The Roadtrip Series: go off the beaten track with our top five off-road camping spots
When it comes to camping spots, those in the know are acutely aware that the best locations often lie off the beaten track. When you add the thrill of four-wheel driving into the mix, the urge to pack up your tent and hit the road becomes almost irresistible. To celebrate the launch of its new X-Class ute, we’ve teamed up with our site partner Mercedes-Benz Brisbane to uncover some of the best off-road camping spots that were made for exploring. All of the locations listed below are only accessible with a fourby, so don’t attempt the drive in a regular car or you will be in for a very rough (and mostly impossible) time.
Whether you’re taking a day trip or settling in for a camp, driving along the crisp sand of Rainbow Beach is definitely a Queenslander bucket list item. This natural playground is home to some of the state’s most stunning vistas including Carlo Sand Blow, the famous coloured sands and Double Island Point. Four-wheel drivers can cruise along the land that skirts the Pacific Ocean and Great Sandy National Park with no barriers – just pristine water and brightly coloured cliffs. There are a range of options for those who want to stay at Rainbow beach – whether you want to camp, glamp or set up shop in a nearby resort (you so fancy!), there’s something for every style and budget.
Sundown National Park
If you’re chasing a rugged off-road escape that really goes to the next level, Sundown National Park is well worth the trip. Located in the southern town of Stanthorpe near the Queensland and New South Wales border, this isolated slice of natural beauty will blow you away with its landscapes – think sheer-sided gorges, tree-lined ridges and towering peaks wrapped around the waters of the Severn River. Drive deep within the park to find camping spots along the river or in the woodlands, where there are plenty of challenging hikes and a dedicated 4WD track to keep you busy.
Conondale National Park
Feeling forest vibes? Conondale National Park is a natural gem that is teeming with scenery. Nestled in the rugged Conondale Range to the west of the Sunshine Coast, the park is home to lush rainforests, towering eucalypt forest, flowing waterfalls, boulder-strewn creeks and a huge variety of rare wildlife. While there are plenty of roads and walking tracks to take advantage of, certain spots of the Booloumba Creek camping area are only accessible by four-wheel drive – you travel deep into the rainforest to uninterrupted natural paradise.
Where do you even start with a place like Fraser Island? This World Heritage-listed natural phenomenon is the largest sand island on planet Earth and is home to a whole host of truly beautiful ecological experiences. Towering rainforests, more than 100 freshwater lakes (including the iconic Lake McKenzie and Lake Wabby) and mammoth sand blows are all topped off with a scenic 120km beach highway that is perfect for four-wheelin’. There are plenty of places to pitch a tent on the island depending on where you want to base yourself. Right on the beach or nestled next to a babbling brook, perhaps? Tough choices, folks.
Burrum Coast National Park
Camping behind the dunes and waking up to the sound of the ocean is a pretty dreamy scenario, and the Kinkuna zone in the Burrum Coast National Park allows you to live this fantasy. Due to only being accessible by four-wheel drive, Kinkuna is an uninterrupted patch of coastal bliss that is teeming with unique coastal habitats ripe for exploring. The Burrum Coast National Park protects the largest and least disturbed coastal plains in South East Queensland, as well as nationally significant wetlands.
This post was created with our good friends and official site partner Mercedes-Benz Brisbane. All images appear courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland.