Islands

15 Incredible Australian Islands You Can Camp On

by Meri Gasem

There’s something spiritual in camping on an island versus camping on the shore. Being encircled with water, far from the everyday world, feels calming and adrenaline spiking at the same time. And when you add the unique nature, crystal clear water, soft sand, and irreplaceable sunsets, it’s the ultimate indulgence. Treat yourself to camping on some of the most enchanting islands.

Fraser Island

Camp on the world’s largest sand island, stretching over 120km. Witness some incredible panoramic views, heavenly beaches, and over 100 freshwater lakes to swim in, including Lake McKenzie and Lake Wabby. The unique island on the east coast is perfect for those seeking adventure and 4WD beach tracks.

How To Get There: Take a ferry or barge from Hervey Bay. If you’re a little more adventurous, you can take a small aircraft and land directly on the beach.
Camping Sites: 38 Official campgrounds offering different conditions.
Amenities: From basic to luxury, depending on the chosen site.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Fraser Island (@fraserisland)

Moreton Island

Moreton is the third-largest sand island, only 40 kilometres northeast of Brisbane. Visit the famous steep dunes, or dive near the shipwreck site called the Tangalooma Wrecks for some unique experiences. There are dolphin feeding spots, incredible coral, tropical fish, and even humpback whales! It truly gives you that out-of-this-world feeling!

How To Get There: 4 boat services operate daily in each direction, departing from Holt Street Wharf in Pinkenba, Brisbane, to the Tangalooma Jetty.
Camping Sites:
14 campgrounds.
Amenities:
All range.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke Island is yet another breath-stopping island, a stone throw from Brisbane. It provides secluded beaches, rich marine life, fantastic swim spots, and a wide choice of water sports. You can take some of the great walking tracks and spot kangaroos all around the island. The perfect family island for a weekend getaway.

How To Get There: Take a water taxi or ferry from Cleveland near Brisbane.
Camping Sites: 13 campgrounds.
Amenities: All range.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Dunk Island

Dunk Island is located in the Cassowary Coast Region, only 4km from the town of Mission Beach. With the island resort closed, it’s really calm and quiet, plus the campers have the whole island to themselves! Hike on the Kootaloo Mountain to the top of the island, walk through the rainforest or pack a picnic for a day trip on the beach.

How To Get There: Take a water taxi from Mission Beach to Wongaling Beach on Dunk Island. The service runs three times a day.
Camping Sites:
Single campground on the island with 8 tent sites.
Amenities:
Toilets; Showers; Drinking Water; Power; WiFi.
Time Limit: 48 Hours.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Mission Beach Dunk Water Taxi (@mission_beach_water_taxi)

Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, formerly a convict penal establishment, reformatory school, and naval ship dockyard. It’s a fascinating historical place to explore with a beautiful panoramic view of the Sydney Harbour. Great spot for a weekend visit or a day picnic. Just beware of the seagulls!

How To Get There: F3 and F8 public ferry services operate to Cockatoo Island daily, departing from Circular Quay, Barangaroo, and docks along Parramatta River. 
Camping Sites:
The single campground on the island offers campsites or packages with tents.
Amenities:
Toilets; Showers; Communal Kitchen; Fridge; Microwave; BBQs; Open Fire Pits; Seating Area.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sydney Visitor Centre (@sydneyvisitorcentre)

North West Island

Unwind at this tropical paradise located 75 kilometres northeast of Gladstone, Queensland, part of the Capricornia Cays National Park. Get a taste of the unremarkable beauty, soft white sand, and an abundance of marine life visible through the crystal clear water. A must-visit island for an incredible camping experience.

How To Get There: The island does not have a regular charter service. You can hire a private boat or contact Curtis Ferries.
Camping Sites: One campground accommodating up to 150 people.
Amenities: Basic, BYO everything, including drinking water.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Hook Island

Part of the Whitsundays Islands and National Park, Hook Island is rugged and almost uninhabited. The amazing colorful reef is visible at low tide; dolphins, whales, and rays are everywhere in the water. If you’re a fan of snorkeling, this is a must-visit destination. The resort on site is not in function, so the campers get the island to themselves.

How To Get There: No scheduled ferries, take a private boat or a camping drop-off service. Contact Whitsundays Info Centre for more details.
Camping Sites:
2 campgrounds and 1 overnight stay area on the island.
Amenities:
Basic, one campground with drinking water.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sarah McNamara (@iamsarahmc)

Kangaroo Island

Rated as one of the most beautiful islands in Australia, Kangaroo Island is 4,405 km² and located southwest of Adelaide. Almost half of the island is a nature reserve and a natural habitat of kangaroos, sea lions, koalas, and penguins. There are some jaw-dropping coastal rock formations, like the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch.

How To Get There:  The Sealink ferry has four departures daily. Optionally you can get a 30-minute flight from Adelaide Airport.
Camping Sites: More than 20 campgrounds and cabins.
Amenities: From basic to luxury, depending on the campground you choose.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy is only 3.39km², located 29 kilometres southeast of Cairns. Most of its territory is a National Park with so many hidden treasures. Camp with the reef at your doorstep, sunbathe on the incredible beaches, go hiking to the summit, or snorkeling. This island has it all!

How To Get There: Get a ferry from Cairns; there are 3 different ferry operators with scheduled daily services. You can rent your own boat too.
Camping Sites: 20 tent sites and cabins.
Amenities: Toilets; Showers; Drinking Water; Wheelchair Accessible; Picnic Tables; BBQs.
Time Limit: 7 Days.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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High Island

Part of the Frankland National Park, the High Island is only 45 km southwest of Cairns. It’s popular among fishing enthusiasts because of the vast marine life. It’s the nesting spot of the green sea turtles. It’s a secluded, remote boat-based camping spot.

How To Get There: By a private boat.
Camping Sites:
One, only one group of up to 11 campers at a time is allowed.
Amenities:
None, BYO everything, including drinking water.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Russel Island

Russel is the largest of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands. It’s a real oasis filled with so much entertainment, incredible natural sights, and history. Bonus- land on Russel Island is cheap, so if you like it, you can make it your permanent holiday home!

How To Get There: Passenger and vehicle ferries frequently depart from Weinam Creek Marina, Banana Street, Redland Bay.
Camping Sites: 2 campgrounds with 9 campsites.
Amenities:
Toilets; Showers; Drinking Water; Dog-friendly.
Time Limit: 10 Days.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Snapper Island

Snapper Island is settled on the mouth of Daintree, only 20 kilometres north of Port Douglas. The rainforest is home to a vast number of birds, so it’s a popular birdwatching destination. Fishermen choose it because of the small boat fishing and rich marine life. Snapper Island is a traditional sea country of the Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people who fish and hunt around the island.

How To Get There: Accessible by private boat and kayak only.
Camping Sites:
4 campgrounds.
Amenities:
None, BYO everything, and leave no trace behind.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Lizard Island

A picturesque island located on the Great Barrier Reef. Featuring incredible crystal clear water, a pristine beach, and a serene atmosphere. It’s the largest of six islands in Lizard and part of a national park. You can go snorkeling at some fantastic spots, like the Giant Clam Garden, or hike to the summit of Cooks Look.

How To Get There: Accessible only by a 60-minute flight from Cairns. Get on the daily schedule or book your own private transfer between Cairns and Lizard Island.
Camping Sites:
One campground with 5 campsites.
Amenities:
None.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by 🌻 Jennifer Coyne (@jenn_coyne)

Maria Island

Maria Island is a large island located in the Tasmanian sea on an area of 115.5 km². This mountainous island is part of the Maria Island National Park that includes a marine area of 18.78km² offshore. Incredible hikes, beach, and water. Wombats chill on the beach, and Tasmanian Devils cruise for leftover food during the night.

How To Get There: Get on a 30-minute ferry ride from the small town of Triabunna, which is about 1.5 hours from Hobart.
Camping Sites:
3 campgrounds.
Amenities:
Toilets; Showers; Drinking Water; Camp Kitchen; Cycling Tracks.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Barnard Island Group

The Barnard Islands is a protected area in the Cassowary Coast Region, 10 km offshore from Mourilyan Harbour and 45-minutes from Mission Beach. The islands are a traditional sea country of the local Mamu Aboriginal people. It’s the place where you can relax and enjoy some birdwatching. Look for the outstanding rock formations, shallow reefs, rich rainforest, sand spits, and seabird rookeries.

How To Get There: Reachable only by private boat or sea kayak from Mourilyan Harbour and Kurrimine Beach. 
Camping Sites:
2 campgrounds on Stephens Island for 12 campers and 3 sites on Kent for 15 campers.
Amenities: None, BYO everything, and don’t leave a trace behind.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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