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Home > Lists and Links > Good free and low cost camps we have found: Index to states and Western Australia
Best of the free camping and low cost camping places we have visited

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 Australia.  Be aware of weather conditions, particularly when camping near water courses, in seasonal flood plains or on ground which could become boggy if wet. Flood waters can occur from rains upstream hundreds of kilometres away. 

 

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 Queensland where the fee is $10 per person ($20 for two) will not be listed here, but shown in the National Parks list. 

 

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.

 

Other line resources for finding free camps include those listed at free camping website links
 
See more free and low cost camping opportunities listed in this website here
 
Of course, always leave your campsite clean, and pay your honesty box fees so that we can all enjoy these camps in the future.  Chose to stay in communities which offer free or low cost campgrounds then shop and support their businesses as a way of saying thank you. 
 
Remember fire safety.  In most rural areas, camp fires are not permitted during the summer months.  The risk of wildfire is great and fines apply. 
 
See more photos on Flickr

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 Eyre Highway across the Nullarbor, even rest areas that are not listed as overnight stops including those without toilets are still regularly used by caravanners.  It is unwise to drive after dark due to danger of hitting animals. 

 

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

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Galena Bridge.  A loop of old road that crosses the old Galena Bridge accesses this camp ground along the banks of the Murchison River,  thirteen kilometres to the north of the Kalbarri turnoff.  Pit toilets and dump point provided.  This popular overnight Main Roads WA free camp is a convenient distance from Perth for travellers to spend a pleasant night.  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.    

 

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Pilbara

Murchison

Wheat Belt

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

 

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Beasley River. On the Tom Price/Paraburdoo to Nanutarra road, 171 kilometres east of Nanutarra Roadhouse.  On a loop of old road which crosses the generally dry Beasley River.  Pit toilets and dump point.  A pleasant Main Roads WA free camping rest area.  Visited 2009  

 

Peawah River West Peawah roadside rest area . 92 kilometres south west of Port Hedland on the North West Coastal Highway.  An overnight rest area fairly close to the highway and on a seasonal pool of the Peawah River.  Pit toilet.   A convenient stop when heading north, although not far from the sounds of the highway.  This is now the authorised overnight rest area replacing the former overnight rest area on the Yule River 62 kilometres south west of Port Hedland (Herbert Parker Rest Area).  The latter is still used by some travellers as an overnight stop, although toilets have been removed and area fenced to keep it small and close to the highway.   Visited 2009 

 

Des Streckfuss Rest Area.  Between Port Hedland and Marble Bar; 74 kilometres from Marble Bar and 79 kilometres from the Great Northern Highway junction.  On a loop of old road which swings well away from the main road, with pit toilet and picnic shelters. Rough tracks going down to a large pool on Gorge Creek provide even better camping opportunities.  A lovely free camp.   Visited  2009

This popular remote camping area has no amenities and is allowed courtesy of the station owner as it is on station property. From the Marble Bar-Telfer Road, turn south on the Woodie Woodie road.  The track to Carawine Gorge is on the west side eight kilometres from the junction.  A dirt track leads to the Gorge.  Not regularly accessed by caravans due to its location. The layer of small stones deposited near the gorge by floodwaters are not as firm as they appear.  Visited 2009

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Quick link to States
Western Australia
Northern Territory
Queensland
New South Wales
South Australia
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Tasmania

Western Australia

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Free and low cost
Moderate cost National and State Parks
Western Australia
Northern Territory
Queensland - none listed
New South Wales
South Australia
Victoria
Tasmania - none listed
More camps >

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Carawine Gorge
Minnivale near Dowerin
Free campground at Minnivale suitable for six or seven rigs only twenty one kilometres from Dowerin; approximately fourteen kilometres east along the Goomalling Wyalkatchem Road from Dowerin, then north seven kilometres via the Cunderdin Minnivale to Minnivale Siding.  An alternative route is to head nine kilometres north east from Dowerin along the Dowerin Kalannie Road then nine kilometres east along the Amery Benjabbering Road which is dirt.  The former town site is now virtually surrounded by a nature reserve.  
 
The small campsite is beside the old tennis courts provides one now unisex flushing toilet, a dump point and hose, and a cold shower.  Shower which has been placed in what was the second toilet cubicle has no door, curtain or hooks, but a good thick rubber mat on the floor under the shower.  A few nails have been hammered into the brick walls as makeshift hooks.   I tested the cold shower and found it quite satisfactory but would not have felt the same in winter.  These facilities are not flash and a broom and loo brush is provided for visitors to use to keep them clean.  No campfires during the summer months.  A pleasant free campsite.  Visited 2012
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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

Beringbooding Rock seventy kilometres north of Mukinbudin on Beringbooding Road.  Beringbooding Rock has the largest rock water catchment tank in Australia built in 1937 and holding two and a quarter million gallons.  Recently upgraded camping area features level graveled camp sites. Picnic tables, fire places and a flushing toilet. Visited 2012
Elachbutting Rock 100 kilometres north of the Westonia townsite on Elachbutting Road. Picnic tables, fire pits, pit toilet and a roomy camping area. Visited 2012
Northern Wheatbelt Granite Rocks with minimal services