5 coastal “campsites with a view” downunderBy Jo Lane May 18, 2014 1:14AM UTC
If you’re hankering after prime time beach views right out your campsite door, Australia delivers these up on a sandy platter. They often come complete with a side serving of native wildlife, surfable waves, hiking opportunities and unlimited views, and are on offer in every state so it’s a case of being spoilt for choice. Here are five incredible coastal campsites to choose from.
Yuraygir National Park, New South Wales
There are numerous beach side camping options in this beautiful stretch of coast near Grafton. Illaroo, Boorkoom, Rocky Point, Shelley Head and Red Cliff are just some of the choices available and depend on how self sufficient you want to be and what you want to do. Those keen on fishing might want to try Red Cliff, wheras Shelley Head might be an option as a stopover on the coastal walk, or Illaroo for group camping and those with caravans or trailers. Opportunities to hike, bird watch, fish, see wildflowers, swim, canoe and whale watch are all here in profusion on this stretch of undeveloped coastline. The park stretches for 60 kilometres and features numerous lagoons, surf spots and walking trails. It really has something for everyone. Read more here.
Johanna Beach, Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Located on the dunes behind Johanna Beach this is an excellent stop on the Great Ocean Road northwest of Cape Otway. The Great Ocean Road and its amazing coastal landscape should need little introduction, but if they do think winding coast, incredible sea views and plenty of chance to get away from it all. There are 50 grassy camspites at Johanna Beach and they’re all free. You do need to be self sufficient as no drinking water is provided and it’s really a first come, first served basis for the best spots. Once settled in you can enjoy the beautiful beachside vistas, recover from your jaunt along the Great Ocean Walk if you’re doing that hike and enjoy encounters with nature that could include kangaroos, echidnas and birds. Read more here.
75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island, Queensland
75 mile beach runs almost the entire eastern side of World Heritage listed Fraser Island and is one of the world’s longest beaches. It’s a campsite favourite for those that don’t mind a bit of sand although you’re hard pressed to avoid sand on this island. Fraser is the world’s largest sand island so that means no roads and a 4WD. In fact you need to be pretty self sufficient although stores and fuel are available on the island, and have a knowledge of off road driving. There are a number of formalised camping areas with campsites, water and toilets, but there are plenty of informal zones located behind the dunes. You can camp where they are signposted as long as you’re 50m from a watercourse. If you want to feel all alone in the world this is the place to do it. At night fall asleep to the sound of the Pacific Ocean. Read more here.
Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, Western Australia
You don’t have to get that remote in Western Australia to enjoy superb coastline. Located just south of Perth, this park runs for 120 kilometres between Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste (hence the name). Along that stretch are three campsites, cave formations, karri forest, surf breaks, walking trails (the Cape to Cape walk goes through here), the remains of jetties and plenty of open beach. Hamelin Bay is a fantastic option where there are islands near the shore and stingrays reportedly so friendly they’ll eat out of your hand. Read more here.
Bruny Island, Tasmania
Bruny Island off the southeast coast of Tasmania is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination thanks to its excellent walking tracks, albino kangaroo population, endemic bird species such as the short-tailed shearwater, and a colony of fairy penguins. While there’s camping at a number of private campgrounds around the island, the ultimate for beach views and crystal blue waters is in South Bruny National Park on the southern tip of the island. There are several camp sites here and some of them are free. You do need to bring your own water and firewood, and some require beach access (hence a 4WD is essential). Cloudy Bay is the ultimate in seclusion and dramatic views. Read more here.