free camping in NSW

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 18, 2005 at 23:17
ThreadID: 23975 Views:37944 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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as a recent arrival, I'm finding myself horrified by the cost of campig fees here in NSW. (Back home in WA I could camp for free in most places I visited) Anyone got any tips on free campsites (or at least cheap ones). Initially I'm just looking at overnighters or long weekends to introduce SWMBO to the idea of not sleeping in a QS bed and not having to have a shower every night. Having recently bought a truly palatial tent I'm rather keen to try it out (I CAN pitch it in under half an hour, honest!!), although on good nights I'm still likely to use my swag under the stars.
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Reply By: Patrol22 (Queanbeyan - Saturday, Jun 18, 2005 at 23:29

Saturday, Jun 18, 2005 at 23:29
Get yourself a copy of 'Camping Guide to New South Wales' - it is a Boiling Billy Publication 2nd ed and cost around $20 - hasbleepe loads of free and cheap campsites in it.
AnswerID: 116309

Reply By: motherhen - Saturday, Jun 18, 2005 at 23:32

Saturday, Jun 18, 2005 at 23:32
This link on the caravanners forum has heaps of cheap and free camps all around Australia.!OMQrGUXbZEMETz3Herz6pvUo0efznlw$$&p=5phh5u3KFDFhWIU3VhC8kZuMXBeAfAyM64Blgi!dfJ0!mpSXkDD93!S0YXU6TV5IbKefSIlafAD!joaYuMpKHrcpodsiO3bg5ShXvmSM19Xq6rSzt!kqaqUDFXmZxjYCR*luLX07ZSAb8O5p6QBSjSWQ$$
AnswerID: 116310

Follow Up By: viz - Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 07:26

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 07:26
Any chance of doing a Tiny Url on this link?

FollowupID: 371856

Follow Up By: motherhen - Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 15:05

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 15:05
Hi Viz - I'm not that smart! I just do a copy and paste and the spreadsheet came up. If you have trouble, type in
then from the list on the left of screen pick Documents Folder. Bushcamps.xls is in the list of doucments.
You may need to be a member of the forum to get this far - I'm not sure, as i joined (free) some time ago.

We have only been to NSW very briefly - drove through and back on a rushed trip to buy the caravan from Qld. Looked like plenty of places on the routes we took. Only overnights were 1) Somewhere North of Bourke - near the NSW Qld border - just pulled off the road sort of behind a clump of bushes. It was very quiet during the night. 2) My husband wanted to get past Broken Hill and it was getting dark, so we just pulled off the road when crossing the hills west-ish of Broken Hill. Not so quiet; we hadn't seen a "truck rest stop" almost just across the road. Earlier in the day we took the road along the river from Bourke to Wilcannia which had a number nice camping opportunities.
We've been lucky where ever we travel we have found good spots, whether bush camping with the ute, or recently with the luxury of the caravan. We watch for old gravel pits, old roads, patches of bush or whatever. Sometimes just turn down a quiet side road because it has the right feel, and just pull off. Rarely use recognised rest areas, unless they are huge; too many people. Did the same thing in Europe many years ago - even in densely populated countries there were plenty of spots to stop.

Good luck and happy camping.
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Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 18:29

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 18:29
Found it Motherhen. Thanks.
Now how do I use it? Do you know what the maps are that are referred to? Do I assume all thes sites are free camping?
FollowupID: 371906

Follow Up By: motherhen - Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 18:56

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 18:56
Hi Norm - no, i don't know what the reference numbers mean. Not all shown are free - there is a column which has fees shown where known, and quite a few question marks.
FollowupID: 371909

Follow Up By: viz - Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 19:00

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 19:00

Now if you had a mac, you would use a widget... ;)

FollowupID: 371911

Reply By: Beddo - Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 11:02

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 11:02
Welcome to the State of the unfunded national parks - yep the result is high camping costs to accommodate lack of funding. Free camping go to state forests - be wary of some camp sites close to Metropolitian areas such as the Wattagans SF north of Sydney - you can get the riff raff wanting to party all night, stolen cars, unregistered trail bikes etc (not all the time though). You can get the national park annual passes to lessen the camping costs - but it is still costly. Stae Forests also allow dogs - if you have one.
AnswerID: 116336

Reply By: Member - Royce- Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 11:29

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 11:29
My experience is that you can get away with camping anywhere as long as you don't make a big deal out of it.

I avoid "no camping" signs of course.

A bit of bush or even open area. I can just stop and am self contained, but sometimes with a better half or other companion.. a tent placed neatly and no fuss made.... like lots of gear or tables and chairs, an overnight camp is usually not cause for trouble.

I hate camping at rowdy campsites and often the pay ones are just that.

It's certainly getting more difficult to find spots now though.

Our first outback trips, we could just pull off anywhere and camp. Nowadays everything is fenced off.. even with one single wire.

Too many people in Oz..

AnswerID: 116347

Reply By: Redback - Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 11:36

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 11:36
Any State forest is free in NSW and some national are too but only if the ranger doesn't come round and usually most will only charge $5.oo a night in the smaller parks worth it i reckon as they don't get alot of money from the government to look after them properly.
Some good areas are Yalwal (NP and State forest), Morton and Duea NP, the Watagans, Newnes, Gardens of Stone NP, BenBullen SF in the Lithgow area, Oberon is mostly SF and Abercrombie NP and all these places are within 3hrs of Sydney and Yengo NP as well as Big Yango in Yengo NP is lovely and i think personnaly Big Yango is worth the fee charged for entry.

I think NSW is on par with most of the other states even cheaper than some as well, i can't comment on WA as i haven't been there but as Beddo said buy a parks pass it works out cheaper this way.

AnswerID: 116348

Reply By: Redback - Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 15:20

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 15:20
Caravan forum
AnswerID: 116379

Reply By: KiwiAngler - Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 18:14

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 18:14
I don't go anywhere when I am camping without taking this with me, it has paid for itself many times over and you can make camp with the knowledge that 1) it is free and 2) you won't get aknock on the door in the middle of the night from someone asking you to pack up and move on

Camping 3 is now out
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AnswerID: 116404

Follow Up By: motherhen - Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 19:06

Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 at 19:06
and you can buy it right here on Exploroz (it is on my "wishlist")
FollowupID: 371915

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