Sure, we’d all love to splash the cash on a few hundred dollars/night, resort-style accommodation around the place, but for many of us that ain’t a reality! There’s no shame in that, in fact going camping is in many respects way better – more fun, a chance to properly switch off from the real world, less environmentally impactful… The list goes on, including being more financially friendly.
Below you’ll find a variety of excellent camping sites close(ish) to Perth that make for a ripper weekend away, just bear in mind many of them are first-in, best-dressed situations – make sure you check ahead beforehand where you can:
Herron Point Campground – $9pp/night
Located just south of the crabbing mecca that is Mandurah, Herron Point Campground in Birchmont has toilets, a camp kitchen, barbecues and more. Located within the Kooljerrenup Nature Reserve, it’s a great fishing and crabbing spot, along with featuring plenty of great bushwalks and birdspotting. You can even bring the doggo (provided it stays on a lead of course).
Martins Tank Campground – $11pp/night
Located on the shores of scenic Martins Tank Lake, it’s only a short trip to hidden gems like Preston Beach, Tim’s Thicket, Myalup and Lake Clifton. The campsite is well decked out with gas barbies, dishwashing sinks and food prep areas, and there’s also a few group camping spaces if you wanna get the crew together.
Marrinup Townsite Campground – $8pp/night
Marrinup campsite is a simple one, set up on open grass where the old Marrinup townsite used to be about 5km northwest of Dwellingup. It’s a popular spot for mountain bike riders as the Marrinup walk and cycle trail can be found here, along with the popular Munda Biddi trail.
Stringers Campsite – $11pp/night
Ideally nestled along the banks of the Murray River, Stingers campground is a quaint little spot that caters to tents only. Perfect for a weekend of swimming, kayaking, mountain bike riding, bushwalks and even a spot of fishing, doggos are allowed but keep ‘em on a leash!
Belvidere – $11pp/night
Belvidere is 20km north of Bunbury and offers both beach and river activities, being based near the Leschenault Inlet. The beach and inlet offer great fishing for different species depending on the time of the year, along with kayaking, bushwalking and 4WDing. The campsite is small, but well catered for with BBQs and firewood available between April and November.
Stockton Lake – $11pp/night
Stockton Lake is where to go if you want to camp by a lake in Collie – although it is on a first-come, first-served basis. Originally an open cut mine, it’s popular for water skiing and boating, and while swimming is permitted, be aware the water is mildly acidic and can cause harm to those with sensitive skin.
Lake Kepwari – $11pp/night
Lake Kepwari is the site of an old coal mine that had been mooted as a potential water-based recreation area for almost a decade, before finally achieving that goal in late 2020. Now it’s a purpose-built recreation zone with parking bays, toilets and barbecues, with designated boating and water ski areas, spots to go swimming, canoeing and fishing, camping zones and more.
Glen Mervyn Dam – $0
You’ll find Glen Mervyn Dam around 18km south of Collie where there’s plenty of water skiing action going down most weekends. It’s also a popular swimming and fishing spot, with camping allowed on the western shore where there’s a toilet provided. The eastern shore is reserved for picnicking and day use, dogs are allowed but be aware of fox baits!
Wannagarren Campground – $8pp/night
For camping right on the beach Wanagarren is one of the closest you’ll find to Perth, with 15 sites suitable for tents, rooftop and awning tents. Self-sufficient campers need only apply, but if you’re in that category you can expect a wonderful time fishing, swimming, snorkelling and even surfing in the right conditions.
Milligan Island Camping Node (Green Head) – $20/night
In between the northwest coastal towns of Green Head and Leeman you’ll find the Milligan Island Camping Node – 36 camp sites in a quiet spot out of town, very close to the beach. The eco tourist site features no running water or power, but does have long drop toilets and gas barbecues. The beaches around the area are an adventurer’s paradise, with snorkelling on Lipfert Island, sandboarding, beach fishing, kitesurfing and even normal surfing in the right conditions – it’s epic.