Western Australia has some of the most incredible locations to camp at in the country. Whether it’s along the 20,000km of coastline or inland next to a pristine river or lake, you’ll find some truly mind blowing places to spend a night under the canvas.
If you’ve been camping for some time, you’ve probably come across farm stays or stations that have been opened to the public for camping. Western Australia is no exception to this, and we’ve got some brilliant camping destinations on private property.
Some stations are heavily focused on tourism, whilst others are still primarily working the land and simply allow those who want to see an incredible area in. Many have facilities including running water, toilets and showers, but there are some that have none of that – so you must be 100% self-sufficient.
Either way, there is a sense of trust expected when the land managers and owners open their gates. This is their backyard and their livelihood. If you are given access, treat it as you would your own property, and look after it well. These Station stays are a huge privilege and should be treated as such. They offer some of the best camping anywhere in Australia, so let’s keep it that way!
Many of the bigger stations begin several hours north of Perth, and in this post, I’m going to share four beautiful stations that you need to camp at – all under 12 hours drive from Perth!
Our camp site at Carrarang Station, WA. Image: Aaron Schubert.
Some 500km North West of Perth lies Lynton Station, a relatively small property right next to where the Hutt River flows into the ocean. It will take you about 5 and a half hours to get there from Perth, passing through Geraldton and Northhampton. It’s located just 5km from Port Gregory, a small fishing town with a little general store and not much else.
The phrase Linga Longa at Lynton Station has been coined over the years, and I’m certain you’ll want to do just that. You can do the Linga Longa Farm Stay on the Lynton Station Heritage Site, with the option for camping, or even staying in the bunkhouse or cottage.
It’s also just down the road from the Pink Lake, which is an amazing phenomenon. Algae turns the water pink, and on a sunny day, the lake looks absolutely incredible. Kalbarri, Hutt River Province, Northhampton, Wagoe, Horrocks and Lucky Bay are all within 65km making it a perfect base to explore the beautiful region.
With flushing toilets, hot showers and a small camp kitchen, Lynton Station is like a Caravan Park with more space, more to see and at $10 per person per night it’s a steal!
The phenomenon that is the Pink Lake near Lynton Station. Image: Aaron Schubert.
Lynton Station History
Originally, way back in 1853 Lynton Station was founded as a convict depot, and housed convicts used for their labour in the lead mine. There was a bakery, depot, lockup, hospital, lime kiln and admin block, and still today many of the remains exist. The shire of Northhampton has taken over the restoration and maintenance of a very historical site.
You can visit the various remains and walk through them (some are in brilliant condition), and read about what went on many years ago, so it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re a local history buff.
A view of Lynton Station from the top of the hill. Image: Aaron Schubert.
Accessing Hutt River
If you have a 4WD, you can cross the road bordering Lynton Station and take a short, sandy track onto the beach where Hutt River flows out into the ocean (although it doesn’t always flow). The beach is unreal, as some of the sand is pink. There’s amazing dunes behind the river there and plenty of great fishing.
With the help of a 4WD, you can access the pink sands where the Hutt River flows to the ocean. Image: Aaron Schubert.
Murchison House Station
Kalbarri is a very popular tourist destination. However, most people only see what’s south of the Murchison River. If you are keen, you can travel and explore north of Kalbarri, by crossing the Murchison River onto Murchison House Station.
Stations in Australia are typically huge portions of land, and Murchison House is no exception to the rule. At a whopping 350,000 acres, it’s literally twice the size of Singapore. Want to know the best part of it though? You have access to the entire station, except where commercial activity is going on e.g. sheds, machinery, etc.
We spent several days at Murchison House, and probably explored about 10% of it. You can camp near the homestead, where flushing toilets and hot showers can be used, or head further away for a more remote camping trip. Camping is permitted both upstream and downstream of the bridge, depending on what sort of camping experience you’re after.
From riverside camping to sand dunes, rocky hill climbs, huge expanses of land and cliffs – the Murchison House Station has an unbelievable amount of variety. Inland the river is still, so it’s perfect for fishing, swimming and relaxing for the day.
The station opens each year from April to October and is closed for the rest of the year for goat mustering. 4WD tracks are second to none, with incredible views and more tracks than you can poke a stick at.
It’s $50 to access the station (if you cross the river), and $12.50 per person per night. Children are free under 16… how good’s that?
A 4WD is a great way to explore the huge Murchison Station. Image: Aaron Schubert.
If remote, truly self-sufficient camping on some of the most pristine parts of the WA coast tickles your fancy, Carrarang Station is for you. Located in the Shark Bay World Heritage Region, Carrarang Station can be found roughly 75km from the most western point of Australia – Steep Point.
Carrarang primarily operates as a station, but in past years the owners have opened it up to the public for camping. Bookings are an absolute must, and when you book an entire beach is allotted to you, and YOU only! The station is not set up for tourists – those who visit must be entirely self-sufficient and pay a small fee of $5 per person per night.
The Freycinet Inlet at Carrarang, Western Australia. Image: Aaron Schubert.
By self-sufficient, I mean everything – food, water, toilet and anything else you may need. There is nothing in the way of amenities at the station, and it’s a long way from the nearest town. The reward though, is some of the least touched coastline in WA, backing onto the Freycinet inlet and looking towards Shark Bay. The inlet is stunning and packed full of pink snapper and other beautiful fish to eat.
It’s a great place to stay at if you want to visit Steep Point and False Entrance and is easily doable on a day trip. The trek out to Steep Point requires a high clearance 4WD, low tyre pressures and plenty of fuel, but is an absolute must!
False entrance near Steep Point – arguably one of the best places to drop a line in WA. Image: Aaron Schubert.
The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland is world renown. Ningaloo, on the other hand, is much less publicised, although arguably just as spectacular. Ningaloo Reef runs from Exmouth down the coast roughly 260km, with a large majority of the reef accessible from the shore, or not too far off with a boat. With manta rays, whale sharks and a diversity of other marine life like nothing else, it’s a huge attraction.
Fortunately for us, there are a couple of Stations that exist right on the coast where the Ningaloo Reef runs past. Gnaraloo is one of these – and is found just over 1000km north of Perth. It’s hugely popular for fishing, surfing, snorkelling and wind/kite surfing. So much so, that some of the best surfers around the world come to visit in their time off!
Swimming with turtles in the Ningaloo Reef. Image: Aaron Schubert.
To get there, take the Blowholes road towards the coast just north of Carnarvon, and then head north along Gnaraloo Road. The track can be very rough and a 4WD is recommended. You’ll pass Quobba Station, Red Bluff and a salt mine before arriving at one of the more remote places to access the Ningaloo Reef.
The beauty of this though, is much fewer people visit, and the reef is in much better condition than the well trampled bits further north. The main campground is at 3 Mile, a campsite which is a couple of km south of the homestead. There are 65 unpowered sites, with basic hot showers and toilets. Rates range from $18 per person per night to $25 per person per night depending on the time of year.
You can snorkel in the little lagoon here, or explore the rest of the property by 4WD. There are several beaches you can get to, with some of the least seen, fished and photographed coastline in WA.
Balloon fishing is hugely popular off the cliffs and is done by using a big bait that bobs in and out of the water by a balloon attached to the end of your line. This attracts some of the bigger species of fish in the area, and the results are incredible, with big Mackerel, Tuna and even sailfish caught.
If you’re an avid fisherman, you’ve got to try balloon fishing at Gnaraloo station. Image: Aaron Schubert.
Enjoying Western Australia on Private Property
It really is a magic feeling to be able to access some of the best parts of the country by sitting in someone’s back yard. We’ve got a spectacular state to enjoy, and there’s something about listening to a land owner proudly explain what they’ve done with the place that nothing compares to.
I often stay at Stations all over WA and will continue to do so – maybe I will catch you out there!
Where’s the ultimate Station Camping destination that you’ve visited?