Camping is very much an acquired taste for some of us.
We’re not all natural born versions of Bear Grylls, where you can send us out into the bush with nothing other than a coconut and pocket knife, and we’ll thrive. Most of us need a cushy toilet seat to rest our bums when we gotta go. It’s pretty much a fact!
But that’s not to say we don’t love getting out and being one with nature. The outdoors is the perfect place to switch off and unwind, even for the less experienced camper.
With the holidays here, it is the time to pack the essentials and find the perfect spot to pitch your tent. And because some of you are a bit new to this back-to-basics accommodation style, we made it our duty to find the best campsites on the Sunshine Coast for newbie campers. They’ve got enough facilities to keep you comfy, but are still out-there enough for you to boast about your back-to-nature expedition to your non-camping friends. Winning!
Right on the edge of Lake Cootharaba, with water views and shady trees, you can’t go wrong with the Boreen Point Campground. It’s not too far to drive, is easy to access, and has loads of great facilities including hot showers, flushing toilets and drinking water, gas barbecues and wood burning fireplace barbecues (BYO firewood). There’s also a great little cafe a short walk away to get your morning coffee fix (stocking our favourite Doonan roasters’, Flying West Coffee) and a kiosk to hire canoes or SUPs.
Head a little more inland to Kenilworth and be blown away by the Bluff Creek Campground. Created by the Johnson family, who themselves are avid and passionate campers, this 100-acre patch of camping paradise has water-frontage on a creek and direct access to the Mary River. A few nights here will be a dream for anyone who loves lots of space, beautiful views, and great facilities. They already had us at hot shower and flushing toilet, but the fact that they’re close to swimming spots on the river and bike trails, allow open fires, and are close to local eateries (when we’re tiring of camp cooking); make it an ideal spot to set-up camp and sun-down with a relaxing beer or vino. Weekend sorted!
If waking up on the beach is more your style, you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful spot than the Noosa North Shore Campsite. There are only eight powered sites - handy if you want to bring the kettle along with you - but plenty of unpowered sites, all nestled amongst the natural vegetation right on the beachfront. You’ll need to take your own drinking water, but there is a small kiosk down the road for when you run out of ice, as well as an amenities block. But the key thing here, is that you get to wake up to the sound of crashing waves and can get away with a morning swim in place of your usual morning shower. Pure and utter bliss!
Note: You don't need a 4WD to get here but you’ll need to catch the cash-only ferry across Noosa River.
Not to be mistaken with Poverty Point further north in the Cooloola area (where there are no-I repeat-NO toilets), Poverty Creek is on the western side of Bribie Island overlooking Pumicestone Passage and with views of the Glass House Mountains. If we’re honest, this one requires a little more work, where you’ll need a 4WD to access the site; will have to put up with micro-flush toilets and cold showers; and you’ll need to bring your own drinking water. BUT, if you’re willing to get past these little barriers, then there is an entire island to explore with beautiful beaches, great views, 4WD driving tracks, fishing, kayaking, plenty of wildlife, and even a bit of history. Definitely one to add to the books.
This one’s for the family. Cobb & Co. is a family-run campsite situated on 50 acres of lush grounds near Woondum National Park and Six Mile Creek. There’s a long list of activities to entertain the kids, including swimming in the billabong, playing on the massive pirate ship fort, flying foxes, petting farm, BMX track, and horse rides. Making life even easier, there are some luxury camping options; a couple of fully-equipped camp kitchens; and a kiosk for when you run out of supplies (you’ll just need to bring your own drinking water). So, while you can still get out into nature and visit some beautiful walking tracks and rock pools, there’s so much to keep the kids busy onsite.
While the name doesn’t sound very appealing (but quite apt for this toilet-themed camping article), Log Dump is probably the most secluded camping spot on the Sunshine Coast-that also has a toilet! Situated on the edge of Kauri Creek, near the Great Sandy Strait, this small site is accessible by normal vehicle (conditions considered) and then you’re only a 10 to 15-minute boat ride from Fraser Island. You’ll need to bring your own water and will have to give up showering for a couple of days, but considering you can throw a kayak on the creek and have the opportunity to spot turtles, dugongs, and dolphins-it’s totally worth it.
Set amongst a tall rainforest and beside the creek, Amamoor Creek campsite is the epitome of tranquility (unless you’re there in August during the Gympie Music Muster). There are an endless number of walks in the area and the creek is great for spotting platypus. The facilities include water (not suitable for drinking!), toilets, cold showers, barbeques, and fire rings for an open fire. As an added bonus, dogs are also allowed! This is the perfect Sunshine Coast camping spot for anyone who wants to get away and live simply for a few days, but doesn’t want to pee in the bush.
Another family-run camping park perfect for the kids (or the under-prepared camper) is Borumba Deer Park. Situated on the beautiful Yabba Creek, there are loads of outdoor activities to occupy all ages, with the convenience of boats and kayaks for hire, great fishing spots, and even mini-golf! The facilities are great and include a kiosk, camp kitchens, log-fire spaces, kids’ playground, and the usual (but very necessary) amenities blocks. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to feed some of the wild deer; and the Mary Valley and Borumba Dam are just a stone’s throw away. Sounds like the perfect family camping spot on the Sunshine Coast!