Best wild camping in Australia

If you want a wild weekend, don’t head for the Gold Coast – head for a wild camping area instead. You might think that it’s impossible to go wild camping legally in Australia, but some of the country’s best national parks let you camp in places untouched by camping amenities; it’ll just be you and nature.

Note: You need to be experienced and prepared for wild camping; remember to always get a permit and contact the ranger before heading out.

Alpine National Park, Victoria

Buckland Valley

 

The landscape of Alpine National Park is one of high romance – just ask Sigrid Thornton and Tom Burlinson from ’80s classic movie Man From Snowy River. This alpine region is a land of rugged mountains and views, wild brumbies and kangaroos, and abandoned shearers’ huts.

If you’d prefer to experience this land without the distractions of other campers, might we suggest you make for the hills? Alpine National Park allows wild camping (which Parks Victoria calls dispersed camping) in much of the park, with a few restrictions. While there are popular designated camping areas inside the park, it’s also the best place to go wild camping in Victoria.

Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales

Lake Crackenback

The alpine region crosses from Victoria into New South Wales, where it is protected by Kosciuszko National Park, home to Australia’s tallest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko. Just like Alpine National Park, this is a place of high romance, particularly in spring, when the park literally blooms with wildflowers. You can wild camp in the Main Range area in the north of the park, although there are restrictions around the alpine lakes and a few other areas. Plan your visit and your campsite right, and you could make it to the top of Mount Kosciuszko before any day-trippers.

Sundown National Park, Queensland

Severn River Water by Tourism and Events Queensland

It’s hard to find places that allow wild camping in Queensland – but you don’t have to let the sun go down on your wild camping dreams, as it’s permitted at Sundown National Park, 250km south-west of Brisbane on the border with New South Wales. This national park is reclaimed grazing land, a dramatic mountainous landscape carved by the Severn River with old mining holes. It’s covered in tracks for both hikers and four-wheel-drivers, which makes it a popular adventure spot.

Malkumba–Coongie Lakes National Park, South Australia

Coongie Lakes National Park

Is there anything more unexpected than a wetland in the middle of the desert? Coongie Lakes National Park, 100km west of Innamincka on a rough and ready road, protects a wetland which has some of the only permanent water in this patch of South Australia. You could call it an Australian version of an oasis – one that comes with a trillion flies.

It’s not exactly wild camping, as you can’t camp anywhere you want in the park. But you can camp anywhere around Coongie Lake itself, which is the next best thing. The wide lake is fringed by sand dunes, and has plenty of opportunities for bird-watching as well as watching the spellbinding sunrises and sunsets. This is the desert, so don’t camp here in summer.

Munga-Thirri National Park, Queensland

Munga-Thirri National Park

If Coongie Lakes offers a welcome reprise from the surrounding landscape, you’ll receive no such luxury here. This is a harsh place that looms large in the memory landscape of Australia, a near impassable desert of rolling sand dunes that reach 90 metres high and stretch for 200 kilometres. Yet it’s all the more adventurous because of it, if you have the skill, experience and equipment.

The national park starts 80km west of Birdsville in Queensland. Birdsville is also where you’ll find the nearest mechanic (did we mention you need to be prepared?). This park is only accessible by 4WD, and you have to cross the desert on the QAA line. Camping is allowed within 500 metres of the line, and you should always stay with your vehicle.

  • Decipher Zone Softwares

    t’s really that easy, they are everywhere. We live in a suburb on the edge of Melbourne. A few minutes further out you come through a small community called Kangaroo Grounds. The place got that name for a reason. After dark, drive very carefully out there, and anywhere on country roads for that matter.