Free Camping ……. and caravanning is one of the more rewarding ways to explore and experience a place. This is especially true in a country like Australia, famous for the great outdoors.
There are plenty of campsites tucked away – but if you don’t know where they are you can easily miss them. People often assume that it won’t be difficult to find a place to stopover on a budget but soon discover it can be a lot more expensive than anticipated. Or worse, they can’t find somewhere to stop and continue driving when they are tired.
These “free camping” sites include rest areas, picnic areas, parklands or parking areas next to a business. You can also stay for free at some hotels, state forests or RV Parks – we even come across free caravan parks!
Some would only be suitable for a brief overnighter on your journey and may have a maximum time limit. Others are next to pools or rivers, with toilets and you are welcome to bring along your pets and stay for longer.
Generally, less pricey means less facilities. However, we list free camps with pools, showers, playgrounds, near boat ramps and wonderful views. Some are close to world class destinations, and Aussie icons.
In the little town of Mundoora located on a street between two councils sits the Mundoora Museum Caravan and Camping Park. You can stay by donation and the park accommodates, tents, trailers, caravans or motorhomes.
Eight Mile Creek & Birdhide – images courtesy District of Grant Council The Grant District council in SA have changed a day use only in the Port MacDonnell area to camping for self contained vehicles, as well as an extra bonus … The Day Use at Eight Mile Creek is now 72 hour free camping for self contained vehicles. There are now two sites here on either side of the inlet, the other is called Birdhide and is also 72 hours. Dry Creek Campground has river access A further spot closer to Port MacDonnell at Orwell Rocks is for 24
UPDATE May 2023: Coonalpyn Caravan Park is still free for unpowered camping, but with a fee for power & showers, using a pay wave system, and a great place to check out! Who doesn’t love a freebie! We have to give a shout out to Coorong District Council managing Coonalpyn Caravan Park also known as the Coonalpyn Soldiers Memorial Park. The park underwent some refurbishment earlier this year and council opted to charge no fees during that time, and have decided to continue that model for the time being and you will only pay as you use with a fee
Located 10 minutes from Paringa, this camping spot offers shade and great camping on the banks of the Murray River. There is a beautiful lookout close by and also a lot of decent fishing spots along the banks where campers are known to catch Callop, Carp, Yabbies and Golden Perch. If you go walk about you will most likely see a variety of wildlife such as pelicans, wrens, kangaroos and rosellas. In the warmer months you might even come across a snake, so keep an eye out to make sure you don’t get an unpleasant surprise. Don’t miss the lookout
Red Cliff Beach in SA, just 13 km south of Tumby Bay is pet friendly, with mobile coverage and a zero price and zero facilities. But you are rewarded with priceless views and abundant fishing! Fishing is best here at high tide off the points, and in the inlet. Said CAMPS Ambassador, Manda, “Daniel went fishing with a friend in his boat and they caught enough King George Whiting and squid to feed the family every lunch and dinner. Others were fishing off the rocks and spearfishing, both were also successful!” The southern end of Red Cliff is a beachfront camping area.
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