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Home > Lists and Links > Resource Index > Free and low cost campgrounds
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Are you looking for towns and districts with free or low cost camping options?  Do you need amenities or are you self sufficient?  What does Self Contained Only entail?

 

In addition to this list, consider visiting National and State Park and Forests Campgrounds. Larger Main Roads Rest Areas are suitable for overnight stops and some have toilets and a few have water tanks and/or dump points. Some of the above have been included here but there are many more.  Unless specified, you cannot camp in a National Park outside of the authorised camp grounds.  Similarly in conservation areas and nature reserves, camping is generally not permitted. 

 

Some of the bush camping options (including in some National and State Parks) listed here are not suitable for caravans, although that is noted where known.  

 

Low cost or moderate cost?  While some of the listings here such as show caravan parks and camping areas charge a fee nearer commercial rates than free, I still consider an overnight fee for two of up to $15 or $18 unpowered and up to $20 powered site very reasonable, hence where known, these have also been included together with the price.  Please consider prices can rise or free camps may be removed, and I may not always be aware of this.  Prices quoted are based on two adults without any concessions if they apply or if the low cost is due to a concession, this too been noted.  Price structure may be per site, per two people or per family.  A reduced fee for one person is very rare.  If travelling with a family, check cost basis first.  Prices may not always be up to date, and cmaping areas can be closed at any time.

 

Some Shires and communities provide free or low cost camping opportunities to encourage visitors to their towns, many of which are rural and have suffered from years of drought and ease of modern transport resulting in people neglecting local businesses to trade with larger businesses in regional centres.  Stay a while to sightsee and shop as well as meeting friendly locals in these communities to thank them for their efforts.  There may also be more community run low cost camp grounds in some of the towns within in Shires, but not being Shire run, they may have been overlooked when researching these lists. 

 

Showgrounds: In many towns, showgrounds or sports grounds have no frills camping available often at a reduced cost to match the reduced services.  Prices can vary from $5 to $25 per night for two powered site.  Some have short time limits.  Most permit pets,  Showgrounds can have conditions such as being an alternative where there is no pet friendly caravan park in town or for extra large rigs which cannot fit into a standard caravan park site, or they may be used as an overflow park in peak season when caravan parks are full. Showgrounds camping is coming under increasing pressure as some see it as unfair competition for commercial caravan parks so you may find, as we did on one occasion, that the showground you were planning to stay at has been closed to casual camping.  Most are not listed hereunder and definitive lists of showgrounds which offer camping outside of events do not exist.  Read more here about showground and sports ground camping, and where to find the best directory of showgrounds and sports grounds to find showground and sprots ground camping as most are not individually listed here. 

 

You may also find a number of rural caravan parks charging between $15 and $20 for unpowered sites and $20 to $25 for powered.  These are in line with some of the lower cost options such as Showgrounds.  Shire and community run caravan parks are usually very good value and well maintained. 

 

See CMCA RV Friendly towns listed here: CMCA RV FT for more options.

 

Members of the Caravanners Forum are contributing to a growing list of towns or camps they have found a very good deal and worth supporting:  RV FT on Caravanners Forum

 

Check out a few camps which we have enjoyed or found convenient when travelling: Free and low cost  

 

For those who prefer being alone in a bushland setting, there are plenty of opportunities to stop overnight in many rural Shires and outback areas. Unless the area is signed no camping or stopping overnight, or it is in a Shire not known for moving campers on (as in some coastalShires who have had a history of cleaning up coastal squatters shacks and messy camps), you will be unlikely to be disturbed. Disused gravel pits make lovely flat and clean camping, some old roads are left accessible and if away from the highways, will likely be quiet at night.  Public access tracks along rivers can also be a good way to find an overnight camp.  Out of town Community Halls or Sports Clubs can sometimes be accessed – ask first.  Disused country halls and schools may still be accessible and an easy spot to park for the night.  Cemetery car parks are another overnight option.  Some have toilets too if you need them.  When bush camping, always take you rubbish away with you (including toilet paper), and only light fires if in an open season and safe to do so, and ensure fire is fully extinguished.  Leave no trace.  For more about how to find a free overnight stop see Keeping costs down – Free and low cost camping

 

A town may not be listed hereunder because it has nothing to meet the criteria for following lists or it may be due to difficulties in obtaining information for that town or region.  Some Shires do not advertise their free campgrounds as they may be small or they only want a low occupancy; it is always worth asking the the Visitor Information Centre.

 

These lists are not intended to supersede other listings and publications which are more comprehensive, but are seeking to highlight towns and areas which have gone out of their way to encourage the mobile tourist by provision of services, and may give more detail (eg price and location) than other camping websites and publications. These towns and Shires deserve our support.   Many of the places listed here will be duplicated in other publications.  

Free or low cost camping

 

Western Australia 
New South Wales and ACT
Queensland
Victoria

Department of Parks and Wildlife (formerly DEC) manage camp grounds in a number of National and State Parks and on some of the former pastoral stations resumed for conservation.  Not all DPaW campgrounds are included in my lists; check link for more. See current camping fees at Western Australian National Parks and State Forest camp grounds at DPaW camping fees.  Camping fees for sites administered by DPaW (formerly DEC) have recently risen; check website to keep up to date with fees #.  In most cases, those with showers charge $10 per person per night and those without showers with amentites varying from none to a pit toilet and picnic area charge $7.50 per person per night, and concession card discounts apply.  Campgrounds in the Cape Range National Park (Ningaloo Coast) and camps in the Kimberley mostly charge the higher level fees currently $10 and $12.  Park entry fees where applicable are payable in addition to camping fees.  See DPaW park visitor fees for Park Pass prices and list of parks where entry fee apples.  Note that in most cases, a discount is given for concession cards, including Seniors Card and Pension Card.  Not all DPaW (formerly DEC) managed campgrounds are listed hereunder.   

 

Main Roads provide a number of rest areas designated for up to 24 hours resting along most major highways.  The majority of these have pit toilets and some have dump points.  Not all are listed against the towns below; just some have been mentioned by the Shires; particularly when they have little else to offer.  These are generally near the Highway and may be suitable for an overnight stop but may be subject to traffic noise.  Check the Main Roads website for listings although these lists are not fully up to date: Main Roads Rest Areas. 

 

Some Shires and/or communities have set up free or low cost camp grounds.  These may or may not have time limits on staying. These communities have done this to encourage visitors – use them and feel welcome. 

Western Australia

 

AlbanyNote: No camping or cooking fires permitted within the City of Albany (including DPaW land).  Campgrounds: Cape Riche - on coast 18 kilometres from Wellstead, community campground, toilets, outdoor cold shower as leaving beach, barbecues, caretaker onsite 98473088, 4wd boat launching, $5 per night, no pets. See more. Waychinicup DPaW campground, toilets, DPaW fees #.  NO CARAVANS.  Betty’s Beach campground, toilets, NO CARAVANS.   Norman’s Beach campground, bore hole.  East Bay Road, restricted camp sites, bore hole, NO CARAVANS.  Cosy Corner (East), camp ground, pit toilet, dump point, small rigs only. West Cape Howe National Park (Shelley Beach) DPaW campground, DPaW fees #, pit toilet, barbecue, tents or small to medium campervans only; strictly no caravans or trailers.  Flood Gates (Torbay Inlet Road, Torbay) camping, 4wd recommended. Boat HarbourWellstead, 4wd access and not suitable for caravans, toilets.  Millers Point accessed via Millers Point Road from the Bremer Bay Road; on the Beaufort Inlet (Pallinup River Estuary) with pit toilets only at $5 per night collected by a Ranger. 

Augusta - see Karridale

Arrino - The Shire of Three Springs has a free short stay facility at Arrino, fifteen kilometres north of Three Springs on the  Midlands RoadThis has a unisex disability access toilet and scheme water available.  

Balingup - Transit Park with power and amenities.  Fees apply ($20 per night powered site but check current pricing at the Store).  See General Store in the main street or phone 0897641051.

Beacon - The Beacon Caravan Park is located in Lucas Street opposite the information bay and within walking distance of the local business and town facilities. The park provides both powered and un-powered sites as well as three well-equipped self-contained cabins. There is a modern ablution block which includes a disability access toilet, shower and laundry as well as a barbecue area with a gazebo and grassed area. Cabins: start at $88.00 per night, powered sites $25.00 or $150 per week, with a $10 local (Beacon and Bencubbin) shopping voucher per night (up to five vouchers), unpowered sites $11.00 or $44 per week, with a $10 local shopping voucher per week. Community member comes around to collect; cash only no cards. Phone 08 96861140 or 0429208175.  Billiburning Rock Reserve thirty kilometres north of Beacon.  Pit toilet and picnic area.  Free.

Bencubbin – Close to town and all bookings are made through the Shire of Mount Marshall. The Bencubbin Caravan Park offers a shared ablution block for both powered and unpowered caravan sites as well as two fully self contained units. Unpowered sites $11 per night ($44 per week) and powered sites $26 ($155 weekly). Bencubbin - Kellerberrin Road, Bencubbin. Phone 08 96851202 Email: admin@mtmarshall.wa.gov.auMarshall Rock ten kilometres south of Bencubbin on Marshall Road. Pit toilet and picnic area. Fires permitted outside of prohibited burning season, must bring own wood.  Free.

Bindoon - 10 sites at Visitor Centre and a further 20 sites at sports oval, with both having power, toilets and hot showers for $20. Pets permitted. Book at Visitor Centre/Post Office 08 95761020 for the oval where a discount applies for groups of 10 rigs or more when booked.  The oval is subject to availability when not in use for sporting events. 

Boddington - Camping area located along the Harvey-Quindanning Road near the Murray River.  Small rigs only, access not suited to caravans.  Rubbish bins provided. 

Boyup BrookFlax Mill Caravan Park prices start at $18 for unpowered sites for two, plus the option of paddock camping $11 for two for self contained.  See also Dinninup, Heartlea, Kulikup, North Dinninup, Mayanup and Tone Bridge for free camping options.  Note: No campfires in the Boyup Brook Shire October to April. 

Bremer Bay - see Albany for Cape Riche, Wellstead and  Millers Point, which are all on the coast between Albany and Bremer Bay.

Bruce Rock - Note: A new campground at Kwolyin nine kilometres from Kokerbin Rock is now open, flushing toilets, barbecues and picnic tables.  You can light a fire unless it’s the prohibited or banned fire season but you have to bring your own firewood. This free camping area is approximately forty kilometres west of Bruce Rock on the Bruce Rock-Quairading Road and 37 kilometres east of Quairading; turn onto Kwolyin West Road.  Kwolyin is approximately forty kilometres south of Kellerberrin.  Kokerbin Rock is the third largest Monolith in Australia and camping at the rock is no longer permitted.

Bunbury -Leschenault Peninsula Conservation Park to the north of Bunbury.  DPaW fees # for campgrounds at both The Cut (no road access) andBelvidere (suitable for caravans).  

Burracoppin (Merredin Shire) - The townsite of Burracoppin to the east of Merredin has a rest area site just off the Highway (south) in front of the Burracoppin Hotel which can accommodate large vehicles. Caravans and motor homes can park overnight. It has a single toilet and a gazebo/picnic area. There is room for large rigs but the surface is not sealed so precautions should be taken in wet weather as the ground may become soft and boggy.

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A quiet place for the night can be relatively easy to find.
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Carnarvon – Free camping at Bush Bay and New Beach, own toilet required. Sullage tanks provided. Rubbish disposal. No amenities or water, pets permitted on a lead.  Approximately forty kilometres south of Carnarvon, dirt road access.  Low lying and subject to high tides; mangrove coastline.  Quobba Blowholes – 72 kilometres north of Carnarvon at a sheltered bay with a lovely swimming beach.  $11 per person per night ($8 for seniors and children free) payable by honesty box.  Phone Shire Rangers 0408 942945 to check if sites are available. No amenities or water. Near Blowholes.  Must have own toilet.    
Cervantes - (Shire of Dandaragan).  Camping for self contained at; Drummonds Reserve, Bibby Road for 72 hours, Tuarts Reserve, Cervantes Road for 72 hours, Hakea Reserve, Bibby Road for 24 hours and Banksia Reserve, Cervantes Road for 24 hours
Chittering - seeLower Chittering

Cleaverville (on the coast near Karratha) -  Accessed by nineteen kilometre dirt road, leaving the north West Coastal Highway seven kilometres north of Karratha.  Campsites spread along coastline.  Picnic shelters, toilets, rubbish collection point, sullage disposal point and dump point (in peak season).  Fees apply May to October $15 per night with discounts for longer stays.  Stays limited to 28 days in a three month period.  Check Shire website for up to date prices.  Gets crowded.  Free with three day limit stays off peak season. 

Gladstone – 110 kilometres south of Carnarvon.  Historic former port once used for exporting sandalwood.  Pit toilet, no water.  $11 per person per night ($8 for seniors and children free) payable by honesty box.  Dirt road access across low lying land – not suitable for wet weather.

Condingup - Free camping at recreation complex in Condingup; a tiny rural centre (east of Esperance), toilets. 

Coolgardie - Between Coolgardie and Yellowdine, in the Boorabbin National Park approximately eighty kilometres west of Coolgardie and a couple of kilometres north of the Great Eastern Highway, Boondi Rock campground is a small campground near a large granite outcrop and dam. Suitable for caravans.  Facilities include toilets and picnic tables.  Bring your own drinking water and firewood.  No dogs permitted.  DPaW fees #. Koorarawalyee Main Roads 24 hour Rest Area 114 kilometres west of Coolgardie or 65 kilometres east of Southern Cross and 47 kilometres east of Yellowdine on the north side of the Highway is a roomy free overnight rest area with toilets and dump point. To the south of Coolgardie are free campgrounds at Victoria Rock, Burra Rock and Cave Hill Rock all with pit toilets only.  Dirt Road access to these rocks.  See our report on these camps here 
Corrigin - Gorge Rock is a free camping area with no facilities or bins, please take all rubbish with you. Gorge Rock is approximately twenty kilometres east of Corrigin and has a natural rock pool (no swimming). 

Cue - Free camping at Lake Nallan reserve south side of lake, 24 kilometres north of Cue. No amenities. 48 hour limit.  See our review

17/05/2017
 
 
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