Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations
list an event      1 million Australian readers every month      facebook

5 Great Family Camping Spots Near Brisbane

Home > Brisbane > Outdoor | Nature | Family | Escape the City | Camping | Lists
by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Published September 21st 2015
Highly recommended camping spots
5 Great Family Camping Spots Near Brisbane

Camping is cheap option for families in Australia and let's you stay in a wide range of locations not far from the city for as little as a few dollars a day.

Camping is a great family tradition
Camping is a great family tradition


There are a large number of great camping locations around South East Queensland. Here are 5 great options suitable for any family.

O'Reilly's: For an action packed holiday at Lamington National Park

Locals always refer to the Green Mountains section of Lamington National in the Gold Coast Hinterland as O'Reilly's after the famous O'Reilly's Rainforest retreat. If you don't want to splash on a room or suite there, then the national parks run camping is perfect for families on a budget.

Rainforest at O'Reilly's
Rainforest at O'Reilly's


Even though you are camping you still also have access to the restaurants, cafe and shop at O'Reilly's. This can be a welcome relief for families who would like a break from cooking while on holiday.

Cafe, shop and restaurant at O'Reilly's
Cafe, shop and restaurant at O'Reilly's


The site is suitable to campervans and tents, but not caravans. If you book tent site you will have to walk a short distance from where you park your car to the camp site. The site doesn't have power or cooking facilities so you will need to bring your own gas stove. But there are toilets and hot showers, which are always a great luxury.

Stinson Replica at O'Reilly's
Stinson Replica at O'Reilly's


There are plenty of activities at O"Reilly's. The Green Mountains section of Lamington has a large range of hikes suitable for all ages and levels. The three that suit families are the 3.1 km Python Rock Track, the 4.4 kms Moran Falls Track and the 10.9 km Box Forest Circuit. Let's not forget the free Tree Top Walk. There are also a number of much more adventurous and longer walks in the area as well.

Cascades on the Box Forest Circuit
Cascades on the Box Forest Circuit


There is more to the area than hiking. O'Reilly's is a major tourist destination. There is a replica of the Stinson Plane (its crash is part of the O'Reilly legend) and a little bird zoo. There are also lots of tours include Segway, 4WD, walking, history and flora and fauna tours. If your kids are still bored you put them on a flying fox to zip over the rainforest.

Tree top walk at O'Reilly's
Tree top walk at O'Reilly's


If you are planning to stay for any length of time and you have come from further afield, you are not that far from other tourist destinations. So you can easily pop off to Tamborine Mountain or down to the Gold Coast if you or your family become bored.

The camp ground is run by the Department of National Parks, so you need to book through their website. Search for the Green Mountains camping area.

North Stradbroke: Beach side camping

Many Beaches to the North and South of Brisbane have become so developed, the idea of camping by the beach seems to require going a long distance. However there are several great beach locations for camping not far from Brisbane. The one that I would have to recommend is on North Stradbroke Island.

Main beach at North Stradbroke
Main beach at North Stradbroke


This Island is part of the Greater Brisbane area, though locals who live on the island would never admit to being part of Brisbane. This amazing gem is accessible by public transport, though you can also take your car across on the ferry.

Cylinder Beach Camping Ground
Cylinder Beach Camping Ground


There are a range of accommodation options on the Island, from campsites without power and water through to resort accommodation. For a family, then one of the caravan camp sites is an excellent options. My recommendation is the Cylinder Beach Camping Ground. Fees start at $39 per night for an unpowered camp site for two adults. But a powered site is not much more expensive.

Cylinder Beach is the best swimming beach on the Island and also provides an excellent break for surfers. It is also near a number of food and shopping options as well. There are other camp grounds on the island we also listed through Straddie Camping.

Charlie Moreland campground: perfect camp ground in a central location

The Charlie Moreland campground on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is in many ways a perfect family camping site. The large grass camping area includes plenty of shade where you drive your car, campervan or caravan right to where you will camp. Fires are permitted, and there is a creek to take a dip in.

Charlie Moreland Campground
Charlie Moreland Campground


In addition there are 2 short walking tracks, the LIttle Yabba and Piccadeen circuit, which are great for kids. There is also a track up Mt Allan if you are looking to challenge yourself and your kids.

Creek at the Charlie Moreland campground
Creek at the Charlie Moreland campground


Other facilities are pretty sparse, but there are toilets which is a great relief (pun intended). You can also have a wood fire in one of the fire rings. Planned upgrades to this camping site should improve the facilities.

The best part about this campground is its central location on the Sunshine Coast. It is an easy drive to towns such as Kenilworth, Montville and Maleny as well as natural attractions that include Kondalilla Falls and Mapleton Falls.

Book your site through the Department of National Parks website.

Lower Portal Mt Barney: Bush camping

When your kids are old enough you may want to introduce them to bush camping. While there are lots of these around Brisbane, I believe one of the most interesting is at the Lower Portals at Mt Barney.

Lower Portals Swimming Hole at Mt Barney
Lower Portals Swimming Hole at Mt Barney


It is a 3.7 km walk from the car park to the campsite. The walk is not long but there are a set of ridges you need to walk over which can be a little tiring.

Hiking to the lower portals
Hiking to the lower portals


You will need to carry in everything as there are no facilities.
However there is a creek for washing, though remember you will need to boil or treat the water before drinking it.

Creek at Mt Barney
Creek at Mt Barney


What makes this location interesting is the swimming hole that is through the portals: a hole in a rock that you need to scramble through. The swimming hole there is one of the best in South East Queensland.

This is a great overnight camping trip and a great one if you want to take your kids bush on the weekend.

There are also a number of other camping locations at Mt Barney including the Mt Barney Lodge and Flanagan's Reserve.

Lake camping

Even though there are fewer lakes than beaches in South East Queensland it is really hard to decide which one is the best camping location.

Attribution: Wikimedia - Shiftchange
Attribution: Wikimedia - Shiftchange


Like Beach camping, there is actually quite a large number of lake side camping locations. The lake with the most available activities is Lake Moogerah, near Aratula and the Main Range National Park.

The fact that so many activities are allowed on the lake may actually count against it as a location for some people. Activities include swimming, fishing with a fishing permit, motorboats and jet skies, water skiing, canoeing and kayaking.

Photo courtesy of Lake Moogerah Caracan Park
Photo courtesy of Lake Moogerah Caracan Park


As an avid hiker the biggest let down is lack of hiking locations, though there are the Moogerah Peaks. It is only a short drive to the Main Range National Park which has range of amazing walks for all levels.

One of the best options for camping at Lake Moogerah is Lake Moogerah Caravan Park. They offer a wide range of accommodation from lakeside camping through to cabins.


Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  46
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Your Comment
It looks beautiful, but where the hell is it, I missed that, Mt Barney some where by the Gold Coast ?, it would be wonderful if Roy told us, a little bit of the direction or which number of the road ( 97, 98 etc )
by Anton (score: 0|4) 1181 days ago
Articles from other cities
Featured
Foodi Photoh Classie
Top Events
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions