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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 many years ago, it can also be frustrating.

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

This guide gives you all the information you need to start Free Camping.

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 information.

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.

It means more space, less rules, no owners, managers or caretakers, it’s less stress and more friendly people.

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 Camping area.

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 every State and Territory of Australia 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 so we went back to sleep.

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.

Then 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 bread to 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.

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 have used the CTEK smartpass in the past but find it difficult to contact CTEK direct for information, support and assistance.

Personally we won’t use CTek again.

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.

Read more: 17 Very Cool Gadgets and ideas for Traveling

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.

This is our favourite method to keep and store extra water.

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 used to 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.

We have a 60L Kings fridge in our Motorhome and for when we go camping and it’s been brilliant so far.

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.

Check out our: 47 Caravan Motorhome RV & Camping Accessories

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

Pin – Everything you need to know to go Free Camping!

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 – http://ebay.us/9vMXEH – 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/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.us/br9MeO This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttp://ebay.us/zWvfuI  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 9 Hero Black – https://ebay.us/6CQOVC  –  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/2ARPxTo  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

Mataranka, What to do and where to stay

Mataranka Feaature

Mataranka is a small town in Northern Territory and the Capital of the Never Never, just 431 kms south-east of Darwin.

Coming from the south on your road trip, you’ve probably just enjoyed a fantastic Barra Burger and a beer at Daly Waters Pub less than 2 hours drive away.

The Stuart Highway has now brought you here to Mataranka and if you’ve seen the photos from other travellers you’ll know why this is a must stop destination.

This is a great place to pull up stumps for a few nights after some long days driving and just relax and enjoy the Australian outback.

Mataranka Capital of the Never Never

About Mataranka

Mataranka to Darwin is still a 4 and a half hour drive away yet, with many great sight still to see along the way.

Katherine is just up the road and only 115 kms, just over an hour’s drive between the two towns.

The population of Mataranka is approximately 350 people but thousands of tourists arrive in town during the winter dry season.

The region has a strong Indigenous history and you can witness Aboriginal Art at the Stockyard Gallery’s exhibit and visit the Never Never Museum to learn more about their local stories.

Mataranka

Mataranka Weather

The weather in Mataranka is consistently warm during the day and the best months to visit are April to September during the dry season.

Our first stay was in July and our other two stays have both been in the month of May.

Apart from the winter months, the average temperatures for the most part of the year range between 19.7°C to 37.9°C with the hottest month on average being October.

July is the coldest month with an average maximum of 30.5°C and the minimum temperature down around 13.6°C.

The area is generally very dry in the winter months but during the wet season roads may be cut off for long periods.

Bitter Springs is one of the main attractions in Mataranka
Spectacular Bitter Springs

Things to do in Mataranka

Bitter Springs

One of the most popular attractions in Mataranka is Bitter Springs.

An amazing 30.5 million litres of water rises from underground and it is heaps of fun to float down with the gentle flow of water.

You will find the water temperature sits at around 34°C all year round but the springs are generally closed from November to May due to flooding in the wet season.

This amazing crystal clear naturally fed spring is lined with paperbarks and cabbage palms.

There is now a paved pathway from the car park to this ever popular swimming hole.

The entry and exit points from the springs is via a small set of stairs with a handrail.

Bitter Springs is located in the Elsey National Park and is just 2 kms from the township of Mataranka.

Simply turn off the Stuart Highway into Martin Road.

Just 500 metres past Bitter Springs Cabins and Camping you will arrive at the Bitter Springs car park.

Kev enjoying Bitter Springs

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Mataranka Thermal Pools

Mataranka Thermal Pools

The Mataranka Thermal Pools are just one of the two natural thermal pools in the Elsey National Park.

These paperbark, palm fringed Mataranka Hot Springs offer a safe place for swimming in crystal clear waters that are consistently warm all year round.

Easily accessible from within the Mataranka Homestead and just a short walk from the car park.

Anyone can visit the Hot Springs by walking through the Mataranka Homestead, easy free parking is available at the front.

Mataranka Giant Termite Mound

Giant Termite Mound

Right in the heart of Mataranka is a giant termite mound. It is the world’s largest man-made termite mound.

There are over 2000 species of termites and nearly 90 can be found within the Northern Territory.

Termite mounds are a very common sight in The Top End as their homes dominate the landscape.

Barra Feeding at the Territory Manor Mataranka
Our son Matt feeding the barramundi at the Territory Manor

Territory Manor Barramundi Feeding

Territory Manor is a local Motel and Caravan Park which is both family and pet friendly.

You can stop and stay or drop in for lunch any day.

Twice a day, the Territory Manor feed the Barramundi in the dam beside their licensed restaurant.

If you want to brave it, you can even take part in the barra feeding. The Barra have a very explosive action when being fed which is amazing to witness close up.

Admission to the barra feeding at the Territory Manor is free but a gold coin donation is appreciated.

Meeting Nathan Whippy Griggs

Nathan ‘Whippy’ Griggs

A visit to Mataranka is not complete without catching Nathan ‘Whippy’ Griggs in action at the Mataranka Homestead.

Nathan is an extremely talented whip cracker and holds five Guiness World records.

One of his World records being for the most times a whip can be cracked in a minute.

Unbelievably Nathan can crack a whip 697 times in just one minute.

Nathan has been cracking whips since he 14 and performs regularly in Mataranka from May to August and in other towns around the country throughout other months of the year.

Admission is free to the Mataranka Homestead to see Nathan perform live and he simply relies on people making a donation or purchasing a whip and other merchandise after the show.

Mataranka Falls

The hike to the Mataranka Falls is an 8 km return walk from 12 Mile Yards.

The track is well marked with blue arrows and is mostly flat with a hard surface but some patches are sandy.

There are some scenic view points as it follows the Roper River along the way to the falls.

If you are expecting a high plunging waterfall you will be disappointed.

The Mataranka Falls consist of small cascade of less than a metre in height.

Note there is definitely no swimming at Mataranka Falls or in the river as salt water crocs inhabit these waters.

Read more about Darwin & the Top End: Things to do in Darwin, NT

5 Essentials – Ryobi Tools for Traveling

  1. A chainsaw certainly is an essential tool while traveling especially when camping and 4WDing. Perfect for cutting up wood for the campfire and ideal for clearing tracks of fallen branches when 4WDing. I really like the Ryobi Chainsaw and will be looking to buy one very soon to match all of my other Ryobi tools.
  2. The Ryobi Cordless Hand Vacuum has been super handy for the motorhome while traveling and now it is also great to use in our 4WD.
  3. Even prior to traveling, I have always used a Ryobi Cordless Drill. They are an essential tool for use at home and while on the road.
  4. We have had heaps of use from our Ryobi 18v Area Light. It’s great for fishing, camping and outdoor entertaining and even when we want to save power at night while free camping. Just charge it up the next day when you have solar.
  5. There are so many uses for our Ryobi Blower while traveling. Blowing the leaves off the top of the slideout before bringing it in, accelerating the campfire, clearing away any dirt, grass or sand from around your campsite.
Our preferred place to stay in Mataranka - Little Roper Stockcamp

Mataranka Accommodation

Mataranka caters for all travellers with a wide variety of accommodation to choose from.

There’s bush camping, motel rooms, cabins as well as powered and unpowered caravan park sites.

Between the Homestead, Caravan Parks and Motels the area has you covered for whatever accommodation you require during your stay.

Little Roper Stockcamp

Enjoy an incredible and unique outback experience at the Little Roper Stockcamp.

Every morning at 8am except Sundays, owner Des boils the billy and cooks up little johnny cakes.

It is great gathering around with fellow travellers for a chat over a free cup of tea while enjoying a couple of johnny cakes for just $2 each.

After morning smoko, stick around as at 9am Des brings out the resident snakes and lizards for kids big and small to get up close and personal with.

Campfire Cooking Little Roper Stockcamp

The Communal Fire is lit every afternoon at 5pm and offers another great gathering point at the Little Roper Stockcamp.

Cook dinner over the fire in your camp oven or you are welcome to use one of the camp ovens provided.

There are rustic showers and toilets, washing machines and water but it is bore water.

A number of friendly farm animals on-site are also a great way to keep the kids entertained.

Contact Details for the Little Roper Stockcamp:

Phone: 0427 880 819
Address: 547 Homestead Road Mataranka NT
Website:

Read everything to know here: Little Roper Stockcamp

Des cooking up johnny cakes at Little Roper Stockcamp

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Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping in Mataranka

Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping

Located just 3kms from the Mataranka township the Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping is also just a short walk to the magnificent Bitter Springs.

Right on the banks of the Little Roper River, it not only provides an informal camping area in a relaxed natural bush setting, it is also an awesome spot to go barra fishing.

The spacious Campground has powered sites with bore water on tap where you can choose your own site and you can stay unhitched if you wish.

Pet Friendly Bitter Springs Camping

Facilities include toilets, showers, a camp kitchen and laundry.

An on-site kiosk stocks bread, milk and ice and be sure to try their frozen fresh locally grown mango!

Unpowered sites are available alongside the bank of the river.

Campfires are allowed in the unpowered campground but not in the main powered camping area.

Pets are welcome and we were able to stay with our beautiful Golden Retriever MACKS.

Generators are not permitted.

Contact Details for Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping:

Phone:  08 8975 4838
Address:  255 Martin Road, Bitter Springs, Mataranka, Northern Territory
Website: 

Read more: Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping

Bitter Springs Caravan Park - our first stay in Mataranka
Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping

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Mataranka Homestead at night

Mataranka Homestead

The Mataranka Homestead is home to the We of the Never Never Homestead and the Mataranka Thermal Pools.

A large camping area is available with both powered and unpowered sites as well as cabins and motel style accommodation.

Facilities at the Mataranka Homestead include a pool, bar and restaurant plus a store which stocks bread, milk, souvenirs and basic clothing and fishing supplies.

There are three amenities blocks and two laundries throughout the grounds.

Nathan Whippy Griggs regularly performs at the Mataranka Homestead
Nathan ‘Whippy’ Griggs

Pets are permitted but restricted to Campground One only due to the fact that the homestead is located in National Park.

Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times in the campground. Pets are not permitted in the Elsey National Park.

There are no on-line bookings available, it is simply a first in best dressed basis or you can call them on (08) 8975 4544.

Be sure to witness Nathan ‘Whippy’ Griggs in action at the Mataranka Homestead.

He performs every night except Monday nights from May through to August.

Contact Details for the Mataranka Homestead:

Phone: 08 8975 4544
Address: 642 Homestead Road, Mataranka, Northern Territory
Website:

Mataranka Homestead

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Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park - one of the places to stay in Mataranka

Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park

Just 500 metres from the heart of Mataranka township is the Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park.

Powered Sites, Family Rooms and Double Share Motel Rooms are the accommodation options on offer.

Facilities include a swimming pool, spa, a huge camp kitchen, barbecue and laundry.

Territory Manor Buggy from We of the Never Never movie

There is also an outdoor undercover licensed restaurant which is open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

The old buggy from the ‘We of the Never Never’ movie features in the restaurant as a buffet bench.

One of the other features of the Territory Manor is the Barra Feeding and the camping area is pet friendly.

Contact Details for Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park:

Phone: 08 8975 4516 or 08 8975 4612
Address: 51 Martin Road, Mataranka, Northern Territory
Website:

Territory Manor Barra Feeding Mataranka

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Elsey National Park on the outskirts of Mataranka

Jalmurark Campground

Located in the Elsey National Park, the Jalmurark Campground offers a large camping area with unpowered sites providing 2WD access for caravans, motorhomes and tent camping.

Facilities at the Jalmurark Camping Ground include toilets, showers and barbecues.

There are no bins so you need to take your rubbish with you.

The use of generators not permitted. Pets not allowed in the National Park.

Fires allowed in the designated fire pits only. Collection of firewood from the sides of the main roads is permissable.

You must be at least 50 metres away from the water when washing with soaps or detergents.

Bookings are to be made prior to your arrival. Book on-line through the Northern Territory Parks Booking System.

Contact Details for the Jalmurark Campground:

Phone: 08 8975 4560
Address: John Hauser Drive, Elsey, Northern Territory
Website:

United Mataranka

Mataranka Fuel Stations

There are actually 3 fuel stations in the small town of Mataranka.

Ampol Fuel is at the Mataranka Store & Service Station plus there’s the Mataranka United Service Station and the BP Mataranka Roadhouse.

All three are located within metres of each other in the main street of Mataranka.

On the three occasions that we have visited Mataranka over the last few years we have found diesel prices at the United and BP are slightly cheaper than at the Ampol.

There is however a 5c Fuel Discount Offer for Mataranka Central when you stay at the Mataranka Homestead.

We always use Petrol Spy app to find the cheapest fuel prices for any location throughout Australia.

Read more:  How to Save Money on Fuel

Mataranka Main Street

Take your time and experience everything to see and do in Mataranka.

It is a genuinely interesting and fascinating Australian outback town with many features and intriguing things to experience.

Other places to stay in the region:

Pin – Mataranka

Pin - Mataranka
Pin - Mataranka
Pin - Mataranka

Have you visited or spent some time exploring Mataranka?

Tell us about your experience in Mataranka.

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

_________________________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

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

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – http://ebay.us/9vMXEH – 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.

Samsung s21 Phonehttps://ebay.us/QAdwva – this looks an insane camera within a phone. We have friends and our son who own one and it seems quite extraordinary with their camera quality. If you’re after a new phone this is what I’d be looking at.

Canon 800dhttps://ebay.us/Q0UV1z – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Nikon Coolpix p1000https://ebay.to/37cORUV – We have the Nikon P900 and this is the new model. The zoom lens is unbelievable and so awesome when travelling and you want to capture photos from a distance.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.us/br9MeO – This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttp://ebay.us/zWvfuI  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 9 Hero Black – https://ebay.us/6CQOVC  –  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/2ARPxTo  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

The Story of John, The Highway Man

John the Highway Man Feature Image

At just 23 years of age, John The Highway Man as he is now known, took leave from his bank job of 5 years and went for a walk.

His intention was to go for 3 months, just to wander and feel free.

John never went back.

He was missing for 25 years.

This is the story of John The Highway Man

John the Highway Man walking down the highway in NSW

While travelling Australia and traversing the long highways all around our vast country you really do see and meet some amazing, interesting and quirky people.

Way out in the middle of absolutely nowhere you see people riding bicycles, unicycles, postie bikes, riding tractors, in cars so old they out date some of us and making their way from A to B by extraordinary means.

But this is a story of a man who has chosen a completely different mode of transport, his legs.

He’s been using them to walk the country’s roads now for over 40 years.

It really is a fascinating story of a man who found peace and solitude walking the highways of Australia.

In his words ” I’m just a wanderer”

We met John in NSW and chatted and this is his story.

Who is John the Highway Man?

His real name is Grant John Cadoret.

As Adele and I approached the town of Forbes in regional NSW in our Winnebago Esperance Motorhome we both noticed a fellow on the side of the highway walking north.

We were around 30 kms south from the town when Adele recognised him and said, “that’s John the Highway Man”.

I looked in my mirrors and checked the side of the highway and made sure it was safe for us to pull over.

Fortunately we had no vehicles behind us and space off the side of the road.

So we stopped and had a chat.

John the Highway Man

About John

John grew up in the Victorian country town of Minyip, just over 300 kms north west of Melbourne.

It was 1977 and at the young age of 23, John decided to take some leave from his good banking job, just to go for a walk.

It was only meant to be for a short time, certainly not for the decades how it has ended up.

Out here as he trod the earth, looked out over farmland, and searching within himself, he found solitude and peace as time went by.

3 months turned into 3 years, then 5, then 10 and before he knew it, he’d been gone a long, long time.

John said to me as we chatted, “when I first started out no-one would give me a ride when I wanted one. Now everyone offers me a ride but I prefer to walk”

Communication in the 1970, 80’s and even early 90’s of dial up was nothing like it is today.

There were no mobile phones, no internet, no Facebook, no Social Media at all.

The way we communicated was very different and much slower.

We did have pay phones and postcards though so his family struggled over the many years not hearing from him and believed he must have died.

John understood he’d been gone a long time and the longer he left it the harder it became to reach out and contact his loved ones.

Ultimately, he chose to let sleeping dogs lay.

His parents, he thought, would likely be dead by now so he continued on his marathon walk along the Australian Highways.

Where did he get money from?

He didn’t have any money, he didn’t need any.

At no time has John stopped to work along the way nor has he received any benefits or Government money.

Without property, without a vehicle and having no material needs he didn’t need money.

How did he survive?

John ate and drank what he would find on the roadsides of the highways.

He would come across food that had been thrown out car windows plus bottles and cans of drink tossed to the sides of the roads.

Along the way the kindness of other people would sometimes provide him food to eat.

Pools of water would otherwise be a source for somewhere to drink.

He became a modern day Swagman and learnt the survival tactics he needed.

Kev talking to John The Highway Man

During our chat I said to him, you should write a book. His response was “I prefer to read them”.

John stops at libraries and always has a book or two with him.

He does now have a small Kindle pad with him that he charges with a little solar panel you see on top of his backpack as he walks.

I found John to be very humble. He was happy to chat but I needed to lead the way with questions.

People stop and talk to him, some say they’d love to be doing it. John says, it’s always a fine day when they say it.

Finding John the Highway Man

Decades had gone by when a journalist heard about him having gone missing and decided to try to find him.

Amazingly, he did.

He stopped his car and chatted with him on the side of the road, talking about where he had been and listening to his stories.

The journalist went back and told his family, who had long decided he must have died, why else would he have never contacted them after so many years.

His sister broke down in tears and desperately wanted to see him.

John’s mother was at first unsure, not believing it was actually him.

In time her emotions went to anger, mad that he would still be alive and not contacted her.

Understandably there were a huge range of emotions for everyone involved.

The Journalist returned back to find John, once again travelling the Highways, looking for that needle in the haystack of the contented Swagman on his unique journey.

Eventually he found him once again, this time providing John his sisters phone number and told him his family wanted him to contact them.

Grant John Cadoret

Reuniting with his Family

It took a little time, some months, before John made the call.

His sister Michelle, a school teacher, was interrupted during class. There’s a phone call they told her, you need to take it.

It was John!!

The family reunited and now John returns regularly to visit. 

He discovered that his mother and father had split up over time and his father now lives in Queensland.

Where can you see John?

He doesn’t walk as far any more.

When I asked him if he was heading up to Queensland he said no. “Everything up there wants to kill you” he told me.

Ohhh, you mean snakes, spiders and dingoes I asked.

No he said, “Ants”.

“Any time I sit down they swarm all over me up there.”

He said he doesn’t go past Warwick now.

John told me he walked to Western Australia once in his earlier years but he doesn’t go back now.

Mostly you find him along the Highways of NSW and Victoria or maybe just a little over the border into Queensland.

In his early days, John says the police would pull him up for hitchhiking but now they all know him.

“They would ask me for ID, the problem is I’ve never had a credit card or any form of identification”, John said.

I asked John where he was aiming to get to today.

“I don’t know” he said. “I’ll just keep going until I’ve had enough and then I’ll stop”.

We asked him does he have an idea of where he wants to get to each day, “No” he said.

He has no plan each day, he just meanders along at his own pace in his own space.

Although introverted and quiet, John is friendly and kind also.

Pulled over when we spotted John The Highway Man
We pulled over when we spotted John the Highway Man

John the Highway Man on Social Media

John himself is not on Social Media, he has no idea what it is, just that it’s a thing and how people now know about him.

Today there are several Facebook pages dedicated to the adventures of John the Highway Man.

People watch out for him and post online where is he and how he is doing. 

They share their stories of him and what was said when they met.

One page is called The Highway Man: A: Grant Johns journey. The original page.

Another is The Highway Man, Grant Johns Helping Hands.

Please keep in mind John’s safety when sharing information on social media.

Don’t make him a target for thieves or leave him in a vulnerable position to anyone who may take advantage of his lifestyle.

What to do if you see John

Ensure before you apply the brakes on your vehicle that there is no-one close behind you and where you pull over you do it safely, for the sake of you, your family, John and other travellers.

Find somewhere that’s safe to stop to talk and it won’t hinder or be a distraction to others.

John is actually usually quite social, he likes to chat and is often happy talking for as long as you want to.

Remember, he chose this life and has been doing it a long time.

It’s his life and he’s happy so don’t talk with him as if he’s poor or suffering. He is doing exactly what he has chosen to do.

He doesn’t accept lifts so if you offer he’s very unlikely to do so.

John can only carry so much gear so while he appreciates gifts, he may not always be able to take it with him.

He likes coke and people bring him food and water, batteries and new boots or clothing.

I’ve learnt since we met that he likes a Rum too. Wish I knew that at the time and I’d have poured one for us both.

Apic with John The Highway Man

This is an incredible story of a true Aussie character.

A guy who chose to be different. In fact, he has said he knew he was different and just wasn’t fitting in.

Society can be a real challenge for some of us and John found his own space and his own place.

Hopefully we will get to meet him again.

Pin – John the Highway Man

Pin - John the Highway Man
Pin - John the Highway Man
Pin - John the Highway Man

Have you ever spotted John the Highway Man walking down the highway and stopped to have a chat?

Tell us if you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting John.

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

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

Samsung s21 Ultra Phonehttps://ebay.us/QAdwva – this is an insane camera within a phone. The S21 Ultra comes with up to 100 times zoom and high quality camera. If you’re after a new phone this is what I’d be looking at for travelling.

Nikon Coolpix p1000https://ebay.to/37cORUV – We have the Nikon P900 and this is the new model. The zoom lens is unbelievable and so awesome when travelling and you want to capture photos from a distance.

Our Go Pro 9 Hero Black – https://ebay.us/6CQOVC  –  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/2ARPxTo  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.

_______________________________________________________________________

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

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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/indefiniteleave

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

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Adventurers Diary

Things to do in Ilfracombe Qld

Things to do in Ilfracombe Feature

For a small outback Queensland town, there are quite a number of fun, interesting things to do in Ilfracombe.

Named after the small Devonshire town in England, Ilfracombe was founded in 1891 and was once the transport hub for the Wellshot Station, the largest sheep station in Australia.

Back in the early days, Ilfracombe had three hotels each with accommodation and their own dance hall. 

It also had two general stores, a couple of butchers, a baker, a saddler, dressmaker as well as a billiard saloon, a coach builder and a soft drink maker.

Now, the once thriving population has dwindled to between 200 and 300.

Ilfracombe has some great things to do

Located between Barcaldine and Longreach, Ilfracombe is known as the Hub of the West as their welcome sign suggests!

It’s just a 20 minute drive or just 27.2 kms from Ilfracombe to Longreach.

By road it is 80.9 kms from Barcaldine to Ilfracombe and around 52 minutes to drive between these two towns.

Naturally it is hard to compete with major attractions of Longreach but Ilfracombe provides a great outback atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle.

A quiet little town where you can enjoy peace and tranquility and a great base from which you can explore the entire region.

The main street of Ilfracombe

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Machinery Mile in the main street of Ilfracombe

Top Things to do in Ilfracombe

Here are 8 great things to do in Ilfracombe most of which are located right in the heart of town:

1. Take a walk down Machinery Mile

An easy way to get some exercise in Ilfracombe is to take a walk down Machinery Mile and back and you will clock up over 3 kms.

You will be amazed at some of the old machinery that makes up Machinery Mile, most of which has been collected from within a 100 metre radius to Ilfracombe.

This incredible timeline of tractors, dozers, trucks, carts, tanks and much more stretches out for a mile of the main street in Ilfracombe.

A couple of them are very rare and are one or two of the their kind left in the world.

Machinery Mile is free of charge however donations are gratefully accepted via the donation box to help maintain the machinery.

Wellshot Hotel -one of the top 8 things to do in Ilfracombe

2. Drop into the Wellshot Hotel

Be sure to drop into the Wellshot Hotel for a drink or two and sit your bum down on their quirky bar stools.

You simply can’t miss having a photo on these iconic stools at this iconic pub!

Stay for lunch or dinner and take the time to learn about the history of the hats, enjoy the rustic charm and quirky features that this outback pub has to offer.

Try your luck and see if you can successfully pin a $5 note to the roof of the bar.

Read more: Wellshot Hotel

Ilfracombe Artesian Pools
Ilfracombe Artesian Spa

3. Bathe in the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa and Swimming Pool

Take a therapeutic dip in the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa and Swimming Pool.

Feel the benefits of the warm therapeutic mineral waters. It is great to soak your weary muscles when you stop after a long day driving.

The waters of the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa are from the Great Artesian Basin which is one of the world’s largest artesian groundwater basins.

The Great Artesian Basin underlies one-fifth of Australia and extends beneath regions of Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Northern Territory.

It stretches from the Great Dividing Range all of the way to the Lake Eyre depression.

Standard Daily Opening Hours for the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa and Pool are 3.30pm to 6.30pm.

Display depicting the General Store in the early days

4. Visit Langenbaker House

The Langenbaker House is one of the first houses in Ilfracombe.

Since the 1890’s it belonged to Harry & Mary-Anne Langenbaker and remained in their family for just over 100 years.

It was acquired by the Ilfracombe Shire Council in 1991 after the last Langenbaker family member passed away.

This humble home has been preserved and is open to the public for guided tours.

It stands as a memorial to the Australia Outback Town’s people illustrating their way of life.

Inside the house it still largely resembles what it was like while the Langenbakers were raising their 11 children.

One of their sons became blind in an accident in 1921 therefore the furniture was left in exactly the same place so he could find his way around.

Ilfracombe Post Office

5. Pop into the Ilfracombe Post Office

The beautiful old tongue and groove building is home to not only Australia Post but also the Ilfracombe Library, a Gift Shop and a Second Hand Clothing store.

In 2010, the Ilfracombe Post Office celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the first motor mail delivery in the Commonwealth of Australia which went from Ilfracombe to Isisford.

6. Look through the Wellshot Centre

Learn about the early beginnings of the Wellshot Station.

The Wellshot Centre is an interesting place to visit as it outlines the history of the one of Australia’s greatest sheep stations.

The Wellshot Centre is also the Ilfracombe Visitor Information Centre.

Wellshot Station holds the world record for shearing the largest number of sheep off the same property in one season back in 1892.

Another record in the shire was the record for moving 43,000 sheep, the largest mob of sheep as a single flock in 1886.

7. Check out the Romani Hall Memorial – Gun Museum

The Romani Hall Memorial contains glass cabinets full of machine guns and weapons.

There are bombs, pistols, rifles, grenades and lots more.

All of the items in the museum relate to the war with the museum dedicated to Australia’s Light Horsemen.

It is a tribute to the young men in the Ilfracombe district who enlisted in the armed forces.

8. The Twelve Mile

Just 20 kms out from Ilfracombe towards Isisford is The Twelve Mile.

To find The Twelve Mile, go past Stockyard Creek and it will be on your left. 

Then turn at the Twelve Mile sign before driving another 100 metres to behind the dam.

Before heading out, pick up a map from the Wellshot Information Centre.

The self-guided map will assist you to explore this incredible formation.

Tree of Knowledge
Tree of Knowledge illuminated at night

Great Things to do in the Ilfracombe nearby region

There are more great things to do in the Infracombe surrounding region in towns like Barcaldine, Patrick, Aramac and Longreach.

Be sure to check out these other great attractions while you are close by.

Barcaldine

Tree of Knowledge

Barcaldine is just under 81kms from Ilfracombe and is most famous for the Tree of Knowledge.

The ghost gum is located in front of the Barcaldine Railway Station and it was under this tree that the 1891 Shearer’s Strike workers met.

The Tree of Knowledge was the site of the reading of the manifesto in 1892 leading to the formation of the Labour Party in Queensland.

Sadly this very notable tree which had been added to the Queensland Heritage Register in 1992 was poisoned in 2006.

Visit the Tree of Knowledge especially at night to see it beautifully illuminated with evolving coloured lights.

Barcaldine Great Shearers Strike

Great Shearers Strike

A tremendous and temultuous event in Queensland’s history was the Great Shearers Strike back in 1891.

At the time, Australia was going into its worst ever depression and unemployment was rife.

The price of wool had fallen and shearing was one of the most demanding but lowest paid jobs.

1,000 shearers put down their shears and marched through the streets of Barcaldine until their demands were met.

The demands were for the continuation of existing rates of pay; protection of worker’s rights and privileges; just and equitable agreements and the exclusion of low-cost Chinese labour.

The strike marked as the beginning of the working man’s voice lasted 4 months and 13 strike leaders were arrested and actually sentenced to 3 years hard labour.

Lara Wetlands
Lara Wetlands

Patrick

Lara Wetlands

When visiting nearby Barcaldine, be sure to head out to Lara Wetlands and camp up beside the lake for a few days.

It is a birdlover’s and photographer’s paradise.

Soak up the warmth in the natural hot spring pool, cook up a feast on a campfire, witness sensational sunsets and sunrises, paddle the lake in one of the complimentary kayaks.

Another option is you can use some old fashioned pedal power to explore the lake perimetre on the complimentary bicycles.

Read more about: Lara Wetlands

Aramac Sculpture Trail
One of over 40 unique sculptures dotted around the Aramac Lake Dunn Sculputre Trail

Aramac

The Aramac Sculpture Trail

Aramac is around 45 minutes from Barcaldine and is the where you can start the Aramac/Lake Dunn Sculpure Trail.

Miluynda Rogers, a local sculptor has created over 40 sculptures.

This unique art installation has Miluynda’s creations dotted around a 200km loop circuit.

It is one of the biggest permanent outdoor sculpture exhibiitons in the world and took us the best part of 6.5 hrs to complete the entire triangular circuit between Aramac, Lake Dunn and Jericho.

Longreach Sign

Longreach

Just 27.2kms and a 20 minute drive from Ilfracombe is Longreach.

Just add the things to do in Ilfracombe and Longreach and you can easily spend quite a few days in this awesome Queensland outback region.

Two of Adele’s 5 favourite tours in all of Oz are tours from Longreach.

Read more about: Our Favourite Experiences as we Travel Australia

Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame

Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame

One of the most popular attractions and things to do in Longreach is the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame.

Following a $15m makeover, the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame is even bigger and better since our visit in first visit in 2017.

You can choose to do the Stockman’s Experience Tour which includes the Live Show, Entry to the Museum and Galleries plus the new Cinematic Experience or you can just opt for the Museum & Gallery Entry only.

Definitely include this iconic attraction to your list of things to do in Ilfracombe and nearby region.

Qantas Founders Museum

Qantas Founders Museum

We enjoyed three of the Qantas Founders Museum tours and experiences when first visiting Longreach in 2017.

Firstly we wandered through the main exhibition hall of the amazing Qantas Founders Museum as well as the Heritage Listed Qantas Hangar.

Our second experience was going behind the scenes of the Boeing 707 and 747 as part of the 1.5 hr Airpark tour.

Since we visited they have constructed a roof  over the iconic aircraft to protect them from the harsh outback sun.

Last but not least and the true highlight of the Qantas Founders Museum was the 747 Wing Walk, a once in a lifetime experience.

Since our first visit in 2017 they have added the Luminescent Longreach – Light and Sound Show which would be great to do as well.

Outback Pioneers

Longreach

Outback Pioneers

The Kinnon Family are true outback pioneers.

They have really reinvented tourism in Longreach and they have a number of awesome tours and experiences.

Take an exhilarating Cobb & Co Stagecoach ride.

It is Australia’s only stagecoach gallop!

This amazing 4 hr tour includes riding the restored Cobb & Co Stagecoach through the main street of Longreach, galloping along a stretch of the original Longreach – Windorah mail run.

Also included is a traditional Aussie Morning Tea, a classic Australian movie in the retro cinema with canvas seats and the Harry Redford Old Time Tent Show – a tribute to the old time travelling shows.

Check out our: Top 10 Things to do in Longreach

Places to Stay in Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe Caravan Park

You can’t miss the Ilfracombe Caravan Park, just look for the red truck perched up on top of the entry way to this outback van park.

Accommodation options on offer include 55 Caravan Sites all with Power & Water and a range of fully self-contained cabins.

The cabins include Deluxe Queen Ensuite Cabins, a Family Cabin, a Pet Friendly Cabin and Queen Ensuite Villas.

Wellshot Hotel

Wellshot Hotel Campground

Located behind the Wellshot Hotel is the Wellshot Hotel Campground.

This is a paid campground where you can pull up stumps in your Caravan or Motorhome after a long drive or following a big afternoon session at the Wellshot Hotel lol.

Camping facilities at the Wellshot Hotel Campground include toilets, showers, drinking water, bins, laundry facilities and hook up to power.

It is accessible to caravans, motorhomes, camper trailers, campervans and tent camping.

Pets are permitted.

Other great places to stay in the region:

Where to Eat and Drink in Ilfracombe

Wellshot Hotel

We had it on good authority that the Wellshot Hotel has awesome Steak Sandwiches.

Naturally, we had to stop into the Wellshot Hotel and experience one of the Steak Sangers for ourselves and we weren’t disappointed.

The Wellshot Hotel offers a wide range of meal options for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner including delicious home made pies.

Choose to dine inside in the Dining Room, outside in the Beer Garden or be like us and eat your lunch up at the bar!

The Coffee Hatch

At the front of the Wellshot Hotel is The Coffee Hatch.

Not only does the Wellshot Hotel have the coldest beer in the west, it also serves up the best coffee.

Choose from the usual coffees, Cappucino, Hot Chocolate, Chai Latte, Espresso or a good old Flat White.

You can also enjoy a refreshingly cold Iced Chocolate on a hot summer’s morning. Grab a delicious piece of cake or crossiant to go with your drink.

Open Monday to Saturday 6am – 12 noon and Sundays from 8am – 12 noon.

Ilfracombe Caravan Park

During tourist season, the Ilfracombe Caravan Park offer a set menu for a delicious hearty meal when staying at the park.

Choose from 5 different reasonably priced meals and there’s one dessert.

Spoil yourself with a home cooked meal simply by booking and paying at Reception before 3pm on the day and be seated at a table in the ‘Shed’ for your dinner.

Kath's Kountry Kitchen

Pin – Things to do in Ilfracombe

Have you ticked off any of these things to do in Ilfracombe Qld?

Tell us about your most memorable experience of Ilfracombe.

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography and Socials

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

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – http://ebay.us/9vMXEH – 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.

Samsung s21 Phonehttps://ebay.us/QAdwva – this looks an insane camera within a phone. We have friends and our son who own one and it seems quite extraordinary with their camera quality. If you’re after a new phone this is what I’d be looking at.

Canon 800dhttps://ebay.us/Q0UV1z – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Nikon Coolpix p1000https://ebay.to/37cORUV – We have the Nikon P900 and this is the new model. The zoom lens is unbelievable and so awesome when travelling and you want to capture photos from a distance.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.us/br9MeO – This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttp://ebay.us/zWvfuI  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 9 Hero Black – https://ebay.us/6CQOVC  –  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/2ARPxTo  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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