Whether you are just stopping in a roadside rest area for the night while travelling long distances, or looking for a beach or lake
where free camping is allowed to spend a relaxing week or two, there are endless opportunities in
It may be a cost factor, or it may be because you choose to holiday in the bush or in National Parks. I generally only list recognised free camping areas, as road side rest areas are well documented. Other places we have pulled of the road may not only be difficult to describe, but we cannot always be certain that it is an authorised place to stay. In most cases, if stopping to rest for the night out of the way on an old road, gravel pit or along a riverside track, where no signage to prohibit camping or stopping overnight exists and no trace other than faint tyre prints is left, you will be most unlikely to be disturbed. Some particularly good or conveniently located overnight rest areas have been included hereunder. Our camping consists of a mix of free camp grounds, National Parks camp grounds, roadside stops such as gravel pits, caravan parks and staying with friends.
For more about finding a free overnight stop see Keeping costs down – Free and low cost camping
Some places which were free when we stayed have since had charges applied or charges increased. Some have since been closed to overnight camping since our visit, and if known, these are no longer listed. To be certain, refer to recent publications such as the latest edition of Camps Australia Wide, and the updates on their website Camps Australia Wide Update Service
How low is low cost? Depending on what is offered and allowing for inflation, as at early 2011, I consider up to $10 for two unpowered in a park with a pit toilet reasonable, $15-$16 for two with services which may include showers (hot or cold only) or even power low cost, and $20 or under for two in a fully serviced caravan park with power a bargain.
In some towns Showgrounds or Sportsgrounds may offer no frills low cost camping and the money paid helps the local communities. More and more showgrounds are being closed to campers due to Government directives making this options difficult.
National Parks have only been included in this listing if the fee for two was $10 per night or less when we stayed.
Fees are for adults and children may be less than the standard fee or be free, with some parks offering a family fee. Parks,
such as in
Some of the places listed hereunder are accessed from busy highways and some are in remote areas. Self sufficiency and a suitable and well prepared vehicle and camper is required in remote areas. Where possible, we have sought places to spend the night away from traffic noise, even if it means travelling up to twenty kilometres to a place which sounds special.
Free and low cost camp grounds that we have enjoyed or visited during the day and can recommend for camping or spending the night are shown in the following listings. There are many more wonderful places in areas we haven’t visited, or ones we bypassed because we did not want to stop at that time and place or because we never knew they were there. Read about the best ones we found on the following pages.
Links to roadside rest areas on main routes in each state have also been shown, with the exception of Tasmania. To free and low cost camp in Tasmania, you do need to use a publication such as Camps Australia Wide as finding somewhere to pull off for the night is not the same as it is on the mainland. We did not see any gravel pits at all.
Main Roads WA provides a number of overnight rest areas along major highways. These have a pit toilet at minimum and some have a dump point (for emptying toilet cassettes). Some are close to the highways and some are far enough away to avoid traffic noise disturbing sleep. One hundred metres is usually adequate to dull traffic noise. Water tanks can be found at some of these, but it is recommended that water be boiled before drinking and supply is not guaranteed. Pets are permitted at most Main Roads rest areas. See WA Main Road Roadside Rest Areas
In remote locations such as the
Petrudor Rocks. Free camp 33 kilometres east of Pithara and twenty kilometres west of Kalannie. No amenities but a very old and disused looking can toilet. In a nature reserve, so pets not permitted. Plenty of places to pull off the track semi circumnavigating a large and low granite outcrop. Some shallow water collects in Gnamma holes on the granite outcrop. Visited 2009
Nerren Nerren. 82 kilometres north of the Kalbarri turnoff. A little way from the road. Pit toilets and dump point provided at this Main Roads WA free camp.
Mount Robinson 109 kilometres north of Newman
This Main Roads maintained 24 hour free camping rest area is set well back from the highway. Amenities an eco toilet and bins. Four wheel drive track or walk up Mount Robinson. Visited 2009
Des Streckfuss Rest Area. Between Port Hedland and Marble Bar; 74 kilometres from Marble Bar and 79 kilometres from the
This popular remote camping area has no amenities and is allowed courtesy of the station owner as it is on station property. From the
Billiburning Rock Reserve thirty kilometres north of Beacon. Pit toilet and picnic area. Visited 2012
Talgomine Reserve twenty kilometres east of Nungarin Talgomine Reserve Road with no amenities. Visited 2012