Moreton Island, also known as Mulgumpin, is one of Australia’s most underrated adventure destinations. It’s the third largest sand island in the world and only a 90-minute ferry from Brisbane.
I spent four days camping on Moreton Island and have put together this detailed guide on how to plan the perfect trip.
It’s the Moreton Island camping guide I wish I had and it includes the best campsites, costs, how to book them, and when to go.
Where to go camping on Moreton Island
Moreton Island is 4WD territory, and you’ll need an off-road vehicle to explore the island independently.
There are two types of camping on Moreton Island: Camping grounds and Camping zones.
I prefer the camping zones, which are beachfront sites and allow open fires. On the other hand, the camping grounds have toilet facilities (composting toilets) and cold showers.
Know before you go: Tips for Moreton Island camping
- Open fires are permitted at all camping zones (unless fire bans are in place).
- Most campgrounds with toilet facilities do not allow open fires. So you’ll need to take one or the other.
- If you stay in a camping zone with no toilet facilities, you can still use the facilities at other campgrounds.
- The campsites on the west side of the island (facing Brisbane) offer the best sunset views.
- The eastern side of the island is a lot quieter and remote. But it can pick up a lot of wind.
- There are rubbish bins at The Wrecks Campground and Comboyuro Point Campground.
- All camping on Moreton Island requires prior bookings, which can be made here. You’ll also need a 4WD vehicle access permit to drive on the island.
- Proof of COVID-19 vaccine is compulsory if you plan to camp on Moreton.
Where to camp on Moreton Island: Camping grounds and zones
There are numerous campsites on Moreton Island. Sites are not pre-allocated. It’s first in, best dressed!
- North-West Zone: Best for sunsets
- The Wrecks Campground: Best for backpackers
- Ben-Ewa Campground: Best for families
- Yellow Patch Zone
- North Point Campground
- Comboyuro Point Campground
- Blue Lagoon Campground
- North-East Zone
- South-East Zone
Note: Have you heard of Fraser Island? It’s a sand island close to Moreton. Here’s my post on which I prefer – Moreton Island vs Fraser Island?
Moreton Island camping sites: West Side
The campgrounds on the west side of Moreton Island are more sheltered than the east. They also offer the best conditions for swimming as the waters are calm.
If you’re looking for sites with sunset views, choose the west side of the island.
North-West Camping Zone
- Location: Between Ben-Ewa and Comboyuro Point
- Pro: Best sunset views and open fires permitted
- Cons: No toilet facilities and gets booked out fast
The North-West Campground is the best place to go camping on Moreton Island. This beachfront zone spreads across a large area from Ben-Ewa Campground to Comboyuro Point and offers large sites for big groups or smaller sites ideal for compact setups.
The North-West Zone sits on the banks of the beach with clear waters that offer ideal swimming conditions.
Sites aren’t allocated, but don’t worry; there are plenty available. We arrived late afternoon to find that most of the best sites had been taken. We eventually found one with oceanfront views. The only downside? It wasn’t as isolated as we were hoping it to be.
The North-West Zone has no toilets, but Ben-Ewa Campground is just a short drive away and has toilet and shower facilities.
The Wrecks Campground
- Location: Close to the ferry, in front of Tangalooma Wrecks
- Pro: You don’t need a car to get here
- Cons: This beach gets very busy as it’s in front of the wreck
The Wrecks Campground is the easiest campground to access if you don’t have a 4WD vehicle. It’s a 20-minute walk from the ferry landing point, and the popular Tangalooma Resort is also nearby.
The campground sits behind a row of trees, which means they don’t offer seafront views. But you’re practically on the beach as it’s only a 2-minute walk away.
It’s ideal for tent camping only, as camper trailers, campervans, and even vehicles with Rooftop tents are not allowed. Open fires are also not permitted.
On the bright side, the sites are shaded, and toilet and shower facilities are available.
- Location: Close to ferry drop-off (before North-West camping zone)
- Pro: Sites surrounded by large trees
- Cons: Near the beach but no oceanfront views
Ben Ewa Campground is a beautiful place to go camping on Moreton Island. All the sites are nestled amongst tall trees, and it’s a lot quieter than The Wrecks.
It’s an excellent option for families due to its proximity to the beach (2-minute walk) and the ferry landing point.
Toilet and shower facilities are available at Ben Ewa. This is one of the only campgrounds that have toilet facilities and also allows open fires. But these fires are only permitted in specific sites, so confirm upon booking.
- Location: Far north of Moreton Island, close to Champagne Pools
- Pro: Remote and isolated
- Cons: No oceanfront views
Yellow Patch Campground is not the most popular campsite in Moreton Island. It’s slightly off the beaten track and doesn’t offer the best sea views.
While it has walkable beach access, the actual ocean is a far walk away. Because of this, you’ll need to get in your car to get to the swimming beach or to watch the sunset.
This is likely why it was the only campground available on the day we needed. But we were pleasantly surprised! Yes, it’s not as nice as the North-West Camping Zone, but it’s a great option if you’re looking for a remote site with open fires.
Yellow Patch is close to numerous attractions, including the surf beach, Honeymoon Bay, Champagne Pools, and Cape Moreton Lighthouse. And while it has no toilet or shower facilities, North Point Campground is nearby, which has all that.
North Point Campground
- Location: Northern tip of Moreton Island
- Pro: Large grassy sites
- Cons: Far drive from the ferry landing point
North Point Campground is one of the best places for families to go camping on Moreton Island. It boasts large grassy sites, many of which are shaded.
There are toilet and shower facilities at North Point Campground, and it’s a short walk to Champagne Pools and Honeymoon Bay.
On the downside, you don’t have ocean views, and open fires are prohibited. It’s a far drive from the ferry drop-off, so consider the travel time to ensure you don’t miss your ferry.
Comboyuro Point Campground
- Location: Campsite closest to Bulwer
- Pro: Close to Castaways shop
- Cons: Nearby swamps with mosquitoes
Comboyuro Point Campground is located northwest of the island. It’s one of the larger campgrounds on Moreton Island and offers shaded sites. There are well-maintained toilet and shower facilities.
It’s a short walk to the beach and a quick drive to the shops at Bulwer, making it an excellent option for families.
The only downside is that the sites closer to the back of the campground, near the woods, have quite a bit of mosquitoes around. I’m not sure if this is seasonal, though. This is the feedback from a few travellers, but most people we spoke to said they loved this campground.
Moreton Island camping: East Side
The eastern side of Moreton Island is beautiful and rugged. It’s not as busy as the West and ideal for travellers looking to get away from the crowds.
Blue Lagoon Campground
- Location: Noth east of the island, close to Blue Lagoon
- Pro: Offers shower and toilet facilities, as well as open fires
- Cons: No ocean views
Blue Lagoon Campground is located close to Ocean Surf Beach. You’ll need to get to the east of the island to access it and then head inland toward Blue Lagoon.
The large sites are surrounded by trees and offer easy walking access to Blue Lagoon.
Toilet and shower facilities are available. You can also have open fires here, which is a big plus.
North-East Camping Zone and South-East Camping Zone
- Location: East of the island
- Pro: Isolated and remote
- Cons: Can get windy
Campsites in the North-East and South-East Zones are spread over a large distance. Some are perched on small hills, while others are behind them, offering more shade and shelter.
It can be hard to find these sites as only a few people camp here. But they’re scattered throughout the edges of the beach.
The sites on the east side of Moreton Island are great for enjoying an early sunrise with no other people. Campfires are also permitted.
Note: The east side gets windy between June and October. It can be unpleasant if you’ve set up camp on a site that takes the brunt of the wind. I recommend checking the forecast before you arrive. If it’s not looking too good, keep your eyes out for a site behind a sand dune surrounded by trees. This may not have ocean views, but it will offer more shelter from the winds.
Costs for camping on Moreton Island
- Camping fees: $7.25 per person per night. Find out more here.
- Ferry: $130 each way for 2 people and a vehicle. Book your ferry here.
- Vehicle access permit: $58 per vehicle (1 month validity). Find out more here.
Best time to go
September to November are the best months to plan your camping trip to Moreton. The winter winds would have died down by then, and it won’t be as hot and humid as the summer months.
March to May are also good months to visit.
If you’re planning your trip for summer (December to February), watch for the weather. This is the rainy season, and the east coast has experienced intense weather storms during this time.
Moreton Island camping FAQ’s
Can you camp anywhere on Moreton Island?
No, you need to book a site at one of the registered campgrounds or camping zones on Moreton Island. The rangers check up on this.
Can I have a campfire on Moreton Island?
Yes, campfires are permitted in all beach camping zones on Moreton Island. However, check whether local fire bans are in place during your visit.
Do you need a 4WD for Moreton Island?
Yes, you’ll need an off-road vehicle for Moreton Island (and recovery gear), as it’s a sand island with no paved road access. A vehicle access permit, which can be purchased online, is also required.
Does Moreton Island have toilets?
There are compostable toilets at specific campgrounds on Moreton Island (including The Wrecks, Ben Ewa, and North Point). The beachfront camping zones do not have toilets, but you can use those at the nearby camping grounds.
Do you have any questions about camping on Moreton Island? Drop me a message in the comments section below!
Looking for more Queensland travel inspiration? Check out my other posts!