Archer Point camp

Free camping: how’s it measure up?

By Fiona McGee



Free camping is definitely the ultimate way to see Australia. Save money, experience more, go further. But is the privilege of free camping vanishing?

With more local councils introducing exclusion zones close to cities and even smaller regional towns, a lot of popular free camping sites have been lost in the past 12-18 months.

Travellers often assume, as we did, that there’s a plethora of free places available.  They soon realise that without forward planning and research, you end up driving around late into the afternoon to finally either camp by the side of a road or pay as much as $50 for a caravan park.

Leichardt Falls

Don’t trust the apps

From our experience, using free camping apps to find information is a good starting point, but can also be risky.  Different apps will give you varied results, with some claiming campsites are free when they’re not. Information is often not updated and can be misleading.

Let’s face it, people’s opinions can also be very subjective, so basing choices on other’s experiences is hit and miss.


The McGee’s top 10 East Coast free camping spots:

Lake Tyers, Victoria

Vyrillia Point, Cape York

Nyah, Victoria

The Bend, Coen

Archer Point, Queensland

Two Mile, Finke River

Lagoons Beach, Tasmania

Clayton, Northern Territory

Annie’s Bend, Bourke

Leichhardt Falls, Queensland