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Alyssa Tresider
/ Categories: AU Blog

Best Freedom Camping Spots in Australia.

Australia, with its diverse landscapes and huge landmass, offers some of the world’s most scenic spots ideal for freedom camping. Free camping is the perfect addition to an Australia road trip for those wondering how to travel Australia cheaply. Whether you’re packing a campervan and hitting the road to travel solo or with friends, we have you covered with the best free camping in Australia, where you can park, unwind, and connect with nature without the hustle of crowded campgrounds.  

 

Why You Should Go Freedom Camping in Australia

Imagine waking up to the serene sound of waves crashing against the shore or birds chirping in lush forests—freedom camping in Australia offers this and so much more. This style of camping not only cuts down on costs but immerses you in settings that traditional campgrounds can’t match. Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider free camping in Australia:

  • Cost-Effective Travel: Slash your accommodation expenses and spend more on experiences.

  • Unmatched Privacy and Peace: Escape the crowds and enjoy tranquil spots all to yourself.

  • Direct Contact with Nature: These campgrounds are the perfect retreat for nature lovers.

  • Spontaneity: Moreover, freedom camping in Australia lets you spontaneously explore Australia’s vast landscapes. From the rugged coastlines of the Great Ocean Road to the Aboriginal sites of the Outback, free camping in Australia allows flexibility in your road trip itinerary planner that fixed accommodations simply can’t offer.

 

Things to Think About When Freedom Camping in Australia

While the idea of freedom camping in Australia may seem completely unrestricted at face value, the truth is you can’t simply set up camp anywhere. Here are a few things to consider when free camping in Australia.

 

Know the Rules and Regulations

Freedom camping is welcomed in many parts of Australia, but it comes with rules that vary by state and region. Always check local freedom camping Australia rules to avoid fines and ensure you're camping legally. While the details may change from place to place, here are a few general guidelines to help maintain the integrity of these natural spots and ensure they remain available and beautiful for future travellers: 

  • Adhere to Local Laws: Each area might have specific regulations regarding where you can park your campervan.

  • Waste Management: Proper disposal of garbage and wastewater is crucial to keep Australia’s free camping sites pristine.

  • Stay Limits: Some spots may have restrictions on the duration of your stay — it is important to not overstay your welcome. 

 

Be Prepared

The diverse Australian climate and remote nature of many Australia free camping sites require extra preparation. Here are a few things to consider when preparing for free camping in Australia:

  • Pack Essentials: Besides basic camping gear, include a map, extra fuel, etc.

  • Plan for Self-Sufficiency: Many free camping areas lack facilities like water and toilets. Carrying sufficient supplies is essential, and some may require that you are self-contained – be sure to check ahead.

  • Plan a few paid powered campsites: Cheapa recommends you plug into power roughly every 3 days to recharge the house battery to ensure you can operate the fridge and charge your phones, cameras, etc. So when free camping, it is important to include a paid campsite every few days where you can plug in and charge up! (for more information, check out the full guide to freedom camping.)

Image: Lachlan Gardiner

 

Respect the Environment

As a traveller making use of these free campgrounds, it's your responsibility to protect and preserve the natural beauty of Australia. Here are a few ways to respect the environment during your Australia road trip:

  • Minimise your Impact: Follow the principles of Leave No Trace to reduce your footprint.

  • Protect Wildlife: Keep a safe distance from animals and do not feed them.

  • Quiet Enjoyment: Respect other campers and locals by keeping noise to a minimum.

 

These few considerations not only enrich your camping experience but also act as a safeguard to Australia’s cherished landscapes for years to come. Now, let’s gear up and discover the top spots where you can revel in the great outdoors, free of charge and full of adventure.

 

What’s the Best Way to Explore Australia?

There’s no better way to delve into Australia’s vast and varied landscapes than in a campervan. With a Cheapa Campa, you gain the ultimate freedom to explore at your own pace. Here’s why van travel is the preferred choice for budget adventurers:

  • Flexibility and Freedom: Decide on a whim where you want to go next—no hotel bookings to pin you down.

  • Cost Efficiency: Save on accommodation and dining by using your campervan’s cooking facilities.

  • Accessibility: Reach remote areas that are tough to get to by public transport.

  • Renting a travel van also means you can carry all your adventure gear, be it surfboards for the beach or cameras for capturing stunning scenery.  

 

The Top 8 Best Freedom Camping Spots in Australia

Australia is dotted with free campgrounds offering stunning views. To help you get started, we have chosen some of the most popular freedom camping in Australia. Each of these spots — spread across Australia — provides unique natural beauty and a perfect base for exploring the surrounding area with your campervan.

 

1. Coorong National Park, South Australia

Just a short drive away from Adelaide, Coorong National Park is a slender stretch of saltwater lagoons sheltered by sand dunes, offering spectacular landscapes and diverse wildlife. Key activities in this area include:

  • Birdwatching: Home to many species, including the endangered Australian pelican.

  • Fishing and Kayaking: Explore the lagoons by kayak or try your luck fishing.

Freedom camping is allowed in designated spots, making it a prime location for those who want to wake up to serene water views. The park’s facilities are well-suited for campervans, providing basic amenities while allowing you to stay right in the heart of nature. 

 

2. Flinders Ranges, South Australia

The Flinders Ranges offers a dramatic escape into ancient landscapes perfect for those looking for free camping in Australia to soak in the Aussie Outback. It’s an ideal base to explore the natural history and Aboriginal cultural sites in the region. Highlights include:

  • Hiking and Photography: Trek through rugged gorges and capture stunning vistas.

  • Wildlife Observation and Stargazing: Spot native fauna and enjoy some of the clearest night skies.

Freedom camping is welcome in certain areas of the park, such as Chinamans Creek and Hookina Ruins, where you can immerse yourself in this iconic Outback environment.  

 

3. Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria

Wilsons Promontory National Park is a paradise at the southernmost tip of mainland Australia. With your home on wheels, you’re all set to explore this stunning park at your own pace. Otherwise known as “The Prom,” this park offers:

  • Spectacular Coastal Views and Sandy Beaches: Ideal for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing.

  • Hiking Trails: Wander through forests, climb rugged hills, or stroll along the beaches.

While overnight camping within the park requires a small fee, there are several freedom camping areas within a short drive of the park. Regardless of whether you pay the small fee or choose to wild camp nearby, this is a perfect spot to anchor and explore the surrounding wilderness.

 

4. Grampians National Park, Victoria

Grampians National Park, with its rugged sandstone mountains and rich cultural history, is a haven for adventurers and history enthusiasts alike looking for free camping in Australia. Here’s what makes the Grampians special:

  • Diverse Activities: From hiking to see cascading waterfalls to discovering ancient Aboriginal rock art, the park offers an assortment of experiences.

  • Nature and Wildlife: Encounter native wildlife and spring wildflowers in bloom.

Designated freedom camping areas within the park, such as Plantation Campground, are equipped with basic amenities, making it an ideal spot for campervan travellers looking for a base to explore the extensive network of trails. Located about three hours from Melbourne, the Grampians are easily accessible for a weekend getaway or a longer stay and offer some of the best free camping near Melbourne.

 

5. Great Ocean Road, Victoria

The Great Ocean Road is consistently ranked as one of the best things to do in Australia for a reason! This oceanside driving route winds along some of Australia’s most picturesque coastal scenery. Starting from Melbourne, the drive itself is an adventure, weaving through charming coastal towns and stunning natural landmarks. Highlights include:

  • Iconic Landscapes: View the famous Twelve Apostles and surf at Bells Beach.

  • Diverse Marine Life: Spot whales from the shore during migration season.

Along this scenic route, you will find some of the best freedom camping near Melbourne. Facilities vary, but many spots are equipped for campervans, providing a fantastic base to explore the diverse attractions along this historic route. 

Image: Visit Victoria

 

6. Jervis Bay, New South Wales

Jervis Bay offers some of the most spectacular beaches in Australia, famous for their white sand and crystal-clear blue waters. Here’s what visitors can enjoy:

  • Water Sports: Ideal for kayaking, snorkelling, and swimming.

  • Marine and National Parks: Explore the protected marine park and nearby national parks.

Freedom camping in NSW’s Jervis Bay is permitted in designated areas, providing a serene environment to experience the coastal beauty. Some top picks include the nearby Cave Beach camping area and Bundeela campground. Facilities cater well to campervans, making it a perfect spot to station yourself as you explore the natural and cultural sites. Jervis Bay is just a three-hour drive from Sydney, making it a perfect escape to NSW nature.

 

7. Rainbow Beach, Queensland

Rainbow Beach is celebrated for its spectacular coloured sand cliffs and as a gateway to K’gari (Fraser Island). Key attractions include:

  • Adventure and Leisure: Ideal for fishing, paragliding, and sand dune climbing.

  • Access to Fraser Island: Take a day trip to the world’s largest sand island.

Designated freedom camping areas along the coast provide basic amenities suitable for campervans, ensuring a comfortable stay. Located about three hours from Brisbane, Rainbow Beach is an excellent base for exploring both the beach itself and the surrounding natural wonders.

Image: Tourism and Events Queensland

 

8. Cape Range National Park, Western Australia

Cape Range National Park, located along the Ningaloo Coast, is renowned for its stunning coastal landscapes that merge rugged gorges with the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. Highlights include:

  • Snorkeling and Diving: Explore vibrant coral reefs directly from the shore.

  • Wildlife Watching: Spot kangaroos, emus, and various marine life.

There are plenty of great low-cost camping spots within the national park that offer basic facilities, ideal for campervans and nature lovers. The park is remote, located about twelve hours from Perth, but offers an unmatched connection with one of Australia’s most pristine marine environments.

 

Think Australia Sounds Like Fun?

Australia’s vast landscapes —from the rugged mountains of the Grampians to the crystal-clear waters of Jervis Bay — are laced with stunning free camping areas that make the Australia road trip a cost-effective and unforgettable adventure. For more free camping resources, check out the thl Roadtrip App. This app is the ultimate free camping tool where you can find free camping across Australia and mark them on the integrated road trip itinerary planner! 
Why wait? Book your Cheapa camper today and start planning your Australia road trip through these incredible Australia freedom camping spots. Whether you’re looking for solitude in nature or an action-packed adventure, a campervan gives you the freedom to explore Australia your way.

 

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