There are many different ways to get out and about to explore a place whether you’re traveling internationally or just visiting some backgrounds you’re not too familiar with in your own little nearby slice of countryside. That being said, it’s hard to argue with the sentiment that the Aussies really have it right when it comes to freedom camping. Australia offers tons of open space and friendly rules for setting up camp even when there’s no campsite so if you really want to catch the best Australia has to offer after testing out your brand new motorhome from recent caravan sales, then go find your next freedom site to set up camp!
What Is Freedom Camping?
Freedom camping is what allows you to park your campervan in areas that aren’t set up or designated for camping. These are areas that aren’t set up with facilities like drinking water, toilets, or electric plug-ins, but just wild area and you have the ability to set up your camp.
In some nations this is a common practice (aside from Australia it’s worth noting that neighboring New Zealand is also big on freedom camping), but for other people this is a relatively new concept. While it gives yet another great reason to check out recent caravan sales (as if you needed another excuse), it’s important to understand that there are some rules you need to follow.
Rules of Freedom Camping
Some of these rules are fixed in with local regulations or laws while many of them are simply an unspoken code of appropriate behavior. Part of the reason freedom camping works is because the far majority of campers agree to rules that keep this practice as low impact as possible to the natural world.
Big rule #1: Leave no trace behind
This rule always applies to free camping. After all you’re able to enjoy the natural area for free, which means you need to fully fill any cat hole you dig as a bathroom, clear up any properly made fire pit, and pick up any and all rubbish and take it with you. Don’t spoil it for the next person!
Big rule #2: Check locally where you can free camp
While an enormous number of areas have pretty loose rules when it comes to where you can camp on holiday, there are going to be certain restrictions from place to place. Make sure to check in locally to see what places are seen as fair game for free camping and what areas are off limits to avoid any misunderstandings or frustrations up front.
Big rule #3: Restrict your travel time
You need to plan your travel so you aren’t traveling before dawn or after dusk. The wildlife tends to be especially active at night, and they can cause some major damage if you hit them. Make sure you leave and arrive with plenty of time to set up camp and you will be much happier with the results.
These are just a few of the rules of freedom camping that you should follow to get the most out of your experience.
Your Style of Campervan Matters
One of the biggest consideration is the type of campervan you’re using. Some campervans need to be charged every other day, while some are designed for longer term use. Depending on the size of the campervan, the rules in a local community or area might ask you to move to a different site every so many days just to make sure the area wild stays as naturally healthy as possible.
If you’re going to be camping just in one specific area then keep that in mind while scanning the current caravan sales and find the one that works best for your specific needs.