Looking for the best way to enjoy everything the Whitsundays region has to offer? We’ve broken down the reasons why you should consider camping by the beach this time.
Whitsundays camping is a truly unforgettable experience – surrounded by some of the most pristine beaches, aqua waters, and picturesque bush you’ll become genuinely engrossed with everything Australia has to offer. Living among the land and waking up on Whitehaven Beach is an intimate dream, giving a glimpse into island life as you explore the enchanting islands on your own time.
Whether you’re looking for family fun, a romantic getaway or a solo adventure, Whitsunday island camping is sure to leave an impression.
Looking for the best places to camp in the Whitsundays? Look no further - Wings are a multi-award-winning charter vessel operator specialising in the Whitsundays region. We operate the best charter in the Whitsundays, so we understand just how to enjoy your time in the Whitsundays and how you can make Whitsundays camping a life-long memory.
Whitsundays Camping: The Basics
With an incredible array of breathtaking lookouts and crystal blue waters, the Whitsundays has become somewhat of a tourist hotspot with many higher-end resorts available. If you’re looking for something a bit more intimate and financially friendly, Whitsundays camping is the way to go.
Three islands have campsites: Whitsunday Island, Hook Island and Henning Island.
a. Booking a Campsite
Due to the demand for Whitsunday Island camping, you’ll need to book a camping site and purchase a permit far in advance. Campsite numbers are limited to ensure an intimate and quality experience for all.
Queensland experiences heavy downfalls of rain between the months of November and May, so we would recommend visiting outside of those months, especially if you’re camping.
c. How Much Does It Cost?
Camping costs start at $6.35 for an adult and $25.40 for a family. Pretty cheap for the experience if you ask us!
d. Setting Up Camp
You’ll need to bring all your own supplies to the campsite as there are limited facilities or stores around to purchase things when you need them.
We recommend bringing your own tent, food, and water with you for the duration of your time camping Whitsundays Islands. Any other supplies such as sunscreen, rubbish bags, first aid, mosquito repellent, torches, sleeping equipment, and of course swimmers should be brought too!
Open fires are not permitted on national park islands; thus, we recommend bringing gas or fuel stoves for cooking if you wish.
Whitsundays Camping Sites
Cairn Beach, Whitsunday Island
Accessible by boat, Cairn Beach offers easy access to fantastic snorkeling and bushwalking sites. Set up camp by the secluded bushland and go for a stroll across the stunning rubble beach. Cairn Beach camping area has four defined sites and a maximum of 12 people – keeping your Whitsundays trip private and comfortable.
Chance Bay, Whitsunday Island
Chance Bay offers undisturbed, impressive views across the beach to Pentecost Island. Chance Bay is a great spot if you’re a fan of hiking, with nearby tracks joining up to the ‘Solway circuit track’, which offers access to the renowned Whitehaven Beach. Chance Bay camping area is an open layout without defined sites, capable of holding up to 12 people. Open fires are prohibited here, so you’ll never feel the cold at night.
Crayfish Beach, Hook Island
Crayfish Beach camping site is set up only a few meters offshore, sheltered by a rocky headland. This site offers beautiful views and unlimited access to activities. Crayfish Beach camping area is an open area layout with a maximum capacity of 12 people.
Curlew Beach, Hook Island
Looking for a peaceful camping spot surrounded by rainforest, right in front of the beach? Check out Curlew Beach – famed for its’ superlative natural beauty. Curlew Beach camping site is an open area layout with a maximum capacity of 12 people.
Dugong Beach, Whitsunday Island
Need more space? Dugong Beach is one of the largest camping sites in the Whitsundays, located in a lush rainforest setting, offering sheltered picnic tables and facilities. Be careful as the nearby water ‘Cid Harbour’ is known for shark attacks and swimming is advised against. Dugong Beach has seven defined sites, with a maximum capacity of 36 people.
Joe’s Beach, Whitsunday Island
Joe’s Beach is an excellent area for fishing – cast a line straight off the beach, just meters away from your tent, whilst enjoying the stunning surrounding views. Joe’s Beach camping site has four defined areas and a max capacity of 12 people.
Nari’s Beach, Whitsunday Island
Nari’s Beach is a great spot to relax and unwind in the Whitsundays. Nari’s Beach is an open area that holds a maximum of 6 people. If you’re after a more private experience, Nari’s Beach campsite is a great spot.
Maureen’s Cove, Hook Island
Maureen’s Cove camping site sits on a coral beach. Park up amidst palms and beach flora, enjoying the shade and space. Maureen’s Cove is an excellent spot for bigger groups – a maximum capacity of 24 people with an open layout.
Northern Spit, Henning Island
Northern Spit is Henning Island’s only camping site – a popular rest stop for kayakers, Northern Spit camping site is backed by a closed forest canopy overlooking the Whitsunday Islands. This spot has an open area without defined sites and a maximum capacity of 18 people.
Steens Beach, Hook Island
Steens Beach only allows one booking at a time – perfect for private gatherings. Steens Beach is a beautiful spot, representing all the Whitsundays has to offer.
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island
When looking at Whitsundays camping sites, you would be amiss not to consider Whitehaven Beach camping. Enjoy bush camping by the beach or book a large group area. Whitehaven Beach camping site offers unrestricted access to the sprawling 7-km stretch of white sand, hiking tracks and famed water. Camp behind the beach among low hanging vines and woodland.
Whitehaven Beach has ten defined sites and a maximum capacity of 36 people.
What to Do When Camping in the Whitsundays
There are countless activities to throw yourself into while camping in the Whitsundays. Do whatever you feel like! If that’s kicking back and relaxing by the beach all day, immersing yourself in nature go for it. If you’re looking for some action, there’s plenty to keep you engaged too.
Here’s what we recommend:
1. Be Your Own Tour Guide – Explore!
The Whitsunday Islands are begging to be explored. Run along stunning trails and immerse yourself with the picturesque scenery along the way. Take a boat or a kayak around and float across the sparkling waters as sea friends poke their head out from underwater to say hi!
2. Whitehaven Beach Camping
It’s fair to say that Whitehaven Beach is the most beautiful beach, not just in Australia but also in the world. Whitehaven Beach is the epitome of beauty and serenity, consisting of 98% pure silica sand and crystal-clear turquoise water. Stretching 7km long across of Whitsunday Island, you can stay for a couple of nights by booking your own little camping spot in the national park.
There isn’t a better view to wake up to in the world. Shake off the morning cobwebs by jumping in the water.
On our Camira Sailing Adventure (ex Port of Airlie), spend your days' snorkelling, swimming, exploring, and reading. Lie under the star lit sky or visit the famous Hill Inlet Lookout – the possibilities and adventures are endless when you're camping in the Whitsundays.
3. Snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef
It would be a mistake to not stop by the Great Barrier Reef on your camping trip to the Whitsundays. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem, expanding across 344,000 square kilometres. Wings offer Great Barrier Reef tours, taking you to the best kept secrets along the reef!
With more than 1,500 species of fish and hundreds of sea turtles and marine mammals, the Great Barrier Reef is terrific to snorkel through. Make friends with the local community and immerse yourself within one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
4. Watch the Sunset
With hiking trails spanning across the Islands, beautiful sunsets are regular and plentiful. As the sun shines down upon the glistening water, this will provide a moment of intense relaxation and calm. Crack open a cold drink and enjoy your time camping in paradise. The Whitsundays offer sunsets that you’ll never forget.
5. Turtle Spotting
The sea turtles that inhabit the Whitsunday Islands are extremely friendly creatures, perching themself between seaweed, coral, and seagrass. The warm Whitsundays water is the perfect temperature for them to feel comfortable, and if you’re kind, they’ll give you a smile!
The green sea turtle is native to the Whitsunday region. As a protected species due to their rarity, you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to share a moment while camping, with them while you still can.
6. Wings Charter Boat
If you’re looking to explore everything the Whitsundays has to offer fully, why not, on top of camping, live on the water for a few days? Enjoy a Spa & Sunset Sail on the Bay with BBQ and drinks as you experience the crystal blue waters of the Whitsundays. Front row seats to sunsets and wildlife are sure to amaze. Drift off to sleep on board and wake up in paradise surrounded by friends and family.
Wings exclusive private charter is large enough to sleep up to 25 guests. Our experienced professional crew will look after your every need, cook all meals, and take you to the best kept secrets across the Whitsundays. Wings have all snorkel equipment included with a wetsuit, so you’re ready to explore underwater without having to lift a finger.
Looking to become a Whitsunday Islands Explorer? Whenever you’re ready, our skipper can take over while you sit back and have a cold drink. Mix in a bit of luxury with your camping experience – why not?
Hamilton Island Camping
Unfortunately, Hamilton Island camping is not possible, and there are no defined camping sites. Hamilton Island is an idyllic spot with its own locals, supermarkets, and luxury accommodation offerings. Despite this, it is a convenient home base you can use to explore the surrounding islands and could be worth considering during your visit.
Spend a magical night in Australia’s first ever underwater accommodation with Wings’ Reefsuite 1 Night Stay package, giving a whole new meaning to ‘a room with a view’.
Whitsundays Camping Transfers
To get started on your Whitsundays camping journey, we recommend jumping on a water taxi that can take you to and from many different camp spots. Water taxis depart daily from Shute Harbour, a marina accessible by a bus from Airlie beach.
We recommend using ‘Scamper’ – they have plenty of space and offer frequent taxis to take you anywhere you please. Scamper camping transfers start at $65 per person.
Get started planning your Whitsundays camping experience today! You won’t regret it.