Australia might be one of the best – if not the best place for road trips. With their well-maintained highways and easy ways to avoid the tolls, there is nothing better than hopping in a car and hitting the road. If only there wouldn’t be the problem of the high accommodation costs. When we looked up possible campsites for our trip from Sydney to Melbourne, we were quite shocked, the cheapest places we found were 24 AUD and the most expensive ones, about 56 AUD. Luckily, after some more hours of research, we found some free “bush campsites”. Here are our favourites:
After not finding a cheap camping option near Jervis Bay, we decided to drive a long way the first day. We found three free campsites in the Meroo National Park. Just 15 km after Ulladulla, turn left before the bridge to get to the first two campsites. Drive 1 km further to turn left on the road that leads to the Meroo Head Campground. We camped here and it is a beautiful campsite right by the beach. There are 9 marked spots and a pit toilet.
Saltwater Creek Campground
Unfortunately not free but 20 AUD per night was really cheap compared to other campgrounds. Even though you have to pay, this was our favourite place on the trip. Set in the Ben Boyd National Park, South of Eden, Saltwater Creek is the perfect campground to get away from civilization. It’s also just a short walk to the beach and if you are there between September to late November, you can see whales from the shore. Also, kangaroos and wallabies will come up to your tent so make sure your food is well stored.
Reeves Beach Campground
A part of the 90-mile beach, this campsite is a perfect spot on the Victoria coast. It’s free and has a pit toilet. It can get very windy here, especially on the beach, but the campground is protected by dunes. However, strong winds are pretty common in this place.
Franklin River Reserve
Another of our favourites, not only for its nice setup next to a forest and a river but because it’s close to Wilsons Promontory National Park. There are two campsites in the park but each cost at least 55 AUD per night. Staying at the Franklin Campsite allowed us to visit “The Prom” and not spending a horrendous amount of money on accommodation. Plus we heard koalas at night, so if you’re lucky you might see some in the trees around.
Check out the video of our road trip from Sydney to Melbourne and along the Great Ocean Road.
Find all the free and cheap campsites around Australia and New Zealand with the free campermate app.