Best Campsites for Free Camping in Australia

Free camping, also known as boondocking or dry camping, is a style of camping in which you set up camp in an isolated spot without the use of any services or amenities, such as running water, power, or restrooms

Camping in this fashion typically takes place in a wilderness region or on public land, and it can be an excellent way to be close to nature while reducing the amount of damage done to the surrounding ecosystem.

It is essential to keep in mind that free camping is not always permitted, and before erecting a tent, check the local ordinances and policies in effect.

 It is permissible to park your caravan and sleep in it anywhere in Australia, however, it is not legal to park wherever you choose. Overnight parking and camping laws and regulations differ from state to state and even from council to council.

In general, unless you are at an authorized camping site or RV park, it is not permitted to park and sleep overnight in metropolitan areas. 

Some councils may permit overnight parking at a parking lot or rest area, but this is not guaranteed, so check with the local authorities to find out where you can park your caravan. 

You can park and sleep in a caravan on some public land, such as national parks and forests, but you must check with the relevant authorities to see whether it is permitted and if there are any fees.

Some areas may have defined camping grounds with facilities, but others may have designated self-sufficient camping spaces. It is also critical to determine whether a permit is required and whether there are any time limits on your stay. 

It's usually a good idea to plan ahead of time and make sure you understand the rules and regulations before embarking on your journey.

The Best Camping Spots in Australia

Dunphys Campground - NSW  

Dunphys Campground - NSW

Dunphys Campground is a lovely campground in Australia's New South Wales region. The campground is located in the lovely Morton National Park, providing tourists with various outdoor activities.

The park has 20 non-powered campsites for tents, campervans, and caravans. Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire ring, making it ideal for a family camping excursion. There are also restrooms and a playground for youngsters at the campground.

Dunphys Campground offers a tranquil and secluded camping experience in a bushland environment surrounded by eucalyptus trees. Visitors can use the local walking trails, which provide breathtaking views of the surrounding environment.

Fitzroy Falls, located nearby, is a must-see sight, with its tumbling cascade and vantage platform offering stunning views of Morton National Park.

The campground is also a famous spot for birdwatching due to the abundance of native bird species. It's ideal for nature aficionados and outdoor enthusiasts seeking a tranquil and secluded camping experience.

Please keep in mind that the campground is only open during summer and that reservations are required. It's also worth noting that there is no cell phone coverage in the region, so be self-sufficient and well-prepared when camping at Dunphys Campground.

Dunphys Campground is an excellent choice for people wishing to discover the natural beauty of New South Wales while also enjoying a relaxing camping experience. Its lovely surroundings and variety of outdoor activities make it ideal for a family camping vacation or a weekend escape with friend.

Blue Pool Campground - Victoria

Blue Pool Campground - Victoria

The Freestone Creek Camping Precinct includes nine camping spots, including Blue Pool. This is a beautiful scenic area with a large natural swimming hole that is ideal for visiting during the summer months.

A well-defined trail leads from the campground to the Blue Pool swimming hole. Each of the 12 walk-in campsites has its own fire pit and picnic table. The campground is dog-friendly and appropriate for tent camping.

Visitors seeking an additional adventure can cross the creek and trek the 2.5km Fern Gully Loop or the 6.5km Freestone Creek Walking trail.

This free site is popular and quickly fills up, especially on weekends and holidays. If the campground is full, campers should consider another location further down Freestone Creek Road.

Babinda Boulders

Babinda Boulders is a one-of-a-kind and breathtaking natural attraction in Queensland, Australia. The location is in Wooroonooran National Park and is notable for its enormous granite boulders sculpted and shaped by Babinda Creek.

The rocks are a favorite swimming and picnic location, and visitors may enjoy the creek's crystal-clear water as it rushes through the stones. Visitors can witness a variety of fish, including the endangered Saunders' gudgeon, swimming in the creek's clear waters.

It's a terrific place for a family picnic because there are various designated swimming spots with picnic tables and BBQs. The region is also popular for rock-hopping and watercourse exploration. Because the area was previously a gold-mining site, travelers who want to try their hand at gold panning flock to the creek.

The Babinda Boulders Walk, a 1.6km circuit that takes you through the rainforest to the base of the boulders, where you can witness the falling water and get a closer look at the distinctive rock formations, is also open to visitors.

The Babinda Boulders are a one-of-a-kind and breathtaking natural wonder that should not be missed. It's vital to note that the stream can be dangerous in times of heavy rain, so check the weather forecast before going, and always pay attention to the safety signs and cautions posted on the property.

Cosy Corner Campground - Western Australia

Cosy Corner Campground is a free camping area in Western Australia's Coral Coast region. A lovely place to camp and take in the area's natural beauty. The campground is located on the stunning Coral Coast, which is noted for its white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and varied marine life.

The park has ten powered and unpowered campsites for tents, campervans, and caravans. Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire ring, making it ideal for a family camping excursion. There are bathrooms at the campground, but no showers.

The Cosy Corner Campground is located on the seashore, providing tourists with direct access to the lovely Cosy Corner Beach. Swim, snorkel, and fish in the crystal-clear waters, or take a walk along the beach to see the neighboring rock pools and marine life. The campground is also a famous spot for birdwatching due to the abundance of native bird species.

The campground is open all year. However, it is a free camp spot with first-come, first-served availability. Because there is minimal cell phone coverage in the area, it is important to be self-sufficient and well-prepared when camping at Cosy Corner Campground.

Bunda Cliffs Campsites - South Australia

Bunda Cliffs are a major chunk of the bight's western end, still in South Australia but close to the Western Australian border.

When crossing the Nullarbor, there are numerous rest areas and car and truck parks along the road, many of which feature a pathway that leads from the roadside parking area to the cliffs. It is possible to drive from most of the car parks to the top of the cliffs, then go over a gravel and fairly rocky trail that continues for many kilometers, connecting the camping places. If you follow this route, proceed with caution because the cliffs are known to collapse unexpectedly.

The "52 Marker," 52 kilometers from the Western Australian border, is one of the best places to camp at the Bunda Cliffs. It's one of the nicest because of the land sticking out many meters near the campground, giving you an almost unending view along the cliffs. 

Most of the campgrounds (open places perfect for setting up a tent or parking the caravan) anywhere along Bunda Cliffs will offer a view of the ocean, but because the cliffs run in practically a straight line, getting a sight of the cliffs themselves is difficult. Another popular/recommended location is "13 Pegs"/13 Marker, which will most likely be led to you if you search for Bunda Cliffs online. The 52 Marker/Pegs Campground is 39 kilometers closer to the WA border.

Mt Conner Lookout - Northern Territory

Mt Conner Lookout is a renowned tourist site in Australia's Northern Territory. The overlook provides panoramic views of the surrounding region, which includes a large red desert and steep mountain ranges.

It is is an important cultural landmark located in the traditional area of the Arrernte people. Visitors can participate in guided tours led by local Indigenous guides who highlight the area's stories and cultural significance.

The lookout is 4WD-accessible and a fantastic place to camp, with numerous designated camping places. Visitors can also walk to Mt Conner's summit for an even better view of the surrounding area. The hike is rated as quite tough and is not suitable for inexperienced hikers.

Mt Conner Lookout is also a terrific place for stargazing and photography because of the bright night skies and secluded location, which provide superb stars and the Milky Way views.

It should be noted that the lookout is in a remote location, and visitors should be self-sufficient and properly equipped for the tough desert circumstances. Visitors should bring adequate water, food, and supplies for their journey because cell phone coverage is restricted.

Cockle Creek Camping Ground - Tasmania

Cockle Creek Camping Ground - Tasmania

Cockle Creek Camping Ground is a remote camping spot on Tasmania's southernmost coast, Australia. The campsite has tent, campervan, and trailer camping choices, as well as bathrooms, fire pits, and picnic tables. Visitors can enjoy the area's natural splendor, including the neighboring Cockle Creek, which offers fishing and swimming options.

It is also recognized as the southernmost point in Australia where you can drive and an excellent site for birdwatching. It should be noted that the campground is only accessible by 4WD and that availability is first-come, first served.

Tattersalls Campground - NSW

Tattersalls campground, located on the banks of the Karuah River and surrounded by thick bushland, is a great riverside camping area that will leave you feeling rested and revitalized.

Find a campground and pitch your tent, then walk down the riverbank and watch the birds. Look for glossy black cockatoos dining on casuarina trees along the river's bank.

This is also an excellent region for water exploration, so why don't you paddle in by kayak, or canoe, anchor your boat, and spend the night sleeping beneath the stars? Barbecues, campfires, and picnic tables are also available to enjoy an outside dining experience. Try your hand at fishing in the river and then prepare your catch. Then curl up in your sleeping bag and drift off to sleep to the tranquil sounds of the river.

JB Plain Hut and Camping Area

JB Plain Hut is the first hut you'll see after leaving Dinner Plain, barely 1.8 kilometers away from Hotham Alpine Village in Victoria's High Country.

It is a walk-in tent camping area with a drop toilet. The two-room hut is rustic inside and out, with a fireplace. It is solely for emergency usage.

Dogs are not permitted (it is in the Alpine National Park), but fires are allowed. There is some shade and mobile service. Dinner Plain has a dump point.

You may also take the Tabletop Track from here, right on the 12 km long Brabralung Trail.

Cyclists also like the trail. During the summer, mountain bikers flock to this trail.

Blizzards can occur at any time of year, but they are most common from November through May.

Chinchilla Weir Campground - Queensland

Chinchilla Weir is a free short-term camping site located 9 kilometers southwest of Chinchilla on Tara-Chinchilla Road.

Because of the minimal facilities, the camping area has a lovely bush environment and is excellent for self-sufficient campers. Only a limited number of powered sites are available, so get there early if you need one. If you don't require power, you can camp near the water's edge and enjoy an unobstructed view of the Condamine River's wildlife and bustle. There are no showers, and the restrooms are cleaned regularly. There is water available, but it is unsafe to drink. You may replenish your drinking water at the Chinchilla Visitor Information Centre.

Camping at Chinchilla Weir is free for up to two nights. Still, donations to help with the costs of providing power and general upkeep are greatly welcomed and may be left at the Chinchilla Visitor's Information Centre.

Take note of the limited mobile phone service and television reception (depending on your carrier).

This camping welcomes dogs, but be reminded that you need to be a responsible pet owner.

The maximum amount of time you can stay here is 48 hours.

Ellendale Rest Area

Ellendale Rest Area is located right off the Great Northern Highway, approximately 125 kilometers south of Derby and 90 kilometers west of Fitzroy Crossing.

The Ellendale Rest Space is a huge flat area on the highway's southern side with little shade. There are trash cans, a couple of shelters, and a composting toilet. As with all outback travel, you must bring your drinking water.

It does not have power; it is dog friendly, has campfires, and has good road access.

Mambi Island Camping Area

Mambi Island Camping Area is 46 kilometers northwest of Kununurra on the Victoria Highway, then turn right into Parry Creek Rd.

Mambi Island Camping Area includes spots nestled among the trees near the boat ramp on the Ord River's banks. There are bathrooms at this renowned fishing area, but you must carry your firewood and drinking water.

Keep an eye out for salties (crocodiles) in the Lower Ord River.

Gum Bend Lake

A tour to Gum Bend Lake, a man-made lake three kilometers from Condobolin that is 1.75 meters deep when full. Gum Bend Lake, which opened on October 22, 1988, was a project to commemorate Australia's Bicentennial, jointly funded by the NSW Bicentennial Council, the residents of Condobolin, and the Lachlan Shire Council.

The Gum Bend Lake addition was dedicated on May 20, 1990, to commemorate the centenary of Condobolin Local Government. Gum Bend Lake is renowned for water skiing, bird watching, and fishing on the neighboring Lachlan River.

Gum Bend Lake offers picnic areas, picnic grounds, free BBQs, a playground, toilet and shower facilities, free hot water, a boat launch, a specialized swimming pool, a free campsite/caravan park, walking/cycling path into town.

Ten Mile Rocks Rest Area 

Ten Mile Rocks Rest Area is immediately off the Eyre Highway, approximately 80 kilometers east of Norseman and 115 kilometers west of Balladonia.

Ten Mile Rocks Rest Location is a spacious area ideal for large rigs located approximately 100 meters from the highway. There are drop toilets, picnic tables, BBQs, and trash cans.

It offers easy road access and a maximum stay of 24 hours.


Scotts Beach Camping Area

Scotts Beach Camping Area

This campground, located on the park's southern edge, features unallocated camping for twenty cars on a level sandy beach. There is little shade, but you will be rewarded with the soothing sounds of the coastal waves pounding to shore.

  • Only 4WD is permitted.
  • Appropriate for tents and camper trailers.
  • One long drop toilet is available.
  • Campfires are permitted (seasonal fire restrictions apply).
  • Unallocated campgrounds with a maximum capacity of 20 automobiles.
  • There’s no electricity in the area.


Bedford Weir Free Camp

Bedford Weir Free Camp is roughly 27 kilometers north of Blackwater. 1 km west of Blackwater, take the Capricorn Highway exit (25 km north to Mackenzie River).

There is a large grassed area with toilets, hot showers, fire bins, and firewood, but no electricity or potable water. There are plenty of shady locations and nice fishing at the Bedford Weir Free Camp.

A children's playground and wood-fired barbecues are located in shaded sections along the river, which makes it an excellent picnic spot.

Wednesday night Happy Hour ($4.00 per person, BYO drinks, snacks provided by friendly onsite caregivers.) and Sunday morning tea.

Tiaro Memorial Park Rest Area

Tiaro Memorial Park in Tiaro is a wonderful tiny Free Camp with a 48-hour stay.

Tiaro is a tiny village in Queensland, located 27 kilometers south of Maryborough and 59 kilometers south of Hervey Bay.

The Tiaro Memorial Park Free Camp is not a large space.

There is a toilet nearby, as well as a 2-minute hot shower.

It has excellent coverage of both the Telstra and Vodafone networks.

If you're passing through the area to Hervey Bay, the Tiaro Memorial Park Free Camp is an excellent place to spend the night.

Tiaro Memorial Park is one of the best Queensland Free Camps for a road trip from Brisbane to Cairns.

Boyne River Rest Area

This landmark, located on the Boyne River's eastern bank and across the bridge as you leave the small settlement of Benaraby, is easily accessible from both ways. It offers a variety of level sites, some with shade, and is well-equipped with toilets and even cold showers. This area also has a dump point.

While nominally a resting place, this location has been permitted for overnights for a maximum of 20 hours for travelers.

The Boyne River RA is located on the Bruce Highway immediately south of Benaraby, 24 kilometers south of Gladstone, and 45 kilometers north of Miriam Vale.

It is situated right off the Bruce Highway, with a drive-through circle and lawn areas.

Toilets, cold showers, a dump station, and plenty of room for larger rigs are available.

This place has a time constraint of 20 hours. 

Carmila Beach Rest Area

Carmila Beach, Camping Rest Area, is 6 kilometers east of Carmila; exit the highway at the service station, travel the road to the end and turn right. The final 300m track can be fairly sandy and narrow, so go with caution or walk the track first.

Carmila Beach Rest Area features two toilets and a dump station but no other amenities. The estuary to the north of the camping grounds has good fishing.

There is no power, and campfires are permitted, but you must bring your wood.

At dusk, there are a few sand flies around.

It is dog friendly, but you are reminded to be responsible.

Boulders Rest Area

Boulders Rest Area is located on Boulders Rd, next to a creek, 7 kilometers west of Babinda, with signposted access from the Bruce Highway.

There are ten sites, each with a maximum of five individuals. Boulders Rest Area offers well-kept river paths, a designated swimming spot, a picnic area, and facilities in a neighboring National Parks parking area (150 meters).

Things To Remember When In Free Camping

Follow the rules   

It is essential to read and comply with any posted rules and regulations when visiting a place. Such rules affect safety, convenience, comfort, and privacy for visitors.

For instance, quiet hours are often observed in camping grounds so that people can have some peaceful time for themselves and not get disturbed by voices from other campsites. 

Fire regulations are important to ensure the safety of guests as certain items such as bonfires must be followed through in order to minimize the risk of accidents occurring. 

Finally, designated camping areas should be carefully noted so that visitors can reserve a spot for their own use without hindering others' enjoyment. Keeping these informative details in mind will surely make any visit enjoyable and safe.         

Be subtle

For many people, free camping provides a unique experience, but it is easy to forget that you are highly encouraged to be mindful of your surroundings and its species.

When free camping, strive to leave as little of an imprint as possible; avoid making loud noises, leaving lights on late at night, leaving garbage, or leaving any other type of residue that could potentially disturb animal life or other campers. 

Follow all closures and limits when free camping to avoid causing any accidental damage. 

Be aware of the norms and regulations and take care not to harm the environment unnecessarily.

Have spatial awareness

It is necessary to practice spatial awareness when free camping. This includes understanding how far you are from other campers and the guidelines for keeping a safe distance. 

Understanding the surroundings where you are camping is also important; does the area have dangerous wildlife? Are there any laws or limitations in place to protect you? This basic study can avert awkward circumstances or devastating mishaps that could be easily prevented with local knowledge. 

Spatial awareness throughout campgrounds will help ensure that everyone has a good time. Take a few minutes before setting up camp to become acquainted with the surroundings and carefully position your tent away from others. As a result, everyone may enjoy their trip while caring for and respecting their fellow campers.

Don't be fussy

Free camping is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors without breaking the bank. But don't be too finicky about it; after all, that's part of the appeal. 

You might be sleeping in a tent on rocky ground or attempting to light a campfire in bad weather, but these are all necessary ingredients for a memorable outdoor vacation. Cherish these moments, appreciate their uniqueness, and you'll get the most out of your free camping trip. 

Plan ahead of time, know what supplies to bring and any restrictions you'll need to obey, and leave no trace when you leave. This will allow future adventurers to enjoy the wonderful outdoors as well.

Be friendly

Free camping is a great way to explore the outdoors and get away from it all. It's important, however, to be courteous and friendly when camping in this way, as those visiting the area are likely to be doing so for a similar reason—to enjoy nature. 

This involves much more than being polite; making sure to observe local rules, being mindful of our noise levels, and abiding by campground etiquette will help ensure we all have a pleasant experience.

Additionally, it's always nice to acknowledge each other with a friendly smile or wave; this can often lead to conversations with fellow campers, which can make our stay even more informative and enjoyable. 

Being friendly when out free camping doesn't take much effort but pays off in spades.

Leave no trace

It is critical to leave no trace of your stay when free camping. That includes packing out any waste you may have brought with you, respecting the area's flora and fauna, becoming acquainted with fire restrictions, and ensuring that your campfire is properly extinguished before you depart. 

While camping, avoid cutting down trees or shrubs for firewood or establishing permanent structures, as this has a direct impact on the ecosystem. 

During your visit, take care not to harm any endangered plant species. All of these steps are educational and contribute to the preservation of the planet's beauty for future generations. 

Free Camping Tips For First Timers

Be water-wise

The most important factor is to be water-wise when camping in nature. Ensure that you have enough drinking water for the duration of your stay and if necessary, plan ahead to find out if there's a possibility of accessing local tank or river water. 

Power your set-up

Before setting up your camp make sure that you have all the power you need with solar panels and batteries as electricity will not always be available. 

Toilet time

Have toilet supplies on hand, as toilets may not be provided at every campground. You may also bring your caravan toilets with you to make sure you will enjoy the camping.

Finding free camps

Fortunately though, there are plenty of free campsites waiting to be claimed; it may just take some research and purchase of maps to help you find them


For meals, come prepared with adequate food - freezing items prior can help save space in your cooler.

Phone and TV reception

Bear in mind that phone and TV reception may not always be reliable depending on where you are camping. But UHF radio, TV, and phone can be an alternative whenever you want to.

Following these informative tips should help guarantee an unforgettable outdoor adventure for any first time camper.


Free camping can be an unforgettable adventure if you plan it right and bring the necessary supplies. From first aid kits to water treatment systems, packing ahead of time is key to ensure smooth sailing.

Additionally, adhere to scenic areas' regulations, exercise common courtesy around other campers, and never forget to leave no trace behind – enjoy nature responsibly!

An outdoor activity of exploration, appreciation and discovery today creates an enjoyable environment for fellow campers of tomorrow. Excitement will overcome you when equipped with the right focus and enthusiasm.

So open up your mind and spellbound yourself with the perfect preparations – there's no telling what journey awaits!