W.A Camping

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 09:54
ThreadID: 20131 Views:10785 Replies:12 FollowUps:9
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We have recently been informed that it is not legal to camp outside designated(fee paying areas in W.A. Can anyone shed any light that this information is correct. Was told that police moved campers on???? but then you know how stories get told........Max
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Reply By: Grumblebum and Dragon (WA) - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 10:05

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 10:05
We live here in the Kimberley and have, and will continue to free camp all over the place. Sounds like BS to me. The 'Camping Police' are pretty thin on the ground.

AnswerID: 96761

Reply By: Member - Clive G (WA) - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 10:10

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 10:10
Gday hedevil

first I heard of it and I camp around WA all the time, of cause there are areas that dont allow camping but signs around the place let you know that, simple you dont see a sign then camp, if you are unsure, contact the local shire before you take off,, they will let you know.

AnswerID: 96762

Reply By: hedevil - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 10:16

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 10:16
and thanks for the replys, we camp out 98% of the time although we are not 4bys we have a self contained toyota coaster, yes if a place is well signed not to then we dont.Heading over for a trip from june to december once again thanks nothing like first hand info.....max
AnswerID: 96765

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 20:34

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 20:34
basic rule is no camping anywhere near towns or tourist destinations/resorts coz they will have caravan parks and you cant camp within 16ks of them
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Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 11:28

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 11:28
I did here from somone somewhere??? That is it techniqally illegal to bushcamp in WA but it doesn't really get inforced and that everyone does it anyway. Personally when I choose a camp site that is in the bush, no bugger's going to find me anyway! LOL
AnswerID: 96778

Reply By: Skinnydog - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 16:59

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 16:59
I believe that you are not allowed to camp within 16km of the nearest caravan pk in WA. we camp all over WA and have never been moved on& generally we like to be well away from any civilisation
AnswerID: 96814

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 20:31

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 20:31
grrrrrrrrrrrmdont get me started I thought to comit a crime there needs to be a victim but there are way to many places around WA where camping is illegal and sometimes there are huge fines like around monkey mia. I did a month around pilbara gascoyne and had to illegally camp at 80% of the spots I stayed. I have been busted once camping (read parking my camper overnight) at the Porongerup ranges
FollowupID: 355490

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 01:48

Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 01:48
Hi Davoe,

We've camped plenty through the Pilbara and Gascoyne (and throughout the rest of WA) and never, ever had any problems whatsoever. Yes there is the rule about not camping within 16km (I always thought it was 40km's) of a CVP or town but that's the only limitation I've ever heard of. There are plenty of local councils that actively encourage campers and 4WDrivers (eg. Norseman) in a bid to earn a bit of the tourist $. There are a few (generally close to Perth) that officially ban camping in certain area's however I don't believe these bans are enforced much, particularly if you're not camping too close to town or at roadside rest areas (unless designated 24 hour stopping). We have camped north of Perth in a shire that officially forbids camping however when I rang the ranger to ask he personally told me that we could camp there, plenty do, and as long as we don't have a fire and are doing the right thing. He (with unofficial council nod of approval) will not issue a fine or ask us to move on. Certainly there are always plenty of campers there and we had no problems.

:o) Melissa
FollowupID: 355523

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 15:55

Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 15:55
yea its ok if you are off the beaten track a bit or well out of towns but I get so mad being made to feel like a criminal coz you dont want to use the caravan park. Try finding a spot remotely close to Esperance not marked NO CAMPING fines apply
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Follow Up By: beatit - Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 16:17

Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 16:17
Hi guys,

So what happens when the van parks are full? I'll be heading to the Kimberlys in July/Aug/Sept and due to our flexible itenery we are unable to book. All my info points to these places being fully booked during their peak period.

Kind regards
FollowupID: 355732

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 16:56

Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 16:56

There's always somewhere to go. Firstly, if you haven't already, get a copy of Ron & Viv Moon's Touring Guide to the Kimberley which is packed full of suggested campsites - NP's, free bush camps, station stays, roadhouses and CVP's. Outside of Broome, Derby, Cape Leveque and Kunanurra I don't think anyone books anywhere - probably not even possible. Also get a copy of a free camping guidebook. There are a few to chose from but IMHO Jan Hollands Priceless Campsites in the North of WA is the best. Both this and the Moon's book are available from the EO shop. We're heading across the GRR in May/Jun and these will be our bibles.

The aforementioned towns, especially Broome are packed out mid-year and you'll be lucky to get into a CVP without a booking. Not sure which direction you are going but if hitting Broome in Sept when people are starting to thin out you might get lucky. But don't panic, AFAIK Broome during peak season provides an overflow area (the rodeo grounds I think). Nothing too salubrious but better than nothing. Failing that, you can head north of Broome where you will find some lovely bush camping on the Dampier Peninsular. There are also some good bush campsites to be found south of Derby around the Fitzroy River. Can't offer too much info about camping around Kununurra as we've only stayed in CVP's there.

I understand that you aren't sticking to a strict itinery and this makes booking ahead hard but I would strongly suggest that as far as getting into a CVP in Broome or if you want to go up to Cape Leveque or Middle Lagoon that you try to set a date(s) and book ahead and the sooner the better. At the very least, try to ring ahead (even if its only a few days beforehand) and see if you can secure a site. You might get lucky. For our Kimberely trip this year our only booking will be Broome (mental note to myself - do this ASAP). Don't think we'll have the time to do the Dampier Peninsular this trip :-(

I probably should also add that if you are arriving in the north via the WA coastline, many of the more popular destinations (eg. Exmouth, Coral Bay, Karratha, 80 Mile Beach etc) will be packed so book ahead if you can. If you can't consult your free camping guide - there are plenty of bush campsites provided along or not far off the highway.

Enjoy your trip.

:o) Melissa

FollowupID: 355734

Follow Up By: beatit - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 09:20

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 09:20
Thanks Melissa,

We're actually travelling from Brisbane (departing about 15/7) to Darwin then heading across from the north. Because we have 3 months we intend looking down all the side roads and doing a lot of bush camping. There will be 5 vehicles with trailers to add to the complexity.

Our group did a 2 month Cape trip a couple of years ago on the same basis - a bit of a lucky dip on camp sites but nothing we couldn't handle.

We are certainly planning to go to Broome but I imagine we'll be about 2 months into our trip give or take a week or two. We are planning to stay a week at Walcott Inlet and maybe we will (sat)phone to check from there.

Already have the Moon book but will also get the free camping guidebook.

The bride is looking forward to a Broome day spa, she reckons that she will be in serious need of a massage by then.

Kind regards
FollowupID: 355803

Reply By: RedGibber - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 19:59

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 19:59
Hi Hedevil,

There's a couple of great little books available which provide details of free-camping sites in both the North and South of WA. Thery're called (amazingly!!)
"The Guide to Free-Camping in the North (South) of W.A."

Camping stores, bookshops, map places etc. should stock them.

We camp all over WA and these books (octavo size) are excellent.

There are a few other books as well - check the ExploreOz Shop on this website!!

AnswerID: 96847

Reply By: Mike-TS - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 21:06

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 21:06
I know that some local councils have passed by-laws that make it illegal to 4WD on the beach or to camp. I presume (which means that I don't know!) that if the beauracratic dickh%#ds haven't put local lwas in place then it's ok?

What they do is say - "you can't drive on the beach" then they bulldoze 100s of acres of bushland for building!! It's just madness!!
AnswerID: 96861

Reply By: Member - Anni M (SA) - Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 09:02

Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 09:02
Hi Max,

It used to be illegal to bush camp, but I believe that the law was repealed last year. However, it is still illegal to camp in any one place longer than 3 days - even in someone's private property! It isn't really policed, but it would be if you are reported by someone else. It happened to us! We were asked by the shire council to move after a report that we were camping at the back of private property (with permission). Its a very strange rule, but I suppose its supposed to keep itinerants out. Who knows!
Happy travels
AnswerID: 96902

Reply By: hedevil - Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 11:41

Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 11:41
HI Everyone
thanks heaps for your feedback,it is much appreciated...........Max
AnswerID: 96924

Reply By: Member - muzzgit - Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 17:53

Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 17:53
Hi there, in response to your camping in WA question, I did not read every response but I would recomend a book, if no-one else has.

Free camping spots in the south west, and there's one for the northern parts as well.

Awesome information that has helped us find some very nice spots.

Can be purchesd thru camping stores here in WA.


AnswerID: 96960

Reply By: Footloose - Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 20:02

Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 20:02
There is a town in Western Qld where not only does the council provide excellent van/camping facilities, the first two nights are free. The idea is that if the tourists stay the night then they will hopefully have a wander around and buy supplies etc. Have to admit I think it's a brilliant idea that many more councils could take on board.
AnswerID: 96993

Follow Up By: Outbacktourer - Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 21:28

Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 21:28
FollowupID: 355604

Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 10:36

Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 10:36
Thats the one. Couldn't remember the town name at the time of post. We found the facilities excellent, and were so surprised that it was free that we took a photo of their sign :))
FollowupID: 355677

Reply By: Pterosaur - Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 21:57

Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 21:57
Hi all,
I used to work for the govt. as a ranger, and was responsible for management of a number of "free range" campsites in Tas. At the time I repeatedly had to defend the existence (like, every year) of free sites/areas from representations made by the Caravan Park Owners Association (an Aust. wide mob) who continually were active in pressuring pollies and senior bureaucrats to close down the free camping areas, no matter how remote. They seemed to think (despite the evidence !) that somehow, if people were to camp anywhere but in one of their affiliated parks, they were depriving the poor caravan park owners of their livelihoods. I won the fights I had while working in the area, but found on a trip around Oz a few years ago, that whereever the CPOA was active (whatever state), camping was banned in that municipality (eg Esperance) except at designated caravan parks. Similarly, I was horrified to hear that Qld. had banned all camping within 50k of any caravan park as a result of pressure from the CPOA.

I think the situation may have changed in Qld., although I'm not sure about that, but I think that this issue should be one that everybody who enjoys camping, as opposed to swapping suburbs should be aware of, and when you get a chance, pressure pollies etc., to lay off - after all, there's a lot more travellers/campers than caravan park owners.

I'm not particularly against caravan parks, they're just generally not my cup of tea, and I don't appreciate any organisation which tries to restrict a freedom which all responsible people should be able to enjoy, in order that its members can make a buck off me !

BTW, in my travels/work I noticed that there are plenty of patrons who enjoy using caravan parks etc., and like camping beside the same people year after year - good on them, I'm not one though, and I much prefer to camp independently, and in solitude if I can find it !

That's enough for now, but remember to watch out , otherwise we'll wake up one day, and there will be NOWHERE TO CAMP !!

AnswerID: 97007

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