Beach camping tips: How to plan the perfect beachside camping getaway

Beach camping tips: How to plan the perfect beachside camping getaway

One of the many benefits of beach camping is you don't need a wealth of camping experience under your belt to have a relaxing and invigorating escape from the day-to-day grind. Beach camping holidays are ideal for families who are looking for some fun in the sun and sand between their toes, as well as lots of time in the water. Enjoy swimming, stand up paddle boarding, surfing or body boarding, snorkelling and fishing - not to forget impromptu cricket matches, soccer kickabouts and sandcastle building, or simply doing absolutely nothing except watching the days roll by with a book by your side. Whether you have a 4WD that can access some of the most pristine yet remote beaches or an everyday passenger car that can still get you to a beachside caravan and camping park, everyone can access a beach camping location that's right for them and their families. Make it a holiday to remember with our guide to beach camping.



Quick Links



Research Is Essential

Often the best campsites lie at the end of the most inaccessible tracks. Making sure your vehicle is up to the task before heading off is vital to reaching your end destination.

Before hitting the road, one of the best beach camping tips is that we can't stress how important it is to do your research. Arriving at your campsite to discover you can't bring pets or there's no toilets or showering amenities, or the beach is only accessible by 4WD is not the best start to your holiday - in fact, it can be downright frustrating! That's why you need to do your research before setting out. There are plenty of beach campgrounds that have restrictions depending on the time of year - some even close or are off-limits in the winter months. However, most camping grounds and national parks have websites that will give you a thorough rundown of their facilities and when/if they are closed.

These sites are also likely to specify the guidelines they have in place and useful info on things like how to hire or reserve a campsite, where to register or check in when you arrive, noise curfews, fire restrictions and bag limits when fishing, accessibility warnings and emergency contact information. It might sound a bit over the top but check whether swimming is permitted at your destination. Many beachside caravan and camping grounds are managed by local councils and, in some municipalities, swimming at particular sections of the beach may not be permitted because of a lack of patrols by the local surf lifesaving club outside of summer. If you are camping at a 4WD only location, make sure you have the essential safety equipment on board, and that you know how to get unstuck in the event that you get bogged.



What To Take Beach Camping

Careful planning and packing ensures you have all the gear to make the most of your beachside adventure.

No matter where your beach camping adventures take you, there are some basic essentials when it comes to what to take beach camping. As well as life's little luxuries such as laptops, smartphones and tablets for entertainment, it's important you have the right tent, sleeping bags and cooking facilities.


Sun Protection

For efficient sun protection when beach camping, plenty of shade is essential, no matter how much you enjoy the warmth of the sun. Excessive sun exposure can not only lead to sunburn but also dehydration and a host of other dramas that will put a dampener on your camping experience. Having a fly over your tent provides great sun protection and keeps excess light out for when you want a bit of a sleep-in, while adding an awning or gazebo and sunshade to your pack will provide vital shade and protection from the elements on hot, sun-soaked days. Beach umbrellas are a great option for sun protection as well because they provide essential sun protection when beach camping by offering shade, reducing exposure to harmful UV rays and creating a comfortable refuge from the intense sun. They enhance safety and enjoyment during outdoor activities, ensuring a cooler and more enjoyable experience.

Sunscreen is vital for beach camping in Australia due to the intense UV radiation. It safeguards your skin from sunburn, premature aging and reduces the risk of skin cancer. Regular application ensures a protected and enjoyable outdoor experience in the Australian sun. Sunglasses are essential for beach camping to shield your eyes from harsh sunlight and harmful UV rays. They reduce glare, prevent eye strain and protect against long-term damage. With improved vision and eye health, sunglasses enhance the overall camping experience, allowing you to fully enjoy the scenic beauty of the beach.



When it comes to your outfit when beach camping, a hat is crucial for sun protection. It shields your face, neck and eyes from intense sunlight, preventing sunburn and reducing the risk of heat-related issues. When beach camping in Australia, opt for lightweight, breathable clothing to combat the heat. For example, pack a pair of quick-dry shorts and some moisture-wicking tees or tank tops. Long sleeve tops and long pants will provide additional UV protection - but might be too hot, so always check the weather before you set off. Don't forget comfortable footwear for varied terrains, such as sandals or crocs, and it’s a good idea to bring along a light jacket in case it gets cooler in the evening.



When it comes to shelter, tarps or some form of ground covering should be used before setting up your beach tent. Tarps are ideal for keeping you dry if the weather turns nasty and making sure sand stays out of your tent. Always take a few moments to clear away rocks, pebbles or twigs to create as smooth a surface as possible before setting up. Browsing our buying guides will equip you with other important tips on choosing the right tent for the beach, including using tent pegs specifically designed for beach camping. And don’t forget to bring along a sleeping bag or two if you plan on spending the night as well!



Camping chairs, tables and furniture are great for ensuring you don't have to compromise on the comforts of home while you're away. Camping chairs and tables are essential for beach camping, providing comfort and convenience. Chairs offer a relaxed seating option on the sand, while tables create a stable surface for all of your meals and activities. Together, they enhance the overall beach camping experience, making it more enjoyable and functional. A portable camp fridge, cooler or ice box is vital for keeping your food and drinks fresh and cold. Keeping drinks and food cold in a cooler during beach camping is crucial for safety and enjoyment. Cold items prevent bacterial growth, ensuring food safety. Refreshing beverages and chilled snacks also enhance comfort, providing relief from the heat and contributing to a more pleasant outdoor experience.



Wearing swimwear when beach camping is essential for obvious reasons. Swimwear provides the freedom to take refreshing dips, engage in water sports and relax by the shore. Opt for versatile options like board shorts for men or bikini/one-piece swimsuits for women, ensuring comfort and functionality. Quick-drying materials are ideal for beach camping, allowing you to transition seamlessly from water to land. Additionally, swimwear protects your regular clothing from saltwater and sand, promoting a more enjoyable and carefree experience. Having the right swimwear enhances your beach camping adventure, enabling you to fully appreciate the natural beauty and activities of the beach.



What To Consider When Beach Camping

It’s always best to set up camp around high tide so you’re a safe distance from the water's edge.

When you arrive at your destination, choosing where to set up camp is an important decision to get right. 



Look for a spot that gives your group desirable natural views but also protects you from the elements. There's a wealth of apps available that can help you with wind speed and direction in real-time. Knowing if there are strong winds expected in the coming days of your stay will also aid your decision, even telling you whether it's safe to set up camp in the first place. In windier spots, set up camp a bit further back from the shoreline for adequate protection.



It's often tempting to camp on the edge of the water so you can wake up to an inspiring sunrise or cap off your day watching a picture-perfect sunset with an uninterrupted view but allowing for the change of tides is a must when beach camping. In some areas, tidal changes mean the water rises and falls by only a matter of inches but in others - especially the northern parts of Australia - tides can go up and down by five to 10 metres. Make checking the area's tidal charts part of your research before you leave home.



Showering and toilet facilities aren't readily available at most beaches with camping, even more so in national parks, so make sure you choose a campsite that gives you the privacy you need for life's everyday, unavoidable rituals. Portable camp showers and toilets come in a range of designs that protect the natural environment, are easy to clean and offer much-needed privacy.



Arriving to find your campsite strewn with rubbish and other waste isn't just frustrating, it shows a lack of respect to other campers and the natural environment. Respecting the environment and preserving the natural surroundings for others is something we should all take seriously. When packing up camp, take all waste with you, remove traces of your campfires and leave the location as pristine and spotless as you'd expect it to be.



Get All Your Beach Gear At Anaconda Today

Cold drinks, comfy chairs and endless ocean, this is what beachside camping is all about!

Beach camping is ideal for camping beginners. It's a great way to enjoy the sun and surf, especially if the crowds and noise of coastal caravan parks in summer are something you want to avoid. When choosing where to camp, remember to always do your research so you know what facilities to expect, and pack your vehicle accordingly. Include plenty of drinkable water, sunsmart essentials like sunglasses, UPF-protective clothing, a hat and sunscreen, and above all, have fun! Make sure you check out our Adventure Centre for more helpful tips and exciting destinations that you can visit with your friends, loved ones and family. If you liked our Beach Camping Tips, then you might also like some of our other articles for awesome destinations and tips such as:

Find your local Anaconda store and check out our extensive water sports range for your next outdoor adventure




Get Club discounts, attend exclusive events and more