Everything you need to know about camping on Stockton Beach

As a follow up to our story a few weeks back on the beach driving permit increases, we’ve now got all the information on the reopening of camping on Stockton Beach for you.

Camping is set to be reopened on a trial basis from February 15, 2019, with the aim to make it a ‘sustainable eco-tourism asset’, according to Worimi Conservation Lands group. Camping had been closed on Stockton Beach since 2012 after some of the foredunes were washed away during severe storms. Camping will no longer be free range or unrestricted, with just 15 campsites being opened up in the trial, for up to eight people each. There are plans however to increase the sites available to a total of 26 if the trial is deemed successful.

Worimi Conservation Lands have released this video as an information piece surrounding the reasons the beach was initially closed to camping, and the plans to reopen it now, in limited areas.

The map below shows the areas that will be reopened to camping, which is located just south of where the Sygna wreck once was. Of note, there is no driving permitted south of the Sygna wreck on the beachfront anymore.

Visitor behaviour will be closely monitored over the trial, with illegal camping being in the forefront of checks being undertaken by National Parks and Wildlife Service who manage the land on the Worimi Conservation Lands behalf. Financial sustainability has also been given as a key indicator for the trial.

Online bookings will open from February 1, 2019, with camping to begin from 15 February. Fees to camp at the Ganyamalbaa area will be: base site fee (two adults) $33, extra adult $16.50, child $8 and infants (0-4) free. The reasoning for pricing has been quoted as bringing fees inline with ‘similar camping areas’, however it is worthy of note that for Fraser Island, prices are just $6.55 per person per night. So for a family group, you would expect to pay $26.20 for a family of five (two adults, three children) on Fraser Island, where you’ll pay $57 for the same on Stockton Beach. Worth mentioning is that the only facilities offered on Stockton Beach is bollards and firepits, where you have access to toilets and showers on Fraser Island for half the price. You will also have to pay a beach driving permit ($88) to be able to drive to the campsite on top of camping fees.

Unrestricted camping on Stockton Beach is no longer an option, and fires can only be in designated fire places
Unrestricted camping is no longer an option, and fires can only be in designated fire places

There have been petitions already started and shared across social media platforms due to the costs of both the vehicle permits and the trial camping site costs, with many stating it is well over-priced based on similar camping sites across NSW National Parks.

The costs do beg the question, that if the National Parks and Recreation Areas of our great country are there for us all to use, is a total cost of just over $200 for access and camping fees for a weekend away a realistic price for your average family (not to mention fuel, food, gear, etc.)? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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  • To the Author Wes, Can you actually confirm that they are going to use the V6 as your article says “may”? Reading all the comments so far everyone is assuming they’ll use the V6 which makes sense it’s much better than the bi-turbo having driven both. My local dealer made a comment that the new VW badged amarok-ranger will be built on fords platform/chassis but will use VW’s V6 motor and drivetrain. Can anyone confirm they’ll use the V6? I’m really hoping they keep the V6 and 8-speed ZF auto combo that works much better than fords 2L and confused/busy 10 speed.

  • Un-fettered access for campers and 4wders to any environment has invariably led to environment degradation that ultimately requires owners/managers to take steps to restrict access and activities. We are our own worst enemies. I was devastated when my free-reign on Fraser was curtailed – no more driving up the edge of lakes. With a little more experience and observing the ever increasing damage over a relatively short period (merely a decade or 2), I now think “what were thinking, how was that ever OK?” We, as a group, cannot be trusted to be smart, aware, considerate, thoughtful or long-term thinkers so someone else needs to take control and protect these amazing places from us. I’m all for the introduction of controls that deliver sustainability. I want my kids to be able to take their kids to these places and experience the un-trashed beauty I have. That said, it cannot be a money grab that is only accessible to the more well-heeled among us. Not all 4wders and campers own $130,000 vehicles and can afford $500 for a long weekend. Camping has traditionally been the go-to holiday for those that could not afford expensive overseas trips and/or 5 star resorts. What choices will be left for them – a weekend in the back yard toasting marshmallows over a fire pit? I support the concept, and the limitations, but demand over supply is not an excuse to price gouge and exclude anybody from the opportunity. Given the location and the reduced access area, a night on Stockton should cost less than one on Fraser, not more. I won’t be going back at these prices – I can get better value for those $s elsewhere.

  • How about the fees are paid by the trucks hauling away the sand from the back of the beach. $88 to access a beach , plus more to ” camp” , which no man can predict what the weather causing the erosion will do. Another absolute laughing example of a money grab.

  • Same ole same ole once the land is gifted to the Aboriginals up go the toll booths and up go the fees, and other anti social behaviour comes into play. I’m sure they are fans of George Orwell’s 1984.

    • Gifted to the Aboriginals? They are the original custodians and they didn’t abuse the beach.
      I think we need some perspective. How much will it set you back to get to Frazer from SYD
      I’m happy to see a few other like minded campers respecting an area than a bunch of beer fueled knobs carving up the place and leave trash everywhere. Happy trails

  • Why is it when talking about brand alliances when Ford use Mazda’s products with Ford badges its always Ford Courier/ Mazda Bravo or Ford Ranger/ Mazda BT-50 when it should be the other way around as Mazda is supplying about 90% of the product.

  • What a shame that a beautiful beach like Stockton is going to be another victim to money and greed and at the end of the day we as 4wd and camping enthusiasts will have to pay the price. Seems to me price hiking across the board with anything to do with 4wding or camping these days is becoming all so common because of the increase in interest

  • If I was a betting man I would say it will be powered by a diesel hybrid engine not the poluting ones now in production Volkswagen are already having trouble meeting euro polution demands they will only get harder not easier

  • As a side comment want beach driving ??? go to Sth Aus it has some of the best in the country with very little restrictions as long as you obey the rules, my favourite is The Coorong round Beachport and Coffin Bay Area my next trip over that way will be along the coast west of Eyre peninsula

  • It seems to me that the cost is prohibitive just to camp I think it’s more about money and restrictions on access, then again I have seen some very expensive national park fees as well all over the country don’t get me started on caravan parks for families .
    The way it’s all going it will be to expensive to take the family away on that iconic 4×4 trip

    • could not agreed more. 30 odd years ago they where not interested . until port Stephens council imposed a permit system. have not been there since 2012 and will not be going back. far to expensive.

  • The NSW Parks rip-off is not only Stockton Beach, it’s all way along the coast and much of the state. What used to be a $6 or $8 pp/n charge is now $12.

    Some amenity rich caravan parks near to National Parks are now a cheaper proposition!

    I suggest this is not protecting the State asset, rather, looking after the interests of a particular lobby group.

    Methinks the exorbitant price rises may be a result of political link between the the NSW Government and the Caravan Parks Association.

  • I have been fishing Stockton since the mid 70’s. Yes there needs to be control as the quads/dirt bikes/4wd hoods were over the top. However these new charges are ridiculous. I will not be back on Stockton beach again.

  • Stockton beach camping sounds good. I notice you compare it’s fees to Fraser hardly an ideal comparison given the distance between the the two and different states. Fraser might be $6.55 a night per person but it also comes with a $120 barge ticket and a $51.60 permit fee to drive to your camp site. I think if I lived in Sydney or Newcastle area a weekend at stockton would be money well spent.

    • Fair point about the barge Mick but what about comparing to camping at Inskip Point. Toilet facilities and free range camping with campfires allowed for $6.55 per person per night or $26.20 per family per night. No vehicle permit or access fee.
      Stockton became a rip off the minute they banned camping back in 2012 and slowly but surely they have reduced access for driving as well.
      They land managers didn’t listen when thousands protested back then. They didn’t listen when thousands submitted written comments on the camping proposal when it was first released. Unfortunately this area will never be what it was and four wheel drivers have lost out to tour companies and the almighty dollar.

      • It would be good to get some off Redhead/blacksmiths. We are paying $88 as a local. It’s been free for the last 35 years I have been driving surfing and fishing off there. Yet again New Years Bogans leave and burn there cheap camping gear and rolls of carpet.

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