Camping near Balgal Beach with hiking

Pitch your tent on the beachfront or throw a line in the water in tropical north Queensland.

93% (1042 reviews)
93% (1042 reviews)

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Camping near Balgal Beach with hiking guide

Overview

Balgal Beach is a popular beach about mid-way between Townsville and Ingham, about 64 kilometres to the north. With a lovely stretch of sand, Balgal is ideal for camping, boating, and swimming, as well as river fishing—boaties can cross to nearby Palm Island or explore Orpheus Island National Park and its three campaign areas. In addition to private Hipcamp and campgrounds in the surrounding area, campers can find free but wildly popular beachfront camping areas run by the local council.

Where to go

Paluma Range National Park

This park offers remote bush camping for the self-sufficient, but there is also the Waterview Creek campground, close to the park entrance about 24 km south of Ingham and 91 km north of Townsville. The 3-km return Jourama Falls Lookout Walk leads through a lovely forest of poplar gum, bloodwood, and Moreton Bay ash trees. Birdwatchers may see the azure kingfisher, satin flycatcher, and northern fantail during the day, plus the southern boobook, large-tailed nightjar and tawny frogmouth by night.

Palm Island Group

For those wishing to explore deeper and head out to the Great Barrier Reef, Balgal Beach provides excellent boat ramp facilities and easy access to the Palm Island Group. There is also a ferry to Palm Island, for those who enjoy hiking or other simple pleasures.

Abergowrie State Forest

Abergowrie State Forest is about 45 km west of Ingham, in the Herbert River Valley. The 1.6-km return Rainforest Walk and the 3-km return Creek Walk take you to Broadwater Creek, a great place to camp in the eucalypt forest. Wildlife includes the vulnerable rufous owl and the endangered and unpredictable southern cassowary—keep your distance! A boardwalk leads to the enormous Broadwater fig tree.

When to go

The cooler months of the year, from April to September, are the best times to visit Balgal Beach, as summer daytime temperatures can hit 35°C and higher. Daytime temperatures and humidity can be high at any time of the year and nights can be cool. Cyclones can occur between November and April.

Know before you go

  • From November to May, always swim within the “stinger” enclosures off the beach. These are designed to protect swimmers from harmful marine jellyfish. 
  • If you are lucky enough to see cassowaries, keep your distance. These giant flightless “dinosaur” birds can deliver lethal blows with their razor-sharp talons.
  • Balgal Beach has a general store and café. Otherwise, Townsville has excellent facilities for stocking up before you go camping, plus all standard town services like a post office, pharmacy, visitor information centre, bank, and car hire companies.
  • Camping permits are required for all Queensland parks, forests, and reserves—these must be booked online and paid for in advance of arrival. Make camping bookings as early as possible.

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Hipcamp acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and future and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.