Free camping in WA??

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 12:24
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Is it possible to free camp easily in WA? The more we read the more we are worried that we will be "forced into" caravan parks. We were really hoping to avoid the costs of parks all the time. We have the camps 5 books etc but worried about the availability of these free spots especially considering we are towing a large van.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 12:43

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 12:43
Very easy Rebecca, depending on where you go.

Places that have blanket bans on unauthorised camping are mostly along the coast, particularly the Shires between Perth and Geraldton, but also the Karratha area. Inland there are plenty of opportunities.

Reasons are not that they are trying to force you into caravan parks, but a history or squatters along the coast.

The Shire of Esperance does not permit camping outside of authorised areas, but in addition to the National Parks campgrounds, the Shire maintains few low cost campgrounds at $2 per person per night, but most of these are not suited to caravans.

The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River has plenty of Parks and Shire run campgrounds at reasonable cost.

The Shire of Manjimup has threatening no camping signage at Walpole, but again this is so they can prevent messy and long term campers.

In the mining areas such as Karratha and Port Hedland where accommodation is under severe pressure, overnight rest areas become worker's squat camps, without adequate toileting or rubbish facilities. There are good overnight main roads rest areas along the highways, and coastal low cost campgrounds to the north and to the south of Karratha.

Although I cannot recommend camping outside of authorised campgrounds or 24 hour rest areas in these Shires, generally a clean self contained caravanner stopping overnight is unlikely to be challenged.

Having travelled on the eastern side of Australia, finding a nice free spot for the night is much easier in the more sparsely populated Western Australia.

A few months ago we went on a short holiday in the wheatbelt and camped in nice free campgrounds, mostly with a toilet provided, at a number of large granite outcrops.

If you have a planned route, you are welcome to email me at westnet . com .au for help in finding somewhere nice. The coast is not so easy, but not the most scenic touring either.

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Follow Up By: Rebecca H - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 15:08

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 15:08
Thanks for your detailed response that's great info!!
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Reply By: J.T. - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 13:45

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 13:45
The reality in Australia and the rest of the world is that so many people are travelling and everywhere is so populated. It is getting increasingly difficult to get away from the crowds.

Free camping by the hoards has created mess so the messy mongrels ruin it for every one else.

Besides, if you want a holiday then save up and be prepared to spend money in caravan parks. Everybody these days wants everything for free. If your in a town or a coastal area that you want to see and visit just pay and suck it up. Its not the 1970's.

Youre towing a big van anyway so youre pretty much towing your house.

Good luck!!
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Follow Up By: Mike & Anne H - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 14:28

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 14:28
T.J. I disagree with some of your comments. Not everyone wants everything for free, AND, the regimentation of caravan parks is not everyone's idea of a holiday! Certainly not mine. When we are on holiday we try to bush camp as much as possible although we do utilise caravan parks from time to time. Some of the parks are asking $50.00 + for unpowered tent sites per night, so trying to save some money on staying in parks all the time is quite justified I think. It may just allow the family to stay a bit longer in the town and spend their money at other businesses and not just at the park.
Rebecca, it may not be the 1970s but that doesn't mean you can't find lots of fabulous free places to see and visit, so hopefully you won't have to "suck it up" and "just pay" everywhere you go. Have a great holiday.
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 15:40

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 15:40
JT,

"Everybody these days wants everything for free."

Including access to this Forum, by the looks of your status. Why don't you "suck itup" and shell out for membership?

I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
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Follow Up By: kevmac....(WA) - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 16:05

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 16:05
well put JT....
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 19:45

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 19:45
We really need an `agree' button along with the `thanks'. It would save a lot of duplicate typing......
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Follow Up By: J.T. - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 20:09

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 20:09
Hi GoneBush

I definately do not pay to have a quick gander around this site from time to time.

With my pension, right or wrong, I choose to sponsor a Fillipino and Ethiopian family through World Vision.

This is my choice.

If this site chooses to become compulsory pay to view then I will re-asses my finances.

If I join maybe we can catch up for a BBQ. Can't wait.

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 20:19

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 20:19
Exactly right JT.

And Rebecca has the right to assess where she distributes her finances too.

That's her choice, which you harshly criticised.

I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
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Follow Up By: J.T. - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 20:36

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 20:36
Hi GoneBush

I am going to wind this up as my meagre dinner awaits me.

I sincerely wish everyone, especially Rebecca and family, a safe and happy trip of a lifetime experience around Oz.

However, Im not sure that I critisized her choices.

Sadly, to cruise around this great country, is really costly. Wa in particular. Blame the mines or what ever you like. The cost is what it is.

I was looking from my experiences and in summary, I would rather have a range of opinions of reality in WA then get here and run out of money.

I really couldn't give a rats if shes driving a Sigma or a Range Rover or if shes saved for 5 years or 5 months. If Rebecca has a set amount of money and its tight then stay a couple of hundred kms inland and hang in the bush for free.

The camp sites, or the servos or the shops in WA etc don't discriminate.

Cheerio!!





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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 20:56

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 20:56
And good riddance.
Dave.
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Follow Up By: J.T. - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 21:29

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 21:29
Over digesting my tea I popped back on here ( for free ).

David M I presume your sound expert and non condescending advice above is not aimed at Rebecca having a safe departure on her way to her trip, albeit apparently a cheap trip, around Oz.

Geez I hope one day we can hug this out Cause
i'm sensing you need a hug.



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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 09:16

Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 09:16
You presume correctly.
Dave.
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Follow Up By: J.T. - Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 21:31

Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 21:31
I correctly presumed you need a hug??
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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 22:32

Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 22:32
Me thinks thou does presume to much. Suggest you go and bond else ware.
Dave.
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Follow Up By: J.T. - Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 22:22

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 22:22
David M , that would be too much.

Not to much.

Basic grammar my friend.
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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 23:43

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 23:43
And now your grasping at straws my friend. :)
Just noticed your comment 20.58 so I will say goodbye.
Cheers,Dave.
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Reply By: J.T. - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 14:41

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 14:41
Yep I hear your pain. $50 is too much for a site to be jammed in like sardines.

But that is reality today. People are everywhere and the future is big lines in traffic, shopping centres,cinema and camping sites etc as we get more and more populated.

If you want to see a desirable tourist attraction, and the businesses and shires can make a big profit, then you have to pay.

Sure there are some free camping spots but its getting increasingly harder and shire rangers are out in force collecting big fines.

I don't think it the tidy, quiet couple cruising around Oz looking for an overnight stay in a "off the track spot" that's causing the drama.

Its mainly wicked campers and tight arse Euro's and the like expecting to travel the country on no money and eat 2 minutes noodles and bleep in the bush everywhere that's the problem.

And they add bugger all to the economy.

That's my 10 Euro,s worth of opinion.

Suck it up!!!
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Follow Up By: Rebecca H - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 15:07

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 15:07
So basically what your saying is unless you are lucky enough to be as rich as f$&@ you don't deserve to explore our country?? The costs of caravan parks adds up to more rent than what you pay for a three bedroom house where we live. Add that cost to the fuel, caravan and grocery costs and you are then out of reach of most families with young children wanting to spend quality time together away from work. We have spent a lot of time in caravan parks in the past and will again this trip however we can't afford $50 pre night for the entire 8 month trip we plan. We have saved our butts off for this trip and I'm proud we can offer our children this opportunity. We generally prefer the atmosphere of camp sites and national parks rather than caravan parks also. Staying in caravan parks continuously is not my idea of a holiday either. Maybe you should come and explain to my 5 and 2 year old that they should "suck it up" and miss out on the joy and learning experience of bush camping because you don't think it's an acceptable thing to do.
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 19:54

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 19:54
With you Rebecca in principle. However maybe its just that `costs' are wrong. They are way too high. On my experience the average cost for a powered site over here in WA where I've been, ranges from $25-$35. The problem is in a way, the Caravan parks have something of a monopoly when it comes to pricing. If a local council forbids free camping, or offers no alternative, then it leaves the Single caravan park of an area freedom to charge what it likes. I would like to see councils supplementing local caravan parks if it reduces the costs to the campers, yet clears the funds the park needs to operate. This has to be win, win for the council as lower camp fees, could possible increase revenue for the town in other areas.
I suspect though that your problem is not only with cost. It is with the whole `caravan park atmosphere', for you guys. How one can encourage shires to provide more areas that are in tune with the natural feel of the land is another issue.
I'd love to get involved in some kind of body that can promote and encourage the growth of this kind of recreational area for bush camping. The trick would be in trying to persuade the shires that there is a positive aspect for them.
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Follow Up By: Member - Grundle (WA) - Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 17:51

Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 17:51
Agree Arsnenal Phil,i have heard of caavan parks putting pressure on councils to ban free camping so they have exclusive access to your dollars.On top of that alot of coastal parks want to develop to max their profits.We need a balance to cater for everyone.

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Reply By: J.T. - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 15:33

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 15:33
Hi Rebecca

I sense some anger and a little hostility but that is not my wish.

Lots of things are expensive. Do you expect Toyota to give you a 200 series Landcruiser for $20k because they are so expensive. I hope your kids don't see a Toyota ad on telly. To hit a major tourist destination in W.A. you do need to pay at a caravan Park or perhaps a camp sight if possible.

Many years ago when I was a young man ( 70's), I could free camp anywhere in this great country. That includes perth beaches like triggs and Scarborough and up North in Broome Exmouth the Gibb River Road etc and South in Margaret River and Denmark etc. All camp where you like.

This is no longer the case. You have to pay.

I don't like crowds. But where crowds go,meaning more demand, the cost will increase. I believe a lot of the world is beautiful but you have to pay to see it. That's reality.

If that is what it costs and you cant afford it then you don't get to see it.

Free camping is available in the back blocks. i.e Wagin, Lake Grace etc and off the beaten track.Theyre are ok places to visit but its not an iconic Aussie sight seeing destination.

So if your budget is tight, that is sad. If you head off from home expecting to free camp in these high tourist destinations then things will go pear shape quickly. It might not be fair but that's life.


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Follow Up By: Rebecca H - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 16:34

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 16:34
First: No I would not expect a 200 series for 20k I would look at the options with in my budget which is exactly what I am doing on this forum. Finding options that we can afford. Cheaper and free sites for Some of the trip. I'm not trying to change reality I am simply exploring options. Why pay huge money for something you don't need without looking at options first.
Second: I don't expect to be able to stay right next to a major attraction for nothing, I'm not stupid.
Third: Our budget is not sad, however your attitude and your need to criticise how we intend on living for the rest of the year is.
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Follow Up By: Member - Grundle (WA) - Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 17:53

Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 17:53
Its a pity your first thread did'nt have that feel to it JT.

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Follow Up By: J.T. - Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 21:28

Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 21:28
Hi Grundle and Rebecca etc

After some thought today and rereading the whole post I do realise I was too abrupt in some things that I wrote. And it has worried me so I felt compelled to write in again. I still believe the facts I have written are realistic though.

Naturally as Exploroz writes, you can camp for free 600kms off the coast ( except for Gibb River Rd area). But this doesn't apply to the majority of towns in WA.

"suck it up" is a bleep ty thing to write and was unnecessary.

Once again hope you have a safe and rewarding journey for you and your young tackers.



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Follow Up By: Rebecca H - Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 22:05

Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 22:05
I'm glad you can see that now JT and I appreciate your point about having to get away from suburbia to be able to reduce costs. It was the opinions, not the facts, in your post that I found a bit offensive. There are unfortunately a lot of people on this forum that feel they need to offer unnessary opinion rather than useful fact and I seem to attract them on my posts for some reason. I have been accused of rushing into things without researching, having a vitriolic personality, wanting everything for nothing, being unrealistic and not budgeting sufficiently all of which I believe to be untrue. These judgements have all been thrown at me after asking a couple of innocent, seemingly unloaded questions. They have also been all from a generation of people whose opinions I would normally respect more than anyone which has been very disheartening.
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 22:17

Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 22:17
Well said JT.

Thumbs up. Cheers

I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
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Follow Up By: Member - Grundle (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 18:14

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 18:14
Hi Rebecca H,dont let that stop you posting a question or asking 4 advice.Its a funny world and some people seem to think they have a right to be less than polite.

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Follow Up By: Member - The Crow (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 21:47

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 21:47
Long gone are the days when we had the freedom to just pull off the road and camp in the back of the old Ford,Holden or Valiant. I remember sleeping under the bridge north of Burke NSW when I travling around shearing in the 70's, doubt if you could do it now. Governments the allmighty dollar, top notch vans and the relibility of modern 4x4's have changed the way we all travel this country. I for one try to cut costs when we are on the road and I am sure everybody else does.
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Follow Up By: Member - Grundle (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 15:02

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 15:02
Hi The Crow,my dad was a shearerin WA ,he stayed at the place he was shearing at though.I travelled around between NTH QLD and VIC working meatworks and picking tobacco in the late 70,s in a 68 za ford,YOU could realy strech out in her.These days i have a Nisson 4x4 though i try and stay at old stations calm has taken back.Its a bit cheaper and peacful.

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Reply By: kevmac....(WA) - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 16:01

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 16:01
"Camping Guide to Western Australia" is available out of the ExplorOz shop. Will show most camping areas (standard, minimal and no charge). There are many good free sites down here in my area out of ALBANY WA , most have a 3 day limit but Cosy Corner East(35km from Albany) has a 7 day limit and has room for reasonably large rigs.Most of the National Park sites are only$7 per person per night anyways. majority of the sites you would need to bring your own water of course

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Follow Up By: Rebecca H - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 16:36

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 16:36
Thank you. We are looking forward to exploring the national parks that's for sure! Will look into the book too. Cheers
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Reply By: Skulldug - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 18:33

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 18:33
Rebecca,

Good question and well answered by Motherhen. We were in the Albany/Denmark area a month ago and they had big signs saying no camping until further notice. In the shire next door (sorry cant remember the name) there were free camp sites but the one we saw was full of permanent campers who literally cr@pped on the ground around their tents.

Ignore the condescending, arrogant instant experts on this site. They spoil it for everyone.

Cheers

Skull
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Follow Up By: J.T. - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 20:22

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 20:22
Hi Skulldug

Yep free camping is getting harder and the odd areas that are still out there are getting literally shat on. Unfortunately this is becoming the "norm". Now bull bleep ting to our mate Rebecca isn't going to serve her well when she gets to WA.

A $200 fine for illegal camping from a "ruthless" Ranger will pay a few nights at a caravan park.

Im no expert and rather than being condescending, I thought I was being realistic.

Pretty touchy mob on here if Ive spoilt it for everyone. Geez I wouldn't mind your problems!!!





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Reply By: Member - Barry P (VIC) - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 21:19

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 21:19
free camping, being a single traveller i will only use caravan parks accasionaly ,you always have to pay for a 2 person site,rarely you can get a few dollars off,i do not expect half price, i do not have a van or tent but sleep in my truck, it gets too exspensive after awhile in a caravan park, so free camping is a better option for me,and spend 3 dollars at a cp for use of amenities on the way through ,i can afford to pay the double rate but its the principal of being over charged ,happy travels barry
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Reply By: Top End Az - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 22:43

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 22:43
Free camping would not be an issue if free campers didn't cut down live trees for firewood, leave toilet paper blowing around unburied and leaving behind litter. But seeing people do this then councils get jack of it and force people into van parks.
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Follow Up By: Member - daz (SA) - Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 23:06

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 23:06
Here Here
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Follow Up By: sam h6 - Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 05:24

Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 05:24
That's why we spend the extra $ and buy bigger vans that are fully self sufficient. Take only memories and leave only foot prints. We are not all grubs who ruin the environment, give people a chance before tarring us with the same brush.
Our reasons for bush camping include showing our children the beauty of our country and teaching them to respect it. Maybe if these were available to many of these grubs you are talking about when they were younger they too might just love and care for this country like we do.

So what's JT next lock up all the parks round the cities and fence of the beaches so kids have no where to go just because some turkey dropped a lollie wrapper or smoke but!!!!
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Follow Up By: Top End Az - Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 07:29

Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 07:29
You know how it is Sam. Usual case of a minority spoiling it for everyone else who is doing the right thing. I am the first one to drive past a van park in order to seek some bush camping seclusion.

It was only last year at Gunlom falls (Kakadu) where we were camping in a designated area with proper toilets etc It was a long weekend so it was packed. There was one guy using a chainsaw to cut down a live tree for firewood (much to everyones dismay) others going to the toilet wherever they felt like despite proper ablutions being present and leaving rubbish for others to clean up. There was a ranger present, but this didn't deter anyone from disrespecting the bush.
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Kerry W (QLD) - Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 11:46

Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 11:46
Hi Rebecca,
Away from the populated areas free camping in is no dramas at all. Exploroz has a comprehensive map of camps and accommodation here
http://www.exploroz.com/Places/Camps_n_Accom.aspx

The free camps are indicated by a green tent symbol.

Some towns encourage short term visits e.g. Kalgooorlie is a RV friendly town and there is a free stop over in town near the sound shell and also out at Lake Douglas about 5ks out on the Coolgardie Road.
Throughout the Goldfields and wheat belt areas many of the "rocks" are popular places to visit and stay - many may be suitable depending on the condition of the roads. Just be wary of rainfall it can be a double edged sword - as it does not take much to make roads impassable for caravans for a day or two but many Rocks come alive with rock pools and mosses so worth a day exploring anyway.

Kerry W (Qld)
Security is mostly a superstition. It doesnt exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
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Follow Up By: Member - Laurie K (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 01:52

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 01:52
Hi Rebecca

We just completed a 6 day tour doing a shakedown before heading north. I tow a 23'6" van, and it being 30' overall, it can be difficult finding caravan parks that will accept it. We found a parking area on an unused hall site night one, a rest area/dam sight near Narrogin night two, a freecamp in town courtesy Kulin Shire night 3 (2 nights free then caravan park if staying longer), metal dump off the road night 4, flat spot off the side of the road night 5 ……… and there were other free camping spots available at Lake Poorarecup and Lake Nunijup (near Cranbrook/Frankland. We utilise truck bay/rest areas ("too tired to continue safely Sir" if asked - never have been) …… there is usually somewhere if you are away from the coast. There are a couple of publications called "Free Camping In South West" & "F C North West" I think they are called …..
Some of the freecamps mentioned in earlier Camps Australia editions have been shut down. We tend to avoid those spots, because we are late night people and run a genny at night whilst working on video taken during the day, and this would of course tend tend to annoy those who go to bed early, and get up early and make a racket leaving ……… :-)

Just do it, you will have a ball
cheers
Laurie
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