Catherine Webb

Our top 5 camping spots in Western Australia

Catherine Webb
Our top 5 camping spots in Western Australia

Western Australia is a hugely diverse and incredibly beautiful part of Australia. It is the largest of the 6 States and Territories, covering one third of the western side of the country. Making it the second largest state in the world. It is well known for it’s spectacular beaches, wildlife, mining and arid outback.

Camping has been a part of our lives for as long as we can remember. There is something so enchanting about setting up camp in a remote location with no one around. The sky littered with stars you would never see in the city. The moon so bright you do not even need a torch to see. Falling asleep to the hypnotic sounds of the bush or ocean.

When it comes to camping we believe the more remote the better, but also understand some people still like those creature comforts of a toilet or shower. We have put together a list of our favourite places to camp in Western Australia, some more remote than others. 

1- Karijini National Park

Karijini National Park is located in the Hamersley Range approximately 1475km north of Western Australia’s capital city, Perth. Most areas can be accessed in a 2-wheel drive. Keep in mind the roads can get quite rough, as they are mostly gravel once you enter the park.

Karijini is famous for it’s abundance of gorges, rock pools, waterfalls and wild flowers.

When you arrive at Karijini you will see red dirt, hills and a lot of plant life (depending on the time of year you go). But it is what lies beneath the surface that is Karijini’s true beauty. 

IMG_3218.jpg

There are walk trails for all different levels of fitness and each one will take you to the most remarkable sites.

For the more avid explorer you can expect to get wet. In some places the only way to hike further is to swim in deep narrow pools of water lined with rock faces. But let me tell you when you get to the other side it is definitely worth it. There are easier trails to access the swimming areas and the coolness of the water can be extremely refreshing after a long day of hiking. The waterfalls are running most of the year and are a spectacular sight to see. 

IMG_3217.jpg

The most ideal time to visit this amazing park is the dry season from April to October, when the average temperature is around 30 degrees Celsius during the day and drops to around 15 degrees Celsius at night.

We would suggest staying at least 2-3 nights to really be able to see what Karijini has to offer.
Dales Gorge Camp Ground has two areas for camping. One is a quiet area where the use of generators is banned and the other is where generators are allowed. Although there is no running water they have provided bush toilets and the cost to camp there is $11 per person per night. Always remember to take cash with you for park entry and camping fees. No Eftpos or ATM’s are available in the outback.

In the peak periods, for instance, school holiday time, we would recommend getting in early as this place becomes full very quickly.

If you are a bit more the glamping type (Glamorous Camper) you may want to look at staying in the Karijini Eco Retreat. These are luxury tents that are available to hire with bathrooms, king sized beds and solar power and will set you back around $300 a night.

If you are after something in between you would like the Savannah Campground, located on the western side of Karijini. These campsites are around $20 per person per night and have shower and bathroom facilities. 

 

IMG_3214.jpg

The best thing about this National Park is the ever-changing landscape. It all depends on the amount of rainfall and the time of year you go. We have been a number of times now and every visit feels like the first.

2- Steep Point

Steep Point, Western Australia is the most Western point of the Australian Mainland. It is part of the Shark Bay World Heritage Site and the Edal Land National Park.

People are drawn to Steep Point for many reasons, but the main one would be cliff fishing. These steep cliffs provide ample views of the clear, blue Indian Ocean and all the marine life below. In the winter months you will likely see whales jumping from the water, as they migrate for the breeding season. This bay is home to an abundance of marine life; it makes snorkelling around the reefs an incredible experience. 

Untitled.png

The blowholes are another huge attraction. Caused by the surf pounding into the rocks year after year, eroding the limestone. This erosion allows the large swell to penetrate the surface of the cliffs hundreds of metres up, creating a magnificent sight.

Steep Point can only be accessed by 4WD or boat and is extremely remote. You will need to take at least 10ltrs of water per person per day, a full tank of fuel and enough food to last longer than you plan to stay. If there is a lot of rain they will close the roads and you might have to stay a little longer than you expected. The closest fuel station is the Overland Roadhouse approximately 200km from the Point. 

Untitled 2.png

Letting your tyres down to is essential to make it though the corrugation and sandy hills with comfort and the best way to preserve the track. You will need to carry a compressor to ensure the tyres can be pumped back up before heading out onto the highway.

The best time to visit is September to April but can be lovely most of the year.

Steep Point is camping only and between October and April fires are not permitted. There are three areas to camp - Shelter Bay, Steep Point/The Oven and False Entrance. All the sites are located on the beach or near the cliffs and most sites have Bush toilets available, but there is no running water. 

Untitled 3.png

These campsites will cost you around $7.50 per person per night and being a national park there is a fee of $12 per vehicle per day to enter. There are limited sites available and during busy periods it is best to plan ahead and book. You can book via email ranger@steeppoint.com.au or by phoning 08 99483993.

3 – Lucky Bay

If you have ever seen pictures of Australian beaches you will most likely have seen one of Lucky Bay. The crystal clear turquoise water, whitest of white sand and friendly kangaroos is everything Australia represents all in one place. 

IMG_2726.jpg

Lucky Bay is situated in the Cape Le Grande National Park, approximately 60km from Esperance town centre. You can access the camp area and beach in a 2-Wheel Drive via the highway or if you like beach driving you can 4-Wheel Drive from the entrance of Cape Le Grand National Park.

Due to its popularity Lucky Bay Camp Ground has had a make over. The government has increased the amount of bays available and there are showers, toilets and BBQ facilities available. The grounds are grassed for campers and gravel for caravan/trailer owners. A site will set you back around $11 per adult per night as well as the general National Park fee of $12 per vehicle per day.

One of the main attractions is the wildlife. Here the Kangaroos are used to human interaction and you will definitely find one joining you for a sunbake on the beach or seeking shelter under the bonnet of your car. Be warned they are still wild animals and you should never feed them. Even when they are looking up at you with those beautiful eyes pleading with you to share your lunch. 

IMG_2735.jpg

The bay is the other biggest attraction. Here the sand is hard enough to drive on and most people bring their car down and set up for the day. There was even a coffee/ice cream van that arrived when we were there last. The water is shallow, for quite a ways out and there is little current until you reach the deep area. To the right of the bay you will find rock pools and some fantastic snorkelling areas.

The best time to visit Lucky Bay is the warmer months of September to March. Winter can be incredibly cold with winds coming straight up from the artic.

4- Francois Peron National Park

By far Francois Peron National Park is our all time favourite place to go. This park is located approximately 11km north of Denham and is only accessible by 4 Wheel Drive. Depending on the last time it was graded, these tracks can be very corrugated and the soft red sand can make the tracks quite boggy. You are best to let your tyres down to preserve the tracks and ensure a smoother ride. The Department of Parks and Wildlife have provided a tyre deflating and inflating station at the entrance of the park.

This National Park is where the red cliffs meet the white sandy beaches and is home to an abundance of wildlife. 

DJI_0004 2.jpg

 

There are two areas to camp at Francois Peron. The first one is Big Lagoon and it is that a ‘big lagoon’. This place is stunning; the lagoon offers shelter from the wind and the campsites are spacious and well cared for. There are toilets available but no running water. Along the lagoon the Department of Parks and Wildlife have invested in BBQ facilities and seating areas, which over look the stunning lagoon. 

DJI_0054.jpg

The big lagoon is home to one of the largest populations of sea grass in the world. Sea grass is an essential food for many sea life including, dugongs and sea turtles. The preservation of this area is fundamental to their existence on this planet.

The other camp area is on the beach and has no toilet access. This camp area is called Herald Bight and is located on the eastern side of the point. If there is a strong south- westerly wind, then this is the place to seek shelter. You can launch a boat from the beach as well as fish from the shore. Mud crabbing is also very popular at the southern end of Herald Bight.

Swimming is not overly recommended due to the strong under currents. But it is lovely to dip your feet in the refreshing water. There are many lookouts around the national park, which are set up for day use.

5- Broome

Broome is located in the Northern end of Western Australia approx. 2,240 km from Perth.

It is accessible by any sort of vehicle and there is an airport just out of town. So it is an option to fly and hire a car once you arrive.

Over the years Broome has grown to quite a large town and is well known for its pearl farming, fishing, crocodiles, camel rides, incredible beaches and the most spectacular sunsets. 

IMG_3231.jpg

There are many camp grounds scattered around Broome but our favourite is Cable Beach Caravan Park. This park is situated walking distance to the famous Cable Beach. Here you can ride camels at sunset, four wheel drive along the sand and watch one on the largest tides in the world come in and out. This beach does come with some warnings as box jellyfish frequent the area and crocodiles have been known to explore this part of the beach. If you follow the warning signs you will not have a problem.

Other activities that are a must are the Broome Hovercraft, Malcolm Douglas Wildlife Park and the Willlie Creek Pearl Farm. 

IMG_3233.jpg

If you like to explore away from town then Gantheaume Point is the place to go. Only a 10-minute drive from Broome, you will be in awe of the incredible red cliffs and crystal clear water. Definitely a place to watch the sun rise or set as this is when the colours truly show. 

IMG_3223.jpg

Broome is known for its tropical weather and is a beautiful spot to visit year round. The recommended time of year to visit is the dry season between April and September. Between October and March you might be caught in the rain quite a lot but you will see some spectacular lightening storms on the horizon.

Thank you for reading our recommendations. We hope we have inspired you to come and visit some of the beautiful camp areas Western Australia has to offer. 

DJI_0080 2-Pano.jpg