The 5 best Gold Coast camping spots

The festive season is done and dusted and it’s back to the daily grind. If you’re anything like us, you’re already planning your next escape (fine, getaway).

After a few weeks of absolute over indulgence, cheap and cheerful is the go, so camping it is friends.

Luckily there are plenty of pretty places close by that will soothe your wanderlusting soul and BONUS, all you need is a tent, two minute noodles and your very best sense of adventure.

Binna Burra
Local beaches are all kinds of crazy during summer so running away to the rainforest is a good plan. Binna Burra is only an hours drive away and offers some of the most beautiful scenery around. You can also set off on any number of hikes if that tickles your fancy or, just laze around and breathe in that fresh mountain air. Binna Burra Lodge offers everything from fancy safari tent accommodation to spots for campers and BYO everything with views of the Numinbah Valley for all to enjoy. Get there: head out towards Nerang and follow the signs toward Beechmont then Binna Burra.

The Settlement
Another immerse-yourself-in-nature gem, The Settlement is the only place you can camp in the Springbrook National Park. There’s no electricity or WiFi so you will certainly be escaping all the creature comforts you know and love (RIP Insta stories). Never fear though, you can amuse yourself by trekking to Purling Brook Falls and sizzling some snags at the BBQ area. Take a book or get involved in a good old-fashioned conversation. Get there: Head towards Mudgeeraba and follow the signs to Springbrook then follow the signs to Carricks Rd.

South Stradbroke Island
The wild southern sibling of far-more-populated North Stradbroke Island (name creativity is off the charts), South Straddy is always a good time. Getting there is an adventure in itself and the campground is surrounded by scrub so you’ll need to be self sufficient (you can’t drive on the island either). There are bathrooms and the like at Tipplers Kiosk so don’t despair but it’s definitely a down and dirty nature-lovers paradise. Get there: by private boat or water taxi or hire a seaplane if you’re not short of a dollar.

Canungra
Specifically the James Sharp Memorial Park can be found on the banks of the Coomera River. It’s a big old grassy area with plenty of blessed shade (how’s the heatwave) and enough river for swimming, fishing, canoeing and whatever else floats your boat. Oh AND, you can bring your doggo (or cat if you must) and open fires are permitted because these good people appreciate the magic of marshmallows. If you’ve got a family, this spot might be your best bet. Get there: Drive to Nerang and follow the signs to Canungra then turn off onto Beechmont Rd toward Witheren.

Nightfall Wilderness Camp
Okay so this place definitely doesn’t qualify as camping but diversity is key right. Nightfall Wilderness Camp is a five star glamping (best word) experience found in the Lamington National Park and it is F A N C Y. There’s bathtubs, food cooked over coals, comfy beds and the prettiest of furnishings. Also, the crew at Nightfall are dedicated to ecotourism so they protect the local wildlife and watch the creeks water quality. It’s an absolutely beautiful place and you should definitely spend some hard earned pennies here. Get there: head out toward Canungra then Beaudesert and follow the signs to Lamington National Park.

Words by Kirra Smith

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