Best Places To Go Camping In Australia This Summer
There is nothing better than throwing your swag in the back of the car, packing your tent or van, sleeping bags and bikes and head off for a Summer camping trip in Australia. Whether that be a beach holiday, bush, outback or rain forest, below you are going to find some great recommendations from fellow Aussie campers for the camping in Australia this Summer.
Best Camping in South Australia
Port Lincoln in South Australia is around 650km from Adelaide and it makes a great summer seaside camping location.
If you love to camp in a more natural setting there are many campsite options in the national parks and on the beaches around the town, or if you prefer a park with all the facilities, Port Lincoln Caravan Park is the place to set up camp.
Spend your days in Port Lincoln taking advantage of the world class attractions available. Port Lincoln is the only place in Australia that has shark cage diving. The national parks nearby offer pristine coastal scenery, plenty of great hiking and fishing sites. Look out for whales, seals and sea lions that call the local waters home.
Mikkira Station just outside of town is home to a wild koala colony (and another lovely campground) and Whaler’s Way is a stunning drive with incredible scenery. Taste the local wines at the cellar doors, or have them with dinner at one of the great restaurants in town. Spend a day visiting the nearby towns of Coffin Bay – for it’s oysters – and Tumby Bay – for it’s street art.
The best time for your summer visit is in January to coincide with the Tunarama Festival. With food, entertainment and plenty of competitions (including the famous tuna tossing) there’s something for everyone.
Recommended by Josie Wanders
Sun, clean white sand, kayaking, fishing and world class snorkeling. If this is your idea of the perfect summer holiday spot, look no further than Rapid Bay in South Australia.
Rapid Bay is just over a 90 minute drive south of Adelaide. Being on the south coast, you still get those hot Adelaide summer days, but in the afternoon a sea breeze often comes through to cool things down a little.
Rapid Bay is dominated by a 240 metre long jetty. It is a popular fishing spot. There’s an even longer disused jetty alongside it. At the end of the old jetty is one of the best snorkeling and diving spots in South Australia.
If staying closer to shore is more your thing, there’s a safe beach to relax on and lovely clean water to swim in. It is a great kayaking location with lots of caves to explore along the coast.
There is a first come, first serve 50 site campground located at the beach. Fees are collected by the caretaker. There are flushing toilets, BBQ facilities and water available. It is a great family holiday spot!
Recommended by the Curious Campers
Best Camping in Queensland
Tangalooma Wrecks Camping Area, Moreton Island
Located in Moreton Bay, just off the coast of Brisbane is a small sand island, aptly named, Moreton Island. This island is well known for being the site of the famous Tangalooma Shipwrecks, a series of fifteen old dredging ships that were deliberately sunk in the 1960s to create a natural break water and man-made reef.
Fast forward 50 years later and today the wrecks are teeming with reef fish, turtles, reef sharks and the occasional visit from dolphins or whales who enter the bay to ‘rest’. A few hundred yards away, nestled in the beach dunes, is ‘The Wrecks’ campground.
The Wrecks campground is not one of the most ‘equipped’ campsites, but what it lacks in the way of power, it makes up for with other qualities. Such as, the ability to wake up, walk down the beach and go snorkelling amongst a spectacular man-made marine wonderland.
The Wrecks campsite consists of 19 unpowered sites with eco-toilets, cold water showers and fire pits. Tangalooma Resort also has plenty of facilities and is located just a short walk down the beach from the campground.
The best way to get to The Wrecks campsite is via the Micat Passenger and Vehicle ferry which departs from Port of Brisbane. The Micat Ferry docks at the beach just to the north of the Tangalooma Wrecks, allowing 4WD equipped vehicles to drive directly onto the sand and vehicle-less passengers to walk to their campsite.
Whilst there are no bitumen roads on Moreton Island, it’s not essential to have a 4WD as there are several tour operators that offer day tours and activities such as sand boarding on the big dunes, quad-biking, transparent-bottom kayaking around the wrecks, and feeding the dolphins at Tangalooma Island Resort.
Recommended by Fly Stay Luxe
Located off the coast of Queensland, Fraser Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest sand island in the world. It has so much to do! You can go beach driving, relax by the coast, go hiking to Indian head or see one of the island’s unique attractions like the Maheno Shipwreck or Lake Mackenzie.
In our opinion, camping is the best way to experience the island. There are private campsites on the island and public campsites. Queensland Parks vary greatly across the island, with some being particularly threadbare and hard to reach without a 4×4, whereas the private campsites tend to offer more creature comforts.
Since dingos also roam the island you’ll need to consider whether or not to go with a fenced or unfenced campground. If you have little ones we suggest you go fenced.
Cathedrals on Fraser is a good option for camping on Fraser Island. The campsite has dingo deterrent fences and offers treated tap water and other great facilities. Plus, it’s conveniently located just a short drive from Maheno shipwreck and Eli Creek.
Taking the time to camp on the island will give you a chance to get off the beaten path and experience more of what Fraser Island has to offer. We would highly recommend it.
Recommended by Drink Tea & Travel
Sitting just 20 minute boat ride away from Townsville in Queensland, Magnetic Island is the perfect camping getaway.
There are plenty of awesome things to do, from diving shipwrecks, snorkelling hidden trails and spotting koalas in their natural habitat! Learn about the efforts of the island during World War II and swim in one of the many gorgeous bays around the island.
There are two camping accommodation options on Magnetic Island. Choose to either park your vehicle on the mainland and bring your own camping gear to stay at Base or drive over on the ferry and set up your campervan at Bungalow Bay Koala Village. Pick an unpowered or powered site at both campsites.
Base is a hostel with dorms, private rooms and camping sites set on the beachfront. Stay here if you want a party vibe – there are games, competitions and drinks deals most nights so get involved to
meet other travellers!
If you want a more relaxed holiday, surrounded by nature and wildlife, then stay at Bungalow Bay.
Ask the knowledgeable staff about the nearby walking trails, and once the social distancing rules are lifted, you can get to know the local wildlife at the park.
Hire a cute convertible to explore round the perfectly sized island – not too small that you get bored of seeing the same things, but not too big that you miss out on an adventure!
Recommended by Two Tall Travellers
North Stradbroke Island
Adder Rock Campground is the best summer camping ground located at Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island. Affectionately known as “Straddie”, the Island is located to the east of Brisbane, Queensland. There is no connecting bridge to the mainland, so all passenger and vehicle traffic crosses Southern Moreton Bay by ferry. It’s about a 45-minute trip to the Island if you wish to take the family car.
Adder Rock Campground has a great choice of camping options. From unpowered sites with stunning beach views, powered sites, cabins, glamping tents and eco-tents. All within 5 minutes walking distance to the beach. There are modern shared kitchen facilities, shower/toilets and a kids playground.
From the campground, there is adjacent 4WD access to Flinders Beach where visitors can enjoy a drive along this beautiful beach. You don’t need a 4WD to get to and enjoy the Island. All roads are sealed and kept in good condition. Cylinder Beach down the road is a safe, family friendly beach that is patrolled by surf lifesavers throughout the Summer months. If you’re into surfing, then hop over to Main Beach and experience some of the world class breaks near the headland.
There are great eateries such as the Blue Room Café, Whales Way and the Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel. Open most days for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The best experience is an early morning stroll along the headland boardwalk, where whales, turtles and dolphins are regularly seen as they swim past. The only audience you will have is the family of kangaroos that live around the headland.
Recommended by Travellin Lite
Best Camping in Victoria
One of the most popular camping destinations in Victoria is the Grampians National Park. The hub of the Grampians is the township of Halls Gap, located in the Northern Grampians. Halls Gap is surrounded by the rocky mountains and makes a great central location to enjoy your Grampians holiday.
There are four campgrounds in Halls Gap each with something great to offer; Halls Gap Caravan Park, Halls Gap Gardens Caravan Park, Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park, and BIG 4 Halls Gap Holiday Park. there are also loads of free camping locations as well which are very popular for those who are heading to the Grampians for a good dose of nature and the great outdoors.
Our family favourite (also very family friendly) walk in Summer is the Venus Baths Loop, the kids love to splash in the shallows to cool down. This is easily accessed from Halls Gap township by foot. Other popular walks from the township are the Pinnacle and Wonderland.
Camping in Halls Gap allows for easy exploration in the town and easy access to the shops, cafes, pubs, supermarket, playground and local pool (which is lovely in Summer); as well as the popular Coolas ice creamery and Paper Scissors Rock Brewery for a cold beer – the perfect way to end a Summer’s day hiking in the Grampians.
Recommended by Australian Mountains To Sea
Wye River near Lorne on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road is a great spot to set up a summer camping base. Ideally situated at the mouth of the river the campground is flanked by the magnificent rain forest of the Otway Ranges on one side and beach on the other. Suitable for ages and interests, the beach is known for shallow waters as the river meets the sea and easy surf waves perfect for beginners further along the shore. If you’re looking for more of a thrill there are countless surf beaches along this coastline.
You’ll need to book early at the BIG4 Wye River Holiday Park. This campground has both powered and non-powered sites and sells out quickly in the summer months by those who love the relaxed atmosphere close to the waterfalls, beaches and natural wonders of the Great Ocean Road. Alternate lazy days at the beach with exploring and then return to camp for your BBQ dinner or there’s a great local pub with views of the sea.
Recommended by Travel The Great Ocean Road
The delightful seaside village of Queenscliff is the perfect place for a summer camping trip in Australia. Located on the Bellarine Peninsula this tiny hidden gem is a lot like a British seaside resort. It’s much less crowded than other parts of Victoria but it really packs a punch when it comes to things to do. Whether you’re a family travelling with kids, couples or
singles there’s something for everyone.
Here you’ll find historical museums, lighthouses, a fort, galleries and antique stores, markets and beaches. Summer is festival season and the whole region is packed with events from music to food and cultural celebrations. Water lovers can enjoy diving and snorkelling trips with the chance to see dolphins, seals, and sea horses!
There are plenty of accommodation options in Queenscliff but for camping you can’t go past the Big 4 Beacon Resort. The facilities here are outstanding with a kids’ club, go-karts, swimming pool and giant jumping pillow. For the grown-ups there’s a luxury day spa, yoga and pilates classes, and a 24-hour gym. Best of all you can even have a barista-made coffee delivered right to your door. Now that’s my kind of camping!
Best Camping in New South Wales
If you are looking for a great weekend getaway from Sydney, Jervis Bay will be your paradise.
Located a 3-hour drive away from the capital of New South Wales, Jervis Bay home to Hyams Beach, the whitest beach in the world, and two national parks, Booderee and Jervis Bay. This destination is particularly popular in winter for whale watching however, when summer comes around it becomes the perfect place to go to the beach and enjoy a relaxing holiday. If you love walking, you will find many hiking trails in Booderee and the beautiful white sands walk near Huskisson.
Beach lovers will be spoilt for choice! Hyams Beach is a must-do of course but if you’d rather something a bit more secluded, Chinamans beach should be your go to!
When it comes to accommodation in Jervis Bay, the most popular option is renting a holiday house. However, if you want to be closer to nature, camping will be a better option. There are several holiday parks in Callala Beach and great national park campgrounds in Booderee. Green Patch is an amazing option if you want to go camping with kids. The campground is very well looked after and the beach is perfect for families!
Recommended by Bee Loved City
Blue Mountains National Park
Less than an hour west of Sydney CBD you will find the base of the Blue Mountains, a National Park that covers over 11,000 kms square. The natural wonder is filled with epic landscapes that need to be seen to be believed, and with that kind of expanse you know there are going to be some prime locations for camping!
The higher altitude will often mean temperatures cool the higher you go, making it the perfect summer camping destination, and there are even some natural swimming holes to be found if you go exploring on the right track! Being one of the most bush fire prone regions in the world though means a campfire is out.
My favourite campground in the mountains is Murphy’s Glen in Woodford, a lovely little valley with a walk to a small creek. If a tourist park is more your style, check out Katoomba Falls Tourist Park on Cliff Drive, not only is it centrally located near to town, but it is also the starting point for some local walks that include some of the best waterfalls in the Blue Mountains and a sneaky view of the Three Sisters!
Recommended by Globeblogging
When it comes to Mystery Bay, there’s certainly no mystery as to why this is a popular summer camping destination in Australia. Located on the NSW South Coast just 10-minutes drive south of the town of Narooma, Mystery Bay home to one of the few remaining natural campgrounds on the NSW coast.
Combined with the beautiful beach just metres away, not to mention intriguing rocks to explore and even natural rock pools that form at low tide, it’s a beautiful spot to while away the summer days. When you need a break from the beach, head just a few minutes inland to the historic town of Central Tilba, or take a boat trip to Montague Island from Narooma.
The facilities at Mystery Bay Campground are quite basic, with no powered sites, plus only cold showers and long-drop toilets. However, the rates remain quite reasonable, a far cry from the astronomical rates seen up and down the coast during the summer holidays. Even better, if you’re a pet owner and don’t want to leave your pet behind, leashed dogs are welcome all year round, including over the summer holidays.
Just be warned, though, that it’s not possible to book ahead, so make sure you head there early, especially given its remote location (over 3 hours from Canberra and nearly 5 hours from Sydney).
Recommended by Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel
Gerroa is a beautiful coastal town on NSW’s south coast. It takes just over 1 ½ hours from Sydney to get there.
Attractions in the area include Seven Mile Beach. Here, a gentle swimming area has been naturally formed where the river runs into the ocean. This is the perfect area for kids to swim and play. Don’t forget your kite and boogie board as you’ll need these for some beach fun too!
Accommodation can be booked at the Discovery Park on the Crooked River. This park has everything from camping sites to onsite cabins and is the perfect place to stay.
Gerroa is only a small town with minimal amenities, but a little drive to the north is Gerringong and Kiama. There is the Gerringong to Kiama Coastal Walk that you can do if you’re feeling energetic! In Kiama, there is the lighthouse and blowhole to visit. To the south, there is Nowra and Jervis Bay with national parks and other attractions.
Gerroa is the perfect camping spot for a relaxing time away.
Recommended by Frugal Female Abroad
Best Camping in Western Australia
We love camping at Hamelin Bay, in the Margaret River region. When it comes to what there is to love about this site, that is easy to answer – the entire Margaret River region is amazing and at your doorstep! There are wineries, and a growing number of funky laid back breweries, plus the great outdoors!
The Margaret River region is famous for its surf breaks, but the beaches are also gorgeous for long beach walks and there are also plenty of forests as well as cave experiences; in short there are so many things to do in Margaret River.
Located about 3.5 hours south of Perth, and just 15 minutes from the cute town of Augusta, Hamelin Bay is extremely busy in summer, like the rest of the region. We like that the campground is set back from the ocean and protected amongst a Peppermint grove. In general Hamelin Bay is a little less busy than some of the other popular campsites.
And I’ve yet to mention what puts Hamelin Bay on every tourist’s map: The Stingrays! Each day in summer some gorgeous stingrays make a visit to the jetty at Hamelin Bay. If you are staying at the campground it’s convenient to wander up to have a look each morning.
We enjoyed camping at the Hamelin Bay Holiday Park campground.
Recommended by World of Travels with Kids
Monkey Mia is a great camping destination in Western Australia. It’s around a 9-hour drive north of Perth. The RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort offers several different types of camping pitch such as: tent sites, powered and unpowered van sites, beachfront sites, and ensuite sites. They also have hotel and dorm rooms.
Not only is it located in the Shark Bay Heritage Area, but Monkey Mia is a dolphin research centre, where a pod of wild dolphins frequently visit the beach. Three times a day they have a public dolphin feed and educational talk, where you can learn about the dolphins!
As the dolphins are wild, they have complete control over if they want to come up to the beach for the feed. If it’s a particularly busy day, some choose to stay back. The feeds are limited to encourage the dolphins to continue to hunt and not just rely on the hand feeds.
As well as the beach, Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort also has 2 swimming pools, a tennis court, play equipment and more. Pelicans and emus roam around the site too! Nearby is Shell Beach, which is amazing to see, it looks like sand but is actually thousands of tiny shells!
The Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve is 1hour and 30 minutes away and has fossilised marine stromatolites.
Recommended by Between England & Iowa
Best Camping in Northern Territory
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Campground
Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) is in the heart of Australia, as well as the “Belly Button of the Earth”; a trip to the Northern Territory is basically a pilgrimage as the site holds a spiritual status to the natives of the country.
Apart from the giant rock in the red sand desert that is basically known to everyone on earth, there are actually quite a lot to see in so in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. We began our journey from Alice Springs, the nearest, and the third-largest town in the Northern Territory. Explore Uluru – admire this natural wonder and learn everything about its connection with the lives of the aborigines, and then take a hike in Kata Tjuta (Valley of the Winds), and the Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park. Both locations have unique geological features and breath-taking scenery.
While the temperature could be high during the day in Summer, it cools down at night and it’s perfect to set up camp at one of the campgrounds that scattered in the national park, have a barbecue, and stargaze (look for the Southern Cross) while sleeping in a swag.
Recommended by Knycx Journeying
Best Camping in Tasmania
On a peninsula surrounded by water on three sides, lots of natural beauty and a main street that looks like its drawn from the pages of a storybook, Stanley Tasmania is a terrific place for a summer camping holiday. Here you can enjoy water activities swimming, fishing, boating or kayaking at a beach or on the bay. Alternatively climb the famous Nut an ancient volcanic plug with a panoramic views at the top, go four-wheel driving, see the local penguins or just have a meal or drink in one of the cafes, restaurants or the pub.
Stanley has two camping options. The Stanley Tourist Park with all the facilities you’d expect to have in a caravan park with grassy allocated sites and is on the bay.
Stanley Rec Site is a large flat dirt camping area and has no facilities other than access to water and bins. Note there is no toilets, showers or power available. The low-cost option is very popular and is also dog friendly.
Launceston is the nearest main city to Stanley. The drive between the two is 225 kilometres or nearly 3 hours.
Recommended by Our Wayfaring Life