Aussie Camping 101: Dos and Don’ts

Cosy Corner South, Bay Of Fires, Tasmania

Here’s some basic courtesies with Aussie camping – if we all followed them, then perhaps more FREE camping sites would open up, and certainly less would close down.

1. Unless it is unavoidable – camp in a designated camping area or caravan park. But definitely if a place says NO CAMPING then please don’t.

Remember with rest areas with “no camping” you are still entitled to stop for fatigue breaks in your car or RV. It is not a place to hang out clothes or set up camp. Do follow signage – and remember it may change. 

2. Abide by time limits – if a sign says 3 days, or 24 hours, then move along after your time is up. This allows others to enjoy popular areas, too.

3. If you aren’t self contained, please bury your waste, and dispose of your toilet paper, too. (There’s more information in your CAMPS guides.)

4. Use dump points for your waste water – never deposit it in toilets. Public dump points are listed in the CAMPS App, and in the back of each CAMPS or CARAVAN PARKS book.

Aussie Camping 101: Dos and Don'ts: Public dump points at the Freshwater day-use area - Teewah QLD
Public dump points at the Freshwater day-use area

5. No bins at a site? No worries – take your rubbish with you. Don’t leave it there for others, like they did here in this Tassie site! Many campers and RV travellers pride themselves on leaving an area cleaner than when they arrived. 

Lagoon Beach Conservation Area sign

6. If there is a donation box, do use it! 

7. Do pick up after your pets. 

8. Do call and check conditions at pet friendly paid sites – some have seasonal time periods, others only accept certain breeds or sized animals. 

9. Hogging a communal water tap is not on. It is not courteous to hook up to a bubbler or public conveniences. Do use water points you can top up at or fill up at your caravan park or showground site etc. 

10. Leave gates as you find them. Especially for station and farm stays – if a gate is closed, close it behind you. 

11. If you are free camping at a business – do patronise the business. Buy groceries, drinks or a meal.

12. Don’t walk through people’s camps – this applies to caravan parks, but also other campgrounds.

Generator zone at Mardugal Camp - image by Overland Exposure

13. Generators – some camps are set up with generator zones for you to camp in. If not, try to camp further away from other travellers, and abide by any time guidelines.

14. If there are unallocated sites, it is unwritten camping lore “thou shalt not park on top of thy neighbour”. If you can, park further away to give each other privacy. 

15. In allocated sites, do not hammer your tent or awning pegs into your neighbour’s site. And make sure your car or other possessions are on your side. 

16. Don’t expect your camping neighbours to tolerate your loud music or party, especially if it continues after their bedtime. Same goes for early morning noise…

17. Day Parking – please don’t park over gutters, gardens and verges or claim lots of space in a picnic area. Remember there are locals and day trippers, too! 

These may seem like common sense or simple courtesies, but not everybody grew up camping or may be familiar with our customs and laws. There are plenty of official camp sites (many free), where you’ll have no fear of fines or being moved on, in the CAMPS App and guides

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