Habitat Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Queensland © Habitat Noosa
Australia's top camping spots
Spend a few nights under the stars to soak up all that Australia’s great outdoors has to offer.
North Stradbroke Island, known colloquially as Straddie, is a highly popular spot to camp – and for good reason. Not only is the island readily accessible from Brisbane, but it’s full of sunshine-all-day surf beaches, roaming kangaroos and coastal walks. Pitch your tent at Cylinder Beach Camping Ground – close to Point Lookout’s cafés, shops and restaurants – or head slightly further away to Adder Rock Camping Ground, sheltered by aromatic tea trees and pandanus forests.
Noosa is best known for its trendy beachside town, but trade the ocean for the everglades and you have one of the most unforgettable camping experiences in the country. Habitat Noosa Everglades Ecocamp offers a range of accommodation including all-weather glamping tents and powered campsites. Float down the peaceful river on a canoe or cruise tour before pitching your tent under the sparkling stars of the Sunshine Coast.
Cockatoo Island – a post-industrial paradise in the middle of stunning Sydney Harbour – offers one of the world’s most unusual camping experiences. The island, formerly a colonial jail, school and naval dockyard, retains many of its historic buildings, creating a home for the night that is steeped in history. Bring your own camping gear, rent a tent or opt for a glamping package – whichever you choose, the waterfront campground includes the essential luxuries you need, from hot showers to a well-equipped communal kitchen.
Just a 15-minute drive south from Byron Bay is a hidden gem for camping enthusiasts. Suffolk Park exudes the natural beauty of nearby Byron, making it the perfect base for your stay. Pop into town for days spent sampling vegan treats, dancing to live tunes or learning to surf before returning for peaceful nights by the fire. Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park offers safari tents that sleep up to six people, along with spots to pitch a tent that are within earshot of the breaking surf.
Just 190km (118mi) south of Sydney you’ll find Booderee National Park, where you can squeak your way over pure white sand and wade in glassy waters. The park is home to two campgrounds – Green Patch and Bristol Point – that front Jervis Bay, where dolphins regularly frolic among the bay’s seagrass meadows. A third campground at Cave Beach is set among tea trees, where you can revel in Australian beachside living.
Cooinda Camping Ground is nestled within the spectacular Kakadu National Park, famed for its jaw-dropping waterfalls and wildlife. Book a tour to cruise the nearby Yellow Water billabong in search of crocodiles and birds, or kick up dust on a 4WD adventure through the national park. Afterwards, kick back at Cooinda Lodge’s shaded pool, sip cooling ales at the bar or indulge in a hearty feast at the onsite restaurant.
The island state of Tasmania is famous for its wilderness and wildlife. The critters at Springlawn in Narawntapu National Park in northern Tasmania are comfortable with campers sharing their home. Meander among wombats as they nibble at the grass or trek to Archers Knob for sweeping views of the natural surrounds. Keep an eye out for Tasmanian devils, Forester kangaroos and Bennett's wallabies that often emerge from the trees to forage around dusk.
An unmissable stop along the acclaimed Gibb River Road, the Kimberley’s El Questro Wilderness Park is a vast expanse of wild, untamed landscapes. It's also home to one of Australia’s prettiest – and most unexpected – hot springs. Float about in the palm-fringed Zebedee Springs in the morning, when it’s open to the public, before returning to Black Cockatoo Campground or to a Private Riverside Bush campsite.
Uluru is the spiritual heart of Australia, and it’s impossible not to feel immediately connected to this powerful place. Ayers Rock Resort, 15km (9mi) from the striking red monolith, offers a wide range of accommodation including campsites. Pitch your tent on lush grass underneath native desert oaks. The campground includes a swimming pool, barbecues, an outdoor kitchen and laundry facilities as well as a free shuttle to the onsite bars and restaurants.