Best national parks for camping near Adelaide

Best national parks for camping near Adelaide

Get out and about in nature at these pic­ture-per­fect camp­ing spots in nation­al parks not far from Adelaide’s CBD.

Do you live in Ade­laide and want to go camp­ing but don’t have time to trav­el too far out of the city?

You’re in luck, as there are some amaz­ing camp­sites in nation­al parks near met­ro­pol­i­tan Ade­laide, which will mean you’ll be able to spend more of your time off enjoy­ing nature rather than dri­ving to your destination.

Here’s where you’ll find these campgrounds:

1. Onka­paringa Riv­er Nation­al Park

Locat­ed 35 km south of Ade­laide, Pink Gum camp­ground in Onka­paringa Riv­er Nation­al Park offers a qui­et get­away from sub­ur­ban life in Adelaide.

A fan­tas­tic option for bush camp­ing, Pink Gum Camp­ground in Onka­paringa Riv­er Nation­al Park is a short walk away from the spec­tac­u­lar Onka­paringa Riv­er Gorge. Before you go, read out sto­ry to dis­cov­er 5 trea­sures in Onka­paringa Riv­er parks.

There are a num­ber of walk­ing and moun­tain-bike trails that will help you explore the finest remain­ing pock­ets of rem­nant veg­e­ta­tion in the south­ern Ade­laide region. And the camp­ground is also close to the winer­ies of the McLaren Vale wine region.

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

Before you go: Vis­it the Pink Gum Camp­ground web­page to check out the camp­sites and check out our handy guide to camp­ing in Onka­paringa Riv­er Nation­al Park.

2. Para Wirra Con­ser­va­tion Park

The Wirra camp­ground in Para Wirra Con­ser­va­tion Park is locat­ed on Adelaide’s north­east edge just 43 km from Ade­laide CBD. The camp­ground has 19 camp­sites includ­ing a large group site suit­able for tents, car­a­vans, camper trail­ers and camper­vans. Each site includes a fire pit for use out­side of the fire dan­ger sea­son. There’s also a camp kitchen, bar­be­cue facil­i­ties and acces­si­ble toilets.

While you’re stay­ing in the park, make use of the net­work of walk­ing and cycling trails, the Nature Play For­est and Gawler View Pic­nic Area. Don’t for­get to bring a foot­ball or crick­et bat for a game on the bush oval.

The park also fea­tures Abo­rig­i­nal inter­pre­tive sig­nage acknowl­edg­ing Para Wirra as a spe­cial meet­ing place, which will give you a more in-depth under­stand­ing of the area.

3. Deep Creek Nation­al Park

About 100 km south of Ade­laide, Deep Creek Nation­al Park is on the Fleurieu Penin­su­la and can be accessed via Main South Road from Ade­laide or Range Road from Vic­tor Harbor.

Deep Creek is home to a wide array of native wildlife such as west­ern grey kan­ga­roos, short-beaked echid­nas and 100 species of birds.

Stringy­bark Camp­ground, Tapanap­pa Camp­ground and Trig Camp­ground at Deep Creek Nation­al Park are very pop­u­lar with fam­i­lies. They gen­er­al­ly book out real­ly ear­ly for long week­ends, school hol­i­days and Christ­mas time.

The well-equipped Stringy­bark camp­ground is nes­tled among a native stringy­bark for­est and offers plen­ty of shade and pro­tec­tion from the elements.

It’s a great base to explore the park from, with plen­ty of birdlife to spot and walk­ing trails to explore. This camp­ground also has 12 sites suit­able for car­a­vans.

Tapanap­pa Camp­ground is a short walk to the spec­tac­u­lar views of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Camp­ground facil­i­ties include a long-drop toi­let and pic­nic shel­ter. There are some sites suit­able for small camper vans and camper trailers.

Pop­u­lar with fam­i­lies who like hik­ing, Tapanap­pa camp­ground is a great base for some stun­ning walks.

Head to Tapanap­pa Look­out and walk either the Deep Creek Cove Hike that leads down to the beach or the Deep Creek Water­fall Hike for a view of the stun­ning waterfall.

Love bush­walk­ing and camp­ing? Check out our blog on 4 parks in South Aus­tralia for overnight hik­ing trips.

Trig camp­ground is a beau­ti­ful retreat with plen­ty of open space and con­trast­ing back­ground of yac­ka plants.

There is a good mix of large and small camp­sites and each camp­site has a con­crete fire ring for use dur­ing camp­fire sea­son. (Note: sea­son­al restric­tions apply).

There are lots of friend­ly kan­ga­roos near this camp­site, sure to delight young kids. Facil­i­ties include toi­lets and large pic­nic shelter.

For more infor­ma­tion, read our guide to camp­ing at Deep Creek Nation­al Park.

4. New­land Head Con­ser­va­tion Park

Locat­ed on the south­ern coast of the Fleurieu Penin­su­la and 91 km south of Ade­laide, New­land Head Con­ser­va­tion Park has rolling hills, rugged cliffs and unmatched views, per­fect for the fam­i­ly look­ing to spend some qual­i­ty time in nature.

Wait­pin­ga Camp­ground is a gor­geous camp­ground with Wait­pin­ga beach only a short walk away.

Wait­pin­ga Beach is also very pop­u­lar with surfers as it offers both a point break plus a clas­sic beach break. It’s also ide­al for a spot of fish­ing, but is not suit­able for swimming

Only suit­able for tents and swags, the Wait­pin­ga camp­ground has camp­ing toi­lets, a com­mu­nal gas BBQ and under-shel­ter pic­nic seating.

There are also lots of walk­ing trails start­ing near this camp­ground. We rec­om­mend the 23 km Wait­pin­ga Cliffs to Kings Beach hike if you’re going to be camp­ing here.

The Wait­pin­ga camp­ground is very pop­u­lar in sum­mer with fam­i­lies book­ing their spots months in advance.

Top tip: For more on Nation­al Parks where you can catch some epic waves, look up our blog on 6 great surf breaks in SA’s Encounter Marine Park.

Book before you go

Camp­sites in South Aus­tralian nation­al parks need to be booked online. Book­ings can be made up to one year in advance. So in the­o­ry, if you live in Ade­laide you could check which camp­sites are avail­able online, book a spot, and be out camp­ing in nature with­in hours.

If you’re new to camp­ing, check out our guides for begin­ners – includ­ingwhat to bring, what towhat to cookandhow to behaveat the campground.

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in April 2017.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living