Heading to our branch? Click here for all upcoming branch location changes.

Best Free Camping Spots In WA

Mighty Camper - 00004.jpgImage Source: thl Content Hub

Free camping is good for the soul – wide open spaces, time in nature, sitting by the fire with nothing but stars for company. What could be better than getting your dose of nature on a road trip, knowing you’re not breaking the bank while doing so.

Western Australia is famous for its fertile South West, clear blue coastlines, rugged red north and desert oases. Taking up one-third of the landmass of Australia, with so many places only accessible by road, it is the ultimate road trip state. With so much open space to explore, there is also ample opportunity to spend your nights free camping under the stars (don’t mind if we do).

Free camping in these remote sanctuaries is one way to stretch your budget, and with over 75% of the Western Australian population residing in and around Perth, you are guaranteed to escape the crowds.

That is why we have created this list of our favourite free camping spots in WA to add to your road trip arsenal. That way, when you hit the wide-open road for your very own Western Australia bucket list road trip, you’re prepped and ready to experience the joy of free camping on a trip to remember.

Where you can camp for free in Western Australia

Unfortunately, the good old days of free camping have passed, and you can't just camp anywhere in Australia (bummer). But, there is still hope – for the budget-savvy traveller, there are still plenty of beautiful places to free camp if you know where to look.

It pays (literally and figuratively) to do your research to find legal free camping spots. Rangers patrol at night to ensure that people follow the rules and sleep in designated camp spots. Be sure to double-check local rules and signs to save yourself the accidental fine for sleeping in the wrong spot. If you’re not sure, you can always chat with locals or staff at the info centre; they will know the guidelines on that region and will be able to give advice on the best places to camp.

Other than checking council regulations and chatting with the locals, one of our personal favourites is to look for campsites on road trip planning apps. The thl Roadtrip app features some of the best free camps (as well as paid campsites) and allows you to save them all in one convenient place and create a road trip itinerary.

The rules for freedom camping in Western Australia

Maui BBQ  (1 of 1)-27.jpgImage Source: thl Content Hub

Like all free things, there are a few rules to abide by as a visitor of WA in order to help ensure these free spaces are taken care of for many years (and travellers) to come:

  • Dispose of your waste properly.
  • Use onboard toilets or public facilities instead of going ‘in nature’ as this can cause harm to the environment.
  • Look up designated RV dump stations so you can work this into your trip.
  • Leave no trace.
  • Respect Aboriginal culture - some sites are sacred.
  • Respect other campers and local residents.
  • Be careful on the roads to camping spots - bush smoke, dust, and heavy rain can affect your visibility.
  • Some campsites require you to be fully self-contained, so check the rules in advance.
  • For nature-based parks, there are also limits to the number of days you can stay.
  • Campfires are not always permitted, so check the fire restrictions and rules before lighting.

What you should know about freedom camping in WA (H3)

WA is Australia’s largest state, by a long shot. If it were its own country, it would be in the top 10 largest in the world. You get the idea – it's BIG.

While there are so many perks of exploring this vast landscape, there are also a few things to think about when planning a trip across such a large and remote landscape. This is especially important if you plan on taking advantage of the beautiful free camps on offer:

  • Some spots are 4WD only while others have dirt or gravel roads that are not ideal for campervans - seek out the campsites with well-maintained roads.
  • Certain touristy areas (for example, the Ningaloo region) are not available for free camping. There are rangers who patrol these areas and fine anyone breaking the rules. So, it's best to plan your route around these or pay for a campsite in these areas if you choose to visit.
  • Be sure to stock up on supplies when you can (bigger cities will be more cost-effective).
  • Make sure your drinking water supply is full – a lot of areas are more basic in facilities – and be prepared to pay to fill up in more remote locations where water is less accessible.

The best free camping spots in Western Australia

Mary Pool Campsite

Located in the popular Kimberley area halfway between Purnululu National Park and Fitzroy Crossing, this is a great place to take a break, stretch your legs and rest for the evening. While this campsite sits near the river and offers beautiful views, don’t forget to keep your distance. This is croc territory and not a place where you want to go for a dip.

  • What’s on-site: Unpowered site, dog-friendly, toilets.
  • Things to do: Bungle Bungles at Purnululu National Park, China Wall in Halls Creek.

Kwolyin Campsite

What used to be an old football field has since transformed into a beautiful tranquil outback escape. With pristine bush and annual flower displays surrounding this campsite, this is a perfect place to stop en route to see Wave Rock and the granite formations on display along this scenic inland route.

  • What’s on-site: Unpowered site, toilets, fires allowed, pets welcome.
  • Things to do: Drive to Wave Rock, explore Granite Way.

Galena Bridge rest area

Hutt_Lagoon_-_Ground-6_Image_by_Jarrad_Seng.jpgImage Source: thl Content Hub

This large rest area by the Murchison River is a short 53km from Kalbarri National Park and is the perfect place to camp and explore this part of the coast. Spend the day exploring the national park, seeing the vivid pinks of Hutt Lagoon and then come back to Galena Rest Area for the night. Park up in the main area just off the highway or drive further down to tuck away from the crowds, along the river's edge. Be sure to get here early as sites fill up fast.

  • What’s on-site: Unpowered site, toilets, dog friendly.
  • Things to do: Kalbarri National Park, Natures Window, Hutt Lagoon Pink Lake.

Bunbury City free camp spots

While some towns are locking down on free camping, others like Bunbury are getting savvy to the perks of hosting free campers and are opening up. The council of Bunbury provides several spaces in their public parking lots for overnight use to self-contained vehicles.

As a free camper, this is an incredible luxury to take advantage of. After a restful night of being lulled to sleep by the ocean, wake up early, take a walk along the beach and grab a coffee from a local café before getting back in your camper to enjoy all the beauty that is on offer in the South West WA region. These campsites are limited, so come early to grab a spot.

  • What’s on-site: Unpowered site, BBQ areas.
  • Things to do: Interact with wild dolphins at the Dolphin Centre, walk along the coast, visit the incredible Bunbury markets, drive south to Busselton Jetty.

Cosy Corner Campground (East)

Cosy Corner is a small seaside campsite nestled in the dunes only a short drive from the historic township of Albany and rolling grape laden hills of Denmark. Cosy Corner is the perfect coastal retreat to rest in between exploring these two iconic South West locations. With only a few sites available, you have the privacy to relax in your camper and explore the beauty of the beach. As the camp is quite small (and in such a fantastic location), make sure you get there early to grab a spot.

  • What’s on-site: Unpowered site, dog-friendly, bins, dump point.
  • Things to do: Head to Albany to explore the history, enjoy the farmers markets, enjoy a day at a winery in Denmark, rest and relax on Cosy Corner beach.

Peace Gorge Campsite

Pull up to this large open space nestled amongst weathered granite rocks for a night in these scenic bush surroundings.

  • What’s on-site: Unpowered site, BBQ areas, fires permitted (check fire restrictions), Telstra reception.
  • Things to do: See the granites at Peace Gorge, Meeka Lookout.

Enjoy freedom camping in Western Australia with Mighty

There you have it! Those are our best free camping spots in Western Australia. If you’re looking to rent a van to explore these camps for yourself, be sure to check out all our latest deals and book your Mighty camper today. If you’re looking for more travel inspiration for your upcoming trip, you can read more on our blog.