Camping on the Margaret River coast, Western Australia

Camping on the Margaret River coast, Western Australia

Picture this. You are laid back in a hammock on the porch of your resort cabin. You have paid top dollar for the room with a view. A view of the winery; the very same one which crafted the expensive bottle of wine you are currently savoring. All the while reveling in the fact that on the journey here,  you avoided the calamity of a single bug splatter on that shiny new car.

This is the way that Margaret River is most often portrayed, which is fine considering many people love the area for just that. But if you chat with the right people and look at the right maps you might just find some accommodation near Margaret River more suited to the explorer in you; and last weekend I did just that.

With a fair bit to cover from Margaret River, I have decided to do it in two parts. This post will cover the popular camping area’s, and a later post will follow with a full run down of the 4wd tracks and sights along the coast.

1: Conto’s Field Campground

DSC_9106The manner in which Conto’s got it’s name is probably the most unusual I’ve ever heard of. Apparently in the 1940’s it was a popular fishing destination for the local young blokes who’s alcoholic beverage of choice was a local wine called “Valley De Conto”. Of course there was little concept of ‘leave no trace’ back then, and so as the wine bottles piled up over the years, the area became fondly known as ‘Conto’s’.

Conto’s is massive (90 sites!) yet beautiful and nicely laid out. Facilities include flushing toilets, gas barbeques, picnic benches for each site and fire rings with firewood supplied. Conto’s is well known and easily accessible for 2wd vehicles and vans; with sealed access via Caves Road. That mean’s it’s going to be busy most of the time, and you would be very lucky to get a spot during any popular holiday period. It is so popular in fact, that a ranger has permanent residence at the entry complete with boom gates; making it more like a caravan park. Not really my style but otherwise a great spot. The extra attention and facilities will cost you a little more though, $10 per adult and still very cheap for children at $2.20 per night.

DSC_90972. Point Road Campground

This one is my favorite. Set amongst a small pocket of spectacular Karri and Peppermint tree’s about a 15 minute drive from Conto’s via a rough but easy 4wd track, the name of which is given away by the campground. There are only a handful of sites to camp at Point road, bad if you don’t get in early but excellent for the chance to get away from the crowds a little more. Facilities are not as plentiful as they are at Conto’s; only one pit dunny here, a few fire rings around the place (firewood provided) and a self registration station instead of a rangers residence. This is reflected in the fee’s though, $7.50 per adult/ $2.20 per child per night. I love that there are no bollards dictating a tiny space which you must camp in and I love the short distance and ease of access to the beach from here.

3. Boranup

DSC_8548Boranup campground is further south, easily accessed via Caves Rd in a 2wd vehicle. There are also a few options for 4wd travel to Boranup campground from Point Rd and Conto’s which I will cover in the 4wd tracks at a later date. Boranup has the same facilities as Point Road and the sites are more defined (bollarded) although not as much as Conto’s. There are 7 sites at Boranup for tents and small campervans, no caravans or camper trailers allowed. The camping fee structure is the same as Point Road as well. Boranup is where I stay most frequently due to it’s close proximity to North Point and Quoin Rock, a picturesque location with excellent fishing opportunities; and a small patch of beach on a calm lagoon perfect to spend the day with your family or mates.

BoranupPano

Want to know more about the secret lagoon? Or the epic surf breaks? Check out the 4WDing Margaret River blog post detailing our exploration of all the secret tracks to explore on your own adventure.

Happy camping!

Alex

Alex Garner

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6 Comments

  1. Mark
    April 19, 19:42 Reply
    great write up, gave me a few ideas of places to see and where to stay. i like to find those hidden fishing hot spots
    • Alex Garner
      April 19, 19:53 Reply
      Thanks Mark! There have been some absolutely incredible fish landed on both northern and southern beaches lately. Loads of Salmon, I saw a massive shark was caught this weekend too!
  2. Steve H
    May 27, 06:37 Reply
    Hi Alex just came across your site by accident today nice to see some one doing such a professional job of representing W.A I get sick and tired viewing all this crap on Fraser Bloody island or Morton. Please keep up the awesome job your doing. Just out of curiosity do you still live in or around Byford as I live in Cardup. Hope to see you out on the tracks some time. Steve H
    • Alex Garner
      May 28, 19:46 Reply
      Thanks for that Steve! I greatly appreciate comments like yours, and you’re damn right; there’s heaps of stuff coming out of the east and not enough of the west! I’m no longer in Byford, I’m 10 minutes north of there now but I’m down that way quite often. Give me a wave if you see me out and about, I’ll do my best to wave back! :)
  3. Auds
    March 06, 15:51 Reply
    Hi Alex thanks for your website - it is great for us newbies to camping. Do you know if Conto campground has a waste dump point?
    • Alex Garner
      March 21, 07:52 Reply
      Hi Auds, glad you've got some value out of the website. I don't think it does have a waste dump point, but it might be a good idea to give the Department of Parks and Wildlife a call, they're the ones who manage it :)

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