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Camping

Camping is a great way to experience the Australian bush and see native wildlife. Take your pick from around 470 camping areas in Queensland’s parks and forests. You can enjoy spectacular ocean views, listen to the peaceful sounds of the rainforest, gaze at the stars while toasting marshmallows over your camp fire, spot unique wildlife and enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities from bushwalking to adventure sports.

Make a Queensland national park or forest your next destination for a bush or beach camping getaway. There are camping opportunities to suit everyone, from remote camp sites with few or no facilities to camping areas equipped with toilets, showers, picnic tables and sites for camper trailers, caravans, motorhomes and tents. Camping areas in parks and forests don’t have electricity.

Camping in Queensland’s parks and forests requires a permit and fees apply. There is usually high demand for camp sites in many parks and forests during peak times like school holidays and long weekends, so it is advisable to book your camp site well in advance for these times.

Where can I camp?

Choose from 470 camping areas in natural surrounds throughout Queensland. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Choose from 470 camping areas in natural surrounds throughout Queensland. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

You can camp in natural surroundings in many national parks, conservation parks, forests and reserves throughout Queensland.

Formal camping areas are provided at most parks and forests where camping is allowed. The facilities provided at each camping area differ so make sure you read the detailed camping information provided for each individual park or forest.

Individual park pages provide you with important pre-visit information and park alerts keep you up-to-date with the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Bush camping

Bush camping (with few or no facilities) is allowed in some parks. Bush campers must camp well away from streams, lakes, walking tracks and picnic areas. Camper numbers are limited and camping permits are required and fees apply.

Permits and fees

Camping permits

You must obtain a camping permit and pay your camping fees before camping in a park or forest.

Most camp sites can be booked online, at an over-the-counter booking office or by phone before you arrive at a park.

At few camping areas allow you to obtain your camping permit on site by self-registering and paying your fees by cash, credit card, cheque or camping credit.

Camping permits for special groups

Certain groups may be able to request a special account—group account, school account or commercial operator account—for booking camping.

Vehicle access permits

To drive on Cooloola, Fraser Island, Bribie Island or Moreton Island, you will also need a valid vehicle access permit.

Essentials to bring

Camping is a fun activity when you are well prepared and take the right equipment, so remember to pack the following items:

  • waterproof tent, poles and pegs
  • blade or screw-style pegs and mallet
  • bags for rubbish and storage
  • drinking water
  • sufficient non-perishable food and other supplies
  • cooking utensils
  • sleeping bag and mat, swag or other bedding
  • suitable clothing and sturdy shoes
  • wet weather gear, such as a raincoat or waterproof jacket
  • insect repellent
  • hat and sunscreen
  • suitable first-aid kit
  • binoculars and camera
  • map and compass
  • torch for walking at night
  • broadcast radio (for weather forecasts) and spare batteries
  • two-way radio and/or satellite phone, plus extra fuel (if you intend camping in remote places).

It's a good idea to pack a gas or liquid fuel stove/barbecue, fuel and waterproof matches for camping trips. Open fires are prohibited in some parks. Find out more about camp fires, fuel stoves and barbecues.

Staying safe

Be aware of potential dangers and take care of yourself.

  • Plan carefully and make sure your camping equipment and vehicle or boat are in good working order before leaving home.
  • Read signs and brochures carefully. Pay attention to any safety warnings.
  • Supervise your children, especially near water, fireplaces and in areas with potentially dangerous wildlife such as dingoescrocodiles and cassowaries.
  • Be safe around camp fires. Extinguish fires whenever you leave your camp site unattended; use water, not sand, which retains heat and can cause severe burns.
  • Don't assume on-site water is safe to drink. Treat water before use.
  • Keep food in locked containers or in your car to keep it safe from wildlife.
  • Wear protective clothing to avoid sunburn, bites, scratches and stings.
  • Never feed or provoke wild animals.
  • Be wary of wild animals, including crocodilesmarine stingers (dangerous stinging jellyfish), snakes, dingoes, cassowaries, and feral pigs, cattle, horses and buffaloes.
  • Keep food in locked containers or in your vehicle to keep it safe from wildlife.

Protect yourself when camping on island national parks by taking these steps.

  • Take extra supplies in case you get stranded by sudden changes in the weather.
  • Be aware of tidal variations and strong currents. Anchor boats securely.
  • Be alert for sudden weather changes, particularly storms and cyclones. Be prepared to evacuate if necessary.
  • Carry a marine band radio and transceiver as many sites are out of mobile phone range.

Minimal impact

Queensland's parks and forests are special places. Please help care for the environment by following these simple rules.

  • Help to prevent the spread of weeds and pests. Check your vehicle, camping equipment and clothing to ensure they are clean before entering parks and forests. For more information watch the stop the spread of weeds web clip.
  • Help reduce the risk of wildfires and burn injuries by using a fuel or gas stove for cooking.
  • Only light fires in parks where it is permitted and use the fireplaces and fire rings provided.
  • Never collect firewood or kindling from the park. Even dead branches are protected.
  • Remember, plants and animals are protected. Try not to trample plants when walking or erecting your tent. Use your poles, not trees, to support tent ropes and lines.
  • In bush camps where there are no toilets, bury human waste at least 100m from tracks and water bodies.
  • In some parks you may need to bring a portable toilet if you are camping in areas without facilities. Empty the waste into special portable toilet disposal facilities. Check whether the park you are visiting has this facility. Never empty portable toilet waste into standard toilets.
  • Take all rubbish home. Disposing of rubbish in fireplaces is an offence.
  • Enjoy the peace and be considerate of others. Leave generators, compressors and stereos at home.

Further information

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Last updated
16 July 2014