Easter Camping Holidays Guide: Where to camp in Queensland
Never fear, Easter is almost here – and the smell of upcoming public holidays is as tantalising as hot-cross buns fresh from the oven.
But if Christmas left your coffers a little on the low side, there’s no need to rule out a family vacation just yet.
Easter is one of the best times of year for camping holidays in Queensland, and with this guide, you’ll find there’s always vacancy when you know where to look.
How to use our Easter Camping Holidays Guide:
Step 1: Choose your destination – because you’re most likely going to need to drive to it unless you’re packing exceptionally light.
Step 2: Choose between our popular or secret camping spots.
Step 3: Set up for an epic Easter camping long weekend.
The Gold Coast is full of prime camping real estate with both beach and hinterland sites to pitch your dream family vacation. Water views don’t come easy at this time of year, so let your fingers do the walking and start calling the campgrounds on this list to check avails.
Our pick: Bigriggen – because there’s over 100 acres to lose yourself in (read: escape your closest neighbour).
The capital of the Sunshine State isn’t just high-rises and hotel chains, its camping game is stronger than Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator.
If school holidays have you already counting down the days before you can ship the little ones back to school, our guide to Brisbane’s best camping with kids should earn you enough time to finish your dark-chocolate Easter egg in peace.
Our pick: North Stradbroke Island because you have the best of the beach, bush and no need to drink Nescafe Gold with a smattering of cafes island-side. Don’t believe us? Just check out our 48-hour guide.
So, you’ve settled on the Sunshine Coast. Good choice – because it often rains over Easter, so you’d like to think the Sunshine Coast’s name affords some protection.
It should come as no surprise the coast is one of the most popular spots to camp, so if you’ve left your run a bit too late to get into the Noosa Northshore Campground (yep, people make annual bookings here and have had standing bookings for over a decade!), start by calling to check availability at these secret spots.
Our pick: Rainbow Beach Ultimate Camping because they take all the pain out of set up and pack down. All you need to do is show up with your clothes and they take care of the rest including everything you need to cook. With all that time left on your hands you can discover the Great Beach Drive uninhibited.
Southern Queensland Country
If your definition of camping is sitting out under a sky full of stars, opt for a destination that’s got so many stars it even named a whole drive route after them. Follow this itinerary to make your way along the Big Sky Country Drive to the camping nirvana that is the Bunya Mountains (FYI – a great spot if you’re travelling with teens).
Our pick: If you were on the front foot, and by that, we mean booked 12 months ago, chances are you’ll score a spot at the Dandabah camping area. We like it because it’s suited to early adopters (read: camping newbies) with flushing loos, hot showers and coin-operated barbecues. There’s always next Easter.
If there was an epicentre of camping in Queensland, Fraser Island would be it and this World Heritage-listed campground is yours for the staking.
Campsites do book out – but you can often get lucky, especially if you opt for one of the 10 remote sites that separate the serious 4WD-ers from the city-SUV-ers. Before you go, spare five minutes with our Fraser Island bootCAMP (pun intended).
Our pick: Wyuna camping area which is between Dundubara to Indian Head. You’ll be far enough north that you’re escaping the day-trippers who don’t venture further than Eli Creek, but not so far north you’ll chew through a tank of fuel trying to get back to your site after exploring these Fraser Island sites.
As if Easter wasn’t sweet enough, a trip to the sugar capital should do it. Go off the beaten track and into the hinterland, following our guide to secret camping spots in Mackay.
You’ll find a rainforest that’s always covered by cloud, Eungella National Park, which happens to be the oldest and longest sub-tropical rainforest in Australia.
Our pick: Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park where you’ll have front row seats to the daily sunrise show of wallabies foraging for seaweed on the beach. If you’re keen to discover more of this area that was once a volcanic plug, we’ve got the rest of your Easter long weekend covered in this guide.
With a late Easter this year, all roads will be officially open to the Outback. Make this year the year of the outback travelling somewhere you haven’t been before, checking into the campgrounds at Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park.
You’re guaranteed the kind of camping holiday no one else will have this Easter – as you spend your days discovering the 28,200-hectare park. If you’re thinking of going off the grid on this adventure, we’d recommend starting with this guide.
Our pick: Adels Grove – because, sure you can stay at one of the two national parks campgrounds within the park itself, but if you’re travelling with little ones it’s always good to have a back up if you need a shower, extra food or a flushing loo.
Southern Great Barrier Reef
If you’re more of a bush over beach camper, we have four words that might convince you otherwise – camping on the reef. Check into paradise this Easter with these island and beach camping spots.
Dubbed Queensland’s sunniest city, chances are good for five-star camping conditions in Townsville. Put 8km between you and the city with a trip to Magnetic Island, where Bungalow Bay Koala Village offers the only camping on the island.
What you save on your camping accommodation, you can splurge on these family-friendly things to do.
Our pick: Bungalow Bay Koala Village – while it won’t be the most secret or secluded campground you’ll ever come across, you’re likely to leave with 10 new best friends because this village doubles as a backpacker hangout.
Tropical North Queensland
While the April weather might bring a chill to the rest of Queensland, in North Queensland, you’re guaranteed nothing but swimming weather this Easter.
For a camping experience where you live in your togs by day and sit out by a campfire by night, start by checking availability at our favourite Cairns campsites which are fire-friendly.
Our pick: Babinda Boulders Campground because you’ll have a nature-built swimming pool, a stone’s throw from your campsite.
Great Barrier Reef
Just because the luxury island resorts of the Great Barrier Reef are a little out of price range, doesn’t mean you can’t sleep on the reef.
Sure, camping on the reef takes a little more effort than swiping a key for entry into a ready-made room, but you’ll be able to enjoy the same views for a fraction of the price. Choose which island is for you, following this guide.
Our pick: Keswick Island because it earns a place as one of our favourite secret islands Their campground comes in two formats – you can either DIY or check into one of their glamping style tents, taking all the pain away from Easter camping.
Stuff destinations, I just want to go off the grid
Sure Bear Grylls, you can do that too. You can leave the phone at home because no one will find you anyway with this list of off-the-grid camping destinations.