The Best Camping Spots (and Hacks) As Voted By Our Readers
Here's a list of the top locations to pitch up beneath the stars in Australia, as decided by you.
March 21, 2023
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Tent? Check. Essentials packed? Check. Good-value booze from the nearest The Bottle-O? Check. The only thing that's missing is coffee… at least that was the case until we asked you, our dear readers. When tasked with providing your best camping spots and hacks, someone promptly stated, "Wacaco espresso maker. Must have." Genius. Now we're ready to go camping. (And here's that caffeine friend, if you need a new camp-ready gadget.)
Without further ado, here is a standout list of knock-out spots to camp all around Australia, submitted by you.
BENDALONG, NEW SOUTH WALES
Find your best holiday-self at the edge of the ocean, where a haven of white sandy beaches, consistent surf breaks and towering eucalyptus trees await. Bendalong Holiday Haven is a park with something for everybody — think self-contained cabins, caravan access and plenty of spots to pitch a tent. There's no shortage of activities to enjoy either, say swimming, fishing, surfing, volleyball or checking out the local wildlife on a bush walk. Camping here is nothing if not wholesome, and if you're staying for more than a night or two, do as one of our readers suggests and "take a thick mattress, sleep is so important".
Holiday Haven Bendalong, 1 Waratah Street, Bendalong, New South Wales
PUTTY BEACH, NEW SOUTH WALES
Nestled in the lush surroundings of Bouddi National Park on the Central Coast, Putty Beach Campground is a short stroll from the warm sand and calm waters of its namesake shoreline. With a cosy 20 camping sites available for tents (no campervans, FYI), you'll need to book in advance if you want to secure a holiday here. Keep in mind that while there is running water and flushing toilets, you won't be able to have a hot shower here since the campsites aren't powered — it's all part of the authentic camping experience.
Putty Beach Campground, Putty Beach Rd, Killcare Heights, New South Wales
WYE RIVER, VICTORIA
Picture this: the tent gets pitched without a hitch and as the sun is setting your mate hands you a cold one. Breathe in the refreshing sea air of the Wye River beachfront, this is good ol' Aussie camping at its finest. With all the amenities you need to have an epic stay, just pack good booze and good food, as there's a kitted-out camp kitchen and onsite barbecues. And if you're settling in for more than a weekend, consider this tip from one of our readers: "You need two tables: one to relax and eat at and one to store shit on." Sounds smart to us.
Wye River Campground, Great Ocean Road, Wye River, Victoria
THE GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA
With majestic sandstone mountain ranges and world-renowned hiking trails at your fingertips, there's little wonder why one of you shared The Grampians as your fave place to camp. Tents, motorhomes and caravans are all welcome inside the national park, with multiple camping options in the area providing choices aplenty for a convenient home base between your tramping excursions. Or, opt for a more off-grid experience in a forest park spot. Reader's tip? "Grab yourself some Yetis! They keep your drinks cold for hours!" Something you're sure to need as you embark on the many great walks from your campsite.
There are several accommodation options in The Grampians region, head to the website for more information.
CHANCE BAY, QUEENSLAND
The Whitsundays may be synonymous with Instagram-worthy luxury holidays, but you're as well placed for a fantastically memorable time at the spectacular Chance Bay on Whitsunday Island. The area's only accessible by boat — with anchoring permitted and ideal access during mid or high tide — but undoubtedly worth the mission for the opportunity to immerse yourself in all that the area has to offer (that's turquoise waters, secluded white-sand beaches and a symphony of wildlife, if you didn't know). This particular spot is off the beaten track, so you'll need to bring drinking water along with the usual camping requirements, especially a can of Bushman. Even better, do as one of our readers does: "Bring a hanging mosquito net and throw it over the tent." You can thank us (and them) later.
Chance Bay Campground, southeast coast of Whitsunday Island, Queensland
GLAMPING AT O'REILLY'S, QUEENSLAND
If you're more of a five-star kind of holidaymaker than an under-the-night-sky type, O'Reilly's Campground has the ideal setup for you. Featuring 17 powered safari tents, this is as effortless as camping gets. As one of our readers puts it: "Glamping is easier and you get the camping benefits". Say less.
With the breathtaking rainforest of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park on your doorstep, there's an abundance of adventurous attractions for all. Partake in morning yoga before strapping in for the epic flying fox later on, or opt for an e-bike tour first thing and plan for some spectacular stargazing come nightfall.
O'Reilly's Campground, 3582 Lamington National Park Rd, Canungra, Queensland
NINGALOO CORAL BAY CAMP, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Go on a secluded snorkelling safari, swim above the coral gardens in a marine sanctuary, hop aboard a humpback whale-watching tour, take a relaxing boat cruise at sunset and dive in for a swim alongside manta rays, reef sharks and turtles on the UNESCO World Heritage Ningaloo Reef. Attention: camping-heaven is a place on earth called Ningaloo Coral Bay, the epic campground just metres away from the beach where you'll unwind from your aquatic adventures each day. Complete with both powered and unpowered sites for tents, caravans, campervans and motorhomes, this seaside paradise has it all — including the practical things like a camp kitchen and barbeques, plus shops and amenities nearby.
Ningaloo Coral Bay Camp, 1 Robinson Street, Coral Bay, Western Australia
ROTTNEST ISLAND, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Imagine camping under the shade of native trees just a stone's throw from the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. A mere 10-minute stroll from Rottnest Campground, you'll find the stunning vista that is Pinky Beach, one of the island's popular beaches known for its idyllic swimming conditions. Too-cute quokkas and nature-soaked activities, Rottnest Island is a winner by anyone's standards. It's also home to events and pursuits on and offshore, from exhibitions and history tours to wildlife spotting and swell chasing. What will you do first?
Rottnest Campground, Strue Road, Rottnest Island, Western Australia
KANGAROO ISLAND, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Camping is all about embracing life in the slow lane. S0 if you're clever, you'll make like this CPer: "Have a camping box ready with all your cutlery, salt and pepper and small gear — then you can just hit the road!" No rushing around before you head, or finding out you've left something necessary behind.
What better place to head off for some chill vibes than the pristine landscape of Kangaroo Island? Whether you want to wake up with the waves or stay somewhere secluded, there's seven campgrounds to choose from on the island, so you're sure to find the facilities and features you're looking for. Just a 45-minute ferry or quick 30-minute flight from Adelaide, your unforgettable island camping adventure awaits.
There are multiple camping options on Kangaroo Island, for more information visit the website.
AYER'S ROCK CAMPGROUND, NORTHERN TERRITORY
A guide to camping in Australia wouldn't be complete without a recommendation for visiting Uluru — and Ayer's Rock Resort campground, located just 20km away from the sacred site, came out on top — as suggested by more than one of you. Visit one of Australia's most magnificent — and culturally significant — outback treasures by day and hook up at one of the powered sites or pitch your tent to sleep under the stars by night. There's a host of enlightening cultural experiences and tours to fill your itinerary with, too — the hardest part will be finding the time to fit it all in.
Ayer's Rock Resort Campground, 173 Yulara Dr, Yulara, Northern Territory
Thanks for your participation, dear readers. Now, happy camping.
For good value booze on your camping getaway, head to your closest The Bottle-O. To browse the range or find a store, head to the website.
Top image: Charlie Blacker.
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