Free Camping in The Kimberley

Hi All,

Doing some planning for a trip in June/July and noticed places like El Questro, Mornington Wilderness Camp and Home Valley Station want to charge between $45 - $60 a night to camp.

With prices like that I need to subsidise those nights with free nights wherever I can or else it's going to end up being a very expensive 3 weeks along The Gibb River Road.

On my Hema maps I can see various designated camping spots but would assume these are mostly self registration scenarios.

Is it possible to camp free along The Gibb River Road etc (and if so where) or will I be paying for camping spots every night of our trip?

Cheers, Lloyd
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Reply By: Michaeljp - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 16:25

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 16:25
Gday Weavey,
I read sometime ago that camping along the GRR is not allowed anymore. The reason given is that its all private property on both sides of the road and in the past people who have camped on the side of the road sh** everywhere and dont bury it or burn it.
But im sure you will find places to sleep for the night close to the road as there are NO, no camping patrols on the look out, out there.


AnswerID: 502709

Follow Up By: River Swaggie - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 18:33

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 18:33
" The reason given is that its all private property on both sides of the road and in the past people who have camped on the side of the road sh** everywhere and dont bury it or burn it."


Hiya Michael

Its Inconsiderate Imbeciles like that, have a lot of areas shutdown.What gets me is they know dam well other 4x4 travelers are going to use the same spot..I try and spend a lot of time in The High Country and have moved on from nice camp areas that have poo tickets littered everywhere.I suppose its a been here once mentality so who cares.....

One mob decided to dig a big rectangular hole to crap in,then left it unburied with a pillow to cover it up and blow flies everywhere (How thoughtful of them),friend goes to take son down to the river on the same day and i hear,those dirty b!@#stards.One had done one in the middle of the track..

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 16:34

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 16:34
Hi Lloyd,

The places that you have listed have a range of accommodation options, so I think the prices that you are seeing is for something a bit more "upmarket" than the basic campgrounds - which they all have. Certainly when we were last there 4 years ago (see our blogs) we did not pay anything like the rates you quote.

But yes, you will mostly have to pay. There used to be free camps along the western end, and at the turn-off to Drysdale Stn and Mitchell Plateau, but these have been closed, and the camp on the way out to the Mitchell Plateau now has a fee attached I believe.

Have a look at this website here for a very good coverage off Kimberley attractions, road conditions, campsites etc.

Its a marvellous place, you will enjoy it.

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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AnswerID: 502711

Reply By: Scoof - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 16:54

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 16:54
We stayed at Home Valley Station and loved it.

On the web site the prices are $17 per Adult and $5 per Child.
We thought El Questro was a little over rated.

Scoof. :-)
AnswerID: 502713

Reply By: Member Andys Adventures - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 17:06

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 17:06
Hi Weavey72,
I was at Home Valley last year and bush camping was $15.00 per person, Ellenbrae Station also $15.00 per night, Drysdale Station $15.00 per night, As a matter of fact they all where 15.00 per night execpt ElQuesto. These are all bush camping fees.
Andy
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Reply By: Weavey72 - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 17:18

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 17:18
All sounds around the mark so thanks everyone, as always it ends up being it bit more when you have 2 adults and 2 kids.

We'll just have to mix it up a bit between homesteads/stations and roadside camps without showers etc.

Lloyd
AnswerID: 502715

Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 18:46

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 18:46
I think you will find it hard to find any roadside camps - its either hard to get off the road, fenced off or has no camping signs. But I think that we did find an old quarry somewhere, maybe near the turn-off to Adcock Gorge - then again that was 4 years ago, so it too may have no camping signs by now.

The cattle properties up there look to supplement their income from tourism and most are well set up for tourists, so save a few extra dollars to go in to places like Mornington and Mt Elizabeth and you wont regret it.

Cheers,

Val
J and V
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Follow Up By: woodie3 - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 23:15

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 23:15
We were on the Gibb last year, and as has been stated not too many low cost,but apart from El Questro we didn't find it too expensive, there are not a lot of free campsites, 1 we did find was on the eastern side of The Durack River behind, what I think was a truck stop, there were a couple of areas where you could take a caravans in to.
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Reply By: Member - David P8(Echuca,Vic) - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 19:08

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 19:08
Hi Weavey72, there is a good free camp at Hann River. Plenty of space on both sides of the road and water in the river.We went down the Gibb in July 12, having previously done it in 2000. It is a lot busier now and you have to watch out for idiots driving thru the dust without their lights on and doing 100kph.

Ciao, David
AnswerID: 502725

Reply By: Kris and Kev - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 20:44

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 20:44
We did the Gibb in 2011 and there were a couple of places beside the road that were free camps, but that was in 2011. Also closer to the Derby end there was a fantastic free camp on the Mary River. I think the camps book says no overnight, but there were a few caravans there when we were there and they said the property owner was OK with camping, as long as people look after it. The below was our camp spot.

AnswerID: 502737

Follow Up By: Kris and Kev - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 23:00

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 23:00
Sorry, that should be the May River, and you can fish for Barra there. Kevin
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Reply By: Member - Michael John T (VIC) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 00:12

Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 00:12
Hi Lloyd,

Despite the fees it is definitely worthwhile visiting the Station camps such as Mt Elizabeth and Charnley as they provide you with access to some great gorges on their properties. Even El Questo, (perhaps over rated?) has at least 4 quite spectacular gorges to walk in. Most people visiting here just look at the very obvious attractions and don't I'm sure take full advantage of what is on offer. Drysdale Station has a camp ground but as well a low priced camping area a couple of kms north called Miners Pool (was $5 a night last time we were there).King Edward river was a free camp (great spot) about 3 years ago. We also noticed that despite the signs a number of people camped on the East side of the causeway at the Drysdale Stn. / Kalumbaru turnoff.

What ever the cost the investment will be worth it.

Enjoy your trip,

Regards,
Mike.
We retired to travell
It's time to go again...

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AnswerID: 502753

Reply By: Kris and Kev - Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 08:20

Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 08:20
There use to be a few spots on the way to Mitchell Falls, but apparently the property owners got sick of the mess that was being left behind, so they now leave cattle carcases lying around that stink and attract flies.
Back on the Gibb there is also a spot beside the Pentecost River where people free camp.
Kevin
AnswerID: 502763

Reply By: mike g2 - Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 11:44

Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 11:44
I see your getting lots of replies, looking at camps 6, there are only 2 spots on the whole way that appear to be free: march fly rest area and home valley.all the rest have facilities and fees. i have paid up a few in my time and it was worth it for the facility and mangement of camp area. have had rangers move us on when not in designated areas in the past.
fees are supposed to be modest, private areas are cashing in on popularity of GRR trip. el questro is promoted as up market. check with broome tourist beaureau, they will send you a nice GRR pamphlet.
not surprised at camp closures due to messing the nest.
had noted the mess at rest stops all the way from Phedland via inland route to perth recently.coastal route appears to have more bush loo/ rest /bbq/shelter points.
MG.
AnswerID: 502776

Reply By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 22:00

Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 22:00
Hi Lloyd.

At the Derby end there are superb free campsites for a couple of kays along the Fitzroy River at Willare Bridge (access at the west bank). It was very clean too; June 2012.

Cheers.
AnswerID: 502812

Reply By: chrishonberg123 - Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 22:22

Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 22:22
Hi All,
Did anyone try the new free camping community based app "Campee" from campee.com.
My cousin told me about it yesterday! Is it a good one to try? I have already tried wikicamps, and mudmap.
Any kind of reviews or replies would be highly appreciated.
Chris.
AnswerID: 502816

Follow Up By: Steve B15 - Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 17:13

Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 17:13
been using it over the last few days. It's still very young and some of the sites don't have lots of info but it certainly has potential.

You can find camps and caravan parks by what facilities it has.

I'm trying to rally up people on exploroz to get it. it's user generated data so the more the merrier.

It's free so just try it out, just download it from the app store
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FollowupID: 779429

Reply By: desray (WA - Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 01:01

Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 01:01
good camp site at Wingana Gorge , has toilets and showers only a few dollars a night ( ranger comes around for the money ) .
AnswerID: 502825

Reply By: Member - lyndon NT - Monday, Jan 21, 2013 at 08:32

Monday, Jan 21, 2013 at 08:32
What if your too tired to drive on and have to camp :-)
Now is the only time you own
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