I love a sunburnt country, A land of sweeping plains, Of ragged mountain ranges, Of droughts and flooding rains. It’s been over 115 years since Dorothea Mackellar penned My Country, a piece of poetry that captured the true beauty of Australia – and it still holds true to this day. In the spirit of Mackellar’s poem, and for the love of our lucky country, we’ve put together a list of the best places to camp in Australia that let you see the very best our country has to offer – from the beach to the bush and beyond.
1. Fraser Island, QLD
This heritage-listed island off the coast of Hervey Bay in Queensland is a place of pure beauty. We recommend getting in the car and taking a vehicle ferry from the mainland – this will help you get about the picturesque island much easier and let you access parts of the island that many other visitors cannot, especially if you’re in a 4x4 and want to take it for a drive along Seventy-Five Mile Beach.
There are about 45 camping sites scattered across the island, which let you experience everything from stunning rainforests to sandy dunes to the wide array of island wildlife including whales and dingoes, making for some of the best camping in Australia.
2. Lucky Bay, Esperance, WA
Esperance, a coastal town in Western Australia, is already well-known for being one of the best places to camp in Australia, but Lucky Bay is particularly special. From its sparkling turquoise waters to pristine white sand, Lucky Bay is a place for swimming, fishing and bushwalking – and you’ll probably have a chance to share your campsite with a kangaroo or two. It’s one of those places that’s so beautiful, it doesn’t even look real in its photos.
3. Flinders Ranges, SA
If you prefer the arid, rugged bush for camping over quiet beaches, the Flinders Rangers will steal your heart. You won’t need a 4x4 to get around, but if you love nothing more than to camp off the beaten track and get into the spectacular outback gorges, a bigger car will certainly help. Wilpena Pound within the ranges has hundreds of camping sites and is a beautiful location on its own, being a natural marvel of mountains that create an incredible landscape and some of the best camping in Australia.
4. Bay of Fires, TAS
Another “it’s so beautiful it doesn’t look real” place with camping sites to let you get up close and personal with Mother Nature, the Bay of Fires definitely deserves a spot on our list of best places to camp in Australia. You might think that the bay gets its name from the orange-hued granite that seemingly burns amongst the white sand, but the bay was actually given its name in 1773 by Captain Tobias Furneaux aboard Adventure, who could see the fires of Aboriginal people on the beaches from his ship. Deep Creek and Policeman’s Point campsites are two of the best, giving you access to beaches, surfing, fishing and more.
5. Cradle Mountain, TAS
Alpine experiences are rare in a country like Australia, so if you’re after a snowy camping trip in winter, Cradle Mountain should be on your to-do list. The closest place you’ll be able to camp within the national park is Discovery Parks at Cradle Mountain, which includes secluded campsites, log cabins, camp kitchens, hot showers, a laundry and Internet access. From your camp site, you can partake in day-walks with plenty of lakes and craters to explore, many of which were carved out in the last Ice Age.
6. Green Patch, Jervis Bay, NSW
Green Patch, located within Booderee National Park in Jarvis Bay, is an idyllic site that every local seems to know about – it’s often booked out for at least a month in advance, and even Kim Kardashian flew in for a photoshoot here back in 2014. Calm crystalline waters make this bayside camping area great for families, with snorkelling opportunism plus a chance to frolic on the beach with wallabies. Fresh water, public toilets, hot-water showers and sheltered barbecues will make your stay at Green Patch a pleasant one. As the 2019/2020 bushfires ravished many national parks, planning a camping trip in parts of Australia may take some extra care. Make sure you check national park websites to double-check closures. If a camping area is open, visiting is a wonderful way to help out the local community.
7. Kosciuszko National Park, NSW
Kosciuszko National Park will spoil you with snow sports, mountain biking, cave exploring and plenty of hikes – and it’s not a bad place to pitch a tent, either. There are plenty of campgrounds to enjoy with the family, with some offering horse facilities, experiences for 4x4s, fishing grounds, boating areas, and lots of wildlife to spot. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll have Kosciuszko’s marvellous mountain wilderness as your backdrop. These are just 7 of our picks for the best places to camp in Australia – be sure to check your state’s national parks website to find even more beautiful places to set up camp, and make sure you’ve got all your gear for camping ready for your next trip!