Queensland Camping: Our Top 10 QLD Camping Spots

Queensland Camping: Our Top 10 QLD Camping Spots

There are a lot of great things about Queensland, and one of the greatest things is the seemingly unending parade of superb holiday locations to enjoy, from the tip of Cape York right down to Coolangatta.

If you're looking for a summer break in the more northern reaches of Australia, here are 10 of the best family-friendly camping and holiday spots for you and your loved ones to enjoy.

BIG 4 Gold Coast Holiday Park, Gold Coast

As everyone can attest, there is no shortage of accommodation options on the Gold Coast but you'll be hard-pressed to find something that beats the Big 4 Group's Gold Coast Holiday Park for a memorable family - and dog-friendly - summer camping spot that is feature-stacked.

Kangaroos wander through parts of the park in the morning, and staff are happy to point out where the koalas are hiding in the local gum trees. There's also Big 4's Water Park with super slides, a toddler pool and private cabanas with waiting service, plus jumping pillows, frisbee golf and table tennis. The licenced cafe does brekkie, lunch and dinner, and many of the sites feature fire pits for really getting into the swing of the camping lifestyle.

An extensive selection of self-contained on-site villas and cabins with wheelchair access for accommodating families of almost any size are located directly opposite the Gold Coast's famed theme parks. If you want to pitch a tent or park the caravan - including slabs that comfortably accommodate big rigs and motorhomes up to 26ft/8m - Big 4 Gold Coast offers roomy, well-grassed powered and non-powered sites, as well as boat parking (again, with a 26ft/8m limit). Caravan and motorhome owners have access to great drainage, discharge points and easy parking thanks to drive-thru sites.

Adding to this exhaustive list are amenities such as wifi, showers, toilets, family bathrooms and a disabled bathroom. There are BBQs, a camp kitchen, LPG bottle refills or swaps, ice and a laundry boasting large-capacity washing machines and dryers. Furry family members are also accommodated with an off-lead area at the rear of the park and 'puppy pamper palace' for a good bath or cooling down.

Rainbow Beach Ultimate Camping, Sunshine Coast

Rainbow Beach

When it comes to camping on the Sunshine Coast, Rainbow Beach Ultimate Camping at Inskip Peninsula - 12 minutes north of Rainbow Beach Village - is a special camping experience.

While you're more than welcome to bring your own tent and camping equipment from home, Rainbow Beach Ultimate Camping offers guests fully prepared camping sites right on the beach. The park's owner is passionate about inspiring future generations to fall in love with camping while protecting the environment, so packages here (not to be confused with the glamping trend) include a complete set-up and pack-down of your campsite (pitch and pack) and everything else you need to cook, sleep and eat including your own private toilet and shower as a way of showing the young ones the fun of camping.

Rainbow Beach Ultimate is an excellent base camp for plenty of bush walks and hikes, as well as visiting Fraser Island, Teewah Beach or four-wheel driving to Double Island at low-tide. You can also kayak, paddleboard, fish, whale-watch, charter a deep-sea fishing boat or feed dolphins. If you're looking for some swimming, there's a surf beach on one side and a stillwater tidal bay on the other, no wider than 500 metres in most parts.

If you're not using one of the camping sites, there are long-drop toilets scattered throughout the park and you'll need to bring your own camp shower. Mobile phone reception can be sketchy within the grounds but campers can get a good signal on sealed roads and parts of the beaches.

Rainbow Beach Ultimate Camping is both campfire and pet-friendly, and the nearby town has excellent food and cafe options.

Coolum Beach Holiday Park, Coolum

With more than 240 sites spread across 10 acres, Coolum Beach Holiday Park makes camping Sunshine-Coast-style a breeze.

The park is situated on Coolum Beach, right next to the Surf Club, and is within easy walking distance to shops and restaurants in the main village. As well as spending a lazy day listening to the crashing of the waves while the kids play on a lifeguard-patrolled beach, Coolum has plenty of family-friendly activities on offer such as hiking Mt Coolum for amazing views of the coast, a leisurely stroll along the headland boardwalk, exploring the many bike paths around town or casting off at a fishing spot.

The park has six luxurious villas with air conditioning and other mod-cons, as well as a selection of powered and unpowered camping and caravan sites to suit two-person tents right through to large caravans with concrete slabs for an annex. Camping sites are serviced by three amenities blocks, wifi, baby bath and change tables, two coin-operated laundries and direct access to Coolum Beach.

Your canine pals are welcome (on application only), and a 10pm noise and party curfew is enforced so festivities don't get out of control.

Lake Moogerah Caravan Park, Lake Moogerah

Lake Moogerah

Families looking for an action and adventure-filled summer break need to look no further than Lake Moogerah Caravan Park on the shores of Lake Moogerah. This is the place for water-based activities and to beat the fierce Queensland heat with permit fishing, boating, jet-skiing, stand-up paddle-boarding, kayaking and swimming.

Lake Moogerah is also an unparalleled place to base you and the family for exploring the pristine wilderness of the famous Scenic Rim precinct. There's no shortage of bushwalking experiences including hiking to Mount Edwards, Mount Greville Lookout or exploring Moogerah Peaks National Park. Packing a picnic lunch and taking in the views of the lake from Moogerah Dam Picnic should also feature highly on your list of things to do.

Lake Moogerah Caravan Park has 115 sites, with a small number of these set aside as powered caravan sites - the rest are unpowered, well-grassed and well-shaded.

The park also has three ramps for launching boats and an amenities block featuring hot showers, toilets and laundry facilities, a well-stocked kiosk, camp kitchen and electric BBQs, fire pits, picnic tables and a playground for the kids. Note that you'll need to bring your own potable water with you.

Cylinder Beach Camping Ground, North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke Island

There's no shortage of campsites to choose from on North Stradbroke Island - or 'North Straddie', as it is affectionately termed. Places like Amity Point, Adder Rock and Bradbury's Beach are all sensational but, when it comes to family-friendly camping, Cylinder Beach is hard to toss.

The main activities on the island involve all of your usual summer favourites - like snorkelling and scuba diving, fishing, stand-up paddle-boarding, and beach cricket and beach soccer - but where Cylinder Beach comes into its own is with surfing, so don't forget to pack your board. There are also plenty of nature walks, BBQs, picnic tables, and nearby cafes and restaurants in Point Lookout.

Cylinder Beach Camping Ground offers 60 unpowered tent sites and eight powered sites. For the family that insists on having creature comforts, the super-popular family eco island tents fit the bill. There are toilets and shower facilities, washing machines, a dishwashing area, playground and wifi available for guests. Everyone is welcome, even guests of the four-legged, furry kind.

Charlie Moreland, Imbil State Forest

A haven for families who prefer an off-the-grid summer camping holiday, Charlie Moreland's camping area in the Imbil State Forest is the chance to disconnect from the modern world and truly get back to nature.

Apart from resting, relaxing and unwinding, bushwalking and hiking are the main attractions at Charlie Moreland. Between the 780-metre Fig Tree Walking circuit, the 1.5-kilometre Little Yabba and the 3.5-kilometre Piccabeen, it is easy to get the kids invested in discovering local wilderness and staying active. For the more experienced and fitter hiker, the 8.8-kilometre Mount Allen trail is an amazing way to explore Conondale National Park.

After a hike, you can cool off with a swim or supervise the kids on their inflatables in Little Yabba Creek.

Charlie Moreland is accessible by two and 4WD, although there are sections of unsealed roads leading to the campsite. The campground accommodates tents, camper trailers, campervans and caravans on well-grassed areas. All sites are unpowered, and generators are banned.

You'll need to bring your own showers and potable water from home - however, the grounds have flushing toilets with wheelchair access. The park also provides picnic tables and BBQs in a day-use area and fire pits at each site with year-round availability, with the exception of Total Fire Ban days (BYO firewood). There are no rubbish bins on the grounds, so make sure you can take your rubbish with you, and store it so the local wildlife can't get at it! Bring plenty of spare change too - mobile reception is poor to non-existent, so the payphone at the ranger's office gets a good workout.

Thunderbird Park, Tamborine Mountain

Tamborine Mountain

Another option for the family - particularly families with furry kids - who want to cram in the maximum amount of action and adventure into their summer camping trip is Thunderbird Park, located on the edge of the Tambourine National Park.

Nestled within the stunning rainforests of the Gold Coast hinterland, there's no shortage of activities for everyone to enjoy. For the adrenaline junkies, Thunderbird Park's Tree Top Challenge is a guided zip-line and high-rope tour that caters to all fitness levels. There's also 4X4 buggy rides (weather permitting) and laser tag skirmish. If that's not enough, the park is also nicely situated for day trips to the Gold Coast theme park precinct.

With views of the open canyon, rock pools and waterfalls, Cedar Creek Falls heads the list of hiking and bushwalking attractions surrounding Thunderbird. The hiking trails in the adjacent National Park and surrounds will immerse you and your family in the kind of natural beauty that won't be easily forgotten.

If you're looking for something a bit more leisurely, the whole family can visit Thunderegg Crystal Mine and fossick for treasures hidden among prehistoric volcanic lava. There's also Thunderbird Park's Fun Fair with paddle boats, water bikes, pedal go-karts and jumping castles. You might like to try your hand at playing Pickleball - a hybrid of badminton, tennis and table tennis.

For cooling off, Thunderbird Park has two rock pools. Bathers and sensible walking shoes must be worn when trailing along Cedar Creek, which is lined by subtropical rainforest and open woodlands. Reef shoes are recommended when in the rock pools for safety, and kids must be supervised by a responsible adult at all times.

Recharge the batteries with drinks and snacks at The Terrace Kiosk, and the Rainforest Restaurant offers hot and cold brekkie, as well as a contemporary lunch and dinner menu.

This 112-hectare property of subtropical rainforest provides a choice of bush lodges, glamping, and powered and unpowered camping sites with oodles of shade. There's an amenities block with showers and toilets, and a camp laundry. You'll also find a basic, but popular, camp kitchen with electric BBQs for cooking, and fire pits at all van and tent sites. You'll need to come with your own potable water.

Although Thunderbird Park is dog-friendly, pit bull terriers have to stay at home. All dogs must be leashed and never left unattended, and there's a strict 10pm noise curfew and 'no parties' rule.

The Settlement Campground, Springbrook National Park

Springbrook National Park

Springbrook National Park is located in the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area - one of Queensland's five World Heritage properties and part of the global World Heritage Family. Settlement Campground - the park's only camping area - is an idyllic summer camping location for families that love nature.

The Settlement offers hikers and bushwalkers a range of short and full-day trips that give you the chance to see a variety of protected animal species in their natural habitat, or take in the amazing rainforests and waterfalls to be found within Springbrook National Park. For example, the camping area is linked by a short walking track to the top of Purling Brook Falls that links up with the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk.

Located on a plateau in the Gold Coast hinterland, the temperatures can be a bit cooler than usual in summer here but, if you're keen to swim, the Gold Coast beaches are around an hour away from The Settlement by car.

The Settlement consists of 12 unpowered, tent-only campsites measuring 10m x 4.2 and an individual parking bay. Open fires, pets and generators are banned. Campers need to bring their own food and drink supplies, as well as fuel stoves for cooking.

There are pit toilets, drinking water and a cooking shelter with electric BBQs and a communal picnic table. You'll want to pack a camp shower and you're asked to take all rubbish with you when leaving the campsite. Mobile phone coverage is moderate but improves from the lookouts where you can see the Gold Coast.

The Settlement can be accessed by both 4WD and 2WD vehicles.

Dandabah Campgrounds, Bunya Mountains National Park

Bunya Mountains

Around 200 kilometres northwest of Brisbane, the extremely popular Bunya Mountains National Park consists of three camping areas: Dandabah, Westcott and Burtons Well. Each campground offers a different kind of experience. Of the three sites, Dandabah wins hands-down for summer family camping.

Dandabah has room for 70 guests on their well-grassed tent campsites and can also accommodate caravans, camper trailers and motorhomes. In terms of facilities, there is wifi, picnic tables, shelter sheds, rubbish bins, flushing toilets, hot showers and electric barbecues. You'll need to bring potable water, food and drink from home, and stock up on petrol in Bell or Kumbia before getting into the grounds.

Dandabah's ideal for families who enjoy hiking and bushwalking, with the Bunya Mountains National Park's Scenic Circuit walk being the main event. There are plenty of short strolls and half-day hikes for hikers of all levels of experience and fitness. And why not cap off your day spotlighting for ringtail possum and other wildlife that call the park home?

All roads to the Bunya Mountains are steep, narrow and winding so they're not suitable for oversized vehicles. It's best to err on the side of caution if you're driving a motorhome or towing a van.

Gheebulum Kunungai National Park Campgrounds, Moreton Island

Moreton Island

Known the world over for its 4X4 driving adventures, Moreton Island is also one of the best summer camping spots in Queensland, if not Australia!

Gheebulum Kunungai's National Park Campgrounds include The Wrecks, Ben Iwa, Blue Lagoon, Comboyuro Point and Yellow Patch. While each area boasts relatively basic amenities like non-flush toilets and cold showers, the trade-off is some unforgettable snorkelling and diving experiences, swimming in crystal-clear azure waters, and canoeing and kayaking opportunities.

Gheebulum Kunungai is accessible only by 4X4, and you must obtain a permit to camp and drive through the area, which can be obtained from park management. Campers must be prepared to park on the beach and walk a short distance to each campsite.

Find your local Anaconda store and check out our extensive range of camping gear to get you ready for your next outdoor adventure.




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