Plan your next camping trip like a pro with this guide to the most popular campsites in SA national parks.
Planning holidays is a skill that comes so naturally to some people, and then there are others who really struggle with it.
Add to the mix that some places are so popular to go to that you really need to be organised if you want to secure a spot to stay.
That’s the case for many of South Australia’s national parks. Some campsites are much-loved for their natural beauty, facilities or location and fill up quickly with loyal visitors who keep coming back year after year.
So if you want to visit one of these popular spots, it's best to plan ahead.
While you can book online to reserve your national park campsite up to 12 months in advance, here is a list of the most popular campsites in South Australia’s national parks – and some of their busiest times – that will need to be booked at least a few months in advance to secure your spot:
In and around Adelaide
Pink Gum campground: Surrounded by towering gum trees and located just 45 km south of Adelaide, Onkaparinga River’s Pink Gum campground is usually booked out during winter school holidays, weekends and around Christmas.
Helipad Large group campground: Ideal for larger group booking, this campground can accommodate up to 60 people. It is generally booked out most weekends and long weekends.
Wirra Campground: Located among pink gum, grass trees and hop bush, sites on this campground are on flat ground and are accessible by wheelchair. These book out early for most weekends and at Christmas time.
Waitpinga Campground: This is a stunning campground with Waitpinga beach only a short walk away. It’s generally very busy during public holidays, school holidays and Christmas time. Please book your spot for Christmas time by October to secure a booking.
Stringybark campground, Tapanappa campground and Trig campground are well equipped and are popular with families and people who like hiking. These generally book out early for long weekends, school holidays and Christmas time.
Eyre and Far West Coast
This stunning beach camp site has only 5 allocated campsites and books out early during spring and summer. Make your booking at least a few months in advance to get your preferred camp spot.
Both of these national parks are really popular in summer, especially from mid-December to end of January, and campsites in these national parks generally book out weeks in advance.
Flinders Ranges and Outback
With ancient and rugged mountain landscapes, peaceful tree-lined gorges and a seasonal wealth of wildlife, Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park is the perfect spring camping destination. So it’s no surprise that camp sites in Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park are busy, particularly in early spring (August–September) when the weather is pleasant and the wildflowers are aplenty. Acraman campground is particularly busy during this period.
Mambray Creek campground and Baroota campgrounds are especially popular with travellers in early spring (from the end of August to mid-September). Make your booking at least a few months in advance to get your preferred camp spot.
This is a wonderful fishing spot with spectacular sandy beach, so it is no surprise that the nearby Dogfence Beach Campground is quite popular for beach camping during summer months and weekends around the Christmas period.
Gawler Ranges National Park is a special place where history, conservation and Aboriginal culture come together. The campsites in this national park are particularly busy during winter school holidays and early spring months.
A favourite for beach lovers, Lashmar Conservation Park adjoins the long sandy beach at Antechamber Bay. Both campsites in this national park are busy in summer, from the Christmas holiday period all the way up to February.
With stunning, secluded coastal views and only 5 allocated campsites, it’s no surprise that the D’Estrees Bay Campground books out early in summer, especially during the Christmas holiday period.
3 Mile Bend campground: There are only 7 campsites in this campground that fringe the lake edge. They book out early in summer, especially during the Christmas holiday period.
Little Dip Conservation Park has 4 secluded campgrounds nestled among dune fields and natural bushland. Most of the campsites book out early in summer, especially during the Christmas holiday period.
Experience camping under the night sky alongside salt lagoons and white sandy beaches at one of the park’s campgrounds. All campground at this national park are really popular in summer, especially during the Christmas holiday period.
Canunda National Park has campsites near sandy beaches, rock pools and lagoon beaches. All campgrounds at this national park are really popular in summer, especially during the Christmas holiday period.
Yorke and Mid-North
Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park is a favourite for camping, fishing and surfing. Campsites at this national park are really popular during spring and summer weekends.
So what are you waiting for? With online booking for campsites available up to 12 months in advance, it’s never too early to plan your next camping trip in SA’s national parks.
Planning your next camping trip? Make sure you check out our blog8 ways to stay safe while campingbefore you go.