The region around Brisbane, Queensland, boasts some of the best bush camping spots in Australia. Bush camping near Brisbane refers to low-cost camping that involves the minimal presence of modern comforts. But bush camping or ‘wild camping’ in Australia is all about immersing in the beauty of nature and realising the most important and beautiful things in life.
The best camping grounds in South East Queensland have wonderful scenery and offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures such as fishing, hiking, and canoeing. Some of these sites are also considered the top because they suit various types of campers – including first-timers. Many of the bush camping sites still offer basic facilities like toilets, showers, and electricity. Others are open bare areas that will excite the most adventurous campers.
Bush camping may strip you of the usual comforts but the challenges that go with it are what make it the ultimate outdoor adventure. Best of all, you can find plenty of great camping spots within two hours of Brisbane.
Whilst you can camp in many state parks, reserves, and forests around Brisbane, it makes perfect sense to do some research and find out which spots are considered the best. After all, bush camping is not something you can do every day. So why not try bush camping at the best possible spots Queensland has to offer?
Read on to find out the best camping spots near Brisbane that allow you to experience nature at its best.
What to Know About Bush Camping Near Brisbane
Bush camping near Brisbane means you have to be prepared for places where there are few or no facilities. Because of the camping sites’ remoteness and lack of amenities, it is important to bring essentials like food, water, rubbish bags, a fuel stove, and sun protection.
Make sure you bring enough to last throughout your stay, especially for a long term camping trip.
Of course, you’ll need the right type of tent for your camping trip, and if you’re planning to stay in a remote location, you may not be able to bring a regular RV or caravan. In that case, you may need an off-road caravan for bush camping.
It is best to check weather conditions and forecasts before camping. Bring proper clothing and other necessities that suit such weather conditions, especially if camping without electricity.
If you wish to rough it up and venture to the most secluded bush camping sites, you will need protective and survival equipment like wet weather gear, a compass, torches, and a first aid kit. Don’t forget to bring mosquito repellant, especially when camping in the summer – you’ll find plenty of mozzies and midges when camping in South East Queensland.
Generally, bush camping is allowed in many natural settings throughout Queensland. You may check out conservation parks, national parks, reserves, and forests. However, take note that not all parks allow bush camping so check out this official list.
One important rule to remember is that bush campers should not camp in or close to picnic areas, walking trails, lakes, and streams. Parks that allow bush camping impose a maximum length of stay, which is usually 29 or 30 days. Be aware that maximum stays vary, so you need to check the specific camping and park rules when planning your trip.
The Best Bush Camping Spots Near Brisbane
Australia’s “Sunshine State” is teeming with parks, forests, beaches, and natural settings that are perfect for an authentic Australian bush camping experience. These wild camping spots in South East Queensland not only take you to the heart of Mother Nature but also offer exciting and fun outdoor activities.
Looking for the best camping spots in South East Queensland, perfect for a weekend trip out of the city? Here is the ultimate list of the top bush camping sites near Brisbane:
1. Frog Buttress, Moogerah Peaks National Park
Distance from Brisbane: 97.6 km
Set in a beautiful and open eucalypt forest, Frog Buttress in Moogerah Peaks National Park is one of the best camping spots in southeast Queensland. It’s also one of the most popular Lake Moogerah camping spots. Aside from the grassy scenery, Frog Buttress is also popular because of its proximity to toilets, hiking tracks, picnic tables, gas barbecue, and other day camping facilities.
You can only access this camping area on foot but it is only 100 metres from the car park. This makes Frog Buttress one of the most accessible bush camping sites on this list. You can enjoy the local surroundings and fishing at Lake Moogerah.
This camping area has 14 separate spots and can accommodate approximately 30 people. Open fires and generators are not allowed in Frog Buttress. For cooking, you may use a fuel stove. If you wish to still get decent mobile phone coverage, the Frog Buttress makes a great camping destination.
2. The Wrecks, Moreton Island
Distance from Brisbane: 47.5 km (boat ride is necessary)
If you would like a more secluded bush camping adventure, then The Wrecks is an interesting choice. This Moreton Island camping site is named after the shipwrecks found on the island. The journey to the Wrecks is an adventure in itself. You will need to take a ferry from Brisbane to reach Moreton Island Tangalooma. This ferry ride lasts about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
The Wrecks camping area is close to the main barge landing point for Moreton Island Ferries. It sits right next to a sheltered bay and features lush surroundings dominated by shrubs and trees. You can access the campground on foot, or by 4WD but not with trailers, unless you invest in an off road camper trailer. Toilets are close by and accessible by walking.
The Wrecks have 21 marked camping sites, some of which are not available all year round. Open fires and generators are prohibited. To make up for this, The Wrecks boasts basic facilities like cold showers, toilets, and rubbish bins. There is water in the area but you need to treat it before drinking. Expect poor mobile phone reception at the Wrecks. But it is a perfect place to experience nature’s tranquillity. If you want a little respite from the wilderness, you can visit the Tangalooma Resort on Moreton Island.
3. Poverty Creek, Bribie Island
Distance from Brisbane: 80 km
Poverty Creek is another beautiful camping site located on an island. Set on the western side of Bribie Island, this campsite is officially part of the Bribie Island National Park and Recreation Area. Poverty Creek is highly regarded for its space and scenery. Poverty Creek sits on the shores of Pumicestone Passage, and thus offers stunning sea views. The Glasshouse Mountains and Donnybrook serve as backdrops to this campsite.
Poverty Creek is perfect for big groups as it is a spacious grassy area with plenty of trees to provide shade. You can access the area by 4WD, making it the perfect 4WD camping destination, or by boat. Because of its proximity to the beach, you can enjoy fun outdoor activities like fishing, swimming, canoeing, or kayaking while camping at Poverty Creek. Bribie Island is connected to the mainland via a road bridge so you may drive if you don’t like to ride a boat.
4. Ballow Creek Junction, Mount Barney National Park
Distance from Brisbane: 126 km
If creek camping in lush rainforests sounds irresistible to you, then Ballow Creek Junction is the camping site to visit. This campsite is located at the junction of Mount Barney Creeks and Mount Ballow.
Camping at Ballow Creek means staying deep into the forest where you are protected from windy weather. You may drive your 4WD through Waterfall Creek Ridge and park it at Cleared Ridge close to Ballow Creek. However, you will need to hike to reach the actual camping site.
Camping at Ballow Creek gets you as close to nature as you possibly can. There are no facilities in the area so you need to be self-sufficient. You are expected to treat the water from the creek should you want to drink it. All rubbish must also go with you when you leave.
There are no defined specific sites at the campground but it can only accommodate about 6 people at one time. Open fires and generators are not allowed and there is no mobile phone coverage.
5. Amity Point, North Stradbroke Island
Distance from Brisbane: 63.6 km (route includes a ferry ride)
Camping at a nice and quaint seaside village is what awaits you at Amity Point, on North Stradbroke Island. Amity Point Camping Ground faces Moreton Bay. It offers lush scenery, calm turquoise waters, and a peaceful environment. This camping ground is perfect for families and friends who wish to unwind and relax, as well as enjoy a seaside environment.
Compared to other camping sites on the list, Amity Point is relatively more modern and comfortable. Aside from unpowered tent and caravan sites, this campground has 2 glamping EcoShacks and 11 self-contained cabins with bed linens. It is also equipped with shower facilities, toilets, camp kitchens, BBQs, power outlets, picnic tables, Wi-Fi connections, and gathering areas. This makes Amity Point more appealing to corporate, school, and social groups.
Local dolphins, koalas, and pelicans are known to frequent the area and visitors often rave about the sunset. Aside from swimming, you can also boat and fish while camping here. There are also surf beaches within short driving distances from Amity Point.
6. O’Reilly’s Campground, Lamington National Park
Distance from Brisbane: 112 km
O’Reilly’s Campground is the new name of the privately-managed camp area at Green Mountains, Lamington National Park. The O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat and the Queensland government collaborated to renovate and improve O’Reilley.
Located adjacent to Binna Burra, O’Reilly’s Campground has a range of camping sites that includes 21 campervan sites, 24 tent sites, and 17 safari tents. The safari tents have their shared ensuite pods and can accommodate up to 5 people. This makes this campground ideal for families or big camping groups. O’Reilley is also equipped with a fire pit, a communal camp kitchen, and a meeting room called “The Hub”.
While here, you can enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and panoramic views of the McPherson Range.
7. Mission Point, Bribie Island
Distance from Brisbane: 73.5 km
If the beauty and seclusion of Bribie Island interest you, another bush camping QLD site to consider is Mission Point. This camping site features sweeping views of the Glass House Mountains and offers access to Pumicestone Passage.
Mission Point is on the western part of Bribie Island and belongs to the Bribie Island National Park and Recreation Area. This camping ground has 12 numbered sites and is only accessible by boat. There are a few nearby protected boat ramps to choose from when you camp at Mission Point.
Generators are not allowed in Mission Point but the campsite still offers screened cold showers, water taps, picnic tables, fireplaces, and micro flush toilets. Open fires are allowed but fuel stoves are preferable. While here, take advantage of great fishing opportunities in Pumicestone Passage. This channel is home to hundreds of migratory birds and has calm waters that are perfect for kayaking or canoeing.
8. Captain Logan Campground, Lake Wivenhoe
Distance from Brisbane: 82 km
Captain Logan Campground is one of the two privately-operated campgrounds found in the Lake Wivenhoe region (Wivenhoe Dam). Lake Wivenhoe is a famous water-based recreational destination in Queensland. Thus, staying at Captain Logan gives you access to fun activities like canoeing, boating, fishing, swimming, and kayaking.
Captain Logan features a spacious open grass setting located right on Lake Wivenhoe. Campers often encounter wildlife like kangaroos, possums, and various bird species. The camp maintains unpowered and powered camping sites that can accommodate tents, motorhomes, and caravans.
Despite being in a naturally lush setting, Captain Logan Campground offers more comfort than others as it maintains facilities like showers, flushed toilets, designated campfires, electric BBQs, picnic tables, a sports area, and a communal area with electrical charging. Captain Logan also boasts glamping (glamorous camping) facilities.
9. Blue Lagoon, Moreton Island
Distance from Brisbane: 60 km (involves a ferry ride)
Blue Lagoon is a bush camping destination that combines the beauty of the beach and the wilderness. It maintains medium to large camping sites and provides easy access to Blue Lagoon and an ocean surf beach.
Blue Lagoon camping ground sits on the eastern portion of Moreton Island and is between Cape Moreton and Middle Road. Parking is available next to campsites, and 4WD and camper trailers can use the roads leading up to Blue Lagoon. The hiking trail to the campground is quite challenging, and only experienced bushwalkers will like travelling here on foot.
Blue Lagoon maintains a total of 25 marked camping sites. Some of these sites have seasonal closures. Facilities at this campground include septic toilets, cold showers, and water (must be treated before drinking).
Gas stoves are advisable to use although open fires are allowed in existing fire sites. Mobile phone coverage is poor, and generators are not allowed, so make sure to bring entertainment and good company.
10. Lime Pocket, Bribie Island
Distance from Brisbane: 85 km
Bribie Island is a famous Queensland island for camping and communing with nature. One of the camping grounds to consider here is Lime Pocket. If you wish to camp in a more secluded area that can only accommodate a few campers, Lime Pocket is an ideal spot.
Lime Pocket campground stands along the shores of the gorgeous Pumicestone Passage, the beautiful narrow waterway between mainland Queensland and Bribie Island. Due to its remote location, only boats can access Lime Pocket.
Swimming and boating are the typical activities you can enjoy while staying at Lime Pocket. Fishing can also be satisfying because of the abundance of fish in the surrounding waters. While this campground intends to open all year round, seasonal closures tend to occur during very high tides.
Lime Pocket only has six numbered sites for tent camping and no other facilities. Open fire is permitted, although management prefers the use of fuel stoves.
11. Bigriggen Park, Scenic Rim
Distance from Brisbane: 112 km
Located in Scenic Rim, Bigriggen Camping and Caravan Park remain accessible to campers coming from Brisbane and Gold Coast. This camping area impresses with 100 acres of land marked by river flats, national parks, and hilltops.
As a campsite, Bigriggen is more flexible and offers more choices to campers. If you want to camp more comfortably, you can stay at one of their spacious powered sites intended for caravans and camper trailers. Bigriggen also maintains non-powered sites ideal for more intrepid bush campers who want to be close to nature.
Camping in the Scenic Rim offers plenty of great activities. While here, you can have easy access to national parks, hiking trails, a river, a freshwater creek, and swimming holes. You can enjoy fishing, wildlife viewing, and bushwalking. Bigriggen has plenty of space for dogs to run around and for kids to ride their bikes. This camping and caravan park has decent gravel and bitumen access roads that enable regular vehicles to reach Bigriggen with no issue.
12. Cedar Grove, Amamoor State Forest, and National Park
Distance from Brisbane: 166 km
People come to Cedar Grove to enjoy the swimming holes, the creek, and the lush scenery marked by bunya pine trees and red cedars. Located deep within the Amamoor State Forest and National Park, Cedar Grove is a fantastic bush camping QLD destination. This campground features an open grassy area close to rainforest and an open eucalypt forest.
Cedar Grove Camping Ground is just 12 kilometres from Amamoor township. The access road (called Amamoor Creek Road) to the camp is made of gravel and thus suitable for regular vehicles and vehicles with caravans. This camp area has flush toilets, walking trails, fire rings, and water pumped from the creek. You will need to treat the creek water before drinking it. Because of its location, Cedar Grove is home to numerous wildlife including various species of birds, mammals like kangaroos, and reptiles.
13. Adder Rock, North Stradbroke Island
Distance from Brisbane: 61 km
Adder Rock Camping Ground is another campground located on one of Queensland’s stunning islands. You can find Adder in a local community called Point Lookout on the northern part of North Stradbroke Island.
Adder Rock Camping Ground is not only in a beautiful spot ,but it also provides comfort and convenience. This camping property is close to a scuba centre, a bowls club, a general store, and surf beaches like Adder Rock and Home Beach.
The camping ground is in a shady location, sheltered behind native tea trees and pandanus forests. The property has 13 unpowered caravan sites, 26 powered sites, 107 unpowered tent sites, 12 Eco Island Tents, and seven cabins.
14. Peach Trees, Jimna State Forest
Distance from Brisbane: 144 km
Boasting an open forest setting, Peach Trees in Jimna State Forest has many features that make it one of the best wild camping spots near Brisbane. This camping ground sits just beside the beautiful Yabba Creek. It is surrounded by a lush landscape dominated by native pine plantations.
Aside from the scenery, Peach Trees stands out from the competition as it is one of the few camping areas with a design that caters to people with a wheelchair. It maintains a 4 -km unsealed access road that caters to 2WD vehicles
Peach Trees Campground is reasonably spacious and raw. The campground does not have marked or separated camping sections. Instead, it is a big open area that can fit approximately 300 people. This camp’s grass surface and layout suit tents, caravans, motorhomes, and campervans. While generators are not allowed here, you can create open fires except during fire bands. Peach Trees maintains facilities, shared fire rings, toilets, and creek water (not safe for drinking until treated).
15. Gallagher Point, Bribie Island
Distance from Brisbane: 76 km
Bribie Island offers many bush camping near Brisbane opportunities. The last Bribie campground to make it to the list is Gallagher Point. This campground is one of the best because of its remoteness and natural beauty.
Gallagher Point campground resides in Bribie Island National Park and Recreation Area, in the western region of Bribie Island. Motorbikes, trail bakes, and Two-wheel-drive (2WD) vehicles are not allowed in Gallagher Point, but campers can come in using a high-clearance 4WD. You can use a tent or camper trailer while staying in the area. Gallagher Point does not maintain facilities and generators as it is a low-key camping property.
While camping at Gallagher, you will get views of famous Bribie landmarks like the Pumicestone Passage, Toorbul, and the Pumicestone Passage.
Best Family Bush Camping Spots Near Brisbane
Due to the large space, various facilities, and camping options they offer – Bigriggen, Amity Point, Captain Logan Campground, and O’Reilly’s Campground are the best family bush camping spots near Brisbane. If you’re keen for a longer drive, Fraser Island (K’Gari) is around 350km from Brisbane and also has a range of popular family-friendly campsites.
Dog-Friendly Bush Camping Spots Near Brisbane
Dogs are allowed in Bigriggen Park at Scenic Rim and Adder Rock at North Stradbroke Island. Adder Rock campground requires dogs to be on a leash at all times. The property also imposes a maximum two dogs per campsite rule.
Do you need a permit to camp in Queensland?
The Queensland government regulates camping, so you need a permit before you can camp anywhere that is allowed. The permit fees are usually minimal, especially if you camp in state forests and parks. You can book most camping areas and pay the fee online, over the phone, or through a booking office. After paying your camping permit, you will receive a permit number or e-permit, which you need to display on your tent or vehicle.
Can you camp in a state forest in Queensland?
Bush camping in most state forests in Queensland is allowed. Queensland has about 470 camping areas to choose from, and these spots vary in types and facilities. They may offer cabins, tent camping, or trailer/motorhome camping.
Can you camp on Crown land in Queensland?
You can camp on some Crown land such as state forests and national parks in Queensland. However, not all state parks and forests allow camping, and permits are necessary to camp in Queensland.