We all love something free! Don’t we!. What could be better than free or cheap camping. Images come to mind of a small cleared patch of land hidden in a forest or on a mountain with a river or stream passing by, or the allusive spot by the beach with the smell of sea air and the noise of the crashing waves onto that magical beach. Sadly in Australia finding that free magical beach spot is hard but not impossible. There are some coastal areas you can camp for free and others where the council ranger or park ranger will soon move you along and may even give you a hefty fine especially in the summer months. Usually the choices in coastal areas are caravan parks and national parks which vary in price with national parks usually the cheapest option. Once off the coast the free or cheap camping becomes very easy to find.
There is so many options for sourcing information on camping. Google is on the top of our list, google search, maps and images are very useful tools for researching.
Our next to favorite website is findacamp which lists campsite, caravan parks and hotels. We use the camping search with some great results and information and its free.
WikiCamps Australia, WikiCamps is an app for your smart device that is available for apple products, android and windows, the app will cost you $7.99. Between findacamp and WikiCamps you will be able to find many free or cheap campsite around Australia.
The national parks of Australia also have a wealth of information on camping with-in their parks, some campsites are free, while others come at a cost and some also have an entrance fee as well which can make it a little expensive when the costs are added up. A simple google search on national parks from each state will inform you of costs, rules and regulations.
Another great source of information is Facebook, there are heaps of groups relating to camping that have a lot of information and tips from other campers and travelers.
Council show grounds can provide cheap accommodation with amenities and powered sites. Facebook has a group who have a lot of information and members ready to help.
Road side rest areas can be a grey area at times with some stating “no camping”, some with a time limits and some with no signs at all. It is a rest area to rest from a long drive, we have stayed at many on our travels with no problems at all. Truck stop rest areas are designed for trucks only, we advise not to use these areas as it may upset and disrupt the drivers who needs to sleep between inter-state runs.
A few country towns in Australia have adopted the idea of a free camp spot near or in town, toilets and the use of showers for a small fee which is usually a dollar or two for a few minute hot shower. Some will have BBQ areas and some have power for a fee. The idea is you leave a donation to help cover costs of running the camp or to spend some money in town to help the local economy. Some towns have a totally free campsite with amenities, again its to help the local economy with the hope you spend a few dollars in town. Some areas are self-sufficient only which means you need your own toilet, grey water tank (these can be disposed of at a dump point) fresh water and take away your own rubbish away with you.
Some pubs, clubs and Vineyards, mainly in country areas also have cheap or free camps, requirements for some of the establishments is that you are self-sufficient. In hope you will spend a few dollars on a meal and a drink or a bottle or two of wine.
Farm stays are another option, a few farmers have set aside areas of their property for camping. The price here can vary from cheap to caravan park prices.
We will be adding free and cheap campsite to our blog, under categories tab from the drop down menu select free or cheap camping. HERE