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Camping areas and caravan parks

City of Gold Coast regulates caravan parks and camping areas to ensure that appropriate and adequate facilities are provided and that they are kept in a clean and hygienic condition. It's our aim to provide compliance requirements to assist in providing a safe environment to users.

Illegal camping

It is illegal to sleep overnight in a public place within the City including in a tent, motor vehicle or otherwise. It is also illegal to set up tents or caravans (and the like), on private property such as vacant land, private lawns or commercial premises, for the purpose of sleeping overnight. However, this excludes the temporary erection of a tent on premises, at an occupied dwelling, for the sole purpose of allowing a child to camp overnight in the tent.

The City provides caravan parks and camping areas that are kept in a clean and hygienic condition, with appropriate and safe facilities for this purpose.

Applying for a new camping area licence

Select from the drop-down headings below for more information.

Is a licence required?

A licence is required for use of an area of land for the following types of accommodation:

  • camping ground
  • caravan park
  • temporary or semi-permanent accommodation for residential or recreational purposes, including occupying or sleeping in, or attempting to occupy of sleep in, a tent, caravan or vehicle.
    Note: This includes the use of semi-permanent accommodation on private land whilst being built on by the owner-builder or builder – you will need to submit a copy of the approved development permit with your application.

A licence is not required:

  1. for the temporary erection of a tent on residential premises at an occupied dwelling, for the sole purpose of allowing a child to camp overnight in the tent, or
  2. premises on which scouts or guides camp overnight in a tent.

How to apply

Before submitting your application, you should ensure the site has the appropriate development approval to prevent your application being delayed. Depending on the type, size and intended use of any permanent buildings and structures, building approval and certification from a building certifier may be required.

Once the above has been obtained, complete and submit a camping area licence application. To avoid delays in processing your application, please ensure the following supporting information is attached to your application.

  • Public liability insurance certificate of currency for at least AU$10 million (not required for owner builder camping area)
  • Site plan, detailing drawn to scale and detailing the following:
    • location and number of proposed camping sites
    • the location, number and type of sanitary facilities
    • amenities
    • buildings
    • waste facilities and servicing arrangements
    • fire safety installations
    • water supply, waste water disposal systems and on-site sewerage facilities, and
    • separation distances between camping facilities and boundaries
  • Development approval and owner builder evidence (owner building camping area only).

No fees are required for this application.

Find a link to the Camping area licence application form below.

Taking over an existing camping area

Researching the business

Prior to taking over an existing business you may wish to apply for a Health licence search to confirm there is a current approval and to ensure the existing owner is complying with licence conditions.

Find the link to our Search Request form below.

If you intend to make alterations to the site, you may need further development and/or building approval. You may apply for a full planning and development certificate (fees apply). We will contact you if additional information is required to process your application.

Transfer of camping area licence

If you are taking over an existing licensed camping area, the current licence holder may apply to transfer the approval. The land owner must be aware of the application and have granted their consent. No fees apply.

Find a link to the Camping area transfer form below.

Information for existing businesses

Amendments to a camping area licence

For changes to your business or contact information, modifying your operation or requesting a change to conditions of approval, you will need to submit an amendment application. No fees apply.

Find a link to the Camping area licence amendment application form below.

Licence renewal

Camping area licences are renewed annually (with the exception of temporary licences (e.g. issued for the duration of a special event and owner-builder camping area licences)) and are valid until 31 August each year. No fees apply for licence renewal.

Lost or damaged licence or documentation

Please note that fees apply for this request and are detailed on the application form.

Find a link to the Camping area licence – replacement approval documentation application form below.

How to comply

It is the responsibility of you and your staff to ensure compliance with all requirements of the relevant legislation, which includes:

  • Local Law No. 16.6 (Licensing) 2008
  • Subordinate Local Law No. 16.6 (Camping Areas) 2008
  • Queensland Local Government Act 2009
  • Queensland Public Health Act 2005.

The City monitors the standard of operations in caravan parks and camping grounds through a routine inspection program, the frequency of which is determined by the type of premises being operated and its level of compliance.

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