Using a Tent on The Beach during The Day - Is It Legal?

I recently bought the instant 4 person tent from Aldi, with the idea to use it for when I am going to the beach, as me and my family are pretty sensitive to the sun. It's pretty big and I don't see a lot of people using tents on Sydney's beaches and most of them have signs saying "No Camping".

I can't seem to find information online as it is always about camping (which always says no camping allowed on the beaches), with no mentions of temporary tent use during the day. Just to be clear - I do not plan to sleep in the tent overnight. I haven't set it up even once yet because fear of being butchered by the locals for looking like a dumb backpacker.

So, can I set up a tent on the beach and be in it during the day? If not, what kind of temporary tent/cover is allowed to set up on the beach?


Related Stores



  • +5

    It is fine.

    The term camping is applied for people overnighting. Unless you are also prohibited from erecting any form of shelter, a tent does not equate to camping hence does not equate to an offence.

  • +4

    I don't know the official answer but i doubt it would be a problem. Camping is generally sleeping overnight. Just using a tent as a sun shelter should be fine. A lot of beach shelters are very tent-like anyway.

    Having said that, it's going to get bloody hot in there on a sunny day. It probably won't be the best beach shelter for that reason.

    • The Aldi tent I have has 2 doors on opposite sides. The idea is if I keep both of them open, the air circulation should keep temperature as if it is outside. Atleast, that is what I am thinking.

      • +1

        It actually gets hotter because the tent material heats up and retains heat, weird but true. When we go camping, actually when we used to go camping, we rarely stay inside the tent during the day for that reason.

        The canopies that people take the the beach are designed to be used under sun and often have reflective designed elements to assist with heat deflection and retention.

  • +4

    So your going to the beach to sit inside a tent ?? Just pitch it in your living room or backyard and play waves music on your phone LOL

    Seriously though Aldi also have beach tents (like a dome that's open on the front) I would get that a full size tent is likely to piss some people off. Mainly as they cant see what your doing in there, you could be filming people or other stuff not appropriate for a beach ;) )

    Ohh maybe try calling the council lifeguards (I would assume it will be the same for all councils) so you can try Waverley council and see what they think:
    Contact: Lifeguard Co-ordinator 9083 8415, [email protected]

    • The tent is 2.6m by 2.2m
      I plan to always keep the door open (with the view to the ocean of course!) so people can see that I am not doing any dodgies inside.

      Good idea to call the council, they would have the official answer for this. I will give a call to couple of them on some workday.

      • Some people like dodgies.

        Some people like watching dodgies.

        Some people like uploading said videos of dodgies.

        Don't ask how I know this information a friend told me about this.

        • +2

          It sounds like someone's been pitching a tent of their own.

  • +2

    In Adelaide 3x3m is ok, bigger and you need a permit. But who’s checking anyway.

    • -2

      Adelaide is full of tents that homeless people live in.

      • Compared to?

      • Should stick to ripping fly screens with your bare hands lol

  • +1

    We have a beach tent, 9/10 times its impossible to use due to wind, hope your 4 person tent is up to the job

  • +2

    I saw an Asian family set up a pretty big camping tent on the beach…could fit 6 to 8 probably? They even brought a dustpan brush to brush the sand out every now and then. Started bringing one for my beach tent.

    • +1

      Dustpan should be in every car camping kit exactly for this reason.

    • Shoes off?

  • +3

    It’ll probably be fine. Just remember not to be a jerk and set up in front of other people. It’s a pain in the bum when you are at the beach watching your kids and someone comes along and sets up in front of you blocking your view. Set up well back on the beach and possibly outside the flagged area as well.

  • I wouldn't do it on a crowded beach but otherwise don't see an issue. Hope it came with sand pegs.

  • You might want to read this.…

    A tent will need guide ropes and pegging down, even more than the one displayed here. So that means a large space around it, will be taken up. Ok maybe at Crowdy head or somewhere on a mile long beach with a few surfers, but somewhere like Bondi?

    If the latter , you might want to bulk up on steroids, to protect your turf from sand kickers and lawyers (employed by those who trip over the guide ropes). Also you might need a pole driver for the guide rope stakes, so they go down enough to hold the tent if it gets windy.

    Remember Bondi locals are more likely to butcher you even more than, as you say, your own locals are likely to do

    Make sure you have plenty of sunscreen, as you will be out in the sun for a long time setting the thing up. You said you were sun sensitive.

    Maybe get a generator as well so you can power your radio, so you can set the sound high. Batteries won’t last long at high settings. This will ensure you can block out all the rude comments from other beach goers as they trip past your structure.

    Please let us know how well your beach trip goes, pictures/YouTube videos etc.

    I know it’s obvious, but please make sure there are no way you can be seen to be associated with Ozbargain when you pitch your tent.

  • Tents are pretty common on Manly beach and even the grassy area behind. I don't think they'd let you at Bondi but anywhere quieter shouldn't be a problem. Cronulla/Brighton-le-sands absolutely non-issue.

  • Camping is staying overnight.

    If it's a crowded beach i wouldn't do it. We are all entitled to our towel sized spot with a 1m buffer zone around it. :-)

Login or Join to leave a comment