If you’re heading to the very tip of Cape York, then a great place to base yourself is at Cape York Camping, Punsand Bay. Not only is this the most northern address in Australia, but it is also a gorgeous campground, with some great facilities to ensure you have a relaxing and comfortable stay. It’s pet friendly too, so a bonus for those travelling with their dogs.
While most people camp at the Punsand Bay camping ground, there is also a range of other lovely accommodation – including hotel style rooms and safari tents. So no matter what sort of traveller you are – this Cape York caravan park is the perfect base for exploring the tip!
If you’re considering staying at Cape York – Punsand Bay – then read on because we cover everything you need to know in this guide. You can also check out our YouTube video here, showing the highlights of the campground.
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- 1 Where is the Cape York Camping – Punsand Bay?
- 2 Cape York Caravan Park – Camping and Accommodation Options
- 3 Cape York – Punsand Bay Camping Ground Facilities
- 4 Cape York Camping, Punsand Bay – Our Verdict
Where is the Cape York Camping – Punsand Bay?
Located just 5km west of the Tip of Australia, Cape York Camping is the most northern place to stay on the Cape. The property is situated on absolute beachfront, overlooking the beautiful waters of the Arafura Sea and out across to the Torress Strait Islands. It is a beautiful part of the world, let alone Queensland and is the perfect place to base yourself while exploring all the attractions of Cape York.
The Punsand Bay resort is around 35 minutes from Bamaga – the nearest town where you can purchase supplies and fuel. Keep driving north of Bamaga (the nearest town to Punsand Bay) and turn into Pajinka Road. Once you reach the Croc Tent (stop in to stock up on souvenirs), turn left into Punsand Bay Road – the campground is at the end of this road.
Cape York Caravan Park – Camping and Accommodation Options
As stated above, this Cape York caravan park is perfect for all kinds of travellers, offering both campsites and a range of accommodation. Both options are briefly discussed further below.
Camping and Van Sites
The campgrounds at Punsand are expansive! There are both powered and unpowered sites on offer, as well as beachfront campsites and those set back hidden among the trees. All of the beachfront campsites are unpowered – although just a few metres back from the beach, you can still enjoy partial ocean views as well as have power. The more secluded bush campsites are all unpowered.
The property is full of large trees, providing lots of natural shade. A few campsites also have some old permanent structures on them which provide excellent shelter.
Each of the campsites is fairly spacious and provide plenty of room for everyone. So while your neighbours won’t be too far away – you’ll still feel like you’ve got plenty of space.
You’re also allowed to have fires and there are taps on the property where you can access water for drinking etc.
Other Accommodation Options
As well as camping, Punsand Bay offers a range of other accommodation options, which are discussed briefly below.
Beachfront Cabins with Ensuite
Although called beachfront cabins – these cabins are not directly on the beach but just a short walk down to the beach. These are lovely cabins for two (coming with two single beds) and come with a small ensuite and ceiling fans.
Beachfront Safari Tents
Located at the edge of the property, surrounded by bushland and with ocean views, the safari tents are another great accommodation option. These safari tents are suitable for two people coming with twin beds, have pedestal fans and a private bathroom.
For families with young children, the family rooms are the perfect options. These rooms come with a double bed and set of bunks, so can accommodate up to four people.
These rooms have air conditioning and also feature a private bathroom and a small fridge.
The family rooms are located just behind the reception area, a short walk from the restaurant and pool area.
Another option for families or those who like their air conditioning is the one and two bedroom cabins. The cabins come in a range of bedding configurations, including Queen/Queen, Queen/Twin or Twin/Twin. The cabins also feature a small outdoor area.
These cabins are spacious with a separate living area, which comes with a dining table and chairs, fridge, kettle, toaster and a microwave so you can prepare basic meals.
The cabins are located just a short walk from the restaurant and pool area.
Cape York – Punsand Bay Camping Ground Facilities
Below we briefly cover the amenities and facilities available at the Punsand Bay caravan park. Note there is no camp kitchen here.
Corrugation Restaurant and Bar
The Corrugation Restaurant and Bar is open daily serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even if you don’t stay at Punsand Bay, it’s well worth coming up here for a meal or drink at some stage. There is a range of meals on offer from burgers, steak, fish, wraps and sandwiches. The meals are delicious and well priced, considering the location.
The bar serves a range of delicious meals, but their wood fired pizzas are a bit of a specialty and they are really good too! However, they are crazy popular and we waited a couple of hours one night for hours. So if you want one – order early and be prepared to wait. Pizzas are priced between $18 and $30 and are sooooo good!
Just outside the restaurant area and overlooking the beach is a small sized swimming pool. Pretty much the entire time we were there, the pool was full of kids non stop – mind you, we were visiting during school holidays, so it may well be different during other times of the year.
The pool is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm and these hours are strictly enforced.
Within the reception area, there is a small kiosk selling a range of basic grocery items. You’ll find here things like ice, bread, milk and even bait.
Scenic Helicopter Flights
If you’re up for a bit of splurge, from the beachfront, you can take a scenic helicopter flight over the tip! This must be a popular activity as, during our stay, the helicopter was taking off non stop!
There are three amenities blocks throughout the Punsand Bay caravan park, so no matter where you camp, you shouldn’t have far to walk. The amenities blocks are fairly small, except for the one closest to the restaurant and bar area, which is a large size. During peak times, we did need to line up to use the toilets and showers – but never too long.
Unfortunately, though the toilets did block up a few times during our stay. Also the showers weren’t always hot – although it’s hot up there, so this wasn’t a real issue for us.
Within the largest amenities block, there is also a small guest laundry. Washing machines and dryers are $6 ( 6 x $1 coins) per cycle / load and washing powder can be purchased from reception.
Pets can stay with you while camping; they are not allowed to stay in any accommodation. Pets cannot venture into the restaurant or pool area, although they are permitted in the grassy area in front of the pool area.
Cape York Camping, Punsand Bay – Our Verdict
Compared to all the other places you camp along the way, Punsand Bay Cape York is by far the most expensive! However, if your budget allows it, it’s well worth staying here – it was one of our favourite spots we stayed.
It’s a gorgeous campsite with fantastic ocean views – such a shame you can’t swim here – it is croc territory. The facilities here though really make you feel like your a million miles away, in a beautiful resort. We just loved chilling around the pool area with a drink in hand or splurging on a few meals – the food is delicious.
When we were planning our trip to Cape York, we wondered if we should stay at Loyalty Beach or Punsand Bay – we decided to do half and half. While I liked Loyalty Beach and it was certainly a little nicer on the budget – if we had our time again, we’d just stay put at Punsand Bay.
So if you’re wondering where to base yourself while visiting the very tip of Cape York – do yourself a favour and stay at the Punsand Bay campground- you won’t regret it.