Article by The Chart & Map Shop
If a weekend of beach camping is in order, you don’t want to spend hours driving there and back. You want to head out of Perth, set up camp and be relaxing with a drink within a few hours.
In some areas of WA there is plenty of free beach camping, but not so much close to Perth - most of the best campsites are at least a few hours drive away. In the past you could drive an hour out of town, find a remote beach and set up camp but now it’s illegal and you’re risking a fine.
Perth’s beaches are stunning, so it’s understandable residents and visitors want to enjoy a waterfront campground. There’s nothing quite like waking up to the sound of waves after watching a stunning sunset the night before.
There are plenty of beachside campsites a couple of hours north and south of Perth - From low-cost sites with minimal facilities, caravan park sites with all the mod-cons and campgrounds near beaches, rivers and lakes. The team at the Chart & Map Shop are here to do the tough work for you and share our favourite Beach camping spots in Perth
Here are our Top 5 beach camping spots close to Perth
Sandy Cape Recreation Park - North of Perth
Image courtesy of Turquoise Coast Visitor Centre
Location: Sandy Cape Road, Jurien Bay Distance from Perth: 250 km Suitable for: Tents, caravans, camper trailers, big rigs Facilities: Long drop toilets, fire pits, chemical dump facility near information bays Cost: $20 per night for family of four Tips: An on-site caretaker collects fees daily or use the honesty box and hold on to the receipt, no bookings are available. The ground in parts of the campsite is rock hard so you will need heavy duty pegs, dogs allowed on a leash. No potable water so bring your own. What to Do/See: Beautiful beach, swimming, fishing for mulloway, tailor and whiting, canoeing, kayaking, head into Jurien Bay 10km away
The list isn’t complete without including Sandy Cape. It’s one of the most well-known beach campsites close to Perth. Upgraded in the last two years, the new facilities make this campsite far more comfortable with new picnic tables seats, BBQ and toilets added. Some sites come complete with sweeping Indian Ocean Views.
Hamelin Bay Caravan Park - Beach Camping Near Margaret River
Image courtesy of Hamelin Bay Holiday Park
Location: Hamelin Bay West Road, off Caves Road, Karridale Distance from Perth: 300 km Suitable for: Tents, caravans, camper trailers, big rigs Facilities: Toilets, BBQ, picnic tables, boat ramp Cost: Powered and unpowered sites available Tips: Heed the rock risk signs What to Do/See: Walk part of the Cape to Cape track, swim, fishing, feed the friendly stingrays in the shallow waters, drive through the Boranup forest, visit the Margaret River Sculpture Park
You have to look hard to find a bad beach in the south west WA but Hamelin Bay has some of the most stunning turquoise water and white sand. It’s just a short walk 50 metre walk from the camp to the beach. Check out the WA Maritime Museum’s Hamelin Bay Wreck Trail. You can find four shipwrecks from shore or take a closer look with scuba or snorkel in the clear water. Hamelin Bay Holiday Park is also a short drive to visit the Margaret River region with its wineries and breweries.
Thinking of bringing the kids? Keep them (and yourself entertained) with this fun book: Camping with Kids: Hundreds of Fun Things to Do in the Great Outdoors from Hardie Grant - $20
Seabird Caravan Park
Image courtesy of Stephen Edmonds via Wikimedia Commons
Location: 1 Williams Bay, Seabird Distance from Perth: 80 km Suitable for: On-site accommodation, caravans with solid annexe Facilities: Ensuites, BBQs, tennis court, pool, indoor room, playground Cost: Various Tips: Access to 4WD on the beach is available via the boat ramp, take your boat into the park with prior arrangement. What to Do/See: Take the boardwalk to the beach for a swim or beach fishing, enjoy sunset drinks with the locals, take a short drive into Lancelin and sand dunes. Visit the Gingin Gravity Discovery Centre, canoe along Moore River in Guilderton.
If you are looking for a site that’s only 1 hour from Perth, Seabird is a quaint little fishing town. Perched right on the beach, it’s a perfect spot to enjoy the sunset. While there isn’t much to do in Seabird, it’s a perfect launching pad for Gingin, Lancelin, Ledge Point and Guilderton. Unfortunately, the Seabird beaches have suffered from significant erosion in recent years but restoration work has begun.
Seabird may not have a lot going on, but it's relaxing and the perfect spot to practice for your bigger camping trips, including camp cooking! Get inspired with some of our favourite camping recipes in the The Camps Australia Wide Community Cookbook - $50
Herron Point Campground – Waterside Camping Near Mandurah
Image courtesy of Visit Mandurah
Location: Herron Point Road, Birchmont Distance from Perth: 100 km Suitable for: Tents, caravans, camper trailers Facilities: Toilets, Camp Kitchen, BBQ, picnic tables, fire pit Cost: $7.50 per person over the age of 16 Tips: No drinking water available, BYO. Generators welcome 8am - 8pm. What to Do/See: Walking, fishing, crabbing, photographing scenery and wildlife. Herron Point Campground is located in the Kooljerrenup Nature Reserve, near the towns of Waroona and Pinjara. The campground has a two night maximum, except over WA public holidays when four nights are allowed. No bookings, first in best dressed. Dogs are welcome on leads. Herron Point campground is right on the water's edge perfect for swimming, kayaking and snorkeling. If you own a small boat you can launch it off the beach ramp.
Planning on doing some fishing while you're there? Grab a waterproof fishmap so you can identify all the sea critters you catch. Buy the Handy Weatherproof Fishermans Guide WA - $15
Caves Caravan Park - Yallingup
Image courtesy of Caves Caravan Park
Location: 23 Yallingup Beach Road, Yallingup Distance from Perth: 250 km Suitable for: Tents, caravans, camper trailers Facilities: Ensuite bathrooms, laundry rooms, BBQ, camp kitchen, games room Cost: From $30, Powered and unpowered sites available Tips: Dog friendly What to Do/See: Walk into Yallingup town, visit Margaret River wineries, tour the caves, spot resident possums at night, shop in Dunsborough, drive to Augusta, swimming, surf or just watch the experts.
Camp under the iconic peppermint trees and enjoy the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park on one side and the beach on the other. Caves Caravan Park is in walking distance of the beach, Caves House Hotel, general store/cafe and bakery. During mid term school holidays and WA public holidays the park has a minimum 3 night stay. Christmas, New Year and Easter holidays have a minimum of 5 nights.
If you're gearing up to go on a caravan adventure, make sure to grab a copy of Hema Maps Go-To Guide for Caravaners - $40. It full of useful tips, information and inspiring destinations for you to become a true professional.
Tips for Beach Camping:
If you’re staying at a caravan park you won’t need to be quite as organised compared to camping on a secluded beach.
Is it legal to camp on the beach in Western Australia?
Some beach campgrounds in WA are legal and others aren’t. If the ranger catches you camping illegally, there is a fine to pay. If you're looking for a more detailed guide for free camping or beach camping spots check out the awesome book "Camping Around Australia" here
How do you prepare for beach camping?
Make a list! Plan out your meals in advance so you know what food and drinks to take if the beach isn’t near any shops. Even if it’s summer, pack plenty of warm clothes and bedding in case the wind picks up, it’s the west coast. Remember to take plenty of fresh water in food grade containers. If you are taking the rods, check your tackle box is well-stocked.
Can you light a fire on the beach in WA?
Every beach campground has their own rules about fires on beaches but most don’t allow fires on the ground. Checking the local bylaws. You could look at buying a suspended fire but always check on the fire season and fires are permitted.
Can you 4WD on the beach?
If you can camp on a beach, it’s likely you can take your 4x4 too. However, it’s not always safe. Where there are campers, there are usually small children and the occasional pet dog. Both are hard to see when you are bouncing along the sand and it’s likely you won’t impress any fellow campers. Wait until you hit deserted sand tracks or beach.
Do all these areas have cell phone service?
While some of these spots have ok cell phone service, there are no guarantees that you'll be in the clear. Which is why if you're relying on your phones mapping system it is always good practice to carry a map along with you, just in case.
If you're planning on hitting the coast line of WA we recommend the 4WD & Camping Escapes - Perth & South West by Hema Maps - $30.
Beach Camping WA Contacts & Resources
These phone numbers and websites may come in handy while planning or before heading off on your next camping expedition:
Parks and Wildlife
T: 131 963
WA Main Roads
T: 138 138
Bureau of Meteorology
If you are looking for a map, guide book or fishing book, we no doubt stock it. Let us know where you’re headed and we’ll let you know what’s available to help plan your next camping trip. Call The Chart & Map Shop staff on (08) 9335 8665 or contact us online.