EDIT: For our complete list of places to camp in WA, check this out; Camping in Western Australia.
The Camping in Western Australia is nothing short of spectacular. From magic beaches through to incredible Karri Forrests and some of the best rivers and lakes you will ever stay, WA has it all. It caters for overnight stays right through to full on trips that would keep you occupied for months at a time, and anything in between. There are so many awesome places to explore in Western Australia, and doing it with a tent, caravan, Camper Trailer or other form of camping is a great way to go. I am continually amazed at how much fun you can have, and how many places which exist that only a handful of people know about in WA, let alone the whole of Australia. If you ever get the chance to do any WA Camping, then you are a lucky person! I have travelled a number of places in Western Australia, but there is still a huge list to visit. I will try to go through some of the camping locations in Western Australia, and review them according to ease of access, supplies needed, location and any other bits and pieces that are important.
Why do so many people camp in Western Australia?
Camping is unique and great fun. Many people enjoy WA Camping year after year, because it is cheap, enjoyable for everyone regardless of age or sex, and there are so many places for people to stay. Of course, you can rent a house out or stay in a hotel and have all of the luxuries in the world, but at the end of the day the average Australian can’t afford to do this regularly. I have found that camping is just as much fun, if not more if you are set up well. The other important factor to remember is that a large majority of the best locations to visit in Western Australia do not have resorts and hotels on the beach, or next to a pristine freshwater lake. If you think that some of the places you have stayed at in a house are good, then you will be amazed at how much better some of the more secluded locations are!
Of course, most towns will have a variety of accommodation, but if you really want to enjoy what Australia has to offer, then you need to experience the world of Camping. There is nothing better than waking up in the morning on a flat, calm beach and having a fish. The best part about Australia is that it has so much to offer, and you can easily go on a holiday without meeting a single person along the way. There are many reasons why people love to Camp in Western Australia, and I sincerely hope that you get to find them too!
Where can I camp in Western Australia?
Western Australia has some truly spectacular camping locations. If you are looking for places to camp in WA, have a look at the WA Camping Map. If you don't want to travel too far from Perth, check out my Camping Near Perth post. I don’t need to make them sound better than they are; pick the right location and time of year, and with some thorough preparation you are guaranteed to have a lot of fun camping in WA. Whether that means exploring the hundreds and hundreds of kilometres of pristine beach, trekking through the bush or staying at a Caravan Park, there is something for everyone. Camp sites inside of a town will usually cost under $20 a night per person, depending on where it is and what is provided. Many of the caravan parks will have much cheaper accommodation, but be prepared to pay the bigger dollars for very popular places with limited accommodation. Alternatively, WA has many, many campsites that are available for free, if you know where to look.
You are not allowed to camp within a few kilometres of some towns on public property, and there are many places that you are not allowed to camp at all. Finding the right information for wherever you are going before you leave is vital. Where you go camping should be based around your experience, supplies and budget. If you have big caravan you may be limited in terms of some of the 4x4 that you can do in WA. Likewise, a car with limited clearance will struggle on many of the tracks through Western Australia. In saying this, having a bit of knowledge and flexibility will go a long way in finding the best places of WA. It’s all about picking an area that suits what you want, and then doing some research on what to take, time of year to go etc. WA has literally thousands and thousands of Camping destinations, and I plan on covering many of them!
Isn’t camping uncomfortable?
This is a common misconception. Often I hear people saying that they refuse to go camping because it’s too inconvenient and uncomfortable. Fair enough, more work is usually required, but it pays off when you get to enjoy the cheapest holiday you have been on and have a lot of fun at the same time. What it ultimately boils down to is how prepared you are. Some of WA is very challenging, but with proper preparation you will be more than content. A lot of this is determined by the camping gear that you own and your experience in using it. I wrote a post on a Camping Gear List which should help you to remember everything you need!
It is not uncommon to see people travelling around Australia with generators, solar panels, a Portable Shower and Portable Toilet, televisions, full kitchens and luxury beds. With the technology that is available today at such a cheap price, WA Camping has never been a better option. I have to admit that I have made poor choices in the past and as a result have had several bad experiences with Camping, but when you get it all right you are rewarded so much!
WA Weather and Camping
The Weather plays a huge roll in Camping regardless of where you are going. There is nothing worse than being too cold, too hot, wet or dirty. Lucky for us, the climate is fairly predictable in Western Australia, and it’s not usually too extreme. This means you can choose the best time of year to go north, and the best time of the year to go south. Of course, it pays to be prepared for any sort of weather just in case. If you are going somewhere where it gets cold at night, make sure you take warm clothes, a good sleeping bag and plenty of firewood. It is all just common sense, but often you don’t realize that until your freezing cold huddling around a fire that is hardly burning!
Being prepared and safe when Camping
Western Australia is a huge area. The distance between towns and often other people is something that many tourists will underestimate. If you are travelling long distances, and going into remote areas, you need to be twice as prepared. It’s easy to get into trouble if you don’t have enough water, food, quality gear and the ability to contact people in emergency. Having a satellite phone is well worth it, as well as a UHF Radio and other communication devices. Proper first aid kits can literally save your life, and play an important part in the way that you pack your car! Other accessories will make your trip more comfortable and safe as well, which is why good research is so vital!
WA Camping and the environment
Above all, I believe in looking after the many places that we can enjoy. If you have fires, make sure you clean up after them. If there are bins, use them. If not, take your rubbish out with you. Don’t destroy the vegetation in search of fire wood. Look after any toilets, tables, protected areas and tracks that exist. Obey the signage; it’s there to help! If it says ‘No Fishing’ then please obey it. It costs future generations dearly when these rules are broken, and it will cost you dearly too when you get caught. These are just a few of the things that everyone should be doing, but it doesn’t always happen. Unfortunately if things aren’t well looked after then more and more areas get closed off, and everyone pays the price in the long run.
My favourite WA Camping areas
It really is difficult to pick the top destinations, and I am sure that I will change my mind as time goes on. For now however, I really enjoy the following locations and will continue to visit them regularly. Of course, there are many other locations which are just as good; you just have to find them!
Dwellingup is great because it’s so close to Perth, and yet secluded and enjoyable if you pick the right time of year and camp site. There is also so much to do, including fishing, catching marron, four wheel driving, Downhill Mountain biking, canoeing and white water rafting, walking, swimming and the general camping and enjoying the bush in WA. Camping in Dwellingup costs a few dollars each night.
Sandy Cape is not something that I have known about for very long. The coast in between Jurien Bay and Cervantes is nothing short of spectacular, and the many camping locations there prove this. From great fishing and snorkelling to pristine white beaches, you can’t go wrong! Camping in Sandy Cape costs a few dollars each night, but you can camp 50 metres around the corner for free!
Wedge Island is another great weekend location, with a huge range of places to camp. Fishing, snorkelling, boating and surfing are very common in this area. You need a four wheel drive, and the Lancelin Sand Dunes are great fun to play in. Wedge Island camping is totally free! Many locals in Lancelin have built shacks there for weekend entertainment, which just shows it has to be worth it!
Coral Bay is simply amazing. Sure, it might be 1100km north of Perth, but that drive is worth every cent. The snorkelling, fishing and boating is unreal, and it’s a great place to just relax. The cost of staying at Coral Bay is significantly higher than most other locations, but its well worth it. You can only camp in the Caravan Parks, so be prepared to pre book several months in advance! Campsites can cost over $250 a week, depending on how many are staying there.
The Holland Track
This is a four wheel drive track that I haven’t gone into much detail on just yet. It runs through the Gold Fields in the south east of WA, and has some impressive scenery. Being totally in the middle of nowhere you need to be very prepared and self sufficient. We saw two groups of people in 5 days, and there are no supplies along the way. If you want to experience the West Australian bush in total seclusion, the Holland Track is the way to go.
Some of the other places that I enjoy visiting in WA include Lucky Bay, Wagoe, Sandy Cape, Hill River, Busselton, Margaret River, Wave Rock, Peaceful Bay, Ledge Point, Kalbarri, Broome, Lake Jasper, Honeymoon Pool and Dunsborough.
For those who haven’t done much camping before, just take it slowly to start off with. Be sure to buy good quality gear, and to do plenty of research before you head off. There are so many places that WA Camping has to offer, and you are lucky enough to be able to enjoy them!