Camping is good for the soul—fresh air, nature and a time to really relax and wind down. What’s even better than a few nights away sleeping under the stars? When you can do it all for free. Western Australia is home to some ridiculously cool camping grounds, and we’ve rounded up some of our favourite free ones. You might have to drive
Here are 9 of the best free camping spots to hit up around Western Australia.
Not too far from Albany lies Betty’s Beach where you can camp for free at this remote coastal hideaway. You can literally get set up on the beach and swim in the crystal-clear waters or try your luck at fishing. Just note, you can’t actually camp here from February through to April due to the salmon fishing season. If you’re here between July and October keep an eye out for the whales on their annual migration. Free whale watching? Don’t mind if we do.
Torbay Inlet (also known as Floodgates) is another beaut free camping spot near Albany and an absolute surfer’s dream. There’s a track leading you right down to the beach as well as plenty of shady peppermint trees to keep you cool at camp when you feel like chilling out in the arvo after a day on the waves, plus, it’s also pet friendly.
Stokes National Park (Near Esperance)
Sticking with the coastal theme, Shoal Cape located within the Stokes National Park is where you’ll want to shack up if fishing and snorkelling are your jam. This one’s best for a 4WD and for the early birds out there with just three small campsites available. Wake up, walk down the stairs to the beach and breathe in that fresh, salty air.
Rowles Lagoon Conservation Park
Get your Aussie outback on and head out to the red dust of the Goldfields to check out Rowles Lagoon. This scenic little spot sees a huge variety of birds and wetland wildlife and is equipped with toilets, picnic tables and fire pits. Time to get the marshmallows ready. The Lagoon and neighbouring lakes rely on rainfall runoff to maintain their depth, and if it's been a good season, it’s the ideal spot for water recreation.
Doolena Gorge, two hours south of Port Hedland is where you can see a truly awe-inspiring sunset light up the cliff faces casting a West Aussie red glow onto the rock. If the weather’s been kind, climb the gully to the top of the waterfall or jump in for a well-earned swim. It’s recommended to have a 4WD to explore this area.
Karalee Rocks was originally developed as a catchment and reservoir to provide water for steam trains en route to Kalgoorlie back in the 1890s and now serves as a great place to set up your swag for the night and gaze up at the stars. If you’re an avid bushwalker, you’ll love the trails around here. The campsites can be accessed by 2WD and the fire pits mean you can get your real camp kitchen on.
Wolfe Creek Crater
You might be thinking this one’s free for all sorts of reasons (cue scary movie), but if you’re up for an adventure and can withstand the nightmares, camping at the second largest meteorite in the world might be a bit of fun. Climb up to the top of the Wolfe Creek Crater and reward yourself with a bevvie while you and your mates sit back and tell spooky camp stories.
Get your camera ready, the scenery around Peak Charles will take your breath away. Located in the National Park and about three hours north of Esperance, the hiking paths here are not for the faint hearted but well worth the steep climbs to get a view of the salt lakes and landscape in the distance. This spot is definitely suited for the more rugged camper.
Prepared to pay the price for beauty? Here are some other stunning spots to camp in WA.
Image credit: Tom King