Discover the Best Gold Coast Campgrounds: Your Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Bliss

We can all agree that The Gold Coast is a beautiful slice of Australia, but did you know that the Gold Coast campgrounds are also aplenty? Whether you’re seeking beachfront bliss, tranquil hinterland escapes, or family-friendly fun, we’ve got you covered with this list we curated. That said, here are our top picks:

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National Park Hidden Gem

Discover Lamington

Lamington National Park, part of the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests, is an exceptional camping destination with its ancient trees, stunning waterfalls, and extensive walking tracks. It’s a haven for those looking to immerse themselves in nature.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Access: The park is accessible by both sedan and 4WD, with winding roads leading to the heart of the rainforest.
  • Camping Options: The park offers several camping areas, with options ranging from basic bush campsites to more developed sites near O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat.
  • Prime Time to Visit: Ideal to visit year-round, with cooler weather in winter and lush, green landscapes in summer.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Lamington is a biodiversity hotspot, home to unique wildlife, including rare birds, frogs, and the elusive platypus.
  • Safety First: When exploring the park’s trails, always stay on marked paths and be prepared with adequate water and supplies.
  • Book Ahead: The campgrounds in Lamington National Park are popular, especially during holidays and weekends, so booking in advance is recommended.
  • Activities Galore: Lamington National Park is a paradise for hikers, birdwatchers, and nature photographers, offering a peaceful retreat in one of Australia’s most significant natural areas.

Must-Sees:

  • Tree Top Walkway: Experience the rainforest canopy on O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk.
  • Morans Falls: A stunning waterfall offering spectacular views, especially at sunset.
  • Binna Burra Section: Explore a range of walking tracks that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

The Gold Coast Hinterland, with its lush rainforests and charming rural landscapes, offers a delightful escape from the coastal hustle, perfect for campers and 4WDers seeking a serene and natural getaway.

Nature Lover’s Paradise

Springbrook National Park

Springbrook National Park, nestled in the stunning Gold Coast Hinterland, offers a refreshing escape into nature with its ancient rainforests, spectacular waterfalls, and panoramic views. It’s a top spot for campers and 4WDers keen to explore the natural wonders away from the coastal buzz.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Access: Accessible by both sedan and 4WD, the drive to Springbrook is a scenic journey through lush landscapes.
  • Camping Options: The park offers a few camping areas, with facilities that include toilets and picnic tables. These are ideal for those who enjoy a rustic camping experience amidst nature.
  • Prime Time to Visit: While the park is beautiful year-round, the cooler months (April to September) are ideal for hiking and exploring without the summer heat.
  • Wildlife Encounters: The park is home to a diverse range of bird species and unique wildlife like the elusive nocturnal pademelon.
  • Safety First: Always stick to marked trails when hiking and be prepared for changing weather conditions in the rainforest.
  • Book Ahead: Booking your campsite in advance is recommended due to its popularity, especially during weekends and holidays.
  • Activities Galore: Springbrook National Park is perfect for bushwalking, birdwatching, and enjoying the tranquillity of the ancient rainforest. It’s an ideal getaway for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.

Must-Sees:

  • Natural Bridge: A stunning rock formation with a waterfall that is a must-visit at night for its glow-worm display.
  • Best of All Lookout: Offers breathtaking views stretching beyond Byron Bay on a clear day.
  • Purling Brook Falls: A majestic waterfall with a walking track that takes you to the base.

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Gold Coast Escapes

Hinterlands

The Gold Coast Hinterland, known for its picturesque mountain ranges, lush rainforests, and charming rural towns, is a haven for campers seeking adventure and serenity. The area offers numerous campgrounds, each providing a unique experience amidst its natural splendour.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Access: Easily reached by both sedan and 4WD, the hinterland offers a beautiful drive through diverse landscapes.
  • Camping Options: Campgrounds range from sites with full facilities to more secluded spots for bush camping. There’s something for every style of camper.
  • Prime Time to Visit: The hinterland is a great year-round destination, with cooler summer temperatures and cozy winter campfires.
  • Wildlife Encounters: The area is rich in wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, and a variety of bird species.
  • Safety First: Be mindful of the wildlife, especially when driving at dawn and dusk. Follow all camping and fire safety regulations.
  • Book Ahead: Campsites in the hinterland can get busy, especially during school holidays and long weekends, so booking ahead is advisable.
  • Activities Galore: From hiking and birdwatching to exploring quaint hinterland villages and indulging in local produce, the Gold Coast Hinterland offers diverse activities for all interests.

Must-Sees:

  • Tamborine Mountain: Explore walking tracks, waterfalls, and the famous Tamborine Mountain Skywalk.
  • Lamington National Park: Offering spectacular scenic views, walking tracks, and the O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat.
  • Local Wineries: The hinterland is dotted with charming wineries and gourmet food outlets.

A Secluded Getaway

South Stradbroke Island

South Stradbroke Island, located just off the Gold Coast, is a hidden gem for camping and 4WD enthusiasts. This pristine island offers a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of coastal camping with the convenience of easy access from the mainland.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Access: Accessible by a short ferry ride from the Gold Coast, it’s suitable for both sedans and 4WDs.
  • Camping Options: The island offers a range of camping options, from beachfront campsites to more secluded spots within the native bushland.
  • Prime Time to Visit: South Stradbroke Island is a year-round destination, but the cooler months (May to September) are perfect for comfortable camping and outdoor activities.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Expect encounters with wallabies, kangaroos, and an array of bird species.
  • Safety First: Be mindful of the island’s unique ecosystems and dunes, and follow all camping regulations.
  • Book Ahead: During holidays and weekends, camping spots can fill up quickly, so booking in advance is advisable.
  • Activities Galore: South Stradbroke Island is a paradise for beach lovers, water sports enthusiasts, and nature explorers. Whether you want to relax on the beach or embark on an adventure, this island has it all.

Must-Sees:

  • Sunset on the Beach: South Stradbroke Island offers some of the most spectacular sunsets you’ll ever witness.
  • Dolphin Watching: Keep an eye out for playful dolphins in the waters surrounding the island.
  • Fishing and Water Activities: Enjoy fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding in the calm waters.

All in all, if it’s an escape you seek then look no further than South Stradbroke Island. With its unique attractions and unbeatable atmosphere, it could just give you what exactly you need!

Head out bush

the Scenic Rim

Experience the natural beauty of The Scenic Rim, an awe-inspiring area known for its majestic mountains, lush rainforests, and ancient landforms. It’s a favourite among 4WDers and campers who appreciate the great outdoors.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Access: A bit more rugged, some areas are best reached by 4WD, adding to the adventure.
  • Camping Options: Choose from various campgrounds, each offering a unique experience with basic to moderate facilities.
  • Prime Time to Visit: The cooler months from April to October are ideal for comfortable camping and exploring.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Home to diverse wildlife and breathtaking landscapes, perfect for photography and nature walks.
  • Safety First: Be prepared with adequate supplies and be mindful of changing mountain weather conditions.
  • Book Ahead: Some areas require permits, and booking your campsite in advance is wise, especially during peak season.
  • Activities Galore: Hiking, birdwatching, and stargazing are just a few activities to immerse yourself in nature’s wonders.

Must-Sees:

  • National Parks: Discover the beauty of Lamington, Springbrook, and Tamborine Mountain.
  • Local Towns: Enjoy the charm of small towns like Boonah and Beaudesert with their local crafts and cafes.

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Top Caravan Park

Broadwater Tourist Park

Broadwater Tourist Park, nestled on the beautiful Broadwater in Southport, offers a convenient and family-friendly camping experience right on the doorstep of the Gold Coast’s attractions.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Access: Easily accessible by sedan, it’s the perfect spot for a beachfront camping experience.
  • Camping Options: The park offers a variety of camping sites, including powered sites, and well-maintained facilities.
  • Prime Time to Visit: Any time of the year is great to visit, with the Gold Coast’s mild climate.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Birdwatchers will enjoy spotting the local birdlife in the nearby mangroves.
  • Safety First: Follow park rules and respect the natural surroundings.
  • Book Ahead: Booking your site in advance is recommended due to its popularity, especially during holidays.
  • Activities Galore: Broadwater Tourist Park is an excellent base for exploring the Gold Coast’s attractions, enjoying water activities, and relaxing on the beach.

Must-Sees:

  • Sea World: The park is located close to Sea World, offering family-friendly fun.
  • Surfers Paradise: Explore the vibrant Surfers Paradise and its stunning beach.

FAMILY-friendly camping

Big4 Gold Coast Holiday Park

Tucked away near the vibrant heart of the Gold Coast, the Big 4 Gold Coast Holiday Park is a haven for those seeking excitement and relaxation. It’s an ideal choice for campers looking to combine the thrills of the Gold Coast with the tranquillity of a well-appointed campground.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Access: Conveniently located, the park is easily accessible whether you’re towing a caravan or driving a 2WD sedan.
  • Camping Options: From luxury cabins to grassy tent sites, there’s a variety of options to suit all styles and budgets. The park boasts top-notch facilities, including sparkling pools and modern amenities.
  • Prime Time to Visit: The Gold Coast is stunning year-round, but for the ultimate experience, visit between September and November when the weather is just right.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Wake up to the songs of native birds and enjoy the lush greenery surrounding you.
  • Safety First: Always swim between the flags at nearby beaches.
  • Book Ahead: Popular among both locals and tourists, it’s wise to book your spot in advance, especially during school holidays and major events.
  • Activities Galore: From swimming pools to mini-golf, the park offers a plethora of activities to keep everyone entertained.

Must-Sees:

  • Theme Parks: A stone’s throw from iconic theme parks like Warner Bros. Movie World and Wet’n’Wild.
  • Gold Coast City: Dive into the bustling city life with its famous beaches, shopping, and dining.
  • Natural Wonders: Explore the hinterland with its breathtaking national parks and scenic drives.

PET-friendly camping

Bigriggen Camping

Bigriggen Camping, located in the Scenic Rim region, offers a tranquil camping experience in a serene bushland setting. It’s a favourite among campers seeking a peaceful and pet-friendly environment.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Access: Accessible by sedan, Bigriggen Camping provides a lovely drive through the scenic countryside.
  • Camping Options: The campground offers a range of unpowered and powered sites, along with amenities like hot showers and a camp kitchen.
  • Prime Time to Visit: Visit during the cooler months (April to September) for a pleasant camping experience.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Encounter native wildlife, including wallabies and a variety of bird species.
  • Safety First: Be mindful of the natural surroundings and follow camping regulations.
  • Book Ahead: While it’s generally quieter than coastal campgrounds, booking ahead is still recommended.
  • Activities Galore: Bigriggen Camping is perfect for those seeking a peaceful retreat in a natural setting. It’s an excellent spot for bushwalking, stargazing, and enjoying the tranquillity of the Australian countryside.

Must-Sees:

  • Scenic Rim: Explore the stunning Scenic Rim region, known for its lush landscapes and national parks.
  • Bushwalks: Embark on scenic bushwalks and discover the beauty of the surrounding bushland.

OUR CAMPING BIBLE
Camps Australia Wide Free and Budget Sites
  • Over 6,000 free and low-cost campsites across Australia.
  • Includes national parks, farm stays, and more.
  • Spiral-bound, easy-to-read format with clear maps and symbols.
  • Latest maps, campsites, and dump points.
  • Full-color photos for nearly every site.
  • Trusted by travellers for over 30 years.

Looking for a sneaky discount? Enter the code Save15 to receive 15% off your purchase.

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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 February 2024

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