Free camping sites in nsw

Free camps in nth nsw are non existing , they are only stops with dirty toilets and full rubbish bins , I have contacted some councils and local governments on this , we need some good areas for caravaners to stop overnight , that are clean and safe and offer toilets and showers ect .Towns that being by passed with the highway should look at this , it is a great way to get people into your town and spent money .
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Reply By: rescue134 - Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 16:49

Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 16:49
this link covers all states, very interesting on what you say, i only stayed in outback and find them good. may the ones you are talking about are in city area?
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Follow Up By: member-PradoMad - Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 19:00

Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 19:00
good website. thanks for sharing.
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Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 17:58

Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 17:58
Hi Colleen,

While on a recent tour of free camps in mainly northern NSW during April and May this year, we travelled west as far as Burren Junction NSW, North as far as Ashford NSW, south as far as Greenwall Point NSW (near Nowra) and east as far as Walcha and the Nundle area near Tamworth NSW.

The tour was mainly centred around the New England region with a detour south to the Nowra area.

In the 4 weeks we found a couple of brilliant free or very cheap sites and most were good. The worst one was at Wells Crossing near Ashford which was much as you described, and the best was near Barraba NSW.

All the others were reasonable and the best was brilliant.

In fact the best was that good it should have had a charge on it.

In the more popular areas, such as along the Pacific Highway, many are as you suggest due to the high traffic volumes these facilities have to cope with.

A couple of the sites had a small charge like $5 per night which is terrific in my opinion given what is on offer.

So in summary I would agree with you for some locations but in the main most, where we went, were quite OK.

I might say that the worst site was a town caravan park which was virtually a town back yard which cost us $31 for the night and we did not use any power worth talking about.

Perhaps more info in relation to specific locations might be more enlightening and get a greater response.

Cheers, Bruce.
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Follow Up By: shane m8 - Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 10:39

Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 10:39
Hi, I am coming out to OZ from the UK in a few weeks - I intend to go from Sydney up the coast not much further than Brisbane. I will have a car and my tent and I would like to see as much wild life and wonderful scenery as possible, as I have a limited budget I would like to stay on cheep but good camp sites and occasional free sites. Any advice or recommendations would be gratefully received- as stated I intended to stay near the coast but will be happy to go inland 100km or so if there is a nice place to stay with good things to see. Regards Shane ( )
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 13:36

Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 13:36
Hi Shane,
The first thing to do is to get a copy of Camps Australia Wide which lists a huge amount of free or inexpensive camp sites right around Australia.
It is divided up into the different states to make it easy to follow.

Purchase it when you arrive unless you want to do some research before you leave the UK.

There are plenty of good cheap camp sites between Port Macquarie and South West Rocks not to mention many more both north and south of those locations but be advised that the coast is very popular and so there is very little that is free. Inland is another story

For more information I would open up a new thread in ExplorOz if I were you as I am only familiar with the area near where I live as far as the coast is concerned

Cheers, Bruce.
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restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Reply By: Tim - Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 19:49

Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 19:49
At the risk of being shot down here, you want a nice clean place to stay with toilets and showers and you want it for free? And if these said facilities are provided, it will encourage you to spend money in the town?

What about state forests? They are all up the east coast, albeit no facilities.

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Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 20:00

Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 20:00
agree - don't expect much do they? Go up north in the winter to some of these free camps, they are so chokka with tight-ar$ed nomads staying for weeks on end I'd rather be in a caravan park on the east coast, which is saying something.

As for spending money in the town; yeah, right. Sure you do.
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 21:47

Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 21:47
Every man and his/her dog owns a Free Camps book!! At the thought of saving $200 a week, a $50 book to help you with this, sounds to good to be true. Logic tells me that pristine overnight stops with clean toilets and somewhere to dump your rubbish that you accumulated elsewhere couldn't last!! Michael

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Reply By: the_fitzroys - Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 21:55

Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 21:55
You expect neat and tidy camping with toilets and showers for free? You say they are just overnight stays, so how can you expect all that for nothing? Possible scenario: you pull up, have a shower, cook dinner no doubt brought with you from somewhere else, open the beers/wine you have in board. Empty waste, both bodily and stored living waste. In the morning, your steps are pulled up (or whatever happens with caravans) and you shoot through, leaving someone (funded by the taxpayers of the community) to clean the toilets and showers you use and cart away your rubbish. They might be lucky if you buy a carton of milk on the way through.

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Reply By: Member - Josh- Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 22:00

Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 22:00
We travelled from Bermagui in NSW all the way to Adelaide and never paid for accomodation once, so either your not looking hard enough or times have changed. None of these had showers but there are ways around that too. I have to agree with others though, free campsites, clean toilets, showers, no rubbish???? who exactly pays for all this, the local people in their rates so you can camp free and spend a couple bucks on your way through. Who cleans them, who repairs them????? I think a free camp ground with tiolets maybe but I think showers is going a bit far.

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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 23:52

Monday, Aug 13, 2012 at 23:52
Hi Colleen

There are areas of rural NSW where community free and low cost serviced campgrounds abound. We seek out and support these towns. You can reach me through my profile if you want to know more.


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Reply By: Member - Josh- Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 08:31

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 08:31
According to the EO article that has showed up with this thread there are 509 Bush or free camp sites in nsw.Maybe your expecting to much or not using the right search options to find them.
What did you use to find the free camps??

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Reply By: Colleen F1 - Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 14:28

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 14:28
To follow up on your comments , we free camped in Queensland and had good clean areas with coin operated showers , which I guess paid for the cleaning and water , we were happy to spend money in these towns , just ask the people of home hill how much money they make from caravaners , we don't want anything for nothing just good camps to be able to stay over night , refresh for the next days drive . And if you know anything about free camps they a mostly overnight or 48hrs .So they are providing a sleep area for drivers , grey nomads are mostly people with standards not yobos on a drinking night out and clean after themselves . Free camps make the highways safer for all drivers
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Follow Up By: Member - Peter E1 (VIC) - Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 17:36

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 17:36
Yes Colleen but someone has to pay for the free camp sites facilities. Free camping suggests you do want it all for nothing. Sadly some people think they can travel the big country of ours and stay wherever for as long as they like for nothing. I think in the near future more restrictions will be placed on the travelling public and that will be a sad situation.
As you probably know not all travellers treat the free camping sites as well as you probably do. Some sites are in a very sad state and will only cause local councils etc. to close more and more sites and with the decline of affordable caravan parks, particularly around the coast, it will be harder and harder to travel at leisure.

Having said all that there are some great small caravan parks around that need all our support and most are not very expensive at the end of the day.

Off soapbox!!!!
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Reply By: werewasi - Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 19:38

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 19:38
You referrred to NSW but the issue is the same in Queensland where I live in a small rural town.
Earlier this year at a meeting the question of providing a free camping area came up and the general conclusion was that this was a cost impost on ratepayers who were already shouldering the cost of road mileage on a much greater ratio than their urban counterparts, and also struggled to have the same level of service facilities.
The argument that these travellers with their own accomodation bring spending revenue to the town has little support since the only substanial beneficiary could be the supermarket and since this is not locally owned, this wasn't very beneficial. Every other business such as the hardware store and the butcher got almost nothing.
You really can't expect free facilities to be provided and caravan parks are a good example of the 'user pays' principle working well.
I camped through out the US two years ago, and if it was free, you were lucky to get a toilet. In California, on the coastal highway 1, north of S Francisco, I stopped at a State park campground wher the fee was $36 for one person for a tent space and the use of a loo, and another $5 to bring the motorbike inside the gate.
I've never complained after this, about any camping site in Australia (not that I really did before this)
Unfortunately seemingly well heeled travellers with their big 4WDs and caravans
don't elicit much sympathy with their calls for more money to be spent to make life easier for them. If the accusation is that this is just typical of "red necky" Qld, then I'd add that I came from Sydney and have a lot of sympathy with the views they express.
Finally. Some one may want to have a go at me because here I am, not a member, using a free site.
My response. World Vision is the recipient of my disposable income. We Australians have more than we need and many "out there" are close to starvation.
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Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 11:55

Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 11:55

You make some very good points in your post.

We have recently returned from nearly 4 weeks in NW NSW - generally welcoming and generous locals, good country to travel and this time, good weather.

Unfortunately, the behaviour of some travellers is not helping and I provide this as an example. We were told by a volunteer in Broken Hill that a minority of grey nomads just stop for fuel, go to the Vinnies soup kitchen for a FREE feed and then head out of town to stay at the free stops on the roadside.

IMHO, that is despicable behaviour. Vinnies provide a service for destitute and needy people who can not afford a decent feed, not for people who clearly can afford to travel around Australia! Because of their beliefs, Vinnies do not turn the travellers away, but it "sours the milk of human kindness", so to speak.

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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 10:23

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 10:23
Dear Colleen
Obviosly you have not tracked up the coast north from Perth. There are many spots to stop however 'NO CAMPING or overnight stopping' signs on all of them.
$100 to $500 on the spot fines.
You are forced to stop in some grotty caravan parks namely Cervantes.
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Reply By: Lyn W3 - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 14:06

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 14:06

Could you please tell us where the free accommodation, free toilets, free showers and free campsites are in Sydney for us country visitors, last time I was in Sydney it cost us a couple of hundred dollars a night for an average room.

Yet you expect small country towns of a few hundred people to provide all of these things free of charge.
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