Picture this: Relaxing behind the dunes with views of the ocean and just a few steps to the water.
This is what ocean beach camping in Queensland is all about. And an easy place to do just that is at Bribie Island National Park.
Bribie Island is an incredibly popular weekend getaway spot for many in southeast Queensland. And since it’s only 65km north of Brisbane, it’s really not surprising.
To get to Bribie, you won’t even need a ferry as it’s easily accessible via the Pumicestone Passage Bridge. The only downside may be is that you’ll need a 4WD vehicle – or at least a soft roader – to make your camping trip to Bribie possible.
READ MORE: 7 outdoor things to do on Bribie Island
So, here’s the question: Where should you go camping on Bribie Island?
Bribie Island Camping Options
On Bribie, you have a few options for pitching your tent, including beach camping or more coastal bush settings. Like at other Queensland national parks, you’ll need to make a booking in advance to reserve your campsite.
There are five different camping areas, two of which are only accessible by boat.
For the other three camping spots – Ocean Beach, Poverty Creek and Gallagher Point – you’ll need a high clearance 4WD vehicle or soft roader to get there. You’ll also need a vehicle access permit, which you can book online.
Camping on Ocean Beach is probably the most popular option but if you don’t want to camp along the ocean side, choose Poverty Creek or Gallagher Point. Both of these are on the Pumicestone Passage.
You may just experience an attack of mozzies from what I’ve heard. That said, we were also devoured by mozzies on the ocean side so I’m not sure what to believe.
Ocean Beach camping: Review
The camping area along Ocean Beach stretches for over 3 km so unless you come during school holidays or long weekends, you should be able to find a quiet spot. You’ve got some 60 odd spots to choose from.
The one negative for me is that there are no toilets so you have to bring your own portable one. By now you should all know how I feel about that. Yikes. I don’t mind bush toilets but portable ones, ugh, no thank you.
But you don’t have to forgo your Bribie Island beach camping experience altogether. Here’s another option.
Ocean Beach camping area: Section P
The only option for portable-toilet-haters like me is to camp in Zone 2 (that’s classed as the more “social” zone; yeah, I know…) and then book a site in Section P.
There are toilet and (cold) shower facilities but you also won’t get the ocean views. It’s more like typical campground cluster sites in a sandy bush setting.
We booked Site 40 but then wished we had the one next us. We had full sun pretty much all day, making our late November camping getaway a rather hot one. Sites #41, #42 or #43 all looked shady and with a little more privacy. #49-51 might also be good because you’re on your own little loop.
Alternatively, Section Q would be awesome because you’ll actually have ocean front but are close enough to the amenities to walk there!
The drive-in sites are all very sandy so be prepared for a battle with sand while you’re camping, eating, sleeping, …
The walk-in sites in Section P actually work fine for car-based camping with the cars being right next to the sites. You’ll find slightly less sand and more dirt or grassy spots on those.
The worst part about camping here was actually the infestation of mosquitoes!
I finally get while Queenslanders like to plonk themselves on the beach all day in spite of the mighty windy breezes. It’s the only way to escape those oh-so-annoying buzzing things…
Bribie Island (Ocean Beach) camping at a glance
PROS: Clean enough eco-toilets; cold showers; largely away from the strong ocean winds; some privacy if you can score a site off into the bushes
CONS: Lots and lots of mozzies!; not every site is shady so we ended up in a super sunny one; drive-in sites are pretty much sand-only; there’s a bit of traffic coming in to use the toilets but it’s not too bad outside school holidays
Not sure what the tents and mozzies mean? Check out my tents and mozzies guide.
Other camping options on Bribie Island
If beachfront camping isn’t your thing, stay at Gallagher Point (6 sites, no facilities) or Poverty Creek (14 numbered sites) on the west side of the island. Both offer more of a bush camping experience than beach.
We had a picnic lunch at Poverty Creek and it looked quite pleasant with lots of shady sites (though little privacy) and compost toilet facilities.
The onslaught of mozzies may not be any worse than on the ocean side, depending on the time of year you come. And the nice thing about camping here is that you could easily bring a kayak or SUP to explore Pumicestone Passage.
For details on how to book a campsite at Bribie and what’s available, check out Queensland National Park’s Bribie Island camping information.
If you don’t want to camp in the national park because you have a furry friend, you could also stay at one of the local caravan parks. Bribie Island Caravan Park is on the ocean side but there’s another two or so on the west side of the island as well.
More posts on beach camping in Queensland
Fraser Island is one of Queensland’s most popular beach camping destinations. Here’s where you could camp on Fraser.
Close to the Sunshine Coast and super popular is Teewah Beach: If you don’t want the hustle and bustle though, try quieter Freshwater Campground close to Rainbow Beach.
North of Bundaberg, Deepwater National Park is one of our favourite beach camping getaways.
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