cover everything you need to know to make memories as epic as we did. We will cover where and when to camp, tips for free camping in Australia, our top campsites, packing lists and even camping meals. Camping in Australia is one of the best things we have ever done and we want you to experience it too, by the end of this guide you’ll be ready to pack the mossie repellent and throw some snags on the barbie. . . or something like that.
WHY GO CAMPING IN AUSTRALIA?
- Cheaper: Let’s start with the obvious, Australia is expensive but camping in Australia is cheap and often free. Although the equipment can cost a lot initially, in the long run your camping supplies can be used again and again saving you some serious dollar.
- Nature: camping in Australia means you can get closer to some incredible nature. Although at times you may not want to (looking at you snakes) some of the most serene spots are only accessible to campers. We have found koalas above our campervan, pythons in bathrooms and dingos whilst washing the dishes all thanks to camping in Australia.
- Meet the locals: When limited by accommodation such as hostels and hotels you will find you usually end up just meeting other foreigners. When we were camping in Australia, we found it the best way to meet locals as it brought us to unique locations away from the tourist traps. Camping in Australia becomes an addictive cycle – you meet locals in one campsite who recommend another hidden gem or shortcut and so the camping continues.
- Stargazing: Away from the cities and street lights, Australia offers some of the best stargazing spots in the world. Coonabarabran in NSW is the star gazing capital of Australia but other famous spots include Uluru, Perth Observatory and Kangaroo Island.
- Freedom: Whether you’re a backpacker wanting to escape the chaos of hostel life or a couple wanting a romantic escape, camping offers the freedom, peace & quiet that other accommodation simply cannot provide.
WHEN TO GO CAMPING IN AUSTRALIA
We stupidly assumed Australia is hot all year round, so you can imagine our dismay when we arrived in Melbourne in Winter to cold, dark mornings and at times zero degrees. We wanted a refund, this is not the Australia we were expecting.
Pick Your Season
Firstly, when camping in Australia remember it does actually get cold (particularly in the South) and the Seasons are flipped compared to Europe. Summer is December to February, Autumn is March to May, Spring is September to November and the coldest months are June to August which are Winter.
It’s no secret that Australia is an enormous country (nearly the same size as Europe) so this means different parts of the country offer different seasons – just to make it even more confusing.
For example, in the North there are 2 main seasons – wet & dry. In the South, Summers can get hot but there is no wet season as such and more definitive transition seasons. In the north, expect a more tropical climate and try to plan your camping to avoid this as flooding is very likely.
Avoid School Holidays
Camping in Australia is not just popular with tourists, it is massively popular with locals too. So popular in fact that certain National Parks such as Wilson’s Prom in Victoria, have a Ballot scheme for their campsites. For peak seasons such as Easter, Labour Day and Christmas these campsites open a ballot scheme up to a year in advance taking bookings on a first come first served basis. If your dream is to camp in a certain National Park plan around school holidays to avoid the chaos.
Don’t Avoid Public Holidays
One of our favourite memories from camping in Australia was during Australia Day holiday weekend in Byron Bay. We initially wanted to avoid Byron at such a busy time, however found campsites often do incredible deals during public holidays. Our campsite in Byron Bay was 5 nights for the price of 3 and better yet, as it was so busy, we were upgraded to a powered site without extra charge because all non-powered were taken up.
Although public holidays can be busy, it was such a unique atmosphere which felt almost like a music festival. Understandably, not everyone’s cup of tea but the best thing was it only lasted a day or two then it was back to peace and quiet.
WHERE TO GO CAMPING IN AUSTRALIA
As mentioned earlier, whether you are caravanning around Australia or backpacking on a budget the best thing about camping in Australia is that because the country is so big different states feel like different countries. There are eight states and territories with each one offering a very unique experience for campers. As a very general guide this is what to expect and why we recommend camping there.
New South Wales
The most populated Australian state but also one of the best for free camping in Australia as there are so many free camping grounds in NSW. It is also home to Sydney and the campervan haven of Byron Bay. However don’t just stick to these tourist hot spots, there are so many incredible areas to camp in NSW such as Jervis Bay, the stunning Blue Mountains and small coastal towns such as Eden which offers insane whale watching. For the best camping spots NSW head to our section below.
We might be biased because we lived in Melbourne for 6 months but Victoria is our favourite state and not just because of Melbourne. Our favourite memories of camping in Australia were from Victoria, such as the time we drank whisky at sunset with the kindest locals at McLoughlin’s Beach, camping on The Great Ocean Road where we found a koala above our van, taking our campervan on the ferry across to Sorrento and so many more. Whether you want to sample the wine of Yarra Valley, the stunning landscape of Wilsons Prom, the penguins of Phillip Island or hike the incredible Grampian Mountains, you could spend months camping in Victoria and would never get bored (but you might get cold.)
If you are after sunnier climates head to Queensland for some white sand and crystal blue seas. Many people associate Queensland with crocs but there is so much more to this area.
If you fancy adding snorkelling to your camping trip head to Port Douglas for the Great Barrier Reef, Whitsundays for the mind blowing Whitehaven Beach, Green Island for turtle spotting, Bribie Island for the warmest sea we have ever swam in and Noosa for some incredible hikes and surf spots. Just don’t forget your stinger suit.
Other highlights of Queensland include the drive from Cairns to Cape Tribulation, where the reef meets the rainforest and you can find waterfalls at every turn.
Whether you’re caravanning around Australia and enjoy long drives or just really want an escape from civilisation then this is the state for you as Western Australia takes up a third of Australia’s land mass but only 11% of the country’s population. Home to Perth, one of Australia’s most vibrant cities, stunning Rottnest Island where you can selfie with a quokka and camping with the kangaroos at pristine Lucky Bay.
If you drive the entirety of Great Ocean Road you will enter South Australia, home to Adelaide but most importantly, wine country. We camped in Barossa and hired a bike to enjoy as many wineries as possible but with over 50 in the region, we could have happily set up camp permanently. South Australia is also home to stunning Robe and some of the best seafood Australia has to offer. Nothing says camping in Australia like shrimps on the barbie.
We loved every second of our campervan road trip in New Zealand and so many locals told us to head to Tasmania as the landscape is very similar. Expect incredible hikes, delicious seafood and crowd free beaches. Better yet, Tasmania is one of the easiest and most unspoiled places to camp and it is our biggest regret that we did not plan a trip here sooner as ferry tickets were sold out when we wanted to visit. “Tassie” as the locals call it, is one of the main reasons we want to return to Australia, as we have heard nothing but incredible things and camping here is top of our bucketlist.
Australian Capital Territory
Fun Fact – this territory only exists due to Sydney & Melbourne squabbling like siblings over who gets to be Australia’s capital. It is home to Canberra, the country’s capital and to be honest, very little else. It is roughly half way between the two cities but during our time camping in Australia we didn’t have time to squeeze in a visit – let us know if you do.
For one of the most authentic camping experiences in Australia head to Northern Territory. From the vast wilderness, insane stargazing opportunities, quirky capital of Darwin and famous Uluru, it is a dream destination for campers – especially those with a 4 wheel drive. Just ensure to bring plenty insect repellent and don’t pack anything white as friends of ours were finding red dust in their campervan for months afterwards and their belongings were a beautiful rusty tinge.
WHAT TO TAKE CAMPING IN AUSTRALIA
Due to the country’s unique terrain, invasive wildlife and vast landscape camping in Australia requires a very niche packing list. This is our camping checklist for Australia which not only includes what you need to bring but also where to buy it and our top tips for purchasing camping equipment in Australia.
Where To Buy Camping Gear In Australia
- BCF: Stands for Boat Camping and Fishing and they can be found everywhere. Staff were so helpful and gave us excellent tips on how to fit a mosquito net to our campervan.
- Bunnings: DIY style shop, similar to B&Q in the UK. Excellent for camping supplies or if you’re caravanning around Australia as it has a huge selection of outdoors furniture, BBQs, tarpaulins, Gazebos and eskies/cool boxes.
- Camping World / Tentworld: More specific to camping than the stores above, if you’re looking for a more niche item or for an Australian proof tent, this is where to find it.
- Kathmandu: Ideal for all things outdoors including camping stoves, backpacks, tents and clothing.
- Big W / K-Mart: These are budget brand department stores that are very common all over Australia. If you are camping in Australia on a budget, these stores have excellent camping sections offering sleeping bags, cool boxes, camping chairs and more. We purchased our sunshades from here as they were the cheapest, we could find and they were perfect.
- TIP: When camping in Australia, it might not be the best idea to purchase an actual tent from Big W or K-Mart as cheap tents will not keep you dry from Australia’s wet season. Head to Camping World or Kathmandu and ensure your tent is made from water resistant material with a minimum of 3000mm thick.
- Facebook Groups / Gumtree: Why purchase brand new if you’re only camping in Australia for a short amount of time. To avoid the expense, purchase from Facebook Groups or search local Market Places or Gumtree. There are so many campervan groups, hiking groups and backpacker groups with people selling camping equipment super cheap.
Camping Checklist For Australia
Road trips are one of our favourite ways to travel and we have perfected our road trip packing list which you can download for free and use on mobile. In addition to our road trip essentials you may need to add these items to your checklist, depending on your camping style whether you are in a motorhome, tent or caravanning around Australia.
WHAT TO COOK WHEN CAMPING IN AUSTRALIA
Whether its smores under the stars or bacon butties for breakfast, cooking is one of our favourite things about camping in Australia. Lucky for you, we have many guides and top tips to ensure you aren’t limited to boring pasta when camping. We understand you are limited to time, space and equipment so all our camping recipes are quick, cheap and easy.
- If you are on a family camping trip, caravanning around Australia or simply only have one ring to cook on you might appreciate our one pot camping meals.
- Our vegetarian camping recipes include some of our favourite vegetarian dishes.
- If it is your first time camping in Australia, we recommend our cooking in a campervan tips with storage ideas, recipe suggestions and more.
- Finally, if you fancy a giggle or even more camping recipe ideas, we have a whole series of videos on our YouTube. Please be warned these were made after a wine or two in New Zealand and are more funny than factual but you may learn a trick or two.
HOW TO FIND CAMPSITES IN AUSTRALIA
With limited Wi-Fi, endless roads and countless beaches you may feel overwhelmed when planning a route for camping in Australia. Luckily for you these are our 4 tried & tested methods for finding clean and safe campsites and most importantly, how to find the best areas for free camping in Australia.
We have created a more in depth video which explains each of these methods in more detail as well as a few favourite hacks to finding campsites in Australia.
1. Choose A Camping App In Australia
Wiki Camps & Campermate are the most popular camping apps in Australia. Both are very similar but there are unique advantages to both also. Firstly, Campermate is free, Wiki Camps is around AU$7.00. Using GPS (although the maps can also be downloaded offline) both camping apps will show you campsites nearby as well as the cost and reviews for each site. They also show where to find free camping in Australia, public toilets, where to top up water and empty waste water tanks.
2. Ask Locals
Locals know their area best and when we were camping in Australia, we found locals were more than happy to suggest shortcuts, offer hidden gems and share their secret camping spots. One local we met when camping in Victoria even brought over a bottle of whisky, ice and tumblers and helped us plan our route as he was an experienced truck driver. Even by popping in to local coffee shops or chatting with dog walkers you are bound to learn a tip or two about the local area and where your next night’s sleep will be.
If searching for free camping in Australia specifically, we recommend joining these Facebook groups where locals and tourists alike share their favourite spots:
Although camping apps are the easiest way to find camping spots for more recent recommendations, we have found Facebook so valuable especially in backpacker or campervan groups. Simply ask for personal recommendations for a particular area and you will likely have a response in minutes.
From Facebook to an actual book. Internet or phone coverage can be extremely limited when camping in Australia so just in case we recommend keeping one of these books in your car / backpack. Having a book as back up will mean you won’t be stranded should your phone run out of battery or there are no locals nearby to ask.
HOW MUCH DOES CAMPING IN AUSTRALIA COST?
Although we shared ways to find the best free camping in Australia, you will need to pay for campsites if your campervan requires charge or you simply need a hot shower. From the camping apps we shared above, you can filter the cost depending on your budget and campermate even colour codes campsites depending on price.
Generally speaking, we found campsites to be anywhere from $25 – $50 as we were camping in Australia during peak Season (December to February.) From all the paid for campsites we averaged at $40 a night. Nearer major cities or attractions this was understandably more expensive and privately owned campsites (not chains such as Discovery Parks etc) tended to be cheaper.
Here are our top tips to save money whilst camping in Australia:
- Book more than one night: We saved serious dollar in Byron Bay by booking a “5 nights for the price of 3” deal and found these common when camping in Australia
- Book directly with the campsite: On the campsites own website there is often discount codes or special offer pages, we saved upto 20% in some campsites by booking directly, not through a third party.
- Join a loyalty scheme: Through our campervan rental we received a Top Parks & Discovery Parks keyring, this gave us 10% off all of their campsites as well as earn loyalty points & money off local attractions – every penny counts!
- Avoid peak times: Although it was during a public holiday weekend that we scored the Byron Bay deal often peak season (Dec – Feb) and weekends are the most expensive time to go camping in Australia, so to save big bucks avoid these times.
HOW TO STAY COOL WHEN CAMPING IN AUSTRALIA
To be honest it wasn’t the wildlife we feared when camping in Australia, it was the heat. Especially as we were camping in Summer battling high humidity and heatwaves. Luckily for you, we sweated it out and have put together 10 tips for keeping cool when camping in Australia. Although our tips are tailored to our campervan experience, the majority are suitable to tent camping in Australia also and will hopefully help you have a sweat free sleep.
FREE CAMPING IN AUSTRALIA – THE PROS & CONS
Hopefully using our suggestions above, you have found numerous free camping sites in Australia. To us, free camping in Australia is an unmissable experience, however, please do your research and consider our pros and cons below before you embark on a free camping adventure as it might not be for everyone.
Advantages Of Free Camping In Australia
- It’s free: Starting with the obvious, you save money. Although we do recommend purchasing breakfast or a coffee at a local business as a wee thank you to the local community for allowing you to camp for free. This will further heighten the reputation of campers and encourage locals to keep allowing us to camp for free.
- It’s quiet: Camping in the tourist hot spots such as Melbourne, Sydney or Uluru does mean campsites are incredibly crowded. Free camping sites in Australia are often the most peaceful because in many ways only the true adventurer will enjoy them (See cons below.)
- Stars: As free camping sites in Australia are often off the beaten track, this means they are further from cities and civilisation therefor offer the best stargazing spots in the country.
- Wildlife: Less people usually means more wildlife. We have admired skies full of flying foxes in Brisbane, dingos trying to pinch our flip flops in NSW, kangaroos peeping in our windows in the Grampians and koalas chilling above our van on The Great Ocean Road. There is no better feeling than waking up to the birds instead of a bustling city.
Disadvantages Of Free Camping In Australia
- Self-Contained Only: Although this rule was less strict than New Zealand, many free campsites are for self-contained campers only. This means you need your own supply of water and a toilet. Motorhomes, campervans and caravans will require a self-contained certificate to prove to authorities that they have these.
- No Home Comforts: Although we did find some incredible free campsites in Australia with FLUSH toilets, hand soap and even warm showers this is incredibly rare. Free camping in Australia does usually involve drop toilets or no toilet at all (hence self-contained only) and no showers. If you require a mirror in the morning or simply warm water to wash your face, free camping in Australia might not be your thing.
- Humans: To be honest, one of the most frustrating thing about free camping in Australia is other people not respecting the rules. Whether it’s urinating outside, lighting campfires illegally or leaving rubbish sometimes people feel free campsites mean free to act however they please.
- 4-Wheel Drive Roads: It’s inevitable that the best free camping sites in Australia will be found along the toughest roads. The reason these campsites are so unspoiled and quiet is because only the diehard campers make it. So many roads we had to turn back or simply could not attempt as our rental campervan would be prohibited due to insurance reasons, or the corners were simply too narrow for our vehicle. Camping apps such as Campermate & Wikicamps mentioned above are great resources for informing you of the roads leading to free campsites as well reviews of the sites themselves.
BEST FREE CAMPING SITES IN AUSTRALIA
There are so many free camping sites in Australia and we will continue to update this list but during our 2019 road trip, the majority of our camping in Australia was on the East Coast. Below are a few of our favourite free camping sites which we recommend you add to your camping bucket list.
Free Camping Victoria
Free Camping in Victoria could not be easier, there were so many campsites especially if you go inland. Best of all, Victoria is the koala capital of Australia AND is home to a very sociable fairy penguin colony. At times, free camping in Victoria is very basic (literally a layby at the side of the road) but there are also some amazing hidden gems:
- Panmure Camping – You might be surprised to learn there is free camping on The Great Ocean Road and this is the best of the bunch. Panmure is one of those gold dust free camping sites in Australia that offered flush toilets and hand soap. It was also surprisingly quiet considering it was near the road, although it can become busy in peak season so arrive early, around 4pm.
- McLoughlin’s Beach – As mentioned, like all states free camping in Victoria can become crowded as the best free camping sites don’t stay secret for long. McLoughlin’s beach however is a hidden gem which was probably our favourite free camping site in Australia due to the kindest locals we’ve ever met, an insane sunset over the stunning jetty and you guessed it. . . FLUSH toilets.
Free Camping NSW
Free camping in NSW is incredibly popular, as like Victoria there are so many free campsites and the rules are more relaxed about where you can wild camp in comparison to other states. You will be spoiled for choice when free camping in NSW but these are our favourites:
- Ebor Sports & Rec – When searching for free camping areas in NSW, this is a perfect example of why detouring from the coast is an excellent idea. Ebor Sports & Rec is located on the stunning waterfall way which is disturbingly quiet because few campers have time for the detour in land. The location is beautiful and mere minutes from Ebor Falls although being so high it can get chilly (which we were overjoyed about after camping in a heatwave). It receives bonus points because it is a free camping site in Australia with hand soap and flush toilets. *Note not entirely free, it does ask for a donation.
- Bodalla Forest Rest Area – The minute we pulled into Bodalla Forest Rest Area we knew it would be one of our favourite spots for free camping in NSW. The towering trees and designated pitches made it peaceful and private. The only slight disadvantage was the drop toilets, but it is a small price to pay in order to sleep in such beautiful surroundings.
- Culburra Community RV Stop – Although not completely free, it was requested you leave a donation. This was a favourite hidden gem from our time free camping in NSW as there was only us and a friendly family who were living the dream, caravanning around Australia with their children. The sunset here was spectacular and there were even flush toilets which had a phone number you could ring if the standards were not satisfactory. Although a nearby freight train did wake us up in the middle of the night, the spot was otherwise blissfully quiet and definitely one of our favourite free camping sites in Victoria.
- Lake Wallace: Around 1 hour from Sydney is the famous Blue Mountains which are unmissable when visiting Australia. Lake Wallace was one of the best areas for free camping in NSW because it had showers an incredible view and so much space. It was one of the biggest free camping sites in Australia we found and the sunrise here was an incredible start to a day of exploring the Blue Mountains.
Free Camping Sites In Australia National Parks
The National Parks in Australia offer some of the most beautiful free camping sites however, despite them being free you are still required to book. Some have gates with a coded lock and you will only be given access to the code when you book.
The National Parks in Australia also offer very, very cheap camping when free camping grounds are not possible (usually around AU$8.00). Some of these can be booked online, others work on an honesty system. Please do not try and cheat the system and avoid putting your donation in the honesty box as it will result in more and more of these cheap camping grounds in Australia being closed. The fees go to an excellent cause so please pay.
Each National Park has a different booking system and various fees. You can usually book by phone or online. We have heard that due to low staff numbers you might struggle to book over the phone as it can result in frustratingly long queues or at times, no answer at all. Therefor, the best option is to book National Park campsites online at the websites below:
OUR 10 TOP CAMPSITES IN AUSTRALIA
Now that we have covered the best free camping sites in Australia and the super cheap National Park camping grounds, here are our favourite paid for campsites in Australia. The majority are from camping on the East Coast of Australia, however we would love to add to this list so feel free to comment below if you have any favourite campsites, you’d like us to add.
Best Camping Spots NSW
Name: Eden Gateway Holiday Park
Cost: AU$27.00 per night (powered), 10% discount applied
We wished we could have stayed here longer as the staff were so incredibly friendly offering so much recommendations for the area as well as other advice for camping in Australia. It had a beautiful swimming pool which was so refreshing in the heat and it was an enjoyable walk into town. Toilets were a little dated but clean nonetheless and pitches were spacious. A worthy addition to our best camping spots in NSW.
Name: Waves Campground, Crescent Head
Cost: AU$30.00 per night (powered)
Hands down one of the best camping spots in NSW. Not only does it have fire pits, surf lessons and yoga classes but the cutest communal areas for great food and drinks and the beach mere minutes away. For us, it was one of the best camping spots in NSW as we spotted a dingo here and there was even signs in the toilets that a friendly python lived nearby. If that isn’t camping in Australia at it’s finest, I don’t know what is. Although do note, the road in is unsealed and manageable if you take your time. As we mentioned earlier, unfortunately the best camping in Australia is often at the end of the toughest roads.
Name: BIG4 Karuah Jetty Holiday Park
Cost: AU$37.80 per night (powered), 10% discount applied
Although the best camping spots in NSW are usually off the beaten track, this BIG 4 was a surprising favourite. Although it did have great facilities such as a swimming pool, huge pitches, great toilets and friendly staff you’d expect nothing less for AU$40.00 a night. What made it special was the jetty and the beautiful sunset here, it was one of our favourite nights in our campervan and definitely one of the best camping spots in NSW especially if travelling with a family.
Best Camping Spots In Victoria
Name: Mornington Gardens Holiday Village
Cost: AU$41.00 per night (powered)
Although it sounds expensive, this was one of the best camping spots in Victoria and a fabulous price for the location on Mornington Peninsula as well as the excellent facilities. We had a little mix up with our reservation (not the campgrounds fault) and the staff were so helpful and friendly that we cannot recommend it enough. The fact each pitch had hedges around it for extra privacy and small toilet cabins that made our pitch practically ensuite were further reasons this is one of the best camping spots in Victoria.
Name: Kennett River Holiday Park
Cost: AU$36.90 (powered), 10% discount applied
Camping on Great Ocean Road was one of our favourite memories from our time in Australia and Kennett River is the main reason for this. As far as best camping spots in Victoria go, I don’t think you’ll find a more perfect campsite with a beautiful beach at the front and trees filled with wild koalas to the back it was an incredible experience. The facilities were perfect, staff friendly and pitches were surprisingly spacious considering it was a campsite on the Great Ocean Road.
It is possible to park and just do the koala walk next to the campsite but we recommend camping here overnight as it is at sunset when the koalas are most active, we even witnessed one cross the road and one climb down from the tree past our van. It was an unforgettable experience and one of the best camping spots in Australia for tents and vans alike.
Name: Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park
Cost: AU$34.20 per night (powered)
In all honesty, this is not only one of the best camping spots in Victoria but hands down our favourite campsite in Australia. I genuinely do not know where to begin explaining how incredible this campsite is. The location is in the heart of the Grampian Mountains so the views are insane not to mention there are an abundance of friendly kangaroos and beautiful birds.
There were two beautiful swimming pools and toilets so beautiful, they rival hotels we’ve stayed at. The reception even had barista coffee and you could book glamping tents too. We wish all camping in Australia was like this and would return to Halls Gap in a heartbeat.
Best Camping In South Australia
Name: Barossa Valley Discovery Park
Cost: AU$31.51 per night (powered), 20% discount applied
There is probably one reason you are searching for the best camping in South Australia – wine. Barossa valley is the wine capital of Australia and camping here is an ideal way to be in the heart of the wineries. . . or an easy stumble home after a tasting or 10.
We researched the best camping in South Australia for a long time as we had a strict criteria and Barossa Valley Discovery Park ticked every box. Not only was it within walking distance of wineries, but better yet it offered bike hire for AU$40.00 per person per day so we were able to avoid paying for an expensive bus tour and could cycle at our own pace.
The pitch was large and there was also a swimming pool and kids play ground. The staff were not the friendliest to be honest but we had possibly been spoiled with the customer service we’d received thus far camping in Australia.
Name: Southend Sands Caravan Park
Cost: AU$25.00 per night (cash only – powered)
Unlike Barossa Valley Discovery Park, Southend Sands makes it to our best camping in South Australia list for the excellent customer service. The owner was so incredibly friendly offering endless suggestions for things to do in the area and even allowed us to pay the following morning as we had no cash on us at the time. The facilities were basic but the best part was the incredible beach that was mere minutes’ walk away.
From our entire time camping in Australia, our favourite sunset was witnessed here and best of all, we had the entire beach to ourselves. If searching for the best camping in South Australia do not overlook Southend Sands in favour of the bigger parks as this was such a perfect camping spot, we wished we stayed longer.
Best Camping Grounds In Queensland
Name: Ocean Beach Tourist Park
Cost: AU$43.00 per night (powered), AU$10.00 discount applied
One of our favourite sunshine coast camping grounds was Ocean Beach Tourist Park. Although pricey, it is expected when you are camping literally on the beach in Miami, Queensland. Pitches were large and the staff were incredibly friendly. It was also easy to get an Uber into town or walk all along the beautiful beach front to the city.
Name: Jacob Wells Tourist Park
Cost: AU$25.00 per night (powered), AU$10.00 discount applied
Another fabulous sunshine coast camping ground because of the spotless toilets, abundance of wildlife watching and size of pitch. The location was beautiful, they had a fantastic outdoor kitchen as well as being dog friendly which is often rare when camping in Australia.
TOP TIPS FOR CAMPING IN AUSTRALIA
- Wildlife: The main thing you need to be wary of when camping in Australia. Store food correctly to avoid critters invading, read up on the correct first aid prior should any bites occur and never feed any wildlife you find as this can encourage aggressive behaviour.
- Follow Signs: Only camp in designated spots suitable for your camping style. Do not risk free camping in Australia where it says self-contained camping only if you’re not certified as you will incur expensive fines.
- Bush Fires: Unfortunately, these are common due to the heat and controlled fires are also common in certain areas to avoid more devastating bush fires. Only light camp fires where there are designated areas as they can become out of hand incredibly quickly when camping in Australia.
- Water: When free camping in Australia especially, always take enough drinking water. Also check if campsites offer drinking water as we noticed many only have rain water which isn’t always safe to drink. Check for signs that say “potable water” or if it is safe to drink.
- Taking Pets: We were really surprised when camping in Australia how few campsites actually allow pets. This is to protect the nature of the area including birds and to avoid the mess dogs etc can cause. Always check prior to booking a campsite if your furry friends can come along as unfortunately pet friendly campsites are quite rare.
- 4 Wheel Drive: As previously mentioned, particularly with free camping sites in Australia the roads to them are often only suitable for 4 wheel drive. You will not be covered by rental insurance if you take a rental caravan on unsealed roads, not to mention how long emergency vehicles and breakdown vehicle will take to access these roads so only enter them if you are well equipped and experienced to do so.
- Caravan Free Roads: On a similar note, some roads are so narrow and corners so tight that caravans are prohibited entirely. Abide by these rules, again for your safety and others on the road.
- Keep It Clean: Instead of just leaving a campsite as you found it, endeavour to leave it better than you found it. Pick up your 3 for the sea (at least), speak up if you see others being irresponsible, ensure any campfires or cairns left by others are dismantled. Your good example will have a snowball effect on those around you.
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