The trip from Sydney up to the Great Barrier Reef is one for the books. Australia’s East Coast is absolutely filled with sites of natural beauty. The national park system in Australia houses hundreds of sandy white beaches, shady groves, and rocky coves where you can pitch a tent or park a campervan for a night under the stars — many of them even for free.
After you’ve rented your campervan, packed the cabin full of supplies, and taken a good look at your road map, head out onto the open road and make sure to stop at some of these excellent campsites on the way, all of them campervan friendly.
Must-Visit Campsites on Australia’s East Coast
Del Rio Riverside Resort
Right outside of Sydney, this resort rests right near Wiseman’s Ferry and offers multiple powered sites for both tent campers and caravans. The resort offers putt putt golf, self-guided bushwalking tours, waterskiing, and also jumping pillows for kids (and children at heart).
Dunleith Tourist Park
This lakefront campsite, at The Entrance to Central Coast, Dunleith, offers not only powered campervan sites but also boat cruises, beaches perfect for those who like to surf, and a daily pelican feeding. There are several historical attractions in the park or nearby which outline the history of this popular holiday destination — or you could just enjoy the sun and sand on some of the area’s many waterways.
Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort
This Yambda resort offers powered, unpowered, and en suite campervan sites, the latter of which come with a working private bathroom. The ground’s facilities include a pool and spa area, rentable go-karts, and it’s located close to both the Yuraygir and Bundjalung National Parks.
South Stradbroke Island Campgrounds
Take the ferry from Runaway Bay Marina, Sanctuary Cove, or Marina Mirage to get from Gold Coast to this isolated campground on Stradbroke Island. This island lacks the amenities of more developed campgrounds on this list (though all campgrounds have working showers and toilets) but make up for it by offering a secluded sanctuary, nestled between the Broadwater and Pacific Ocean.
Flame Lilly Adventures
This caravan campsite, just past the Great Sandy National Park, offers all powered campsites with access to showers, toilets, a kitchenette, and, oh yeah — a laser skirmish course. You and your family and friends can fight for honor on the field, and then retire for an included snack before night falls, the site’s lack of light pollution making it perfect for star gazing.
Located just out of Rockhampton on the Fitzroy River, Capricorn Caves offers adventure caving as well as both powered and unpowered campervan sites. Have fun trying to slide through Fat Man’s Misery, a 30cm diameter hole in the rock, or climbing up their rock wall and descending down the rock faces into the caves with an abseiling course.
Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park
Offering comfortable one-room fishing huts as well as the standard powered and unpowered campsites, the Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park sits right outside the Cape Hillsborough National Park. Watch kangaroos traverse the park’s beachfront for their morning hop, and, during migration season, keep your eyes out for the turtles and whales that call this stretch of Australia their temporary home.
Airlie Cove Resort and Van Park
The Airlie Cove Resort and Van Park offers tours of both the Great Barrier Reef and the surrounding islands, as well as grounds for campervans. With helicopter rides, boat tours, and snorkeling and diving tours, this resort can give you easy, relaxed, and comprehensive access to the reef and its mysteries, as well as easy, relaxed, and comprehensive access to comfort, amenities, and privacy.