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The best places to camp near Adelaide

Shannon Barker

South Australia boasts some of the most spectacular countryside and coastlines in Australia. If you need more of an argument to get out of the city and save money on hotel bookings this summer, we’re taking you on a tour of the best camp spots near Adelaide. So kick off your boots and feel the earth beneath your feet as you get back in touch with nature, leaving the city lights in your rear view mirror.

Pink Gun Campground, Onkaparinga River National Park

A favourite amongst locals, Pink Gun Campground is renowned as one of the best spots in Adelaide. Located only 35 kilometres south of the city, this is a campground that appeals to the likes of hikers, rock climbers, mountain bikers and those looking to have a city getaway without straying too far from home. With great views, permanent rock pools and an abundance of activities on offer, it is no surprise why. Pink Gun has 11 campsites that you can book online, with each campsite containing its own firepit. Remember to pack appropriately: although this is close to Adelaide the campsites are quite basic, but that’s half the fun!

How to get there: Located a stone's throw from Adelaide, Pink Gun Campground is a 50 minute drive south of the city.

Vivonne Bay - Photo by As We Wander via South Australia Media Gallery

Vivonne Bay Campground, Kangaroo Island

Next to the beautiful white sand beaches and the clear calm waters of Point Ellen, you will find what has been touted as Kangaroo Island's best campsite. From Vivonne Bay Campground you can enjoy direct beach access perfect for swimming, or take up fishing straight off the jetty and relax in the long summer days. The campsite offers both powered and unpowered sites, BBQs, playgrounds, showers and toilets. The only catch is this is a first come, first served campsite so get in early to grab the best spot!

How to get there: Kangaroo Island is just over 30 minutes by plane from Adelaide. Once you touch down, Vivonne Bay Campground is around a 45 minute drive.

Woolshed Cave - Photo by kobajourney via South Australia Media Gallery

Talia Caves, Eyre Peninsula

The wild and rugged coastline of the Eyre Peninsula has been slowly eroded over millions of years to create the stunning sandstone caves we see today. The beauty of this natural phenomenon has to be seen to be believed. Amongst all this you will find the Talia Caves Campground. You’ll need to come prepared for this unique remote camping experience: there are no water or toilet facilities but this amazing location is well worth the lack of creature comforts.

How to get there: Talia Caves is located two and a half hours drive from Port Lincoln.

Lake MacDonnell - photo by Riley M Williams via South Australia Media Gallery

Cohen Rest Area, Penong, Eyre Peninsula

Situated only minutes from the natural phenomenon of the vibrant pink Lake MacDonnell, Cohen Rest Area is a haven for all you pooch lovers: yes, this is a dog friendly campsite! A result of the high salt content, the pink lakes are one of the most instagrammable sites in South Australia. Come and admire this natural work of art before heading out to explore the nearby Cactus Beach, one of the highest rated surfing beaches in the world. Not into surfing? Then why not come and watch the giant Southern Ocean swell with a glass of wine at sunset. If you’re here between May and September you can catch Humpback Whales making their annual migration along the coast. Cohens Rest Area is a remote campsite, so you will need to bring your own water and supplies.

How to get there: Cohen Rest Area is located around 15km west of Penong and around 5 hrs drive from Port Lincoln.

Wilpena Pound - photo by the South Australia Tourism Commission

Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges

The Crown, The Colosseum, The Amphitheatre - there are many nicknames for the jaw dropping natural phenomenon that is Wilpena Pound. From the outside, this underrated Australian icon looks like a meteor crater. It’s actually a circle of rugged mountains rising above a natural sunken amphitheatre. And at 17 kilometres long and 8 kilometres wide, Wilpena Pound is an awe-inspiring sight. There are over 300 bush campsites located nearby, a testament to the draw this place has on travellers wanting to explore this stunning area. Around 40 of these sites are powered and there are even luxury safaris for those looking for a few creature comforts!

How to get there: Wilpena Pound is located six hours drive northwest of Adelaide in the Flinders Ranges.

Kuitpo Forest - photo by Jack Brookes via South Australia Media Gallery

Kuitpo Forest, Fleurieu Peninsula

Located within the idyllic Fleurieu Peninsula, Kuitpo Forest is something out of a fairytale. Pitch your tent in the charming woodlands, before going for hikes and discovering the abundance of flora and fauna within the forest. The main campground here is called Chookarloo and has 23 campsites with basic amenities, pit toilets and rainwater tanks. This is a great place to get away from it all, snuggle up by the fire or star gaze at the crystal clear Fleurieu Peninsula skies.

How to get there: Very close to home, Kuitpo Forest is located only a short 50 minute drive from Adelaide

Header image: Photo by Amanda Bowden via South Australia Media Gallery

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