Hamilton Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Whitsunday Archipelago. With its prime location in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island is great for snorkelling and picnicking. It sounds like a great place to go camping, but there’s one little snag.
You cannot take your campervan to Hamilton Island. Hamilton Island has no designated campgrounds; however, nearby islands have tent campsites. You can book these tent sites on the other islands in the Whitsunday Archipelago and leave your campervan at Airlie Beach on the mainland during your trip.
In the rest of this article, I’ll explain why you cannot go camping on Hamilton Island and discuss where you can leave your campervan during your trip. I’ll also discuss other places you can go camping in the Whitsunday Archipelago.
Why Can’t You Take A Campervan To Hamilton Island?
You can’t take a campervan to Hamilton Island because it does not have any campgrounds. Accommodation on Hamilton Island is mostly in the form of hotels and inns. To go tent camping, you will have to go to one of the other islands in the Whitsunday Archipelago.
Since Hamilton Island mostly caters to tourists who want to stay in resorts, there aren’t any campsites on the island. However, many visitors use Hamilton Island as their base area to explore the rest of the Whitsunday Islands.
Since Hamilton Island is the only island in the Whitsunday Archipelago that has an airport, it’s much easier to reach than the other islands. Most islands in the Whitsunday Archipelago are accessible only by boat. So, it’s easier to arrive at Hamilton Island from other parts of Australia and then use a boat to get to the other islands for camping.
Can You Take Your Campervan To Other Islands In The Whitsunday Archipelago?
You cannot take a campervan to any of the Whitsunday Islands. However, you can book a tent campsite on three islands in the Whitsunday Archipelago: Whitsunday Island, Hook Island, and Henning Island.
Only a few islands in the area offer campsites. However, they are usually high in demand. So, you have to book a spot in advance to get a chance to go camping in any of these places, especially Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island. You can read more about camping in the Whitsunday Islands here.
Where Can You Go Camping In The Whitsunday Islands?
Due to its close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and its beautiful sandy beaches, the Whitsunday Islands are a popular destination for campers. Unfortunately, not all of the islands have campgrounds, so you’ll have to look for a spot in one of the few campgrounds available.
These are the places where you can go camping in the Whitsunday Islands:
- Whitehaven Beach
- Dugong Beach
- Chance Bay
- Cairns Beach
- Crayfish Beach
- Curlew Beach
- Joe’s Beach
- Nari’s Beach
- Maureen’s Cove
- Northern Spit
- Steens Beach
Where Can You Leave Your Campervan During Your Whitsunday Trip?
You can leave your campervan or caravan at Airlie Beach. There are a few parking sites at Airlie Beach:
- Nomads Airlie Beach
- Backpackers by the Bay
- Big4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort
- Proserpine Main Street RV Park
- Lake Proserpine
Since most ferries to the Whitsunday Islands leave from Airlie Beach, this is a popular place to leave campervans and caravans. However, you cannot leave your campervan anywhere on the beach. There are legal RV parking sites (as mentioned above), so make sure you park in one of those spots. Illegal parking can result in your vehicle getting towed.
Some of these sites are paid parking sites, while a couple are free for a certain number of hours. Here is a quick breakdown of the amenities offered by each site.
Nomads Airlie Beach
Nomads Airlie Beach is located at 354 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach. This site offers access to the following amenities:
- Swimming pool
- Volleyball courts
As you can see, this is a cosy, comfortable place to camp overnight during your Whitsunday trip.
The cost of parking your campervan at Nomads Airlie Beach is outlined below:
- Unpowered sites: Starting at $25 per night.
- Powered sites: Starting at $35 per night.
- Key deposit (returned during checkout): $10
The base costs of these sites cover up to 2 people, with additional charges of $5 per extra person.
Backpackers By The Bay
Backpackers by the Bay is a small, family-friendly hostel that prides itself on stellar guest interaction. Run by travel enthusiasts, the main aim of the hostel is to promote guest interaction and provide quality amenities.
Here is a quick look at the cost of parking your campervan at Backpackers by the Bay:
- Unpowered sites: $16 per night.
- Powered sites: not available.
You will have access to the following facilities:
- Pool table
- Swimming pool
- Free WiFi
Big4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort
Big4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort is one of two Big4 resorts at Airlie Beach. This resort offers campsites where you can park your campervan or caravan. It also has available hotel rooms, villas, and cabins.
Here is a quick look at the cost of parking your campervan/caravan and the facilities offered:
- Powered sites: $48 per night.
- Swimming pool
- Animal Park
- Mini golf course
- Outdoor cinema
- Tennis court
- Volleyball courts
- Basketball courts
Proserpine Main Street RV Park And Lake Proserpine
Inaugurated by the Whitsunday Regional Council, there are two new RV parks on Proserpine Main Street and Lake Proserpine. The park on Proserpine Main Street is free for up to 48 hours, and the one near Lake Proserpine is free for up to 72 hours.
Unlike the paid parking spots mentioned above, these sites don’t offer much in the way of amenities. They mostly cater to self-contained vehicles. However, there is a tap and dump spot in the parks.
While you can’t take your campervan to Hamilton Island (or any other island in the Whitsunday Archipelago), you can leave it at Airlie Beach. From there, you can take regular trips to the islands. Three islands also have tent campsites, so those are the islands to target if you’re looking for an overnight camping experience.
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