Finding free camping spots

Cut costs without cutting your adventure short.

Many campsites, particularly those around cities or towns, charge for camping in the vicinity. For the financially savvy campers hoping to experience as much of Australia’s landscape as possible, there are still a number of free camping spots spread throughout the country. The key to finding these relatively untouched locations is research.

Free campsites are typically found in the more remote or secluded areas of Australia and can be a good way to avoid busy crowds and tightly packed areas while assisting your budget. The mainly unpopulated sites allow you to choose a spot as far or as close to others as you like, giving you the space you need to explore and unwind without breaking the bank.

As a general rule, the more remote the area, the more likely it is that the campsite is free. However, this isn’t always going to be the case. It is also important to note that despite the site being free, restrictions in regards to fires, pets, and waste disposal may apply.

There are several websites that compile free or low-cost camping spots on a local, national and even global scale, with listings ranging from coastal havens, to rest stops outside charming rural towns. Search settings will help you determine the campsites best for you in terms of what landscape or region is of interest, what facilities you require, and what restrictions apply in the area.

The remote locations of these sites will mean you should try to be as self-sufficient as possible. You should be prepared with your own food, water, and power where needed to last the length of your trip. A list of emergency contacts, information and maps on the area, and a means of communication should be kept on hand in case the trip doesn’t go according to plan.

If you have spotted a secluded area where you are keen to pitch a tent, be sure to check first online or with the local national park to ensure it is legal for you to camp there. To plan your trip to one of Australia’s free campsites go to RACQ Trip Planner for more information.