Alright so if we’re being honest with ourselves, a lot of us have nice little two-man tents that only really laid deep in the cupboard waiting for Southbound Festival – yeah? Well it’s time to dust them off and use them as part of the new, adventurous, get-outside-and-explore-WA you!
We’re all well aware of Western Australia’s stunning coast, but you might not be quite as aware of the ample opportunities for camping getaways right alongside those beautiful beaches. From the well-known to hidden away, here’s a little primer to get you started on some of the best spots.
Note: Before heading along to the more remote options below, make sure you visit the Parks And Wildlife Services website to find out essential info on things like fees and fire safety.
Sandy Cape National Park is a quick 10km north of Jurien Bay, and the closest beach to Perth where you can legally camp on the beach (that isn’t a Caravan Park). It’s a first-come, first-serve deal, although with plenty of sites available you should be fine outside of peak holiday periods. Fishing and diving are your go-to activities, and having a 4wd will help you explore a little further north and south.
Photo by @chaddywilson
Another one closer to Perth, 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.
Photo by @straussjvr
Conto Campground near Conto Springs Beach is huge, with over 100 sites nestled amongst shady peppermint woodlands in Boranup, 20 minutes south of Margaret River. It’s mostly accessible with 2WDs, and has some stellar hiking trails (jump on the Cape To Cape track here) to go with surfing, fishing or just putting ya feet up and relaxing.
Photo by @ktgeeee
Hamelin Bay has been a popular tourist destination in WA for decades, and it’s not hard to see why. Long, white sandy beaches, beautiful turquoise water and marine life abound just 25 minutes south of Margs. Birdspotting around the freshwater lake near the caravan park is a must, and of course don’t forget their world famous stingrays.
Photo by @jaxonfoale
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 plenty of great bushwalks and birdspotting. You can even bring the doggo (provided it stays on a lead of course).
Photo by @_sendinit
Only 100km north of Perth lies one of its best kept and peaceful little secrets – Moore River. With both the river and sea to play in, there’s canoeing, kayaking, fishing, surfing, sandboarding, 4WDing and bushwalking on offer – to name but a few. Guilderton has put a huge emphasis on preserving their wonderful natural assets so anyone can come and enjoy them.
Photo by @aquaflyte
If you’re looking for something a little closer to home, Coogee Beach is just 10 minutes south of Freo and pretty damn gorgeous. Crystal clear water and white sandy beaches play host to plenty of beach walks, swimming and fishing. It’s also shark netted if you’re worried about any stray noahs.
Photo by @tomproudfoot
So it’s not technically on the beach, rather the shores of scenic Martins Tank Lake, it’s only a short trip 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.
Photo by @infinitepandastudios
Parry Beach is a volunteer-managed camping ground in delightful Denmark that provides basic amenities along with beach boat launching. It’s a great spot for surfing and swimming, and for the keen hikers out there the Bibbulmun Track winds along the 5km stretch of beach. Make sure you pop into Greens Pool for a relaxing dip before checking out the epic Elephant Rocks.
Photo by @lighthousebound
Eighty Mile Beach
Eighty Mile Beach between Port Headland and Broome is a glorious stop-over point along our northern coast, with great fishing and of course WA’s famous sunsets. The campgrounds at Eight Mile Beach Caravan Park offer around 200 sites, most of them powered, with cabins also available.
Photo by @tripinavan
Half the mileage but no less fun is Gnoorea Point AKA 40 Mile Beach, a remote camping experience 60-odd kilometres out of Karratha. Bring your fishing tackle to catch a feed, and enjoy a little less wind than most places up this way thanks to plenty of protection. Amenities are basic/non-existent, so make sure you come prepared.
Photo by @thegreatescapeaustralia
Milligan Island Camping Node
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.
Photo via @wikicamps
D’Entrecasteaux National Park
D’Entrecasteaux National Park is a narrow strip of land running over 130km between Augusta and Walpole, and looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Steeped in environmental and indigenous history, the geographically impressive location truly feels like another world. It’s raw, rugged and pristine, and a must-do destination for those really wanting to escape to a new part of WA.
Photo by @coxy_thewildthing
Cape Range National Park
Where the rugged landscape of Northern WA meets the vibrant Ningaloo Marine Park, Cape Range National Park is an adventure-seekers playground. Ancient rivers wind through magnificent red rock gorges out into the blue seas of the Ningaloo Coast, and possibilities are legitimately endless. Snorkelling, swimming, fishing, surfing, bushwalking… You name it – it’s a truly special part of our coastline. Ningaloo Station is another stellar option to get amongst this area.
Photo by @oneway.adventure
Elsewhere around Ningaloo, Warroora Station is another stellar campground that puts you right on the brilliant blue waters of the Coral Coast. The unpowered sites are well equipped with camp kitchen, hot showers, toilet amenities and more. All that said, make sure y0u bring some drinking water, and probably don’t try and roll up in a 2WD.
Photo via @jade_elise_collins
Staying at Prevelly puts you smack-bang in the middle of some of the world’s finest surf breaks, along with plenty of options to explore inland as well. There’s some excellent rockpools to be explored north of surfer’s point at lowtide, or why not get a kayak and head up the Margaret River once you’ve finished learning to surf at the River Mouth.
Photo via @the_dunes_
Lucky Bay (Kalbarri)
About 30km south of Kalbarri you’ll find Lucky Bay, a popular spot for beach campers and those who fancy a bit of adrenalin on their coastal stays. Thanks to an outer reef along the length of the bay it’s a great for swimming and snorkelling spot, while the dunes provide protection from the wind and plenty of fun for motorbike and dune buggie enthusiasts.
Photo by @azabreaks
Dirk Hartog Island
Shark Bay is filled with some spectacular coastal vistas and also the delightful Dirk Hartog Island, itself home to some nine national park campsites. Head east to get out of the prevailing northwest area winds and enjoy beaut beach fishing, snorkelling, SUPing and more. This site lays it all out nicely for you.
Photo by @camvanadventures
If you’re wondering where in WA you can red dunes meeting meet the sea, Francois Peron National Park within the Shark Bay World Heritage area is the place. The Big Lagoon has a great camping area and is a fantastic jumping off point for some of the state’s best kayaking and canoeing, while Cape Peron and Skipjack Point Lookout offer spectacular views unique to our little corner of the world.
Photo by @dusoleildanslespoches
Did we miss a place that should be on here? Let us know at [email protected]
Header photo via @ningaloostation.