One of the many beauties of North Queensland is that you don’t have to travel far to find an amazing camping spot. We are truly spoiled for choice; choose to camp on the beach and wake up to a sunrise over the ocean, sleep under the rainforest canopy in the Daintree or opt for a farm stay experience to see a different side of life. There isn’t much in life that beats going to sleep and waking up beneath the night sky in paradise. Here are some of North Queensland’s best camping spots.
Cairns and Surrounds
1. Daintree Rainforest Village – Camp in one of the most beautiful areas in the world, in the middle of the Daintree Rainforest.
2. Ellis Beach – North of Palm Cove, Ellis Beach offers a location relatively close to Cairns while not being too touristy.
3. Lake Tinaroo – A number of campsites are available around the lake. If you love watersports, you’ll love Lake Tinaroo. Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park is a great option if you don’t want to rough it too much. They also have stand up paddleboards, conoes, kayaks, peddle carts and fishing boat hire.
4. Granite Gorge Nature Park – just 12 Kilometres from Mareeba, relax in self-contained cabins or comfortable bush camping sites and explore their trails amongst the huge boulder landscape and handfeed a wild colony of Mareeba rock wallabies
5. Eureka Creek, Dimbulah – Free camping area besides Eureka Creek.
6. Upper Davies Creek, Tablelands – Offering camping spots along Davies Creek in tall open forest, great for swimming.
7. Woodleigh Station, Ravenshoe – Sitting on the border of civilisation and the outback, camp on a working cattle farm at Woodleigh Station.
8. Undara Lava Tubes – Explore a delicate ecosystem. The lava tubes were created when lava spilled through into the river many years ago, making for a spectacular sight to see now.
9. Russell Island, Frankland Islands – Bush camping is available on High and Russell Islands, both of which are part of the Frankland Islands group.
10. Babinda Boulders, Babinda – Free camping area located near the beautiful Babinda Boulders, ideal for swimming.
11. Malanda Falls – Malanda Falls Caravan Park is located right by the beautiful Malanda Falls and fringed by rainforest.
12. King Reef Resort, Kurrimine Beach – Camp in a stunning location just steps from the beautiful Kurrimine Beach.
Townsville and Surrounds
13. Wallaman Falls – Camp nearby the spectacular Wallaman Falls, Australia’s highest permanent single-drop waterfall. Adjacent to Stoney Creek, which is great for swimming.
14. Crystal Creek – A gorgeous camping spot in the middle of the rainforest, popular with swimming.
15. Lake Paluma – Lake Paluma is a drinking water storage and offers unique opportunities in a diverse rainforest environment.
16. Balgal Beach, Rollingstone – This free beachside camping area is located next to an estuary, popular for fishing.
17. Magnetic Island – camping at Bungalow Bay Koala Village offers the perfect base to explore Magnetic Island. Spend your days snorkelling, lazing by the beach, spotting koalas or hiking.
18. Saunders Beach, Bluewater – A small beachfront camping area north of Townsville. There is a playground nearby.
19. Keelbottom Creek, Hervey Range – Camp beside a creek lined with paperbark trees, providing plenty of shade.
20. Alligator Creek – Alligator Creek has it all, from gorgeous views to swimming spots and camping, too.
21. Broadwater Creek – This camping area provides a large, open grassy setting surrounded by tall, open eucalypt forests.
Mackay and Whitsundays
22. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island – Camp at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – the dreamy Whitehaven Beach, which has some of the whitest sand in the world.
23. Oh Deere Farm Stay – Stay on a beautiful working cane farm and learn all about sugar cane farming.
24. Cape Palmerston – Cape Palmerston Holiday Park is adjacent to a secluded beach, providing a unique getaway isolated from the hustle and bustle of the city. Spend your time away exploring the national park.
25. St Helen’s Beach – Camp on a beachfront location at the beautiful St Helen’s Beach. picnic tables, barbecues and fireplaces are available for use, as well as toilet and shower facilities.
26. Lake Elphinstone – A free campground great for boating, fishing and bird watching.
27. Keswick Island – Camp on a gorgeous island surrounded by beautiful flora and fauna.
28. Smalley’s Beach, Cape Hillsborough – A shady campsite just a stone’s throw from the beach. Keep your eyes peeled for wallabies and kangaroos.
29. Ball Bay Camping Ground, Cape Hillsborough – Offering secluded camping on a small grassy campground, with the beach close by.
30. Broken River, Eungella – Camp by the gorgeous riverside. You may even be able to spot a platypus!
31. Orkabie Downs, Sarina – Spend the night at a family owned working cattle farm. Give the kids a taste of the farm life by helping collect the eggs and feed the chickens, pig and sheep.
32. BIG4 Whitsundays Tropical Eco Resort – Only a few minutes’ drive from Airlie Beach, this location offers a swimming pool, obstacle course, jumping pillow, kids’ playground and regular family friendly activities.
Pack for all kinds of weather. Ahh, North Queensland – a place where it can be bucketing rain, and clear blue skies ten minutes later. Bring a variety of clothes, including rain gear, jumpers and singlets.
Before you leave home, check the park alerts. Closures are sometimes in place, and weather conditions (such as lots of rain or fire risk) can make camping potentially dangerous. Check the www.parks.des.qld.gov.au website for the latest information. You can also check www.qldtraffic.qld.gov.au for traffic info and www.bom.gov.au for weather info.
Leave the iPad at home. Camping is a great opportunity to reconnect with each other, ground yourself and immerse yourself in all the region has to offer – go out there and have fun!
Check out this camping checklist to make sure you’ve got everything prepared.
Here’s an additional list of fun camping games to keep everyone entertained!