There’s nothing like the great outdoors – to feel the wind in your hair, the gentle chirp of nearby bird life, and the rustle of leaves as trees provide much-needed shade. Luckily for you, South Australia offers some of the best caravan and camping sites to enjoy the great outdoors, and are easy visits on your Big Lap.
We have collated our pick of the top 10 caravan parks and campsites in South Australia. There’s no question to it – these are a must-see on your Big Lap of Australia.
1. Little Dip Conservation Park
The Little Dip Conservation Park offers some amazing opportunites for any camping travellers in Australia. Venture to the Robe for a bit of sightseeing, shopping and relaxed beach days, or drive along the 4WD tracks next to the beach for a bit of fishing and adventure. Either way, you’re in for one memorable experience.
2. Rapid Bay Campground
Hidden deep in the Fleurieu Peninsula, this place is like a secret jewel of South Australian campsites. But, it’s just over one and a half hours from Adelaide!
Set up camp right on the beach, with views overlooking the tranquil waters, with the marvelous caves on one end, and the jetty at the other. The waters are full of southern calamari – a signature dish at the Rapid Bay Campground – and offers some gorgeous opportunities for a swim.
End the evening with the stunning sunsets, and a content belly – you can thank us later.
3. Big 4 West Beach Caravan Park
This huge park is located right in the heart of Adelaide, but don’t let this deter you – the amenities are so top-notch and of high quality, that it’s no wonder locals flock here by the hundreds every year. There is a massive pool, a water play park, as well as direct entry to the magnificent West Beach which has huge sand dunes and some great fishing too. Big 4 West Beach Caravan Park has something for everybody.
4. Innes National Park
Situated at the very bottom of ‘Yorkes’, this tip of the peninsula was once a gypsum mine. Today it’s a protected national park, offering a great location to relax, do a spot of fishing and go on walks to shipwrecks and lighthouses. Don’t be surprised if you spot a family of emus wandering past while you set up camp. The place is full of them, so you can’t complain about not being in touch with nature – this is about as close as it gets!
5. Rawnsley Park Station
Rawnsley Park Station offers some astounding views of the surrounding mountain ranges and beyond – better yet, you get to stay here! These mountain ranges are great to explore on foot, in the 4WD or even by air.
In the evenings, you can return to camp for a beer, chat and a swim in a great swimming pool. There are lots of well laid out campsites, multiple amenities and a great camp kitchen area.
Rawnsley’s 4WD track takes you out and around the property. It’s a simple four-wheel drive track which allows for even novices to follow the trail. An interpretation map keeps you on track and informed on the various things to see along the way.
6. Lipson Cove Campground
As soon as you roll over the hill on the Eyre Peninsula, and set your eyes on the Lipson Cove campground, you know you have reached somewhere extraordinary.
An island sits just off of the beach, and the campsites look out over them and the stunningly clear turquoise waters. Fish are plentiful, accessed off the beach or at low tide sneaking over to the island by foot. Its not a rare sight to spot some dolphins frolicing right in front of you in the water, and there are tons of whiting out there too!
If you want a bit of civilisation, then a short drive into Tumby Bay will afford you the chance to explore the street art and enjoy some great fish and chips by the foreshore.
7. Perlubie Beach Campground
Now, Perlubie Beach isn’t just your ordinary campground. It is so much more. Camp right on the beach, either next to a designated beach hut or further up along the sand. The place offers stunning sunsets, as well as many whiting and blue swimmer crabs in the shallow waters out front – a feast fit for a king!
There’s nothing better than home cooked, fresh meals – and it can’t get any more home cooked or fresher than that.
8. Flinders Ranges Free Camping
Sitting high atop the Razorback Lookout, the South Australian mountain ranges, burning red and orange in the sunset, look back at you. In that moment, as you gaze across the dotted shrubbery and vast expanse, it will hit you: This might be the most incredible view you’ve had all day — until, of course, tomorrow, when you hit an entirely new trail and lookout point.
Every minute at Flinders Ranges and Outback is a memorable one and there is plenty to do, besides taking in the stunning views. There’s hiking on the Black Gap; the bowl-like crater that is the Wilpena Pound campground to explore; the challenging Edeowie Gorge trail that passes the beautiful Malloga Falls; and if you’re looking for a taste of history, you shouldn’t miss undertaking a ridge-top tour of Arkaroola, a privately-owned 610 square kilometres of wilderness sanctuary.
Legend says a day of boredom has never passed at Flinders Ranges. And we’re not surprised.
9. Kangaroo Island Free Camping
Sun, sand, surf, impossibly blue, crystalline waters, warm breezes – this is what awaits you at Kangaroo Island. Kayak through the Chapman River, swim in Vivonne Bay, go fishing from the jetty, or even check out the local cellar doors in the region. Now, what if we told you all of this – the fun, the views, the location – what if we told you all of this was free?
Kangaroo Island has many fantastic ‘paid’ sites including Vivonne Bay, but there are quite a few free camping spots you can pitch your proverbial camper van rental for the night that are just as beautiful, including Dunes and the Sea. This free camping ground site is 35 minutes from Kingscote, at Pelican Lagoon.
10. Coorong National Park Free Camping
We never said free camping had to come at a price. At Coorong National Park, there is no catch, no setbacks, no illusions. This is it. Beauty at its finest. Enjoy stunning views at Coorong, with 130 kilometres of saltwater lagoons as well as incredible outdoor activities like boating, bird watching, kayaking, fishing, camping, walking, four-wheel driving and more.
You can also access the Coorong Northern Lagoon by boat, via Murray Mouth. If you’re using a campervan rental, however, get here via Meningie and Kingston off the Princes Highway. If you’re driving in from the south, enter the park via Kingston.
Because of its water access, Coorong is home to a number of rare migratory sea and coastal birds. Its beaches and bush give campers plenty of safe and marked trails from which to explore the area’s cultural and history.
You can’t go wrong with Coorong.