By: Kirsty Petrides
Here in Western Australia, our coastline is our pride and joy. You haven't seen a beach until you've seen a WA beach, are we right?
In order to protect our precious coast, setting up camp on any stretch of beach is generally not allowed.
But there are some pockets of WA where generous locals, shires and government bodies have made it both possible and legal for you to pitch a tent with an ocean view. Keep in mind though that because these spots are right on the sand, you won't find things like toilets or shower blocks - you're truly at one with nature.
If that doesn't sound like your jam, check out these beachfront camping spots where you don't have to rough it.
But if you're ready to sacrifice some of life's little luxuries in the name of getting an epic view and a dose of tranquility, here are some gorgeous places in WA where you can actually camp on the beach.
1. Cleaverville camping area, Karratha
In the very north of WA, Cleaverville is an informal campground located between Karratha and Point Samson. It's just you and Mother Nature out there, though with no facilities of any sort it's more for experienced campers, but the sunsets are worth it. And be sure to pack insect repellent, as the sand flies are notorious.
2. Gnoorea Point Campground, Karratha
Gnoorea Point, also known as 40 Mile, is a great spot for those keen on a true beach camping experience. The bay offers good fishing, as well as wind protection for those wanting to cool off in the tranquil waters.
3. Warroora Station, Ningaloo
Warroora Station offers what is arguably the quintessential Aussie camping experience. There are 11 beachfront camping spots that all step out on to a white-sand beach, and from there it’s just few steps into the warm turquoise water. Given the remoteness of Warroora, you do need to be completely self-sufficient.
4. Cape Range National Park, Exmouth
Cape Range is one of the state’s most iconic national parks, and also happens to be home to a whopping 11 beachfront campgrounds. You do need to be fully self-sufficient though, with the only amenities being toilets and a couple of picnic tables where you can sit and enjoy a cracking Exmouth sunset. And given you’re camping in a World Heritage Area, you need to be extra respectful of the environment.
5. Dirk Hartog Island
Dirk Hartog Island is renowned for its natural beauty and excellent fishing, and it also happens to be home to a couple of camping spots right on the sand, including Withnell Point and Dampier’s Landing. They are incredibly remote and are considered wilderness camping experiences, so you need to be fully self-sufficient and take home everything you bring in (including your toilet waste, unless you’d like to bury it, in which case pack a shovel and bury at least 50cm deep).
6. Edel Land National Park, Shark Bay
Best known for Steep Point, the most westerly part of the Australian mainland, this proposed park has massive sand dunes, secluded beaches and windswept limestone cliffs, as well as two beachfront camping spots, Steep Point and Shelter Bay.
7. Francois Peron National Park
Francois Peron is known for its white beaches and blue waters, and would you believe, you can camp at some of them. There are five small, informal beachfront campgrounds that all offer amazing access to the region’s stunning beaches – Big Lagoon, Gregories, South Gregories, Bottle Bay and Herald Bight. There are toilets and some public barbeques, but with no power or drinking water, you need to be somewhat self-sufficient.
8. Shark Bay Shire Campgrounds
Western Australia’s first World Heritage area, Shark Bay, has four coastal campgrounds run by the local Shire: Eagle Bluff, Fowlers Camp, Whalebone Bay and Goulet Bluff. The camping spots are all beachfront, so you are completely at one with nature, meaning, there are no amenities, so be ready to be self-sufficient.
9. Sandy Cape Recreation Park, Jurien Bay
Sandy Cape Recreation Park is just 10km north of Jurien Bay. If you’re planning to visit, here is a hot tip - pack high-quality tent pegs. Due the amount of limestone in the Jurien Bay region, it’s near impossible to hammer regular tent pegs into the ground. Bring polypropylene or iron pegs that are strong enough to drive through the hard rock surface, and won’t bend when doing so.
10. Milligan Island Eco Camping, Green Head
Between the towns of Green Head and Leeman is the Milligan Island Camping Node. It’s a great spot for campers looking for a quiet coastal experience. The camp sites are on very compacted surfaces, so if you’re coming with a tent be sure to pack high-quality tent pegs and even additional tools to hammer them into the ground.
11. Quagi Beach Campsite, Esperance
Self-sufficient campers can enjoy uninterrupted ocean views at Quagi Beach in Esperance. Located in the eastern side of Stokes National Park, the campsite provides direct access to the beach for plenty of canoeing, kayaking, fishing and snorkelling.
12. Cape Le Grand National Park, Esperance
At Cape Le Grand National Park you’ll get the privilege of camping at the beach named one of Australia’s best. The iconic Lucky Bay has sites just a few steps from the famous beach, while at Le Grand Beach Campground your million-dollar view takes in a wide sweep of beach where you can swim, snorkel and fish. Just be prepared – you might have to share your site with some local kangaroos.
RELATED: Guide to Esperance's best beaches »
13. Alexander Bay Campground, Howick
Located approximately 100 kilometres east of Esperance is Alexander Bay, or as the locals refer to it, A Bay. Known for its white sandy beaches, this is the perfect spot for those wanting to fish, surf or just relax along that famous stretch of coastline. There are 12 camping bays, and dogs and cats are permitted providing they're kept on a lead.
Want to beach camp but prefer not to rough it?
We've got you covered with all the amenities at our beachfront RAC Parks & Resorts. Plus, members save up to 20%* on accommodation.
*Terms and conditions apply. Member rate varies according to season. See full website for details
Last updated: October 2021