Since writing this post the cost of campgrounds along the Western Australian coast has changed. Some of these campgrounds used to be free but now have fees, I have changed them and they are all up to date.
In this article you will find our top 10 Best Low Cost Camping sites in Western Australia. We have stayed at all of these with our 22 foot caravan and we thoroughly enjoyed all of them. All of these campsites are considered low cost.
These camping sites are between Perth and Exmouth in WA. We love Western Australia and truly love camping along the coast, the beaches are truly magnificent and the sunsets are to die for. Which is why 9/10 of these campgrounds are along the beach.
Just a quick note-We are not sponsored in any way to promote these places. Nor do we receive any commissions or like from these companies/councils. The following article is an honest review from us to help you find the best campgrounds and make the most from your trip around Australia.
Travellers Must Have-
Tip: purchase the WikiCamps App for $10.99. A small investment for a large return. This app has all the accommodation that you will be looking for while travelling around Australia. This will give you loads of low cost and free camping right the way around Australia.
Check out here for your must have apps while travelling around Australia
Table of Contents
Freshwater Point South
This was our first night away and it was a beauty! We really didn’t know what to expect when leaving the city and we were about to have our first night on the road. We parked our van right up on the waters edge, on a concrete slab and watched the dolphins swim past us as the sun set. It was picturesque.
That night we lit a campfire and toasted marshmallows. There was a family who was parked up next to us and still to this day we keep in contact. We introduced ourselves to the van parked up next door and that night we all sat around a campfire and toasted marshmellows. Still to this very day we keep in contact with this travelling family.
Now this completely set the bar high for our camping adVANtures. You can find this location 77kms North of Jurien Bay off Indian Ocean Drive. The drive in is on light corrugated roads, offers limited Telstra reception, drop toilets and is dog friendly.
PROS- Beautiful swimming, beachside views, campfire available.
CONS- Depending when you go it might have lots of seaweed wash up on the shore which might stink. There is limited places so be quick and get in before 10am.
Cliff Head North Campground- Dongara
This is such a beautiful spot for an overnight stay and only 29 kilometres south of Dongara. We parked up behind the dunes and toasted marshmallows over an open fire in the evening. But you will need to bring your own wood as there isn’t much there.
There is a 72 hour max stay here and the ranger does come around and ask you to move on. This little gem is equipped with bins, toilets, shady tables and has great reception. We even managed to get our TV working.
PROS- Plenty of room so you are not right next door to your neighbour. This is the closest low cost camp closest to the town of Dongara.
CONS- The flies and bees are seasonal and can be pests at certain times of the year. The wind can be strong and does blow the sand around if you are their on a windy day.
Sandy Cape Rec Park- Dandaragan
We thoroughly enjoyed Sandy Cape Rec Park. All the accommodation is situated directly behind the dunes, with benches on top of the dunes to have a picnic dinner and watch the sunset.
Sandy Cape Rec Park is close to lots of beach side walking trails and sand dunes which are great fun for the whole family. Our family of five took the 20 minute walk to the cliff’s edge and the views were epic!!!
Try and find the hidden caves near the shore and see how many dolphins you can spot while you are there.
PROS- Showers are a massive positive as this saves your drinking water. The beach is lovely. The wind is blocked by the sand dunes.
CONS- This place does not accept bookings so it is a first come first serve basis and it is popular. Arrive early!
Coronation Beach- Geraldton
Another beauty along the coast is Coronation Beach Campground. Due to the price rise from the council this is now $15 per person. Is it worth it? I think so. Nothing beats some clean fresh ocean air. The campsite is also surrounded by big hills and rock formations.
To enter the campground you must drive eight kilometres west towards the coast, keep in mind the roads are windy and steep.
This great camp spot is walking distance to the beach and has some spots to drop a line out. The campsite offers bins, barbies, toilets, a basic children’s playground, good Telstra reception, dump point and generators are allowed. Great for an overnight stop over or a week of beach camping.
PROS- The largest and closest town is Geraldton, which is only 28 kilometres South of the campsite.
CONS- This campground does get busy, so you will need to arrive before midday.
Murchison River House Station- Kalbarri
Murchison River House Station- this place has it all! Friendly staff and all the amenities to make for a comfortable stay for all campers.
Our van was backed up along the banks of the Murchison River, with a tyre swing that kept the kids busy. Our site had an already made fire pit and all campers were allowed to search for wood on the property. This made it fun for the kids to gather wood.
With showers, toilets, water, barbies, Telstra reception and a camp kitchen it makes for a lovely stay. Keep in mind that there is no water hook up to the van but you can fill water jugs/containers.
In the evening a communal fire is lit for everyone to get to know each other. We enjoyed dinner outside under the stars, along the river banks around a fire. This place was absolutely magnificent!!!
PROS- Plenty of room to have your own space. Great scenery among the bush land. Close to the town of Kalbarri
CONS- With water comes mosquitoes and plenty of them. So be prepared! Also during the school holidays the fees are different with a $30 site fee included.
Goulet Bluff- Shark Bay
For a real beach side experience, Goulet Bluff is a must! The beach is made from tiny seashells which makes the drive onto the beach easy for any caravan. We have a touring van and managed with ease. The road in however is corrugated and doesn’t get graded as often as we all would like it to be.
Going to sleep with the sea breeze coming through the window and then listening to the waves crash on the shore is a winner in our books. There are no bins, no toilets, nothing. Just you and your camp set up.
This is true blue beach side living!!
NOTE- The Council have a limit on where you can stay. Permits are for 24 hours and restricted to 1 night only at the following (Goulet Bluff, Eagle Bluff, Fowlers Camp, Whalebone Bay) Which essentially means you can only choose one of these for your 24 hour stop over.
PROS- Isolation for 24 hours, anyone can camp even if you don’t have a toilet. Cost effective
CONS- No camp fires are permitted. The seaweed can be a bit of a damper, as it does smell at certain times of the year.
Eagle Bluff- Shark Bay
This little pocket is an inlet from the ocean. The water levels don’t move much and the surface is hard enough to drive the van through to find a nice bit of space away on your own. Our children loved paddling in the shallow crystal clear waters.
This site is located 22 kilometres South of Denham. There are no bins, no toilets, nothing. The ranger also didn’t come around and it ended up being a free camp for the night. We rang to book after 4.00pm but the office had closed. It was lovely to chill by the waters edge and have some space to ourselves.
PROS- Nice spot for families as there is low tidal waters
CONS- No fires allowed
Gladstone Bay Campground South Carnarvon
This is a campsite with extras. What extras do you ask? Well how about an outside artesian shower, yes I know fancy and warm water too. My tip is to have a shower at about 4.00pm to beat the crowds and it will have warm running water by then. The campground also offers a wood fired pizza oven and BBQ under a shaded gazebo.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Gladstone. We walked along the rock jetty and when the tide was in we went fishing at the end.
In the evenings ‘happy hour’ happens under the gazebo and you get to meet some fellow travellers. Fire wood, drinking water and gas refills can be purchased from the caretaker. This is CASH only
PROS- Plenty of extras to have an enjoyable camping trip. Lots of space to park up your van and you can face the water. Fires are permitted
CONS- The road in can sometimes be muddy after a lot of rain so be mindful. No lights at night around the amentities. Flies like to hang around on the no wind days.
14 Mile Beach Warroora Station- Lyndon
14 mile beach is a lovely beach campgrounds with great fishing and snorkelling. Pelican Point is the place to snorkel, we seen turtles and loads of fish as the water is quiet shallow here. We don’t have an off road caravan and weren’t able to do the great beach camping as many desire. If you do are able to get your van on the beach, then you will greeted with sand as white as snow and water as blue and as clear as the skies (on a good day).
This campsite offers non drinking water which is great for having a shower or washing your dishes, on/off Telstra reception- yes the reception is very sketchy but with a CEL-FI booster you will have 4g in seconds.
The location is 15km South of Coral Bay and the road in is very corrugated. Your best bet is to let your tyres down and cruise in nice and slowly. This location is very popular and there are lots of options to camp. You have choices of beach camping, station stay or on top of the dunes which is where we were overlooking the ocean.
PROS- The abundance of marine life and the views are epic. I would say a big pro is that there is a camping option for everyone
CONS- You must have a chemical toilet onboard. This is the same is you are camping with a tent. No toilets.
North Kurrajong Campground- Exmouth
Entering the Cape Range along the Ningaloo Reef is always a beautiful location. We spent four days here and would highly recommend choosing one of the many campgrounds along the coastline. The snorkelling along the reef is amazing and those Exmouth sunsets are just divine.
This place must be booked in advance as it is an extremely sought after campground, as with all campgrounds along the Ningaloo Reef. The North Kurrajong Campground offers bins, tables and long drop toilets.
We explored lots of Exmouth and truly loved the town, Exmouth would be our go-to place to settle if we ever wanted to plant some roots.
PROS- Beachside views and fishing are on point.
CONS- No reception, dump point and bookings must be made in advance.
So now you know our top ten low cost campsites part one here in Western Australia. Check out our part 2 here with our next our list of must see campgrounds in Western Australia.
Our goal is to keep you on the road for longer and within budget so you can spend your money on great tours and better experiences with your family troopers.