Free & Low Cost Camping WA – Discover Western Australia’s Best Campgrounds

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Image courtesy of Graeme Churchard via flickr

A common complaint from WA campers is that there aren’t enough good free campsites in this beautiful state. The good news is that there are locations where you can camp completely free which we have included in this guide. We have also included some of the best low-cost campsites where you only pay a very small fee.

Western Australia is a vast state with significant variations in landscapes. The far north is rugged red earth, sparsely populated with some stunning scenery and long drives in between each attraction. The midwest of WA has a stunning coastline and gorges, and is blanketed with wildflowers in spring. The south-west corner of WA is the state’s playground with forests, beautiful beaches and wineries all within a few leisurely hours drive from Perth.

 

Recommended Free & Low-Cost Campgrounds

The Western Australian Government’s Parks and Wildlife Service offer cheap and free campsites. Some can be booked while others are first in first served. These sites are popular and fill up quickly in the school holidays and over long weekends, so aim to arrive early and have a backup plan if your chosen site is full.

 

Stockton Lake Recreation Area

Stockton Lake Recreation Area
Image courtesy of WA Department of Parks and Wildlife

Location: Stockton Lake is 8 km east of Collie
Access: Piavanini Road, off the Collie – Darkan Road
Suitable for: Tents, camper vans, camper trailers, caravans, picnic tables
Facilities: Toilets, Fires, BYO firewood,
Cost: $8 adult, $3 kids per night
Tips: Potable water available with a donation by collecting a key at the Collie Visitor Centre
What to Do/See: Beautiful lake side camping spots situated on an old open cut mine that has been filled with water to create an artificial lake, power boats and skiers allowed on the lake, also visit nearby Black Diamond Lake or Minninup Pool for a swim, Coalfields Museum, Soldiers Park, Collie & Harris River State Forest.

 

Galena Bridge River

Galena Bridge River
Image courtesy of malagaguy via Wikimedia Commons

Location: Galena Bridge River campsite is at Lot 69 NW Coastal Area, Ajana
Access: All vehicle types
Suitable for: Tents, camper vans, camper trailers, caravans
Facilities: Toilets, fire rings, dump sites,
Cost: Free, 24-hour limit
Tips: Riverside camping spot, Fly net may be needed, pet-friendly campsite
What to Do/See: Galena Bridge is 12m above Murchison River water level, Fish or canoe, Drive to Kalbarri National Park for gorges, hikes and walking trails, Drive to shops in Binnu 17 minutes away or Kalbarri townsite

 

Kulin

Kulin Caravan Park
Image courtesy of Shire of Kulin

Location: Johnston Street
Access: All vehicles
Suitable for: Fully self-contained
Facilities: Public toilets, coin-operated shower, water, dumpsite, picnic table, BBQ
Cost: Free, 72 hours
Tips: Camping also available at Jilakin Rock, Kulin Bush Races Track during Kulin Bush Races – usually first week October. The Kulin Caravan Park allows you to pay what you feel your stay is worth (excludes bush races event).
What to Do/See: Visit quirky metal horses on the Tin Horse Highway, Aquatic Water Centre and Slide, Jilakin rock for a picnic, photograph orange clay and white cliffs of Buckley’s Breakaway, wildflowers and walk trails.

 

Lake Poorrarecup

Lake Poorrarecup
Image courtesy of Hughesdarren via Wikimedia Commons

Location: Poorrarecup Road, Franklin River
Access: Gravel road
Suitable for: Campervans, camper trailers, caravans
Facilities: Toilets, change rooms, cold showers
Cost: $10 per vehicle per day during peak periods when caretakers in residence
Tips: No pets allowed in the lake area
What to Do/See: Swim and water ski on Lake Poorrarecup, visit pink salt lakes, check out 50 varieties of orchids at Location 1997 between August and October, visit Stirling Range National Park and several wineries in the region.

 

Kwolyin Campsite

Kwolyin Campsite
Image courtesy of Shire of Bruce Rock

Location: Kwolyin Campsite is off Bruce Rock-Quairading Road, main access from Kwolyin Street, 39 km west Bruce Rock
Access: Road
Suitable for: Tents, camper vans, camper trailers, caravans
Facilities: Toilets, water, camp kitchen, picnic tables, rubbish bins, fires April to Sept
Cost: Free
Tips: Pet-friendly camping ground
What to Do/See: Experience pristine bush camping, climb up and drive around Kokerbin Rock, the third largest monolith in Australia with interesting formations, caves, well and Devils Marbles. Visit Bruce Rock Museum and Machinery Museum, historical Ardath Hotel, Bruce Rock sculpture park.

 

McDermid Rock Camping Area

McDermid Rock
Image courtesy of Robyn Jay via flickr

Location: Hyden Norseman Road
Access: Dry weather road only
Suitable for: Tents, camper vans, camper trailers, small caravans
Facilities: Toilets, solar heated showers, picnic tables,
Cost: Free
Tips: Not ideal for large caravans, pet-friendly
What to Do/See: Take a walk around McDermid Rock, a miniature version of Wave Rock

 

Capel

Ironstone Gully Falls
Image courtesy of Bunbury Geographe

Location: Berkshire Street, Capel RV Stop
Access: Road
Suitable for: Tents, camper vans, camper trailers, caravans
Facilities: Toilets
Cost: Free 24 hour limit
Tips: Short term parking available for self-contained vehicles, dump point and potable water located along nearby Buchanan Road.
What to Do/See: Located between Bunbury and Busselton, there is plenty to do around Capel including visit Ironstone Gully Falls, Capel Vale and numerous wineries in the Geographe Wine region, play 9 holes at Capel Golf Club, try the flying fox at Forest Adventures South West, boat, swim or fish at the beach or canoe down Capel River.

 

Newman

Newman
Image courtesy of Shire of East Pilbara

Location: Newman Road near Newman Visitor Centre
Access: Road
Suitable for: Fully self-contained vehicles, no camping
Facilities: Dump point, water
Cost: $10/night, 72 hours
Tips: Pet-friendly campsite, located in town with easy access to shops
What to Do/See: Visit East Pilbara Arts Centre to check out the magnificent works from local residents, take a tour of the BHP Whaleback Mine, visit outback waterholes, see the wildflowers in spring and visit the Cape Keraudren Coastal reserve.

 

Torbay Inlet Camping Area

Torbay Inlet Camping Area
Image courtesy of City of Albany

Location: 28 km west of Albany via Torbay Inlet Road
Access: At the end of Torbay Inlet Road, take Perkins Beach Road south off the Lower Denmark Road then take a left onto Torbay Inlet Road. The campground is at the end of the dirt road.
Suitable for: Tents, vehicle-based camping
Facilities: Toilets
Cost: Free, 7 days
Tips: Pet-friendly campsite
What to Do/See: Fish, swim and canoe in the inlet or launch your boat on the 4WD boat ramp, drive into Albany and visit National ANZAC Centre, Whaling station, Replica of Brigg Amity, The Gap and Natural Bridge and beautiful beaches.

 

Wilbinga Grove Rest Area Campground

Wilbinga Grove
Image courtesy of Michael_Spencer via flickr

Location: Off Wanneroo Road, 23 km before Guilderton
Access: Sand tracks, 4WD required
Suitable for: Tents, camper vans, camper trailers, caravans
Facilities: Picnic table
Cost: Free, 24 hours
Tips: Wilbinga is the closest area to Perth (70 km) that allows beach vehicle access, some limestone outcrops so be aware of clearance on the vehicle, take recovery gear, and air compressor. This is a very popular spot so beware of other vehicles and beach users
What to Do/See: Practise 4WD skills using 3 big sand dunes, beach access tracks, fishing, swimming and lookouts

 

Glen Mervyn Dam

Glen Mervyn Dam
Image courtesy of Shire of Donnybrook Balingup

Location: Collie-Mumballup Road, 16 kms South of Collie
Access: Northern areas of the dam are accessible from Best Road, off Collie Preston Road. 4WD is recommended, but 2WD can still access the northeast bank of the dam, caravans may struggle depending on conditions. The south bank (day camping) is accessible off a track coming off Collie Preston Road, near the bridge and can be accessed by cars and caravans.
Suitable for: Tents, camper vans, camper trailers
Facilities: Toilet, more toilets and picnic tables on eastern shore near Glen Mervyn dam wall which is a day-use area only.
Cost: Free
Tips: Pets-friendly camping ground, must be kept on a lead- fox baits are in the area. Bring gas stove for cooking as no cooking fires are permitted.
What to Do/See: Swim, canoe, kayak in the lake nearby.

 

Nanga Mill Campground

Nanga Mill Campground
Image courtesy of WA Department of Parks and Wildlife

Location: 0.5 km from Nanga gate, off Nanga Road, 13 km from Dwellingup via Pinjarra-Williams Road and Nanga Road.
Access: Two-wheel drive vehicles
Suitable for: Tents, camper vans, camper trailers, caravans
Facilities: Toilet, picnic tables, fire rings
Cost: $8 adult, $3 child per night
Tips: Pet-friendly campsite, very popular in school holidays so all 50 sites at Nanga Mill Campground may be taken
What to Do/See: Mountain biking, swimming, canoeing, fishing, bushwalking, 3.8 km walk trail for details of Nanga townsite and old Nanga mill, treetop flying fox at Trees Adventure Lane Poole Park.

 

Free Sites in WA for Caravans & RVs

Many WA towns are part of the RV Friendly Town program. Joining the program requires that a town provide parking for vehicles towing within the shopping area, a short-term – low-cost overnight parking for self-contained recreation vehicles, access to potable water and access to a free dump point. Other desirable criteria include long-term parking for self-contained vehicles, medical facility and pharmacy, visitor information centre and a town map.

 

Western Australia Free Camping Maps & Guides

Resources to help with planning and travelling around the great state.

Campsites Western Australia

Hema The Kimberley Atlas & Guide

Guide to Free Campsites

 

If you are after a particular book, map or a recommendation, don’t hesitate to ask the expert staff at The Chart & Map Shop by calling (08) 9335 8665 or contact us online.

 

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