Who doesn't enjoy camping out in nature? There are a tonne of great spots around the Gladstone and Rockhampton areas to pitch a tent, roll out the swag and get back to basics. While you can always make new discoveries if you want to go out searching, we've done some of the hard work for you. Here are our five best camp sites near Gladstone and Rockhampton:
Deepwater National Park
Sandy beaches, black tailed cockatoos, water birds and rock pools, and a whole lot more make Deepwater National Park one of our best protected national parks. There is tonnes to see for nature lovers but this one is for the better equipped campers only. You will need a four wheel drive to access the park, but if you have the gear and the experience it will be worth it. Come at the right time of year, between January and April, and you might be lucky enough to spot turtle hatchlings emerging during the nights. For the rest of the year you will have plenty explore throughout the dunes, rock pools and streams.
Access to Curtis Island is via ferry, just 12 kilometres from Gladstone. It's easy to find and easy to reach but once you get here you will feel a million miles away. Huge stretches of abandoned beaches and peaceful ocean views will make you forget that you're just a short distance from the mainland, and that's just what we like in a camping ground. You won't find any facilities so be prepared – you will have to be completely self sufficient. The terrain is too rugged for the normal family car as well so you will need either a boat or a four-wheel drive to reach the best campsites. Permits are required to camp here and fees apply.
The Oaks, Fencing Island
There are 35 unpowered sites on Fencing Island, just off the southern tip of Curtis Island. The island is also accessible by boat and very and offers a slightly more developed camping experience than its northern neighbour. Composting toilets and some other facilities do exist here but, other than those small comforts, the island is mostly home to some picteresque wilderness and spectacular views. Like Curtis Island, permits are required and fees apply.
Calliope River Camping Grounds
For some of us, it just doesn't feel right to pay for camping. Shouldn't you be able to pitch your tent wherever you want? Well, maybe but it's not always possible. At least at Calliope River Camping Grounds though you won't have to pay for the right to set up camp. Camp sites are on both rides of the river, making this a perfect spot for fishing. It's also caravan accessible and that makes it fairly popular with campers of all stripes.
Carnarvon Gorge is famous for a reason – it's one of the most spectacular spots to camp out here or anywhere. While some parts of the park are only accessible to four wheel drive, much of it can be reached in conventional vehicles. So it's not only pretty, it's simple to get too as well. The camp grounds have a quiet bush feel to them, wildlife teems through the area and walking tracks wind their way throughout.