A good commercial campground, the only major issues being the price and unpredictable variation of site sizes
As we travel the wide land of Australia with our portable first home, we intend to share our findings and experiences in order to assist others doing the same. This helpful info includes reviews of all the campsites we stay at, including this one below. A full list of Australian campsite reviews can be found at this link.
Noosa River Holiday Park
Address: 4 Russell Street, Noosaville
Location: On the Noosa River, ideally located between Noosaville and Noosa Heads.
Cost for an unpowered campsite: Website states $40 per night, however we paid $252 for a 7 night stay, so discounts may apply for a stay of 7 nights or longer.
How to book: Online at NoosaHolidayParks.com.au
We would recommend pre-booking, especially on the weekends as even in the middle of winter (July), the campground were full most nights.
Nights we stayed: 7 nights, Thursday to Thursday on July 2015
A little about Noosa
Ever wonder where all those ‘Visit Australia’ adverts are filmed, with beaches that go on for days, populated by families who look like they just walked out of a clothing catalogue with streams of sunshine bouncing off their blonde hair and tanned skin? We are convinced that al those commercials are filmed in Noosa. Greater Noosa is made up of a conglomeration of small townships, each with its own character and each able to sustain it’s own tourism boom. You can safely expect to have cafes, clothing stores, ice-creameries and picturesque views just around the corner at all times.
Noosa has that unbeatable beach-vibe with an unmistakable undercurrent of money, big money. This is the playground of the rich and famous. Noosa is jam-packed with river and oceanfront properties, many of the houses for sale by the local realtor specify ‘privacy’ and ‘discretion’ as key selling points. Looking to escape the paparazzi? Join the exclusive club of those buying $6-9 million properties in Noosa.
However if you’re like us, the humble camper living out of the back of your car, Noosa has everything you need for a relaxing, and cheap(-ish) stay. The only part of our stay in Noosa that we found a bit pricey was the campsite, at just under $40 per night it is certainly the most we would ever want to pay for an unpowered piece of land. Besides this, the resourceful traveller can make their stay at Noosa just as cheap, if not cheaper than any other town along the east coast. Days spent at the beach cost you nothing, long walks in the national park cost you nothing and the layout and scenic nature of Noosa means that you will be happy to leave your car at the campsite and walk/ride your bike/ skateboard to most places.
General campground comments
This is a privately run, council-owned campsite, and as such is well maintained and serviced. It is a large camping ground with over 100 sites. There are spectacular views across the Noosa River that run along half the park, meaning that you are never far away from a glimpse of the water.
The camping ground is well suited for families and couples, however solo travellers may feet a bit lonely as there are not many communal areas to mingle with other campers. Due to this though, the campsite is a very quiet place to be, even over the weekends with no vacancies, we never had any noise trouble and felt like rowdy youths for coming back to the campsite at 11pm, when everyone else was already hitting their REM sleep.
At the time of booking, I asked for a site where we could fit our car next to the tent, which I am certainly glad about now. The variation of site sizes at Noosa River Holiday Park is large. Some sites are suitable for parking a van in, with room for your chairs outside if you’re lucky, and others are large enough for a 4WD, caravan with annex and camp kitchen to be set up.
On our first night, we arrived after reception had closed. We had called ahead to let them know this and they left us all the info we needed outside of reception. We found our site easily, however were a little disappointed with it. The site would have been large enough to park the car and set up a tent comfortable, had it not been for the two trees that sat on the site. We set up our tent and roamed the camping grounds looking for a better site to move to the next day. We spied that the site next to ours had about double the usable space as ours, and had no trees. When our neighbours left the next morning we put on our nicest smiles and asked reception if we could change sites. Reception was more than accommodating and we spend the next 6 nights on a roomy site, from which we could see across to the lake also… bonus!
It all depends on what your needs are, there are some great small sites right on the lake, which our suit campers in vans perfectly, and gives you some amazing sunset views right from your bed. For those with tents or wanting to stay a little longer and stretch out I would suggest checking out your site before paying for the whole week, especially at these prices.
Insider tip: We started on site 98 and moved to site 99. In our opinion, sites 95-99 are the best available.
Facilities and amenities
The camping ground has what looks to be a brand new kitchen, with two BBQ-style cooktops and four gas cooktops. Also available to campers are a kettle, toaster, microwave, a large fridge and as a nice touch, there is also a hand-wash dispenser in the kitchen next to the sink. The kitchen has great views cross the river and four large communal tables that everyone is happy to share. The kitchen is very rarely empty as there are 14 power outlets scattered around the kitchen that are primarily used for campers charging phones and computers. Also a great reason to opt for the cheaper unpowered site and use the kitchen for charging your electrical needs.
There are also communal BBQs in the day-use area of the camping grounds that would be comfortable to use in the warmer months, however the wind was a little high and icy for us to use them in July. Small disclaimer here, we were camping in Noosa in the coldest July the east coast of Australia, and most of the southern hemisphere had seen in many, many years. A polar front came across the region and depending on where you take your news from, this was the coldest July in the region for 10, 15 or 40 years. There were cold winds most nights which we’re told are not normal for Noosa, so the BBQs maybe completely fine to use in July next year.
There are two blocks of bathrooms, one larger than the other however both are well cleaned and both boasting very hot and comfortable showers. We never had to queue for a shower or to use the toilet and never ran out of hot water.
These are all the facilities on the grounds, besides reception that sells basic food, has free newspapers for campers and a lot of local information, a boat ramp if you require one and a dumpsite if your camper loo is a little too full for comfort.
Noosa River Camping Grounds is in a great location. Hastings St in Noosa Heads and the Noosa National Park are both within walking distance, as are the more affordable shops (inc. Woolworths and Aldi) in Noosaville. Noosa Junction; the local’s main street, is a hike, but possible if you’re motivated or have a bike.
We had everything we needed in walking distance from the tent; beach, supermarket, general stores, river walks, great sunset views, kayak and SUP board hire, walking tracks and smooth surfaces to skate around. We cannot fault the location of the camping grounds. Eating breakfast everyday on the small private beach of the camping grounds, overlooking the Noosa River was certainly a highlight.