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Top South Australian Campgrounds

Home > Adelaide > Parks | Outdoor | National Parks | Long Weekend | Walks | Lists
by Hazel Cochrane (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer, photographer & fitness instructor. I enjoy hiking and kayaking and writing walking. Facebook
Published September 21st 2016
Drive for an hour, or two or four for outdoor camping fun
The long weekend is almost here and with the weather warming up, it is time to embark on a camping weekend. You can pack up the car and the family and head out north or south for some family fun.

South Australia, camp, Mt Crawford, Hazel Cochrane
Rocky Paddock Campground lives up to its name in the Mt. Crawford Forest. Photo: Hazel Cochrane

Rocky Paddock Campground - Mount Crawford Forest

Located about one hour from Adelaide and 7km from Williamstown, Mount Crawford Forest is a popular recreation site for walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders. Camping in any of the seven campgrounds and the bunkhouse is permitted in the forest from April to November.

South Australia, camp, Mt Crawford, Hazel Cochrane
The scenic views of Mt. Crawford Forest. Photo: Hazel Cochrane

Rocky Paddock Campground is a large open area, with 30 campsites situated on the edge of the forest plantation. The shady campground, located about 1km from the Information Centre, has facilities for both tents and caravans, including toilets and picnic facilities. Dogs on a lead are welcome in the plantation areas. Water is usually available at the campsite, but is not suitable for drinking without treatment, so be sure to bring enough water for your needs or your gas barbecue which is allowed during the camping season. There are plenty of options to explore the forest on any of the four multi-use trails and three walking trails in the forest reserve. Some trails travel along sections of the Mawson, Kidman or Heysen Trails that pass through the forest.

South Australia, camp, Mt Crawford, Hazel Cochrane
Rocky Paddock Camground entrance. Photo: Hazel Cochrane

To get to the campground, enter the forest from the Tower Road entrance, turn into the Sailors Gully picnic area, then travel about half a kilometre to the camping area. Camp fees apply for tents and caravans, bookings can be made through Forestry SA on 85121700. The Information Centre is open 10am to 12 pm from Friday to Sunday to provide more information about the activities in the Forest.
Camping fees:
Vehicles $10 per night
Adult Hiker/Cyclist $5 per night
Child Hiker/Cyclist $2 per night
GPS: S 34 43.088 E 1 38 56.439

Waitpinga Campground -Newland Head Conservation Park

South Australia, Newland Head, Waitpinga, Hazel Cochrane
Take a walk along the cliffs from the Waitpinga Campgrounds. Photo: Hazel Cochrane

Just under 2 hours from Adelaide or 15km from Victor Harbor, the Newland Head Conservation Park is located near the popular surfing and fishing beaches of Waitpinga and Parsons. Surrounded by rocky headlands, the scenic beaches are the perfect place for relaxing in the sun although swimming is not recommended due to the strong rips and currents.

South Australia, Newland Head, Waiting, Hazel Cochrane
Coastal scene in the Newliand Head Conservation Park

Amazing views of Encounter Bay and Kangaroo Island are on offer if you follow the walking trails along the cliffs and beaches or if you are looking for a challenge, the 15km Newland Head Nature Hike will keep you occupied for about 6 or 7 hours. Toilets and barbecue facilities are available in the campground which can be accessed from Waitpinga Road. The tent based campground has 15 sites available on a first come, first served basis. Vehicles can enter the Conservation Park without charge but camping fees apply. Fees are payable at the self-registration stations, don't forget to bring the correct change. Generators and pets are not permitted in the park.
Campsite fees (per night)
Vehicle (max 8 people) - $20 per night
Hikers/cyclists/additional vehicle occupant - $10 per person
School group camping - 20 people $6 per person
Enter the campground from Waitpinga Road, off Range Road, follow the signs along Dennis Road.
GPS: S: 35 37.643 E: 138 30.008

South Australia, Newland Head, Waiting, Hazel Cochrane
Waitpinga Campground is just a short walk from the beach. Photo: Hazel Cochrane

Burra Creek Gorge Campground (World's End)
26km southeast of Burra, the campground sits on the banks of the Burra Creek, under the shade of old river red gums.

South Australia, Burra, Worlds End, Hazel Cochrane
Campsites at Burra Gorge are located alongside the creek. Photo: Hazel Cochrane

Follow the signposts from Worlds End Highway, about 16km east of Burra, then travel along the dirt road to the campgrounds. Bring your own gas or fuel stove to boil the water from the creek as the water needs to be treated before drinking. Fishing and hiking are popular activities at the campgrounds or you could pack the bikes for some variety or walk your dog as long as it is on a lead. The Heysen Trail passes through Worlds End, so expect to see a few hikers passing through the Gorge. Toilet and picnic facilities are available at the campground, for which a donation is requested as payment for use of the grounds. Camp sites are on a first come, first serve basis. For more information contact the Burra Visitor Centre on 88922154.
GPS: S: 33.49.809 E:139 02.798

South Australia, Burra, Worlds End, Hazel Cochrane
Sunrise at Burra Gorge. Photo: Hazel Cochrane

Aroona Ruins Campground - Flinders Ranges

South Australia , Aroona Hut, Hazel Cochrane
Wake up to scenic views of the Flinders Ranges from Aroona campground. Photo: Hazel Cochrane

In the valley between the Heysen and ABC Ranges, the Aroona Ruins Campground is accessed from a scenic drive along a dirt road, through the Bunyeroo and Brachina Gorges. Among the Eucalypts and Cyprus Pine trees, the thirteen designated campsites, toilets and picnic areas are in close proximity to the Aroona Creek and the ruins of the Aroona homestead. John Hayward, the first pastoralist to arrive in the area in 1851, once owned the homestead, which formed part of his sheep station. Hiking trails, including the last section of the Heysen Trail, wind through the park, but your dog will have to stay with friends, as dogs are not allowed in the park. If you are a keen phototographer, get out the tripod for some cool sunrise shots.

South Australia , Aroona Hut, Hazel Cochrane
Aroona Homestead was built by John Hayward, one of the first pastoralists to arrive in the area. Photo: Hazel Cochrane

South Australia , Aroona Hut, Hazel Cochrane
Built in 1925, Aroona Hut was used as an outstation for Eddie Pumpa and used by Hans Heysen. Photo: Hazel Cochrane

Fees can be paid at the self-registration stations located around the park. Remember to take correct money, as change is not available.
National Park entry fees:
Vehicles Park entrance fee: $10 per car ($8 Concession)
Camping fees: $15 per vehicle for a maximum of 8 people
Adult Hiker or Cyclist: $9 per person

For more information contact the Wilpena Visitor Centre
Phone: 8648 0048 or the Friends of the Heysen Trail on 8212 6299.
GPS: S 31 16.693 E 138 34.851

South Australia , Aroona Hut, Hazel Cochrane
Arron campground behind the old Aroona Hut. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
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Why? Get out of the house this long weekend.
When: anytime is great
Where: Mt. Crawford, Waitpinga, Burra, Flinders Ranges
Cost: Varies depending on the option selected
Your Comment
My bucket list of SA places to see increases every time I read one of your articles.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|8093) 1686 days ago
Fab. summary of places I have partially visited.Surprised there are fish at at Burra Gorge...saw very little water there(some 10 years ago)..perhaps there are some mudfish there in the rock pools.It is good that the Aroona Hut has a roof to collect drinking water.I remember the hut without the roof as well as with it.The camping ground there I have driven around,but not camped there...I think it would be an ideal spot to do so.Your knowledge and articles of such places are outstanding.
by noelp (score: 3|1199) 1685 days ago
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