Exploring Australia: 10 Camp Spots We Don’t Want You To Miss in 2017
Your guide to the most breathtaking camping destinations in Australia as tried, tested and recommended by the Australian Direct Team.
Your guide to the sweetest, wildest and most breathtaking camping destinations in Australia as tried, tested and recommended by the Australian Direct Team - just in time to plan your 2017 adventures!
Poeppel Corner, Munga Thirri National Park (aka The Simpson Desert), QLD
“Best Desert Camping”
Located approximately 79 km W of Birdsville, Munga Thirri National Park and Poeppel Corner is something you definitely want to add to your bucket list. Camp in Queensland’s largest national park amongst rolling sand dunes, playful gurgles of wild camel herds and starry outback skies. Sand driving experience is essential for this ultimate outback adventure with around 1100 parallel sand dunes, especially if you want to conquer Big Red, the 35m high monster dune! The perfect challenge for any four wheel drive enthusiast.
Leana “Don’t forget an old body board for this one! The desert is one of the most fun and exciting trips I think I’ve ever done, and I loved it so much, I went back a second time!!”
Good to know
- High Visibility Safety Flag (Mandatory Requirement - to be attached to highest point on vehicle)
- Camping is permitted within 500m of the QAA Line ONLY
- Be completely self-sufficient: carry adequate water, food and emergency supplies, a fuel stove (fires prohibited), complete first-aid kit, UHF and/or satellite phone, spare tyres and any vehicle repair tools. There are no designated camp areas or facilities
Main Range, Kosciuszko National Park, NSW
Snow sports? Mountain Biking? Camping? Cave Tours? Hiking? Horse Riding? Main Range in Kosciuszko National Park asserts its eco-certification in an abundance of ways, ensuring there is always something new to experience. Escape the summer heat underground to the Yarrangobilly Caves or take in the rich landscape with a riverside camp site. The park is located approximately 355 km SW of Sydney and was added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2008.
Charlie “Kosciuszko is just awesome; if you want to go for a hike then this is the place for you.”
Good to know
- Camping is permitted anywhere in the park except within sight of a road
- The mountains are typically covered in 1m + deep snow for up to 4 months/year
Deon’s Lookout, Birdsville, QLD
“Outback Oasis with views as far as the eye can see”
Make sure you have your cameras ready for this stop. Deon’s Lookout is located off Birdsville Developmental Road, approximately 25 km E of Betoota. The spectacular views range over the gorgeous Queensland Diamantina Region and boast magnificent sights over sunrise and sunset. The lookout features various walks and picnic areas and is the perfect spot to sit back after a day of travelling and just take in all that Australia’s landscape has to offer.
Josh “We just sat back, relaxed and took in the view. It was pretty remarkable, and only really a place you’d stop at on the way to/from Birdsville or Windorah, so it’s nice and quiet as well. No picture does Deon’s Lookout justice!”
Good to know
- The campground can only be accessed by four wheel drives, small campervans or small camper trailers (large caravans are motorhomes are not suitable)
- Swimming at Mossman Gorge is allowed - however please pay attention to warning signs as water conditions can be unpredictable.
- Temperatures vary from 27-33C from November to April and a maximum of 26C from May to September.
Platypus Flat, Nymboi-Binderay National Park, NSW
“Best place to spot a Platypus”
Overlooking the gorgeous river banks of Nymboida River, lined with lush rainforests - it’s the perfect spot for home-grown adventure seekers who love swimming, kayaking, forest walks and fishing. Located 120 km down the road from Grafton, NSW, highlight your trip with a guided whitewater rafting trip down the Nymboida River or wander down to Ebor Falls for an incredible sight.
Taytum “Personally, this place is full of memories of easter with the family. Sitting around the fire at night roasting marshmallows and playing cards, then waking up early to the sounds of birds, rushing out of the tent grabbing whatever I could to float down the stream on with my cousins before the parentals could get mad. If you have a young family and want to get away without breaking the bank, then this is the place for you.”
Good to know
- Bring firewood! Fires are permitted in the Nymboi-Binderay National Park and make for fun nights around the campfire
- BBQ’s are provided free of charge for campers
- Accessibility: 2WD (short based vehicles only) and 4WD’s
Kakadu National Park and Katherine Gorge, Nitmiluk National Park, NT
“Oldest Living Culture on Earth”
Want to see some waterfalls, cruise like crocodiles down the billabong or explore Australia through the rock art of Kakadu’s resident artists? Kakadu National Park and Katherine Gorge are the places to go! Katherine Gorge boats majestic beauty, simply from the sheer size of the gorge, with rock art and dreamtime stories of the Jawoyn people lighting up the rock faces. Kakadu National Park has built it’s foundations on over 50,000 years of culture and Aboriginal life, leaving a rich atmosphere to soak up.
Dean “Want to go drinking with your friends by the waterfalls for Australia Day, or go on a couples oasis for your 10 year anniversary. This place has it all.”
Good to know
- All cultural items and wildlife are protected in these regions
- Camping is only permitted in the marked areas
- The parks are accessible by caravan and camper trailers
Dalhousie Springs, Witjira National Park, SA
“Natural Artesian Springs”
Witjira National Park is the desert oasis home to 120 natural artesian springs, situated on the western edge of the Simpson Desert, in the far north of SA. The National Listed Dalhousie Springs were used for thousands of years by Aboriginal People as a source of food and shelter and is home to rare aquatic life found nowhere else in the world. From Birdsville, travel via the QAA Line and French Line Track to Purni Bore and then onto Dalhousie Springs, or, from Adelaide it's approximately 880 km NW of Port Augusta.
Kristi “Definitely worth a visit! The warm waters of the springs are absolutely beautiful, especially at dawn and dusk.”
Good to know
- The best time of year to visit is between April and September - if you’re lucky enough to travel after a good downpour, you’ll be greeting with wildflowers blooming across the sandy landscape.
- Dalhousie Springs is the only permanent source of water for 150 km, - the species that live in this area are protected so please be respectful in this area.
Cape Le Grande National Park, WA
“Where Kangaroos Sunbake on the Beach”
Swimming, bushwalking, fishing and camping take your fancy? What about a quick visit to Lucky Bay to sneak a peak of the local Kangaroo’s soaking up some glorious sunshine? Then Cape Le Grand National Park is the place you want to be! Stock-filled with granite rock formations, stunning freshwater pools and white sandy beaches stretching as far as the eye can see, a rock-climb up to Frenchman’s Peak and Mount Le Grande might even be on your to-do list for your stay in this gorgeous pocket of Australia. Located a short 45 minute drive from Esperance.
Marnie “Want the experience of Bora Bora and the Bahamas without having to spend thousands of dollars? Cape Le Grande is the place to be and is absolutely stunning.”
Good to know
- The drive from Esperance to Cape Le Grand National Park is sealed, as well as all roads to recreational sites in the park making it accessible by a variety of vehicles
Seventeen Seventy (Gladstone Region), QLD
“Second Landing of James Cook in May of 1770”
For all reef fisherman and reef-fisherman-to-be, Seventeen Seventy aka 1770 is the place you want to be this summer. Located in a secluded bay just around the corner from Round Hill Headland, the 1770 Campgrounds have plenty to offer! White sandy beaches, areas to safely moor your boats and only 7 km away from Agnes Waters. Other popular activities included mud crabbing, golf, stand up paddle boarding, surfing and bushwalking - the perfect family destination.
Klaeton “As well as being the first place that Captain Cook landed in 1770, this historical site is nothing like your typical historical site. With a slice of Fiji in your backyard, 1770 is the place to be if you’re not entirely sure what you want to do. 1770 has it all.”
Good to know
- 1770 is the home base for Larc Day Trips which can cruise you to Bustard Head and Lady Musgrave Island
- Built on the second landing site of James Cook and the crew of HM Bark Endeavour in May of 1770
Little Dip Conservation Park, Nature Preserve, SA
“The Limestone Coast”
Little Dip is actually a pretty BIG dip with endless rock pools and small lakes covering the limestone coast, just 5 km S of Robe, SA. There are four awesome campgrounds on offer, Long Gully, Old Man Lake, Stony Rise and The Gums - all secluded and nestled away in the dune fields and natural bushland beauty. The foreshore of Lake Eliza, home to the Boandik people around 10,000 years ago still has large numbers of middens (shellfish remains) that can still be seen in the conservation park today.
Luke “Blokes weekend here we come. Little Dip Conservation Park has all the 4WD tracks you could dream of.”
Good to know
- The park is accessible by 2WD in most areas, however some tracks and destinations in the park are only accessible by 4WD and should not be attempted by someone without moderate-high experience off road
- Long Gully is suited to caravans, camper trailers and longer vehicles whereas Old Man Lake is only accessible by 4WD (no tow) and 2WD vehicles
Johanna Beach, Great Otway National Park, VIC
“Reclusive Night Under The Stars”
With only 25 campsites available, Johanna Beach, nestled away in the sand dunes of the Great Ocean Walk is a secluded Victorian favourite. The Great Otway National Park boasts a variety of camping destinations to suit caravaners or hikers with 16 other gorgeous spots for you to visit. Perhaps try The Gables Lookout Walk or take a visit to Phantom Falls - there is no shortage of beauty in this area that's for sure. Located 17 km S of Lavers Hill or 11 km off Blue Johanna Road.
Steve “The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia's foremost tourism and camping destinations. As a motorcycle camper I've often ridden it and camped at the beautiful Otway National Park, and Joanna Beach was the first site I was introduced to by a dear friend. Nestled in a secluded cove off the beaten track it's the ideal place for me to rest up immersed in all beachside camping offers. A quick drive to the entrance of the national park without the hassles, direct access to the water and just a short ride to civilisation make it the ideal spot to contemplate nature, play some guitar by the ocean or chat by a fire with fellow adventurers.”
Good to know
- The park acknowledges the Aboriginal Traditional Owners of Victoria and aims to preserve their cultural traditions by maintaining a connection between ancestral lands and waters - so please be respectful.
- The Great Otway National Park is also home to the Cape Otway Lightstation and multiple specialist tours are available to view the magnificent 18 m Lighthouse Tower. (Tours include Koori tours, Palaeontology Tours and Daily Guided Tours)