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Best Free Camping Spots in Queensland

There are so many incredible things to do in Queensland. Whether it’s exploring the pristine beaches of the Queensland coastline, the ancient forests of the hinterlands, or the endless ochre reds of the outback, hiring a campervan for a Queensland road trip itinerary is the perfect way to experience them all. If you’re hoping to save money on your campervan trip, free camping in Queensland is a must-do. From national park campsites to scenic outback wild camping, there are lots of free camping hidden gems in Queensland that will cost you nothing but your time.

To help you on your upcoming holiday, we have put together this list of the best free camping spots in Queensland. So whether you are looking to park up under a canopy of gum trees, or in proximity to the sparkling waters of the coast, we have you covered. Let’s dive into the best locations to park your camper while exploring all that Queensland has to offer.

Where can you legally camp in Queensland?

In Queensland, it is not legal to just park anywhere and spend the night. In fact, in many places camping in a vehicle overnight is prohibited outside of designated campsites. Luckily for road travellers looking to save a little on camping, there are plenty of designated ‘freedom camping’ spots that allow overnight stays. These can include road stops, campsites and wild camping areas. The facilities at each campsite will vary greatly depending on the location. Some will have amenities such as toilets and showers provided, but some may require that you are self-contained and bring your own water. So, researching free camping spots before starting your adventure is important to ensure you come prepared.

One simple way to find approved free camping spots is to use the thl Roadtrip app. This all-in-one road trip itinerary planner app comes jam-packed with a full database of paid campsites as well as freedom camping sites. Using this app will help you plan ahead to ensure you have everything you need. Best of all, with the offline maps feature, you can pre-save campsites to your road trip itinerary and have these accessible offline. That way, you will have a roadmap of free camping spots no matter where you go in Queensland or how patchy the service gets!

A few things to consider when free camping:

  • Tidy up after yourself – Wherever you go camping, make sure to tidy up after yourself to keep Australia looking beautiful. Many of these freedom camping areas may not provide bins. And so it’s important to pack out what you bring to ensure it is clean for future travellers.
  • Abide by the signs – be mindful and pay attention to signs around you and abide by them. If a campsite is listed as free, but upon arrival you see a ‘no overnight stays’ sign – it's a good idea to follow the updated signage. As rules can change regularly, it's important to follow the most up to date information.

Top Free Camping areas in Queensland

If you’re looking for the best places to camp in Queensland (for free!), we have you covered with these top eight iconic Queensland freedom campsites:

1. Babinda Rotary Park Campground

Babinda Rotary Park Campground is easily one of the best free camping spots in Queensland for interior adventures. This campground is the perfect access point to swim and picnic at the beautiful Babinda Boulders, hire a Kayak and paddle along Babinda Creek, and go bushwalking in Wooroonooran National Park, and so much more. Best of all, you can stay up to 72 hours at no cost. However, a donation of $5 is encouraged for stays of up to 72 hours.

The camping area is all grass, with a gravel area that wraps around the toilet.

The facilities at the freedom campsite include:

  • New toilet and shower block ($2 fee for shower)
  • Water
  • Waste bins
  • Dump point

Babinda Creek_TEQ Visual Gallery.jpgImage Source: TEQ Visual Gallery

2. Wuruma Dam, North Burnett Region

Wuruma Dam is located around 5 hours north of Brisbane and two hours inland of the coastal town of Bundaberg. The Dam is a popular spot for fishing, boating and other water activities and is the perfect spot for a hinterland retreat. Best of all, you can stay at the campsite for up to three weeks.

There are 40 designated camping sites on flat terrain, all offering great views of the Dam. However, be sure to bring plenty of drinking water as none is available at the campsite. The facilities at the campsite include:

  • Picnic areas
  • Toilets
  • Rubbish bins
  • Boat ramp
  • Lookout

3. Lake Elphinstone Campground

Lake Elphinstone Campground is located on the banks of Lake Elphinstone, just an hour and a half inland of Mackay. This beautiful natural lake is the perfect backdrop to a holiday filled with fishing, kayaking, and waterskiing. This is also the home of the Red Claw crayfish, as well as an abundance of birdlife.

Lake Elphinstone is another Queensland camping gem that allows campers to stay up to two weeks. Again, it is recommended that you bring your own drinking water. The facilities at Lake Elphinstone Campground include:

  • Toilets
  • Cold showers
  • Wood barbecues
  • Boat ramp
  • Picnic tables

4. Fletcher Creek Campground

Fletcher Creek Campground is wild camping at its finest. Located just two hours from Townsville, near Dalrymple National Park. This is an ideal pull up for anyone looking to get out into Queensland’s beautiful Outback and enjoy some of the spectacular bushwalking in the area. Whether you plan to stay just one night, or up to the four week maximum, this deserves a place on any Queensland road trip.

The on-site facilities include:

  • Toilets
  • Cold showers
  • Barbecues
  • Big rig access
  • Dump point

Burkedin River_TEQ Visual Gallery.jpgImage Source: TEQ Visual Gallery

5. Lloyd Jones Weir Campground

Lloyd Jones Weir Campground is a large secluded area on the banks of the Alice River. This is the perfect base to explore the surrounding attractions, including Five Mile Waterhole, Lagoon Creek and Frazer Way Walking Path. This campsite has plenty of room as well as all the facilities you need, including:

  • Toilets
  • Dump point with hose
  • Picnic tables
  • Firepits

6. Long Waterhole Campsite, Winton

Long Waterhole Campsite is located just 4 km outside the outback town of Winton. Winton is a six hour drive from Townsville and best known for its place in dinosaur history. This campsite is the perfect place to park up to explore top-rated Australia attractions such as the Australian Age of Dinosaurs museum and visiting the Royal Open Air Theatre. If you like wild camping in a self-contained campervan, then this campsite is for you. There are no facilities at this site, so you must be self-sufficient in order to camp here.

Australian Age of Dinosaurs_TEQ Visual Gallery.jpgImage Source: TEQ Visual Gallery

7. Sandy Creek Hotel Campsite

Sandy Creek Hotel Campsite is located on site at the Sandy Creek Hotel just outside of Warwick. This little inland town, just 2 hours west of Brisbane, is a perfect base to explore the Darling Downs. Here you can stay local and explore the Glengallan Homestead and Heritage Centre, as well as the Pringle Cottage Museum Complex. Alternatively you can use this as a base to explore the Granite Belt region including the Girraween National Park. The campsite area itself is simple, and there is no charge for use. However we highly recommend grabbing a bite to eat or beer in the cosy outdoor beer garden to thank Kev and Karen (the owners) for their hospitality!

The facilities at Sandy Creek include:

  • Toilets
  • Shower (fee at the hotel)
  • Picnic tables
  • Phone reception
  • Children’s playground
  • Shade
  • Nearby pub

8. Judds Lagoon Campsite

Judds Lagoon campsite is tucked away in the charming outback of Yuleba, around five hours from Brisbane. With a quaint township and a total population of 384 residents, this campsite is the perfect rural retreat. This stunning riverside campsite is just a short drive from local attractions like the Native Wells and the Cobb & Co mural. If you time your trip right, be sure to check out the Cobb & Co festival.

The facilities include:

  • Picnic tables
  • Barbecues
  • Eco-friendly toilet

Book your next Mighty adventure

Nothing beats freedom camping on a Queensland, Australia road trip. Freedom camping is a great way to help you save a few pennies so you have more money for activities and attractions on your holiday. However, freedom camping is so much more than that. When free camping, escaping the everyday can be as simple as opening your campervan door. Whether it is swimming in glistening waters, enjoying the amazing and breathtaking sights, or cosying up by a campfire to end a perfect day adventuring, freedom camping sites are a great way to put you in the heart of some of the most unique and stunning regions that Queensland has to offer.

Ready to experience the very best Queensland free camps for yourself? Book your Mighty camper today in a branch or online. For more ideas on how to stretch your campervan budget, as well as ideas for the best Queensland road trip itineraries and more, check out the Mighty blog.