Australia is a vast and beautiful country with many outstanding places to set your camp. Read about our best camping spots in Australia that take your breath away.
From the red outback deserts, through the rainforest wilderness to wonderful white sand beaches and azure waters of mainland Australia. We have seen many of them and some are truly magical.
Take a road trip, see them and let us know if you enjoyed them as much as we did.
Recently, while going to Cape York, we discovered some hidden places that not many, even experienced campers know so read on to find out where they are.
#1 Punsand Bay, QLD
Punsand Bay is the ultimate base for any Cape York adventurer. It is located at a perfect distance to ‘The Tip’, only 5 km away. You cannot camp more Northway than in Punsand Bay.
Why is it so special?
Camping also provides a fully licensed restaurant (the only one on the tip) and camping ground with many beachfront sites where you can admire sunrise out of the Coral Sea. The beach is wide and golden with turquoise waters of the Arafura Sea.
You can also choose to stay in one of the beachfront cabins, safari tents, or airconditioned rooms. Here you can also book a tour or scenic flight.
The best time in Punsand Bay are evenings when you grab your drink and a firewood pizza (the best we’ve ever eaten), sit on the beach and enjoy the sunset.
Book your stay in Punsand Bay at least 4 months ahead to avoid disappointment.
#2 Lync Haven Rainforest Retreat – Daintree NP, QLD
If you want to fully explore Daintree National Park, the best way to do it is to sleep in one of the retreats or lodges. There is a good chance that one day you can spot a cassowary on a walk or even right on the campground as sometimes they come out of the rainforest.
Lync Haven Rainforest Retreat is a huge property situated in the tropical Daintree rainforest. You can choose between air-conditioned rooms or huge camping ground.
In addition, you can get up close with kangaroos, swamp wallabies, parrots, snakes, frogs, lizards, and a crocodile.
Lync Haven is a good base when going hiking or exploring beaches. Behind the main area, there are a few short rainforest walks. Take one, stay quiet and you may spot a cassowary.
#3 Discovery Parks – Lake Hume, NSW
Lake Hume was always our long weekend escape when we lived in Melbourne. The caravan park is located on the hill at Lake Hume, next to Hume Dam.
The scenery over the lake is beautiful. Due to the park location, you camp right on the edge of Victoria and New South Wales. The boundary between these two states is in the middle of Lake Hume.
The Discovery Parks caravan park offers various accommodations including cabins and powered/unpowered camping sites. There is a seasonal swimming pool and a jumping pillow for kids.
It is possible to go on a walk to Hume Dam, wander along the lake shoreline or try some water sports.
#4 Denham Seaside Caravan Park, WA
Denham Seaside Caravan Park is located on the western shoreline of the Francois Peron Peninsula with stunning views of Shark Bay.
Shark Bay was awarded a World Heritage Area as it contains unique science plant species, 5 endangered Australian mammals, and 35 % of Australian bird species plus abundant marine flora and fauna.
Denham is a perfect base to explore all Shark Bay attractions: Monkey Mia dolphins (25 km), Shell Beach (45 km), Hamelin Pool Stromatolites (106 km), Shark Bay World Heritage Discovery and Visitor Centre (Denham), Ocean Park Aquarium (10 km) or Cape Peron (54 km).
#5 Gumbanan Campground – Dampier Peninsula, WA
Gumbanan Campground still remains in our memory as the best campground we visited so far. It is located at the end of Dampier Peninsula, 1.5 km from One Arm Point. The campground is owned by the Davey Aboriginal Family whose culture and traditions are an integral part of this place.
All sites are located on the small cliff right at the shoreline, where you can admire amazing sunrises.
There is an artificial, hand-made pool where locals trap fish or other marine creatures. Due to very high tide (11 meters), the water covers that pool on a high tide and when water goes away, the pool walls trap the fish inside.
When we stayed in Gumbanan, two Aboriginal women, came by with spears full of trevallies. They asked if we want some. Obviously, we did not say ‘no’.
Right at the campground, you can also book your cultural tour with the Davey family to learn more about this remote, pristine location.
Gumbanan Campground is a special place and we recommend it to anyone visiting Broome.
#6 Seven Emu Station, NT
If you want to experience a true outback, Aboriginal culture, and camp next to the Robinson River with saltwater crocodiles, you must visit Seven Emu Station in Northern Territory.
The station is owned by Frank Shadforth and his property is huge. There is a variety of things to do there like fishing, boating, 4WD, birdwatching or even getting an Aboriginal, cultural tour. It is even possible to drive from Seven Emu to the Robinson River estuary at the Arafura Sea.
The campsites are the authentic stockmen creations with good shade, fire pits, toilets, and showers heated by a ‘donkey’. Each campsite is located far apart to ensure privacy.
The view of saltwater crocodiles swimming in the below Robinson River is one of a kind.
#7 Mataranka Homstead, NT
Here we are cheating a bit, as you don’t really have this view in Mataranka Homestead. The well-known Mataranka Hot Springs are located inside the Elsey National Park which is 50 meters walk from the campground.
We listed Mataranka Hot Springs here as this is our 2nd favourite spot that we visit almost every year. Here the water temperature is 32 degrees and it is crystal clear.
You can really unwind in Mataranka due to its lazy outback atmosphere where you visit the hot springs three times a day and in the evening enjoy a tasty dinner and live music.
#8 Eungella National Park, QLD
Eungella National Park is a very special place where it is almost guaranteed to spot a platypus. If you failed to see one in the past visit Eungella, go on a hike, stay quiet, and you won’t be disappointed.
You can choose to stay in one of the national park campsites (image below) or award yourself a bit of luxury in Broken River Mountain Resort.
If you choose camping you won’t be disappointed. The sites are big and with fire pits located in the rainforest, beside the Broken River.
In Broken River Mountain Resort you find cabin and lodges accommodation, a restaurant, and a swimming pool. All guests have also a complimentary spotlight tour.
#9 Strahan Beach Tourist Park, TAS
Strahan Beach Tourist Park is a great base for your local attractions that include West Coast Wilderness Railway, Yacht Charters, Gangplank Expeditions, World Heritage Cruises (Sarah Island, Hells Gate, and Gordon River), and Ship That Never Was (daily performance at the Strahan Amphitheatre).
It is a family-friendly, affordable caravan park located 50 meters from the Long Bay shoreline. They offer cabins, powered and unpowered sites. It is a walking distance of the water where you can enjoy amazing views.
#10 Lake Nappanerica Simpson Desert, QLD
There is no trip to the Big Red in the Simpson Desert without staying a night at Lake Nappanerica. We had this chance on the way back from Poeppel Corner while attending the Nissan’s 50th Anniversary of crossing the Simpson Desert.
While the temperatures in July at night are not very encouraging (can drop below zero), the views are stunning.
There is no real campground there. Just a dedicated camping spot where campers stay on the way in or out from the Simpson Desert. Trips like this are where you enjoy full freedom.
#11 Wujal Wujal, QLD
This hidden camping spot is not easy to find. It is located on the Bloomfield track, on the way from Daintree to Wujal Wujal Aboriginal town.
Coming from Cape Tribulation, the campsite is located 9 km before Wujal Wujal. You have to pass a solid, stone bridge, and right after, on the left, there is a turn leading to the campsite that is located at the Woobadda Creek.
The short, 50-meter track splits to the left and right. The left side suits only cars, and you won’t be able to turn around with a trailer. The right track leads to the river rocky beach.
Before the riverbank, also on the left, you have a nice big camping site as well, the only one that fits a trailer. However, due to it being placed at an angle, you have to drive straight and reverse to it. Going out you have to repeat the maneuver.
We stayed there with a camper trailer and we did not have any problems getting out. The best you can do is to walk there first and access the situation by yourself. There is not enough space on the river bank to turn around the trailer.
Apart from difficult access, this camping spot is very private and unique. You can have a campfire and enjoy the night sleeping with birds in the rainforest.
#12 Quaranteen Bay, Cooktown, QLD
Another hidden spot near Cooktown.
Drive 3 km south from Cooktown. There is a sign to Quaranteen Bay. The sign shows only a picnic area. Drive 4.5 km to the Quaranteen Bay beach. Once you get to the picnic area, there is a narrow track to the left behind the toilets.
This 100 meters track leads to the camping spot located right on the beach with a stunning view of Quaranteen Bay. Please note there is a spot for only one, max two cars. When we went there the spot was already taken by another fellow traveller in a Tvan camper trailer.
Don’t enter the water due to roaming saltwater crocodiles or jellyfish in the summer season.
#13 The Bend, Coen, QLD
This camping spot maybe is not hidden, but there is a chance you may go past it if you did not know about it.
The Bend is located at Coen River, 3.4 km north of Coen. The best sites are located on the other side of the river. To get there you need to cross the river. The water crossing has a sandy, firm bottom, and you need a 4WD to do it. You can do it with a trailer, but first check how deep is the water.
It is possible to find a campsite without crossing the river. When we drove to Cape York, first we stayed on the west side of the river, and on the way back, we did the crossing and secured a stunning river spot on the other side.
Cross the river, and drive straight ahead to the hill and beyond. After 300 meters you will find an even more private shady spot that you can have only for yourself.
#14 Lake Argyle, WA
Lake Argyle is located in the eastern part of Kimberley and it is a must-visit place for everyone. The Lake Argyle Caravan Park is located on the hill and has many shady sites, a restaurant, beer garden and a shop with basic supplies. From the top, you can admire stunning views of the surrounding lake and hills.
The best way to enjoy the views is from the infinite pool that is offered in the park. Also, there is an information and tour booking centre with friendly staff where you can get all information about Lake Argyle and book your tour.
#15 Cape Hillsborough
Cape Hillsborough is a spot where we always stay when going from Brisbane to Cairns or back. The place is amazing: wide beach, rainforest, eucalypt forest, headlands with hoop pines and volcanic rock formations.
The biggest highlight of Cape Hillsborough is the kangaroos that you can meet every morning at sunrise. They come to the beach to feed on seed pods that have been washed onto the shore.
We recommend staying in Cape Hillsborough Tourist Park that is located right at the beach. By doing that you will have easy access to the beach, and many marked walks that are set around the hills.
This concludes our list of best camping spots in Australia. Undoubtedly there are many more beautiful places in Australia.
Do you know any other awesome spots to camp? If so, we would like to hear from you and we can add it to the list. Please write a comment below.
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4WD Equipment Checklist
Tire Repair Kit – to fix the tire by yourself when you don’t have access to the tire shop (we use Oztrail)
UHF Radio – for communication with your mates and in emergency
Full Recovery Kit (with Dampener Blanket) – must-have if you are going on real off-road
High Lift Jack – useful if you do serious 4WD tracks
Shovel – useful if you get bogged, also good for campfire cooking
Fuel funnel with water filter – additional protection when fueling up in dodgy places