Free Camping QLD Coast (Brisbane to Cairns)

⛺️ 24 Free Camping QLD Sites: Brisbane to Cairns

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Our caravan road trip along the Bruce Highway from Brisbane to Cairns was filled with Free Camping QLD sites.

The Queensland coast is renowned for its magnificent beaches, glorious sunshine and world heritage rainforests mixed in with relaxing bush camping. But, the east coast of Australia is not well-known for having an abundance of Free Camps.

Before we embarked on our journey south from Cairns down the coast of Queensland, we had many people trying to burst our bubble…

“Good luck finding free or low cost camping down the Queensland coast, it’s near impossible!”

“The East Coast is so expensive.”

Do you want to know what we said to that… challenge accepted!

I’ve put together a list of awesome Low Cost and Free Camping QLD that will take you from Cairns all the way down to Brisbane as you travel up or down the coast of Queensland (flip the itinerary to suit whichever end you start from).

If you want to save your dollars for fuel, pub lunches and snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, then read on! Plus, here’s a handy road trip packing list to help with your preparations.

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Free Camping QLD Map (Brisbane to Cairns)

Every Free Camping QLD site that is mentioned in this post is also included in the interactive map below. You can click and drag the map to move around, plus zoom in and out as you make you way up or down the QLD East Coast, from Brisbane to Cairns.

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Free Camping QLD (Cairns to Brisbane)

Ringers Rest RV Park – MAREEBA

Ringers Rest, Mareeba QLD (Low Cost Camping)
Ringers Rest RV Park, Mareeba

Nestled in the Tablelands region of Far North Queensland is where you’ll find the Ringers Rest RV Park. It’s location is perfect for exploring the beautiful Atherton Tablelands, Kuranda and Cairns. The owner Dave is a top bloke and full of stories of his life as a Ringer (aka Stockman).

RINGERS REST RV PARK
Cost:$10/ night per site for 2 people
+ $5 pp/pn for extra people over 14 yrs
Address:277 Fichera Rd, Mareeba QLD 4880
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🚽 Composting toilets
💧 Water (needs to be filtered)
🗑 Bins (recycling, food scraps, landfill)
🎈 Hot Air Balloons landing most mornings
🔥 Camp Fire (wood provided)
📶 Telstra reception
➕ Horses, Cows, Bettongs & kids bikes
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ FULL REVIEW: Ringers Rest RV Park →
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Mareeba Drive-In – MAREEBA

Mareeba Drive-in, QLD
Mareeba Drive-In, Mareeba

For a night under the stars watching a movie on the big screen, Mareeba Drive-In is the go. With free camp sites along the back, you just need to pay for your movie tickets. To make full use of the surround sound, you can tune your radio into the local Drive-in channel. Mareeba Drive-in is such a unique camping experience, which you won’t find anywhere else!

MAREEBA DRIVE-IN
Cost:FREE Camping – 24 hours
Movie Cost – Adults $14, Kids (< 12 yrs) $8
Address:5303 Kennedy Hwy, Mareeba QLD 4880
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🚽 Toilets
📽 2 x Latest movies
🍿 Popcorn, burgers, nachos etc. available
🚙 Access – Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes & Big Rigs
⛺️ FULL REVIEW: Mareeba Drive-In →
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The Boulders Free Camping Ground – BABINDA

Babinda Boulders Camp QLD
The Boulders Free Camping Ground, Babinda

The Babinda Boulders Free Camping Ground is absolutely gorgeous. You can find it located at the end of Boulders Road in the National Park. There are about 8 designated camp sites, but as it’s a very popular spot people will show up at all hours and squeeze in anywhere. The walk to the infamous Babinda Boulders is just a few hundred metres from camp.

BABINDA BOULDERS FREE CAMP GROUND
Cost:FREE – 72 hours
Address:The Boulders Road, Babinda QLD 4861
Features:🚿 Showers (cold only)
🚽 Toilets
🗑 Bins
➕ Rainforest, mountain views, hiking, swimming, picnic tables
🚙 2WD Access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes
❌ NO water, pets, Telstra reception or Big Rigs
⛺️ READ: 2 Free Camps in Babinda, QLD →
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Babinda Rotary Park Rest Area – BABINDA

Babinda Rotary Park Rest Area, (Free Camping QLD)
Babinda Rotary Park Rest Area, Babinda

The little Far North Queensland town of Babinda is very RV-friendly. Not only can you stay at the beautiful Boulders for 3 nights, but you can also stay near town at the Babinda Rotary Park Rest Area for another 72 hours.

The small town is an easy stroll away with an array of shops and eateries, while the camp site is nestled along a crystal clear river. A great day trip from Babinda is to visit and dunk yourself into Josephine Falls.

BABINDA ROTARY PARK REST AREA
Cost:Donation – 72 hours
Address:29 Howard Kennedy Drive, Babinda QLD 4861
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🚽 Toilets
🚿 Showers ($2 for hot)
💧 Drinking water
⬇️ Dump point
🗑 Bins
➕ Swings, BBQ, Picnic areas, Telstra reception
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Motorhomes, Caravans, Big Rigs
❌ NO fires
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Fred Drew Rest Area – INNISFAIL

Fred Drew Rest Area, Innisfail QLD
Fred Drew Rest Area, Innisfail

The Fred Drew Rest Area is situated right on the Bruce Highway, which can make it a bit noisy during the day. But, it also provides a great spot to rest, unhitch and check out Innisfail. You can easily head up the mountain and explore Atherton Tablelands from this spot as well.

Just around the corner in the river is the perfect place to go crocodile spotting from the safety of a high river bank. See if you can spot the big 5 metre salty basking on the banks!

FRED DREW REST AREA
Cost:FREE – 24 hours
Address:27 Palmerston Hwy, Belvedere QLD 4860
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🚽 Toilets
💧 Drinking water
🍞 Picnic tables
♨️ BBQ
🗑 Bins
➕ Playground & Telstra reception
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes & Big Rigs
❌ NO showers or fires allowed
⛺️ FULL REVIEW: Fred Drew Rest Area →

▶️ VIDEO: Check out the Cassowary just down the road at Etty Bay!

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Japoonvale Rest Area – JAPOONVALE

Japoonvale Rest Area, QLD
Japoonvale Rest Area, Japoonvale

Between Mission Beach and Innisfail, you can find the rural village of Japoonvale nestled in the mountains. The Japoonvale Rest Area is a quiet little spot alongside a gorgeous flowing creek with rolling green mountain views.

Just up the road is one of the most well-known tourist attractions in Queensland, Paronella Park. Read all about the amazing Paronella Park camping and tours.

JAPOONVALE REST AREA
Cost:FREE – 7 days
Address:2618 Innisfail Japoon Rd, QLD 4856
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🗑 Bins
🚽 Toilets
💧 Water (non potable)
➕ Fishing, Telstra reception
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes & Big Rigs
❌ NO showers, power or drinking water
⛺️ FULL REVIEW: Japoonvale Rest Area →
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Tully Free Camping – TULLY

Tully Sugar Mill
Tully Sugar Mill

Unfortunately, the Tully Self Contained RV Park is no longer available, which is a huge shame.

From camp you could easily walk to the famous BIG Golden Gumboot and the Sugarcane Mill. The nearby Alligator’s Nest is a gorgeous swimming hole in the Tully National Park, which is just a stones throw from town.

If you’re looking for a Free Camping spot around Tully, self-contained vehicles can stay overnight at the BP Truck Stop on the Bruce Highway (near the Tully Airport). Another option is to head to Bilyana Rest Area (below).

You can still find a dump point at the Tully Showgrounds and a drinking water tap near the Information Centre (both found on the WikiCamps app).

16 Things to Do in Tully →
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Bilyana Rest Area – BILYANA

Bilyana Rest Area, Bilyana QLD
Bilyana Rest Area (photo: Business in AU)

Bilyana Rest Area is just 22km south of Tully, making it a great middle point for exploring Tully (to the north) and Cardwell (to the south). The free campground has toilets and is easily accessible for all set-ups from motorbikes to Big Rigs. Bear in mind that Bilyana Rest Area has a 20-hour limit.

BILYANA REST AREA
Cost:FREE – 20 hours
Address:57192 Bruce Hwy, Bilyana QLD 4854
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🚽 Toilets
♿️ Wheelchair access
🗑 Bins
➕ Telstra reception, picnic tables
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Big Rigs
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Brooklands – CORDELIA

Just outside of Ingham lies the beautiful Brooklands campground in Cordelia. This camp is suitable for fully self-contained vehicles with drinking water available on site. Kick back around a campfire and enjoy the lovely greenery for a few days.

BROOKLANDS
Cost:Donation – 7 days
*Bookings required (0409 495 325)
Address:1113 Hallifax Rd, Cordelia QLD 4850
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
💧 Drinking water
➕ Telstra reception, shade
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Caravans, Motorhomes, Big Rigs (self-contained only)
❌ NO tents
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Crystal Creek Camping Reserve – CRYSTAL CREEK

Crystal Creek, Paluma Range National Park, QLD
Paluma Range National Park, QLD

The Crystal Creek Camping Reserve is a Free Camping QLD area scattered amongst permanent beach huts. This is a gorgeous camping area suited for self-contained vehicles who have a 4WD.

A beautiful day trip from Crystal Creek Camping Reserve is to head into the Paluma Range National Park, just inland from the beachside camping spot. Explore the waterholes, freshwater swimming areas, waterfalls, rainforest and natural waterslides!

CRYSTAL CREEK CAMPING RESERVE
Cost:FREE
Address:Barrilgie Rd, Coolbie QLD 4850
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🚙 4WD only
➕ Telstra reception, shade, fishing, boat ramp
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans
❌ NO Big Rigs or 2WDs
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Mystic Sands Golf Resort – BALGAL BEACH

Mystic Sands Resort, Balgal Beach QLD
Mystic Sands Golf Resort, Balgal Beach

Here is a Low Cost Camp with a twist. Mystic Sands Golf Resort is $5 per person for unpowered sites and $10 per person for powered spots. Camping is right alongside the golf course and golf club, with many facilities included. Make full use of the swimming pool, barefoot bowls, bar, restaurant and golf course views. Balgal Beach is located just 58 km North of Townsville.

MYSTIC SANDS GOLF RESORT
Cost:$5 per adult, per night
Address:139 Ocean Parade, Balgal Beach QLD 4816
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🚿 Hot showers
🚽 Toilets
🏊 Swimming pool
🎳 Ten Pin Bowling
⚾️ Lawn Bowls
⛳️ Golf (extra cost)
🍝 Meals
🍺 Bar
➕ Telstra reception
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Big Rigs
❌ NO campfires
⛺️ FULL REVIEW: Mystic Sands Golf Resort →
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Toomulla Park RV Site – TOOMULLA

Toomulla Park RV Site, Toomulla QLD
Toomulla Park RV Site (photo: Travel Dogs Australia)

Another great Free Camping QLD spot can be found at Toomulla Park RV Site at Toomulla Beach. Bookings must be made through Townsville Council first, then you can enjoy the BBQs, shade, playground, toilets and picnic tables for up to 48 hours.

TOOMULLA PARK RV SITE
Cost:FREE – 48 hours
*Booking required
Address:Herald St, Toomulla QLD 4816
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🚽 Toilets
💧 Drinking water
➕ Shade, tables, BBQs, playground
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Big Rigs
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Bluewater Rest Area – BLUE WATER

Bluewater Free Camping, QLD
Bluewater Rest Area, Blue Water

Just 30km North of Townsville you’ll find the fantastic Bluewater Rest Area, which is free but must be booked through Townsville Council. The big shady fig trees offer plenty of relief from the hot northern sun, while the kids can burn some energy on the playground. You can easily empty the toilet and top up the water while you’re there as well.

We felt completely safe to unhitch and head into Townsville for the day. In fact, here are 27 things to do in Townsville while you’re passing through the area.

BLUEWATER REST AREA
Cost:FREE – 48 hours
*Booking required
Address:41790 Bruce Hwy, Bluewater QLD 4818
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🚽 Toilets
🚿 Outdoor shower (cold)
💧 Drinking water
⬇️ Dump point
🗑 Bins
➕ Picnic tables, playground, Telstra reception
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Big Rigs
⛺️ FULL REVIEW: Bluewater Rest Area, Townsville →

Keep reading for more great Free Camping Queensland spots from Cairns to Brisbane, QLD!

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Guthalungra Rest Area – GUTHALUNGRA

Guthalungra Rest Area, QLD
Guthalungra Rest Area

Situated in the Northern section of the Whitsunday region is an excellent free stop-over, Guthalungra Rest Area. Being 47km North of Bowen, it’s basically the only Free Camp in the Whitsunday area anywhere near the highway.

It was lovely and green when we visited and we found it to be a great spot with all of the essential facilities that we needed for the night.

GUTHALUNGRA REST AREA
Cost:FREE – 24 hours
Address:Cnr Coventry Rd & Bruce Hwy, Guthalungra QLD 4805
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🚽 Flushing toilets (+ disabled access)
🗑 Bins
💧 Drinking water
➕ Telstra reception, shade, covered picnic tables
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Big Rigs
❌ NO campfires or showers
⛺️ FULL REVIEW: Guthalungra Rest Area →
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RV Park – PROSERPINE

RV Park Proserpine QLD
RV Park Proserpine (photo: park4night)

You’ll be hard pressed trying to find Free Camping QLD in the Whitsundays, however the small town of Proserpine have fulfilled that need for travellers. Situated right in town, you can walk right over the road to the shops to restock your supplies.

The Proserpine Free RV Park is for self-contained vehicles only – the council are known for being very strict and do not hesitate to hand out fines of $280+ for non-compliance.

RV PARK PROSERPINE
Cost:FREE – 48 hours
Address:130 Main St, Proserpine QLD 4800
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
💧 Drinking water
🗑 Bins
⬇️ Dump point
📶 Telstra reception
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Caravans, Motorhomes, Big Rigs (self-contained only)
❌ NO tents
🚫 Closes 1 December – 30 March annually
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The Leap Hotel – MACKAY

The Leap Hotel Free Camping, Mackay QLD
The Leap Hotel, Mackay

About 20km North of Mackay is the Leap Hotel, where you can Free Camp for 24 hours as long as you support the pub in some way. The grounds are lovely and green with the peaceful sound of the trickling creek down the back.

Relax with a cool drink or buy a meal from the bar. While you’re there, have a look at the history on the wall, detailing the sad past of the locals, particularly one woman who leaped from a cliff with a baby in her arms, hence the name ‘The Leap.’

THE LEAP HOTEL
Cost:FREE – 24 hours (with drink/ meal purchase)
Address:1954 Bruce Hwy, The Leap QLD 4740
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🚽 Toilets
➕ Telstra reception, picnic table
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Big Rigs
❌ NO showers or bins
⛺️ FULL REVIEW: The Leap Hotel →
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Yarrawonga Park, Notch Point Reserve – ILBILBIE

Notch Point, Free camping Queensland
Yarrawonga Park, Notch Point Reserve

For the most picturesque location, make your way out to Notch Point Reserve, which is situated 90km South of Mackay. On one side you’ve got beautiful turquoise waters and on the other… rolling green mountains. Does it get any better than that?!

Notch Point camping is absolutely mint, but you will need a 4WD to get out there. Watch our video below to see the entry track, plus exploring the point.

Also be aware that access is tidal, so if you can’t get through, just wait until the water subsides or check the tide guides before heading in.

NOTCH POINT RESERVE
Cost:FREE – 7 days
Address:Notch Point Rd, Ilbilbie QLD 4738
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🔥 Campfires permitted
➕ Fishing, boating, crocodiles, Telstra reception
🚙 Access – 4WD only
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans
❌ NO Big Rigs, toilets, showers, water
⛺️ FULL REVIEW: Notch Point Reserve →

▶️ VIDEO: Notch Point Reserve Entry Track

More great Free Camping QLD sites from Cairns to Brisbane, QLD – Keep Reading!

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Kershaw Gardens Free Camp – ROCKHAMPTON

Kershaw Gardens Free Campground, Rockhampton QLD

Right in the heart of Rockhampton sits the fantastic Kershaw Gardens with adjoining Free Camping area. Kershaw Gardens offer water play for kids, a huge playground, BBQs, walking tracks and more. Right across the road is a handy shopping centre, plus you will easily have the ability to unhitch and explore the region.

At the northern end is where you’ll find the Free Camp, which is only suitable for fully self-contained vehicles for a 48-hour period. The council are very strict about not dumping any waste water onto the ground and making sure that you have all water, toilet and rubbish facilities onboard.

KERSHAW GARDENS FREE CAMP
Cost:FREE – 48 hours
Address:High St, Rockhampton QLD 4701
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🗑 Bins
➕ Telstra reception, tables, walking tracks
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Caravans, Motorhomes, Big Rigs
❌ NO tents, showers, water or toilets
⛺️ FULL REVIEW: Kershaw Gardens →
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Calliope River Rest Area – RIVER RANCH

Calliope River Rest Area, Free camping Queensland
Calliope River Rest Area, River Ranch

For a relaxing Free Camping QLD spot in the Gladstone region, check out Calliope River Rest Area. It has two different sections (Northside and Southside) where you’re allowed to stay for 48 hours in each, totalling 4 days.

Both camps sit alongside the Calliope River and access is only a few minutes off the Bruce Highway, behind the Heritage Centre. The city of Gladstone is a 25-minute drive north-east.

CALLIOPE RIVER REST AREA
Cost:FREE – 4 days (between two camps)
Address:River Ranch, QLD 4680
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🗑 Bins
🚽 Toilets (Southside camp only)
➕ Fishing, boat ramp, Telstra reception, crocodiles may be present
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Tents, campers, caravans, motorhomes
❌ NO showers or water
⛺️ FULL REVIEW: Calliope River Rest Area →

▶️ VIDEO: Calliope River Rest Area – Quick Tour

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Biloela Heritage Park – BILOELA

Biloela Heritage Park QLD
Biloela Heritage Park, Biloela

If you’re itching to get off the Bruce Highway and explore some of the smaller rural towns down the Queensland Coast, Biloela Heritage Park is a great stop. For just $15 per night you can enjoy power, water and free entry into the entire Heritage Centre (inside and out). Biloela is located 144km South of Rockhampton.

BILOELA HERITAGE PARK
Cost:$10/ night – Unpowered
$15/ night – Power & Water
(48 hours)
Address:11 Exhibition Ave, Biloela QLD 4715
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🚿 Showers
🚽 Toilets
💳 Gate with swipe card
➕ Free entry into Historical Museum
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Big Rigs
❌ NO shade, campfires
⛺️ FULL REVIEW: Biloela Heritage Park Camping →
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Wuruma Dam – EIDSVOLD

Wuruma Dam, Free camping Queensland
Wuruma Dam, Eidsvold

Wuruma Dam is another camp that will take you away from the busy Bruce Highway, but it’s well worth the effort. Located 226km West of Bundaberg is the beautiful Wuruma Dam camping. You can stay FREE for up to 3 weeks.

If you run out of supplies during that time, you can head into the nearest town called Monto, which is about an hour away. Spend your days boating, fishing, swimming and relaxing.

WURUMA DAM
Cost:FREE – 3 weeks
Address:Wuruma Dam Rd, Wuruma Dam QLD 4627
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🚽 Flushing toilets
🗑 Bins (at Rangers Station)
🔥 Campfires permitted
➕ Picnic tables, swimming, kayaking, boating, fishing, boat ramp
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Tents, campers, caravan, motorhomes
❌ NO power, showers or water
⛺️ FULL REVIEW: Wuruma Dam →
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Hinkler Lions Park – BUNDABERG

Hinkler Lions Park Bundaberg, Free Camping Queensland
Hinkler Lions Park, Bundaberg

Right in Bundaberg you’ll find Hinkler Lions Park – a FREE Camp with plenty of amenities. Being close to town you’ll have somewhere to lay your head for the night so that you can get straight into exploring in the morning. While at Hinkler Lions Park, you can empty the loo and top up your water before hitting the road.

You can’t visit Bundy without doing one of their famous drinks tours. We loved the Bundaberg Barrel Brewed Drinks Tour, which was interactive for the kids, affordable and we got to take two six-packs home with us!

HINKLER LIONS PARK
Cost:FREE – 24 hours
Address:University Dr, Branyan QLD 4670
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🚽 Flushing toilets
💧 Potable water
⬇️ Dump point
➕ Picnic shelters, playground, Telstra reception
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Tents, campers, caravans, motorhomes
⛺️ FULL REVIEW: Hinkler Lions Park →
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Kinbombi Falls – KINBOMBI

Kinbombi Falls, Free Camping Queensland
Kinbombi Falls, Kinbombi

Kinbombi Falls is one of those top FREE Bush Camps where you get to hang out for a few days and just enjoy the serenity. With a few bush walks, waterfalls and camp fires on offer, who could say no? Kinbombi Falls is 73km west of Gympie, so it’s easy to stock up on your supplies in town before heading out.

KINBOMBI FALLS
Cost:FREE – 72 hours
Address:400 Kinbombi Rd, Kinbombi QLD 4601
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🚽 Flushing toilets
🗑 Bins
🔥 Campfires permitted
➕ Waterfall & bush walks
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Tents, campers, caravans, motorhomes
❌ NO showers or power
⛺️ FULL REVIEW: Kinbombi Falls Camping →
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Tully Memorial Park – NORTH MACLEAN

North Maclean QLD
Tully Memorial Park, North Maclean

There isn’t a whole lot of FREE Camping around Brisbane, Queensland, but Tully Memorial Park on the Southside is not a bad spot. From here you are central to the Scenic Rim, Brisbane, Mount Tamborine and the Gold Coast for day trips.

TULLY MEMORIAL PARK
Cost:FREE – 72 hours
Address:Beryl Pde (via Greenbank Rd), North Maclean QLD 4280
Features:🐶 Pet-friendly
🚽 Flushing toilets
🗑 Bins
➕ Telstra reception
🚙 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Big Rigs
❌ NO showers, water or tents

See how many QLD Big Things you can spot as you travel the East Coast!

QLD Big Things Checklist

QLD Big Things Checklist

See if you can find all 150+ Big Things as you travel around Queensland!

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28 thoughts on “⛺️ 24 Free Camping QLD Sites: Brisbane to Cairns”

  1. Childers have a great free camp right in town sth bound behind the local hardware store .. water is available (I think to purchase), toilets just around the corner.. there is a tarred area plus a grassed area…we have used it twice … I’m not sure if the time limits as we arrive on dark then leave early…very popular.

  2. Great list of free campsites in Queensland guys. We’ve never used free campsites before and I know many have toilets etc – but for those that don’t, do you carry a camp toilet with you? And if so, what one? We’ve been looking at getting one and just wondering if it’s worth getting a chemical toilet or just go with something more basic given for the most part we will be camping where there are toilets.

    Would love to hear your thoughts on this guys. Cheers

    1. Thanks Andrew. There are loads of Free Camps that do have toilets, but there are also lots of great spots that don’t. We have a chemical toilet in the caravan, so we’ve always got one onboard. If you want to make the most of the awesome camps that don’t have onsite toilets, we’d definitely recommend investing in a basic portaloo and pop-up toilet tent. If it’s just the occasional stay in a place without toilets, you could always go for the old toilet seat and plastic bag option.

  3. This sounds like an amazing road trip, but I could see it being expensive for those who didn’t do their research. Luckily for them, you did! This list is so well put together, and I think the amenities at each camp site with the emojis is super cute! I love the concept of The Leap Hotel, and the view there just looks incredible as well!

    1. Cheers Kevin. With the WikiCamps App, it’s super easy to find all of the camps at the touch of a button. It makes our life much easier.

  4. The Holidaymaker

    You are fortunate to live in a country (or travel in one) that offers free camping. In Canada we have federal and provincial camping and it is not free. I grew up camping, and think it is great way to see your country and spend quality time together as a family. This is such a great resource for those that may want to do this and to know exactly what to expect at each site as far as amenities.

  5. I have lots of great memories of free camp spots and a turquoise VW Bug, so it’s great to think about trying this all over again. The drive-in where you can camp out after is such a brilliant idea. We need way more of those sorts of places!

    1. Oh what a childhood – Punch Buggies and camping, doesn’t get any better than that! The Drive-in was great, we’d love to do that again.

  6. What a compilation! I wish we had such a list when we visited that part of Australia. We camped as well most nights and loved it. Good tips that some camping require a 4WD car because of the state of the road. Wuruma Dam and Kinbombi Falls would definitely places we would love to try!

  7. Such a comprehensive list!! And loved how you put little emojis next to every fact for every camp, that is both easy to understand and fun to look at. I have always been enamored about the idea of visiting this east coast but also were weary thinking about the accommodation costs. This list is and would be a great help to many. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  8. I have not camped for many years and only remember that it was often not easy to get a good parking space. Electricity, water and the possibility to get rid of sewage, is irgentwie part of the basic supply. Okay, one night without, but not in the long run. Your list is great and really gives a great overview. I think you could develop a great route and discover the country.

    1. Thanks for your comment Susanne. It can take some getting used to, but organisation is the key with your resources. Then you can last longer in the bush! I might have to put together some sort of a map at some stage.

  9. Thanks for this list, this will go well with my camping/road trip I plan to do in Oz when I eventually do it and I want to do it as cheap as possible. Only did Melbourne for four days and it nearly broke my bank account! :O

  10. Mareeba Drive-in sounds perfect – what a great idea!

    We gave van life a go for about 2 years and plenty of shade from trees is a must when camping in a vehicle in my opinion, so that would rule any decision we made. So Kinbombi Falls and Calliope River look good to me!

    Love the icons acting as bullet points too! I like that touch!

    1. Mareeba Drive-in was great fun! Shade is great, but we just need to make sure our solar panels are getting plenty of sun. It can be tricky having the best of both worlds sometimes.

  11. What a great list for anyone planning a road trip from Cairns down the coast of Queensland to Brisbane. The details you’ve provided, not only on the cost, but the specific amenities available at each place are very helpful for campers. I’m surprised that there are so many free options. You can really do a budget trip this way!

  12. Melissa Macgill

    Ooh we just got back from a quick 5 week road trip to Cairns from SA. Another good freebie is Boynedale Bush Camp near the Calliope free camps. MUCH less crowded with flush loos and free for 7 days.
    On Lake Awoonga – owned by the water board.

  13. Admittedly, I am not a camper or that kind of outdoor activity type so I don’t know much about campsites or campers. However, I learned a lot reading your post and became more and more intrigued with the different ones. I would never have thought that there would be all types of different paid kinds. I knew there were free ones and maybe ones you had to pay, but then the donations for 72 hours was interesting. And then all the different amenities-some with/without hot showers and then the trash cans. I guess I thought those would be a given! But then I also thought restrooms would be in the campers too (shows how much I don’t know)! I loved your map keys with each. That helps to be able to scan quickly to see what you’re looking for. I can tell you hands down I would want to stay at the Mareeba Drive-In. I’m a movie lover! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the great feedback Heather. We also knew there were Free Camps before we hit the road, but learnt very quickly that what you get at one is not always the same as the next. Something so simple as having rubbish bins makes a huge difference. We loved the Mareeba Drive-in too – it was fantastic!

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