If there’s one place in South Australia that we’ve heard of a million times, its Perlubie Beach. The amount of people who’ve mentioned it to us, done YouTube videos of it or shared photos online is nothing short of astounding, and as a result we had some pretty high expectations prior to arriving.
That said, we’d literally hightailed it out of Point Brown that morning after getting ravaged by Mosquitoes, and anything had to be an improvement!
Our visit to Perlubie Beach did not start off too well, with us getting badly stuck and spending the better part of an hour getting moving again, after sinking once again when I swung back around. Good times, and a good reminder of beach driving tyre pressures, especially when you are towing something!
We had some interesting weather at Perlubie, but overall rate it as an amazing camp site, and one that we would absolutely return to.
Where is Perlubie Beach?
You’ll find this slice of paradise in between Smoky and Streaky Bay. It’s roughly 20km drive into Streaky Bay, and you can see the tiny community of Perlubie from the beach itself. It’s also not too far off the main highway, with some highway noise of big trucks heard as they come past (but certainly not at a level that is annoying).
Amenities at Perlubie Beach
Perlubie has a toilet at the entrance, and some rubbish bins for disposing of your recyclables and general waste (these bins are further up the road). There’s also some day use huts, and that’s it; you need to be self sufficient, and leave no trace.
Perlubie Beach Camping costs and requirements
EDIT, December 2022 – They’re bringing in online booking from 9/12/22, and the price has gone up to $20 per vehicle per night. On top of this, you’ll need to contain all of your grey and black water, and there will be limitations on the number of campers, and the distance between each one.
It’s $10 per vehicle per night to camp at Perlubie Beach, put into a steel box right near the sign as you enter. You can get onto the beach without a 4WD, but do so at your own risk; a 4WD is a much better idea.
If you drive away without paying your $10 per night, shame on you. Camp sites like this are few and far between, and supporting the local shire that sets it up and keeps it running is the least you can do.
Is the sand soft on Perlubie Beach?
Well, about that…yes, and no. We pulled onto Perlubie Beach towing our 2.3 tonne hybrid camper, and weighing about 5.5 tonne total with no issues at all. The first part of the beach near the day use huts is really hard, and you have no issues at all. As you drive down further though, it gets progressively softer and softer. A couple of hundred metres down is fine with normal tyre pressures in the main tracks, but as soon as you head out of them trouble begins.
We got stuck because I turned around in the soft stuff, and didn’t have the tyres down. My suggestion is to either camp up near the entrance (and risk not letting your tyres down) or let them down straight away and avoid the hassle all together.
Once our tyres were down we had zero issues cruising along the beach.
Caravans on Perlubie Beach
Going on from above, there are heaps of Caravans that get taken onto Purlubie Beach, and some of them don’t have crazy powered, or capable 4WD’s either. With the right tyre pressures, picking a smart place to stop and not over doing it you can land yourself a pretty amazing camp site, metres away from the water (at high tide!)
Watch the tides
Speaking of tides, Perlubie Beach is renown for getting caravans wet with their extra large tides that happen occasionally (like at Easter time!). Be prepared for the tides, and park your vehicle and van in a way that is suitable. If the tide is going to be huge, consider moving on to somewhere else; its just not worth the risk.
For the majority of the year though, parking within 5 metres of the dune at the back of the beach is perfectly fine; high tide won’t come within 10 metres of your setup, and you can sleep soundly at night knowing you won’t wake to waves breaking at your doorstep!
Accessing Perlubie Beach
To get to Perlubie Beach, you turn off the Flinders highway onto Woolamai Road, and then turn left onto Wharf Street. Obey the 40km/h signs, and roll in nice and gently. You’ll come to a parking area and toilet block, and the beach access is only wide for one vehicle to enter or exit at a time.
Can you camp at Perlubie in a 2WD?
If you don’t have a 4WD, but still want to enjoy Perlubie, a number of people just camp in the car park, and walk onto the beach as required. You could take your 2WD onto the beach, but it would be awfully easy to get stuck, and I’m not sure the reward is worth the risk!
Boat launching at Perlubie Beach
We saw a number of people heading out with rooftop tinnies, and only one larger boat (around 5 metres) get launched with a tractor. At high tide, the water level is very low for a good 100 metres, and launching any bigger boats would be a mission without a tractor.
Is camping at Perlubie Beach worth it?
Some camp sites that are shared widely are so over rated that its not funny. Perlubie is not one of those; its a beautiful beach, that is easily accessible with plenty of room. It’s great value, amazing for young kids to play at and we thoroughly enjoyed our 3 nights. We’d go back for sure as well, which is always a good indication.
Have you been to Perlubie Beach? What did you think of it?