6 Of The Best (Almost) Free Camp Grounds Near Brisbane

  • Toddlers
    All Ages

If you’re looking for a holiday option where you can really get away, and enjoy some dedicated, quality time with your family – camping is an ideal choice.

Pitching a tent in a wide-open space is a great way to avoid the hustle and bustle of other holiday-makers, while still feeling like you’re escaping the daily grind with your family.

In uncertain times, camping is also an affordable option, costing next to nothing. And once you’re there, the simplicity of life in a tent is a breath of fresh air.

Camping is regulated in Queensland and you need a permit everywhere you go, which will attract a small fee, but there are some mega cheap options around that still make for a fun family holiday.

If you stay in a state park or forest, you only pay for your camping permit, which is $26.20 per family (one or two adult and up to eight children under 17) per night.

More information about camping fees can be found on the Queensland Parks and Forests website.

Here are some of our favourite options:

Poverty Creek, Bribie Island

This is how you get away from it all, while still being a short drive from home. Bribie Island has beautiful coastal scenery, low-key bush camping spots, great boating and fishing in the Pumicestone Passage, excellent birdwatching and spring wildflowers. 

If you’re on a budget – and who isn’t sometimes – the aptly named Poverty Creek camp ground provides a spacious and shady spot on the western side of the island, with views across to the Glasshouse Mountains. Facilities include toilets, cold showers, fire rings and picnic tables. 

Note: this camp ground is only accessible via 4WD or boat. For campgrounds on Bribie accessible by car, see the Bribie Island camping website. 

Website: Bribie Island National Park
Where: Poverty Creek Road, Welsby

Archer Camping Area, Mt Mee

The park formerly known as Brisbane Forest Park, D’Aguilar National Park is super close to the city (all within an hour and a half’s drive). You can discover remote gorges, sheltered pockets of subtropical rainforest, expanses of eucalypt woodland and spectacular views out to Moreton Bay. 

With about 36,000 hectares to explore, you’re sure to find a camping spot to suit your needs but Archer is in an open, grassy natural bush setting near Neurum Creek and is super family-friendly. The camp ground has toilets and fireplaces but no showers. 

Website: Archer Camping Area
Where: Lovedays Road, Mt Mee 

The Settlement, Springbrook

Springbrook National Park is a great place to introduce camping to kids. It’s close to a local shop so you’ll never run out of anything, and there are some spectacular views across the Gold Coast from nearby walks. The campground itself boasts toilets, water, shelter and electric barbecues. There are no showers though, so don’t forget to pack some wet wipes and wash cloths!

Website: The Settlement
Where: The Settlement, Springbrook National Park

Frog Buttress Camping Area, Mt French

This small camping area in the Scenic Rim – and the only camp ground in Moogerah Peaks National Park. It’s set in open eucalypt forest with grassy understorey, close to a bunch of walking tracks, toilets and a day-use area. There are some picnic tables too. If you’re planning on visiting at Easter, or during the winter or spring school holidays, book early as this place fills up fast. It’s also a great spot for those who love climbing!  It’s an appealing option for the cooler months, as Summer temperatures regularly reach 40 degrees on the mountain. 

Website: Frog Buttress Camping Area
Where: Frog Buttress, Mt French

Central Station, Fraser Island

If you’re prepared to drive that little bit longer to Harvey Bay, Fraser Island is one of the most stunning locations Australia has to offer.  And camping is a fantastic way to enjoy the beauty of the island, without spending a fortune. Central Station is a large, formal camping area, with dingo fences making it ideal for families. It’s set in rainforest with access to a variety of walks and information displays. Access to Fraser Island is via ferry, and you'll need a 4WD if you want to take a drive. 

Website: Central Station  

Want more great adventures? Check out these local treasures:

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Image credit: Visit Moreton Bay Region



Jai Malone

Apr 02 2020

These are all good choices thank you very helpful article. I think anything within 3 hrs of Brisbane is easily what I call close otherwise,.don't know if its just me but sleeping outdoors in the city isn't camping to me more like homelessness so an hour drive min is good, but maybe that just me?

B.L. Obfish

Feb 13 2020

Thought you said these were near Brisbane? I don't want to go on an hour and a half drive into the city.