Brisbane may be rich in natural splendor, but camping takes getting back to nature to a whole new level. Not all campsites are the same, that’s for sure. Toilets are a must – we Yes, really after all, appreciate something about modern society – as well as activities for every taste and a good old hiking trail.
Fortunately, we’ve made it our mission to put together a definitive guide to the very best campsites in Brisbane (or at least close by) to take the guesswork out of where to take your next trip. Now all you have to do is pack up the car and call the crew together. You’re welcome guys.
Condondale National Park
From beaches to forests, everything is available for camping near Brisbane. camping at Condondale (specifically Booloomba Creek) in the Sunshine Coast hinterland will show you the latter, where you’ll pitch your tent in lush rainforests. Once again, high clearance 4x4s are the only vehicles that can get you to the site, but for the crystal clear waters of the nearby creek it’s so worth it. There are specially placed fire rings for safe campfires, toilets nearby and designated campsites that you must book here.
Similar to Moreton, Bribie is unreal when it comes to camping in Brisbane. You can camp in the bush or on the beach on this infamous island, and one spot is so remote that it can only be reached by boat. Most sites have showers, toilets, grills, picnic tables, and designated campfire circles. Not only can you unplug and charge, but you can also go boating, fishing, and exploring the expansive beaches and forests.
A little slower, Wivenhoe Dam is your place if you are interested in kayaking and canoeing. With no motor boats allowed the water is very calm making for a comfortable relaxing experience or spot to fish. If you want to upgrade your experience, head to the Pure Glamping tents. But if you want some use of that tent you bought last summer, pitch your own on the lake’s grassy shores.
D’Aguilar National Park
A quick 30 minute drive will bring you to shore D’Aguilar National Park, a green camper’s dream with all the comforts. The campgrounds are located right next to Neurum Creek and draw crowds with their trail bike trails, swimming opportunities, and breathtaking hiking trails. Pitch your tent and keep an eye out for a stunning blue-green winged butterfly or two. Interestingly, Neurum Creek is one of the D’Aguilar Range’s last natural breeding sites for Richmond Birdwing butterflies, and you can often see them flying around the creek.
Lake Moogerah Caravan Park is situated directly on the shores of stunning Lake Moogerah, a pristine piece of Queensland wilderness just 100 kilometers from the CBD. Framed by mountains and boasting one of the calmest lakes you’ll ever see, Lake Moogerah is popular with both water sports enthusiasts and celebrity photographers alike – meaning the range of activities on offer is sure to keep every member of your party happy. Pitch a tent and settle in with a good book. We promise you won’t be disappointed with this total retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Nestled among 250 acres of verdant hilltops, gently winding rivers, towering gum trees and perfectly grassy patches, Bigriggen Park is one of Queensland’s best kept secrets, and with good reason. An hour’s hike from the campsite brings you to a stunning swimming hole perfect for a post-hike swim, while plenty of streams provide a babbling soundtrack to your relaxation. With a cap of 700 campers, even during the busy long weekend season, a stay at Bigriggen Park will feel like a true nature getaway any time of the year. Well what are you waiting for?
Cylinder Beach on Stradbroke Island
Nothing beats pitching a tent on the beach with a lean latte in hand – that’s exactly what Cylinder Beach on North Stradbroke Island has to offer. If you’re a surf fan this spot is made for you as it’s just steps away from one of Straddie’s most famous surfing beaches. Shopaholics can also wreak havoc at Point Lookout’s nearby street of cafes, boutiques, and restaurants. Whew, we’re exhausted just thinking about it, which is why you should consider heading to the Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel for some cheeky afternoon drinks.
Off the top of my head, list five things you know about Gympie. If Amamoor Creek isn’t one of them, I hate to tell you, but you’ve missed life. With two campgrounds nearby – Cedar Creek Grove and Amamoor Creek – Amamoor Creek is a camper’s dream with massive pine trees, a strip of grass to pitch your tent on and miles of hiking trails through a bird-rich forest. Oh, and it’s only $7 a night, so it’s basically perfect. See you there!
Lamington National Park
A campground guide simply would not be complete without at least one mention of Lamington National Park. Home to many of Queensland’s best natural wonders, such as Natural Bridge and Morans Falls, Lamington also has two campgrounds: one public in the Green Mountains portion of the park and one privately managed adjacent to the Binna Burra portion of the park. Both are great and give access to very different sides of the national park. While the process of obtaining a permit to camp in Lamington can be a little tedious, the end result is more than worth the effort as local governments are keen to protect its pristine beauty.
Mount Barney National Park
Located just an hour and a half from Brisbane CBD, Mount Barney National Park is a must-see for the more seasoned adventurers among us, as campsites on the mountain itself are only accessible by foot. That being said, there are a few campgrounds nearby – mainly Mt Barney Lodge Campground – for those wanting to explore Mt Barney’s stunning natural beauty and retreat to a safe haven at the end of the day. Rising like a sentinel from the surrounding hills, Mount Barney’s summit offers some stunning views of the surrounding countryside and more than one watercourse to traverse. Put on your best fedora and pretend you’re Indiana Jones, boys, because you’re about to have the camping adventure of a lifetime.
Camping Peach Trees
Located adjacent to beautiful Yabba Creek in the Jimna State Forest, Peach Trees Campground is the perfect weekend getaway for the family. A number of hiking trails start at the campground, the most popular of which is the 700-metre Yabba Creek Circuit Walk, which crosses a suspension bridge and takes you to the opposite side of the creek where you can dip your toes in the cool, sparkling water. Open fires are also allowed in grills and fire rings, so be sure to pack some extra marshmallows for a truly authentic camping experience. Also, the campground is called Peach Trees and that’s the most adorable thing we heard all week.
Fancy a Brisbane camping trip in ‘island paradise’? Moreton Island is where it is. A little prep is needed now, so be sure to heed our advice (and that of Brisbane City Council). First of all, accessing the campgrounds and navigating the entire island is only possible with high-clearance 4WD vehicles – the Corolla hatchback won’t make it. Second, you need to cross over onto the ferry, which requires a pre-booked ticket. Do you have your cruiser and ticket? Great, now the best camping awaits – secluded beach sites, snorkeling, scuba diving, bird watching, sand tobogganing, bush walks, fishing and even dolphin feeding.
Would you like something further away? Find the best campsites in Queensland here.
Credit: Chris Holder