Travel & Touring | Camping & Caravanning

19 October, 2020   By: Tatum Stafford

WA is home to an array of incredible national parks – and often, the best way to experience their natural beauty is by spending the night in one of their campgrounds.

Stretching from the North West to the vast Golden Outback, we’ve hand-picked some of the best campgrounds within WA national parks, whether they're beachfront, lakeside or out in the bush.

1. Purnululu National Park, Kimberley region

Campgrounds Kurrajong and Walardi.
Amenities There’s an ablution block and picnic tables at each campground, but visitors must bring their own water, food, fuel and other supplies. Fires are not permitted.
Access to campgrounds High-clearance four-wheel drive vehicles with low range gears.
Closest town for supplies Halls Creek (148 kilometres, just over two hours’ drive).

Home to the world-famous Bungle Bungle Range, the Purnululu National Park is renowned for its incredible gorges, picturesque walk trails, and its two scenic bush camping areas.

The Walardi Campground is located south of the park’s information centre, and can cater for up to 70 vehicles. Walardi is closed for the Kimberley wet season (from November to April), but if you’re camping between April and mid-October you’ll be well-positioned to explore the nearby Cathedral Gorge, Picaninny Creek and the beehive domes.

Located north of the visitor centre, the larger Kurrajong Campground operates from May to September and can cater for up to 100 vehicles. Closer to the Echidna Chasm and Mini Palms gorge walks, these non-generator sites have a few basic facilities and are a great base for avid hikers.

You’ll need to book your site at these campgrounds at least 48 hours in advance.

2. Millstream Chichester National Park, Pilbara region

Campgrounds Miliyanha and Stargazers.
Amenities Non-flush toilets, gas barbeques, dishwashing facilities (at Miliyanha) and picnic tables. For Stargazers, bring drinking water with you.
Access to campgrounds Two-wheel drive access in dry weather conditions.
Closest town for supplies Roebourne (102 kilometres, a 90-minute drive).

The expansive Millstream Chichester National Park is perhaps best known for its abundance of wildflowers in springtime, its plentiful birdlife and its tranquil permanent pools.

Miliyanha is the park’s only generator-friendly campground, and is close to both Millstream Creek and the Millstream Homestead. Offering a series of camp facilities and 27 sites, the area is shady and monitored by camp hosts during peak travel months from April to September. In terms of park attractions, the campground is only a few minutes’ walk from the entry to the 8.5-kilometre Warrungunha Trail, which leads to the popular swimming spot Deep Reach Pool.

If you’d prefer a more off-grid camping experience, opt for one of the 15 sites at Stargazers. With a few basic amenities, this campground is even closer to the beautiful Deep Reach Pool, and is another great base for exploring walk trails around the Millstream Homestead.

Online bookings are essential for both campgrounds.

3. Karijini National Park, Pilbara region

Campground Dales.
Amenities No-flush toilets and a dump station. Sheltered picnic tables and gas barbeques available at Dales Picnic Area one kilometre from the campground, and showers available at the Karijini Visitor Centre, 12 kilometres from the campground.
Access to campgrounds You don’t need a four-wheel drive to access the park – but as all roads are unsealed red gravel, a four-wheel drive is recommended.
Closest town for supplies Tom Price (106 kilometres, an hour and 15-minute drive).

Characterised by its incredible waterfalls, gorges, cliffs and walk trails, Karijini National Park is an Aussie traveller’s paradise – and its single campground, Dales, is the perfect base from which to explore this epic park.

Located a short walk from Fortescue Falls, Fern Pool and Circular Pool, Dales Campground has the most campsites (140) of any other national park campground in Western Australia. As well as providing plenty of facilities, Dales is renowned for its close proximity to many of the park’s swimming holes, gorge lookouts and walking trails – the three-kilometre Dales Gorge and 800-metre Circular Pool routes are particularly popular options.

Peak season at Dales is from June to September, and an overflow camping area 10 kilometres away operates during these months. Online bookings are essential. If you can’t find a site at Dales or the overflow area, there are also a handful of outback glamping tents run by the Karijini Eco Retreat.

4. Kennedy Range National Park, Pilbara region

Campground Temple Gorge.
Amenities Bush toilets and fire rings (campfires are permitted in certain seasons). Campers are advised to bring drinking water for the duration of their stay.
Access to campgrounds Roads are mostly unsealed but suitable for two-wheel drive vehicles. If entering from the western side of the park, you’ll need a high-clearance four-wheel drive.
Closest town for supplies Gascoyne Junction (62 kilometres, just under an hours’ drive).

Known as ‘Mundatharrda’ to the local Inggarda Aboriginal language group, the sweeping Kennedy Range National Park is filled with epic four-wheel drive tracks, fascinating rock formations and a bucket-list campground for those wanted to sleep under the twinkling outback stars.

The Temple Gorge Campground acts as the gateway to the eastern side of the epic Kennedy Ranges. Nestled beneath magnificent red cliff faces, this basic bush camping area is perfect for self-sufficient, experienced campers - and also for those who love to hike. The picturesque, two-kilometre Temple Gorge Trail starts near the campground and splits into two forks at The Temple rock; the left an easy, short walk, the right a tougher walk over boulders that leads to a small rock pool.

No bookings are required, but you’ll need to pay camp fees (likely in cash) at the site entry station.

5. Cape Range National Park, Coral Coast region

Campgrounds Boat Harbour, Bungarra, Kurrajong, Mesa, Neds, North Kurrajong, North Mandu, One K, Osprey Bay, Tulki Beach and Yardie Creek.
Amenities All eleven campgrounds have varying facilities and rules around generators, so it’s important to do your research before arriving. No power or water is available at any of these sites.
Access to campgrounds The access road through the park is sealed with two-wheel drive access, but you’ll need a four-wheel drive if camping at Boat Harbour or One K.
Closest town for supplies Exmouth (52 kilometres, a 40-minute drive).

Located beside the world-famous Ningaloo Marine Park, the spectacular Cape Range National Park along the Coral Coast is filled with gorges, pristine beaches and epic canyons to explore. And if you’re camping, you’ll be spoilt for choice between a whopping eleven beachfront campgrounds.

No matter how you’re travelling (or who you’re travelling with), there’s a campground to suit you within the park. If you’re camping with kids, the small and sheltered beaches at Neds, Osprey Bay or Mesa are perfect for splashing in. Or if you’re an avid snorkeller, stay at North Mandu to snorkel at Oyster Stacks, or at Tulki Beach to be closest to Turquoise Bay. Similarly, a stay at One K will guarantee you access to some of the park’s best surf breaks.

All campgrounds within the national park are in high demand from April to October, so you’ll need to book online before arriving. Make sure you come prepared, as there is no power or running water available at any of these sites.

RELATED: 5 of the best snorkelling spots in Exmouth »

6. Francois Peron National Park, Coral Coast region

Campgrounds Big Lagoon, Bottle Bay, Gregories, Herald Bight and South Gregories.
Amenities Gas barbeques in the park’s picnic areas, and pit toilets at each campground. No fresh water, services or supplies are available within the park.
Access to campgrounds Two-wheel drive vehicles can only travel as far as the Peron Heritage Precinct - so you'll need a four-wheel drive to visit any of these campsites. Most roads are soft sand.
Closest town for supplies Denham (12 kilometres, a 15-minute drive).

Renowned for its dramatic red cliffs, pristine beaches and epic four-wheel driving tracks, the beautiful Francois Peron National Park within the Shark Bay World Heritage Area is a fascinating spot where ocean meets desert. There are five campgrounds dotted across the park, and all are close to some of the park’s most impressive beaches.

The busiest sites in the park are Bottle Bay, Gregories and South Gregories. As well as its impressive red cliffs, campers at these sites will have easy access to the water and the chance to fish for whiting, bream and kingfish from the shoreline.

If you’d prefer a spot of paddling, head for the campground at Big Lagoon. As an important fish nursery, fishing and motorised water sports are restricted here, but paddleboards, canoes and kayaks are popular ways to explore the water.

There’s no booking system for any of these campgrounds, so you’ll need to get in quick if visiting during the school holidays or in winter; the busiest tourist season for the park.

RELATED: 12 of the best beach camping spots in WA »

7. Avon Valley National Park, Perth and Peel region

Campgrounds Bald Hill, Drummonds, Homestead and Valley.
Amenities All campgrounds have wood barbeques, picnic tables and pit toilets.
Access to campgrounds All vehicles, but be wary that all roads are unsealed.
Closest town for supplies Toodyay (27 kilometres, just over 30 minutes’ drive).

Covering nearly 5,000 hectares of lush bushland, the Avon Valley National Park within the wider Perth region features panoramic views over the valley, a wide variety of flora and fauna, and four popular campgrounds.

One of the park’s busiest campgrounds is Bald Hill. Perched atop of its namesake, this spacious campground provides epic views of the entire park and has plenty of facilities, making this a popular choice for first-time campers or young families.

The park is renowned for its excellent bushwalking and cycling trails, many of which weave in and around the park’s campgrounds. Birdwatching and wildflower-spotting are popular activities on these trails, so keep an eye out for local flora and fauna on every walk you complete in the park.

Bookings to these campgrounds can’t be made in advance, so it’s first in, best served. And when it comes to river access, roads to the Avon River within the park are closed for safety reasons in winter – so you’ll need to access it via Cobblers Pool, a 15-kilometre drive out of the park.

RELATED: 5 national parks that are closer to Perth than you think »

8. Wellington National Park, South West region

Campgrounds Honeymoon Pool (including Stones Brook and Gelcoat) and Potters Gorge.
Amenities Toilets, gas barbeques, picnic tables at both, and extra dishwashing facilities, a dump station and an info shelter at Potters Gorge. No drinking water at Honeymoon Pool.
Access to campgrounds All vehicles.
Closest town for supplies Collie (17 kilometres, a 12-minute drive).

Nestled amongst the towering jarrah, marri and yarri trees that the South West is so famous for, the Wellington National Park is home to a network of trails, the beautiful Collie River Valley, and a series of tranquil campgrounds.

Depending on your site, you could be sleeping just 15 metres from the Collie River’s edge if you stay at the popular Honeymoon Pool Campground. There are 20 sites available, and it’s a great base for those interested in fishing, bushwalking, canoeing and mountain biking thanks to its proximity to the park’s network of land and river trails.

The recently renovated Potters Gorge is another popular option within the park. Located on the shore of the Wellington Dam, there are a whopping 55 sites to choose from with plenty of facilities, making it an ideal spot for first-time campers or young families. Its location provides easy access to the bustling 10-kilometre Sika Trail, which loops through surrounding forest and connects with the famous Munda Biddi mountain bike trail.

Sites at these campgrounds are in high demand, so it’s recommended to book online before arriving at the park.

RELATED: 10 campsites by the water near Perth »

9. Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, South West region

Campgrounds Boranup, Conto, Jarrahdene and Point Road.
Amenities Each campground has toilets, and every campground except Boranup also has picnic tables and gas barbeques. No drinking water at any campground in the park.
Access to campgrounds Point Road is only accessible by four-wheel drive, but the other campgrounds are two-wheel drive-friendly.
Closest town for supplies Dunsborough (12 kilometres).

Surrounded by the vast Indian Ocean, the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park covers the western edge of the Margaret River region. Encompassing the beautiful Boranup Forest, part of the Cape to Cape Track and Sugarloaf Rock, the park is a great spot for bushwalking, whale-watching and camping at one of four picturesque campgrounds.

If you’re eager to experience the epic Cape to Cape Track, pitch your tent at Conto Campground. Located beside the Conto Springs Beach (a great place for surfing and fishing), the 116 camp sites provide direct access to the walking track which is renowned for its impressive coastal views. You’ll also have access to the track from Point Road Campground; a smaller area situated within the Boranup Karri Forest.

Bookings can only be made at Jarrahdene and Conto campgrounds – if you’re hoping to stay at Boranup or Point Road, arrive early during peak periods to guarantee yourself a site.

10. Wooditjup National Park, South West region

Campground RAC Margaret River Nature Park.
Amenities Shared amenities including a camp kitchen and shared bathrooms.
Access to campgrounds All vehicles.
Closest town for supplies Margaret River (four kilometres).

Located in the heart of Margaret River, the Wooditjup National Park is nestled amongst tall timber trees, surrounded by a series of fantastic walking and mountain biking trails, and is home to several camp sites that form the perfect base for exploring the lush park.

As part of the RAC Margaret River Nature Park, these powered camp sites are situated near the entry points to a series of trails and tracks within the national park. The 15-kilometre Ten Mile Brook Trail is a popular option; following old timber tramways up to a picturesque picnic site at the Ten Mile Brook Dam. The trail is a combination of coarse gravel and bitumen, so it’s a great spot for beginners to give mountain biking a try.

You’ll need to book your site at RAC Margaret River Nature Park in advance – and if you’re an RAC member, you can save up to 20%* on accommodation.

11. D'Entrecasteaux National Park, South West region

Campgrounds Banksia Camp, Black Point (Humpback Hollow and Seal Cove), Crystal Springs, Lake Jasper, Leaning Marri, Moore’s Hut, Windy Harbour and Yeagarup Hut.
Amenities Most campgrounds have basic facilities, including toilets and picnic tables. Drinking water is only available at Black Point and Lake Jasper campgrounds.
Access to campgrounds Crystal Springs and Windy Harbour are the only two campgrounds which are two-wheel drive-accessible. You’ll need a four-wheel drive to reach every other site. Windy Harbour is the only campground in the park with facilities for caravans.
Closest town for supplies Northcliffe (31 kilometres).

Stretching between Augusta and Walpole, the D’Entrecasteaux is home to some impressive natural features, including the Yeagarup Dunes, the massive Lake Jasper and granite outcrop Mount Chudalup. And when it comes to campgrounds, there’s a range of coastal and inland options to choose from.

One of the most popular campgrounds within the park is Banksia Camp. Boasting stunning views across to Chatham Island, the campground is close to a series of trails and sits next to a sandy white beach. Fishing off the rocks at Banksia is a popular pastime – just remember to keep a close eye on the swell, wear rock hopper boots and do comprehensive research before attempting it.

If you’re an avid surfer, head for one of the two campgrounds at Black Point: Humpback Hollow or Seal Cove. The Southern Ocean creates some incredible waves against the series of striking hexagonal columns, called ‘Stepping Stones’, which are a short stroll from the campground. This surf spot is recommended for experienced surfers only.

Sites within the park fill up quickly, but campers are unable to book spots in advance. Peak periods are school holidays and weekends from October to April – so if you’re planning a visit during these months, plan to arrive at your site early.

12. Goldfields Woodlands National Park, Goldfields-Esperance region

Campgrounds Boondi Rock and Victoria Rock.
Amenities Wood barbeques and picnic tables at Victoria Rock, toilets at both campgrounds. You'll need to bring your own drinking water to both campgrounds.
Access to campgrounds All vehicles.
Closest town for supplies Coolgardie (82 kilometres).

Best known for its abundance of wildflowers in spring, intriguing railway history and its crossing of the epic four-wheel drive Holland Track, the Goldfields Woodlands National Park is home to two campgrounds - both of which are free to stay at.

Situated along the Holland Track, the campground at Victoria Rock is a great way to view this impressive granite outcrop up close. Follow a short trail from the camping area to reach the base of the rock. Here you’ll find an array of regrowth woodland, including salmon gum, gimlet and redwood bushland. There are a few shady areas of thickets that are the perfect spot for a picnic.

If you’d rather camp by the water, the Boondi Rock campground sits beside the Boondi Rock Dam; a catchment that was originally developed for railway water supplies when steam engines travelled along the Holland Track. There are a few bushwalking trails in and around the campground to explore, but note that swimming in the dam is prohibited.

13. Stokes National Park, Goldfields-Esperance region

Campgrounds Benwenerup, Fanny Cove, Shoal Cape and Skippy Rock.
Amenities Barbeques and a camp kitchen and Benwenerup, and toilets at all four campgrounds. The only site with available drinking water is Benwenerup.
Access to campgrounds You’ll need a four-wheel drive to access all sites except for Benwenerup, which can be accessed by two-wheel drive.
Closest town for supplies Munglinup (30 kilometres).

Home to one of the South West’s most picturesque estuaries, the Stokes National Park is a haven for canoeing, fishing, bushwalking, birdwatching and surfing. And when it comes to campgrounds, there are four brilliant options to choose from.

The largest camping area in the park is the Benwenerup Campground. Consisting of 14 sites, it’s located in a tranquil, shady spot on the banks of the Stokes Inlet. Water-based activites are popular here, but if you’d rather attempt a walking trail, the 2.8-kilometre Stokes Heritage Trail links the campground to the busy Stokes Inlet day use area. Along the way, you’ll pass two lookouts that provide beautiful views of the estuary.

The other three campgrounds in the park are smaller, but still popular options thanks to their idyllic locations. The Shoal Cape campsite is only metres from a beach famous for its fantastic snorkelling and swimming opportunities. If you’re interested in fishing, a stay at Fanny Cove or Skippy Rock is sure to impress.

Bookings can’t be made at any of the park’s campgrounds, so you’ll need to arrive early in peak periods to secure a site. No fees apply at Fanny Cove or Shoal Cape.

14. Cape Le Grand National Park, Goldfields-Esperance region

Campgrounds Le Grand Beach and Lucky Bay.
Amenities Barbeques, toilets, camp kitchens and picnic tables at both campgrounds. No drinking water available at both campgrounds.
Access to campgrounds All vehicles.
Closest town for supplies Esperance (49 kilometres).

The Cape Le Grand National Park is one of WA’s most famous national parks thanks to its pristine white beaches, scenic coastal walking trails and a few furry kangaroos that lie on the beautiful Lucky Bay beach. There are two beachfront campgrounds within the park to choose from.

The campground at Le Grand Beach hosts 15 camp sites perfect for those wanting to swim, snorkel, kayak, canoe or fish at the idyllic beach. The campground is also a great base for avid bushwalkers, as the 17-kilometre Cape Le Grand Coastal Trail extends from the western side of the camping area. The trail is a great challenge for experienced hikers, as it traverses beach sections, pruned vegetation and a few rocky pathways; all positioned to showcase the park’s incredible coastline.

If you’re eager to encounter the famous Lucky Bay kangaroos, opt for a site at the Lucky Bay campground. With a beach perfect for snorkelling, swimming, canoeing and kayaking, it’s a fantastic example of the coastline Esperance is so famous for. You’ll also wake up well-caffeinated after a night here, thanks to the Lucky Bean coffee van that parks up on the beach each morning. Four-wheel drives are allowed on the beach, but beware that it’s very easy to become bogged here. It’s best to consult the local ranger about surface conditions and tides.

Bookings are essential at both campgrounds.

RELATED: Top 10 things to do in Esperance »

15. Cape Arid National Park, Goldfields-Esperance region

Campgrounds Belinup, Jorndee Creek, Mount Ragged, Seal Creek and Yokinup Mia Mia.
Amenities Barbeque facilities at Mount Ragged, toilets at all campgrounds. Drinking water is only available at Seal Creek.
Access to campgrounds You’ll need a four-wheel drive to access Mount Ragged and Jorndee Creek campgrounds. Other sites can be accessed by all vehicles.
Closest town for supplies Esperance (114 kilometres).

Another popular national park within driving distance of Esperance is the Cape Arid National Park. Filled with diverse bushwalking trails, incredible peaks and a whopping 1,100 species of plants, the park is a must-visit for WA nature enthusiasts – and when it comes to camping, there are plenty of campgrounds scattered throughout the park to choose from.

If you’re eager to climb the impressive Mount Ragged, pitch your tent at its campground. The three-kilometre Mount Ragged Walk Trail is quite challenging, involving a steep climb through overgrown track and large rock faces – but the impressive coastal views are well worth the climb.

If you’d rather camp by the water, pitch your tent at Jorndee Creek. The creek is a popular fishing spot, and is situated at the end of a small bay that is well sheltered from coastal winds. Seal Creek is another great camping spot for avid anglers, and is also one of the best campgrounds in the park for birdwatching.

Sites at these campgrounds cannot be booked in advance, so you’ll need to arrive early to reserve yourself a spot.

RELATED: 9 epic WA day hikes with views that are worth the climb »

Ready to pitch your tent in one of these national parks?

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