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7 Awesome Camping Spots Worth Driving South For

By Brooke Darling - 26 Mar 2017

It’s starting to cool down on the Sunshine Coast, which means it’s time to get outdoors and experience the world without sweating like a mofo. Hurrah!

We also rate it as the best time of the year to go camping. If you’ve already conquered the best camping spots on the Sunshine Coast—here and here—we challenge you to gather your mates, pack the car, and go further afield.

To help you out, we’ve found the best camping spots worth driving south for. And, they even cater to the most inexperienced campers! TF.

ISLAND CAMPING | NORTH STRADBROKE ISLAND

For the camping rookie who’s eager to graduate immediately to intermediate on the experience scale, challenge yourself to a weekend away at Straddie. Under the shade of Pandanus palms, She-oak trees, and awash with salty sea breezes, you’ll find basic beachside campgrounds peppered throughout, including Amity Point, Cylinder Beach, and Adder Rock. An island getaway without the exotic price tag, best attempted minus the chaos of school holiday crowds.
So where is it? Various locations across North Stradbroke Island
But how far is it from the Sunshine Coast? About 4 hours, including a ferry.

RAINFOREST CAMPING | BINNA BURRA LODGE

Regardless of your camping prowess, if you wanna lift your camping obsession to new heights right from the outset, you’ll want to book yourself a posi at stunning Binna Burra Lodge. A stay at the lodge itself is out of the league for most of us, but you can experience the rainforest magic at a fraction of the price. Go luxe by booking one of their canvas “safari tents” or BYO tent (or campervan) to pitch among the lush forest and take advantage of the lodge’s guided bush walking, activities, and flying fox for a nominal extra fee. Without question, this is some of the best camping south of the Sunshine Coast.
So where is it? 1069 Binna Burra Road, Beechmont
But how far is it from the Sunshine Coast? About 2.5 hours.

THE SETTLEMENT | SPRINGBROOK NATIONAL PARK

Other than the Sunshine Coast, where else in Australia do you have big city amenities, a buzzing dining scene, endless near-empty beaches, an airport, and a verdant rainforest hinterland all within spitting distance? You guess it, the Gold Coast! Imagine camping five minutes’ walk from one of our southern sister’s most dramatic waterfalls, Purling Brook Falls? With just 11 sites, The Settlement is Springbrook National Park’s only campground and has all the basics you need—compost toilets, water, and free barbecues (no showers). Don’t forget the shade and mozzie repellent (or to book)!
So where is it? Carricks Road, Springbrook
But how far is it from the Sunshine Coast? About 2.5 hours.

BIGRIGGEN PARK | SCENIC RIM

Okay, so this is a bit of a drive, but it’ll be worth it to experience the bush camping you’ve been dreaming about; towering gums, babbling brooks, and native wildlife scurrying about (beware of the possums!). This 55-hectare campsite of grassy fields in the foothills of Mount Maroon is surrounded with scenic spots for hiking, bush bashing, river swimming, fishing, or water sports at nearby Maroon Dam, if you BYO boat or canoe.
So where is it? 196 Bigriggen Road, Bigriggen
But how far is it from the Sunshine Coast? About 2.5 hours.

FINGAL HOLIDAY PARK | FINGAL HEAD

If falling asleep to the methodical sound of crashing waves is more your style (us, too!), dip your toes in the camping scene with a short stay at well-established campground, Fingal Holiday Park. All the essential amenities will ensure you’re never stretched too far from your comfort zone. While you’re there, hunt down the wild and hidden beaches of Litita Spit and Kerosene Inlet, the perfect backdrop to your “we’re camping biatches” Insta bragging. Fingail is easily one of our fave beach towns to drop in to when we’re gallivanting down south.
So where is it? Prince Street, Fingal Head
But how far is it from the Sunshine Coast? About 2.5 hours.

GLAMPING | NIGHTFALL WILDERNESS CAMP

Don’t own a tent, nor have any desire to sleep on the rock-hard earth, but still eager for a night under the stars? Luxe glamping operation, Nightfall Wilderness Camp has nailed it with the perfect combination of secluded wilderness and wholesome luxuries. Finer details of each tent include elements like hand-carved stone basins, smooth wire-brushed timber floors, and lush organic bedding. Not sold yet? (Are you CRAZY!) How about private natural spa-pools, lazy hammocks, explorations into the tangled forest, or—wait for it—an outdoor massage by the creek. Warning: you’ll be spoiled from actual camping for life.
So where is it? 3009 Christmas Creek Road, Lamington
But how far is it from the Sunshine Coast? About 3 hours.

MT WARNING BASE CAMP | MT WARNING RAINFOREST CAMP

Longing to tick the Mount Warning sunrise hike off your bucket list but can’t bare the 3am wakeup call? Well, you can pitch a tent at base camp and brush up on your camping skills in the same trip! Mount Warning Rainforest Camp in the Northern Rivers region has you covered with sweet facilities like coin-operated barbecues, camp kitchen, wifi, and a swimming pool for that post-hike splash. Weekend = sorted!
So where is it?153 Mount Warning Road, Mount Warning
But how far is it from the Sunshine Coast? About 3 hours.

Image Credit: Homecamp

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