Australia So Much to See
We reach Tasmania and follow a plan to see a good cross section of the island in our short seven week visit, starting in the North.
We then explored the West, the South, the East, travelled through the historic Midlands and finally toured through the Central
Highlands. See where we camped.
Friendly Beaches Freycinet National Park. A lovely spot, with individual camp sites tucked in the bush along the beach, very
private. Not many suitable for big rigs - mostly tent sites. Occasional pit toilets. Rubbish bins provided. Lovely
beach just through the dunes. A delightful location. National Park entry fees or All Parks Pass applies and camping is fee free.
Chain of Lagoons. Near St Marys turnoff. Near beach. Flat campsites. We stopped too soon - continue
north for more spread out campsites amongst the trees. New pit toilet in that section too (there is also another entrance to
the camp at the north end). We were there on a long weekend so there were a lot of campers at our end of the site. OK
as a free camp.
Bay of Fires. A number of nice campsites along the beach to the North of St Helens. Water, dump
point and hot showers in St Helens. We chose the popular Cosy Corner North. Campers spread out on level sites amongst
trees along the beach. Pit toilets (one new latest technology in pit toilets). Lovely spot. See News for updates
Nice location in Lions Park and picnic area a few kilometres from town. Bonus: Dump point and water, flush toilets and coin
hot showers. Nice forest walks at back of park. Drawback: It is at the base of the hill on a busy highway, so very
noisy from trucks revving up the hills all night. Other than traffic noise, it is an excellent free camp.
Andys has closed.
Where did we stay in Tasmania? With many free campgrounds, particularly on the eastern side of the state, we could enjoy our
preferred style of bush camping. We were fortunate to be able to stay with friends when we arrived and this took care of touring
the northern coastline, and with other friends near Hobart which kept us in a rural environment instead of a city while looking around
Hobart and Port Arthur. Prices have been updated to 2013 prices due to price rises since our 2006 visit.
Caravan Parks chosen were quiet and outside or on the edge of towns.
On the west coast we decided to stay at Zeehan (Treasure
Island group). This looked a much nicer alternative to either the free camps near Strahan or the caravan park in that busy touristy
town. This caravan park was a small, quiet park on the edge of town, yet close enough to walk into the town (excellent museum
in Zeehan). Lightly grassed sites with level sites, some shady trees. Like most Tasmanian caravan parks it is nothingfancy, but an excellent supply of very hot water. Laundry, driers (not very efficient - like most in caravan park laundries). Camp kitchen (I didn't go and look at it). Children's playground, mini golf. Cabins. $21 powered site. Well
situated for seeing Strachan and Queenstown, in a much quieter and less "touristy" town. Most people stayed a few days and wenton the Queenstown train and the Gordon River cruise while based at Zeehan. Now $29-$30 powered site and $23 unpowered.
in quiet location near waterfront, backing onto rural land. This park was flat with lush green grass. Covered barbecue
area for campers. Friendly proprietors helpful with telling about things to do and see in the area. Present owners are
making improvements. Bonus point: Showers had floor mats provided, and rack of extra hooks (but no shelf). Inadequate
number of showers and toilets andwashing machines for the number of caravanners at the time. New cabins. Powered sites
from $32.50 and unpowered from $22.50.
Raspin's Beach, Orford, but that since has been changed to day use only.
A large campsite with several 'sections' all along the beach two kilometres to the north west of Bridport. Hard to find level or big
rig sites. Appeared to be lots of permanent or long term residents. Now around $25 - $30 seaonally for powered sites.
Overall good value in a lovely location.
Mole Creek . A small park in a pleasant rural location by a creek four kilometres west of Mole Creek. Near a road junction,
but not much traffic at night. Had to find caretaker who does not live on site to pay and get key to facilities. Additional
toilets for day picnickers always open. Laundry with one washing machine and a drier that actually worked well. Washing machine
slow due to filling time with low pressure water kept people waiting. Flat grassed area. Water is untreated straight from
the creek, and at very low pressure from an overhead tank. Not suitable for filling caravan tanks. A pressure pump provided
water to the toilets and showers and someone found a tap from this to fill their caravan tanks. Powered site $25 for two people
or $20 for one, or $20 unpowered and $10 for one. Showers at sixty cents. Bonus point: Wooden slatted floor mat in showers.
This campground can be rather wet when creek floods. Good sightseeing in the area. Overall, a pleasant place to stay.
Riana Pioneer Park (community run). Low cost. Run by local volunteers, who come around to collect fees and clean
the bathrooms each day. South of Riana in a quiet pleasant parkland. Large area, well back from the road, with no level
sites. Toilet and shower blocks in 'pioneer style buildings' of stone and weatherboard with open eaves; would be cold in winter.
Pioneer décor - basic and undecorated inside. Bonus: Slatted board in the showers. Covered picnic area, but no laundry. Updated
prices 2018 Good value at: Powered sites $20 for two, $15 for one, $3 each extra person. Unpowered sites now $12 for
two $10 for one, and $2 each extra person. Showers $1 for five minutes. Surprisingly in busy Tasmania at peak tourist
season, the park was almost empty. A member of the community comes each evening to collect fees. A very pleasant place
Free and low cost campgrounds; mostly outside of of towns, but with a couple of exceptions which were not quiet due to traffic.
Although it is not so easy to just find a spot to pull off the road like it is on the mainland, Tasmania is fairly well catered for
with free campsites (often with just a pit toilet), particularly all along the east coast. Not so many on the West coast.
These are well documented in Camps Australia Wide, and you will need this or a similar publication to find them.
Lake Pedder. Very clean flush toilets, covered picnic barbecue area. Fresh water from a tank. Lovely spot on the shores
of Lake Pedder. Boat launching. Lake is glorious at sunset and sunrise. An excellent campsite.
camping fees now apply at $13 for two. Update: The Lake Pedder camprouignds of Ted's Beach, Huon and Edgar campgrounds
are again fee FREE. National Park entry fees or All Parks Pass applies.
Conara. In the Midlands, this is a rest area not a camping ground, a bit away from the highway at a tiny and neat town.
level area, flush toilets with night lighting. Covered picnic barbecue area. Nature forest walk. Some noise
from railway and road but these are not too close. Pleasant setting and makes a very good overnight stop. Update 2015:
Toilets have been removed, 24 hour stop only. Some references show toilets and water, so they may have been reinstated.
Kempton. A free camp in a quiet and peaceful tiny Midlands town. Level sites. Highway screened by a hill so traffic
noise not noticed. Water (2 taps), Power (3 outlets). Dump point behind Shire office. A new toilet and shower
block with hot showers has been built on site since our stay, and a $10 per night fee applies to use of these amenities. Pay
$20 deposit plus fee for key at Shire office during business hours otherwise at General Store. Phone 0417501303 to make arrangement
for after hours key access. Donation honesty box for use of power. Very good free camp with the bonus of power and water available.
Black River (near Stanley) in the Peggs Beach Conservation Area. Although there is an honesty box fee of $13.00 per couple
per night, it a bush camp rather than caravan parks. A large area of campsites each privately nestled in the scrub. Only
three pit toilets for the whole area. Some campsites in the open along Black River estuary. Boat launching and fishing.
Well away from highway. A nice quiet and private campsite. Short walk to beach with views to The Nut at Stanley.
Lakes: We also stayed at a few hydro dams/lakes/lagoons. These have no facilities but often a nice view. There are
many other similar camping options.
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