Whether you’re into fishing, bushwalking, swimming or simply relaxing in nature, we’ve got you covered with our latest bush camp picks

WORDS Janie Medbury

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Sturt Bay, SA

If you’re willing and self-sufficient enough to go sans facilities – that is, no toilets, no showers, no barbecues, no water and even no shade or phone reception – but with the reward of ocean views, peace and quiet, and great swimming and fishing spots, then Sturt Bay is just the spot for you. Based 13km south of Warooka on the south coast of the Peninsula, Sturt Bay campsite is only accessible via a sandy dirt road, and it is best suited to tents, camper-trailers and small caravans.

Visitors will need a permit, which you can get from the visitors centre, and their own water and firewood. Dogs are allowed, as long as they are kept under control. Anglers in particular will love Sturt Bay, described as a “mullet fisher’s paradise”, where you can expect to catch big, healthy fish from late March through to the winter. Huge King George whiting can also be found in the deeper water off Sturt Bay, near Point Davenport.

Cost: $10 per night or $35 per week
Address: Sturt Bay Rd, Warooka SA 5577
GPS: -35.107891, 137.402457
Toilets: No
Showers: No
Campfires: Yes (BYO wood)
Max Stay: 6 weeks
Road Access: Dirt road
Water: No
Number of Sites: 1
Power Available: No
Dog-Friendly: Yes
Suitable for Big Rigs: No

 

Lake Mackintosh Camping, Tas

This camping area offers magnificent views of Lake Mackintosh, a man-made lake that runs adjacent to the town of Tullah, on the west coast of Tasmania. The views are majestic – lush green forests frame the lake with mountain ranges looming in the distance. It’s the perfect place to fish (brown and rainbow trout are plentiful) and boat (there’s a ramp right near the campsite), or just savour the wilderness surrounding you – whether that means a relaxing picnic by the water or embarking on a challenging bushwalk.

There are plenty of easy walks, as well as a tough but rewarding walking trail that leads to the Mt Farrell summit; this three-hour trek presents you with superb views of the forest, lake and the township of Tullah. The campsite is located off Mackintosh Dam Road, past a single-lane road across the main dam wall where you’ll cross the spillway (provided it’s not flooding). There are sites for caravans and camper-trailers but limited spots for tents, and you’ll need to bring your own firewood and drinking water. There are toilets, picnic tables and barbecues.

Cost: FREE
Address: Mackintosh Dam Road, Tullah, Tas 7321
GPS: -41.712223, 145.638995
Toilets: Yes
Showers: No
Campfires: Yes (BYO wood)
Max Stay: 7 days
Road Access: Good
Water: No
Number of Sites: Limited
Power Available: No
Dog-Friendly: Yes
Suitable for Big Rigs: Yes

 

The Gums Campground, Vic

Just 65km north of Melbourne, The Gums Campground is an ideal family camping spot that forms part of the Kinglake National Park. Here, you will be surrounded by forests filled with ferns and towering eucalypts, set among rolling hills and a nearby mountain stream. There are plenty of walking tracks by which you can explore the bushland, and lookouts that lend striking views of the city skyline, Port Phillip Bay and Yarra Valley. Apart from bushwalking, there’s also great spots for picnicking, cycling and horse riding.

The Gums Camping Area has plenty of sites, five of which can be used by caravans up to 20ft. You will have access to shared toilets, picnic tables and fireplaces, along with a barbecue. Campers should bring their own drinking water and firewood, which is sold at Kinglake in the winter. Sites need to be booked and paid for in advance, with more no more than one vehicle and six people allowed per site.

Cost: $26.30-$27.90 per night
Address: Glenburn Road, Kinglake, Vic 3763
GPS: -37.471016, 145.393451
Toilets: Yes
Showers: No
Campfires: Yes
Max Stay: 30 nights
Road Access: Yes
Water: No
Number of Sites: 18
Power Available: No
Dog-Friendly: No
Suitable for Big Rigs: No

 

Wyanbene Caves, NSW

The Wyanbene Cave camping area, nestled beside the fascinating cave formations, can be found within the Deua National Park, 47km south of Braidwood in southern NSW. The park offers stunning scenery – mountains, limestone caves, valleys and rivers. There are plenty of natural wonders to see, including the Big Hole, a huge 96-metre pit, and the Marble Arch, an impressive, narrow-roofed canyon. Wildlife in the region is abundant; echidnas, eastern grey kangaroos, wallabies, wedge-tailed eagles and platypus are commonly sighted.

The Wyanbene Caves camping area is only suitable for tents, so leave your caravans and camper-trailers at home. There’s toilets and barbecues, but be sure to bring along drinking water and firewood. Bear in mind that you will need a permit if you want to explore the caves.

Cost: FREE
Address: Wyanbene Caves, Wyanbene, NSW 2622
GPS: -35.801329, 149.684802
Toilets: Yes
Showers: No
Campfires: Yes
Max Stay: Unknown
Road Access: Unsealed
Water: No
Number of Sites: 7
Power Available: No
Dog-Friendly: No
Suitable for Big Rigs: No

 

Elim Beach Campsite – Eddies Camp, Qld

Often considered one of Australia’s best bush-beach campsites, Elim Beach is an out-of-the-way camping spot in Cape York that is only accessible by 4WD. It’s just over an hour’s drive from Cooktown and roughly 26km from Hope Vale Aboriginal Community. It’s an oasis of soft, white sands with hundreds of starfish, crabs and sea cucumbers, and views of the Coloured Sand cliffs. You can get to the sand dunes via 4WD when the tide is out. Kids will love climbing the dunes and sliding down them with a boogie board, or why not try kite surfing at the nearby Australian Kite Surfari.

The campsite provides flush toilets, cold showers and drinking water; visitors will need to stock up on supplies on their way through Cooktown, as there are no nearby shops. Campers can take their pick of a coveted beachside spot, or under the abundance of shady trees a little further back. Sadly, you can’t swim in the beach due to crocodiles, but it’s fine to walk up to the water’s edge during the day.

Cost: Permit required
Address: Hope Vale, Qld 4895
GPS: -15.261101, 145.286213
Toilets: Yes
Showers: Yes (Cold)
Campfires: Yes
Max Stay: Enquire
Road Access: 4WD only
Water: Yes
Number of Sites:
Power Available: No
Dog-Friendly: Yes
Suitable for Big Rigs: No

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