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Best Free Camping Spots in South Australia

South Australia is a campervan dream for anyone looking to explore Australia in a campervan. From the city lights and beaches of Adelaide to the rugged beauty of the Flinders Ranges, you'll be spoiled for your choice of adventures in this wild and wide-open state. If you are planning a South Australia road trip and looking for cheap campervan hacks, free camping is easily one of the best ways to save a bit of cash!

Best of all, as South Australia boasts such wide open spaces and remote beauty, there are plenty of free camping sites to choose from. To help narrow it down, we have put together this guide with some of the best free camping sites throughout South Australia when hiring a campervan to explore.

Where you can camp for free in South Australia

If you've decided to go the free camping route and stretch your travel budget on your next trip, finding the best free campsites ahead of time for your trip is a game-changer. But first, where exactly can you free camp?

Well, while wild camping is not explicitly allowed in this state, South Australia offers an abundance of free camping and low-cost camping areas. This can include rest areas, campgrounds and national park campsites. To ensure you find the best campsites for your road trip itinerary (aka. close to the right attractions, facilities and so on), it is important to research free camping spots before you set off on your adventure.

One of the easiest and most simple ways to search for free camping sites in South Australia is by using the thl Roadtrip app. This app has an easy-to-use database to help you find approved free camping spots. For each of the listed campsites, you can see images of the location (if available) and the facilities at each campsite. You can also search the area for local Australian attractions to see what there is to do nearby! What's more, you also have the ability to save each campsite to your road trip itinerary planner in the app and download these as an offline map. That way, you are never caught without a plan of where to go, no matter how patchy the service gets.

When free camping in South Australia, there are a few things to consider:

  • Keep the campsites tidy – wherever you go camping, make sure to tidy up after yourself to keep Australia looking beautiful. This is especially important when making use of free camping areas. These may not always have bins provided, so it's important to pack out what you bring in to keep it beautiful for the next campervan travellers.
  • Pay attention to signs around you and abide by them. Camping rules can be updated frequently depending on the season of travel. As such, it's important to obey the most up-to-date signage available.
  • Water safety is very important in South Australia. If you are planning on heading into national park campsites or those along the ocean, be sure to abide by the rules and regulations and stay safe.

For more campervan tips, check out our top tips for your first campervan holiday.

Top free camping areas in South Australia

Whether you are planning on free camping on the Yorke Peninsula, scoping out the rugged landscapes of the Eyre, or parking up along the pristine beaches on the Fleurieu, we have you covered with this list of the very best free camping in South Australia.

Narrung Ferry Campsite, Coorong Country

Narrung Ferry Campsite is a small campsite boasting stunning views of the nearby Malcolm Lighthouse and the surrounding ocean. Located just two hours south of Adelaide, this is an ideal stop on the journey south or as a base to explore the surrounding region. Travellers can stay up to 72 hours at no cost, which makes this an ideal campground to explore Coorong National Park, take the ferry to visit the lighthouse or go on a tour to Canoe the Coorong.

The Narrung Ferry campground facilities include:

  • Bins
  • Toilets
  • Water taps
  • Covered seating areas

Talia Caves Campground, Eyre Peninsula

Talia Caves Campground is wild camping at its finest. Set on the rocky ledges overlooking Waterloo Bay on the Eyre Peninsula, this rugged campsite is a simple camp perfect for exploring the local Australian attractions. Here you can wander on foot to the nearby Talia Beach, explore the fishing and wildlife down by the water, or venture to see the hollowed formation of Talia Caves. There is also plenty of wildlife in the area. If you are looking for a more immersive wildlife experience, you can check out the local Baird Bay Eco Experience.

This is a simple camping location perfect for self-contained campervans. As there are no facilities here, you’ll have to bring your own water and carry out all your waste. However, you won’t feel like you are missing out. What is lacking in facilities is made up for by the incredible scenery! What better way to experience this wild gem than in the comfort of your own campervan?

Talia Caves Rockpool_SATC Media Gallery.jpgImage Source: SATC Media Gallery

Greenways Landing, Riverland

Greenways Landing offers travellers the perfect park up along the Murray River. Best of all, this wide-spanning campground offers travellers plenty of space to park up so you don’t have to worry about parking on top of other travellers. While you’re here, be sure to check out the local attractions, including going for a paddle along the Murray River and pop into the Twenty Third Street Distillery for an afternoon refresher.

The Greenways Reserve Landing campground facilities include:

  • Toilet block with fold-down baby change table
  • General store 2km up the road

Riverland_SATC Media Gallery.jpgImage Source: SATC Media Gallery

Tantanoola Campsite, Limestone Coast

Tantanoola Campsite is a rural campsite located between Adelaide and Mount Gambier. With a max 2-night stay, this is a great stop-over on a larger South Australia road trip itinerary. Nearby attractions worth checking out include the Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park and the fascinating formation of the Umpherston Sinkhole / Balumbul.

The facilities at the Tantanoola Campsite include:

  • Toilets
  • Tank water
  • Bins
  • Barbecue
  • Playground
  • Dump point

Tantanoola_SATC Media Gallery.jpgImage Source: SATC Media Gallery

Fitzgerald Bay Camping Area, Eyre Peninsula

Fitzgerald Bay Camping Area is a perfect campsite for anyone exploring the Whyalla region of South Australia. Just 10 minutes from town, and with 30 campsites to choose from, this is an idyllic campsite to park up at during a South Australia road trip. Alongside stunning coastal views, this campsite is within driving distance of great local attractions such as the Freycinet Trail, Point Lowly Lighthouse, and the Whyalla Maritime Museum.

The campground facilities at the Fitzgerald Bay Camping Area include:

  • Rubbish bin
  • Shady areas

Fitzgerald Bay_SATC Media Gallery.jpgImage Source: SATC Media Gallery

Red Cliff Beach Free Camping, Tumby Bay

Just on the outskirts of Tumby Bay on the Eyre Peninsula is the popular beachside Red Cliff Beach Free Camping area. This coastal oasis is just a short walk from town and close by other great attractions such as the Greenly Beach Rock Pools and the Excel Blacksmith & Engineering Museum. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a place to relax, this oceanside spot is the ultimate excuse just to spend your day swimming in the ocean, walking along the beach, and wandering into town to grab a morning coffee or afternoon drink. With no facilities on site, this is the perfect time to take advantage of the campervan kitchen and whip up a campervan-friendly meal.

Campground facilities available at Red Cliff Beach Free Camping:

  • None – must be self-sufficient and fully self-contained

Hancocks Lookout Campground, Wilmington

Hancocks Lookout Campground is a beautiful campground on the outskirts of Mount Remarkable National Park, about three hours north of Adelaide. This campsite is free for one overnight stay for self-contained campervans. This is the perfect park up to explore nearby attractions, including Alligator Gorge at Mount Remarkable National Park and Sansouci Puppet Museum and Gallery. This would also be a great stopover for any South Australia road trip itinerary traversing towards the Eyre Peninsula.

The campground facilities at Hancocks Lookout Campground include:

  • Picnic table
  • Rubbish bin
  • Shady areas

Alligator Gorge, Flinders Ranges_SATC Media Gallery.jpgImage Source: SATC Media Gallery

Point Brown Campground, Smoky Bay

Point Brown Campground is tucked away in the west of the Eyre Peninsula near a little town called Smoky Bay. This secluded bay town is a premiere destination for fishing, oysters and enjoying the fresh local seafood. While parked up here, be sure to check out local Australian attractions such as the Laura Bay Conservation Park and go fishing at Smoky Bay Jetty – easily one of the best things to do in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

Campground facilities available at Red Cliff Beach Free Camping:

  • None – must be self-sufficient and fully self-contained

Book your next Mighty adventure

Van travel is hands-down one of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of South Australia. What’s better is that travelling in a self-contained campervan allows you to park up at freedom campsites. This is a fantastic way to explore lesser-known places, travel with no pre-booked commitments, and save a little money as you go. Whether it's parking up by the ocean, taking in the gorgeous sea views or soaking up the starry night sky in the more remote areas of South Australia, freedom camping is a must-do on any campervan road trip itinerary.

Ready to explore the very best things to do in South Australia while parking up at some of these idyllic, South Australia free campsites? Book your Mighty camper today in a branch or online. For more travel inspiration and tips on saving on a campervan holiday, check out the Mighty blog.