Planning a road trip through Australia requires several steps. First, you want to secure a reliable form of transportation to get you to your destination and back home. A campervan hire is an ideal way to see Australia, allowing you to enjoy a vehicle and nightly accommodations all in one. Next, you want to devise your itinerary, which depends on a variety of factors, including budget. If you want to cut down costs during your stay, seek out parks and campgrounds that allow for free camping in your RV. Use this handy guide filled with tips to help you determine where and how to camp for free throughout Australia.
- Stock Up on the Right Gear
Free camping can be done simply in a tent, but that might not provide the most comfortable accommodations. One factor to keep in mind when you camp is that free campsites might not offer much in the way of amenities. Fortunately, your campervan hire offers plenty of built-in amenities, so a bare campsite might not be a problem. To ensure that your free camping getaway is a success, make sure that your campervan is well stocked before you hit the road. By preparing ahead of time you will have an enjoyable trip and it will be a painless travel experience. You should compare your specific camping needs with what the free campsite you identify offers, and make sure you stock up on gear, food, and other items to ensure the campsite is as comfortable as possible during your stay. For example, you might want to bring extra water in case it isn’t available at your site.
- Begin Your Search for Free Camping.
Free camping exists all over Australia’s mainland in every state. While free camping might not be as widely available as campgrounds with a fee, you can find them with some research. Here are some popular free campgrounds throughout Australia, which can jump start your research and itinerary building.
New South Wales
- Wingham Riverside Reserve: Located in the small town of Wingham, this easy-to-access campground offers plenty of activities. Stays are limited to 24 hours, with about 20 camping spots — some near the river — up for grabs.
- Tooloom Falls Campground: This bush campground offers visitors access to hiking, swimming, and canoeing opportunities. It offers convenient road access and allows fires, but be sure to bring your own wood.
- Wuruma Dam: Wuruma Dam is a water lover’s paradise, offering access to fishing, swimming, and sailing. This popular campground offers plenty of free spots, but since it is gaining in popularity, show up early to snag a spot.
- Bedford Weir Free Camp: This camp is a large, grassy camping area that offers plenty of amenities. You’ll enjoy toilets, hot showers, barbecue grills, and picnic tables. Plus, this camp allows you to stay for a week.
- Ayson’s Reserve: Ayson’s Reserve is an open campground located on the banks of the Campapse River. Eucalyptus trees provide some shade, and the nearby river serves as the perfect spot to fish or canoe. A nearby boat ramp makes it easy to access the water.
- Seninis Campground: Located in the Moondarra State Park, Seninis Campground sits on the banks of the Tyers River. You’ll camp nearby scenic wildflower displays and may even see a koala napping in tree branches. This campground offers spots for picnicking, mountain biking, and much more.
- Understand the Camp Site’s Rules and Regulations.
If you’re accustomed to paying for a campsite, you might discover that the rules and regulations for a free camp are a bit different. As a result, you want to assess these rules long before you hit the open road so that you know what to expect. For example, since the camp is free, it may limit the number of days that you can stay so that others can access the free site–some allow just 24 or 48 hours of camping, while others allow you to stay for up to a week. Other rules to consider are campfires and firewood. Some areas may not allow you to collect firewood on site, so you will need to bring your own in order to build a fire. On a similar note, make sure a fire ban is not in place before you light the fire. Finally, determine whether there is on-site garbage collection. If there’s not, pack up your garbage and dispose of it when you can. You can help keep campgrounds free by respecting the rules and regulations at your chosen site.
Whether you’re travelling through Western Australia, exploring the Northern Territory, or road tripping through Queensland, you can find ample camping opportunities. In addition to discovering a free spot to park your campervan hire for a night, these campgrounds, reserves, and parks offer plenty of outdoor recreational activities, from canoeing and fishing to hiking, mountain biking, and swimming. With these tips, you can devise a road trip itinerary that maximises your budget, hopping from free site to free site as you explore everything that Australia has to offer.