With Queensland’s summer well underway and huge stretches of coastline north and south of Brissie, a weekend at the beach is probably on the cards. But this time, consider ditching the Airbnb and pitching your tent instead.
Cylinder Beach Camping Ground, Stradbroke Island
Stradbroke Island has a range of camping options, depending on your needs. Camping is permitted in designated areas along Main and Flinders beaches. If you’d prefer access to facilities, Cylinder Beach Camping Ground is the pick for its surf, weather and top-notch facilities. Expect a shady campsite with showers, toilets, barbeques and picnic tables. Point Lookout shops and cafes are nearby. Getting to Straddie will require either a vehicle ferry or water taxi from Toondah Harbour in Cleveland. Once on the island, there are buses from the harbour to Point Lookout.
Noosa North Shore Beachfront Campground
This camping ground has direct pedestrian access to the vehicle-free beach. There are eight powered sites and plenty of non-powered, many with views of the coastline. The sites are unallocated and spacious, so they give off a sense of wilderness while you pitch your tent among the native vegetation. You’ll likely see some native wildlife during your stay as well, as kangaroos and colourful birds call the place home. There’s a total fire ban so you’ll have to bring your own gas cooker. There are showers, toilets and drinking water available for guests. Access is via a ferry from Tewantin.
If you’re up for a drive, Inskip is a 500-metre-wide peninsula across from Fraser Island, with a handful of beachside campsites. The peninsula is a natural breakpoint for Tin Can Bay and, because the land is so narrow, campers have easy access to both the surf and the calmer bay waters. Facilities vary depending on the spot, but you can expect toilets, picnic tables and barbeques across them all. The campsite is dog friendly too, so no need to leave your best friend at home. If beach activities get a little tiresome, Rainbow Beach is only 15 minutes away, with shops, cafes and restaurants.
The World Heritage-listed island is home to some of Australia’s most iconic natural scenery including freshwater lakes, tropical rainforests and golden dunes. All of this is in addition to the sprawling beaches, which offer great surfing and fishing. There are plenty of camping sites across the island. Your choice may depend on how scared of dingoes you are. Central Station, Dundubara and Lake Boomanjin all have dingo-deterrent fences for safety. There are more informal camping spots and beach camping along Fraser’s east coast for those who don’t require facilities. Wherever you choose, you’ll need to obtain a permit from the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing.
Wooyung Beach Holiday Park
For a secluded option that doesn’t require a trip on a ferry, consider Wooyung in northern New South Wales. With the nearest township six kilometres away, beaches here are pretty isolated. They say it’s crowded if you see five people on the beach, so you’ll likely have the place to yourself. This makes for impressive stargazing at night. The site allows campfires, and drums and firewood are available to buy so you’ll be able to toast your marshmallows easily. The site has all the basic facilities and is pet-friendly too, but you’ll have to take the any pets with you when you go to the beach.
The Wrecks Camping Area, Moreton Island
Moreton Island sits just north of Stradbroke, making it another convenient getaway for city-dwellers. The Wrecks Camping Area is a short walk from the ferry landing, so you’ll only need a car if you want to explore the rest of the island. The camping ground, as the name suggests, has a view of the iconic shipwrecks and has defined spots to pitch your tent. Facilities include water (treat before drinking), hybrid toilets and cold showers. Fires are prohibited. The wrecks are ideal for snorkelling, swimming and diving, and there are plenty of scenic walks and fishing spots around the island.
Coolum Beach Caravan Park, Sunshine Coast
If you’re looking for a site a little closer to Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast has a range of places to pitch your tent beachside. The popular Coolum Beach Caravan Park has top-of-the-range facilities including hot showers, a camp kitchen, a laundry and wi-fi. It’s also close to the town centre and its shops, cafes and restaurants. Sites have direct access to Coolum’s patrolled surf beaches and are dog-friendly on request.
Tweed Coast Holiday Parks, Fingal Head
This small township near Tweed Heads is famous for its surf breaks and fishing. The spot boasts super-clear water and white sandy beaches – all within walking distance of the campsite. The park offers powered and unpowered beachfront sites, barbeques, amenities and wi-fi. If you don’t have a tent, you can rent a “Surfari” tent, complete with a queen-sized bed, self-contained kitchen and television.