Moreton Island Eastern Beach Trayon Campers

20 Blissful Sunshine Coast Camping Sites [Which Aren’t Holiday Parks]

I don’t know about you, but for us, camping on the Sunshine Coast, or anywhere else, means to escape the rat race and be isolated in nature for enough time to have a bit of a reset from the daily grind. 

With that in mind, this article is all about the best camping sites on the Sunshine Coast, that aren’t another populated area like a holiday park, so you can get some R & R away from technology and concrete [no powered sites]!

We will restrict the list to sites you can access by Vehicle (car or 4WD) and exclude camping sites only accessible by foot.

A while ago we made this Meme for fun, and it went Viral on social media!

[Stress is caused by not enough camping Image]

After it went viral, we looked into it more, and it turns out that there is actual research about being around dramatic natural scenery like a rainforest or a beach that can reduce the stress hormone cortisol!


Dramatic natural scenery is definitely not in short supply on the Sunshine Coast.   There is a wide range of dramatic natural scenery to explore, from the beautiful beaches of Noosa North Shore, the Glass House Mountains and lush rainforests of the hinterland.

In this comprehensive Camping guide we will cover some of main topics campers are frequently searching for across a wide range of camping sites on the sunshine coast, including:

  1. Camping in Noosa 
  2. Beach Camping on the Sunshine Coast
  3. Top Dog friendly camping sites on the Sunshine Coast
  4. Free camping on the sunshine coast

Okay, so let’s stop gabbing and let’s start exploring this beautiful place!

Camping In Noosa

Noosa is a popular tourist destination with the international Restaurants of Hasting Street. Away from the hustle and bustle Noosa is also the gateway to some extraordinary camping at Noosa North Shore along the Cooloola Coast and the Noosa Hinterland. 

Here are some great camping sites around Noosa. We’ll cover more extreme 4WD campsites  in the beach camping sunshine coast section below.

1. Noosa North Shore Beachfront Campground

The campsite is just over the Tewantin Ferry and accessible by 2WD vehicles. What’s great about this site is that it is right beside the beach and is surrounded by the national park. Although it can get quite crowded in the warmer months, the Noosa North Shore beachfront campground is perfectly suited for the more “self-sufficient” campers with limited amenities. But the misses will be happy, there is at the very least toilet facilities.

Although this campsite is right beside the beach, it is not on the beach. So you can expect spacious green grass for the campsites with a very short walk onto the sand.

You can expect to see large kangaroos, a plethora of bird life, Goannas and if you’re lucky you may even see a dolphin or two.

They do have 40 powered sites and 45 unpowered sites. It is essential to book well in advance for this campground, because it is the only campground on the beach that is accessible by 2WD. It’s super close to Noosa and Tewantin if you need to get supplies on the way.

Location: 240 Wilderness Track, Noosa North Shore QLD 4565

Dog Friendly Camping: Not Allowed

Amenities: Toilets

Access: 2WD

Check your Dates Here

2. Boreen Point Campgrounds

Boreen Point campgrounds is on the western side of Lake Cootharaba and is part of the astonishing Noosa River system. Lake Cootharaba is huge, it’s crystal clear shallow water is great for fishing, swimming and sailing! The northern end of the lake is also the gateway to the Noosa Everglades and the Great Sandy National park.

The Boreen Point campsite is accessible through a sealed road about 20km from Tewantin and only 25 minutes from Noosa. The campgrounds offer free range camping spots set in the natural bushland and foreshore area. There are a number of powered sites but also plenty of unpowered sites closer to the water.

There are toilets and even hot water showers! It is accessible by 2WD. Tents, Caravans and Campers.

Location: 1 Esplanade, Boreen Point QLD 4565


Dog Friendly Camping:  By Approval Only

Amenities: Toilets & Showers

Access: 2WD

Check your Dates Here

3. Habitat Noosa

Habitat Noosa is also on the Western side of Lake Cootharaba, however, this campground is a 65 acre private ecocamp at the southern end of the famous Noosa Everglades. They have a wide range of campsites available from unpowered bush tent camping, to waterfront camping along with cabins and glamping tents.

They also hire equipment such as water crafts and they are at the heart of Noosa Historical Walks, so you can take one of many great walks. This camp is accessible by 2WD.

Location: 204 Lake Flat Rd, Boreen Point QLD 4565

Dog Friendly Camping: Not Allowed

Amenities: Toilets, Showers, Electric BBQs

Access: 2WD

4. Inskip Point Recreational Area


Although technically not Noosa, the Inskip Point peninsula recreational area which is about 4km north of Rainbow Beach township has quite a variety of unpowered 2WD accessible campsites. 

What’s unique about Inskip point is you have a choice of campsites on the bay of the Great Sandy Strait and the Coral Sea. You’ll find lots of shady private campsites as you drive up Inskip avenue. Campsites include Sarawak West, M.V. Sarawak, M.V. Beakle, M.V. Navtone, S.S. Dorrigo, Dorrigo South and Pelican Bay. Most of which are named after the area’s historically significant Navy vessels.

This is one beaut spot, it’s also the gateway to Fraser Island. However, it does have limited amenities, just toilets, and favours the prepared camper. It does get very busy in the Summer months, especially for new years. 

Location:

Amenities: Toilets & Picnic Tables

Permit Required: Yes

Dog Friendly Camping: Yes (Strictly Leash Only)

Book Here

5. Cob & Co Nine Mile Camping Grounds

Cob & Co Nine Mile Camping Grounds is a privately owned 50 acre farm set amongst beautiful forests and creeks in the Noosa Hinterland. With plenty of room it’s easy to find your own slice of this blissful property to set up camp. 

There are only unpowered sites with access to toilets & hot showers. There are a plethora of things to do for the whole family, including walking, bike riding, a spectacular playground and heaps more. 

They do allow dogs on a lead only and you must always clean up after your dog. However, there are some breeds they can’t allow due to insurance restrictions. So best to contact them and read their FAQ on their website for more details. 

This place is ideal for the family and a quiet getaway. They also have permanent glamping tents available for those who want to travel light.

Location: 1484 Noosa Rd, Tandur QLD 4570, Australia

Dog Friendly Camping: Yes, leash only (other restrictions apply)

Amenities: Toilets, Showers, BBQs

Access: 2WD

Book Here

Beach Camping Sunshine Coast

Where can I camp on the beach at the Sunshine Coast? Sometimes you just want to camp right on the beach, have your own slice of the raw, rugged natural coastline away from people. These campsites are only accessible by 4WD and are literally right on the beach. Perfect for people who love the ocean, fishing and nature. 

6. Teewah Beach Camping Area in the Cooloola Recreation Area

The only place you can camp on the beach on the sunshine coast is in the Cooloola Recreation area accessed via Noosa North Shore. Teewah beach offers a wide range of camping areas which stretch over 10kms of beach front. These camp spots are for experienced offroaders and campers who don’t mind limited access to amenities. There are over 7 zones of camping along Teewah Beach all with direct beach access.

You can expect a long stint of beach driving, you’ll need to keep an eye on high tide & low tide times and keep driving on the harder sand where possible to avoid getting stuck. Make sure you lower your tire pressure, engage 4WD and ideally travel with more than one vehicle with access to appropriate recovery gear. That way if you do get stuck in the sand you can help each other out.

Another beach driving tip is to avoid direct salt water contact to your vehicle as much as possible, and also be sure to give your car a really good underbody clean afterward, as the salt can significantly accelerate rust.

Most of the campsites don’t have access to toilets, fresh water, bins or showers, however you can find toilets at the Fresh Water day-use area. So make sure you bring drinking water and carry your waste with you. Bring a portable toilet if you don’t want to drive to the Fresh Water day use area.

There are tight restrictions on fireplaces, camping and vehicle permits and you need to book online ahead of time, during holidays it can get pretty busy plus they mail the permits to you to display on your vehicle. You will need both a Camping permit AND a vehicle permit from the Queensland National Park Website.

Just keep in mind that there are no patrolled beaches and the ocean can be very unpredictable if swimming, there are also cars driving up and down the beach between your campsite and the water. So if you have kids, keep an eye on them.

Location 

Dog Friendly Camping: Not Allowed At All

Amenities: None (very limited locations)

Access: 4WD Only

Read More & Book Online

7. Freshwater Camping Area, Cooloola Recreation Area

Freshwater Camping Area is quite a well known camping area set back just 500m from the beach, at the northern end of Teewah beach. To get there you will need a high clearance 4WD and you can access it through Freshwater Road from the west, or directly from Cooloola’s eastern beach. 

What’s great about the Freshwater camping area is it has direct access to drop toilets, hot showers ($2 coin needed for 4 minutes), bins and a pay phone. This is perfect for those who don’t want to rough it too much. It has both camper trailer sites and tent only sites. You can boil the water to drink there, but it’s recommended you bring your own drinking water.

You can’t have an open fire or use a generator, there is also limited to no mobile phone reception. Be sure to read the full Freshwater camping guide here and book in advance.

Location 

Dog Friendly Camping: Not Allowed At All

Amenities: Toilets, Hot Showers

Access: 4WD Only

Read More & Book Online

8. Poverty Point Camping Area, Cooloola Recreation Area


For something different, Poverty Point Camping Area is another great camping area on the beach in the Great Sandy National Park, Sunshine Coast. It’s a remote 4WD only campsite perfect for fishing, canoeing, kayaking and even sailing. 

It is nestled among the trees right on the shores of Tin Can Bay and at low tide you can explore the sand flats and expect to see pelicans, sea life and lots of birds.

At high tide you can fish directly from the camping areas along the shoreline!

So if you don’t want the rugged eastern coastline beach with rolling surf, potentially high winds, Poverty Point provides a more protected camping experience on the bay while still being remote.

There is no mobile phone reception or any facilities, so you’ll have to bring your own water, rubbish bags and lots of insect repellent! Fires are permitted, but also depends on any fire bans that may be in place for the area. Be sure to read the full Poverty Point camping guide.

Location

Dog Friendly Camping: Not Allowed At All

Amenities: None

Access: 4WD Only

Read More & Book Online

9. Fraser Island Campsites

Although not the Sunshine Coast, any local on the Sunshine Coast knows that it is the Gateway to the second largest sand island in the world, Fraser Island on the Fraser Coast.

Fraser Island offers kilometers of beach campsites, most of which are for experienced campers and off roaders accessible only by 4WD. You can access Fraser Island via a ferry at the end of Inskip Point rd, you’ll need to organise Vehicle and Camping Permits prior to your departure.

Some of the most popular Fraser Island campsites include:

  1. Waddy Point Top Campground
  2. Cathedrals on Fraser
  3. Wathumba Campsite 
  4. Woralie Creek Camping Zone

Read more about each of these campsites and their facilities on the Fraser Coast website. Suffice to say, that because these campsites are in a national park you won’t be able to bring your dog.

Location

Dog Friendly Camping: Not Allowed At All

Amenities: Varies

Access: 4WD Only

Read More & Book Online

Camp sites in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and Surrounds

If you are looking to escape to the hinterland, or places inland compared to the beach and are looking for a true escape to the country, the Sunshine coast also has a good variety of campgrounds for you.

10. Booloumba Creek Camping Grounds, Conondale National Park

Booloumba Creek Camping Area’s offer an outdoors experience in the middle of a dense rainforest in the Conondale National Park. There are three different camping areas, the first two are nestled in the rainforest and are ideal for tent camping, while the third area is in a large open grassy area with plenty of space to set up your camper trailer, caravan or tent.

To access Boolumba creek you will need a 4WD as there is a creek crossing and plenty of unsealed roads.

There are no bins, so make sure to bring garbage bags to take rubbish with you, and there are no showers. There are toilets and fires are permitted (depending on any fire bans in the area).

You do need to book in advance, as in the holidays Booloumba creek camping area can get quite busy.

There is a gorgeous fresh water stream running through the valley and the campsite is at the beginning of the Conondale Range great walk. A challenging 4-day, 56km walk with carry-in campsites along the way.

If you don’t want to walk that far, there is a shorter walk to the fire tower that you can explore.

Location

Dog Friendly Camping: Not Allowed At All

Amenities: Toilets

Access: 4WD Only

Read More & Book Online

11. Charlie Moreland Camping Area, Imbil State Forest

The Charlie Moreland camping area is nestled in the Imbil State Forest. You can expect to see Goanna’s, Wallabies and a range of birdlife. The great thing about Charlie Moreland is that it is accessible by 2WD, it has flush toilets and lines the Little Yabba Creek if you fancy a dip.

Make sure you book well in advance as this area, being 2WD accessible, gets pretty busy in the summer holidays.

Location

Dog Friendly Camping: Not Allowed At All

Amenities: Toilets

Access: 2WD

Read More & Book Online

12. Amamoor Creek Camping Area, Amamoor State Forest

This campsite is truly unique, it office camping among the tall iron bark and blue gum trees right beside the creek. It’s also the home of the popular Gympie Music Muster, so at times it is super busy (around the last week of August) and also during school holidays. That said it is totally accessible by 2WD, a great place to go mountain biking and walking or just escape.

You can expect flushing toilets, wood fired BBQ’s and campfires are permitted (conditions apply).

Location

Dog Friendly Camping: Not Allowed At All

Amenities: Toilets, BBQ’s

Access: 2WD

Read More & Book Online

13. Cedar Grove camping area, Amamoor State Forest

Another great place that is 2WD accessible in the Amamoor State Forest is the Cedar Grove Camping Area. This is a great place for mountain biking and walking and just general relaxing among the red cedar trees and bunya pines.

Location

Dog Friendly Camping: Not Allowed At All

Amenities: Toilets

Access: 2WD

Read More & Book Online

14. Kenilworth Bluff Creek Campground

Bluff Creek Campgrounds is a wonderful place for the family to escape to. It’s a privately run farm which the owners lovingly turned it into the camping destination that it is today. It’s 2WD accessible, close to local artisan eateries in Kenilworth and has fantastic amenities. You can expect flushing toilets, hot showers, fresh drinking water, bike trails and swimming holes.

Location

Dog Friendly Camping: Yes, Leash Only

Amenities: Toilets, Hot Showers

Access: 2WD

Read More & Book Online

15. Kenilworth Camping


If you are looking for a relaxing country camping experience with the family, Kenilworth Camping is a privately run camping ground which is on a fully functioning dairy Farm. There is plenty to do on the property such as swimming, canoeing / kayaking on the Mary River, bike riding or just relax and wind down.

The great thing is, it’s only 2km away from Kenilworth Township with plenty of food options for everyone.

There are no hot showers at this campground, but it’s easy access for 2WD cars and there are toilets with fully stocked toilet paper.

Location: 18 Paulger Rd, Kenilworth QLD 4574

Dog Friendly Camping: Yes, Under supervision

Amenities: Toilets

Access: 2WD

Read More & Book Online

16. Peach Trees camping area

A little bit further out on the other side of the hinterland is the Peach Trees Camping area. Although not technically the Sunshine Coast, peach trees camping area is nestled in the Jimna State Forest. There is plenty to do, including visiting the Jimna Fire Tower.

The campground is beside Yabba Creek and even has Wifi!  There are flushing toilets and 2WD access. 

You’ll need to bring your own drinking water. You can have open fires (except when fire bans apply) in the fire rings provided, and you’ll have to bring your own firewood. 

Location: Yabba Road, Jimna QLD 4515

Dog Friendly Camping: No, not allowed

Amenities: Toilets

Access: 2WD

Read More & Book Online

17. Running creek Parklands

Running Creek Parklands is west of Beewah and is a private Campground with wide open spaces for tents, swags, campervans, camper trailers, cars and whatever camping style you like.

They provide some portable toilets and hot water showers, they even provide bins so you don’t have to carry your rubbish out with you like most national parks. You can buy firewood from the office shop, use generators between certain times and even bring your dog.

Location: 

Dog Friendly Camping: Yes, Leash Only

Amenities: Toilets, Hot Showers

Access: 2WD

Read More & Book Online

18. Sandy Creek Campin

Is another great privately run campground positioned among neatly maintained green pastures, winding creeks with plenty of wildlife. It’s about an hour west of the Sunshine Coast near Kilcoy.

They have toilets and hot water showers, an excellent place to wind down and spread your arms.

Location: 

Dog Friendly Camping: Yes, Leash Only

Amenities: Toilets, Hot Showers

Access: 2WD

Read More & Book Online

19. Borumba Dam Camping Grounds

The Borumba Dam Campgrounds are only 800m away from the spectacular lake Borumba situated in the Imbil state forest. The campgrounds are situated along Yabba Creek, a great place to do kayaking.

The campsite and surrounding state forests have so many activities, like bush walking, mountain biking, boating, water skiing, fishing and swimming.

The facilities include toilets, hot showers, outdoor camp kitchen and even free kayaks.

Location:

Dog Friendly Camping: No, not allowed

Amenities: Toilets, Hot Showers, Outdoor Camp Kitchen

Access: 2WD

Read More & Book Online

20. Hidden Valley @ Gro Mad Plantations

Hidden Valley is a secluded private property right on the Sunshine Coast’s own Maroochy River. This beautiful 30 acre property is a working macadamia farm, along with honey, ginger and various other fresh produce. Hidden Valley is only minutes away from Yandina and has creaks and a beautiful dam.

The camp grounds are very spacious and offer a variety of secluded and wide open areas for the whole family. You must book in advance and facilities include drinking water, flushing toilets, hot showers and fire wood for purchase.

Location:

Dog Friendly Camping: Yes, Leash Only

Amenities: Toilets, Hot Showers, Drinking Water

Access: 2WD

Read More & Book Online

Dog Friendly Camping on the Sunshine Coast

There are only a handful of campsites on the sunshine coast which will allow dogs. Generally speaking, national parks and state forests on the Sunshine Coast won’t allow dogs at all. Here are 7 dog friendly camping grounds on the Sunshine Coast:

  1. Kenilworth Camping
  2. Kenilworth Bluff Creek Campground (Leash Only)
  3. Cob & Co Nine Mile Camping Grounds (Leash Only)
  4. Running creek Parklands (Leash Only)
  5. Sandy Creek Campin (Leash Only)
  6. Hidden Valley @ Gro Mad Plantations (Leash Only)
  7. Inskip Point Recreational Area (Leash Only)


So your best bet is privately run campgrounds with the exception of Inskip point, just keep in mind these operators will have rules to abide by for health & safety, environment conservation and insurance purposes so make sure you read and follow their rules to save any headaches when camping with your dog.

Free Camping on the Sunshine Coast

Can you camp for Free on the Sunshine Coast? Long gone are the days where you could drive to a national park and camp for free. These days you mostly need permits to camp which costs a small amount of money. Generally speaking national parks and state forests are very low cost campsites but require booking online.

That said a couple of free campsites on the Sunshine Coast are still available. They are usually roadside stops with some limited amenities (usually a public toilet), great for stopovers with a camper of some kind on long trips or budget tent holidays. Here are 2 Free Camps on the Sunshine Coast:

Belli Creek Park – Belli Creek

Yabba Creek Park – Cambroon

Sleeping in your car overnight in QLD is typically illegal in most places as it is considered camping. But if you keep to designated camping areas like the ones above you should be safe.

Conclusion

So that was over 20 Sunshine Coast Campsites that are accessible by car (some 2WD some 4WD) which aren’t officially holiday parks. We hope that was use for you, and happy camping!

Remember to always clean up after yourself, abide by all rules set by the governing bodies and keep your music down for the sake of other campers!

Now go forth and enjoy these prime Sunshine Coast Camping destinations.

Note: All care was taken while preparing this information to be up to date as of June 1st 2021, however the owners of the websites listed here have the right to make changes without us knowing about it. So make sure you do your own research.

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