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The best places to go camping near Brisbane

Swap the hustle of the city for the great outdoors at these truly in-tents destinations

Maxim Boon
Edited by
Maxim Boon
Written by
Katrina Lobley

Feel the urge to leave the concrete jungle behind for a few days and reconnect with nature? We hear you. Recharge the batteries with some quality time at these stand-out camping spots within a few hours’ drive of Queensland’s capital. 

Whether you’re after a remote bush site where you can truly go wild or a spot that just happens to have a pub a short stroll away, we’ve canvassed a range of options for Brisbane’s city slickers who find themselves pining for serious campground time – all without spending forever on the road to reach nirvana. So what are you waiting for? Throw that tent in the boot and become some very happy campers. 

Need more getaway inspo? Find the best weekend getaways from Brisbane. Looking for a more plush getaway? Check into one of the best luxury hotels on the Gold Coast.

The best camping near Brisbane

Distance from Brisbane: 161km southwest/2hr drive

Price per night: from $17 per adult, $10 per child + $10 car pass or 4WDing pass from $30 

Welcome to the Wild West. Gordon Country is a camping experience quite unlike any other. The sprawling 1,618-hectare, pet-friendly property, bordering Main Range National Park, features more than 12km of creek frontage (complete with old-fashioned tree swings), a menagerie including cows, horses and donkeys, a pick-your-own-campsite-upon-arrival deal and so much space you can dial up the music as loud as you like within certain areas, such as Banshee Valley or Sunshine Gully, without disturbing those in the family-friendly zones. You can even bring a chainsaw (if you’re licensed to use one) to chop fallen trees for your campfire. Recreational 4WDers longing for some genuine mud splatters can go all-out on some pretty extreme tracks after warming up in the former quarry known as the “Play Pen”.

Distance from Brisbane: 104km north/1hr 30m drive

Price per night: from $48 per site

You’ve got to love a campground where you can pitch your tent in the undisputed el primo position. That’s the deal at Cotton Tree Holiday Park, gloriously located on a point between Maroochydore Beach and the mouth of the Maroochy River.  Both powered and unpowered tent sites are clustered right on the point, so you can check both the surf and the more sedate action on river-facing Cotton Tree Beach. Take in all the sunrise and sunset colours and, if camp cooking isn’t your jam, there’s a fish and chips joint right outside the park. There’s also a multitude of drinking establishments a short stroll away – try Maroochy Surf Club for drinks with endless ocean views.


Distance from Brisbane: 150km northwest/2hr drive

Price per night: unpowered site $36 for up to two adults, $11 per child, dogs free

An alluring sense of freedom is built into camping at the relaxed Kenilworth Homestead, a picturesque property fronting the Mary River. Unpowered sites aren’t designated – so you simply roll up, pick a piece of grass that’s calling to you, and set up for the night. Select a spot on the bottom flats – an area close to the river where you can float along on your li-lo or inflatable tube – or the upper flats. Those needing electricity to provide a few creature comforts should book early for one of the limited-powered camp sites. There’s also a mountain biking/BMX track for those who fancy tackling the dirt. The less energetic can admire the farm animals and historic barn or browse the market garden for peppermint leaves to brew up a nightcap or chilli to spice up dinner.

Distance from Brisbane: 62km east/the ferry, which takes 25 minutes, departs from Cleveland

Price per night: Unpowered tent sites from $59 for two, from $79 for a waterfront site

Campers are spoilt for choice on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island): there’s a multitude of scenic campgrounds where you can pitch a tent. Many, however, make a beeline for the sunshine-soaked, north-facing Cylinder Beach where there’s a direct view across to the rugged southern tip of Mulgumpin (Moreton Island). As if the outlook wasn’t enough, this snuggly cove is also protected from prevailing winds and neighbours a pub. Wander to Point Lookout where kangaroos graze the lawns. During the season, you might also clock the whales that are cruising along the Humpback Highway. If you have a hankering for fresh water instead of salt, visit Bummiera (Brown Lake) and Kaboora (Blue Lake) – sites that are sacred to the Quandamooka people. 


Distance from Brisbane: 66km north/1hr drive

Price per night: Luxury safari tents for two adults from $213 

Hard-core 4WD and camping enthusiasts will hang a left and cross the bridge to reach Bribie Island’s remote bush campgrounds located in the National Park (some are accessible by boat only). If you and your favourite camping buddy are a little softer than that, stay on the mainland at Sandstone Point where you can luxuriate in an air-conditioned safari tent complete with Smart TV, shower and bath – and still get that canvas-over-your-head vibe. From here, pop across to Bribie at sunset to catch the technicolour sky behind the distant Glass House Mountains reflecting on Pumicestone Passage’s calm waters and enjoy an early dinner of fish and chips.


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