The 5 Best Camping Sites in Tasmania
Nature, wildlife and breathtaking views are what make Tasmania, more fondly known as Tassie to the locals, one of the great spots for camping. Tasmania boasts some of Australia’s most picturesque places, and nature lovers swarm to get a glimpse of this relatively untouched paradise. Plus, there’s no better way to explore than by packing your tent, setting up camp and taking a few days to relax under the stars and soak up all the beauty that Tasmania has to offer.
However, you have to be prepared, as much of the camping in Tasmania is more towards the rough side due to its natural environment. You may need to bring your own food and supplies like camping gear and water. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Here’s our pick of some fantastic campsites for you to explore in Tassie.
1. Honeymoon Bay, Freycinet National Park
Image from: Tripadvisor
For an iconic Tassie experience, you can’t really overlook Freycinet and its coastal camping sites. Famous for its dramatic pink granite peaks which are perfect for sunrise and sunset snaps, the Freycinet National Park is home to some of Tasmania’s most incredible camping spots, with breathtaking views of the dunes at the water’s edge every morning.
A 2-hour drive from Launceston, wake up to breathtaking views, and explore the beautiful bays like the Honeymoon Bay, Sleepy Bay and Wineglass Bay with timeless panoramic views of the Wineglass Bay. Hikers who want to get some adventure can hike to the Wineglass Bay lookout point; an hour long walk both ways. For an excellent half day trek, continue on from the Wineglass Bay lookout down to the beautiful, perfectly curved beach and back to the park entrance via the Hazards Range for amazing views of Great Oyster Bay and the coastline surrounding the sleepy seaside village of Swansea.
We recommend the very popular Honeymoon Bay campground, which is situated on a granite knoll overlooking the secluded cove of Honeymoon Bay. Activities like hiking, cycling, swimming and canoeing are extremely popular here. The campsites include facilities like cold showers, toilets, barbeques and picnic tables. You will need to book your site early, and peak times even require you to enter a ballot system to secure your spot, so do take note of this.
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2. Bay of Fires
Situated on the northeast coast of Tasmania, the Bay of Fires extends along the coastline for 50 kilometers from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point. You’ll be spoiled for choice at one of the most stunning camping destinations in Tasmania. Famous for its crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and orange lichen-covered granite boulders, there are plenty of campgrounds available at the Bay of Fires Conservation Area.
This is the perfect base to explore the area. Activities around the area include boating, bird watching, fishing, swimming, surfing and walking. Binalong Bay is a good place to start. We recommend Cosy Corner campgrounds because it is the biggest and best campsite, with well protected campsites amongst the trees, leading to a more open grassy area. The campground accommodations are free of charge. However, you do have to pay the park fees. Most of the sites are sparsely furnished with only a few pit toilets in certain campsites. You will have to be ready to rough it out with nature. Just remember to bring your camping gear and plenty of water and you’re golden.
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3. Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair National Park
Cradle Mountain located within the Lake St Clair National Park is one of the most photogenic spots in Tasmania. Imagine sparkling, glacial lakes beneath rugged mountains just worthy of an Instagram snap. It’s a postcard-perfect landscape that is on the bucket list of many people. A place for all seasons, discover deep snowdrifts in winter, spectacular displays of yellows, oranges and reds across the mountain slopes in autumn. This is a place with a sort of magical fairy tale aura around it.
Cradle Mountain offers a world-class system of walking tracks to explore that ranges from very short easy strolls to the legendary Overland Track. This 5-day hike stretches 80km from Cradle Mountain through to Lake St Clair and is an unforgettable journey through Tasmania’s alpine heart so remember to pack appropriately. Take a look at our ultimate guide to ultralight hiking for some tips and tricks to help you lighten the load.
The camping site at Cradle Mountain is limited to the Discovery Parks Campgrounds. There are amenities like showers and toilets, a spacious camp kitchen with indoor barbeques, plenty of seating and even a large fire pit that is great for the winter months. While there is plenty of space available here, you still have to book your site in advance due to the high number of visitors.
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4. Cockle Creek, Southwest National Park
If you’re planning to go on an adventure, Cockle Creek, located along the edges of the Southwest National Park may be the place for you. Cockle Creek sits on beautiful Recherche Bay at the edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and is the furthest point south that one can drive in Australia. It has tranquil coves and sandy beaches with a snow-capped mountain backdrop for a picture perfect setting.
If you’re into long treks across untouched wilderness, the iconic South Coast Track is for you. Originally an escape route for shipwrecked sailors, this track now serves as an escape route from the pace of modern life. Wild unspoilt landscapes, remote untouched beaches, rugged mountain ranges, pristine rivers, towering rainforests, this is untamed wilderness at its very best. However, do note that the South Coast Track is a 80km challenging trek with long days and trying conditions, so only attempt if you’re truly ready for a challenge.
The road to Cockle Creek can be pretty rough at times, so take care to travel carefully. If you’re up for it, the five-hour walk to South Cape Bay is well worth the magnificent views of the Great Southern Ocean that greet you. Put together a pack with plenty of food and water, and this one-day trek won’t disappoint.
All along Cockle Creek, you will find campsites that are free of charge. We recommend looking for a spot to pitch your tent near the Recherche Bay Nature Recreation Area as each area has a pit toilet, fireplaces, but no other facilities so make sure you take your own firewood and water.
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5. Mount William National Park
Image from: Discover Tasmania
Mount William National Park is situated on the spectacular North-East Coast, offering visitors a varied range of beautiful walks, quiet stretches of sand, and the opportunity to view some of Tasmania’s unique wildlife. With its abundant wildlife, long sandy beaches and clear blue seas, the remoteness of this beautiful park makes for the perfect getaway.
It is the perfect place for walking, fishing, swimming or kicking back at your beachside campsite doing nothing at all, set against a backdrop of crystal-clear turquoise water.
We recommend pitching your tent at one of the four Stumpys Bay campsites, as these are nearby the beach, and provide good shelter behind a canopy of trees. Plus, you may even see wallabies or kookaburras around. Camping facilities are basic and there are no powered sites. Pit toilets are located at each campsite. Bring your own drinking water and firewood, but fuel stoves are recommended. Bookings are not available, but park fees apply.
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So what are you waiting for? Tasmania’s stunning coastline, flourishing wildlife, rich heritage and fantastic camping sites are calling out to you! Why not take a few days to relax under the stars and soak up all the beauty that Tasmania has to offer?
What did you think about our article? We’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comment section below! Take a look at our list of essential camping gear for 2020 to help you better plan out your next camping trip or check out our store for more camping gear!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Do I need to make any bookings for campsites in Tasmania?
Generally, the answer is yes and no. As we mentioned above in our article, it depends entirely on the campsite you are planning to go to. While there are many free campsites in Tasmania, most of them do require a booking in advance.
2. Can I just turn up to free campsites in Tasmania?
Yes, but be aware that many sites are extremely popular and therefore you may arrive and find that there is no camping available. This is especially true in the more popular areas like the Bay of Fire or Cradle Mountain where campsites are free of charge.
3. When is the best time to camp in Tasmania?
Tasmania generally has 4 distinct seasons so camping at any time will be a unique experience. However, we do recommend that you avoid peak periods like Christmas, Easter, long-weekends and school holidays if at all possible. We also do not recommend it if you’re planning to camp anywhere near Tasmania’s central highlands during winter, as the weather is bitter cold and very inhospitable.