Flat Rock Tent Park Review: A Comprehensive Camping Guide

January 17, 2024 | By

Grassy campsites under the trees. Crashing waves in the distance. Roaring campfires and relaxed vibes.

Flat Rock Tent Park is one of the best places to go camping near Ballina if you’re searching for an escape into nature.

Families love it – and there’s no questioning why!

Flat Rock offers direct beach access where kids can play, and it’s also home to some of the best places to go fishing and surfing along the Northern Rivers.

I recently spent a few days at Flat Rock Campground, and despite the miserable weather and bad surf, it still lived up to my high expectations!

Here’s everything you need to know about camping at Flat Rock Tent Park, from which sites to book and things to do.

Flat Rock Tent Park review
Our camping set up on site 11 at Flat Rock Tent park

Where is Flat Rock Tent Park

Flat Rock Campground is located between Ballina and Lennox Head on the northern New South Wales coast. It’s only a 90-minute drive from the Gold Coast and 30 minutes from Byron Bay.

The location couldn’t be better – surrounded by coastal bushland and access to a quiet beach, it’s the perfect retreat.

Open fires at flat Rock Tent Park
The best park about Flat rock Campground? You’re allowed to have open fires!

What to expect when camping at Flat Rock Campground

If falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves sounds good to you, then you’ll love Flat Rock Tent Park.

While it’s not in a national park, it isn’t as crowded and commercialized as the other Ballina camping grounds and holiday parks.

There are 87 well-maintained campsites to choose from. Some are close to the beach, while others are nestled under trees, offering a more secluded experience.

Flat Rock also allows open fires, and they have excellent facilities, including hot showers and a large camp kitchen.

camping in Ballina
Angels Beach is just a short walk from Flat Rock Campground

Amenities and camping tips

  • There are two ablution blocks on the campground, both offering separate male and female toilets. They’re cleaned daily, and the hot showers are amazing!
  • There is a large camp kitchen with electric BBQ facilities.
  • Open fires are permitted; you can rent firepits and buy wood from the kiosk at the entrance.
  • Flat Rock Tent Park is suitable for tents, camper vans, and camper trailers. No caravans.
  • No noise after 10 pm, so if you’re here for a party, think again.
  • No pets allowed.
  • The sites are unpowered.
  • All sites allow you to park next to your tent.
  • During peak times, a minimum of 3 or 7 nights is required.
Camp Kitchen at Flat Rock
Camp kitchen and amenities block

Flat Rock Campsite Map

Flat Rock Tent Park map
Image credit: Flat Rock Tent Park

Which sites to book at Flat Rock Tent Park

Flat Rock Tent Park is a large campground with sites of varying sizes.

Before making my booking, I had no idea which campsite was better. I wanted to avoid being on top of other campers and preferred something that offered more privacy.

I assumed the sites closest to the beach were the best (as they’re marked as Premium), but they were fully booked.

In hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t book these Premium sites- and you’ll soon see why.

Sites 1-7

Sites 1-7 are at the campground entrance and don’t offer much privacy. They’re a great size and nicely spread.

Sites 1 to 4 are for tent camping.

Sites 8-11

best campsites at Flat Rock
Sites 8-11 are my favourites

Sites 8-11 are the best sites at Flat Rock Tent Park (in my opinion).

They’re perfect for couples or travellers who prefer more space as these sites are separated by large trees and offer more privacy.

I stayed on site 11, and while it’s not as secluded as sites 8-10, it’s a big site. The only catch is that sites 8-11 are the furthest from the beach access (but it’s a short 80 m walk).

Site 12

hidden campsite amongst trees
Site 12 is the most secluded site, but it’s not recommended for tent camping

I had initially booked site 12 as it was listed as the most secluded and remote campsite at Flat Rock Campground.

But I didn’t realize that site 12 is the only site not covered by grass.

The hard, rough ground is better suited for camper vans. Luckily, site 11 was still available, so we opted for that site instead.

But yes, site 12 is a bit further from the other sites and is almost entirely surrounded by trees. But if you’re tent camping, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Site 13-33

Flat Rock Tent park sites
Sites 15-21 were rained out during my visit, but their location is great (when the sites aren’t flooded)
  • 13-22: These sites are relatively big and quiet.
  • 24-33: They’re close enough to the beach yet don’t get as much foot traffic as some other sites. But they are close to one another.

Sites 34 – 48 (Premium sites)

Where to camp near Byron bay
Sites 34-43 are the premium sites

These sites are closest to the beach, so you’d assume they’re the best. They’re also more expensive than the other sites on the campground.

But personally, I’m glad I didn’t book them. Location-wise, yes, they’re fantastic!

But privacy-wise, no.

They’re the smallest sites at Flat Rock, and there’s not much space separating them.

They’re also the most popular sites and get booked out first. As a result, this campground section is often full, while the other side (sites 1-12) is empty. And that was exactly my experience.

But there were lots of big groups and families who were camping on sites 34 to 48. If you’re booking a few sites for a group or want to mingle with other campers, this would be ideal.

Sites 49-54

camping in NSW
Sites 49 to 54 are right of the road

Sites 49-54 are in the middle of the campground. They’re close to the toilets and camp kitchen and get a lot of foot traffic.

Sites 55-60

Sites 55-56 are close to the beach’s walkway, so they offer little privacy. As with sites 49-50, sites 58-60 are alongside the main road.

Sites 65-68

They’re big sites but are right next to the kiosk and entrance.

Sites 69-87

Flat Rock Campground Ballina
Sites 69-77 are closest to the amenities block
  • 69-79: These are large sites close to the amenities block. They’re great for bigger groups.
  • 80-87: Of sites 80 to 87, 80 and 81 are best.

Can you have fires at Flat Rock Tent Park?

Yes, you can have open fires, but they must be made in braziers or a firepit.

You can rent a brazier from the kiosk, and they sell firewood and lighters.

Visitor Information

Flat Rock Tent park beach
Beach access alongside site 43 and 55
  • Flat Rock camping costs: Range from $41 to $62 per night for two people, but the prices vary depending on the time of year
  • Check-in after 12 pm, check-out before 10 am
  • Visit their website to make your booking

Have you been camping at Flat Rock Campground in Ballina? Or are you planning your trip? Drop me a message below and let me know your thoughts.

Looking to go camping in NSW? Check out my other posts!

Carryn Beard Author Bio

About Me

Hi, I'm Carryn. Travel junkie. Nature enthusiast. Adventurer. I'm a South African expat living in Gold Coast, Australia. Join me as I explore the land down under and share stories of the best that Australia has to offer. Find out more about me here.

2 thoughts on “Flat Rock Tent Park Review: A Comprehensive Camping Guide”

  1. Thanks Carryn , I booked the flat rock camp ground based on your review.. Its my first time camping in this part of Australia and my wife is thrilled… Thanks for your review…


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