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Home > Lists and Links > Resource Index > Free and low cost campgrounds > Free and low cost campgrounds NT

Alice Springs region including West MacDonnell Ranges and East MacDonnell Ranges and surrounding areas including Palm Valley nearHermannsburg have National Parks campgrounds *.  See our reviews  These campgrounds mostly charge $3.30 per person per night, but the campgrounds with showers at Ormiston Gorge in the West MacDonnell Ranges and Palm Valley charge $6.60 per person per night.  Four wheel drive access The Two Mile on the Finke River near Glen Helen where Parks fees apply; no amenities and similar at Serpentine Chalet where trailers cannot be taken. Free camping at places such as Owen Springs Reserve and theHugh River are four wheel drive only, sandy and not suitable for towing due to sandy river beds, no amenities.   Stuarts Well Roadhouse free for unpowered (powered sites available).  Curtin Springs Roadhouse on the Lasseter Highway towards Uluru free for unpowered (powered sites available), pay for showers.   Chambers Pillar, Rainbow Valley and Henbury Meteor Craters to the south of Alice Springs also all provide a basic Parks campground, but the acces track to these is suited to off road trailers only. See our reviews

Barrow Creek - New Barrow Staging Camp WWII historic site thirty kilometres north of Barrow Creek; turn east one kilometre at sign.   On Neutral Junction Station, but can be visited by responsible travellers; no amenities. 

Batchelor Litchfield National Park *.  Most Northern Territory Parks campgrounds are not suitable for caravans, although Wangi Falls has some bigger sites and this campground has showers.     

Daly Waters area Ninety kilometres east along the Carpentaria Highway, Bullwaddy Rest Area, tank and picnic shelter only.  See our review  

Elliott Longreach Waterhole Reserve twelve kilometres west of Elliott, no amenities, dirt road access including sandy stretches. Four wheel drive recommended.  Ask in town about road conditions and directions. 

Hayes Creek areaDouglas Hot Springs (near Hayes Creek) Northern Territory Parks campground *. We paid $4.50 per person per night in 2009; see our review Fenton Airfield (near Hayes Creek), no amenities.   Best access for both; turn off six kilometres north of Hayes Creek. See our reviews Update August 2013 Fenton Airbase has been closed to the public for visiting as well as camping; there is now no access. 

Hermannsburg - See  Palm Valley under Alice Springs Region.  There is further camping along the Finke River at Boggy Hole, but this is four wheel drive only access. 

Kakadu National Park - Considering the $25 park fee as well, serviced campgrounds at $10 per person per night (unpowered) are not cheap, but there are some free and low cost at $5 per person per night unserviced alternatives. See our reviews and  Kakadu National Park Camping See also Harriet Creek under Pine Creek.

Katherine - Northern Territory Roads roadside rest areas which may be convenient: King Rest Area 46 kilometres south of Katherine provides pit toilet, tank and picnic tables, partly screened from highway by trees.  Along the Victoria Highway west of Katherine 34 kilometres is King West Rest Area and a further 23 kilometres to the Limestone Rest Area.  Edith Falls in the Nitmiluk National Park has unpowered sites in a serviced campground with flushing toilets and hot showers; we paid $8.80 per person in 2009.   

Keep River National Park near the Western Australian border has two campgrounds which can be accessed by caravans, Parks fees apply *.  See our review 

Larrimah Gorrie Airfield; turn off nine kilometres north of Larrimah; no amenities. 

Mataranka - Northern Territory Parks Jalmurark campground * at Twelve Mile Yards, Elsey National Park.  Warloch Rest Area forty kilometres south of Mataranka is set back a little from the highway; pit toilets. 

Pine Creek McDonald Airfield; turn off eighteen kilometres north west of Pine Creek accessed by a loop of Old Highway; no amenities.  Harriet Creek Rest Area on the Kakadu Highway 24 kilometres from Pine Creek, around 40 kilometres west of National Park boundary, picnic area on south side of road via a large loop of old road.  Note that the former free campground at Copperfield Dam close to Pine Creek has been closed and is now a day area only. Umbrawarra Gorge Nature Park, Northern Territory Parks campground *, west of Pine Creek. 

Tennant Creek region Northern Territory Parks campgrounds at Devils Marbles and in the Davenport Range National Park at Old Police Station Waterhole (see our review) and Whistleduck Creek with NT Parks camping fees * applying at each of these .  The Pebbles Turn off ten kilometres north of Tennant Creek to Aboriginal cultural site; dirt road access five or six kilometres, toilets; free. 

Northern Territory

When travelling long distances through the Northern Territory, there are rest areas and other opportunities to pull over to rest for the night.  Most of these are close to the road and fill early during peak tourism season, so a bit of knowledge about where to get further away helps for a peaceful night.  Along the Stuart Highway there are sections of the Old Stuart Highway (check first as some are fenced off, overgrown or otherwise impassable, or may terminate and be difficult to back out of).  Many World War II heritage sites, such as the old airfields, make excellent clean and quiet campsites as well as being of historical interest but have no amenities.   Most Northern Territory Parks campgrounds are low cost. 

 

Roadside Rest Areas  Most of these rest areas are close to the highway and fill rapidly early in the afternoon in peak tourist season.   Some of the larger rest areas provide pit toilets.  These rest areas are not included in the list hereunder.

 

National Parks and other reserves  See Northern Territory Parks website for those which allow camping and the costs * where applicable.

 

Most Rest Areas and Northern Territory Parks campgrounds will not be listed unless they have been recommended to me or we can recommend them.  Check the above website to find out about other parks in the Northern Territory and bear in mind that many may not be suitable for conventional or large caravans, and some are not suitable for vehicles towing at all.   See also here for reviews of those we found enjoyable.

 

See also Questions and answers on camping from Alice Springs to Darwin and Three Ways to the Queensland border on the Barkly Highway.

 

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* See Northern Territory Parks website for camping fees and for campgrounds in other parks.
 
See also Question and Answers:
 
     Where can we camp along the Stuart Highway between Alice Springs and Darwin?
 
    Where can we camp between Mount Isa and Darwin?
 
     What are the distances between fuel stations on the Stuart Highway between Port Augusta to Darwin?

 
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