Best Tropical Island Camping Locations on the Great Barrier Reef

Queensland is a great region from which you can enjoy the view and experience of the Great Barrier Reef. It has a lot of great camping locations to offer, giving you and your family the best of the great outdoors. Its many island locations operate at a nice, easy pace–definitely the kind of place where you and your family can relax and take your time exploring the plant and wildlife in the area. From building your own campsite to going swimming and exploring the different mountain trails, you definitely won’t run out of things to do with the family.

Queensland is an island and while a number of attractions are seaside, you also have the option to explore the inner areas of the island which offer you a different view. You can opt to see the hills, rainforests, trails, and waterfalls instead of just focusing on the sea. In this article, we’ll be looking at the best tropical island camping locations in the area of the Great Barrier Reef. Keep reading and find the best campsite for you and your family’s vacation needs!

1. Cylinder Beach

North Stradbroke Island, Queensland

Situated right on North Stradbroke Island, Cylinder Beach offers a breathtaking view of the ocean. Going camping on Cylinder Beach gives you and your family access to the seaside and the unique nearby island formations. The island is famous for swathes and sandbars that are right on the water, giving you the chance to fall asleep right on the beachfront.

Cylinder Beach is also an awesome place from which you can watch the sunrise and the sunset. It holds a unique standpoint that makes the water and the ocean look majestic. It’s also very safe for kids and swimming in general, with a 24/7 lifeguard safety presence.

2. Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island beach, Queensland

Located off the coast of Cairns, Fitzroy Island has a wide number of camping sites which each gives you their own flavour. The island is also a national park, ensuring that there are a number of day trip activities for your family to enjoy. You can go on hikes, explore forest trails, and go swimming on the island lakes. You can also explore the ocean by going scuba diving or water trampolining.

Planning out the perfect Great Barrier Reef vacation doesn’t mean that you have to choose between the beach or between going camping. Why not do both? Relax and take a few days to enjoy the island–this may even end up being cheaper because a lot of hotels on the island have a number of camping packages. If you’re going on vacation to see the Great Barrier Reef, Fitzroy Island should definitely be one of your main considerations

3. Noah Beach

Noah Beach, Queensland

Noah Beach takes Queensland’s breathtaking view of the ocean and the amazing landscapes of Australia’s great rainforests. You and your family can opt to go and explore the beautiful, clear water and spend your days on the beach or move inland and go hiking as you explore the lush, green landscape of the island’s forests instead.

If you aren’t in a rush, you also have the option of doing both. Why not plan your vacation so you can spend a few days exploring the ocean and the Great Barrier Reef before you take a few days to choose the best hiking trail for your family? Check out the wildlife, pitch a tent, or rent a camper if you feel like travelling in style.

Noah Beach is also a World Heritage Site under Cape Tribulation, meaning the government and the island administrators take good measures to implement sustainability into all island campsites and tourist activities.

4. Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach, Queensland

Whitehaven Beach is one of the most popular camping destinations in all of Queensland. It sits right off the coast of the Whitsundays and offers an amazing view of the ocean. It’s also a great place from which to see the stars at night. Whitehaven Beach also offers a lot of kids’ activities, furthering its popularity among families looking to explore the reef area.

Whitehaven is also a lot more glamorous than other islands because it’s private and you can only gain access to the beach if you’re one of the exclusive guests. You can camp on the beach with your family, knowing that you won’t have to share the space with strangers. This is perfect for trips with extended family where you can have barbecues and bonfires, making memories that last.

5. Charlie Moreland

Charlie Moreland Camping Ground, Queensland

Charlie Moreland is one of the greenest islands on the sunshine coast, making its camping ground its premiere feature. It’s camping ground is very remote and only accessible by 4WD, perfect for families looking for a getaway from busy city life.

Although this island might not be perfect for kids below seven years old because of the rough terrain, it’s perfect for families with bigger kids. There are a lot of camp activities that centre around wilderness survival. Campers can also go swimming in freshwater, one of the rare options around the Great Barrier Reef area.

The National Park is also a bird sanctuary, giving campers a chance to see some of the most beautiful and exotic birds unique to Australia. Families can also book an Mt. Allan fire tower tour which gives them the opportunity to see the Conondale Ranges at its summit. 

6. Nightfall Wilderness Camp

Nightfall Wilderness camp, Queensland

This is perfect for those who want to explore the outdoors while still having all of the luxuries of home. If you and your family want to experience glamour in the outdoors, then this campsite is definitely for you. Unlike regular camping sites where you need to pitch your tent and do a lot of the work for your lodging, this site offers a luxurious safari set up, complete with plated gourmet meals.

If the stress of the outdoors and leaving things to the chance of the wilderness isn’t for you, you can definitely check out this campsite. Get a massage or sign up for some cooking lessons as you become immersed in the local landscape. Have a fun, laidback time without all of the normal stress of living in the wilderness. Take Glamping to a new level at the Nightfall Wilderness Camp.


Whether you choose the ocean view of the Great Barrier Reef, the lush rainforest, or both, going to Queensland with your family is definitely a great travel idea. If you’ve always been dying to go but have never locked down your travel plans, then there’s no time like the present! Camping, hiking, and enjoying beautiful wildlife are all amazing ways to build bonds with your family. Create new memories that will last forever and learn skills that are unique to the outback.

You can think of going to Queensland as a way to check two destinations off your bucket list: see both the ocean and the landscape. Australia is an astonishing place that will give you and your family a vacation experience you won’t forget!

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