Where did we stay in Tasmania?

Saturday, Apr 01, 2006 at 09:00

Motherhen

With so many lovely options, we chose a mixture of free camps, National Parks campgrounds and just a few caravan parks. Supplementing my previously loaded Tasmanian travelogues, I have updated the descriptions of the campgrounds and caravan parks where we stayed during our seven week tour of Tasmania in 2006. Prices of caravan parks may vary seasonally.
With many free campgrounds, particularly on the eastern side of the state, we could enjoy our preferred style of bush camping. We were fortunate to be able to stay with friends when we arrived and use this as a base for touring the northern coastline, and with other friends near Hobart which enabled us to enjoy a rural environment instead of a city while looking around Hobart and Port Arthur. Prices have been updated and any changes noted. The few Caravan Parks chosen were quiet and outside of or on the edge of towns.
On the west coast we decided to stay at Zeehan Caravan Park (Treasure Island group). This looked a much nicer alternative to either the free camps near Strahan or the caravan park in that busy touristy town. Zeehan Caravan Park was a small, quiet park on the edge of town, yet close enough to walk or drive into the town (including to see the excellent museum in Zeehan. Level sites were lightly grassed and some under shady trees. Average amenities with an excellent supply of very hot water. Camp kitchen, children's playground, and mini golf. 2013 prices $29 - $30 powered site and $23 unpowered. Well situated for sightseeing in Strahan and Queenstown, in a much quieter and less "touristy" town. A number of caravanners stayed a few days and went on the Queenstown train and the Gordon River Cruise while based at Zeehan as we did.
Dover Beachside Tourist Park, in quiet location near waterfront, backing onto rural land. This park was flat with lush green grass. Covered barbecue area for campers. Friendly proprietors helpful with telling about things to do and see in the area. Bonus point: Showers had floor mats provided, and rack of extra hooks (but no shelf). We found inadequate number of showers, toilets and washing machines for the number of caravanners at our visit but new owners had plans for improvements. Powered sites from $32.50 and unpowered from $22.50 in 2013.
Bridport Holiday Park. A large campsite along the beach two kilometres to the north west of Bridport. Hard to find level or big rig sites. There appeared to be lots of permanent or long term residents. Facilities were very good. Powered sites $25 - $30 and unpowered sites from $22 in 2013. Overall good value in a lovely location.

Mole Creek Caravan Park. A small park in a pleasant rural location by a creek four kilometres west of Mole Creek. Near a road junction, but not much traffic at night. Had to find caretaker who does not live on site to pay and get key to facilities. Additional toilets for day picnickers always open. Laundry with one washing machine and a drier that actually worked well. Washing machine slow due to filling time with low pressure water kept people waiting. Flat grassed area. Water is untreated straight from the creek, and at very low pressure from an overhead tank. Not suitable for filling caravan tanks. A pressure pump provided water to the toilets and showers and someone found a tap from this to fill their caravan tanks. Powered site $17 for two people. Showers at forty cents gave a long shower. Bonus point: Wooden slatted floor mat in showers. This area can be rather wet when creek floods. Good sightseeing in the area. Overall, a pleasant place to stay. Now $20
Riana Pioneer Park (community run). Low cost. Run by local volunteers, who come around to collect fees and clean the bathrooms each day. South of Riana in a quiet pleasant parkland. Large area, well back from the road, with no level sites. Toilet and shower blocks in 'pioneer style buildings' of stone and weatherboard with open eaves; would be cold in winter. Pioneer décor - basic and undecorated inside. Showers twenty cents for three minutes. Bonus: Slatted board in the showers. Covered picnic area, but no laundry. Good value at 2013 prices: Powered sites $14 for two, $10 for one, $3 each extra person. Unpowered sites $8 for two $6 for one, and $2 each extra person. A very pleasant place to stay.
Free campgrounds; mostly out of towns, but with a couple of exceptions which were not quiet due to traffic. Time limits apply at most free campgrounds. Although it is not so easy to just find a spot to pull off the road like it is on the mainland, Tasmania is very well catered for with free and low cost campsites (often with just a pit toilet), particularly along the east coast. These are well documented in Camps Australia Wide, and you will need this or a similar publication to find them.
Ted's Beach Lake Pedder. Very clean flush toilets, covered picnic area with free barbecues. Tank water. Lovely spot on the shores of Lake Pedder . Boat launching. Lake is glorious at sunset and sunrise. Tasmanian Parks camping fees of $13 in 2013 and National Park entry fees or All Parks Pass applies.

Friendly Beaches Freycinet National Park . A lovely spot, with individual camp sites tucked in the bush along the beach, very private. Not many suitable for big rigs - mostly tent sites. Occasional pit toilet. Rubbish bins provided. Lovely beach just through the dunes. A delightful free location.
Chain of Lagoons. Near St Marys turnoff near beach. Flat campsites. The northern section has more spread out campsites amongst the trees. New pit toilet in that section too. We were there on a long weekend so there were a lot of campers at the southern end of the campground. OK as a free camp.
Bay of Fires. A number of nice campsites along the beach to the north of St Helens. Water, dump point and hot showers available at St Helens. We chose the popular Cosy Corner North. Campers spread out on level sites amongst trees along the beach. Pit toilets (one new latest technology in pit toilets). A lovely location.

Northeast Park Scottsdale. Nice location in Lions Park and picnic area a few kilometres from town. Bonus: Dump point and water, flush toilets and coin showers. Pleasant forest walks at back of park. Drawback: It is at the base of the hill on a busy highway, so noisy from trucks revving up the hills all night. Other than noise, it is an excellent free camp.
Andys Campground Westbury. Popular campsite behind Andy's 24 hour bakery and takeaway (they make lovely pies). Bakery no longer 24/7. Toilets in parking area beside shop. Dump point, and tap for filling caravan tanks. Flat grassed area. Generators and dogs accepted. Near railway, some traffic noise from road. No longer free; and caravan park amenities now provided. Update: Andy's has now been closed.
Conara. Update: Now day area only. In the Midlands, this is a rest area a bit away from the highway at a tiny and neat town. Nice level area, flush toilets with night lighting. Covered picnic barbecue area. Nature forest walk. Pleasant setting and makes a very good overnight stop.
Kempton. A free camp in a quiet and peaceful tiny Midlands town. Level sites. Highway screened by a hill so traffic noise not noticed. Water (2 taps), Power (3 outlets). Dump point behind Shire office. A new toilet and shower block with hot showers has been built on site since our stay, and a $10 per night fee applies to use of these amenities. Pay $20 deposit plus the $10 fee for key at Shire office during business hours, otherwise at General Store. Phone 0417501303 to make arrangement for after hours key access. Donation honesty box for use of power. Very good low cost campground with the bonus of power and water available.
Black River Campground (near Stanley). An honesty box fee of $13.00 per couple per night. A large area of campsites each privately nestled in the scrub. Only three pit toilets for the whole area. Some campsites in the open along Black River estuary. Boat launching and fishing. Well away from highway. A nice quiet and private campsite. Short walk to beach with views to The Nut at Stanley).
Camping self contained at Lakes and dams: We also stayed at a few hydro dams/lakes/lagoons. These have no facilities but often a nice view. There are many other similar camping options.

Read more about Tasmania and come touring Australia with us via our other Travelogues.
Motherhen

Red desert dreaming

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