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Free Camping in Australia

At around 7.7 million km2 and a population of just 25 million people there’s plenty of open space for Free Camping in Australia.

Whether you call it Free camping as we do mostly here in Australia or sometimes Bush Camping, Freedom Camping as they do in New Zealand, Boondocking as it’s called in the United States or Wild Camping in other countries, it all means much the same thing.

It’s the ability to setup camp in your Tent, Swag, Camper, Caravan or Motorhome where there’s open space and a sense of enjoying nature without a long list of rules to abide by other than those of common decency.

Free Camping in Australia doesn’t necessarily mean it is at no cost however usually that is the reference.

It can also mean open space, little to no rules, no designated sites, more room to park, don’t have to book or check in, incredible scenery and away from cities and major populated areas.

Sometimes this can come with a small cost or a request for a donation and still be Free Camping.

The cost though would be minimal and reasonable for the position and facilities provided.

Free Camping in Gregory
Gregory River Qld

Is it legal to Free camp in Australia?

There is no Australian Law that says you can not Free camp.

It’s part of our history and culture to be able to drive away from the built up cities and find amazing places where you can set up camp and enjoy the solitude of an amazing Free camp.

Australia’s “unofficial anthem” Waltzing Matilda by Banjo Paterson epitomises the very essence of Free Camping in Australia.

In many cases, popular places have had facilities provided, especially where some have been over loved and disrespected and with the cost to provide these provisions and ongoing maintenance there may be a small cost to stay.

There is however no specific National Law about Free Camping in Australia.

Free Camping in Gunn Point
Gunn Point NT

What is the best App to use for Free Camping in Australia?

There are 2 very popular apps available which provide excellent information about where you can go Free Camping in Australia.

Wikicamps

Wikicamps is mostly considered the primary resource for information about travelling Australia by road and where you can stay.

The app costs $7.99 and can be downloaded through your App store on Apple or Google Play.

This is the App we use and it’s very good.

Campermate

Campermate is another good app available and it is Free.

We met with another traveller recently who told us he uses both apps as he sometimes finds locations on one that’s not on the other.

I went back to my Campermate App to have another look but it insisted that it be able to track my movements at all times, even when not using the app so I didn’t accept it and still don’t use Campermate.

It is Free though and if you don’t mind the Apps requirements it may work great for you.

Full Range Camping

Full Range Camping is another app available. We haven’t used it so can’t comment on how good it is but we haven’t ever heard it discussed around the campfire or online.

I have previously downloaded the app and I’m pretty sure it is Free.

Camps Australia Wide

Camps Australia Wide provides a book each year with updates of all the places around Australia to go camping.

It also now has an App for your phone which can be downloaded for an annual subscription of $9.99.

We have read the Camps Australia Books however have never seen the phone App.

Once again. we haven’t heard of anyone discussing this App either to have any understanding of it’s performance.

Check out: Reviews of Free Camps, Campgrounds and Caravan Parks all around Australia on our website>

Yarramalong Weir Free Camping
Yarramalong Weir Qld

Where can you go Free Camping in Australia?

Apps give you lots of locations around Australia that are designated locations where there is a recognised place to camp for free.

This doesn’t mean you are limited only to these locations but they may be generally safer or provide facilities to make Free camping a better experience for you.

It’s important though to ensure wherever you decide to stay isn’t going to cause you a hefty fine by a Ranger who wakes you in the early hours of the morning.

Generally most people use Wikicamps to find Free Camps however if you find a location where there’s no Council regulation that says you can’t stay within the defining town boundaries in your vehicle, doesn’t have a ‘no overnight stays’ or ‘no camping sign’, depending on what you’re planning to stay in overnight and it isn’t private land, then you are probably able to stay.

There’s a lot of remote places where you could happily set up for a short period of time and enjoy a camping experience.

Notch Point - One of the best free camping in Australia
Notch Point Qld

What about Free Camping in National Parks?

National Parks around Australia can be amazing places to stay however there is usually a Fee to stay.

The price varies from state to state and depending on which National Park you intend to stay.

National Parks normally provide some services and are monitored and maintained by Park Rangers.

Each state of Australia is different in costs and requirements for entering and staying in National Parks. It can also vary from one National Park to another.

Always check the National Park website within the state you are in.

 

Yarrawonga Free Camping on the Murrary River
Yarrawonga on the Murray River

Can you sleep anywhere in a Campervan in Australia?

There are many different regulations around Australia based on each Council’s jurisdiction for the area. Some do allow Free camping whereas others don’t.

Some areas are more strict on policing their Free Camping policy than others.

Most towns and certainly most major towns and cities do not allow Free Camping or if they do it is only in designated areas.

You will always run the risk of a fine if you stay overnight in a non-designated area in major coastal towns of Australia.

Free Camping in Australia at Corella Dam
Corella Dam Qld

What is “Fully Self Contained” and do I need to comply?

Whilst the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia has defined what they believe Fully Self Contained means it too can be defined differently throughout the country by any governing Council.

The containment of Black Water is a given. This is your toilet wastewater and it obviously needs to be exposed of appropriately.

Grey Water is another accepted part of being Self Contained however it is how your Grey Water must be contained that can differ.

In some places it needs to be an enclosed sealed container whereas in other locations a bucket may suffice.

These Camping Grey Water Bladders are perfect to contain Grey Water when you don’t have a fitted tank:

  • Easy to store when not in use
  • Lightweight and Flexible
  • Australian Made
  • Fitted with Lifting Straps to carry bladder when disposing of grey water

View the Camping Grey Water Bladder in Adventure Awaits here>

Best Free Camping in Australia at Gregory River
Gregory River Qld

Tyto Wetlands RV Park in Ingham for instance is a location that requires Grey Water to be fully contained in a sealed, enclosed container. Buckets are no longer allowed.

Sometimes Showers are a requirement as part of your setup as there are none available nearby. This may be to stop the pollution of sensitive lakes or rivers nearby.

The ability to store and contain your Rubbish can also be part of the Self Contained requirement in some places but not others.

It can also mean having a kitchen or anything that allows you to stay and not leave any trace that you have been there.

What do I need to be able to go Free Camping?

Torch

We love our aircraft grade aluminum 1000 Lumen Torch. It really provides maximum light at night. It’s also great value on eBay from Jaycar for $59.95.

The new model of this same torch is out now and we have found it cheaper than we paid for it. Save $12 only with this link below from eBay.

This is the cheapest price we have seen it advertised!

Check it out here – https://ebay.us/LHA5Ux

First Aid Kit

It’s always a great idea to have a First Aid Kit, especially if you’re a little more remote and away from medical help.

This is a really handy, portable First Aid kit with 30 pieces for just $14.95.

One of the best free camping in Australia - Gunn Point

Fire Pit

We love our Adventure Kings Fire Pit.

It has had so much use and is still going great. We bought ours along with the BBQ plate and it’s been perfect for us.

Check out the great value buy here on eBay – https://ebay.us/qq2IjY

Read more about our thoughts on the: Camping Fire Pit

Reciprocating Saw

Rather than a noisy chainsaw that continually requires fuel, oil and always seems to have a blunt blade we went with a Reciprocating Saw.

For cutting simple firewood for a fire you can cook on it’s perfect.

Our Ryobi Reciprocating Saw also comes with a 6 year warranty.

You can buy it much cheaper at Bunnings otherwise you can order online at eBay here – https://ebay.us/uABWrb

Collapsible Water Containers

We constantly use our Collapsible Water Containers to give us extra water while travelling.

When not in use we can fold them up and stack them without taking up much space or weight.

They allow us to carry more essential water to Free camp for longer. We carry an extra 100L of water in collapsible containers.

At just $25 on eBay, they are one of our very favourite items we travel with – https://ebay.us/Ja1E53

Wikicamps App

The travellers Bible, Wikicamps provides you so much information and is the most popular method Aussies use to road trip their way around Australia.

Portable Toilet

If you don’t have a toilet as part of your setup you can take a portable option with you. This is what we do when we go camping on Fraser Island or Moreton Island.

We decided on the Kings model and it has worked perfectly.

It’s strong and easy to empty when needed.

We also thought it was great value at under $100.

Check the Portable Toilet out here – https://ebay.to/364gkHM

Toilet Chemicals

Along with your toilet you are going to need the chemicals to go with it. We use the Porta Pak satchels and they work great.

Personally, we prefer the blue satchels.

Buy them on eBay here – https://ebay.to/32D9l81

Camping Chair

A good, sturdy, comfortable camping chair is a must have.

Camp Chairs come with so many different options. We have 3 chairs and they’re all a different brand and model.

We look for ones that are light, strong, comfy and have a pocket of some sort as a minimum.

Check out all of the styles and options available here – https://ebay.us/Qj6srw

Camping Table

We just bought a new Camping Table after searching for ages and we love it.

Finally it seems they’ve got it right.

The Spinifex Camping Table has the same strong robust build that we’re used to but the mechanisms for folding it and lifting it up and down are now far more easy to use.

No more pinching your skin trying to lower the table, it’s just so much easier to use.

Check out the Spinifex Camping Table with Anaconda here at eBay – https://ebay.us/I2TALM

Telstra or Boost

If you’re leaving the cities and major townships and still want phone coverage you have 2 choices if you want to stay in touch.

If you want a phone with the deal, you need to choose Telstra.

For the best phone coverage and you already have your own phone choose Boost who is the only network to use all of Telstra’s coverage.

Read here for all about the Best Mobile Network for Travelling Australia.

Sceptor Jerry can
Sceptor Jerry can

Jerry Can

If you are like us and don’t want to run out of fuel when you are off grid or pay the exorbitant prices often charged, carry some extra Fuel with you in Jerry cans.

On Fraser Island you can expect to pay $2.45 a litre for fuel, on Moreton Island it’s $3 per litre.

There are many locations around the country such as crossing the Barkly Highway or the Nullarbor where fuel is outrageous in price and carrying extra in drums can save you money and ensure you don’t run out when you need it most.

We carry two 20L low profile Sceptor Jerry cans with us in the 4WD wherever we go and use them where we can save money or want a longer range of supply.

Read more: How to Save Money on Fuel

Cash

A small amount of cash is ideal to carry with you in case you need it for a donation or an envelope which is sometimes the case with National Parks.

Mozzie Coils and Insect Repellents

Australia is full of biting insects including Mosquitos, Midges and Horse Flies. Always be prepared and carry a few different deterrents in case you need them.

We always have The Locals with us which is Adele’s preference plus Stingoes, Bushmans and the good old Aeroguard.

Mosquito coils can be another great way to keep biting insects away.

Good Riddance is a great Deet Free option also. It has no toxic chemicals, is Australian made and smells good too.

View the Good Riddance Insect Repellent range in Adventure Awaits here>

Read more: Winning the War against Midges or Sand Flies

Anti Vandal 4 Way Water Tap

Anti Vandal Tap Key

It’s hard to live without water and a way to ensure you can always access it is with the 4 way anti vandal tap key.

This will allow you access where tap handles have been removed to stop vandals from damaging them or leaving water flowing.

Water is a life necessity, one of these is an essential part of your Free Camping in Australia toolkit.

Buy a Tap Key at the best price here from eBay – https://ebay.to/2y5dRAj

Read more about the: 4 Way Tap Handle

Sirocco Fan

The best way to keep cool when Free Camping in Australia is with a Sirocco Fan.

They are excellent fans and don’t draw much power from your battery.

Originally they were designed for marine craft and are now very popular for RV’s. We recently installed a second one in our Motorhome.

You can read all about them and order yours at eBay here – https://ebay.to/3eUff9Y

Hema Maps

We always take our Hema Maps with us wherever we go. Online maps are fantastic but physical maps can have much more detail and are great when out of phone range.

Hema Maps

Check out the range of Hema Maps here>

What facilities are available in Free Camps in Australia?

The available facilities at Free Camping in Australia can vary quite considerably.

Many have very little with the basics of bins and possibility toilets.

In other circumstances they may provide potable water, toilets, coin operated hot showers, bins or possibly a dump point.

Use your App to check what facilities are available before you arrive.

Free Camping at Mary Kathleen Ghost Town Qld
Mary Kathleen Ghost Town Qld

How long can I stay in a Free Camp?

Some Free Camps in Australia will limit how long you can stay.

Anything from 24 hours to 7 days is most common although some don’t have any set limit. It will likely depend if you are near populated areas like the coastline or inland in regional areas.

Once again, check your App or local Council websites.

Is it safe to Free Camp in Australia?

We have been Free Camping in Australia constantly since 2016 and can honestly say we have never had an experience that concerned us nor have we had anything stolen.

When we lived at home though we had our house broken into and our Camera, Laptop and Alcohol among other items stolen.

We are conscious of our safety and security and follow all reasonable avenues to look after ourselves and our property.

We believe it is as safe as anywhere to go Free Camping in Australia but as in all matters of life you should maintain awareness and keep possessions secure.

Brown Bay
Brown Bay SA

How to find Free Camping areas?

As mentioned above there’s some great Apps to help you find amazing Free Camping locations all around Australia however there are other ways you can find some great places too.

Talk to others around Campfires and as you meet along your travels and you’re sure to get some great tips on amazing places to Free Camp.

Also don’t forget to meet the locals in an area and ask them, they can be such a wealth of information.

Ask at the Information Centres wherever you go, they are an incredible resource of local knowledge and will often provide details of where you can go Free Camping.

There are a lot of great Websites available with an enormous amount of information. Our own website here at Indefinite Leave has over 250 great places to stay around Australia and a lot of them are Free Camps.

Also local Council websites have a lot of information. We often google a location and search for Free Camping destinations.

Free Camping at Neil Turner Weir
Neil Turner Weir, Mitchell Qld

A few Final Tips for when you are Free Camping in Australia

  • Before lighting a Fire, check if it is permitted and in case all Fires of all types are banned in the region.
  • Please always abide by campfire laws, Australia is prone to major bushfires and the effects can be devastating.
  • Dispose of all rubbish appropriately in a bin. If a bin is full take it to another location or wildlife will break it open and create a huge mess.
  • Take your rubbish with you until you can find a bin and dispose of it correctly.
  • The Australian wildlife is truly amazing and all animals deserve to be admired. Some can be seen up close while others need to be given their space and enjoyed from a distance.
  • Treat all animals with care and respect.
  • Look after the environment at all times. It is there for all of us and we are all responsible for our planet. Let’s all take the time to care for it.

Check out these other interesting blogs about Free Camping:

Pin – Free Camping in Australia

Have you enjoyed Free Camping in Australia. Tell us what you like most about Free Camping!

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.

_______________________________________________________________________

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

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/indefinite_leave/

Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

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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.

ACT

10 Reasons to Travel Australia Instead of Going Overseas

There’s nothing better for the soul than traveling. It opens our eyes, our minds and our hearts. The big choice to make is whether to head overseas or explore our own country. There’s so much to see in this world, but here’s 10 great reasons to Travel Australia first.

Our 10 Reasons to Travel Australia Instead of Going Overseas

1. Australia is Safer

With everything happening around the world right now, I can feel pretty safe in Longreach, Broome, Esperance, 1770 and the thriving downtown metropolis of Rainbow Beach 😊

2. Shit AUD

The Aussie dollar is too low to be over excited about heading overseas.

Check out our reasons for An Australia by Road Adventure

10 Reasons Travel Australia

3. Our Beaches

Unless you’ve got to know our own beaches, why go overseas to see theres?

Check out our Best Beaches here –
http://indefiniteleave.com.au/best-beaches-australia-21-30/
http://indefiniteleave.com.au/best-beaches-australia-11-20/
https://indefiniteleave.com.au/best-beaches-australia-1-10/

4. Weather

We really do have perfect weather here. Head north for winter, south for summer and be anywhere in Oz for Autumn and Spring.

Read all about the weather for us as we travel here: Always take the weather, the weather with you

10 reasons Travel Australia

5. You will meet really interesting people

We have met some of the most inspiring people on the road. One example was John, the 72yo former teacher and sheep farmer. I got talking to John for 3 and a half hours around the camp kitchen BBQ in Katherine. Fascinating guy and hard to believe he had left Perth, been to Melbourne and was now in the NT traveling at his age…….. on a Motorbike.

John is just one of many wonderful people we have met on our adventure.

Learn more about what it is like to travel Australia. You can read in our Travel Chat eBook some really interesting and funny stories from 7 Fabulous Families that we have met on our adventure. Just $12.95

6. Learn our History

There’s so much about our own country’s past just waiting for you to discover.

7. Sunsets

The setting sun in 1770, Darwin and Broome just has to be seen. I could name so many more places including most of the WA coastline but I’ll let you discover some yourself.

Sunsets are one of Our Favourite Experiences as we Travel Australia

Bradman Oval

8. Better for our economy

We hardly manufacture anything anymore, mining took a nose dive so therefore Tourism is becoming a vital industry for our economy. Let’s spend our money here and give our kids jobs.

For information on the cost to road trip Oz, read What it REALLY Costs to Travel Australia

9. Make friends

Traveling Australia almost guarantees you will make a whole lot of new friends.

10. Children

Your kids will grow enormously and learn on the road. They will certainly thrive by spending genuine quality time together as a family.

As that famous brand says: Just Do It……

Travelling Australia is far More than just Adventures

So these are our 10 reasons to travel Australia, what other reasons do you have? As people have struggled with the confinement of CoVid-19 in 2020, we believe we will see a new surge in people traveling Australia rather than overseas is What’s next beyond the Coronavirus.

Safe travels

Kevin & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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Photography and Socials

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 lens – https://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 lens – http://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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Where to Find Us

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

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/indefinite_leave/

Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

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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.

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ACT

Hughie Edwards VC Rest Area, Majura ACT

Hughie Edwards VC Rest Area

Hughie Edwards VC Rest Area, Majura is a highway rest stop just 10-15 mins to Canberra city.

This is a noisy location with a lot of close passing traffic including trucks. It didn’t bother us but I imagine it would for some people.

It is also close to the Gun Club, Australian Federal Police and Army training. Due to the close proximity you can hear gunshots, screeching tyres from the skid pan for driver training as well as helicopters.  Also it’s under the Airport flight path. Luckily we are heavy sleepers 🙂

The Hughie Edwards VC Rest Area has a drop toilet and there is some covered seating. It is Pet friendly. We had good Telstra, Vodafone and Optus coverage.

Cost to stay is Free.

Our stay was 7th November 2017.

_______________________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

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

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG. This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.us/br9MeO. This is my all round, every day 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 lens – http://ebay.us/zWvfuI. My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

The new Go Pro 7 – 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.

_______________________________________________________________________

For more fun and information follow us follow us, Subscribe, Like, Share, and Comment on our website and social media here:-

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/indefinite_leave/

Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

_______________________________________________________________________

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.

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queensland