If you’re looking to escape your day to day routine for some serenity, look no further than Queensland coastal beaches. Camping near or on the beach offers you many choices, from relaxing on the warm sand, swimming in the ocean, snorkelling and even a game of beach cricket.
Plan on camping at the Beach? Perfect…but you will need to be very well organised before you go, as there is so much more to think about and plan than your normal holiday park adventure. This guide should assist you with all that you need to know when planning your camping holiday at the beach.
1 . Choose your spot wisely
When camping on the beach, not only is it about choosing the perfect secluded spot, you will also need to take into consideration Mother Nature and what she has in store…
Having 30-knot winds blow sand straight off the beach and into your campsite (and face) is not a pleasant experience. So, with this in mind, a wind break on your campsite or even the protection of setting up camp behind a sand dune will improve your beach camping experience.
You also need to be very mindful of cars driving on the beach, especially if you have children likely to be playing on the sand. The beach can often resemble a highway during peak holiday times and not a place for kids to be playing.
2. Check for Fire Bans
Not all island beach camping destinations allow open fires and fires are not permitted on beaches within National Parks. There are usually plenty of signs, although where no signs or other notice exists fires may be permitted as long as there is not a total fire ban in place. Local Rangers often cruise the beaches checking in with new campers to advise of any fire restrictions in place. Also remember that you will need to bring your own fire wood as it is illegal to burn timber laying around.
As beautiful as beach camping is, one down side (if not the only) is the lack of Amenities. Often you will find a toilet drop, and you need to ask yourself if you can live with that or no toilet at all!
Not all drop toilets are vile and smelly. Some are better than flushing ones, and once you get past the thought of a drop toilet becomes part of many campers everyday experience.
If you can’t quite get past the drop toilet, there is the option of the Porta Potti, or consider the old-fashioned option – taking a shovel.
And when it comes to showering, nothing beats a swim in the ocean to freshen up!
The number one rule when it comes to cooking while camping at the beach is….keep it simple!
No one expects a gourmet 5 course meal at every sitting. Sometimes every meal will be cooked on the BBQ or fire, so think about and plan out your meals before you head off and make sure you take everything you need for each meal. Try to minimise the amount of food you have in camp and most importantly make sure you have plenty of fresh drinking water.
5. Power, Batteries and Lighting
In a nutshell, most people need 12V power to free camp, so you will need to know how much power your equipment uses in advance. Herein lies the challenge with beach camping – how do you keep the batteries charged? You can charge batteries through your vehicle while driving, using solar panels, and/or a generator (when permitted). LED strip lighting is fantastic as it is super bright and uses little power and will light the campsite up perfectly at night.
The most important consideration with beach camping is the tides. The best part of the beach to drive on is down near the waterline and therefore, the best time to drive on the beach is at LOW TIDE or at least 2 hours either side of low tide, when the sand is harder and more compact.
Minimise bringing anything of high value with you when you camp, especially if you can’t always keep it with you . Keep all valuables in your car or out of sight as much as you can.
Audible alarms are always great whilst remote camping, as that way if anyone tries to tamper with your camp site whilst you’re not there, they will certainly draw attention to themselves in the process.
Make sure your tent is zipped and locked securely when you’re not about and use a cable lock or padlock for any larger item outside your tent, BBQ’s, Generators etc
And lastly, get to know your neighbours. Even if they are camped a little way down the beach, drop past and say hello. Campers generally look out for each other and having made that little introduction could mean that they will watch over your site and you, over theirs, should one of you be absent.
Beach camping is one of the greatest things you can do to escape, find your own patch of paradise where you can kick back on the beach, disconnect from the world and feel like you’re a million miles from anywhere.