If you’re looking for a spot to pitch your tent or pull up your caravan on the Sunshine Coast, there are dozens of holiday parks on offer – in fact, far too many for us to list here.
From relaxed, old-school style waterfront holiday parks to activity-filled, resort-style destinations, the Sunshine Coast has it all.
To begin your hunt for the perfect site, checking out the council owned holiday parks is a great place to start. Many of these parks occupy some of the best real estate on the Coast. Which is why they are also super popular.
If you’re thinking about booking in for the school holidays, you are going to have to plan ahead. And we mean waaaaaay ahead. The most popular parks are booked up to a year in advance for school holiday dates. But don’t be deterred. There are also plenty of weeks in the year when you can snag a great site with only a couple of days’ notice.
Sunshine Coast Holiday Parks, owned by Sunshine Coast Council, has a number of fantastic options in some amazing locations, from Dicky Beach in family-friendly Caloundra all the way up to beautiful Coolum Beach. Or, if you’re keen on staying in the spectacular Noosa region, check out Noosa Holiday Parks, owned by Noosa Council.
To help you narrow down all of the available options, we’ve put together our list of the best caravan and camping spots on the Sunshine Coast:
Fronting Dicky Beach at Caloundra, this campground is the perfect location for a classic family camping holiday. With the Dicky Beach Surf Club next door and a handful of shops across the road, you have all the essentials at your fingertips.
Pros: There are loads of things to keep everyone in the family entertained including a swimming pool, tennis court, playground, games room, nearby skate park, plus lots of beachside bike and walking tracks to explore.
Cons: While there’s the Dicky Beach Surf Club next door and a couple of shops across the road, if you’re looking for somewhere with a bit of ‘action’ in terms of shopping and cafes, you might be left a little wanting. However, if you love the idea of keeping it simple with just the necessities and less temptations for the kids, this is the place for you.
Tucked in behind the dunes of Mooloolaba Beach, this park is perfectly positioned to make the most of everything Mooloolaba has to offer.
Pros: The park is across the road from Sea Life Sunshine Coast (formerly Underwater World) and The Wharf Mooloolaba. You’re also just a hop step and a jump from Mooloolaba’s shopping and restaurant strip.
Cons: Unfortunately, the secret is well and truly out on Mooloolaba, so be prepared for some crowds – especially on weekends and at school holiday times. However, if you don’t like things to be too quiet and enjoy being part of a ‘vibe’ on holiday, this is the spot for you.
At the point where the Maroochy River meets the ocean, you’ll find Cotton Tree Holiday Park. This beachfront gem is an institution for many who come from far and wide to stay here hear each year. And for good reason. If you can snag one of the spectacular waterfront sites, you’ll be pitching your tent right on the edge of the soft white sand. You pay a slight premium for the privilege, but for what you get, it’s an absolute bargain.
Pros: This park is arguable the best beachfront camping spot on the Sunshine Coast. On the river mouth side of the park, there’s a calm sheltered bay for the kids to play in, and on the other side is the open surf beach.
Cons: With over 300 sites, it’s a huge park – choose your site carefully if you don’t want to feel like you’re lined up with the masses.
On prime beachfront real estate, smack bang in the middle of Coolum, this holiday park is where it’s at. Camp here and you’ll have direct access to one of the Sunshine Coast’s most spectacular surf beaches, not to mention Coolum’s café strip right across the road. Once you’ve parked and set up, you won’t have to get in the car again until the day you go home.
Pros: As the name suggests, Coolum is one of the coolest beach towns on the coast, so it’s quite incredible that you can stay on the beach, in the heart of town, for less than $50 a night (for two people).
Cons: You won’t get an ocean view from your campsite, but you probably won’t be spending much time there anyway – you’ll be too busy getting amongst it, soaking up the Coolum vibe.
Set on the banks of the Noosa River, this Holiday Park boasts one of the most picturesque locations of all of the Sunshine Coast campgrounds. In one direction you’ve got Noosa’s famous Hastings Street about 2.5kms up the road. Take advantage of the bike hire at the park and you’ll be browsing Hastings before you know it. In the other direction is Gympie Terrace. An easy stroll from the park, this lovely street runs parallel with the river and is dotted with shops, cafes and restaurants.
Pros: The vast stretches of sparkling turquoise water gives you that coasty vibe even though you’re not right on the beachfront
Cons: This is a popular park and the best sites book out early. Make sure you plan ahead if you want to stay here.
Positioned at the gateway to the Cooloola Recreation Area, stretching all the way from Noosa to Rainbow Beach and the Inskip Peninsula, this park is perfectly positioned for those that like a little off-road beach adventure. If you’ve got a 4×4 and are a well prepared, Noosa North Shore is the perfect place to base yourself to explore Teewah Beach, Double Island Point and the coloured sands of Rainbow Beach.
To get to the campground you need to take the Tewantin River Ferry to Noosa North Shore – for the kids that’s when the adventure begins.
The park is mostly in its natural state so don’t expect anything fancy; just basic amenities are provided including toilets, hot showers and simple laundry facilities.
Pros: As one guest wrote: “This place is heaven for the self-sufficient camper.”
Cons: There are no shops near the campground so you will need to plan ahead and pack accordingly. Don’t forget your torch.
There are a couple of worthy contenders for the best glamping title including:
Overlooking the beautiful Maroochy River, Rivershore Resort was one of the first glamping destinations to crop up on the Sunshine Coast.
The resort’s luxurious self-contained safari tents are positioned to take full advantage of the riverfront location. The tents are elegantly furnished, including actual beds (you don’t have to inflate). They also boast an ensuite bathroom with a claw foot bath, naturally.
If you prefer to bring your own gear, there are also powered and unpowered sites that all have access to the impressive facilities that include a resort-style heated pool with slides for the kids, mini golf, playground, jumping pillow and even an outdoor cinema.
Pros: If you choose to stay in a safari tent, you’ll be luxuriously cocooned with all the creature comforts of home.
Cons: You’ll be luxuriously cocooned with all the creature comforts of home. The safari tents even come with TV, Netflix and wi-fi. Can you even call that camping?
Located 25 minutes north of Noosa, on 65 acres of natural bushland, Habitat Noosa provides its guests with a unique wilderness experience.
Habitat’s glamping tents come with comfortable beds, tasteful furniture, full ensuite, and a deck for relaxing and enjoying the water views.
Positioned on 500 metres of beachfront on Noosa River, the campground is a five-minute boat ride from the unique ecosystem of the Noosa Everglades.
Pros: This place offers up a truly unique wilderness experience less than half an hour from glamourous Noosa.
Cons: To get the most out of staying here, you’re best off fully unplugging and soaking up the natural sights and sounds around you. If that is your idea of eco-hell, you should probably just stick with Noosa.
For the bargain price of $10, you could be sleeping in your very own luxury Sunny Coast pad if you’re the winner of Endeavour Foundation’s latest Prize Home lottery. Or for the price of one night’s camping a month, you could become a Star Supporter for even more chances to win.
Haven’t seen Endeavour’s latest Prize Home yet? Take a virtual tour or download the brochure now.