Travel

Australia's best coastal campsites for tranquil beach escapes

The camel train on Cable Beach in Broome, WA, is a magical camping location.

Pristine beaches? Tick! Quiet and calming? Double tick! Carolyn Tate has travelled all over the countryside to find 10 of Australia's best beachside camping spots.

By Carolyn Tate

Remote coastal camping bliss locations

Camping along the Australian coastline is nothing short of magical. There's something special about falling asleep to the soothing sound of waves crashing on the shore, waking up to breathtaking ocean views, and having the beach right at your doorstep (if, in fact, you have a door).

If you’re looking for serene and rejuvenating beach getaways where you can live the simple camping life and get away from it all, we’ve pulled together some of our great country’s most incredible spots to visit – from the far-north reaches of the Northern Territory to the pristine (and slightly chillier) shores of Tasmania, here are 10 coastal campsites that will make for a spectacular beachfront experience.

Cable Beach, Western Australia

Cable Beach is renowned for its stunning sunsets, long stretches of soft white sand, and crystal-clear waters. It's the ideal spot for beachcombing, swimming, and camel rides at sunset (which, of course, happens over the water in the west). Both camping and caravans are welcome here, and there are multiple options to choose from. Cable Beach Caravan Park is just a short walk to Cable Beach, or for a quieter option, try Tarangau Caravan Park. For absolute beach frontage, head 10 minutes south to Discovery Holiday Parks, Broome.

More info: Broome Visitor Centre

Cape Range National Park, Western Australia

Located along WA's Coral Coast, Cape Range National Park is part of the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage area. Campsites here are nestled among limestone ranges with direct access to pristine beaches and vibrant coral reefs for snorkelling and diving. There is also an abundance of wildlife, with kangaroos, echidnas, emus, black-flanked rock wallabies, and plenty to see for birdwatchers. Caravan access is limited here, but there are plenty of camping spots to enjoy.

More info: Explore Parks WA

Cape Range has rugged bush and beautiful coastline.

Bittangabee Campground, New South Wales

Nestled within Ben Boyd National Park, near the town of Eden, Bittangabee Campground boasts stunning coastal views, as well as fishing, snorkelling, swimming, diving, and bushwalking. Superb lyrebirds are often spotted here, and you can also visit the historic ruins of the Green Cape Lightstation. This site is exclusively for camping – no caravans allowed.

More info: Visit NSW

Campsites with excellent open air facilities make the experience so much better.

Mimosa Rocks National Park, New South Wales

Mimosa Rocks National Park, near Bega, offers a peaceful and secluded coastal retreat, with absolute beachfront camping among towering eucalyptus trees. With show-stopping headland views, beaches and pure lagoons, you can explore historic sites, hike through the rainforest, or go fishing, surfing, snorkelling and birdwatching. The park’s headland is a perfect spot for whalewatching in winter (make sure you bring your thermals!), and be sure to set your alarm at least one morning so you can experience the unforgettable sunrise from Bunga Head. This site is exclusively for camping – no caravans allowed.

More info: National Parks NSW

Beautiful walks in Mimosa Rocks make it worth seeking out - and no caravans are allowed here.

Coles Bay, Tasmania

Coles Bay, in Freycinet National Park, offers a unique coastal camping experience with breathtaking views of the Hazards mountain range and access to the stunning Wineglass Bay. Coles Bay sits beneath sheer pink granite mountains overlooking the crystal waters of Oyster Bay, and there is plenty to do, including swimming, boating, kayaking and fishing – not to mention partaking in the legendary local oysters and seafood. There are several sites to choose from, depending on your level of adventure, and there are both camping and caravans permitted.

More info: Discover Tasmania

Read more on Tasmania's stunning beaches (other than Wineglass Bay)

Pack your polar fleece if you camp in Tasmania - it gets cool but is breathtakingly beautiful.

Stokes Bay Campground, South Australia

Stokes Bay Campground on the north coast of Kangaroo Island provides a tranquil coastal camping experience, with the beach protected from the pounding surf by a giant natural rockpool. It could be easy to miss if you were driving by, but make no mistake, this is no ordinary beach campground: the beautiful Stokes Bay Beach was named Australia’s best beach in 2023. Add to that, the Rock Pool Café, where you can get fish and chips, ice creams, or just a great cup of coffee. Kangaroo Island is only accessible by plane or ferry, but it’s worth the effort to come and experience life on Australia’s third-largest island, with untouched landscapes, abundant wildlife, and wholesome local produce. Both camping and caravans are welcome here.

More info: Kangaroo Island Council

Kangaroo Island in South Australia has some of the most beautiful wildlife and beaches to explore.

Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area, Queensland

Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area, located near beautiful Rainbow Beach, offers a unique coastal camping experience where you can camp right on the shoreline. The campsites enjoy the shade of beach she-oaks, cypress pines and other coastal trees and shrubs, making it naturally cool and relaxing, even in warm weather. Inskip Point is an ideal spot for fishing, beachcombing, and enjoying the serene waters of the Great Sandy Strait. Both camping and caravans are permitted.

More info: Queensland Parks and Forests

Inskip beach is a great surfing spot.

Dicky Beach Holiday Park, Queensland

Dicky Beach Holiday Park is a family-friendly caravan and camping site located in Caloundra on the iconic Sunshine Coast, and it’s a great option for those who want an affordable holiday by the beach but still have access to great facilities. With direct access to Dicky Beach (patrolled all year round), this spot is perfect for swimming, surfing, and picnicking by the shore. The holiday park also has a swimming pool and tennis court, barbecues, laundry facilities, a recreation room and free wifi. This site is primarily for caravans, but they also offer unpowered tent sites.

More info: Dicky Beach Holiday Park

Garig Gunak Barlu National Park, Northern Territory

Access to this stunning remote national park is via Arnhem Land, and it’s definitely worth the journey. This campsite boasts a secluded coastal experience with pristine white sandy beaches, excellent fishing, and opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. If you’re lucky you might even see a dugong or saltwater crocodile in the crystal clear ocean. For fascinating Aboriginal, Macassan and European history of the area visit the Black Point Cultural Centre, and don’t miss the Victorian Settlement ruins (accessible only by boat). Camping is available, but caravan access is limited.

Note: Do not swim here because the dugongs won’t bite, but the salties might (ensure you follow local signs to stay safe). Also, you must be fully self-sufficient to visit, so make sure you take enough food, water and fuel with you to last a week or more.

More info: NT Parks

Watch for crocs on this remote beach in Garif Gunak Barlu National Park.

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