Free camping in Australia
We love free camping in Australia and do it often. Between the two of us we have been free camping/boondocking for more than 50 years.
To help us find free places to camp or to stop off the road for a cuppa or lunch, we have two books that cover virtually every free camping spot in the whole of this vast country.
The books are Camps Australia Wide and Explore Australia's Camping in Australia. We have used each of these to find some excellent campsites that were not listed in any other book or website we have seen.
Camps Australia Wide's books on free camping in Australia
Camps Australia Wide covers the whole of Australia, for free and paid campsites. The sixth edition comes in a compact A4 form and a larger B4 form that includes pictures of the sites allowing you to make a more informed choice.
Each is 400 pages and has been completely revised and updated with 460 new sites added and 280 closed or unsuitable sites deleted. There are now more than 3,700 sites. They have incorporated a huge amount of feedback from travelers and have personally traveled 75,000 km (50,000 miles) reviewing existing sites and finding new ones.
Camps Australia Wide 6 includes the Hema Road Atlas with campsites marked on the relevant map. The symbols for each site are informative and in full color.
The B4 size Camps has CampsSnaps covering 2100 overnight sites out of the total of 3700 sites of all types. It has all the same information as the other guide. The photos provide a preview of the site before you arrive. A picture can save 1,000 cross words and a lot of time.
The version without the photos comes in a more easily-managed A4 size, and that is what we have in our tow vehicle.
Each book shows roadside and nearby rest areas, free camping sites, low-cost caravan parks, national parks, station stays (that's sheep and cattle ranches if you come from the Americas), state forests, state parks and reserves.
A book that covers free camping in Australia. Also covers some paid campsites. This is one of two books that we use all the time. We have found some great camps using it.
Updates are available online for four years after the edition was published.
All sites now have GPS co-ordinates and there are better site access details. Being able to plan a trip with stopovers that are free or low cost plus knowing whether a pet is welcome and seeing at a glance what facilities are available has proven a hit with travelers across Australia.
There is an alphabetical index of all site names and an index of all highway routes covered in each State or Territory.
This edition has 436 dump point locations with contact phone numbers with symbols showing suitability for cassettes and holding tanks, whether there is a fee and access suitability for big rigs.
The A4 book is spiral bound for easier viewing by laying it flat or doubled over to suit the limited space often available to the navigator. RRP or recommended retail price is $59.95.
The B4 with CampSnaps is also spiral bound and has a hard cover. Of the 3700 sites listed in this edition 2100 camp/over night sites have an accompanying photo to provide a visual guide. RRP is $89.95.
The other book we use for free camping in Australia
We also have in our RV, Cathy Savage and Craig Lewis's Explore Australia, Camping in Australia for free camping. This also covers some paid campsites. We use this all the time too.
Camping in Australia often has more useful descriptive info about campsites and we have found it to be very accurate.
About the only things missing are the GPS coordinates and an indication of whether you can get mobile phone reception. Maybe next edition...?
However, even though Camping in Australia often has more useful info, we need both companies' books because Camps Australia Wide is definitely better for roadside rest areas etc.
You will find Camping in Australia covers free camping in Australia very well. You will be able to buy it in the same shops as Camps Australia Wide and you can contact the publishers on Explore Australia, 85 High St, Prahran VIC 3181, phone (03) 8520 6444 and fax (03)85206422.
Any of these books on free camping in Australia is available at most leading book stores, outdoor stores & 4WD centres or online.
Each is great value because you can save the cost of the book after a few nights of camping for free or after a week of cheap camping.