Best beach campsites in Australia

By Jessica Passananti | June 13, 2012

There’s nothing like a secluded, cheap getaway. Here are the best beach campsites in Australia.

AUSTRALIAN COASTLINES ARE dotted with camping opportunities that give nature-lovers the opportunity to spend the night alongside the ocean.

Falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves makes for a relaxing getaway. “A camping spot becomes special when you want to return again and again,” says Peter Counsell, from the beachside campsite, Durras Park North.

But what distinguishes coastal camping from an ordinary camping experience? “Camping to me shouldn’t feel as if you are in a tented suburb,” says Peter. “True camping is having plenty of bush around you, being woken up in the morning by a chorus of kookaburras, or being disturbed at night by possums searching for food.”

Here are some of the most exclusive coastal camping sites that make you feel completely immersed in nature.

1. Whitehaven Beach

Whitsunday Islands NP, Queensland

beach camping australia

Blindingly white sand beaches and premiere access to the Great Barrier Reef make Whitehaven beach campsite one of the most renowned in Australia. Campsites in this Whitsunday paradise are nestled among lowland vine forest and eucalyptus woodlands. The campground is approximately 30km east of Shute Harbour, solely reached by boat.

More info.

2. Southern Ocean Beach

South Australia

beach camping australia

The colour of the dunes change in the morning and evening light, complementing the stunning sunrises and sunsets at this isolated beach in Coorong National Park, 180km south-east of Adelaide. The surrounding wetlands are home to many species of migratory birds. You need a 4WD to get across the lagoons of this 140km beach, and there are also no facilities, so campers must come prepared to truly spend time in the wilderness.

More info.

3. Conto Campground

Leeuwin-Naturaliste NP, Western Australia

beach camping australia

Yellow limestone, pearly white sand, and crystal blue water make for unforgettable views at this campsite, 20km south of Margaret River. Campers boast about their experience fishing for fresh salmon and cooking it at the camp. It has full facilities for just  $7 per night, per adult. Stay for a weekend or stop by for a night as you do the full Cape to Cape Track.

More info.

4.  Broome’s northern beaches

Western Australia

beach camping australia

This 14km stretch is a hidden gem amongst the more popular beaches on the coast north of Broome, WA, stretching up to James Price Point – though you will need a 4WD to access the area. Sand dunes and breathtaking rock formations are the beaches’ most prominent features; this spot serves as the perfect relaxing getaway, since camping is free and fish are plentiful.

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5. Cave Beach

Booderee NP, Australian Capital Territory

beach camping australia

The eponymous cave gives this secluded beach at jervis Bay an added feature to this picture-perfect scene. Its spilling waves are great for beginner surfing and its hard-to-reach location – a 300m walk from the car park – keeps the crowds away. Situated in the jointly Aboriginal-managed Booderee National Park – a three-hour drive south of Sydney – Cave Beach campsite is basic, with toilets, BBQs and cold-water showers available.

More info.

6. Lucky Bay

Cape Le Grand NP, Western Australia

beach camping australia

This spot is rated as one of the country’s top-ranked swimming conditions. This 5km stretch of beach exudes seclusion, allowing campers to pitch a tent near the beach and fall asleep to the sound of gentle waves without witnessing anyone else for days. Lucky Bay is only a 40 minute drive from Esperance in Western Australia.

More info.

7. 75-Mile beach

Fraser Island, Queensland

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It’s one of the world’s longest beaches, 75-Mile beach is a favourite for four-wheel-drive camping – but it’s so big that you can still feel like you’re the only one on the beach. On the eastern side of World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, the beach is open to the Pacific Ocean. You can camp at just about anywhere along this beach, as long as it’s at least 50m from a water source, and within signposted areas.

More info.

8. Johanna Beach

Great Ocean Walk, Victoria

beach camping australia

This campsite is one of many accessible beaches on the shipwreck coast near the Great Ocean Road and 12 Apostles. There are drive-in campsites nearby or hikers’ sites if you’re stopping on the Great Ocean Walk. Aside from the mighty Southern Ocean swells, you’ll also see plenty of kangaroos, echidnas and birds.

More info.

9. Bruny Island

Tasmania

beach camping australia

This exclusive spot has an abundance of diverse wildlife, featuring white wallabies, fairy penguins, fur seals, and various exotic birds. Bruny Island has crystal blue waters and pristine sands. Plus, camping is free.

More info.

10. Yuraygir National Park

New South Wales

beach camping australia

This park is the longest expanse of undeveloped coastline in NSW, stretching 60km along the northeast coast. The campsite – near surf beach Angourie – features calm lagoons, hidden beaches and blooming vegetation. Campers enjoy canoeing, surfing and walking trails – making for an adventurous, yet exclusive camping experience.

More info.

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