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My two favourite Cairns camping spots

If living in New Zealand has taught me one thing so far, it’s how much I took the weather in Cairns for granted. Sure, we’re going through the worst summer in living memory (summer being used loosely here) but with colder weather approaching fast it’s made me nostalgic for the ability to pitch a tent in winter.

There are so many different spots to explore in the Cairns are but these are the two we revisited time and time again.

Goldsborough valley campground

Yeah, having a campfire gives a place a real boost in our eyes!

Cape Kimberley

After discovering the campsite totally by accident we fell in love with the totally empty beach and lax attitude towards campfires. We celebrated an awesome New Years there and have since returned to spend many fun nights and drink many bottles of wine. If you want to see the rainforest without the crowds then this is your spot!

They offer free kayak hire for those wanting to paddle out to double island, plus the beach is the perfect spot for star gazing.

Cape Kimberley campground astrophotography

Star gazing on the beach after a bottle of wine? Bliss.

Find it: After crossing the Daintree river follow the Cape Tribulation road for 5km. You’ll see a turnoff for the Cape Kimberley road on your right. Follow a questionable looking track for another 5km until you arrive at the campground.

Cost:  $15 per person per night.

Facilities: Camp kitchen, toilet block – very, very rustic.

Tips: In the wet season it’s a mozzie fest, take bucketloads of repellant.

Cape Kimberley campground beach sunset

Not too far from the tourist hotspot of Cape Tribulation and yet? No people!

Goldsborough Valley

When we were planning a summer trip there were only two requirements for our camp location – water to cool off in, and no crocs in said water. This campground fit the bill perfectly, sitting alongside the clean and clear Mulgrave river. We fell in love from our first visit and spent many an hour after work driving here to get away from the big city (hahaha Cairns never change) for a night.

There’s the added bonus of Kearney falls just a short walk away and proper camp fire rings too (bring your own firewood!).

mulgrave river sunset goldsborough valley campground sunset

Sunset swims in the Mulgrave river. Bonus – no crocs!

Find it: It’s a 50km drive from Cairns. Turn right at Gordonvale, then a left on to the Goldsborough road – follow to the end.

Cost: $6.15 per adult per night. Booking essential, click here.

Facilities: Toilet block

Tips: Choose site number 10 – it’s the best one and has direct access to the river.

Kearney falls

Pretending to look super chill and ignore the ants crawling over my legs.


Do you have any favourite camping spots in Cairns that we should check out when we return?

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