Outback QLD Camps

⛺️ 33 Outback Camping QLD Sites (FREE & Low Cost)

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Here it is, the ULTIMATE list of fantastic Outback camping QLD sites! After spending a whopping 16 months just in Queensland alone (and 7 months purely in the Outback), I thought it was high time I pulled it all together as one big resource.

32 out of these 33 camps are Free and Low Cost Camps!

Outback Queensland has so many fantastic camping sites on offer. Many of them are Free and Low Cost camps and some even have facilities onsite.

Almost every Outback QLD town that you’ll travel through will offer a toilet dump point and potable water.

While you’re visiting you can top up your food and fuel and make the most of a pub or bakery lunch. It all helps to support the small towns and you get the benefit of having everything you need on hand.

Included in each route throughout this Outback camping QLD list is an interactive Google map. That way you can see how many kilometres there are between each point and how long it would take you to drive there.

The camping spots and things to do in this Outback Camping Queensland Road Trip are merely suggestions!  We find all of our camping sites, dump points and potable water with the WikiCamps App.
Here’s how to get the most out of WikiCamps.

We are a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to ebay.com and other affiliated sites. We may earn a commission from your purchases at no extra cost to you. For more information, see our disclosures here.

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Outback Camping QLD

If you’ve never travelled into the Outback before, it can be a bit daunting. Leaving the comforts and conveniences of the city behind is a big step that many Australians have never experienced. Below are some travel tips to help out with your Outback Camping QLD road trip preparations.

Outback Travel Tips

FUEL

Petrol stations are generally no more than 200km apart. It’s handy to carry spare fuel (especially if you’re towing and hit a head wind that sucks the juice). We have a rule to always top up when we pass a servo, just to avoid the unnecessary stress of running out, especially if you see the dreaded ‘No Fuel’ sign at the next servo.

READ: Is it Illegal to Carry Fuel on the Back of a Trailer? >

SPARE TYRES

Definitely carry at least one spare tyre for your car and another spare for the trailer or van.

TOOL BOX

Pack a tool box with some basic tools for any roadside fix-ups that could possibly occur. Only pack what you actually know how to use and think might be handy.

FIRST AID

Always travel with at least a basic First Aid Kit – the nearest hospital could be hours away if something goes wrong. Don’t forget that the Royal Flying Doctor Service is available should anything major happen (fingers crossed you never need it).

First Aid Kit Checklist →

CHECK THE WEATHER

As you plan your trip, research what the weather is likely to be for that time of the year. The best months to travel through the QLD Outback is from April to October. It’s just way too hot outside of those months (but not impossible).

PACKING

You’ll need a wide-brimmed hat, sunnies and suncream no matter what time of the year you visit the Outback. In the same breath, you’ll also need warm winter clothing for the cold nights. Pack plenty of water for everyone during the day.

Caravan Packing List

PHONE

Most towns will have Telstra reception, but you won’t find much in between. Some say Optus has okay coverage in some areas, but Telstra is reputably the best.

UHF

A UHF is definitely recommended so you can hear when Oversized Loads are coming your way and to keep in contact with other travellers and Truck Drivers.

Switch to Channel 40 (most commonly used Australia-wide by Trucks and Pilot/ Escort vehicles).

UHFs for Travelling Australia →

ROAD SAFETY

Be super careful when overtaking other vehicles and trucks – only do it on a long, clear stretch of road.

Do not overtake road trains if you’re towing – their wind can catch you unawares, plus their trailers are notorious for wandering across the road into the other lane, it’s just not worth it!

If you see a road train coming the opposite way on a single lane/ narrow road, slow right down and pull over to the left. Generally there’s enough room to keep your right wheels on the bitumen, which makes it safer to get back onto the road. Make sure you choose a nice smooth point to pull back on (if possible) to avoid blowing a tyre.

ORGANISE YOUR MAPS

Digital maps make travelling in these modern times so much easier. Make sure you always pre download your maps before heading off as you don’t want to be without them if you can help it.

Keep in mind that Telstra is the best mobile reception provider in Australia. That being said, Australia is vast and once you hit the regional areas, you will only get service within a kilometre of towns. So, between towns, you still won’t have reception to rely on. Get those maps downloaded!

Using WikiCamps to Find Your Resources →

It’s always a good safety measure to have the relevant paper maps in your vehicle as well. I can tell you from experience that being out of mobile range without a map is highly stressful! Even if you’ve downloaded your maps, you are still relying on a device working properly. Unfortunately things can break or go wrong.

Hema have a great range of Australian maps.

HEMA Outback Queensland Map
HEMA Savannah Way Map
Full HEMA Map collection →
Travel Apps Planner

VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRES

Make the Info Centres your first port of call as you pull into each town. They have the best info on local popular and hidden spots, plus current information with local events, festivals, road closures etc.

Info Centres are often a good place to fill up your water tanks and sometimes even empty the toilet cassette.

WATCH OUT FOR WILDLIFE

It’s best to avoid travelling on dusk, dawn and during the night if you can avoid it. Once you head west you’ll see that unfortunately there is no shortage of road kill as the wildlife frequent the roadsides during those times. The last thing anyone wants is to have a collision with a kangaroo, emu, camel, cow or even an echidna.

Bonus Tip – If you’re looking for some ways to keep the kids amused on your road trip, try some of these.

Guide to Free Camping →
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BRISBANE to CHARLEVILLE

Outback Queensland Road Trip

This stretch of the Outback Camping QLD trip runs from Brisbane to Charleville. It’s 747km and would take you about 8 hrs 20 min to drive in one straight stint. Most people stop along the way to camp and check out some local attractions, which of course is entirely dependent on your timeframe.

The larger shopping districts along this stretch are in Toowoomba, Dalby and Chinchilla. There you will find Coles, Woolworths, Hardware Stores, Doctors, Hairdressers, Mechanics, Post Offices, Petrol Stations and everything else that you’ll need. Most of the small towns have Foodstores, Bakeries, Butchers, Post Offices and other basic shops and services.

WAINUI – Bowenville Reserve (FREE Camping)

Bowenville Reserve FREE Camping, Wainui QLD
Bowenville Reserve Free Camp

About 30km south of Dalby is a great Free Camp, Bowenville Reserve, which sits alongside Oakey Creek. It’s only about 9km off the Warrego Highway and is easily accessible for any vehicle and set-up.

Bowenville Reserve is very spacious, with plenty of room for loads of campers. You can either camp down near the river (but not alongside it) or choose a spot up the top near the amenities.

Bowenville Camp Features:

💲 FREE (7 days)
🐶 Pet friendly
🚽 Flushing toilets
🗑 Rubbish bins
⚽️ Small playground
🎣 Fishing
🚤 Boating (small)
📶 Telstra reception
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes
🚗 2WD & Big Rig friendly
❌ No campfires, swimming, showers or water

ADDRESSBowenville-Norwin Road, Wainui QLD 4404

CHINCHILLA – Chinchilla Weir (Donation Camping)

About 9km south of Chinchilla is a very popular camping destination at the local Weir.  There are 10 powered sites available, but you’ve got to get in quick for those during busy periods. 

There are however plenty of unpowered sites all the way along the road, with some of them having a great outlook to the weir itself.

Donations are encouraged at the Information Centre in town, particularly for those plugging into the power.  Check out the BIG Watermelon next door to the Info Centre!

Chinchilla Weir Camping, QLD

Chinchilla Weir Camp Features:

💲 Donation (at Information Centre)
⏰ 48 hour limit
🐶 Pet friendly
🚽 Flushing toilets
🗑 Rubbish bins
🔥 Camp fires allowed
♨️ FREE Electric BBQ’s
🎣 Fishing
🚣 Boating & Kayaking
📶 Telstra reception (weak)
⚡️ 240 volt power (only for 10 sites)
🚗 2WD & Big Rig access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Buses
❌ No showers or potable water

ADDRESSChinchilla Tara Road, Chinchilla QLD 4406.

WALLUMBILLA – The Federal Hotel (FREE Camping)

Federal Hotel, Wallumbilla QLD Camping
Federal Hotel, Wallumbilla

Have you ever wondered where that Iron Jack ad with the man and his dog was filmed? Us either, but turns out it was the Wallumbilla Federal Hotel! You can see the ad below for yourself.

Camping behind the pub is free, but of course they’d love it if you support them in some way, although it’s not essential. We couldn’t say no to a pub dinner and found our meals to be really nice.

The Federal Hotel Camp Features:

💲 FREE (supporting the pub is welcome)
🐶 Pet friendly
🚽 Flushing toilets
🚿 Hot showers
💧 Potable water
🗑 Rubbish bins
⚡️ 240 volt power + Generators allowed
👕 Laundry
📶 Telstra reception
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Buses
🏠 Dongas & Motel Rooms available for accommodation

ADDRESSLot 1 May Street, Wallumbilla QLD 4428.

MUCKADILLA – Muckadilla Community Park (Donation Camping)

Muckadilla Community Park Free Camping, QLD
Muckadilla Community Park

About 40km west of Roma is a great Donation Camp in the tiny roadside town of Muckadilla. The camp is located behind the Community Hall and you can stay for as long as you like.

Muckadilla Camp Features:

💲 Donation (no time limit)
🐶 Pet friendly
🚽 Flushing toilets
🚿 Hot showers
💧 Potable water
🔥 Fire pits
📶 Telstra reception
❤️ Defribrillator (at Community Hall)
🚗 2WD & Big Rig access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Buses

ADDRESSWarrego Highway, Muckadilla QLD 4461

MITCHELL – Neil Turner Weir (Donation Camping)

On the outskirts of the small western town of Mitchell is a brilliant Donation Camp at Neil Turner Weir. The grounds are absolutely huge (you don’t have to stress about finding a spot) and follow alongside the river, which attracts lots of local wildlife.

Onsite you’ll find rubbish bins, drinking water, flushing toilets, free electric BBQ’s and a nice grassy and shady picnic area beside the riverbank.

The locals assured us that there’s no particular time limit as they’re more than happy for tourists to stay and spend money in town to help boost the local economy.

Make sure you go for a soak in the Great Artesian Spa in town. The 40ºC water is just beautiful!

Neil Turner Weir, Mitchell QLD
Neil Turner Weir, Mitchell

Neil Tuner Weir Camp Features:

💲 Donation (no time limit)
🐶 Pet friendly
🚽 Flushing toilets
💧 Drinking water
🍞 Picnic tables
🗑 Rubbish bins
⚽️ Playground (tiny)
♨️ FREE Electric BBQ’s & Wood BBQ
🚌 FREE Courtesy Bus
🎣 Fishing
📶 Telstra reception
🚗 2WD & Big Rig access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Buses
❌ No showers

ADDRESSRacecourse Road, Mitchell QLD 4465.
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CHARLEVILLE to HEBEL

From Charleville you can go a range of different directions. We’ve explore both south of Charleville, down to the NSW border and we’ve also explored north.

In this stretch we’ll share the great camps we found from Charleville – Cunnamulla – Bollon – Thallon – Hebel.


CUNNAMULLA – Cunnamulla Hotel (Low Cost Camping)

We only did a one-night stop over in Cunnamulla, so we camped behind the pub for just $5. You can head in and buy a drink or meal, but you don’t have to.

Cunnamulla Hotel Camping, Cunnamulla QLD

Cunnamulla Hotel Camp Features:

💲 $5 per vehicle, per night
⌛️ 48 hour limit
🚿 Showers
🚽 Toilets
🗑 Rubbish bins
📱 Telstra reception
🍺 Food & drinks available (at the bar)
🏠 Hotel accommodation available
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans welcome
❌ No pets

ADDRESSRacecourse Road, Mitchell QLD 4465.

BOLLON – Wallam Creek Camping (Donation Camping)

This is only a tiny little town, so don’t count on even being able to get bread and milk (unless you happen to go to the Cafe on the right day of the week).  But the pub is great and does a fantastic dinner menu!

The walking track from camp to town is lovely and the park in town was beautiful and green with the sprinklers going with creek water.

Camping is alongside the river, perfect for kayaking and bird watching.

Wallam Creek, Bollon QLD

Wallam Creek Camp Features:

💲 Donation (no time limit)
🐶 Pet friendly
🚽 Flushing toilets
🚿 Hot showers (free)
💧 Drinking water
🚶🏻 Walking track into town
🌳 Shade
🍞 Picnic tables & seats
🗑 Rubbish bins
🔥 Fire pits
♨️ BBQ’s (wood)
🏊 Swimming
🎣 Fishing (not at the moment due to low numbers)
📶 Telstra reception
🚗 2WD & Big Rig access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Buses

ADDRESSWallam Creek, Bollon QLD 4488

THALLON – Recreation Camp Grounds & Painted Silos (Low Cost Camping)

Thallon Silo Camping Grounds, QLD
Thallon Recreation Camp Grounds

Thallon is a tiny little town with a Big Wombat (statue in the park) and a couple of brilliant painted silos.  You’ll be looking at them from the camp ground!

We started out in the free section, but with a big dust storm on the way, we moved to the powered section for a few days so that we could close up the van and switch the much needed air conditioning on.  Check it out below.

▶️ Dust storm hits Thallon during our stay!

Thallon Painted Silos Camp Features:

💲 $5.50/ night (power & water) or FREE (unpowered)
⏰ 48 hour limit
🐶 Pet friendly
🚽 Flushing toilets
🚿 FREE Hot showers
💧 Drinking water
🔥 Camp fires may be allowed (check to see if Fire Ban)
🗑 Rubbish bins
⬇️ Dump point
📶 Telstra reception
⚡️ Power
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Buses
🚗 2WD & Big Rig access

ADDRESSWilliam Road, Thallon QLD 4497

HEBEL – Hebel Hotel (FREE Camping)

Hebel Hotel, Hebel QLD
Hebel Hotel, Hebel QLD

The Hebel Hotel is one quirky little Outback Aussie pub. It’s iconic artwork was done by John Murray, who lives just down the road in Lightning Ridge.

Travellers are welcome to stay behind the pub for free and they like you to support the pub or general store across the road.

Hebel Hotel Camping Features:

💲 FREE
🐶 Pet friendly
🚽 Flushing toilets
💧 Drinking water
🍺 Drinks at the bar
🍽 Meals & snack available
🍎 Picnic tables
🗑 Rubbish bins
📶 Telstra reception
⛽️ Fuel available
🚗 2wd & Big Rig access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Buses

ADDRESS30 – 34 William Street, Hebel QLD 4486
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CHARLEVILLE to BARCALDINE

Heading north from Charleville, you’ll run into the town of Augathella.

Augathella is only a tiny little town with a Pub, Petrol Station, Friendly Grocer and Hospital. Barcaldine is a larger centre with a good sized IGA, Bakery, Petrol Station, other general services and a small Hospital.

The small stretch from Augathella to Barcaldine links up the south-west route to the rest of the Outback camping QLD Itinerary.


AUGATHELLA – Warrego River Camping (Donation Camping)

The Augathella Warrego River Campground is a spacious area right across from the Ellangowan Hotel on the main street of town (which does a great dinner). You’ll find the BIG Meat Ant in the park up the road if you’re on the hunt for Aussie Big Things.

Travellers can stop in for up to 7 days for the price of a donation in the Honesty Box.

Onsite are flushing toilets, rubbish bins, drinking water, skate park for the kids, picnic table and walking track.

Warrego River Camp Features:

💲 Donation (7 day limit)
🐶 Pet friendly
🚽 Flushing toilets
💧 Potable drinking water
🗑 Rubbish bins
🍞 Picnic table
♨️ BBQ
🚶🏻 Walking track
🚴 Skate/ bike park
📶 Telstra reception
🔥 Fires allowed
⚡️ Generators allowed
🚗 2WD access
⛺️ Camper Trailers, Caravans, Motorhomes & Big Rigs allowed
❌ No showers

ADDRESSMain Street, Augathella QLD 4477.

From this part of the Outback Camping QLD Road Trip you can either head east towards Rockhampton, or keep venturing further west into the heart of the outback. We’ll explore both routes!

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BARCALDINE to ROCKHAMPTON

If you want to head to or from the central coast during your Outback camping QLD road trip, the leg from Barcaldine to Rockhampton will get you there.

In the way of shops and services along this route, Emerald is the major hub with everything you’d need, including a Coles and Woolworths. Jericho didn’t even have a little food store when we visited, so don’t expect to get bread and milk there. You can however get fuel there if need be. People who live in Jericho travel to Barcaldine to do their groceries at the IGA.

There is a small Foodstore in The Gemfields for supplies, plus a few Fuel Stations, Take Away Shops, Coffee Shop, Post Office, Laundromat and Pub. For a larger city centre, head into Emerald. Rockhampton of course has everything you could possibly need.

JERICHO – Redbank Park Camp (Donation Camping)

The next town when heading east from Barcaldine is Jericho.

Redbank Park is situated along the Jordan River, which unfortunately was pretty well dry during our visit. Even still, we loved our stay. There was a small amount of water in front of our camp and the amount of wildlife utilising that water was incredible.

The camp is huge, so there’s no worries with finding a spot to call ‘home.’ You’ll find a nice grassy picnic area behind the toilet block, which is amazing when you’re surrounded by red dirt. You can also take advantage of the rubbish bins, drinking water and flushing loos.

Jericho Donation Camp, QLD

Redbank Park Camp Features:

💲 Donation
🚽 Flushing Toilets
💦 Water Fill Station (potable)
🔥 Fires allowed
🏞 River (small amount of water)
🐦 Birds & Kangaroos spotted
🎡 Park/ Exercise equipment
🌳 Shade
🐶 Pet friendly
🚗 2WD access
🚙 Big Rig access
No Showers or Dump Point (you’ll find one down the road at the Showgrounds)
ADDRESS7 Lyon Street, Jericho QLD 4728.

SAPPHIRE – Sapphire Reserve (FREE Camping)

Sapphire Free Camp QLD
Sapphire Reserve Free Camp

If you’re looking for a Free Camp to base yourself while visiting The Gemfields, this one is the spot. Sapphire Reserve is a Free Camping area in the township of Sapphire. It’s in a central position so that you can easily explore the region (Rubyvale is just 10 minutes up the road).

The campground is quite big, but only half of the space offers flat ground, so get in early to find your sweet spot.

Attractions in The Gemfields:

BIG Things in The Gemfields:

  • BIG Pick, Shovel & Sieve
  • BIG Sapphire Ring
  • BIG Spanner
  • BIG Gem
  • BIG Miner
Printable ‘BIG Things’ Checklists (State-by-state) →

Sapphire Reserve Camp Features:

💲 FREE (48 hours)
🐶 Pet-friendly
🚽 Flushing Toilets
💧 Potable Water
🗑 Rubbish Bins
🔥 Camp Fires Allowed
📶 Telstra Reception
⬇️ Dump Point
🚗 2WD Access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans Allowed
🚌 Big Rig Friendly
❌ No showers

ADDRESS925 Anakie Sapphire Road, The Gemfields QLD 4702.

BLACKWATER – Bedford Weir (FREE Camping)

Bedford Weir Free Camping, Blackwater QLD

Just 20 minutes out of Blackwater is a great free camp at Bedford Weir. There’s a 7 day time limit and on offer are flushing toilets, free showers, a playground and river access for boating, fishing and swimming.

Bedford Weir Camp Features:

💲 FREE (7 Days)
🚿 Showers
🚽 Toilets
🏊 Swimming
Kayaking
Boating
Covered Playground
Fire Pits
Generators Allowed
Pet Friendly
2WD Access
Big Rig Access
  No power or water

ADDRESSBedford Weir Road, Blackwater QLD 4717.

DUARINGA – Mackenzie Park (Donation Camping)

Duaringa Rest Area QLD
Duaringa Rest Area

We had a pretty cool experience in Duaringa just through meeting some of the locals. Did you know that the Info Centre volunteer (that was working the day we arrived) was also the ex-Deputy Mayor, plus has a gig at the local Police Station! Small towns, huh.

Mackenzie Park, which is located next to the Information Centre, is a very large area for travellers to rest their weary heads. There’s not much in town, but the park offers a nice playground with green grass for the kids, toilets, free showers and rubbish bins.

Mackenzie Park Camp Features:

💲 Donation (48 hour stay limit)
🐶 Pet friendly
🚽 Flushing toilets
🚿 Showers
🗑 Rubbish bins
♨️ BBQ
⬇️ Dump Point
🎪 Playground
📶 Telstra reception
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Big Rigs
❌ No camp fires

ADDRESSKing Street, Duaringa QLD 4712.

Now let’s take the Outback QLD Camping Itinerary west of Barcaldine

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BARCALDINE to LONGREACH

When you head west form Barcaldine you’ll be making your way to the gateway to the Outback, Longreach.

Read on to see what you can find along the way.

ILFRACOMBE – Newstead Creek (FREE Camping)

This camp is 3km east of Ilfracombe.

Ilfracombe, QLD

💲 FREE
🐶 Pet friendly
🗑 Rubbish bins
🔥 Camp fires allowed
📶 Telstra reception
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Buses
❌ No Showers, Toilets or Water available

ADDRESSLandsborough Highway, Ilfracombe QLD 4727.

LONGREACH – Macsland Rest Area (FREE Camping)

Macsland Rest Area Camping, Longreach QLD
Macsland Rest Area, Longreach (Free Camp)

Just 24km north-west of Longreach is the Macsland Rest Area. With a drop toilet and rubbish bins, it’s self-contained free camping. You literally find a spot in the low, shrubby bushland and set up camp. Once you look around you’ll find that there are loads of places to camp.

Macsland Rest Area Features:

💲 FREE (no time limit)
🔥 Fire Pits
📱 Telstra Reception
🚽 Toilets (flushing drop pits)
Wheel Chair access for toilets
🐶 Pet Friendly
🗑 Rubbish Bins
🚗 2WD access & Big Rig
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Buses
Overly friendly flies
 No showers or water
ADDRESSLandsborough Highway, Longreach QLD 4730.

MORELLA – Darr River (FREE camping)

Darr River Free Camp, Morella QLD
Darr River, Morella (Free Camp)

If you head on up the road for another 7km, you will find the Darr River Free Camping area in Morella. Don’t attempt this one in the wet because the track is known to get sloppy. In the dry it’s accessible with any type of vehicle.

Darr River Camp Features:

💲 FREE
🐶 Pet-friendly
🗑 Rubbish bins
🔥 Camp fires
📱 Telstra reception
Generators allowed
🏞 River frontage & Fishing
Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Buses
🚗 2WD Access (only in the dry due to sloppy mud)
No water, power or amenities
ADDRESSDarr River Downs Road, Longreach QLD 4730.

No Outback camping QLD list is complete without exploring the Dinosaur Trail!

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AUSTRALIA’S DINOSAUR TRAIL CAMPING

The Dinosaur Trail goes through a triangle of towns in the heart of Outback Queensland. The three towns are Winton, Hughenden and Richmond. Each town offers another piece to mystery of the ancient dinosaur puzzle (with Winton offering two experiences).

  • WINTON – Australian Age of Dinosaurs
  • WINTON – Dinosaur Stampede
  • HUGHENDEN – Flinders Discovery Centre
  • RICHMOND – Kronosaurus Korner

Many people decide to just do the Australian Age of Dinosaurs, as it’s the largest of the experiences, while others (like us) prefer to complete the full triangle.


CLICK BELOW to view our Complete Guide to Australia’s Dinosaur Trail!


Australia's Dinosaur Trail, QLD
FULL DINOSAUR TRAIL GUIDE – Click to view!

WINTON – The Long Waterhole (FREE Camping)

Long Waterhole, Winton QLD
The Long Waterhole, Winton (FREE Camping)

We found The Longwaterhole in Winton to be a fantastic place to base ourselves for well over a week. You must be self-contained as there are no amenities onsite, but this camp is only 3km from town. Just up the road you will find an RV point with a dump point, drinking water and rubbish bins.

NOTE – The water in winton is straight from the Artesian Bore, therefore it’s hot and it smells like sulphur. All you need to do is leave the caps off your tanks when you get to camp for an hour or so. This will let all of the gas out so that your water isn’t smelly.

This camping area is absolutely massive! You can take your pick of campsites down by the waterhole (on both sides) or further up on the flat field. Apparently the mud gets sticky in the wet, so it’s recommended for dry periods only. But if you do find yourself there in the rain, you might as well stay put and wait till the ground dries up!

20+ Things to Do While Visiting Winton →

The Long Waterhole Camp Features:

💲 FREE (no time limit)
🐶 Pet friendly
🔥 Camp fires allowed
🌳 Some shady spots
🎣 Fishing
📶 Telstra reception
🚗 2WD & Big Rig access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes
❌ No amenities, water or power

ADDRESSWinton Jundah Road, Winton QLD 4735 – (3km south of Winton).

HUGHENDEN – RV Camp (FREE Camping)

The Free Camp in Hughenden is honestly a large, dirt area with a fence around it. It’s not fancy, but it gives you somewhere to base yourself for up to 6 days. Onsite is a dump point and multiple drinking water taps. With no other Free Camps around, this camp is actually great in that it’s in town and you can walk to everything if you like.

NOTE – They are extremely strict with only self-contained vehicles camping here. The live-in Caretaker is known to come around of an afternoon and make sure only those with onboard showers and toilets are staying, so be aware.

16 Things to do in Hughenden →
Hughenden Free Camp, QLD
Hughenden Free Camp

Hughenden RV Free Camp Features:

💲 FREE (7 Days – Must get permit from Info Centre)
🐶 Pet-friendly
💧 Drinking water
🗑 Rubbish bins
⬇️ Dump Point
📶 Telstra Reception
🚗 2WD & Big Rig Access
⛺️ Self contained vehicles ONLY (they are very strict about this and permits get checked daily) – Caravans, Motorhomes & Buses
❌ NO amenities, power, generators, camp fires or grey water dumping permitted

ADDRESSStansfield Street, Hughenden QLD 4821 (next to Showgrounds).

RICHMOND – RV Camp (Low Cost Camping)

Richmond Free Camp, QLD
Richmond RV Camping

The tiny town of Richmond offers travellers a very cheap RV camping area right in town, which makes it easy to walk to everything. The cost is just $5 for 3 nights, with a dump point and drinking water provided.

Richmond RV Camp Features:

💲 $5 (3 day limit) – collect permit from Kronosaurus Corner
🐶 Pet-friendly
💧 Drinking water
⬇️ Dump point
📶 Telstra reception
🚗 2WD & Big Rig access
⛺️ Self-contained vehicles only (Caravans, Motorhomes, Buses)
❌ NO power or camp fires

ADDRESSHillier Street, Richmond QLD 3121.
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JULIA CREEK to CLONCURRY

Julia Creek…

We found Julia Creek to be one of the most RV friendly towns we’ve pulled into so far. The first thing we noticed when we got out of the car in the main street was ‘Stairway to Heaven’ playing over the loudspeakers. It really added a welcoming atmosphere to the strip.

The Info Centre is great to look through and there is a Dunnart Experience you can do as well. The local CWA do really tasty scones with tea and coffee and the Artesian Bath Houses are a cool experience that you’ll not find anywhere else.

Walkabout Creek Hotel…

After Julia Creek we ventured down to check out the iconic Walkabout Creek Hotel in McKinlay, which is the bar where the famous Crocodile Dundee movie was filmed. We took the unsealed McKinlay Gilliat Road south to Walkabout Creek. It was honestly one of the best roads we’ve travelled on so far, with barely any traffic, so we were free to travel at our own speed. It would suit any vehicle.

Cloncurry…

Cloncurry is fantastic place to restock your supplies as it has a Woolworths. We were stoked to do a proper shop since it had been 5 week since we passed through Emerald!

JULIA CREEK – Julia Creek Caravan Park

Julia Creek Bath Houses, QLD
Artesian Bath Houses – Julia Creek Caravan Park

The staff at the Caravan Park were really friendly and the grounds were impeccable. It has all of the usual CP stuff like washing machines, clean amenities, book swap, power, water, dump point, a variety of different sites, plus a very well-equipped camp kitchen.

Make sure you do the amazing Artesian Bath House experience!!! You get a 45 minute private time slot and can sit back and enjoy the Outback views with a drink and some nibbles.

15 Things to Do in Julia Creek →

Julia Creek Caravan Park Features:

💲 $28 Unpowered | $32 Powered (extra $10 per adult/ $5 per child)
🐶 Pet friendly
🚽 Toilets
🚿 Showers
🛁 Artesian Bath Houses
💧 Potable water
⚡️ Power
🗑 Rubbish bins
🔥 BBQ & well equipped Camp Kitchen
🏊 FREE Swimming Pool & Water Park access
🍽 Bush Dinner nights
🚴 FREE Cruiser Bike hire
👕 Washing machines
📱 Telstra Reception
🏠 Cabins available
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Motorhomes & Big Rigs allowed

ADDRESSESJulia Street, Normanton Road, Julia Creek QLD 4823

JULIA CREEK – RV Camp (Donation Camping)

Julia Creek Donation Camp QLD
Julia Creek RV Donation Camp

The Julia Creek Donation Camp was lovely and large, with plenty of waterfront sites. It’s only a stones throw from the main street and you can easily walk or ride a free Cruiser Bike along the purpose-built path that links the camp to town.

Julia Creek RV Camp Features:

💲 Donation (96 Hours – Donation box at entrance)
🐶 Pet-friendly
💧 Potable Water
🗑 Rubbish Bins
♨️ BBQ
🎣 Fishing
🚴 FREE Bike Hire
📶 Telstra Reception
🚗 2WD Access
⛺️ Self-contained vehicles only (Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes & Buses)

ADDRESSPunchbowl Road, Julia Creek QLD 4823

MCKINLAY – Walkabout Creek Hotel

Walkabout Creek Hotel, McKinlay QLD
Walkabout Creek Hotel – McKinlay

If you take a slight detour south down McKinlay Gilliat Road when you leave Julia Creek, you’ll find yourself at the Walkabout Creek Hotel. If you’re not already aware, this is the pub that was made famous by the Crocodile Dundee movie!

The movie set bar is in the shed out the back, which guests are allowed to go and see.  If you want to get a photo with ‘The Knife,’ it’s behind the bar – just ask.  It was cool to walk around and check everything out.  We really enjoyed our food, but felt that the atmosphere just wasn’t there.  But, it’s still well worth a look if you’re in the area.

Walkabout Creek Hotel Camp Features:

💲 Unpowered Site $22/ night | Powered Site $30/ night
🐶 Pet friendly
🚿 Showers
🚽 Toilets
👕 Washing Machines (FREE)
💧 Drinking water
⚡️ Power
🗑 Rubbish bins
🍺 Food & drinks (at the pub)
🏠 Motel accommodation available
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Buses allowed

ADDRESS27 Middleton Street, McKinlay QLD 4823.

CLONCURRY – Mary Kathleen Ghost Town (FREE Camping)

Mary Kathleen QLD
Abandoned streets of Mary Kathleen, Cloncurry

This place is just fascinating. Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s this place was a bustling with activity as uranium was being mined. You can drive pretty close to the old mine and walk the rest of the way to check out the turquoise blue water.

Right alongside the mine is the Mary Kathleen township, where all of the workers and their families lived. Past residents who grew up in Mary Kathleen reminisce of a wonderful childhood in the town. There was originally a Community Store, Recreational Club, Cafe, Milk Bar, Bakery, Barber Shop, Post Office, Library, two Banks and a Beer Garden among other things.

Mary Kathleen Abandoned Town, Mine & Free Camping →

These days you can pull up a slab and camp in the old town for free. All of the buildings have been removed, but the roads and slabs are all still there. If you go for a drive around you’ll find that someone has spray painted where each building/ facility used to be (including the basketball court and swimming pool).

Mary Kathleen Camp Features:

💲 FREE
🐶 Pet friendly
⚡️ Generators allowed
📱 Telstra reception
⛺️ Campers, Caravans & Big Rigs allowed (self contained only)
❌ No unattended fires, showers, toilets or water

ADDRESSBarkly Highway, Cloncurry QLD 4824.

CLONCURRY – Corella Dam (FREE Camping)

Corella Dam, QLD
Corella Dam (FREE Camp) – Cloncurry

Clem Walton/ Corella Dam provides an absolute oasis in the Outback for campers. Its beautiful blue water attracts all sort of local wildlife (including resident Fresh Water Crocodiles), while the green grass brings in the cows who call the place home.

With Cloncurry only being 54km east and Mount Isa sitting 71km west of the Dam, it’s a pretty central base for the area. The Telstra reception was a bit patchy, so why not switch off, kick back and enjoy the view.

Corella Dam features:

FREE
Pet-friendly
Industrial bins
Water sports
Fishing
Average Telstra reception
2WD access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes & Big Rigs
No toilets, drinking water or power

ADDRESSClem Walton Park Road, Cloncurry QLD 4824.
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CLONCURRY to KARUMBA

The full stretch from Cloncurry to Karumba is 453km long, taking a total of 5 hrs 22 mins.

Be sure to stock up on supplies in Cloncurry as there are no big supermarkets until the Atherton Tablelands from here on in. Most of the small towns will have a small Foodstore, but the options are limited and prices expensive.

NOTE – You’re in crocodile country now, so don’t go swimming in any natural waterways. Some of the biggest crocs in the world can be found around Normanton!


THREE RIVERS – Terry Smith Lookout Rest Area (FREE Camping)

Located 78km north of Cloncurry and 103km south of Burke and Wills Roadhouse. This can be a popular spot, so don’t leave it too late to pull in.

Terry Smith Lookout, QLD
Terry Smith Lookout, QLD

Terry Smith Lookout Rest Area Features:

💲 FREE
🐶 Pet friendly
🚽 Toilets
🗑 Rubbish bins
🔥 Camp fires allowed
⬇️ Dump point
📶 Telstra reception
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Buses
❌ No showers or drinking water

ADDRESSBurke Developmental Road, Three Rivers QLD 4824.

STOKES – Bang Bang Rest Area (FREE Camping)

Bang Bang Rest Area QLD
Bang Bang Rest Area, Stokes

Located 84km north of Burke and Wills Roadhouse and 110km south of Normanton. This camp is huge, so you don’t need to worry about there not being enough space. It’s really just a large dirt area with some trees around and a drop toilet.

Bang Bang Rest Area Camp Features:

💲 FREE
🐶 Pet friendly
🚽 Toilets
🗑 Rubbish bins
🔥 Camp fires
⬇️ Dump point
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Buses
❌ No showers

ADDRESSBurke Developmental Road, Stokes QLD 4823.

NORMANTON – Flinders River Bush Camp (FREE)

Flinders River Bush Camp, QLD
Flinders River Bush Camp

About 60km south of Normanton is the Flinders River Bush Camp. You can set up camp here for as long as you like. There are not very many spots, with only one prime spot high up on the bank with a great view of the river (see pic!).

Remember, you’re in croc country here and there are hundreds of them in this river. We went for a walk along the high bank every day to count the crocs on the opposite bank. Mostly we saw freshies, but don’t become complacent, there are salties in there too – we’ve heard the stories!

See all 3 free camps around Normanton for a more in-depth look at this area.

Flinders River Bush Camp:

FREE (No time limit)
Fishing
Croc spotting
Pet friendly (away from the river)
Camp fires
2WD access
Big Rig access
No toilets, showers, bins, drinking water or power

ADDRESSBurke Development Road, Normanton QLD 4890,
(follow the map on WikiCamps for exact location).

NORMANTON – Normanton RV Camp (FREE Camping)

I have clear memories of getting burnt to a crisp doing the washing on a winter’s day in Normanton… it was 38℃ in August!

Here are some things to do while visiting Normanton:

  • Krys the Savannah King (largest crocodile ever captured);
  • The quirky buildings of Normanton;
  • Normanton Water Park (FREE);
  • Gulflander Train;
  • Have lunch at the Purple Pub.
Things to do in Normanton →
Normanton
Normanton Free Camping on the River

Although there’s plenty of room at the Normanton Free Camp, they only give out 10 permits per day. Head to the Info Centre to get yours, where they’ll tell you to camp at least 20m away from the river bank. This camp is great because it’s located just on the outskirts of town, which is nice and handy.

Normanton Free Camp Features:

💲 FREE – 48 hours (permit from Info Centre)
⚡️ Generators allowed
🐊 Crocodiles
🎣 Fishing
📶 Telstra reception
🚌 Big Rig access
🚗 2WD access
🐶 Dogs allowed (seasonal – check with Info Centre)
❌ No amenities, power or drinking water

ADDRESSBurke Developmental Road, Normanton QLD 4890.

The final part of the Outback Camping QLD Road Trip takes you back across to the coast in Far North QLD.

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NORMANTON to MAREEBA

This last stretch of the Outback Queensland Camping Road Trip will take you along the Savannah Way. Leaving Normanton we’ll head towards the Atherton Tablelands near Cairns.

All of the towns along this stretch are small and you won’t find any big shops or supermarkets until you hit Atherton.


CROYDON – Croydon Freedom Camping Area (Donation Camping)

Heading east along the Savannah Way you’ll come across the small town of Croydon, about 155km from Normanton.

Surprisingly, this place used to be a booming hub in the late 1800’s due to Queensland’s final significant Gold Rush, which took place in the area.

Croydon is filled with rich history worth exploring. Head to the Information Centre to find out more and grab a town map.

Things to do in Croydon:

  • A10 Steam Locomotive Collection
  • Chinese Temple Site
  • Federation Park
  • Free Golf Course
  • Gulflander Train Journey
  • Lake Belmore
  • Mining Museum
  • Heritage Precinct (very cool – especially the old Court House reenactment)
14 Things to do in Croydon →
Croydon Free Camp QLD
Croydon Freedom Camp QLD

Croydon Freedom Camp Features:

💲 Donation (48 hours)
🐶 Pet Friendly
🚽 Flushing Toilets
🚿 Showers
📶 Telstra Reception
🚙 2WD Access
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Big Rigs

ADDRESS2 Alldridge Street, Croydon QLD 4871.

GEORGETOWN – Routh Creek Rest Area (FREE Camping)

Routh Creek, Gerogetown QLD
Routh Creek Rest Area, Georgetown QLD

Georgetown is 144km east of Croydon and marks the next town along the Savannah Way.

If you head another 27km east, you’ll come across a great little camp by a creek called Routh Creek Rest Area. Don’t blink or you’ll miss the driveway! Follow the map on WikiCamps to help you locate it.

It’s only tiny, so you might need to get in early to get a spot.

Routh Creek Rest Area Camp Features:

FREE
Pet friendly
Swimming
Fishing & small Redclaw Crayfish
Fires allowed
2WD access
No Big Rigs, bins, drinking water or power

ADDRESSGulf Developmental Road, Georgetown QLD 4871

The last two camps on this list are in Mareeba. While Mareeba isn’t in the Outback, it is a fantastic place to either start or finish an Outback adventure.


MAREEBA – Marbeea Drive In (FREE Camping)

Nestled in the hills 61km from Cairns is Mareeba. We had a fantastic time camping both at the Drive-Ins and at Ringers Rest, surrounded by Hot Air Balloons!

Now that you’re back near the coast you can run all of your errands and restock your supplies in Atherton, just up the road.

Mareeba Drive-in, QLD
Mareeba Drive-in

If you’re after a really unique camp to add to your Outback Camping QLD road trip, then head to the Mareeba Drive-ins. Every Friday and Saturday night you can camp up the back for FREE when you purchase tickets for the evenings double blockbuster movies.

Campers can pull in from late afternoon. Check out their website for current movie screenings.

Mareeba Drive-in Camping Features:

💲Adults – $14 | Kids under 12 – $8
Free Camping (24 hr)
Toilets
Pet friendly
Tents, Motorhomes, Buses & Vans
2 x latest movies
Popcorn, burgers, nachos etc. for sale

ADDRESS5303 Kennedy Highway, Mareeba QLD 4880.

MAREEBA – Ringers Rest (Low Cost Camping)

Ringers Rest, Mareeba QLD

The final campsite for this Outback Camping QLD Road Trip is Ringers Rest, Mareeba. This was one of those places where we pulled up for one night and stayed for seven.

Of course the people you meet really make or break an experience and having a chat to Dave (the Ringer himself) helped to make our stay great. He’s full of really interesting stories from his life living on the land and is a genuinely down to earth bloke.

Our favourite part about camping at Ringers Rest was the Hot Air Balloons that land in the paddock every morning around 6am. What a cool experience!

Ringers Rest Camp Features:

$10/ night (per site)
Pet friendly
Communal kids bikes
Horses
Cows
Betongs
Hot Air Balloons
Camp fire (wood provided)
Composting toilet
💦 Water available (need to filter it)
Bins (recycling, food scraps, landfill)
Telstra reception
2WD Access
Big Rig Access

ADDRESS277 Fichera Road, Mareeba QLD 4880.
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20 thoughts on “⛺️ 33 Outback Camping QLD Sites (FREE & Low Cost)”

  1. Such a complete and comprehensive guide, you really have everything one needs to know to plan a full on Outback Queensland camping trip!! I´ve put off travelling to Aus for ages due to how expensive it is, so it´s nice to see there are so many free campsites to take advantage of.

  2. You always do such HUGE comprehensive travel guides. Well done. I’d totally pick that watermelon place if I were camping in the Outback. I’m heading to Arizona to do an RV trip in 2 weeks and I’ll totally use your printable guide. Thanks for that. 😉

  3. First of all I must say that your article is very great as it is so much detailed with all useful information. I would surely go for Queensland Camping & Road Trip as your itinerary is perfect. Sapphire Reserve looks great as it offers free Camping.

  4. I think you could spend a lifetime travelling around Australia in a caravan… Most people do it in a few months and stick to the coast but there is so much to see inland. I would love to try sapphire fossicking, I didn’t know you could find those gems in Australia!

    1. You’re so right. We are lucky to live in a country vast enough to spend a lifetime exploring. Sapphires are so gorgeous, we’re stoked to have walked away with some beautiful gems.

  5. I ‘ve never been to Australia and reading this comprehensive post helps me wrap my mind around the vastness of the country. I love camping road trips and would love to experience one or two in the Australian outback. I think Mareeba would be a top pick for me – close to the coast, in the hills and hot air balloons!

    1. Yep, Australia is one huge country! We could travel it our whole life and still have roads that we’ve never been on. Mareeba was a great way to end the Outback stretch. As you said, it was close to everything, but still had the country feel.

  6. We’ve never been to Australia, but it’s high on our bucket list. When we go, we’d also like to make a roadtrip through the country, or let’s say a part of the country since Australia is huge! However, we’re not so much into camping, so we wonder if there are a lot of nice hotels along the road?? The sunset in Chinchilla Weir looks absolutely stunning, so we hope to see a few of these sunsets too when we roadtrip through the country. Also, we’d love to ride on a hot air balloon in Mareeba if that’s possible. The view from the sky must be stunning! Thanks a lot for this inspiring post!

    1. Thanks for your comment Mei and Kerstin. There are definitely plenty of Motels along the way on the road, but some of them can be pretty average in the smaller towns (just older and not very flashy). You could definitely ride a Hot Air Balloon in Mareeba, that would be fantastic.

  7. Oh wow! What an intense list and guide and a good one for those (like me) who hasn’t done any driving in the outback before. Would love to do a trip with my young children soon (I just have to wait for a few more years). I do have one thing on my mind, not sure if you have thought about it whilst driving out there, did you ever see electric cars in the outback? Makes me wonder. 😀

    1. That is a very good question and not one that I’ve pondered. I can tell you that we have seen a few electric car charging stations over the last 18 months, but I couldn’t tell you whether there are any/ many in the Outback regions.

  8. This looks like a fun road trip. I must admit I am not similar with camper travel but it looks like a great way to see the country. I think my favorite things to do would be Cosmos Centre, I love astronomy. I would also live to explore the Dinosaur Triangle.

  9. Wow what a detailed and compressive itinerary! It looks like there is so much to do and see while camping the Queensland outback and I’d love to experience all that one day. I am especially intrigued by Mareeba, how fun!

    1. There are loads of things to do in the Outback, despite what people may think. We’ve still got lots more to explore another time, but we’ve made a good start. Mareeba was great, we loved camping at the Drive-ins.

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