While traveling through Australia you can easily find your budget going faster than your travels. Yes, it is not cheap to travel around in this beautiful country, but there are also a lot of things you can enjoy for free.
For one thing, camping is considered an activity that should be available to all here. So in almost every area you can find free campsites. Mostly they are no more than a parking area with a toilet. However, last night we stayed at the best free campground that we have experienced so far. Well, campsite might be a bit overstated. As we left the main road and drove onto the parallel street we saw a lot of campers and trailers on the side of the road. We were in for a pleasant surprise though.
What made this into a really great place to stay? The facilities that were offered were better than some paid campsites that we stayed at. Like a shower, a camp kitchen with hot plates and taps with cold and warm water. And a clean and fresh smelling toilet block; the women’s smelled like soap, the mens like pee according to Oliver that is a must though, otherwise men do not know what to do there).
Why mention the toilets separately? That is one of those rights in Australia, everyone has the right to use a public toilet. You can find them everywhere. Most are clean and have toilet paper and there is no charge. Unlike in Europe, where you have to carry your own toilet roll under your arms when you have to go while on a campsite. Where it is not always easy to find a public toilet and you have to pay to use it. The most expensive one we know of is in Venice, where you pay €2 ($3). Tip when in Venice: go to a bar and order a drink, it comes with free toilet usage.
Most of the free campsites have a 1 or 2 night stay limit. We have been told that some people (even families) live in their motor homes and drive around in a two week circle, living on free campgrounds. Perfectly legal.
We found this amazing free camp in Home Hill, between Townsville and Airlie Beach (Queensland). We used the App Campermate (also free) to find our camping area’s.
Secondly there are pick nick area’s everywhere with everything you need for a long or short stop, toilets, benches, hot plates, kids play area’s and great views! Sometimes there is a $1 charge for the hot plates. We are now sitting in a park, right next to the beach, with a Fitness course and we even found a plug to charge our devices with. Again free.
Today was our free day, as we even got some free food. We were not charged for our bread at the supermarket, because the prize displayed in the store was lower then the registrar prize. We were correct and got the bread for free!
Finally all the nature parks, scenic lookouts and hiking routes, mostly no charge for those either. Bitter Springs (Northern Territory) was just one of those amazing free finds. You just need to get there…