Top 14 Camping Spots

By: Chris Whitelaw, Photography by: Chris Whitelaw


Decades of camping this wide brown land can turn up some stellar sites. Here are 14 of Chris Whitelaw’s favourites.

Top -14-camping -spots

As you travel around this great southern land of ours, you build up a memory bank of wonderful experiences, especially about the places you stay – be it on a beach or a riverbank, in the lee of a red sand dune, on a saltbush plain or under a coolabah tree beside a billabong. Wherever you go there are plenty of ‘top spots’, as a mate of mine calls them.

Over the years, my wife (aka chief navigator) and I have been fortunate to see lots of them and, recently, just for the heck of it, I tried to make a list of the best camps we’ve enjoyed. If I had 30 toes and fingers, I still would have come up well short on the body counter.

But just to give you a sample, here are 14 of them – two for each state and the Northern Territory. The criterion for selection was simply that they are fantastic places to camp, for one reason or another. They’re a mixed bag, ranging from remote sites with no facilities and 4WD access only to places within cooee of major towns and lavish amenities that you could haul your big rig to without difficulty. I guarantee that you’ll find your ‘top spot’ among them.

CARAWINE GORGE, WARRAWAGINE STATION, WA

Carawine -Gorge -WA

Level, stony clearing and some grassy sites beneath shade trees on the banks of the Oakover River, a truly idyllic oasis on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert.

Access: 162km east of Marble Bar via sealed Rippon Hills and Woodie Woodie roads, signposted to the gorge campsites on 14km of unsealed station tracks. 4WD access only.

Rigs: High clearance camper trailers

When: Mar-Sep

Facilities: River water (boil before drinking)

Attractions: Oakover River, swimming, fishing, bushwalking, wildflowers, prolific birdlife

EMU BIGHT CAMPGROUND, THE LAKES NATIONAL PARK, VIC

Emu -Bight -VIC

Spacious sandy sites surrounded by banksia bushland, a short walk to Lake Victoria and amenities.

Access: The Lakes NP is in east Gippsland about 300km east of Melbourne. The park entrance is 5km east of Loch Sport via a bitumen road and then 3.5km to campsites by unsealed road suitable for 2WD vehicles. Fees apply.

Rigs: Camper trailers, small vans, motorhomes

When: All year round

Facilities: Pit toilets, a communal shelter, fireplaces, water (boil before drinking)

Attractions: Lake Victoria, 90 Mile Beach, swimming, surfing, bushwalking, wildflowers, birdwatching, photography

EURIMBULA CREEK CAMPING AREA, EURIMBULA NATIONAL PARK, QLD

Eurimbula -Creek -QLD

Well-spaced campsites on sand or woodchip in a shady eucalypt woodland behind Bustard Beach, with boat access to nearby Eurimbula Creek.

Access: Enter the park via Eurimbula Road, signposted off Round Hill Road, 10km west of Agnes Water. A few kilometres from the park entrance, the gravel road comes to a junction, veer right and a narrow, sandy track leads 9km to the camping area. High-clearance 4WDs only.

Rigs: Offroad camper trailers, boat trailers

When: All year round

Facilities: Composting toilets, limited rainwater (boil before drinking), fireplaces, a shelter shed and picnic tables

Attractions: Beachwalking, swimming, boating, fishing, birdwatching

JUPITER WELL, GARY JUNCTION ROAD, WA

Jupiter -Well -WA

A gravelly, red sand clearing surrounded by she-oak trees and native grasses in the Great Sandy Desert. Galahs gather at the well pump in at early morning and late afternoon.

Access: One of the few defined camping spots along the unsealed Gary Junction Road. It’s isolated and remote and you’ll need a 4WD to get to it – 812km east of Marble Bar, 837km west of Alice Springs via Papunya.

Rigs: High clearance camper trailers and vans

When: Apr-Sep

Facilities: Water (boil before drinking)

Attractions: Birdwatching, stargazing and desert tranquillity

POINT BILLIE, SOUTH LEFROY BAY, NINGALOO STATION, WA

Point -Billie -WA

Secluded sites on the beach or behind the dunes, with easy access to the crystal waters of South Lefroy Bay inside Ningaloo Reef. Take your tackle.

Access: About 40km north of Coral Bay on the Minilya-Exmouth Road, turn east on the gravel Ningaloo Road and follow the signs to Ningaloo Homestead. Point Billie is one of several wilderness camping areas accessed by the 4WD Yardie Creek Road about 10km north of the homestead.

Rigs: Camper trailers, high-clearance caravans

When: Mar-Nov

Facilities: None

Attractions: Beachcombing, swimming, snorkelling, fishing, boating, photography, whale watching

NEILS RESERVE CAMPING AREA, WALWA, VIC

Neils -Reserve -VIC

Numerous undefined sites on grass, firm-packed sand or river stone among the red gums with easy access to the Murray River.

Access: 7km east of Walwa along the Murray Valley Highway, a 300m dirt road through the forest leads to the camping area.

Rigs: Camper trailers, high-clearance caravans

When: All year round

Facilities: River water (boil before drinking)

Attractions: Swimming, fishing, kayaking, lilo-ing, birdwatching, bushwalking in Burrowa-Pine Mountain National Park

COSY CORNER SOUTH CAMP, BAY OF FIRES CONSERVATION AREA, TAS

Bay -of -Fires -at -Cosy -Corner -South -TAS

Firm sandy sites separated by coastal shrubbery overlooking the amazing white sand beach and aquamarine waters of Bay of Fires.

Access: 15km northeast of St Helens via Binalong Bay Road (C850) and The Gardens Road (C848). After about 14km, take the dirt road for 500m to the beachfront camping area.

Rigs: Camper trailers, high-clearance caravans, motorhomes

When: All year round

Facilities: Toilets

Attractions: Fishing, boating, beachcombing, surfing

WILIGI OUTSTATION, MOUNT NORRIS BAY, ARNHEM LAND, NT

Wiligi -Outstation -NT

Open grassy camping area with some shade trees behind the beach, overlooking Mountnorris Bay.

Access: Enter Arnhem Land from Jabiru across the East Alligator River at Cahills Crossing and continue to Gunbalanya (Oenpelli). Wiligi is a further 160km north of Gunbalanya via unsealed roads suitable only for 4WDs. A permit is required for travel inside these Aboriginal lands.

Rigs: Camper trailers, high-clearance caravans

When: Apr-Oct

Facilities: Flush toilets, cold showers, water (boil before drinking), boat ramp

Attractions: Fishing, boating, beachcombing

OLD GEEHI HUT CAMPING AREA, KOSCIUSZKO NATIONAL PARK, NSW

Old -Geehi -Hut -NSW

An open grassy clearing beside Swampy Plains River, surrounded by light forest with views to the surrounding alpine ranges. Ideal for large groups.

Access: 30km south of Khancoban via the Alpine Way, turn off at Geehi River to Geehi Flats campground and follow the unsealed 4WD track through several creek crossings to the hut and camping area.

Rigs: High clearance offroad camper trailers and caravans

When: Sep-Apr

Facilities: Pit toilets, river water (boil before drinking)

Attractions: Swampy Plains River, platypus, swimming, fishing, 4WDing, wildflowers

ADELS GROVE, GULF COUNTRY, QLD

Adels -Grove -QLD

Sandy sites within The Grove, a large shady area beside beautiful Lawn Hill Creek, near amenities.

Access: 88km west of Gregory Downs, 10km north of Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park. Some roads in the region are 4WD only as they are rough and cross several concrete causeways over strong flowing rivers.

Rigs: Camper trailers, high-clearance caravans

When: Apr-Oct

Facilities: Flush toilets, hot showers, water (boil before drinking), telephone, laundry, camp kitchen, canoe hire and fuel

Attractions: Swimming, 4WDing, bushwalking, canoeing, photography, dining, Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park, Riversleigh Fossil Fields

HUON CAMPGROUND, SOUTHWEST NATIONAL PARK, TAS

Huon -Campground -TAS

Grass and gravel sites sheltered within tall forest, near the start of Port Davey Track and a short drive to views overlooking Lake Pedder.

Access: This section of the park is 130km west of Hobart via Maydena. 30km west of Maydena, take the unsealed C607 south for about 47km to Scotts Peak Dam and the Huon Campground is at the end of a 1km access road.

Rigs: Camper trailers, small vans, motorhomes

When: Sep-May

Facilities: Toilets, picnic tables, communal shelters, fireplaces, rubbish recycling

Attractions: Bushwalking, trekking, trout fishing, scenic driving, photography

MEMORY COVE, MEMORY COVE WILDERNESS PROTECTION AREA, SA

Memory -Cove -QLD

Limited number of small, sandy sites secluded among coastal mallee behind a sheltered white sand beach.

Access: The entrance to Lincoln National Park is 13km southwest of Port Lincoln via Proper Bay Road and the locked gate to the Memory Cove wilderness area is 40km from the park entrance. A pass and key are required and the road to the cove is only suitable for high-clearance 4WDs.

Rigs: Camper trailers, small offroad vans

When: All year round

Facilities: Pit toilets

Attractions: Swimming, fishing, beachcombing, photography, 4WDing

VENUS BAY CARAVAN PARK, VENUS BAY, EYRE PENINSULA, SA

Venus -Bay -SA

Delightful beachfront park on the bay with roomy sites and some shade trees, a short walk to the local shops and a fishing hot spot at the jetty.

Access: 6km from the Flinders Highway via Venus Bay Road.

Suitable for: Tents, camper trailers, caravans and motorhomes

When: All year round

Facilities: Toilets, showers, laundry, camp kitchen, gas barbecues, fish cleaning shelter, kiosk, gas refills, fishing tackle, boat hire

Attractions: Fishing, boating, bushwalking, surfing

NEWNES CAMPING AREA, WOLLEMI NATIONAL PARK, NSW

Newnes -Campground -NSW

Open grassy clearings fringed by eucalypt forest below majestic sandstone cliffs.

Access: Newnes lies about 200km north-west of Sydney via Lithgow and Lidsdale, at the end of the Wolgan Valley. The Wolgan Valley Road is partly unsealed and not suitable for large caravans. Campsites east of the Wolgan River can only be accessed by 4WD.

Suitable for: Tents, camper trailers, small caravans, motorhomes

When: Spring and autumn

Facilities: Pit toilets, fireplaces

Attractions: Spectacular mountain scenery, historic sites, canyoning, bushwalking, rock climbing, abseiling, bird watching and photography

Check out the full feature in issue #111 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.