20 of the Best Australian Camping Spots

As the sun sets, casting a golden glow over the rugged landscape, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe. Camping Australia, with its expansive wilderness, stunning coastlines, and diverse wildlife, offers an unrivalled experience that captivates adventurers’ hearts worldwide. From the serene beaches of Queensland to the dramatic cliffs of Tasmania, there’s a camping spot for every outdoor enthusiast. So pack your tent, grab your hiking boots, and embark on a captivating journey to discover Australia’s 20 best camping spots.

Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory

Nestled in Australia’s Northern Territory, Kakadu National Park is a stunning and vast wilderness area known for its rich Aboriginal culture, diverse ecosystems, and breathtaking landscapes. Ideal for campers and 4WD adventurers, this World Heritage site offers an unforgettable experience.


Key information:

Access: 4WD vehicles are recommended for optimal exploration, especially for remote areas and during the wet season. Main roads like the Arnhem Highway are accessible by 2WD.
Camping: Various camping options, including managed campgrounds with facilities and bush camping for a more rugged experience, are available. Permits may be required for bush camping.
Best Time to Visit: Dry season (May to October) for easier access and comfortable camping conditions. Wet season (November to April) offers lush landscapes but with limited accessibility.

Activities: Hiking, birdwatching, fishing, and cultural tours.

Wildlife: Home to diverse fauna, including saltwater crocodiles, wallabies, and over 280 bird species.

Safety: Be croc-wise in waterways, adhere to park rules, and always be prepared for remote travel.
Permits: Required for some areas, especially for fishing and off-road driving.

Attractions:

  • Ubirr and Nourlangie Rock: Famous for ancient Aboriginal rock art.
  • Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls: Majestic waterfalls, accessible by 4WD.
  • Yellow Water Billabong: Rich in wildlife, ideal for cruises.

Twin Falls, Kakadu National Park
Location of Kakadu National Park

Grampians National Park, Victoria

As you ascend the peaks of Grampians National Park, Victoria, be prepared for breathtaking views that stretch as far as the eye can see. This park is a paradise for hikers and nature enthusiasts, with its rugged mountain ranges, wildflower-dotted valleys, and cascading waterfalls. Campers can immerse themselves in nature, exploring Aboriginal rock art paintings, spotting native wildlife, and taking a refreshing dip in Mackenzie Falls.

As night falls, return to your campsite, reminisce about the day’s adventures, and let the sounds of nature lull you to sleep.

MacKenzie Falls, Grampians National Park, Victoria

Booderee National Park, New South Wales

Welcome to Booderee National Park in New South Wales, where pristine white sandy beaches meet crystal clear waters. It’s the perfect spot for families and beach lovers, offering a diverse range of activities, from swimming and fishing to bushwalking and birdwatching.

Choose from three stunning campgrounds – Green Patch, Bristol Point, and Cave Beach – each offering a unique camping experience. Whether you’re watching the sunrise over the ocean or falling asleep to the sound of waves, Booderee National Park promises a camping trip you won’t forget.

The view to seaward from Cape St George Light House in the Jervis Bay National Park, NSW, Australia
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Best Beach Camping Destinations

With more than 50,000 kilometres of coastline, Australia is a beach camper’s paradise. The country offers a plethora of idyllic beach camping destinations, where you can pitch your tent on the beach, wake up to the sound of crashing waves, and fall asleep under a starlit sky.

From the picturesque North Stradbroke Island in Queensland, the surfer’s paradise of Johanna Beach on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, to the pristine white sands of Esperance in Western Australia, these beach camping spots offer an unforgettable seaside escape.

Great Ocean Road in Victoria

North Stradbroke Island, Queensland

Imagine waking up to the sound of waves gently lapping against the shore, the salty sea breeze ruffling your hair, and the warm sun peeking over the horizon. This is what awaits you at North Stradbroke Island in Queensland. Known for its stunning coastal views and variety of activities, it offers a picturesque beach camping experience with shady sites, great surf, and easy access to local shops.

What’s more, it’s a fantastic spot for year-round swimming, making it a perfect beach camping destination.

North Stradbroke Island in Queensland

Johanna Beach, Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Nestled along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Johanna Beach is a haven for surfers and nature lovers alike. This popular free camping spot offers rustic facilities, scenic coastal views, and the perfect setting for an authentic beach camping experience. Spend your days catching waves, exploring the rugged coastline, or simply soaking up the sun on the beach.

As night falls, retreat to your campsite, cook up a meal under the stars, and fall asleep to the soothing sound of the ocean, knowing that hot showers await you in the morning.

Johanna Beach, Victoria

Esperance, Western Australia

Experience the untouched beauty of Western Australia at Esperance. Known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and abundant wildlife, Esperance offers a unique blend of adventure and relaxation. Spend your days swimming in the sparkling ocean, exploring the rugged coastal trails, or simply unwinding on the pristine white sands.

As the sun sets, return to your campsite, share stories around the campfire, and fall asleep to the gentle sound of the waves. A camping trip to Esperance is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Kangaroo family in Lucky Bay, Western Australia

Top Free Camping Sites

Who said you have to break the bank to enjoy a memorable camping experience? Australia offers a wealth of free camping sites that are both budget-friendly and located in some of the country’s most stunning landscapes. From the shady spots of Sheepyard Flat in Victoria, the beachfront sites of Shoreline Drive in Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, to the convenient location of Ingar Campground in the Blue Mountains, these free camping spots offer the perfect opportunity to connect with nature without the hefty price tag.

Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a longer stay, these free nights are for you.

Sheepyard Flat, Howqua Hills, Victoria

Nestled in a beautiful valley beside the Howqua River, Sheepyard Flat in Victoria offers a free camping experience that’s simply out of this world. With plenty of shade, swimming and fishing spots, and an abundance of wildlife, it’s no wonder this spot is a favourite among campers.

As the sun sets, gather around the campfire, share stories of the day’s adventures, and watch as the stars begin to twinkle in the clear night sky. A camping trip to Sheepyard Flat is sure to be a memorable one.

Howqua River, Sheepyard Flat. Image credit: Victoria’s High Country

Shoreline Drive, Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, Victoria

Imagine stepping out of your tent, feeling the cool sand beneath your feet, and watching as the sun paints the sky in shades of pink and orange. This is what awaits you at Shoreline Drive in Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, Victoria. Offering free beach camping on a first-come, first-served basis, this spot is a favourite among beach lovers.

Easy access to the beach and frequent dolphin sightings makes it the perfect place to unwind and reconnect with nature.

Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, Victoria. Image credit: Parks Victoria

Ingar Campground, Blue Mountains, New South Wales

If you’re looking for a free camping spot just a stone’s throw away from Sydney, Ingar Campground in the Blue Mountains is the place to be. Offering a tranquil setting amidst lush greenery and serene waters, it’s the perfect spot for a weekend getaway. Spend your days exploring the many walking trails, taking a refreshing dip in the water, or simply relaxing at your campsite.

As night falls, gather around the campfire and fall asleep under a blanket of stars. Enjoy the peace and quiet of the bush, and wake up to the sound of birdsong.

Ingar Campground in the Blue Mountains. Image credit: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
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Family-Friendly Camping Spots

Camping is a great way to create lasting memories with your family. Australia offers a wealth of family-friendly camping spots that provide not only beautiful surroundings, but also a range of activities and amenities for all ages. Whether it’s the modern facilities and picturesque beaches of Tidal River in Wilsons Promontory, Victoria, the fishing hotspot of Killarney Beach, or the year-round fun at Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park in Grampians National Park, these spots are sure to keep the whole family entertained.

From the stunning views of the Great Ocean Road to the rugged beauty of the Outback.

Tidal River, Wilsons Promontory, Victoria

If you’re looking for a family-friendly camping spot with a little bit of everything, the Tidal River in Wilsons Promontory, Victoria, is the perfect choice. With its modern amenities, scenic walking trails, and picturesque beaches, it’s an ideal location for families to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities.

Whether you’re building sandcastles on the beach, exploring the many walking trails, or simply enjoying the stunning sunset views, the Tidal River promises a fun and relaxing camping experience for the whole family.

Tidal River in Wilsons Promontory, Victoria

Killarney Beach, Killarney, Victoria

Imagine waking up to the sound of waves crashing on the shore and the smell of salt in the air. This is just a glimpse of what awaits you at Killarney Beach in Victoria. Killarney Beach is a popular spot for family camping trips, offering picturesque views, ample fishing opportunities, and pet-friendly amenities.

Spend your days fishing, exploring the area, or simply relaxing on the beach. As the sun sets, gather around the campfire and enjoy the star-studded sky – the perfect end to a fun-filled day.

Killarney Beach in Victoria

Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park, Grampians National Park, Victoria

Nestled in the heart of Grampians National Park, Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park offers a unique blend of adventure and relaxation, making it a perfect choice for a family camping trip. With its outdoor heated pool, trampolines, playground, and seasonal ice cream kart, there’s never a dull moment.

When you’re ready for adventure, explore the park’s numerous hiking trails or try rock climbing. As the day winds down, gather around the campfire, roast some marshmallows, and indulge in some good old-fashioned family fun.

Image: Halls Gap Lakeside Park

Unique Camping Experiences

For those seeking a camping experience with a twist, Australia offers an array of unique options. Whether it’s luxury glamping under the stars at Paperbark Camp in Jervis Bay, ACT, a thrilling hiking adventure along the Three Capes Track in Tasmania, or a luxurious retreat at Nightfall Wilderness Camp in Lamington National Park, Queensland, these unique camping experiences are sure to provide a memorable escape from the everyday.

From the comfort of a luxury tent to the thrill of a challenging hike, these tent camping experiences are exceptional.

Glamping at Paperbark Camp, Jervis Bay, ACT

Luxury meets nature at Paperbark Camp in Jervis Bay, ACT, where glamping takes centre stage. Nestled amongst the eucalyptus trees and overlooking the tranquil waters of Currambene Creek, this camp offers deluxe safari tents complete with open-air ensuites.

Whether you’re canoeing on the creek, exploring the surrounding wilderness, or simply relaxing in your private outdoor bathtub, Paperbark Camp offers a glamping experience like no other.

Image: Paperbark Camp

Three Capes Track, Tasmania

The Three Capes Track in Tasmania is a must for those seeking a challenge. This 48km walking experience takes you along the stunning southeast coast, offering breathtaking views and an unforgettable journey. With shared dorm eco cabins along the way, you can take the time to truly immerse yourself in the spectacular landscape.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice adventurer, the Three Capes Track offers a camping experience that is both challenging and rewarding.

Three Capes Track at Fortescue Bay, Tasmania

Nightfall Wilderness Camp, Lamington National Park, Queensland

Unwind in the lap of luxury at Nightfall Wilderness Camp in Lamington National Park, Queensland. This exclusive glamping retreat offers stylishly appointed tents complete with plush beds, private bathrooms, and a range of amenities. Spend your days exploring the breathtaking wilderness, challenging yourself with adventurous hikes, or simply relaxing with a soothing facial.

As the sun sets, dine under the stars and soak up the tranquillity of the natural surroundings. Nightfall Wilderness Camp offers a unique blend of adventure and luxury, creating a camping experience you won’t soon forget.

Image: Nightfall Wilderness Camp

Tips for a Successful Camping Trip

An unforgettable camping trip involves more than just choosing the perfect spot. It requires careful planning, respect for nature, and an emphasis on safety. From researching the facilities and climate of your chosen campsite to packing the right gear and adhering to park guidelines, these tips will ensure you’re well-prepared for your adventure.

Before you set off, make sure you’ve done your research. Check the campsite.

Planning and Preparation

Planning and preparation are vital for a successful camping trip. Research the campsite facilities, check the weather forecast, and create a checklist of necessary camping gear. You’ll want to bring essentials like shelter, sleeping bags, cooking supplies, appropriate clothing, and personal items like insect repellent, sunscreen, and a first aid kit.

Remember, preparation is key to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable camping experience.

We’ve created a list of the top ten camping essentials here.

Respect the Environment

As you immerse yourself in Australia’s stunning landscapes, it’s important to remember the principle of ‘leave no trace’. Respect the environment by sticking to marked trails, disposing of waste responsibly, and leaving plants and wildlife undisturbed.

By being mindful of your impact, you can help preserve Australia’s natural beauty for future generations to enjoy.

Safety First

Safety should always come first when camping. Be aware of potential hazards, from changing weather conditions to local wildlife, and ensure you have a well-stocked first aid kit.

Always inform someone of your travel plans and make sure to follow the rules and regulations of the campsite. Remember, a safe camping trip is a successful camping trip.

Summary

From the majestic peaks of the Grampians to the crystal-clear waters of Esperance, Australia offers a camping experience like no other. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer, a family seeking a fun-filled holiday, or a couple in search of a luxurious retreat, there’s a camping spot for you. With careful planning, respect for the environment, and a focus on safety, you’re sure to create lasting memories that you’ll cherish long after the campfire has gone out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you free camp around Australia?

You can camp for free in many areas around Australia, such as roadside rest stops and community campsites, as long as you check for signage that allows overnight stays.

However, most campgrounds require a fee between $10-$20 per person.

What is camping like in Australia?

Camping in Australia is easy, fun and unforgettable. With stunning locations all around the country, you can find incredible places to pitch your tent or glamp. A camper’s dream awaits!

From the Outback to the coast, there are plenty of places to explore. You’ll find it whether you’re looking for a secluded or quiet spot to relax.

How long can you free camp Australia?

You can free camp in Australia for up to 24 hours at community campsites and roadside rest areas, as long as you’re not setting up a camp.

However, you must follow the local council or land manager’s rules and leave the area clean and tidy.

Where is the best to camp?

NSW is home to some of the world’s best camping spots, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers. Pack your tent and explore the beauty of Australia!

What are some of the best national park campsites in Australia?

Kakadu, Grampians and Booderee National Parks are some of Australia’s best places to camp, providing unforgettable experiences for nature lovers.

These parks offer a range of activities, from bushwalking and birdwatching to swimming and fishing. There are also plenty of opportunities to spot native wildlife, such as kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and emus.


MEET THE WORD-SLINGER

G’day, I’m Stacey, CAW4D wifey, author of all our CA4WD blogs, and builder of all things website-ey. When I’m not writing about our family’s camping adventures, you’ll find me kicking around on social media with the incredible camping and 4wd community we’ve built.

Ohhh, and sometimes, you may find me doing ‘actual work’…which, ironically, is very similar to what I do ’round these parts – marketing. You can find more of my pen-pedalling atrocities here.

In the meantime, kick back, grab a coldie, and check out some more cool camping content I’ve put together for you here. Cheers.

Wanna hear about a tale about an emergency dunny roll and the Mundi Mundi Bash? Read it here.

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23 July 2023

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We’re Stacey and Lee, the creators of Camping and 4wd Downunder. We wanted to create a space to connect with other camping and 4wd enthusiasts who love nothing more than to leave the chaotic, noisy world behind and escape to the bush. If you’ve landed on this website, our guess is you’re one of those people. Our people. Welcome.

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