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Our 29 Best Low Cost Campgrounds in Australia

ur 29 Best Low Cost Campgrounds in Australia

Accommodation when traveling around Australia comes in many forms and you will find many free or low cost campgrounds. Caravan Parks, Showgrounds, Campgrounds, Station Stays, Pubs and Free Camps are all options for somewhere to stay overnight and depending on many circumstances our needs will vary. For those set up and comfortable with Free and Low Cost camping when traveling, we have put together our 21 Best Free or Low Cost Campgrounds highlighting our favourite places so far to stay in Australia.

In the heat of the Top End we would usually opt for powered options however the bottom half of Oz opened up many places to stay that don’t have to cost much at all.

We will continue to update this list as we keep finding more places to add.

Find videos and information about every Campground, Free Camp, Caravan Park, Station Stay and RV Stops all around Australia here

Read all about Our Best Free camps in Australia here


# Nov 2017 update.
With the recent closure of our previous Number 1 campground “Uluru by Sunrise” we have updated this list. We have also introduced 2 new campgrounds, Sandstone Park at #4 and Lara Wetlands at #12 and increased it from our Best 20 to 21. Hope you enjoy our list.

#July 2019 update
We have completely changed this Article having added a number of new Campgrounds, taken out the Free ones as you’ll find them in our Best Free Camps here and increased our list from 21 to Our 29 Best Campgrounds in Australia.

Stanley RV and Caravan CampgroundView to the Stanley Nut from our camp site, Tasmania

Our 29 Best Low Cost Campgrounds in Australia

29. Stanley Tasmania

Location: At Stanley in the North West of Tasmania

About: Located at the entrance to the Golf Course and looking out over the ocean, this is a fabulous campground in a beautiful location.

Video:                          https://indefiniteleave.com.au/stanley-rv-and-caravan-campground-stanley-tasmania/

Cost:                            $8 per night

Max nights stay:        7 nights

Toilets:                        No

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              No but there is one very close by.

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

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Mount Gambier Showgrounds - Low Cost Campground in AustraliaMount Gambier Showgrounds, SA

28. Mt Gambier Showgrounds

Location: Mt Gambier, South Australia

About: The Mt Gambier Showgrounds are located on the edge of the city and provides good grassed sites and full amenities. It is also walking distance to the Umpherstone Sinkhole.
$20 deposit for Key to amenities block.

Video:                          https://indefiniteleave.com.au/mount-gambier-showgrounds-mount-gambier-south-australia/

Cost:                            $22 powered, $15 unpowered, $3 extra adult

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes, cost $5 if not staying at the showgrounds

Powered sites:           Yes

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

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Hobart Showgrounds - Low Cost Campground in AustraliaHobart from atop Mount Wellington

27. Hobart Showgrounds

Location: Hobart, Tasmania

About: Approx 15 minutes drive from the city of Hobart, there are various sites, some grassed and other on stones. Can get very busy in peak times. Call to book during peak season.

Video:                          https://indefiniteleave.com.au/hobart-showgrounds-hobart-tasmania/

Cost:                            $25 powered site or $21 for CMCA members, $20 unpowered

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                     Yes, $1 for 5 minutes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           Yes

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   Yes, we were close to Bunnings and were able to tap into their free Wifi although it was slow

Telstra coverage:       Yes

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Carmila Beach Campground North QueenslandBeachside sites at Carmila Beach Campground

26. Carmila Beach Campground, Queensland

Location: Carmila Beach is 6kms from the small town of Carmila on the Bruce Highway and 101kms south of Mackay.

About: The Carmila Beach Campground is a great beachfront location with several campsites available. Once you go past the first campsites you will need 4wd to access through the soft sand.

Video:                         https://indefiniteleave.com.au/carmila-beach-carmila-queensland/

Cost:                            $10 per vehicle per night

Max nights stay:        14 nights

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                     No

Potable water:           No

Pet Friendly:             Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:      Barely

Fires allowed:            Yes

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Ante Chamber Bay Campground Kangaroo IslandChapman River at Ante Chamber Bay Campground, Kangaroo Island SA

25. Ante Chamber Bay Campground

Location: Kangaroo Island, South Australia

About: A beautiful river front campground. Access is by a dirt road which was reasonable condition when we were there.

Video:                          https://indefiniteleave.com.au/ante-chamber-bay-kangaroo-island-south-australia/

Cost:                            $15 per night

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                     No

Potable water:            No

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              No

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                    No

Telstra coverage:       Yes, only just

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Gordon Recreation Reserve Gordon Recreation Reserve, Tasmania

24. Gordon Recreational Reserve

Location: Three Hut Point, Gordon Tasmania

About: Whilst we didn’t stay here it looked such a perfect location we did stop to take a look around. This would make a great place to stop for a few nights.

Video:                          https://indefiniteleave.com.au/gordon-recreation-reserve-three-hut-point-tasmania/

Cost:                            $5 per night honest box

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                     No

Potable water:            No

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:     Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:      Yes

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Kingston S.E. RV Campground SAQuite a gathering at the Kingston S.E. RV Campground

23. Kingston SE RV Campground

Location: Kingston SE, South Australia

About:. A fantastic and great value RV stay in the Limestone Coast of South Australia. Home of the Big Lobster, there’s also lots of options for eating out and all you will need in town within walking distance. Opposite the campground is the beach and long jetty.

Video:                         https://indefiniteleave.com.au/kingston-se-rv-campground-kingston-se-sa/

Cost:                            $10

Max nights stay:        48 hours

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                     No

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes nearby in town

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

Fires allowed:            No

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Banka Banka Station Banka Banka Station, NT

22. Banka Banka Station

Location: North of the Three Ways in Northern Territory

About: Great overnight stay as you head north from the Three Ways to Darwin. There’s Donkeys and Camels, a unique bar, fire pit which the owner fires up each night. Yarns are told, marshmallows burnt and in the morning a stunning sunrise to the East.

Video:                          https://indefiniteleave.com.au/banka-banka-station-northern-territory/

Cost:                            $20 per night for 2 adults unpowered

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       No

Fires allowed:            Camp hosts have a big fire pit each day and marshmallows

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Congo Campground NSWCongo Campground

21. Congo Campground

Location: Congo NSW

About: The Congo Campground is approx. 10kms south from Batemans Bay, located directly at the beach. It is located in National Park.

Video:                         https://indefiniteleave.com.au/congo-campground-nsw/

Cost:                            $12 per person per night

Max nights stay:        N/A

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No

Pet Friendly:              No

Dump point:              No

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

Fires allowed:            No

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Aerial view of Midskinrick Lodge and CampingAerial view of Midskinrick Lodge and Camping

20. Midskinrick Lodge and Camping

Location: Rosedale Qld

About: Located between Bundaberg and Gladstone, this is a brilliant stay right on Baffle Creek with excellent fishing. It is a huge place with heaps of space and fire pits scattered throughout the park area.

Video:                         https://indefiniteleave.com.au/midskinrick-lodge-camping-rosedale/

Cost:                            $7.50 per person per night unpowered, extra $5 per night powered or $10 if you use air conditioning.

Max nights stay:        N/A

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              No

Powered sites:           Yes

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

Fires allowed:            Yes

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Whalebone Bay Campground near Denmark WALooking down on Whalebone Bay and Campground

19. Whalebone Campground Shark Bay, Western Australia

Location: 15 kms south of Denham

About: I loved our time here at Whalebone Campground. A 24 hour stay, they allowed us to extend for a second night but not beyond. We were able to leave for a short time and then come back for another 48 hours. Caught Squire at night from the beach.

Video:                          https://indefiniteleave.com.au/3003-2/

Cost:                            $15 per night

Max nights stay:        1 night, but if you ask they’ll likely allow a second night, no more.

Toilets:                        No

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No, there is a water station in Denham

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              No, there is one on left hand side as you arrive at Denham

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes but very limited

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Wilton Park Cuttagee NSWBeautiful Lotus Flowers at Wilton Park

18. Wilton Park NSW

Location: Cuttagee, NSW

About: A fabulous stay on private property just 5mins south of Bermagui in NSW. There are limited facilities but everything you will need isn’t far away in town. This was one of those places that become very social and relaxing with a fire at night and drinks with new friends.

Video:                         Coming soon

Cost:                            $10 donation

Max nights stay:        7 nights

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              No

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

Fires allowed:            Yes

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Aerial shot of Pretty Beach and the CampgroundAerial shot of Pretty Beach and the Campground

17. Pretty Beach Campground NSW

Location: Pretty Beach, NSW

About: Just north of Batemans Bay is this great campground located a very short distance from a beautiful bay and ocean beach. It is located in the Murramarang National Park.

Video:                         https://indefiniteleave.com.au/pretty-beach-campground/

Cost:                            $34.84 for two people powered, $24.60 for two people unpowered. Extra adult is $12 per night, children 5-15yo $6 per night.

Max nights stay:        N/A

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              No

Dump point:              No

Powered sites:           Yes

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

Fires allowed:            Yes

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Cassowary Coast Regional Council Campground Mission Beach Perfect location right beside the Beach!

16. Cassowary Coast Regional Council Campground Mission Beach

Location: Mission Beach, North Queensland

About: Located directly beside the beach, Powered and unpowered sites, old amenities. Al about location.

Video:                          https://indefiniteleave.com.au/mission-beach-camping/

Cost:                            $21 per night unpowered, $25 powered, $3 for extra adult

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              No

Powered sites:           Yes

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

________________________________________________________________________________

Read all about Our 22 Best Free Camps in Australia

How to save money on Accommodation

Exploring the Amazing Figure 8 Pools

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Workmans Beach Campground Agnes WaterAmazing Agnes Water and 1770, Qld

15. Workmans Campground

Location: Agnes Water near 1770 in Queensland.

About: A great campground close to the beach and town of Agnes Water. A short stroll to stunning Workmans Beach or take an oceanfront walk for a few kms to nearby beaches and bays. Great value and the best Rangers looking after the campground.

Video:                         https://indefiniteleave.com.au/workmans-campground-agnes-water/

Cost:                            $9 per person per night

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes, cold outdoor shower

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              No

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

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Best Free or Low Cost Campgrounds in AustraliaLara Wetlands, Qld

14. Lara Wetlands, Patrick Qld

Location: Lara Wetlands is a cattle station approx 30kms south of Barcaldine and 80kms north of Blackall in Queensland.

About: Lara Wetlands is a beautiful, relaxing waterhole on a cattle station just 30kms south of Barcaldine in Qld.

It has many features including a hot artesian spa, kayaks for use on the wetland and fire pits on each site. Lara Wetlands is where you go to relax and do very little except read a book and chill with an amazing scenery and spectacular sunrise and sunset each day.

Video:                           https://indefiniteleave.com.au/lara-wetlands-patrick-queensland/

Cost:                            $10 per person per night

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       No phone coverage

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Little Roper Stockcamp Mataranka NTKev making hay while the sun shines at Little Roper Stockcamp

13. Little Roper Stockcamp

Location: Mataranka NT

About: Des and Telka are the owners of Little Roper Stockcamp and will welcome you to there fabulous stay. They have a range of animals that kids and parents will enjoy interacting with. This one is brilliant, make sure you watch the video.

Video:                         https://indefiniteleave.com.au/little-roper-stockcamp-mataranka-northern-territory/

Cost:                            $20 unpowered, 30 powered

Max nights stay:        N/A

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              No, but one is nearby at Mataranka

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

Fires allowed:            Camp hosts Des and Telka have a big fire pit they light up each day

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Coledale Camping Reserve Coledale NSWRight on the beach at Coledale

12. Coledale Camping Reserve NSW

Location: Coledale NSW

About: About an hour south of Sydney is the fantastic beachfront camping reserve. It is also only 10 mins from the amazing Sea Cliff Bridge.

Video:                         https://indefiniteleave.com.au/coledale-camping-reserve/

Cost:                            $25 unpowered, 35 powered

Max nights stay:        N/A

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              No

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           Yes, limited

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

Fires allowed:            No

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Sandy Cape Campground WA - Low Cost CampgroundSandy Cape overlooking the campground

11. Sandy Cape Campground

Location: 10 kms north of Jurien Bay, Western Australia

About:This place is Fun, Fun, Fun. Grab a sand board and race down the dunes. Fishing, swimming, boating, so much fun to be had. There are BBQ’s available and the sky at night lights up with the stars.
While we were there a great coffee can was available making Burgers, Hot Dogs, Coffees, shakes and more.

Watch the hilarious footage of Adele sand boarding here – https://youtu.be/BcilkWaEAsU

Video:                          https://indefiniteleave.com.au/sandy-cape-campground-jurien-bay-wa/

Cost:                            $15 per night

Max nights stay:        No Limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       No, unless you climb up onto the dunes.

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Sandstone Park Campground Carnarvon Gorge - Best Free or Low Cost Campground in AustraliaSandstone Park Campground, Carnarvon Gorge Qld

10. Sandstone Park, Carnarvon Gorge Qld

Location: Carnarvon Gorge is located in the Carnarvon National Park approx. 600kms north west of Brisbane and 200kms south of Emerald.

About: This is a new campground which only opened in 2017 and fast became extremely popular with the travelling public. It’s astounding 360 degree views are incredible. The facilities are fantastic and the sites are big. There’s plenty of access to firewood and did I mention the incredible views!!

Do yourself an enormous favour and make sure you visit Sandstone Park at Carnarvon Gorge

Watch this video of Kevin with Olivia, the owner of Sandstone Park Campground, as they trek their way up Boolimba Bluff. – https://youtu.be/wRVMIbOSL8w

Video:                           https://indefiniteleave.com.au/sandstone-park-campground-carnarvon-gorge-queensland/

Cost:                            $20 per night

Max nights stay:        No Limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       No phone coverage. Some Wifi available at Info centre café.

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One of our 29 Best Campgrounds in Australia - Noosa North Shore CampgroundNoosa North Shore Campground

9. Noosa North Shore Campground

Location: Noosa North Shore, Queensland

About: Noosa North Shore is surrounded by the Cooloola National Park and has absolute beachfront location. You will need a vehicle permit to drive the beach. Access is via the Tewantin Ferry. The campground is currently closed for renovations at time of writing and is expected to re-open in December 2019.

Video:                         https://indefiniteleave.com.au/noosa-northshore-beachfront-campground-noosa/

Cost:                            $29 unpowered, $36 powered (very limited)

Max nights stay:        N/A

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           No

Pet Friendly:              No

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           Yes, very limited

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

Fires allowed:            No

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One of our 29 Best Low Cost Campgrounds - Drone View of Dalmeny CampgroundDrone view of Dalmeny Campground

8. Dalmeny Campground NSW

Location: Dalmeny, NSW

About: Dalmeny is just 5 mins north of Narooma, a beautiful beachside location. There’s an IGA opposite with fuel and a fish and chip shop nearby too. Most sites are sloping, expect to need to level up.

Video:                         https://indefiniteleave.com.au/dalmeny-campground-nsw/

Cost:                            $33 per night powered, $30 unpowered

Max nights stay:        N/A

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           Yes

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

Fires allowed:            Yes

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Osprey Campground Cape Range National Park WABeach at Osprey

7. Osprey Campground

Location: Cape Range National Park, near Exmouth Western Australia

About: We weren’t able to stay here as we had our dog with us but we took a look around and the location is incredible. Very clean and tidy.

Cost:                            $10 per adult per night

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No, water available at Info Centre a few kms away

Pet Friendly:              No

Dump point:              No, one is just a few kms up the road at Info Centre

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       N0

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One of the Best Low Cost Campgrounds in Australia - Honeymoon Bay Camping Beecroft Weapons Range NSWStunning Sunset at Honeymoon Bay

6. Honeymoon Bay NSW

Location: Beecroft Weapons Range, Jervis Bay NSW

About: Located in the Jervis Bay National Park region it is only open from Friday at 1pm to Sunday and 8pm. Watch the video for all the details of this magnificent weekend campground.

Video:                        https://indefiniteleave.com.au/honeymoon-bay-campground-jervis-bay/

Cost:                            $15 per site per night, Extra adults $5 per night, children 15 and under free

Max nights stay:        Open Friday to Sunday only

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No

Pet Friendly:              No

Dump point:              No

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

Fires allowed:            No

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One of the Best Cost Campgrounds in Australia - Barn HillBarn Hill Station

5. Barn Hill Station

Location: approx. 1 hour drive south of Broome, Western Australia

About: Fabulous Campground on a Cattle Station with 200 sites is the Best Low Cost Campground in WA. 10kms of dirt road to access but easily done even in our Motorhome. They even have a lawn bowls green. It has a very rustic charm, the stars shine bright at night and they make 8 loaves of bread, home made sausage rolls and lamingtons each day for purchase. It is very busy in peak times of June and July.

Video:                         https://indefiniteleave.com.au/barn-hill-station/

Cost:                            $25 unpowered for 2 adults or $32 powered

Max nights stay:        Nil

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           Yes but power can be limited source, comes from solar

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

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Point Quobba CampgroundHappy Hour at Quobba, WA

4. Quobba Campground

Location: approx. 50kms north of Carnarvon, Western Australia

About: Located around the corner from the Quobba Blowholes, the campground offers some of Australia’s best snorkeling. The coral is amazing and there’s lots of fish of many species, Turtles, Rays and Reef Sharks. We also enjoyed fresh oysters directly from the rocks at low tide.

The campground is right on the beach, some with views and others protected by the dunes.

Cost:                            $11 per person per night, kids under 16 free

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       No

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One of the Best Low Cost Campgrounds in AustraliaLucky Bay Campground, just amazing!!

3. Lucky Bay Campground

Location: Cape Le Grand National Park, Western Australia

About: Located in the incredible Cape Le Grand National Park near Esperance on the south coast of Western Australia, this is a very special place where the kangaroos come into your site or meet you on the beach to say hello. The views are scintillating and the experience is not to be missed.

Our Tip, select site number 12.

Video:                   https://indefiniteleave.com.au/lucky-bay-campground-cape-le-grand-national-park-wa/

Cost:                            $10 per Adult per night, children over 6 are $2.20. Seniors $6.60 per night

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:             No

Dump point:              No

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       No

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Originally our No. 1 of our 29 Best Low Cost Campgrounds in AustraliaRapid Bay Campground, originally our No. 1 out of the 29 Best Campgrounds in Australia

2. Rapid Bay Campground

Location: 1.5 hours south of Adelaide

About: As Darryl Kernigan’s bumbling Lawyer once said, “it’s the vibe” and Rapid Bay gives great vibes.

Voted our Best Free or Low Cost Campground in Australia! This is a fantastic campground, so peaceful, so stunning and a great place to relax, swim, snorkel and go fishing. It gets very busy at peak times.
The original Jetty here was destroyed in a storm and a new Jetty costing $3.8m was recently built to replace it.
Divers come from afar to dive here looking for a rare Sea Dragon, only found in these waters.

Video:                   https://indefiniteleave.com.au/rapid-bay-campground-rapid-bay-south-australia/

Cost:                            $7 per person per night

Max nights stay:        Nil

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           Yes, sign says it’s not but it’s trucked in from Adelaide

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              No. Yankalilla is 24kms away and has dump point, fuel, groceries, gas etc.

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   N0

Telstra coverage:       Yes

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No. 1 in our 29 Best Campgrounds in AustraliaTrial Bay Gaol Campground. our new No. 1 from our 29 Best Campgrounds in Australia

1. Trial Bay Gaol Campground NSW

Location: South West Rocks, Arakoon National Park NSW

About: We were so lucky to have the opportunity to stay in the overflow section and it was just perfect for us. The campsites overlooking the Bay are also sensational. South West Rocks is amazing, watch the video and see why this is our #1 Campground in Australia.

Video:                         https://indefiniteleave.com.au/trial-bay-gaol/

Cost:                            $31 unpowered, $36 powered

Max nights stay:        N/A

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              No

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           Yes

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

 

These are just our 29 Best Low Cost Campgrounds in Australia. We know we haven’t seen them all, tell us about your favourite Low Cost Campground?

Thanks
Kevin & Adele
Indefinite Leave

Readers who liked this Article also read:
The Best of Broome
Our Favourite Experiences Traveling Australia
Who to Choose for Caravan and Motorhome RV Insurance
Finding Water as you Travel
Things to See and Do in Margaret River
How much does it cost to Travel to Kangaroo Island

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Lenses – Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/3gMvbf1  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Follow us, Subscribe, Like, Share, and Comment on our website and social media here:-

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indefiniteleave/

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This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through a link on this page we may receive a small commission. It will not cost you any more, in fact we’ve sourced out some great deals for you. Thank you for supporting us.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Ian

    June 9, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    We need this type of info for NSW please

    • Indefinite Leave

      June 10, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      Hi Ian, thank you for your feedback. NSW is the only state we haven’t been to yet on our travels and we can’t wait until we do very soon. We will be going south through country NSW before coming back up again along the coastline. We are really excited about this part of our trip over the next 12 months and will most certianly be blogging a lot about it and providing updates and reviews on everywhere we stay.
      Thanks again, stay with us and we look forward to providing details soon. 🙂

      • Anne Maher

        July 8, 2019 at 5:00 pm

        If you get a chance come to Youcamp Bluelilies at Upper Colo NSW. We are new to Wiki and haven’t had any Wiki campers yet but would love to host some
        Google Youcamp Bluelilies for a peek at our farm. Cheers Anne

        • Indefinite Leave

          July 8, 2019 at 5:10 pm

          Hello Anne, thank you for the invite. We sure will if we come by your way 🙂

  2. Miriam

    June 14, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Fantastic info. We’re just about to head up to the NT and Red Centre in under two weeks so this sort of info is brilliant and invaluable. Great site! Happy travels.

    • Indefinite Leave

      June 21, 2017 at 7:31 pm

      Thank you Miriam. Really glad our site is helping you. 🙂

  3. Betty

    August 30, 2017 at 8:10 am

    We are planning on going around our beautiful country in a normal van 😳. I have my doubts but hubby is keen. An Rv is my preferred transport but will see how we go. Thank you for sharing it allows me to collect ideas and info of where to go. Do you have a list of must haves to take and how much clothing wise do you really need? Thanks again Betty

    • Indefinite Leave

      August 30, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Hi Betty. Thank you for your message. Let me just answer your question with a lot lot less than you think lol. We have sent “stuff” back 6 times in our first 18 months on the road and we are about to take even more back. It’s amazing what you Don’t need!!
      My advice is take the bare minimum and anything you don’t use for 6 months goes back. Safe travels.

  4. Denise breen

    November 3, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Hi just let you know that Cliff head now has two Lots of toilets on the grounds, very clean I was there two weeks ago

    • Indefinite Leave

      November 8, 2017 at 7:42 pm

      Thank you Denise. You are certainly correct, you will see the toilets in the video. That’s an error I’ll correct now. Thanks for letting me know, safe travels. 🙂

  5. John

    November 4, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Great report, though you did mention that there were no toilets at Cliff Head, WA, there has been drop toilets there for years and they have just recently upgraded them to enviro type, a lot nicer.

    • Indefinite Leave

      November 8, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      Hello John, yes you are correct, you will see the toilets in the video. I’ll correct that now. The new toilets were only installed just before we arrived there 🙂
      Safe travels.

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Adventurers Diary

15 Things you must do on the Sunshine Coast

Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is just 100kms north of the capital city of Brisbane, a short 45-60 minute drive. There’s so many things you must do on the Sunshine Coast when you are in this sensational region.

The Sunshine Coast, known as the Sunny Coast to us locals, has numerous stunning stretches of beach and amazing National Parks to discover from the Coastline to the Hinterland. There are beautiful waterfalls and a long list of activities and attractions.

Excellent Sunshine Coast accommodation is available for all types of visitors and the weather is generally perfect all year around.

Our 15 Things you really Must do on the Sunshine Coast

Here are 15 Things you really Must do on the Coast. Some are well known while a few others are much less notable but equally fun and perfect to experience during your stay on the Sunshine Coast.

15 Things you Must Do on the Sunshine Coast
Millie at Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo

Crikey mate, it’s Australia’s most infamous Zoo.

Australia lost an enormous icon when Steve Irwin left us but his legacy lives on through the must see Australia Zoo on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

Home of the Crocodile Hunter you can visit so much amazing wildlife including dangerous animals like Salt Water Crocodiles, Tigers and venomous Snakes. There are African Safari animals such as Giraffes, Cheetahs, Zebras and Rhinos plus you can see the world’s largest Koala Hospital.

When you purchase your entry ticket in to Australia Zoo it includes entry for the day from 9am to 5pm, all wildlife shows, children’s activities, Laughing Frog Waterpark and more.

Australia Zoo is one of 15 Things you must do on Sunshine Coast
Croc show at Australia Zoo

How to get to Australia Zoo:

Take Steve Irwin Way exit off the Bruce Highway north of Brisbane to Beerwah and follow the sign to Australia Zoo.

What to take with you:

  • Water, there are water fountains around the park to fill up your water bottles.
  • Food is allowed to be taken in to the Zoo and there are picnic grounds available to stop and enjoy your lunch.
  • Camera to capture those animal moments.
  • Comfortable shoes for a long day on your feet.
Big Karts is another thing you must do on the Sunny Coast
Big Karts Sunshine Coast

Big Karts

While in the area stop in for some action at the Big Kart Racetrack and get the adrenaline pumping with Karts that race up to 70kmh.

This is the largest Commercial Go Kart track in Australia and is going to get your competitive juices racing as you work hard to go quicker and compete to produce faster lap times.

It’s a perfect way to spend a few hours with your family and mates.

Family Day for Cameron's Birthday included Big Karts
Ready for Racing at Big Karts

Before setting off on laps around chicanes, bends and hair pins there will be safety training by staff and helmets will be provided.

Book your Big Kart Racetrack tickets and make your way to Steve Irwin Way at Landsborough on the Sunshine Coast and have a great time.

Beautiful Noosa National Park
Boiling Point in Noosa National Park

Noosa National Park Coastal Walk

The Noosa National Park is located near Noosa Heads and is the ideal location to spend yet again, another perfect Queensland day.

Noosa National Park Coastal Walk takes you around the Noosa Headland past pristine beaches and stunning views back to Noosa North Shore.

See Boiling Point Lookout, Dolphin Point, Lookout, Granite Bay, Fairy Pools, Hell’s Gates, Alexandria Bay and Devils Kitchen along a 4.2km return walk.

Please remember, no pets are allowed in Noosa National Park to protect the local wildlife.

Noosa National Park camping is not available however you can stay at Noosa North Shore Campground nearby. A quick Ferry ride over from Tewantin and make your way to the Campground.

Stunning Noosa National Park is one of the things you must do on the Sunshine Coast
Noosa National Park Coastal Walk

Where is it?

Noosa is 160kms north of Brisbane.

How to get there?

Follow Park Rd in Noosa along the ocean front until you reach the Noosa National Park Carpark. It gets very busy, you may need to be patient.

What to take?

It can be very hot in summer, take a wide brimmed hat, plenty of sunscreen, insect repellant and enough water. Wear good comfortable walking shoes.

In winter ensure you have a jacket as it can get very cold at the Headland.

Don’t forget your Phone and a Camera.

Where to stay?

For Camping and RV stays we suggest Coolum Beach Holiday Park or the Noosa North Shore Campground.

Eumundi Markets
Entry to Eumundi Markets

Eumundi Markets

Our Eumundi Markets Review

The Eumundi Markets began in 1979 as a way for local craftspeople to sell some wares in their local community. Over the years the markets grew extraordinarily and today is one of Queensland’s largest and most popular market.

From Noosa to Eumundi Markets it is approximately a 21 km drive and will take you around 25-30 minutes.

There’s great shopping for clothing, shoes and local handmade craft and there is plenty of delicious food and places to eat.

How many stalls are at the Eumundi Markets?

There are 600 stalls and the markets attract 1.6 million visitors each year.

What day is the Eumundi Markets?

The Eumundi Markets days are every Wednesday and Saturday.

One of 15 Things to do on the Sunshine Coast - Eumundi Markets
Eumundi Markets

Eumundi Markets Parking & Pets

Parking at the Eumundi Markets is available and costs $6.  The Eumundi Markets is dog friendly but they must be maintained on a leash.

What are the Eumundi Markets hours?

The Eumundi Markets open every Wednesday from 8am to 1.30pm and every Saturday from 7am to 2pm.

Where are Eumundi Markets?

They are in the main street of town which is close to the Bruce Highway and is approximately a 90 minute drive north of Brisbane.

How to get there?

Travel on the Bruce Highway to the Sunshine Coast and take the Eumundi exit 224 and follow the signs. Otherwise you can enjoy the shuttle service direct from your Hotel on the Sunshine Coast to the Eumundi Markets and return.

How much does it cost?

Entry is Free, there’s $6 cost for parking.

While in town visit the Imperial Hotel, home to Eumundi Brewery for a great meal, a refreshing Ale and take a Free tour of the Brewery.

Buderim Falls also known as Serenity Falls
Under Buderim Falls in Buderim Forest Park

Buderim Forest Park, Sunshine Coast

The Buderim Forest Park is a hidden gem on a secluded 45 hectare of rainforest with waterfalls, streams and walking trails.

It is home to many animals including Paddymelons, Gliders and goannas while Black Cockatoos and Lorikeets are just some of the birds that call this Nature Reserve home.

This secret valley is also home to the beautiful Buderim Forest Park Waterfalls, otherwise known as Serenity Falls. You can view the falls from directly underneath or the bridge makes a perfect vantage spot.

As you follow the stream down from the waterfalls you will find small rock pools perfect to cool off on a hot Queensland summer day.

Enjoying the rock pools and small cascading water at Buderim Falls
Buderim Forest Park

How long is the walk to Buderim Falls?

There are 2 entries to Buderim Park Forest and we visited from Quorn Close. From there it was a short 600m walk to the Falls.

Are dogs allowed at Buderim Falls?

Buderim Park Forest is a Nature Reserve and therefore dogs and pets are not allowed.

What to take with you!!

Wear good comfortable shoes for some rock walking, drinking water, your phone and a camera.

The Race is on at Pomona King of the Mountain
Pomona King of the Mountain

Watch the Pomona King of the Mountain Run

To get a genuine understanding of this event, I recommend doing the climb yourself in the weeks or months prior to the event. I’ve climbed a few mountains and whilst I’m a little older and less fit now, Mount Cooroora was without doubt my most challenging mountain climb.

By doing this climb yourself you will really appreciate the absurd fitness and skills of these athletes who race from the town centre uphill for over 1km just to get to the base of the mountain.

You will want some level of fitness to do this mountain. There are stages where it can get very challenging with very steep upright climbing involved.

I’m embarrassed to say it took me around 50 minutes to climb to the top and around 25 minutes to get back down. And that’s just from the base, without the run to the mountain first and back. Jason who I started the climb with was much faster and was up within around 25 minutes and around 15 minutes to get back down.

At the top of Mount Cooroora
Mount Cooroora, Pomona

King of the Mountain Race

The Race Record was set in 2009 at 22 mins 43 seconds. That’s running to the mountain, climbing it up, back down and then running back to the start. It does my head in to think it’s even possible to do that.

The race is 4.2kms and the Mountain is 439m high. In comparison, nearby Mount Coolum which I have climbed twice is just 207m high.

The Pomona King of the Mountain race is held annually in July since 1979. Due to the events of 2020 the Race has had to be cancelled for the first time since it began.

The whole day is a wonderful event with a great carnival atmosphere. There’s market stalls, food, beverages and events to entertain. It’s really worth spending the day at the Pomona King of the Mountain race and marvel at the incredible fitness of all the men and women involved.

Where is Pomona?

From Noosa to Pomona, a small hinterland town on the Sunshine Coast, it is just 30kms. Pomona is approximately 135kms north of Brisbane and is a short 10 minute drive from the Bruce Highway.

Read more: Our review of the Cooroy RV Stopover

Coolum Beach Surf Club - One of the Things to do on the Sunshine Coast
Coolum Beach Surf Club

Lunch or Dinner at Coolum Beach Surf Club

The Coolum Beach Surf Club is one of our favourite places to enjoy a meal or afternoon drinks on the Sunshine Coast.

Sensational views directly out over Coolum Beach in addition to good food and a great bar makes this the perfect place for a Sunday afternoon.

Coolum Surf Club Menu has an excellent variety and of course Seafood is a real specialty. They also have a range of Pizzas on the menu and succulent steaks.

Dinner at Coolum Beach Surf Club
Dinner at Coolum Beach Surf Club

Coolum Surf Club Membership is just $10 if you would like to join.

The best thing is, for Coolum Beach accommodation the Coolum Beach Holiday Park which we really enjoy, is right next door. No need to count your drinks when visiting here.

Coolum is our favourite place on the Sunshine Coast, it has excellent beaches, less crowds and there’s plenty to do or as little as you would like.

The amazing Montville Clock Shop
Montville Clock Shop

Montville and Maleny

For the best things to do in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland head to Montville and Maleny.

What is there to do in Montville and Maleny?

When you visit you’ll find the Montville Shops which are really worth the time to explore and see the range of unique items for sale. My favourite is the Clock Shop, a huge array of modern and traditional time pieces.

Close to Montville is the Kondalilla Falls. Here you can take a beautiful rainforest walk through to Waterfalls and Swimming holes and enjoy the stunning views along the way.

How far is Montville from Maleny?

From Montville it’s just a short 15km drive to Maleny that will only take you about 15 minutes.

How far is Montville from Brisbane?

Brisbane is approximately 100kms north of Brisbane. It’s a very popular day trip for those from Australia’s third largest city and bike riders love the mountain ride up to the region.

A must thing to do on the Sunshine Coast is to have a Maleny Ice Cream
Ice Cream at Maleny Food Co

Along the way from Montville to Maleny is a number of places to stop, one of which is the Maleny Lookout. There are a number of lookouts in the area and Gerrards Lookout provides extensive views over the valley back towards the Sunshine Coast beaches.

Also along the drive you will find Maleny Cheese and Maleny Dairy, both worth stopping in to check the tantalising tastes of cheese, yoghurts and other wonderful products. Maleny Yoghurt is my favourite brand, so creamy and full of flavour.

Once you make it to town there’s some great Cafes and Maleny Ice Cream at the fabulous Maleny Food Co is one of our favourite in all of Australia.

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is a beautiful region to visit. You won’t be disappointed.

Sea Life Aquarium - another thing you must do on the Sunshine Coast
A feeling of being underwater at Sea Life Aquarium Sunshine Coast

Sea Life Aquarium Sunshine Coast

Sea Life Aquarium Sunshine Coast, formerly Underwater World is located at Mooloolaba near the wharf. It’s a Marine wonderland with an amazing array of sea life and beautiful creatures.

With over 3 levels of fun and entertainment there are animal encounters at every turn.

The underwater shark tunnel is an ocean adventure you have to experience. It is 80m long tunnel with views of Coral Reef and Caves and an marinelife including Grey Nurse Sharks, Stingrays, Eels, Reef Sharks and an assorted species of fish.

Each day there are Seal demonstrations and Sea Life Aquarium Sunshine Coast do a very important job as a rehabilitation centre for Turtles and Seals.

How long does it take to go through Sea Life Sunshine Coast Aquarium?

There is a lot to see over 3 levels and shows. Allow yourself at least 90 minutes but it’s easy to spend a few hours enjoying the Seals and Sharks and finding Nemo. The children will also have a great time with interactive displays and opportunities to meet the Seals and discover an Underwater World that they will certainly enjoy.

How to get there?

Sea Life Sunshine Coast Aquarium is on the Mooloolaba Spit next to the Mooloolaba Wharf. There is ample nearby parking with 3 or 4 hour time limits.

Head to Mooloolaba Spit along Parkyn Parade until you see Sea Life Aquarium on your right.

How much does Sea Life Aquarium cost?

You can book your discount tickets here for just $33.60 for Adults and $23.20 for Children.

What time does it open?

Opening hours are 9am to 3pm daily with last entry to visitors at 2pm. On School Holidays it is open until 5pm.

 7 Essentials – Tours to Experience

  1. Reefsleep in the Whitsundays is an amazing adventure. Spend the night on a pontoon sleeping in a swag on Hardy’s Reef in the Great Barrier Reef
  2. The Ocean Rafting tour from Airlie Beach is a truly fun day out. They took us to the best snorkeling places and the entire day was amazing
  3. For the best Full Day Island tour in Cairns we recommend the Fitzroy Island tour
  4. The Humpback Whale Swim in Exmouth remains one of our ultimate highlights of our time around Australia. We highly recommend doing this tour
  5. If you are on the East Coast, you can swim with Humpback Whales on the Sunshine Coast. The tour leaves from Mooloolaba
  6. Swimming with Whale Sharks at Exmouth is also extremely popular and a great day out with the team from Eco Adventures on Lattitude 22
  7. One of Queensland’s most under-rated beach destinations is north of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. It is only accessible by 4WD or a tour. The Double Island Point and Rainbow Beach 1 Day tour is a great value day out to see some pristine beaches and local history
A swim with the Humpback Whales is a must thing to do
Swim with Humpback Whales

Swim with Humpback Whales in the wild

One of our ultimate lifetime experiences was to swim with Humpback Whales in Western Australia and now you can experience it right here on the Sunshine Coast.

Jump off the back of the boat and wait for the inquisitive whales to come say hello. Your guides will look for the calm Humpback Whales who are passively making their way up and down the Coastline. Jumping, Breaching and playful Whales will not be approached.

Humpback Whales are curious by nature and some will come over to see you. It’s this moment that will take your breath away. A moment in life you never could imagine or think possible.

Read more: Our Favourite Experiences as we Travel Australia

Your Mask, Snorkel, Fins and Wetsuit are all included in the price. There are also some light snacks and water available during the day.

A full safety briefing is provided before the day starts outlining everything you will need to know.

Book your day with the experienced team at Sunreef, the first in Australia to offer swimming with Humpback Whale tours for just $165.

Where is the best place to swim with Humpback Whales?

The Queensland Coastline has over 24,000 Whales migrate north to have their baby whales before returning back again to the southern waters. Mooloolaba on the Queensland Sunshine Coast is the perfect place to see Humpback Whales up close.

How long does it take:

Allow 4.5 hours for the tour including approximately 4 hours in the ocean waters.

Is it safe to swim with Humpback Whales?

With an experienced tour guide you will be safe. You will be in open ocean waters and will need to have a reasonable level of swimming capability.

Enjoy the experience of a Lifetime with the team at Sunreef Mooloolaba.

15 Things you must do on the Sunshine Coast - Whale Watching
Whale Watching Cruise

Whale Watching Cruise Mooloolaba

If jumping in and getting wet to swim with the Humpback Whales is not your thing but you would love to get up close to experience these truly amazing Mammals the team will take you on a Cruise you won’t forget.

They will even guarantee you will see Humpback Whales or your money back.

Whale watching season starts in July and goes through to October each year.

Your tour will take place on a luxury 65 foot Catamaran named Whale One and includes lunch and loads of knowledge shared from your informative Captain.

If you are like us and not experienced boaties we recommend taking sea sickness tablets prior to starting your tour. We take Kwells Sea Sick tablets approximately half an hour prior to leaving.

Enjoy a great half day out Whale Watching with the outstanding crew from Sunreef Mooloolaba for just $75 for adults

Whale watching is amazing
Humpback Whales

What to take with you?

You will be on the open ocean during winter, take suitable warm clothes with you. Don’t forget your camera and phone.

Polarised sunglasses are the best when out on the water and will further enhance your experience.

How long is the tour?

The Tour is 2.5 to 4 hours depending on the day.

The Cruise leaves from the Mooloolaba Spit on the Sunshine Coast. Mooloolaba is approximately 1 hour drive north from Brisbane.

The Noosa Everglades are a must do on the Sunshine Coast
Noosa Everglades

See the Noosa Everglades

Did you know, Noosa is one of only 2 places in the World that is home to a diverse Everglade system that is home to a rich eco system, marine life and incredible assortment of birds including the rare Jabiru?

Other than Noosa the only other Everglade system in the world is in Florida.

Located in the Great Sandy National Park the Noosa Everglades stretches into the far northern reaches of the Noosa River.

Unlike Florida, there are no Crocodiles in the Noosa Everglades wetlands.

Harrys Hut

For accommodation, Camping is available near Harrys Hut, an old loggers Timber cottage built in 1957. Harry was a pharmacist from Cooroy who would camp nearby and bought the hut once logging discontinued. It is no longer used but is protected and maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Enjoying a relaxing kayak on the Noosa Everglades
Kayak the Noosa Everglades

Access in by vehicle is best by 4wd as the track is rough with washouts and potholes in parts. It is not suitable for Caravans or Motorhomes.

Fishing in the Noosa Everglades produces Bass and Mangrove Jack from it’s Brackish to Fresh Tea Tree waters.

A great way to see the Noosa Everglades is by Kayak or through a scenic cruise.

Choose your Eco Cruise through the Noosa Everglades with Noosa Everglades Eco Safari and experience a wilderness like nowhere else in the world.

Our tips

Take sunscreen, insect spray and hat with you. Take something to eat and water with you, there is no drinking water available. The track would be muddy and treacherous in the wet, best to go in good weather.

Another thing you must do on the Sunny Coast is visit the Ginger Factory
Buderim Ginger Factory

The Ginger Factory Yandina

Jump on board the Train and take a tour around the Sunshine’s Coast Ginger Factory located at Yandina.

Entry to the Ginger Factory is Free, you just have to pay for the Tours and Rides.

The Fudge is a tasty treat and don’t miss seeing the Live Bee show and taste the honey afterwards. Do the factory tour and discover everything about Ginger and see how they turn it in to the amazing range of products they have available.

The Ginger Factory Cafe menu boasts a range of yummy meals and we couldn’t go past sampling a delicious ice cream.

Take the train ride around the Ginger Factory
Buderim Ginger Factory Train

There’s something here for all ages and the kids will have a great time.

These 2 great deals by the Ginger Factory provide discounted tickets for rides and tours of the Factory.

How to get there

Take the Yandina Coolum exit from the Bruce Highway about an hour drive north from Brisbane. Take the first exit at the roundabout and turn right at the next roundabout and follow the road to 50 Pioneer Road Yandina.

Opening hours

Each day from 9am to 5pm.

Coloured Sands at Rainbow Beach Coloured and Honeymoon Bay
Rainbow Beach Coloured Sands and Honeymoon Bay

Full Day 4wd Beach Tour

One of the most under-rated beach drives in Australia is Noosa North Shore to Double Island Point and Rainbow Beach.

Honeymoon Bay along this stretch of beach is spectacular with the coloured sand cliffs over looking to the stunning tranquil turquoise waters along the white sandy beach.

Visit the Double Island Point Lighthouse and then have lunch at the fantastic Rainbow Beach Surf Club with amazing views over the ocean.

The remains of the Cherry Venture Shipwreck
Cherry Venture shipwreck remains

Cherry Venture Shipwreck

Ask your tour guide about the ship wreck of the Cherry Venture which ran aground along Teewah Beach in 1973. The rusted remains were removed in 2007 however since the heavy seas from Cyclone Oswald in 2013 the remains of the hull can be seen within the sand.

You are going to want to make sure your batteries are fully charged in your cameras for this trip. The photo opportunities are endless.

We love this region and the natural beauty here is a major reason Rainbow Beach makes our list of the 7 Towns in Australia we could live.

We did this tour, our driver was Glenn, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The Great Beach Drive 4wd Tour is the perfect way to see Double Island Point and Rainbow Beach.

Book your full day tour including Lunch and morning tea for just $195.

Safe Travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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Photography

Our camera equipment we use for all of our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Lenses – Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/3gMvbf1  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Where to Find Us

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Adventurers Diary

Everything you need to know to go Free Camping

When equipped with everything you need to know to go Free Camping, Freedom Camping or Boondocking as they call it in the U.S., it is the ultimate overnight option for long term travelers whether it’s in a Caravan, Motorhome, Campervan or other RV.

When you’re looking for something low cost then Free Camping Australia wide is going to save you on accommodation while traveling.

Once you are aware of everything you need to know to go Free Camping it becomes easy, but for rookies like us when we first started out it can also be frustrating. This guide gives you all the information you need to start Free Camping.

I remember shouting loud and far that we would never Free Camp ever again.

Everything you need to know to go Free Camping
Kingston SE RV Park

Our first attempts at Free Camping

During our first few attempts we had alarms continuously going off in the middle of the night. Usually it was the power setting off an alarm as we ran low on battery, other times the water level was low or the grey water tank may have been full. Sometimes one of the inverters would go off.

We were such novices and had no idea what we were doing wrong.

With our first attempts we had midges that fitted through our insect screens and bit us all night long and insects would plague our lights inside. Eventually we wrecked our batteries from not knowing what we were doing and that proved a costly exercise.

Within months of leaving home we were up for 2 brand new batteries.

To save you the expense and embarrassment of making the same rookie errors we have put together this guide. We certainly wish we had a guide for everything you need to know to go free camping when we started out.

Everything you need to know to go Free Camping
Carmila Beach

Everything you need to know to go Free Camping!

Let’s get started. Here is our guide on Everything you need to know to go Free Camping:

Is Free Camping Legal in Australia?

We are often asked will Rangers fine you for Free camping.

If you are Free camping in a designated Free camping area then you will have no issues. If however you stay the night parked in a carpark at the beach or any other location where it is not approved you will take the risk of being fined. Especially if there are ‘No Overnight Stays’ or ‘No Staying in a Vehicle’ signs in place. Therefore it is best to be equipped with everything you need to know to go free camping before you head off on your adventure.

Many Councils have by-laws prohibiting staying overnight in public places within their jurisdiction however if you are in a regulated or permissible location to Free camp you will have no legal issues.

Best ever free camping spot has since closed
Uluru Free Camping

What is Free Camping?

Most people believe it to mean somewhere to stay for no cost however it was once explained to me to mean Freedom Camping. I like this because it describes the entire Free Camping experience much better.

The benefits of Free Camping are much more than just the financial savings.

What is an RV Friendly Town?

RV Friendly Towns in Australia are towns that have met a certain amount of guidelines in Australia by the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia, mostly called the CMCA, to qualify it as RV Friendly.

To be considered RV friendly the town must have:

  • adequate parking for larger RV vehicles in or near its town centre for shopping purposes.
  • it must have a provision for short term, self contained low cost or Free Camping as close as possible to the CBD.
  • availability of potable drinking water
  • an accessible free dump point for RV users

Whilst these are the primary factors for an Australia RV Friendly Town there are other possible features including an Information Centre.

These towns will normally have an RV Friendly sign as you drive into town and give you an indication of the facilities so you will have a good understanding of everything you need to know to go free camping in their town.

5 Essentials – Outside RV Accessories

  1. To plug your RV with standard 15amp in to standard residential 10amp power source you will need a converter. We love our waterproof Ampfibian and after over 4 years it’s still perfect.
  2. Most people carry a Generator for back up power. 4wd Supacentre has a good low cost and popular generator while the Yamaha 2000w is a robust yet quiet excellent performer.
  3. A 20m 15amp Power Lead will ensure you reach your power source in Caravan Parks and Campgrounds.
  4. You will want a good blue Drinking Water Hose. Your typical green garden hose is not suitable for drinking from.
  5. A 4 way tap handle will help you find water whenever you need it
Everything you need to know to go Free Camping
Mourilyan Harbour Qld

Why Free Camp?

Save Money by Free Camping

The primary advantage of Free Camping is obvious, to reduce the cost of accommodation whilst traveling. The more you can save by Free Camping means more you can put back into experiences. The reason you are on your Big Lap is to see as much of Australia as possible during your time on the road.

Some Free Camps may provide an option to make a donation. This can help to ensure good facilities and the ongoing availability of the Free Camp.

Reducing your accommodation costs goes a long way to controlling your expenses and keeping you on Budget.

Free Camping offers more Space

Free Camping also offers more space to enjoy your privacy. Most people when Free Camping will ensure there’s a reasonable space between campsites.

The rules for where you are staying may be posted on a sign as you enter and may be found on the website. Usually they are simple and easy to understand with little ambiguity.

Friendly Free Campers

We find people who stay at Free Camps have been away from mainstream longer and are therefore less stressed and more friendly. Everyone tends to say hello and afternoon happy hours are a common theme.

There’s a much greater sense of Freedom at Free Camps.

Wide open space for camping at Midskinrick Lodge and Camping
Midskinrick Lodge and Camping Qld

Is Free Camping safe?

We have been Free Camping in cities, towns, the side of highways and all around Australia. We have been Free Camping in Qld, Western Australia, Victoria and everywhere in between.

Not at any time have we felt personally unsafe. In most Free camps you will have other campers nearby. One time on Kangaroo Island we had a knock on our window at 1.15am but it was just teenagers being silly. By the time I looked out the window they were walking off in the rain.

Read about: Our Reviews on our 22 Best Free Camps around Australia

Free Camping Security

Motorhome Security

Whenever we go out, because we have been in a Motorhome, we have left our table and chairs behind to mark the space we were staying and neither it nor any of our other items have been taken. We don’t leave much out at night though.

Just like you would at home, any items which are valuable or prone to theft should be secured to safeguard from the lowlifes in our society.

The freedom of exploring Australia
Exploring Australia

Caravan Security

Free Camping can be a bit daunting for some at time. However, if you are fully equipped with everything you need to know to go free camping especially when you head out exploring, you will be less likely to have any issues.

If you were leaving behind your Caravan to go out for the day a good security system would be advisable. There are a number of good ways to secure your Caravan including:

Hitches

Hitchlocks which stops the handle being raised and a tow ball being inserted into the hitch. McHitch are a very popular brand of Hitchlock.

Wheel Clamps

Wheel Clamps can be fitted to a wheel or wheels to disable them from rotating.

Security Chains

Security Chains can also be used to chain two wheels together and ensuring the Van can’t be driven away.

Alarm Systems

Alarm systems are available that set off an alarm and locks the wheels when it senses movement after being activated. The alarm will sound for a short period of time unless it senses further movement. The brakes will be applied to the Caravan making it very difficult to move. The Witi anti theft system is great to completely safeguard your van when you are out for an extended period of time.

Tracking Device

A Tracking Device can also be used to trace a stolen Van making it much easier to be recovered.

McGaurans Beach, Victoria

What is the Cost of a Free Camp?

Generally Free Camps have no cost however some do ask for a donation or others may have a very small fee of $2 –10 per night.

Upon entering the grounds these small fees might be paid by an envelope, the local Ranger or a Council worker may come each day to collect. In most cases, your Free Camp is exactly that.

Read more: How to Save Money on Accomodation

How do you find Free Camps?

To find great Free Camps you can go to our website at Indefinite Leave and we have details of over 230 places we have stayed around the country including lots of fantastic Free Camps. Search from our Destinations menu bar by State or by simply choosing the Free Camps option under the Where to Stay tab.

Phone apps such as WikiCamps and CamperMate provide a thorough list of Free Camps around Australia. WikiCamps costs just $7.95 to purchase whilst CamperMate is Free.

Everything you eed to know to go Free Camping
Lara Wetlands Qld

The Camps 10 book is fantastic and provides so much detail in finding Free Camps and Campgrounds all across Australia. You can read it anytime, no need for internet coverage.

Information Centres are another excellent option in finding Free Camps. Sometimes however the staff may not be aware of all the opportunities to Free Camp locally or may not be at liberty to disclose the information. Sometimes they share information not commonly known online too.

One good way of finding out everything you need to know to go Free Camping in some small towns is to talk to the locals. We have had a few locals share with us some great spots to Free Camp that you won’t find on any app or website. They can be a great source of information.

Other travelers might also provide details of fantastic places to stay you may not have been aware of too. It’s a great question to ask and information you can share around a few drinks and a campfire at night.

The famous Walkabout Creek Hotel
Walkabout Creek Hotel, McKinlay Qld

Everything you need to go Free Camping – The Unwritten Free Camping Rules

There are some things to know about Free Camping that may not be on a sign. They are often common knowledge among Travelers and it is good to be aware of everything you need to know to go Free Camping when you first set off on your Road Trip.

Fires

Put out fires properly. Don’t just cover them with sand or dirt, this has been the cause of many horrific burns to people. Put the fire out altogether with water.

The responsibility is on us to be aware of any fire bans. This is a very important issue in Australia and needs to be treated seriously. During hot, dry periods of the year fires can be extremely hazardous.

Be aware of any fire bans and ensure you comply at all times.

The Quobba Campground is right on the beach
Quobba WA

Animals

Don’t feed wildlife. In many places this could see you fined thousands of dollars. If you are going to feed some animals, we like to feed lorikeets, don’t use bread, use a more natural food resource for the animal. Lorikeets for example love grapes and it does them no harm.

Feeding foods to animals that are not natural and are unhealthy to them can cause disease and death. This can include bread and even chips to Seagulls.

Be careful in the dark. At night is when a lot of animals come out to wander about looking for food and safety under the umbrella of darkness. There’s lots of critters in Oz you don’t want to meet at night without knowing it is there first.

Rubbish

If there are no bins provided please ensure you take your rubbish with you and dispose of it appropriately. It is very easy to do and there’s never any reason to litter.

Noise

Consider other campers with noise, music and generators. A few drinks around a Campfire at night can easily become a fantastic bonding session with new best friends however the family nearby with a sick child they are trying to get to sleep or who are planning an early start in the morning may not share your enthusiasm. Noise travels so much further at night.

Generator hours when Free camping vary and people will consider somewhere between 7-9pm as the right time to turn off your power supply. Usually there will be a notice board confirming when Generators should be turned off. Ensure you place your generator away from others and somewhere least likely to annoy other campers.

Honda and Yamaha are considered the quietest and best quality generators. Our Honda EU20i, now superseded by the 22ui, is an excellent generator and is very quiet to use.

Handy Travel Tip: How to Change OIl in a Honda Generator

Everything you need to know to go Free Camping
Coledale Camping Ground NSW

What will you need to go Free Camping?

These are some items that you will definitely require and others that will make life so much easier for you when you are Free Camping. Here is our list of things to have so you are prepared for everything you need to know to go Free Camping :

Power

Solar Panels

Good Solar panels with sufficient power rating to power your needs will make Free Camping so easy for you. These may be fitted to the roof of your Caravan, Motorhome or 4wd.

Portable Solar Panels & Solar Blankets

Portable solar panels and Solar blankets are popular as they provide the option to move them to where the maximum sun input will be. So if it becomes shady you can move the panel into the sun in another spot, as long as you have enough cable lead to reach.

The Solar Panels then feed into Batteries where the power from the Sun is stored. There are different types of batteries with AGM and Lithium the most popular.

Handy Travel Tip: Cleaning Your Solar Panels

Everything you need to know to go Free Camping
Dalmeny Camping Ground NSW

Batteries

AGM Deep Cycle Batteries

AGM Deep Cycle batteries are most common and cheaper. Most popular sizes of an AGM Deep Cycle battery for this purpose are 100amp, 120amp or 200amp. The more amps that are in the battery, the more power that can be stored.

Lithium Batteries

Lithium batteries are now becoming more popular for recreational use in Caravans and Motorhomes. The benefit of Lithium batteries is they are much lighter and you can use more of the stored power.

You can use approximately 50% of the stored power within an AGM battery before it will need more power or there is risk of damage to the battery. With a Lithium battery generally you can use 80% of the stored power within the battery, sometimes more.

The cost of a Lithium battery is significantly more then AGM.

It is not my intent today to provide a complete analysis of these 2 batteries however you should do lots of research and work out which style battery will best suit your purpose.

We chose the iTechworld 120a LiFePO4 Lithium Battery for us.

Lead Crystal

Lead Crystal is another type of battery used in Caravans, Motorhomes and other RV’s. It is more expensive than AGM batteries but usually cheaper then Lithium. Like Lithium it has a deep charge allowing more of the batteries power to be utilised.

Before buying Lead Crystal check your battery management system will work with your Lead Crystal battery.

Experiencing Fraser Island with our 4WD
Fraser Island Qld

Battery Management System

There are numerous Battery Management Systems on the market but the dominant brands with the Caravan, Motorhome, 4wd and RV industry come down to primarily just 3.

Redarc

Redarc is an Australian Company which began in 1979 and is based in South Australia. They have invested heavily into the research, design and development of Solar Energy

Readily available and well recognised within the industry Redarc have several options available for your 4wd, Caravan and RV.

The Redarc RedVision  cost around $1973.81

The Redarc RedVision Manager30 kit costs approx $3186.81

Everything you need to know to go Free Camping
Rapid Bay Campground SA

CTek

CTek is another Australian Company and are very popular.

The CTEK Smartpass 120s battery management system works with AGM or Lifepo4 Lithium batteries.

The Smartpass 120s works in line with the CTEK 250sa battery charger to control and optimize energy and distribute to the battery banks.

We use the CTEK smartpass but find it difficult to contact CTEK direct for information, support and assistance.

Everything you need to know to go Free Camping - Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island SA

Enerdrive

Enerdrive are a Brisbane based Australian Company who specialise in Solar energy equipment to the Caravan and RV industry.

They provide a quality product for those with the budget to pay for a premium product.

Inverter

An Inverter will convert your 12v solar power to 240v electricity. There are so many different options but we recommend that you ensure you buy a Pure Sine Wave Inverter when looking to purchase.

Different sized inverters are available to run and operate larger powered equipment however the larger the inverter the more power it will also use.

For our 4WD, I recently bought a 1500-3000w Inverter off eBay and it wasn’t expensive. We use it mostly to inflate our air bed when camping, run the compressor to inflate the tyres and other simple uses around the vehicle.

Everything you need to know to go Free Camping
Gregory River Qld

Battery Charger

One of my favourite recent purchases has been my Victron IP65 15a Battery Charger. It is a lot less complicated than setting up a DC/DC system in the 4wd and it doesn’t have the limitations a fixed connection does. I can take it and use anywhere at any time.

I was driving to purchase another brand when I stopped off at a shop and came across the Victron. They are a highly regarded brand and it was $100 cheaper then the one I was on my way to buy.

By using Bluetooth on an app on my phone I can also monitor it while it is charging. It works perfectly with either AGM or Lithium battery.

Free Camping at Desert Oaks Rest Area in Northern Territory
Desert Oaks Rest Area NT

Water

The more water you can access while free camping the longer you can stay and experience the region.

Once you have found water it’s just a case of how much you can store. There are several ways of doing this.

Most Caravans and Motorhomes have water tanks which will hold clean water that you can use for drinking, showers, your washing machine and cleaning your hands.

Tanks vary in size and some RV’s may have more then one. By fitting a tank to your 4WD it can also provide more capacity and allow you to continually top up your Caravan or Motorhome by finding water on your days out touring.

Handy Travel Tip: Take a 4 Way Tap Handle

One of our favourite free camps - Corella Dam
Corella Dam Qld

Water Bladders

Water Bladders are a popular method to contain water, especially within your 4WD. A bladder is more flexible and can be stored in the back tray, in the wagon or across the floor in the back seat.

Water Containers

Water containers are another great and flexible way to store more water. Jerry Cans can be stored externally to the 4WD or Caravan and generally they hold 20L of water.

Collapsible Water Containers can hold up to 20L of water and will fold flat when not in use. They are also flexible in where they can be stored around your 4wd or Caravan.

Water Pump

A Water Pump can be a perfect solution for when you are camped near a river or creek. You could pump water in to use for washing and showers and keep your potable water just for drinking.

Grey Water

Grey Water is the water remaining after a shower and washing. In some Free Camps you will be required to store your Grey Water and not release it on to the ground around you. The TYTO RV Park in Ingham at the Information Centre is an example of one of a number of such locations.

Storing your Grey Water may be by having a tank fitted to your Caravan or Motorhome that will automatically capture the water after it has been used.

Alternatively in many situations buckets can be used and then sealed so it can be released in a suitable location such as a Dump point.

In most places around Australia you will find the Grey Water can be released onto the ground. In this case you can run the water from your RV by a Grey Water hose to a place away from your campsite area and away from your neighbours.

Yarrawanga Free Camp
Murray River Victoria

Rubbish

Some Free Camps in Australia will have rubbish bins available however this is not always the case. There is no excuse for littering, simply collect your rubbish into a bag and place it in to bins next time you leave your camp.

It sounds easy because it is!!

Rear Wheel Bin

A Rear Wheel Bin is a great way to store your rubbish in Free camps until the next opportunity to throw it out in the appropriate manner.

Refrigerators

Fridge space is another factor that may determine your length of stay at a Free camp. Caravans, Motorhomes and RV’s are notorious for having small fridges and this is where an extra portable fridge comes in very handy.

Engel

Engel Fridges are well regarded as a great fridge and many owners recall owning one for many years.

Waeco

We have a Waeco model within our Motorhome as a secondary fridge option and they too are considered a good quality fridge.

Kings

The 4WD Supacentre has the Kings range which is cheaper and popular and possibly a great option.

Vitrifrigo

For our 4WD we chose a Vitrifrigo 130L upright fridge which we find is a great extra fridge option for us. The separate compressor means more fridge space too.

Township at Longreach
Longreach Qld

What is Black Water?

Black Water is your toilet waste which can be emptied at any of the numerous Dump Points around the country.

Toilet Cassette

To increase your toilet cassette capability many travelers have 2 toilet cassettes that they carry with them. Each cassette holds approximately 17-18L. The two most popular models are the Dometic CTS 4110 cassette and the Thetford C200 model depending on your toilet system.

Portable Toilet

Another option especially for campers is a Portable Toilet. We have a Kings portable toilet we use when camping in our 4wd and have found it to be great value. You can also use these as a back up or if your Van doesn’t have a toilet on board.

Toilet Chemicals

The toilets require you to use chemicals to break down the waste and keep it from smelling. We use the Porta Pak range of chemical which comes in simple satchels which are clean and easy to use.

What is the best thing to sleep on when Free Camping?

When out camping in many of the fantastic Free camps either in outback Australia or along our amazing coastline there are lots of options for where to sleep if you decide not to take an RV.

Rooftop Tent

A Rooftop Tent allows you to be off the ground where it may be safer and also capture better breezes. Some rooftop tents are very easily packed away in just a few moments. They are really popular and range in price from around $700 for the Kings Roof Top Tent to $5000 for ones that pack up in moments.

Tent

A Tent provides a greater amount of space and area to store items and get dressed in private and comfort. Tents come in a variety of styles, quality and size to suit all needs and budgets. Over the years the technology of tents has improved significantly and now they can be very easy and fast to set up and use. The Wanderer 7 man Tent like this one is a great option or we like this Coleman Tent with loads of features which is very similar to the one we used to camp on Fraser and Moreton Islands.

Swag

A Swag is a simple option to sleep under the stars and keep covered at night. There are a range of great Swags available for purchase and we were very close to buying the Adventure Kings Double Swag.

Read about: Our Whitsundays adventure sleeping in a Swag on a Pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef.

Everything you need to know to go Free Camping - cooking on the campfire
Cooking on the Campfire

Relaxing by a Campfire

There’s nothing more Australian then a campfire at night, toasting marshmallows, a drink and great mates. It’s as Aussie as Vegemite.

Collecting dead firewood is also good fun and there are some great new chain saws on the market to help with the cause.

You will want a range of timber in all sorts of sizes, twigs and small brush to get the fire started, some more larger bits of timber to build the fire and later some large logs to make it easier than feeding the fire all night long.

Chainsaw

A Chainsaw will make the job easier and there are lots of options available.

A Petrol chainsaw is great especially for cutting larger logs. With more power and a longer bar a petrol chainsaw will cut faster and cleaner and will produce a great result every time.

The new Ryobi 18v Battery Chainsaw is much improved on it’s predecessor and is perfect for camping and cutting timber for a campfire. It does have its limitations but if you use the Ryobi Range of 18v tools like I do it might be a perfect option for you.

Makita, AEG, Stihl and more also have excellent cordless chainsaw options.

Beautiful Sandy Cape
Sandy Cape Campground WA

Our tips on Managing your Power while Free Camping

We were total rookies when we left and made a lot of mistakes in the early stages. If only we had a list of everything you need to know to go Free Camping before we left!! We especially absorbed far more power than we needed to. If you are setting off in your RV for the first time this is what we did wrong at first and hope you can learn by our errors!!

  • Turn off your inverter when not in use as it still draws power.
  • Power your devices in the middle of the day. Don’t power up at night.
  • Keep solar panels clean to maximise power generated by the sun.
  • Utilise power banks if you need to charge devices at night.

Handy Travel Tip: Solar – Creating and Managing our Power

There’s nothing better than a perfect Free camp. Feeling the sense of enjoyment while relaxed and away from the stress and pressure of every day life. Hopefully we have covered everything you need to know to go Free Camping. Let us know if we have missed anything?

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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Photography

Our camera equipment we use for all of our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses –

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/3gMvbf1  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Adventurers Diary

Free Camps and Caravan Parks

Which do travellers prefer out of Free Camps and Caravan Parks?

Many of us love a great Free Camp but Caravan Parks can also be great places to stay.

The first thing we need to recognise is that there are different types of travelers. I put them in to 4 Groups.

1. Holiday Makers

2. Short Term Travelers

3. Big Lappers

4. Living on the Road

Free Camps or Caravan Parks - Kurrimine Beach Holiday Park

Each of the travelers will have different setups, want a different experience and have different budgets. There is no right or wrong, just different strokes for different folks.

Types of Travelers

Let’s look at each of the travelers:-

The Holiday Makers

They head off for 1-3 weeks on holidays from work or long weekends.

You will rarely see them in a Free Camp.

Holiday Makers are still part of the active workforce and therefore have spending money.

These travelers are common Caravan Park guests.

They just want to get away, relax and enjoy a fun holiday.

Corella Dam is one of the best Free Camps
Corella Dam Qld

They are looking for somewhere with lots for the kids to do to keep them active and enjoying themselves.

Their setups are generally basic and based on what was on the showroom floor.

They will want power to run all the appliances you would mostly use at home.

Short Term Travelers

These travelers usually have long service leave or have taken an extended holiday. They have a short period to fit as much in as possible.

They can afford more comfort within their trip.

This group also includes retired couples with homes who like to get away and explore but want to get back to the grandkids and families. Therefore they don’t go for long periods.

Cool Waters was one of the 5 great Caravan Parks in Cairns
Cool Waters Holiday Park, Cairns Qld

Short Term Travelers usually travel for around 3-4 months and up to 6 months.

Free Camping is an option but they often stay in Caravan Parks.

Our tips on saving money on Accommodation expenses: How to Save Money on Accommodation

These are the travelers that parks want to ensure they continue to encourage to enjoy everything the Caravan Parks offer.

Garden Island is the top Free Camps in Tassie
Garden Island, Tasmania

Big Lappers

These are the travelers who are on their Big Lap, often for 12 months but sometimes longer.

They have little or no income and rely on savings or work as they travel.

Big Lappers are on a strict budget.

Tips on how to reduce the food bill while you travel: How to save Money on Food and Groceries

Their rigs have been designed to go off grid and they are self sufficient.

Free Camps or Caravan Parks
Big Lappers stretching their $$ by Free Camping

They love to Free Camp to keep expenses under control.

Families on the road mostly use Free Camps and Caravan Parks are basically where they will stop occasionally to give their kids some time in water parks and playgrounds.

These travelers will limit their stay or not go to places where they are forced to pay to stay.

Families feel royally screwed by Caravan Parks with the high extra costs of children to stay. This is a key reason more people choose to Free Camp over paying to stay.

Traveling Australia used to be the almost sole domain of Grey Nomads however Families are now a major part of the Caravaning adventure.

Couples who travel full time, either young or old, don’t need Caravan Park facilities and don’t want to pay much for them. They rarely visit Caravan Parks.

McGaurans Beach Victoria
McGaurans Beach, Victoria

Living on the Road

There are more people now living in their RV’s than ever before. They almost never visit Caravan Parks.

This group will avoid crowded and busy places and like privacy and peace.

They will stay in one place longer as they are in no hurry to be anywhere and it reduces their costs.

Those Living on the Road don’t explore as much as other groups and generally enjoy the simple life.

Keeping their travels to their budgets is very important to them.

Calliope River Free Camp
Calliope River, Qld

Which Travelers suit Free Camps and Caravan Parks

When we look at this it helps to understand the needs and requirements of each traveler on the road.

Group 3 will only stay in Caravan Parks on their terms. They need to focus on attracting Groups 1 and 2 to their parks.

Pambula Beach Holiday Park is our favourite Caravan Park in all of Australia
Pambula Beach Holiday Park NSW. An awesome Caravan Park

Caravan Parks

Let’s look at Caravan Parks!

Without a doubt Caravan Parks are an important part of the Australian Traveler. Most provide great value, excellent facilities, are well run and have fantastic friendly staff who welcome you and help provide an all round enjoyable experience.

We have stayed in many Caravan Parks where our stay was part of the overall fun of being in the region.

We have compiled a list of our favourite Caravan Parks. Check out our list and save them for your travels: Our Best Caravan Parks around Australia

Island View Caravan Park Kinka Beach
Island View Caravan Park Kinka Beach – One of our favourite Caravan Parks around Australia

In the north we like to have our air conditioner on at night and a pool to swim in during the day so often we will stay in a Caravan Park. No point being over tired and cranky because you can’t get a good night sleep.

Caravan Park Accommodation

The cost to stay in Caravan Parks is often fair and reasonable. Parks with limited facilities are usually budget priced and available between $30-40 a night for a couple. Big Parks with all the toys or in prime position will cost $40-60 a night for a couple.

These are acceptable prices, especially to their target markets of Groups 1 and 2.

Need tips on how to save money on your Caravan Park stays? Save Money staying at Caravan Parks

The issue comes if you have more than 2 people. Our first 2 years were spent traveling with our adult son and it would cost us up to an extra $16 per night. Families with young children are being gouged with exorbitant prices and priced out of Caravan Parks when they are full time on the road with low budgets.

Caravan Park Amenities

We like Caravan Parks but some really don’t provide good value. Often just the basics are overlooked. My biggest issue with Caravan Parks are:

Poorly designed amenities blocks!!

Water ends up friggin everywhere……

Caravan Park Amenities
The mess poorly designed showers make, and no I’m not being paid to be a cleaner!!

How hard or expensive is it to put shower curtains in? Often the floor outside is level with the base area of the shower and it is so annoying getting out of the shower onto a wet floor and after drying off you try to put your shorts, jeans or undies on and they get wet. Or your wet feet would get stuck in your pants and you’d nearly fall over as they get caught up in your clothes as you try to get them on.

How can you get dry when water is everywhere?

Caravan Park Amenities – Self Cleaning Requirement

Then some Caravan Parks have the audacity, due to their poor shower area design, to leave a mop and bucket and have a sign saying we do their cleaning for them. The sign therefore even admits it’s a safety issue!!

A well designed shower cubicle makes a huge difference to a great Caravan Park experience.

Dirty Shower head in the amenities of one of the caravan parks in which we stayed
Disgusting….

Have you looked at the shower heads in some Caravan Parks? Sooooo gross!!

Then there’s the fun of walking back to camp in your wet thongs and flicking sand and dirt up all over yourself. When we get back we need another shower.

We now don’t even bother, if we do stay in a Caravan Park we still use our own shower and amenities in our Motorhome.

Caravan Park WiFi

As for the Free Wifi, you’re kidding right!!!

Seriously, do they ever work??

Do they ever offer more then a token upload to social media and you’ve run out of free data?

So many rules
So many rules……..

It’s awesome when you go back to reception to say it isn’t working and they inform you that no sorry, it doesn’t work on those sites. The Wifi only works near reception. Where’s a Face palm emoji when you need one.

Instead of a thousand signs with all the rules and things you can’t do, how about just one sign. Be a decent person or don’t stay!!

That sorts everything, we’re all adults and given responsibility most will do the right thing. Those that don’t wouldn’t have any way.

Workmans Beach Campground
Workmans Beach Campground, Agnes Water Qld

Pet Friendly Caravan Parks

As travelers originally with a dog we sure understand the frustration with being a pet owner and traveling the country. However we also witnessed some poor pet ownership during our time, not limited to the 2 dogs left inside a Caravan all day in an Adelaide Caravan Park just 2 sites from us who barked all day and caused mayhem. Can’t imagine the mess inside when the owners returned that day.

Unfortunately some dog owners ruin it for everyone and Caravan Park management end up deciding it’s not worth it. We were always able to find somewhere to stay, only Kalbarri in WA was an issue when not one place would allow us to stay during school holidays due to having MACKS with us.

It is that little bit harder traveling with your pets, it limits your options of where you can stay but there’s usually a good spot somewhere in town that will welcome you.

Caravan Parks Facilities

Many Caravan Parks have spent a fortune in recent years to upgrade their parks with all sorts of equipment. From water parks to jumping castles, play rooms to amazing camp kitchens, they are now like mini resorts. We have stayed in parks with outdoor cinemas, pizza ovens and all sorts of modern and expensive facilities.

Caravan Parks can be heaps of fun
Discovery Parks Tanunda SA

This is awesome and will attract more of those in Groups 1 and 2 however those travelers in Groups 3 and 4 become even more isolated from staying as the prices to cover these updated facilities continues to increase.

Running a Caravan Park is an expensive and difficult business and most people would be staggered to know what they pay in rent, insurance, wages, water, electricity, waste removal, licenses, maintenance and so much more.

Rather then trying to close Free Camps, maybe Caravan Parks could provide a service that more relates to those in Groups 3 and 4.

Free Camps

Now let’s look at Free Camps!

Free camps provide more space. If it’s busy then it’s very possible space will be tight but generally you’ll have a bit more room to work with and for privacy.

The rules to stay all generally fit on one sign at the entrance or you’ll find them on the website or WikiCamps app. It doesn’t feel like school again or you have joined the Army when staying in a Free Camp.

There’s either no or a limited cost to stay which allows your funds to be used to take tours and enjoy the experiences you set out to enjoy.

Read about: Our Best Free Camps in Australia

Free Camps and Caravan Parks - Quick Beach Free Camp
Quicks Beach, Murray River Victoria

Children are mostly better behaved when Free camping is our experience. This we believe is because they have been on the road longer, are spending more quality time with their family and are learning genuinely interesting things each day.

People aren’t carrying the stresses and pressures of every day life with them and therefore are more relaxed and friendly.

Free Camping Cons

Free Camps have no power and therefore no air conditioning for the vast majority. If it’s hot than sleep can be a lot more uncomfortable.

Some of us have generators which may annoy others. This is especially the case for us during bad weather when we are stuck inside and drawing more power yet less solar energy is coming back in to our system. For those that don’t like generators this can be a bug bear for them in Free Camps.

To Free Camp regularly you will need to spend a little more money on your setup. Grey Water tanks, Solar, Batteries, bigger Inverters and a generator may all be areas to spend some money depending on how much power you need and use each day. You will need your own toilet facilities and shower within your setup.

Find out about how to create and manage your power while traveling: Solar – Creating and Managing our Power

Bay of Fires is one of the best free camps in Australia
Bay of Fires Campground Tasmania

Self-Contained Requirements

You may not need all these things in all the places you go however to Free camp extensively around Australia, many places require you to be “Self Contained” and have these facilities on board.

A lot of people have different conceptions about what Self Contained actually means which is understandable as it often means different things in different places and by different Councils. It is normally defined by the ability to capture your Grey and Black water. You will need to have your own toilet and shower on board as most Free Camps do not provide any facilities.

Low Cost Campgrounds

Another great choice when traveling is Campgrounds. These might be formal campgrounds provided by local Councils or they can be Station Stays, RV Parks or owners properties around the country providing space on their land to stay overnight.

In each case they usually come with a small fee. Council Campgrounds and Station Stays are usually around $20-30 a night for 2 people and have basic facilities. RV Parks and properties are often $10-15 a night for 2 people.

These are great mid-ranged options for all travelers.

Free Camps or Caravan Parks - Browns Beach Free Camp
Browns Bay SA

Check out our favourite campgrounds and save them to your travel list: Our 29 Best Low Cost Campgrounds in Australia

Choice of Free Camps and Caravan Parks

With bigger and better rigs being built every year, designed to provide more comfort and opportunities to spend more time off grid the challenge remains for Caravan Parks to attract clientele. Certainly they shouldn’t be relying on Full time travelers to be a major source of their income as Free Camping continues to be a preferred choice.

Do you prefer to stay in just Free Camps, do use a mix of both Free Camps and Caravan Parks or do you just stay in Caravan Parks?

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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Photography

Our camera equipment we use for all of our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses –

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/3gMvbf1  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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