“Take me to the ocean” – Unknown
Top 7 Beach Campsites for Campers in Australia
One of the main motivators for doing a road trip around Australia is the huge selection of sites that offer beach camping. We travelled coastal roads all around the country, from Sydney to Cairns, hugging the edges of Tasmania, and from Adelaide back to Sydney. We hunted out the best beach campgrounds wherever possible, especially if they were free to enjoy.
Many great beach camping locations in Australia, are ‘walk-in only’ so don’t work if, rather than a tent, you have a camper. For those of us who like a bed up off the floor but still want to hear the sound of the ocean, if you know where to look, there are some beautiful beach campgrounds that are suitable for campervans, as well as being just a few steps from the sand.
Here are our top 7 beach campsites for campers in Australia. We highly recommend you aim for them if you are passing these coastal areas. There’s nothing quite like falling asleep to the rhythm of the waves after a long day of driving or waking up in the dark to pick a sandy sunrise spot before hitting the road and continuing on your journey. Beach camping really is the best.
1. Shallow Inlet Campground
Location: Yanakie, VIC
Description: Rural, Low Cost, Nature
Shallow Inlet Coastal Reserve in Yanakie is a natural and wild spot that affords brilliant Australian sunsets. At just $15, this campsite suitable for campers has clean drop toilets, water and no power. For the best beach access, request pitch 25. Not only are you opposite a small path to the ocean, but you are also not too far from the loo for a middle-of-the-night visit. This beach campsite is seasonal so be sure to check your dates before you travel and have cash for the lovely owners.
2. Jeanneret Beach Campground
Location: Bay of Fires Region, TAS
Description: Rural, Free, Picture-Perfect
Jeanneret Beach Campground is a free campsite within the Bay of Fires Region in Australia’s island state of Tasmania. These beach camping pitches are very much first-come-first-served so arrive early to avoid disappointment. There are no facilities here except drop toilets so this is an ideal beach campsite for campers.
Despite the lack of facilities, there are two separate stunning paths that lead down to the surrounding beaches, one of which makes a great sunset spot and the other, a great sunrise spot. The sand is pure white, the rocks have the orange tint associated with the Bay of Fires area and a stay here is simply breathtaking. Trust us, you do not want to miss a sunrise here. We promise it’s worth it.
3. Richardson’s Beach Campground
Location: Freycinet National Park, TAS
Description: Power, Low Cost, Picture-Perfect
Also on Australia’s island state of Tasmania, Richardson’s Beach Campground is located within world-famous Freycinet National Park. At just $16 a night for two adults, this beach campsite for campers is excellent value for money for a powered pitch.
The small path that leads down to Richardson’s Beach is also well worth an early wake up for a beautiful ‘Tassie’ sunrise. Of course, it makes a great sunset spot too, or we recommend you drive around to nearby Honeymoon Bay to witness a day end here. The showers and toilets are basic at this beach camping location but they are certainly more than fair for the price.
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4. Broken Head Holiday Park
Location: Broken Head, NSW
Description: Power, Excellent Facilities, Popular
Broken Head Holiday Park is approximately 17 minutes drive from the centre of Byron Bay so it’s a great base for exploring this very cool Australian coastal town. At $35 a night including a campervan rental discount, this popular beach camping location is very well maintained with excellent facilities. The shower and toilet block is cleaned daily and has a coded lock on the door, so there are always very limited bugs inside.
This beach campsite suitable for camper vans is right on the beach, specifically pitch 7 is the closest. There are great walking tracks nearby, as well as Ti Tree Lakes, and you really can fall asleep to the sound of the sea.
If you would love to road trip in Australia but can’t quite stretch to the cost of a camper, compare costs for Car Hire instead.
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5. Rose Bay Caravan Park
Location: Bowen, QLD
Description: Power, Low-cost, Hippie
Rose Bay Caravan Park is a perfect base for exploring the Australian coastal town of Bowen. At $25 a night for two adults with power, this beach campsite suitable for campers is fantastic value for money, hence why we consider it low cost. Please have cash for the friendly owners who will pretty much let you pick your pitch if they are not booked out. There is a great pool which you will definitely appreciate in Queensland’s humidity, especially if you are travelling in a camper without air conditioning. This site is walking distance to the beach via a small footpath. Beach camping here also comes with the luxuries of laundry and outdoor kitchen facilities, complimented nicely by a real hippie vibe.
Please consider the time of year you are visiting if you want to swim in the ocean, as the nearby beaches wash up large jellyfish in stinger season. If in doubt, chat to the owners who will fill you in on what is safe to enjoy in this area.
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6. Beach Park Tourist Caravan Park
Location: Phillip Island, VIC
Description: Power, Good Facilities, Popular
Beach Park Tourist Caravan Park is a popular spot on Australia’s Phillip Island being only 15 minutes drive to the well-known Penguin Parade. At $36 a night for two adults, this beach campsite for campers seems a costly option. However, this is actually the lowest priced campground on crowd-drawing Phillip Island. So if you want to enjoy the Penguin Parade after dark but minimise your chance of causing road kill, we recommend you stay here.
Many of Australia’s iconic wildlife are most active after dark so always aim to be off the road before dusk. These beach camping facilities are a little old but very clean and best of all, there is a walking track that takes you to the ocean in just two minutes. Grab your morning tea or coffee and enjoy it sitting on the sand.
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7. Green Patch
Location: Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay Territory
Description: Unpowered, Good Facilities, Picture-Perfect
Situated within Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay is a not-to-be-missed location in Australia. Entrance to the park costs $11 for 48 hours and camping at Green Patch costs $17 per night (season dependent). All pitches are unpowered but there are two toilet and shower blocks with good facilities at this beach campsite for campers. This site is literally minutes on foot to the pristinely beautiful sand that Jervis Bay is known for.
We recommend you prepare your campervan meal and then carry it down to the beach, so you can enjoy it from one of the benches overlooking the sea, especially if you can time this with sunset. This is definitely one of those beach camping locations you wake up for sunrise at too! This natural setting was possibly our favourite Australian location.
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Lastly, it’s important to mention that many beaches in Australia are part of a National Park or reserve. These locations are well kept, well respected and make for fantastic overnight camping. You can check which locations you are allowed to pitch up at for the night by using the incredibly handy WikiCamps Australia app. Be a respectful visitor by taking all your rubbish with you, never let chemicals or wastewater seep into the ground, and where possible use eco-friendly soaps, insect repellants and sun creams.
Not only are these spots beautifully kept, but they are also usually deserted! Never have we enjoyed so many stunning locations free from crowds as what we did beach camping throughout Australia. Whether you are looking to enjoy sand-covered sunrises as a couple, afternoon paddles as a family or magical sunsets over the ocean with a group of friends, you won’t be disappointed with these beach campsites for campers in Australia.
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