Everything you need to know about camping in the Whitsundays Islands

Maximilien T Scharner Gexon1lued0 Unsplash

Yes, resorts in the Whitsundays Islands are amazing but what about sleeping under the stars and waking up in Whitehaven Beach before anyone else arrives? Is priceless and a must-do when you visit this beautiful natural wonder of Australia.

There are 10 different campgrounds where you can camp in the Whitsundays Islands. Six of them are located on Whitsunday Island and four on Hook Island. Camping permits are required and you can easily get them through Parks website.

Islands transfers like Scamper and Whitsunday Island Taxi offer transportation to and from Airlie Beach and all the camping gear you need in case you don’t have equipment. 

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Camping on Whitsunday Island

The most popular spot to camp in Whitsunday Island is on the iconic Whitehaven Beach (south-east side). Whitehaven Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and a dream destination to go camping, where you can discover the pure white silica sand paradise also at night. 

The camping area on Whitehaven Beach counts with picnic tables and toilets (no-flushing). Fishing and kayak are possible as well as bush walks. Remember to take drinking water, rubbish bags and insect repellent. There is no phone coverage in Whitehaven Beach.

Picnic Friends

Cairn Beach is a great camping spot if you want to escape the crowds and snorkel after your morning coffee. The Whitsunday Cairn track, part of the Ngaro Sea Trail, is an adventurous hike with rewarding views that you should explore if you choose to spend the night at Cairn Beach. 

Cairn Beach is known for its natural and wild beauty, fringing coral reef and a great place to snorkel and spot crabs, sea cucumbers and starfishes while you walk through the beach.

If you are planning this adventure with a large group of friends or family, Dugong Beach is a great place to go with sheltered picnic areas and expansive grounds. 

Dugong Beach is on the western side of Whitsunday Island, next to Cid Harbour, where previous shark attacks occurred so remember not to swim there. Although swimming is dangerous, the beach is worth it! The Dugong- Sawmill track, a coastline walk of 3km (return), takes you through a wild path of towering hoop pines, tropical rainforest and a combination of colourful fungi, lichens and moss. 

Not so far away from Dungongs Beach, in Cid Harbour, Joe’s Beach can be found, with great views of Cid Island and an excellent fishing spot. The camping ground has everything you need for a perfect beach day and dinner under the stars after catching some fresh fish. 

Nari’s Beach is located only a couple of kilometres from Joe’s Beach and is an amazing place to discover Cid Harbour, once used by the Australian and allied navies as an anchorage during World War II, on your kayak, canoe or boat. 

Last but not least, a quiet bay surrounds a beautiful campground at Chance Bay on the southeast of Whitsunday Island.

The camping area at Chance Bay is elevated and counts with excellent views to Pentecost Island, the Lindeman Group and Cape Conway. Take a hike along the Chance Bay track, part of the Whitsunday Ngaro sea trail, and if you continue through Solway circuit track to end up in the stunning and iconic Whitehaven Beach. 

Camping on Hook Island

Hook Island, the beautiful gem and almost untouched island of the Whitsundays Islands, gives visitors the perfect opportunity to explore the Great Barrier Reef and its magnificent marine life. 

The camping area at Crayfish Beach is secluded and sheltered by mountains and rocky headland. Wake up to the sound of the ocean and get ready to swim around the fringing reef. Crayfish Beach is located in Mackerel Bay, northeast of Hook Island.

Down south in Hook Island there is a  protected anchorage called Macona Inlet, where Curlew Beach can be found as well as a peaceful campground. This is probably one of the most historic places in the Whitsunday Islands, as it is the closest camping area to the Ngaro Cultural Site. The Ngaro people are the traditional owner of this land and after a short walk from the camping, you will find an incredible collection of rock art created 2.500 years ago. 

The camping area at Maureen’s Cove, located at northern Hook Island, is known for being at the top of a coral rubble beach. This coral cove has the best views of the Coral Sea, where you can explore by kayak or canoe the wonder of Hook Island’s bays. 

The last place to mention is Steens Beach, where the coastal forest protects and gives shade to a beautiful campsite. The particularity of this spot is that it allows only one booking at a time, therefore you will experience what it feels like to be alone on an island! 

Most of the campsites in the Whitsundays Islands have no flushing toilets or composting toilets and picnic tables. Open fires are prohibited and generators are not allowed. 

We hope we helped you to choose your next adventure destination and if you still have doubts don´t hesitate to contact us! 

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