How to spend a weekend away in a national park for less than $50

South Australia’s national parks are the perfect place to go for a low-cost getaway. Here’s seven we recommend.

Looking for a budget-conscious holiday? Look no further than a weekend escape to a national park.

All you need is a car, tent, food and a sense of adventure.

Here are seven national parks in South Australia where you can enjoy a weekend getaway for less than $50:

1. Deep Creek Conservation Park – Trig Campground

Cost: $43 for two nights of camping and vehicle entry.

Deep Creek Conservation Park is just a 90-minute drive from Adelaide, making it an ideal weekend escape.

The park’s Trig Campground teems with wildlife, so you’ll likely be sharing your campsite with kangaroos and Adelaide rosellas.

The campsites are large and surrounded by trees, which means there’s plenty of shade and shelter from the wind. Campground amenities include toilets, picnic shelter and tables, making for a comfortable stay.

Trig Campground is a great location in the park, with nearby hiking trails taking you to the Deep Creek waterfall or down to Deep Creek Cove.

Know before you go:

  • Book online or in person at a local booking agent.
  • Campsites are suitable for tents, caravans, campervans and camper trailers.
  • Sites are unpowered and you must bring your own drinking water.
  • Campfires are allowed in this campground, but be aware of seasonal fire restrictions.

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Campsite 19 at Trig Campground, Deep Creek Conservation Park

2. Coorong National Park – Pelican Campground

Cost: $32 for two nights of camping. Vehicle entry is free.

Escape to Storm Boy Country and camp right on the edge of the famous Coorong National Park wetland.  

Pelican Campground at Parnka Point is only a 2-hour drive from Adelaide and is the perfect place to pitch a tent and search for pelicans like Mr Percival, made famous in the Storm Boy movies.

The campsites are large and flat, and there are basic toilet facilities nearby. There’s even a boat ramp perfect for launching a tinny or kayak for a day on the water.

Know before you go:

  • Book online or in person at a local booking agent.
  • Campsites are suitable for tents, caravans, campervans and camper trailers.
  • Sites are unpowered and you must bring your own drinking water.
  • Campfires are not permitted in this campground.

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(Image courtesy of @doitnow_timeisticking)

3. Innes National Park – Casuarina Campground

Cost: $43 for two nights of camping and vehicle entry. 

How does a beachside holiday without the big price tag sound? Innes National Park on Yorke Peninsula is approximately a 4-hour drive from Adelaide and is famous for its pristine beaches, rugged cliffs, abundant wildlife, historic shipwrecks, and is perfect for activities like camping, bushwalking, fishing and surfing. 

There’s eight campgrounds to choose from, and local park ranger Mark Davison rates Casuarina Campground as his favourite. 

Set amongst a natural bush setting, the campground is just a 10-minute walk across the dunes to the spectacular Pondalowie Beach, where you’ll find great fishing and one of SA’s most famous surf breaks.

Know before you go:

  • Book online or in person at a local booking agent.
  • Campsites are suitable for tents and camper trailers.
  • Sites are unpowered and you must bring your own drinking water.
  • Campfires are allowed in this campground, but seasonal fire restrictions apply.

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Pondalowie Beach (image courtesy of SA Tourism)

4. Para Wirra Conservation Park – Wirra Campground

Cost: $43 for two nights of camping and vehicle entry.

If you’re based in Adelaide, you don’t have to travel far for your next camping adventure – Wirra Campground in Para Wirra Conservation Park is a short 50-minute drive from the city.

There are 19 campsites and facilities including accessible toilets, a camp kitchen, gas barbecues and picnic tables.

There are plenty of walking trails to explore and the nature play forest at Gawler View Picnic Area is sure to keep the kids entertained.

Know before you go:

  • Book online or in person at a local booking agent.
  •  Campsites are suitable for tents, caravans, campervans and camper trailers.
  • Sites are unpowered and you must bring your own drinking water.
  • Campfires are allowed in this campground, but seasonal fire restrictions apply.

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Wirra Campground

5. Onkaparinga River National Park – Pink Gum Campground

 Cost: $32 for two nights of camping. Vehicle entry is free.

For less money than a good bottle of wine, you can spend a weekend away on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula. The even better news is that if you still want that good bottle of wine, there are more than 70 cellar doors nearby in the McLaren Vale wine region!

Pink Gum Campground in Onkaparinga River National Park is the perfect base for exploring this rugged park and is only a 50-minute drive from Adelaide.

There is plenty to see and do in the park, with a vast network of trails for bushwalking and mountain biking.

For the adventurous, the rock climbing zone is located just a short walk from the campground and features cliffs up to 30 metres high with permanent rock pools below.

The campground comes complete with accessible toilets.

Know before you go:

  • Book online or in person at a local booking agent.
  • Campsites are suitable for tents, caravans, campervans and camper trailers.
  • Sites are unpowered and you must bring your own drinking water.
  • Campfires are allowed in this campground, but seasonal fire restrictions apply.

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Pink Gum Campground

6. Murray River National Park – Lyrup Flats Section

Cost: $25 for two nights of camping. Vehicle entry is free.

Is there anything better than lazy days on the river? Located between Berri and Renmark, the Lyrup Flats section of Murray River National Park has 45 river-front campsites for the perfect weekend away.

Whether you want to recline under a shady river red gum with your favourite book, or hit the water for canoeing or fishing, the choice is yours.

Some of the campsites are isolated and offer you plenty of solitude from the outside world.

Know before you go:

  • Book online or in person at a local booking agent.
  • Campsites are suitable for tents, caravans, campervans and camper trailers.
  • Sites are unpowered and you must bring your own drinking water.
  • Many of the campsites have no facilities, so you must come prepared to be fully self-sufficient.
  • Campfires are allowed in this campground, but seasonal fire restrictions apply

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7. Mount Remarkable National Park – Mambray Creek Campground

Cost: $54 for two nights of camping and vehicle entry.

Okay, it’s not quite less than $50, but we couldn’t leave Mount Remarkable National Park off the list as it’s still great value for a weekend away.

This park is within easy reach of Adelaide, at a little more than a 3-hour drive, and the Mambray Creek Campground is a great spot to stay.

Nestled along the banks of Mambray Creek, this campground has 54 sites suitable for all types of camping including caravans and campervans.

The tall shady river red gum trees provide plenty of shade and wind protection, and the vast network of walking trails will keep you busy.

Best of all, there’s no need to bring a shovel – there’s a toilet block with flushing loos – and there’s hot showers too, so you’ll have some of the creature comforts that you don’t always associate with a camping trip.

To get to the park, head north on Highway 1 and the access road to the campground is located about 45 kilometres north of Port Pirie.

Know before you go:

  • Book online or in person at a local booking agent.
  • Campsites are suitable for tents, caravans, campervans and camper trailers.
  • Sites are unpowered and you must bring your own drinking water.
  • Campfires are allowed in this campground, but seasonal fire restrictions apply.

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Mambray Creek Campground

What are seasonal fire restrictions for campfires in national parks? 

Campfires are allowed in many of our national parks as long as it’s not during fire danger season. Fire danger season dates vary depending on which fire ban district the park is located, and are subject to change based on seasonal conditions. 

So, before lighting a fire, make sure you are familiar with the fire restrictions that apply for the park you are visiting. You must also bring your own firewood, as collection of firewood in the park is not allowed. 

All fires, including gas and liquid fuel fires, are not allowed on days declared as a Total Fire Ban by the South Australian Country Fire Service. 

For current fire ban information and fire danger forecast, visit the South Australian Country Fire Service Website or call the CFS Bushfire Information Hotline 1800 362 361. 

Note: prices are correct as of publishing date. 

There are plenty of parks right across SA where you can spend a weekend away for an affordable price. Find your next destination by visiting the National Parks website and check out our stories to get yourself prepared: 8 camping essentials to take on your next trip and Camping Do’s and Don’t’s.

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