CAMPING ON THE GOLD COAST

The Gold Coast has long been a camper’s paradise. Whether it’s camping right on the beach or in a mountainous hinterland amongst the largest remaining tracts of sub-tropical rainforest left on the planet, the Gold Coast has a campsite just right for you. Take a look at our top list of campgrounds across the Coast.

CAMP BY THE BEACH

There are 57 kilometres of coastline on the Gold Coast – and the best parts of it have a tourist park nearby, offering campsites a minute’s walk from the surf. Few regions in Australia have this sort of beach camping saturation. For as little as $37 per night, you can enjoy an absolute beachfront holiday.

There are nine main tourist parks built on or near the coastline owned and operated by the City Of Gold Coast. These are the parks you absolutely can’t miss:

Kirra Beach Tourist Park is only 300 metres from the world-famous surf beach, Kirra Point. Unpowered sites start from $37 per night, and there’s a kids playground, jumping pillow and recreation room along with laundry, cooking facilities and bathrooms.

Kirra Beach Tourist Park
A dog-friendly campground just a short stroll from the beach, check into Kirra Beach Tourist Park.

Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park is one of the Coast’s most popular sites. Choose between a patrolled surf beach 300 metres away, or the calm waters of Tallebudgera Creek out front (there’s even a boat ramp to launch your boat). Tent sites start at $43 per night and there are also cabins available on the lake. Burleigh Heads National Park is just across the estuary, as well as three swimming pools, a tennis court, kiosks, playgrounds and recreation rooms.

Ocean Beach Tourist Park offers the quintessential Queensland camping experience; right in the sand dunes of iconic Miami Beach. It’s so good you’ll have to battle the locals for a site. Powered sites start at $48 per night – enjoy a beach barbecue or food from the kiosk.

You can view all of the parks here.

Another venue close to the beach, Nobby Beach Holiday Village, offer powered campsites. Ready to go with matting and room for your car, you’ll be close to amenities and the facilities. Did we mention, it’s a 10-minute walk to the beach? It’s hard to get closer than this from a campsite!

LIVE ON ISLAND TIME

It’s one of the Gold Coast’s best-kept secrets: an island just a short ride by ferry from Sea World and The Spit (opposite Southport). It’s one of the world’s largest sand islands…and is almost completely uninhabited. South Stradbroke Island is a conservation park; apart from a small resort, the only way you can sleepover is to camp.

The first of two camping options is Tipplers, with 100 tent sites, a licensed café open for meals on weekends and holidays, a kiosk, gas barbecue and children’s playground. The second option is the Currigee Campground which has 60 tent sites, barbecues and children’s playground. The area is split into North and South Currigee; if you’re wanting to moor a boat and unload on a pontoon, North Currigee is the best option whereas South Currigee offers plenty of sites close to the water.

Tipplers Campground, South Stradbroke Island
Camp by the water at Tipplers on South Stradbroke Island.

Check out the protected waterways on its western perimeter and 22 kilometres of untouched surf beach on its east. Between June and November, it’s a great spot to watch migrating humpback whales. In the centre, you’ll find Melaleuca wetlands and woodlands with endemic golden swamp wallabies.

CAMP NEAR THE THEME PARKS

Though not everyone comes for the beaches. If your family’s intent on adventure, there’s a holiday park perfectly positioned for the Gold Coast’s world-renowned theme parks.

Stay at Big 4 Gold Coast Holiday Park and you’ll be in the heart of the adventure hub, with Warner Bros. Movie World, Wet ‘n’ Wild and Topgolf just a few minutes drive away. There’s also a pool, waterslide and family restaurant onsite, plus it’s dog friendly for those furry companions you just couldn’t leave home without. Recently added earlier in 2020, the all-new Water Park is an activity the kids are sure to love. Think aquatube slides, a multi-lane body slide, tipping bucket, all with a lifeguard on duty to keep a closeful eye.

BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park Helensvale
BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park, Helensvale.

For a truly Aussie experience, look no further than the Paradise Country Farmstay experience. Offering onsite tents with sunrise and sunset activities, egg collecting, cow milking and nightly campfires, it’s conveniently located just off the M1 at Oxenford.

Paradise Country Farmstay
Book into a safari tent or camp/van site at Paradise Country.

A little further north in Upper Coomera a stone’s throw to Dreamworld you’ll find Secura Lifestyle North Gold Coast. A budget-friendly option, there are barbecue facilities, camp kitchen, a swimming pool with pet-friendly, powered camping sites.

CAMP AMONG NATURE

For a different type of Gold Coast camping experience, leave the beaches behind and head for the mountains. It’s just a short drive into the hinterland, where World-Heritage listed national parks offer a unique camping experience, at a higher altitude.

Springbrook National Park is just a 45-minute drive from the Coast. It’s part of the Gondwana Rainforests Of Australia World Heritage Area, with vegetation dating back 150 million years. It’s full of waterfalls and lookouts accessed by easy hikes.

The Settlement in Springbrook National Park is the only place to camp in the area, and it’s only five minutes walk from one of the most dramatic waterfalls, Purling Brook Falls. There’s toilets, drinking water and barbecues, but no shower. At an absolute steal, sites are just $6.75 per person, but you’ll need to book ahead with only 11 sites available. Find out more information here.

Open from 18 September in Lamington National Park and 10 years in the making, the old ‘Green Mountains Campground’ has been given a facelift and is now O’Reilly’s Campground. It’s part of 22,000 hectares of World-Heritage listed rainforest, where there are over 500 waterfalls and 160 kilometres of trails (including a Tree Top walk through the forest canopy). Four generations of O’Reilly’s have run the nearby retreat for almost 100 years. The campground will host 24 tent sites, 21 RV sites, three amenity blocks and a brand new camp kitchen and communal fire pit. There will also be 17 safari tents available to book if you’d prefer a little more luxury for that glamping experience. Even better, two of the Safari Tents are wheelchair-friendly and completely accessible.

O'Reilly's Campground, O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat
Choose between 24 campsites, 21 recreational vehicle spaces or 17 safari tents at the new O’Reilly’s Campground.

The Rainforest Campsite at Binna Burra is built on another escarpment in Lamington National Park. The campground and neighbouring lodge (which was one of Australia’s oldest eco-certified destinations) were devastated by fires in September 2019, but the campgrounds will be open again from September 14. Remember to book ahead, as there are limited spots. Enjoy panoramic views all the way to New South Wales while the cafe will open on September 14, The Lamington Teahouse.

Binna Burra Safari Tents
Now reopen to guests, book into one of the Safari Tents at Binna Burra Lodge.

Camp in the forest with added adventure, at Thunderbird Park, within Tamborine National Park. Campsites are available (and bush lodges) from $42 a night. There’s a new camp kitchen and fire pits as well as an onsite restaurant and lounge bar. But what really sets Thunderbird Park apart is its activities on hand: Australia’s largest, highest and fastest zipline tour is here, and you can fossick in the world’s biggest thunderegg mine, play laser skirmish, mini-golf or take horse riding tours.

FANCY CAMPING: GLAMPING

If you’re after something a little more bougie and don’t have all of the gear, may we suggest letting NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Resort in Biggera Waters do the heavy lifting? Just installed at the park, enjoy a stay in one of their state-of-the-art safari tents. Comfortably sleeping a family of 4, you even have your own private bathroom, veranda, kitchenette, air conditioning, TV with a queen and two single beds. Just around the corner from Harbour Town Premium Outlets and the Labrador foreshore, the park is conveniently located, surrounded by plenty of things to do.

NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Resort Safari Tents
Stay in one of the new Safari Tents at NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Resort.

For an experience where you nominate the location for a weekend getaway, wedding or a party, the team at Glamping Hire Co have you covered, literally. Choose from bell or tipi tents, your preferred location and let them do the rest!

CAMP ON THE WATER!

There are over 50 kilometres of calm water cruising available on the Gold Coast Broadwater (behind Surfers Paradise). Coomera Houseboat Holidays have 14 different sizes of houseboats – skipper it yourself (no boat licence required), and camp out between islands at secluded beaches that few others can get to for a totally secluded and private escape.

Coomera Houseboat Holidays
Camp on the water with Coomera Houseboat Holidays.

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