Australia’s 10 BEST Camping HOT Spots!

Mt Sonder from the Larapinta Trail, via Ormiston Gorge, Central Australia

Mt Sonder from the Larapinta Trail, via Ormiston Gorge, Central Australia

I’ve been to a lot of great camping destinations off the beaten track. They’re usually part of a lengthy road-trip with no schedules, tight time frames or deadlines.

But where do you go if you haven’t got time for a long road trip?

Where do you go if you want a less challenging trip?

And where do you go to get away from it all in a great place with an awesome array of things to do that doesn’t take forever to get to?

How DO you get started?

No camper? No problem! Start by checking out out the camper vans here on Gumtree!

Then choose one of my TOP 10 favourites – I’m calling them the best camping spots in Australia – and get your show on the road!

South West Rocks, New South Wales

View from Smoky Cape Lighthouse, South West Rocks

View from Smoky Cape Lighthouse, South West Rocks

Overlooking the exquisite beauty of Horseshoe Bay, down the road from historic Trial Bay Gaol and up the road from stunning Smoky Cape Lighthouse, the Horseshoe Bay Caravan Park is in one of Australia’s premier coastal locations.

The surrounding region is such a wonderland of rivers, rainforest, rocks and beaches it’s hardly surprising it once was (and still may be) former TV personality Ray Martin’s holiday destination of choice! But the fun doesn’t stop there – hit the main street and you’ll find one of Australia’s best bakeries!!

Silverton via Broken Hill, Outback New South Wales

Silverton via Broken Hill, Outback New South Wales

Broken Hill, New South Wales

For a taste of the outback without the LOOOOOONG distances, dirt roads and bull dust, check into the Broken Hill Tourist Park – the slag heap in the middle of town is a dead giveaway to what makes this place tick.

But its also home to a colony of artists whose work is full of outback light, colours and landscapes – you’ll find it hard NOT to bring home a souvenir!

Further afield there’s Silverton, where many movies have been set, and Menindee Lakes where the sunsets go on forever.

Lake Moogerah, Queensland

Who knew that a couple of days in the amazing Scenic Rim Region would turn into more than a week? Being surrounded by a superb array of stunning natural attractions, atmospheric small towns and fantastic fresh produce is enough of an incentive WITHOUT the added attractions of magnificent Lake Moogerah!

Lake Moogerah Holiday Park Campground at Sunrise

Lake Moogerah Holiday Park Campground at Sunrise, Queensland

With one of the most scenic campgrounds in OZ, the Lake Moogerah Caravan Park is the perfect base from which to spend a day exploring – and then to return for the amazing sunsets over the lake!

Millaa Millaa, Queensland

Millaa Millaa Falls, Atherton Tableland, Far North Queensland

Millaa Millaa Falls, Atherton Tableland, Far North Queensland

I’d be able to pick Millaa Milla Falls (see first photo) on Queensland’s Atherton Tableland out of any waterfall line-up! And the Millaa Millaa Tourist Park on the outskirts of Millaa Millaa with Mt Bartle Frere, Queensland’s highest mountain, in the background is a stunningly scenic base from which to explore the southern Tablelands – a tropical paradise full of rainforest, waterfalls, townships and fantastic produce. Don’t leave without trying EVERYTHING!

Ormiston Gorge, Northern Territory

Ormiston Gorge Creek - complete with Dingo!!

Ormiston Gorge Creek – complete with Dingo!!

A stay at the Ormiston Gorge campground puts you in the box seat for superb sunrises; dingo sightings; short walks around the gorge; wonderful Outback colours and landscapes; and the ~7 km Ormiston Gorge and Pound walk – one of Australia’s BEST short (ish) hikes.

In my humble opinion!

Factor in day trips to Glen Helen Gorge, the Ochre Pits, other West MacDonnell Range gorges and Tylers Lookout, and you’ve got a destination worth visiting even without the stunning Mt Sonder (see first photo)!

Kununurra, Western Australia

Kununurra Sunset

Kununurra Sunset from our Campsite

Theres a lot to see and do in and around Kununurra, but we didn’t need to move from our Kununurra Lakeside Resort campsite on the shores of Lily Lagoon to see crocodiles, birds and some of the best sunsets in the Kimberley. But the Ord River produce is worth heading out for, and smart travellers will time their visit to coincide with the Kununurra Agricultural Show – who could resist the lure of the Melon Olympics and Cane Toad Races?! That makes the long trek to get there from almost anywhere SO worth it!

Kalbarri, Western Australia

Red Bluff and Beach, Kalbarri, Western Australia

Red Bluff and Beach, Kalbarri, Western Australia

If you’re visiting in spring, don’t let the stunning array of Western Australian wildflowers stop you from seeing the rest of Kalbarri’s attractions! Stay a few days at the Kalbarri Tudor Holiday Park and explore the plunging sandstone cliffs, unusual rock formations, deep gorges, magnificent beaches and the wild Murchison river – but watch out! Those wildflowers will probably distract you there too!!

Angorichina, South Australia

Heysen Range at Angorichina, Northern Flinders Ranges

Heysen Range at Angorichina, Northern Flinders Ranges

Fewer people make it to Angorichina in the northern Flinders Ranges – they’re too busy doing Wilpena Pound further south. But take a drive on the wild side of the ranges and you’ll discover wonderful walks; four wheel drive treks through spectacular scenery; self-drive and guided tours of historic mine sites; and stunning rock formations – all within cooee of Angorichina Village, an ex-tuberculosis sanatorium, now campground with one of the most scenic settings in OZ!

Bright, Victoria

Autumn Colours, Bright, Victoria

Autumn Colours, Bright, Victoria

You CAN see autumn colours in Australia AND camp among them too at the Bright Holiday Park!

Bright, in the shadow of Mt Hotham, is a great introduction to Victoria’s High Country. The Autumn Leaves Festival and Wandiligong Nut Festival are full of regional delights, and nearby Mount Buffalo’s natural attractions are worth trekking up to its 1723 metre summit – The Horn – for!

Then there’s the blackberry pies at the Edelweiss Bakery in Bright’s main street …

Port Fairy, Victoria

Get three top towns for the price of one when you stay in Port Fairy’s Gardens by East Beach caravan park alongside the Moyne River – day trips north to Warrnambool and south to Portland mean there’ll never be a dull moment in this coastal paradise!

Griffiths Island Lighthouse, Port Fairy, Victoria

Griffiths Island Lighthouse, Port Fairy, Victoria

If stunning coastal scenery, beautiful gardens, offshore islands, lighthouses, wild beaches, interesting rock formations and birdlife leave you cold, then just kick back in Cobb’s bakery and watch the world go by!

Of course you don’t have to stay in the same campgrounds and caravan parks that I did. Half the fun of travelling is finding your own favourite places and making your own memories. Just do me a favour and tell me about them here!

Ready to hit the road and discover the best camping spots in Australia? See you out there!

The road to the Horn, from the Horn lookout, Mt Buffalo National Park

View from the Horn lookout, Mt Buffalo National Park via Bright, Victoria

Like these great camping destinations?  You’ll ALSO like my TOP 10 Budget Travel Tips to make your Road Trip ROCK!

Disclosure: This post was prepared in conjuction with Gumtree

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42 comments

  • Aussie is so beautiful. Thanks for these pictures but how am I supposed to decide which camp to choose? You started this, so you ought to end it. You must declare one of these camps best. But in a serious note, I’d love to visit all the best camps of Australia listed in this post.

    • Haha, what a challenge, Lydia! If I had my choice of going to one of these 10 right now, I’d go to Angorichina! But ask me again in a few weeks, and I’d probably pick one of the others!! But they really ARE all good 😀

  • thanks for this great line up. I am sure I have lots more I could add from Western Australia. One which is an easy get to from Perth is the Dryandra Woodland just out of Narrogin. Great camping. lots of fabulous walks, and amazing wildflowers during spring. Happy camping!

    • I’ve read your articles about the Dryandra Woodland, Jill – walking and wildflowers are two of my favourite things, so it’s definitely on the ‘Must See’ list!!

  • The list is awesome and I really like the bright holiday park as i love nature.

  • Kununurra resort sounds fantastic! We didn’t spend much time in town, instead camped at Lake Argyle for a few nights. I’ll be back though! Cheers for the great list.

    • Ha! We did the opposite to you, Aaron, and stayed at Kununurra – although we DID go to Lake Argyle twice from there!! It’s a shame we didn’t stay there, but that’s what ‘next time’ is for, right?!?!?!

  • Those top ten are the most beautiful places that I want to go to soon. Looking forward to more pictures from you.

  • Nice selection, been to 8 out or your 10, no’bad.

    • I bet you’ve got your own selection of hot spots with lots that I haven’t been to, Arija! These are good starter spots – but they’re also pretty cool! Glad you agree!

  • Great places to have camp there. I probably gonna go there someday.

  • I’m always amazed by the length and breadth of your knowledge about Australia, and what some truly beautiful camping spots you’ve highlighted. I’ve been to some of these destinations, but there are many more you’ve alerted me to for future discovery. Love your pics 🙂

    • SO hard to narrow it down to just 10, Jo! But if I’ve inspired you, then my work is done – sounds like you ‘eastern states must do’ list is getting REALLY big! And my pics show it how it is – I’m too much of a technophobe to touch them up 😀

  • Beautiful places! I love both the mountains and the water, but especially the water! Your photos are captivating!

    • It’s hard to choose between them, isn’t it Linda?! Luckily, we don’t have to – just choose BOTH! Have a great day and thanks so much for your kind comment 😀

  • looking at your blog always reminds me how little I’ve seen of this country. A part from Kalbarri, I haven’t been to any of these spots and they all look worth the drive to get there.

    • I guess that’s good, right Nina??!! That way you’ll always have somewhere new to dream about – and plan to visit! I know it’s harder for you WA dwellers to see the rest of the country, but there’s enough in your state to keep me going for years – I’ve hardly scratched the surface!

  • Red Bluff at Kalbarri looks like the prefect place for me to build my dream house overlooking the ocean. Nobody will notice a little house up there, right? Imagine waking up to that view every day!

    • If your house is there, then expect a frequent visitor, River – ME!!!! And you’re right – who would notice a house in a place like that?!??! Kalbarri is one of my all time favourite OZ travel hot spots – I bet you’d love the rest of it too!

  • We still need to see so much of Australia, so I have yet to see many of these far flung camping locations. I hope to one day. Just need to win Lotto or have a lot of annual leave from my work – or both.

    • HAha, go for BOTH, Annie – but at least give yourself a fighting chance and buy a lotto ticket 😀 But I know how it is – the more we look, the more we find! And our ‘to-do’ list is actually getting bigger, NOT smaller!!

  • Don’t like camping anymore now that the old bones are getting weary but I have been to six of the places that you mentioned. The one I would like to visit is Lake Moogerah. Did they have cabins there too?

    • Camping via a camper trailer is the softer option between a tent and a cabin, Diane!! Lake Moogerah Holiday Park had just one cabin with shared facilities (ie use the caravan park amenities). Here’s a link: http://moogerah.com/accommodation/ There were quite a few other places to stay around the area – try googling ‘Lake Moogerah Accomodation’ and you’ll probably find something you like! Good luck!!

  • Just be careful to not take the test in Broken Hill… Wet it will get! 😉
    Lake Moogerah looks really beautiful!
    I can´t remember where exactly it was in the Atherton Tableland, but one Coles in a small town had real German breadrolls (called petit pain, suggesting it´s French), so yum! Awww, Kununurra. Hot. Hot. Hot!
    And Kalbarri! Such sweet memories! Not so for the Flinders Ranges 😉
    Yips. We get the Autumn colors here now. And then… I hate winter.
    I sure am ready, just not rich enough to drop work 😉

    • Sounds like you don’t need MY guide Iris – you’ve already been to all the places yourself!!! Bummer about winter, we are just heading into spring, although you’d never know because it’s still cold and dismal!! Have a great week ahead, my friend!

  • I love to see wild beaches like South West Rocks, Kalbarri and Port Fairy. I can learn nature just by looking at them. Really amazing.
    And it’s also amazing that Gumtree’s look has changed from what I used to know!!

    • Wild beaches work for me too, Kozue! Kalbarri is probably the wildest of these – did you go there?? There’s a lot of coastline here in Australia – but you can’t actually get to a lot of it because there aren’t always roads. Sadly, the older we get, the more things change 🙁

  • Contrary to what you may believe, I don’t do camping but I do like caravan park cabins. Some cabins and sites at a Merimubla caravan park have great views over the ocean. South West Rocks looks rather nice. PS I remember that dingo photo.

    • Haha, caught me out, Andrew!! But is the dingo the ONLY photo you recognise?? Most of these (apart from 2 or 3) have appeared on my blog before!!! South West Rocks is AWESOME – I remember your post about Merimbula too, as you were kind enough to include a scenic loo! I’ve only ever passed through there and look forward to seeing it properly one day. We also stay in cabins when we’re too lazy to take the camper trailer 😀

  • Love all these camping spots Red. I have camped at many of them and couldn’t agree more. Ormiston Gorge looks interesting and would love to camp here one day. We are so blessed with so many great locations in Australia.

  • Wow what bloody great places, my parents have a motorhome and have toured this country a lot and I would not be surprised to hear they have been to a number of these places

    • I bet they have, Jo-Anne! They’re not the most out of the way places, but I realised that my blog doesn’t mention many places that are more popular and accessible! I hope you get to see them all yourself!

  • When you say hotspots, I believe you:) Several of those places look hot!!! But WOW….so beautiful.

  • Very helpful post, I will surely reread it before planning holidays in Australia!

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