For anyone who’s a fan of spending the night under the tarp of a tent, or better yet under the stars themselves, Australia is a dream come true. With such a variety of landscapes and climates, there’s something for everyone. Whether it’s a deserted beach, mountainous terrain, rainforest, rolling hills or majestic waterfalls you’re after, there are countless campsites out there, it’s just a matter of finding the best ones, packing your backpack and heading off!
Choosing just 5 of our favourite camping spots in Australia was no mean feat, but we had to narrow it down somehow. These incredible camping spots will whet your appetite for getting out there and discovering more of this incredible island-continent. Whether you’re a resident of Oz, visiting for a couple of weeks or even lucky enough to be exploring for a few months, use these 5 camping spots as a jumping-off point for planning your own camping trip.
1. Three Mile Beach, Western Australia
If it’s isolation you’re looking for, this is where you’ll find it. Although this campsite can fill up during the school holidays, you still only need to take a short walk down the beach from where the tents are pitched to find yourself completely and utterly alone (apart from the odd crab and sheep). This camp site is 300km of dirt road away from the town of Carnarvon and is at the southern tip of the Ningaloo Reef, with views out over the Indian Ocean. This means that the snorkelling here is unrivalled, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to spot reef sharks or turtles in the lagoon. For thrill-seeking surfers, this is also home to one of Australia’s most famous waves. Make sure you come well prepared, as there’s only a little shop selling basic provisions on the campsites. The best pitches have ocean views, but you’ll have to pay a little extra for the pleasure!
2. Wangi Falls, Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory
Wangi Falls campsite is a great place to spend the night when exploring the draw-dropping Litchfield National Park, one of the jewels of the Northern Territory, alongside Kakadu. The campsites in this area haven’t made it onto this list for the beauty of the camping spots themselves, but for the incredible scenery that’s in reach of them.
Wangi Falls is extremely impressive, especially during the wet season, although come in the dry season if you want to be able to have a dip in the magical swimming hole, as the crocs mean it’s off-limits when the water levels are high. All of the park campsites in this area are on a first-come-first-served basis, so be sure to break camp early to head off to the next campsite and stake your claim to a pitch before heading off to explore for the day.
3. Cape Tribulation Camping, Queensland
Halfway between Cairns and Cooktown, you’ll find the incredible Daintree Rainforest, a veritable jungle, brimming with incredible wildlife, that meets the ocean. You’re right on the beach here and perfectly poised to head out and discover the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. When you’re not out on the reef, kick back on the beach, discover one of Cape Trib’s swimming holes or take a horse riding tour through the lush rainforest. There’s also fishing, 4WD tours and sea kayaking on offer! At this campsite, they throw in a few added extras to seal the deal, like free BBQs and a coconut spike for you to get yourself fresh coconuts down from the palm trees. For anyone who’s a fan of some serious beach time and outdoor pursuits, Cape Tribulation is the perfect camping destination.
4. The Fortress, Grampians, Victoria
Now this one is not for the faint-hearted, but it’s legendary. This is one of the campsites on a three-day trek which takes in Mt Thackeray and is one of the best places in Australia for sleeping under the stars. All your need is your swag on a warm summer’s night as the camping area is protected by rock overhang, which means you’d stay mostly dry here if it rained even without a tent. There are trickling creeks, thick undergrowth and absolutely unparalleled views from the campsite, and you couldn’t be much further away from the hustle and bustle if you tried. This is also home to some of Australia’s most popular and challenging climbs.
5. Main Range, Kosciuzsko National Park, NSW
This is another one for the intrepid explorers amongst you. This walk takes you up to Australia’s highest peak, which means that if you stay overnight you’ll be sleeping at Australia’s highest campsite. On top of the world, literally. The views are everything you’d expect them to be, but it gets as cold as you’d expect it to, too, so make sure you are equipped for all eventualities when setting out on this adventure, with tents, sleeping bags and clothing that are up to the job. Within Kosciuszko National Park you’ll also find snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking and horseriding as well as incredible hiking routes. There’s a chairlift that’ll get you up the mountain the quick way, and then there are the fascinating Yarrangbilly Caves to explore.
So there you have it. None of these campsites are particularly easy to get to, although some are at least accessible by car. They all, however, are the perfect spot for a camping adventure and for getting up close and personal with the wonders of Australia’s fauna and flora!
Don’t just take our word for it, though. It wasn’t easy to pick our 5 favourites, and we had to leave an awful lot of contenders off the list. Pay these campsites a visit, but then branch out and find your own, personal favourites, and make your own wonderful, off-the-beaten-track memories whilst getting under Australia’s skin.