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17 Free Camps You Need To Know About In Far North Queensland

by Meri Gasem

Far North Queensland is one of the most picturesque and adventure-filled part of your Big Lap. From pristine beaches to wildlife and off-road adventures, you won’t be bored for a second. To spare you the time-consuming and nerve-wracking camp spot search, we short-listed the best free camps in Far North Queensland.

Dulhunty River Falls

A well-hidden secret along the Dulhunty River offers ultimate privacy, a superb swimming spot, and large camping space. Swim between the waterfalls and camp for free with not many people around. The road to the camp is narrow and winding but very rewarding.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 4WD, motorbikes, and camping trailers.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities:4WD Tracks; Fishing, Dog-friendly.
Time Limit: None.

 
 
 
 
 
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Mutee Head

Straight out of a postcard secluded camp spot. Gorgeous landscape, turtle hatching spots, fishing, a beachfront camp like no other. To top it off, it’s completely free! The space can accommodate up to 6 campers, but tents are welcomed too. Make sure not to leave a trace behind.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 4WD, it’s a gravel road and 2WD accessible only in the dry season.
Phone Service: Little to no Telstra service.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Open fire pits.
Time Limit: None.

 
 
 
 
 
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Somerset Beach Campground

Free campground right at the beach. Clean, modest, emitting slight desert island vibes. Great spot to avoid the crowd and get a moment of peace and tranquility. Often you can have the camp to yourself. With open firepits, fantastic walking tracks, and an abundance of wildlife, you won’t notice the lack of amenities.


Showers/Toilets: No showers, drop toilets.
Access: 4WD, off-road caravans, camper trailers, motorbikes.
Phone Service: Telstra Only
Booking Required: No
Other Amenities: Trash cans; Dog friendly; Fishing; Picnic tables; 4WD tracks.
Time Limit: None.

 
 
 
 
 
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Babinda Rotary Park Rest Area

This campsite is not faraway off the Pacific Highway, close to town and the boulders. It can be pretty crowded, so make sure to book in advance; because of Covid-19, the camp is limited to 60 sites. It’s managed by the Cairns Council and you’re welcome to leave a donation.

Showers/Toilets: Flushable toilets, free cold showers, hot showers $1 per 4minutes.
Access: 2WD, RV/Motorhome, Bus.
Phone Service: Yes.
Booking Required: Yes, book at council@cairns.qld.gov.au
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Kitchen; Dump Spot; Swimming; Wheelchair Accessible; Playground; Drinking water; Generators allowed.
Time Limit: 72hours, with no return for 14 days.

 
 
 
 
 
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Roonga Point

An epic campground right on the beach, what more do you need? Easy to find with lots of spots to choose from. Enough shades to keep you from sunburns and self-made fire pits for cozy nights. Bring everything you need and don’t leave anything behind.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 4WD.
Phone Service: Telstra only.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Fishing; 4WD tracks; Wildlife spotting.
Time Limit: None.

 
 
 
 
 
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Cape York Beachfront Camping Site

A beachfront campground at the Cape York tip with fine white sand and occasional crocodiles. It’s reachable at low tide only, then you can drive down the beach and pick a spot. Open fire pits are available but bring your own firewood.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 4WD and motorbikes.
Phone Service: Yes.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Fishing; 4WD tracks; Wildlife spotting.
Time Limit: None.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Nanthau Beach

A hidden paradise spot right off the track where the creek meets the beach. Amazing views, the bedrock is oysters’ natural habitat so lots of them can be found on the beach. High clearance vehicles only. It can get pretty windy so pick a more secluded spot.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 4WD.
Phone Service: None.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog friendly; Fishing; 4WD tracks; Crocodiles; Hiking tracks.
Time Limit: None.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Jackey Jackey Creek

Less than 3km off the main road after crossing the Jardine River you can find this little camping spot. Due to it being hard to find it’s never crowded. Dip your feet in the crystal clear creek or try jumping in from the swinging on the rope right next to it. Most times you can have the place to yourselves!

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 4WD, motorbikes, camper trailers.
Phone Service: None.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Swimming; Open firepits; Hiking tracks; Dog-friendly; 4WD tracks; Crocodiles; Hiking tracks.
Time Limit: None.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Isabella Falls

Nice little bush camp with limited spots but amazing scenery which makes it a popular daytime area. Water is flowing through the road so you’ll encounter a small water crossing. Small but fabulous waterfall on-site, and a great place to swim.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 4WD, motorbikes, camper trailers, off-road caravans.
Phone Service: None.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Swimming; Open fire pits; Dog-friendly; Wildlife spotting.
Time Limit: None.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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McLeod River Camp

An unofficial bush camp on a sandy beach next to the McLeod River, down a sandy uneven track. Close to the road but no road noise, not many people around but lots of red claw and cod after the wet season. Even on the busiest weekend, you can count on tranquility and privacy here.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 4WD, motorbikes, camper trailers, off-road caravans.
Phone Service: None.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Fishing; Swimming; Dog-friendly; Wildlife spotting.
Time Limit: None.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Garradunga Hotel Camp

The place to camp for free and get the best treatment you can imagine. The pub owners are friendly and accommodating to everyone arriving. Purchase some drinks at the pub to support their initiative. Located at the Garradunga Hotel close to the best spots in the Far North.

Showers/Toilets: Toilets and $2 Showers.
Access: 2WD, RV/Motorhome accessible.
Phone Service: Yes.
Booking Required: Give them a call at (07)4063 3708 or show up and ask where you can set up.
Other Amenities: On-site accommodation; Pub; Drinking water; Power available; Fishing; Swimming; Dog-friendly; Wildlife spotting.
Time Limit: None.

 
 
 
 
 
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Batavia Gold Field Ruins

Have you ever imagined camping at a former goldfield? Dive in centuries-old history, right next to Wenlock River. Plenty of old machinery left on-site and an old steam engine, quite a unique sight. A large open area for camping so won’t be hard to pick a good spot. Plenty of shades, no crowds in sight.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 4WD.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Open fire pits; Hiking tracks.
Time Limit: None.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Bend South

Great campground on your way to and from the Tip, right on the river. A large camping area that is kids-friendly with a natural paddle pool. Secluded and peaceful but at the same time close to Coen for anything you need.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 4WD, motorbikes.
Phone Service: Telstra reception.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Fire pits; Generators permitted; Swimming; 4WD tracks, Wildlife spotting.
Time Limit: None.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Cockatoo Hotel Motel

Don’t get confused by the name; this hotel offers you food, drinks, and a free camping spot in the Chillagoe area. The camping site is a green area right behind the hotel and accommodates only fully self-contained units., no tents or campers. While it’s free, try to support the hotel.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 2WD.
Phone Service: Yes.
Booking Required: Yes, call them at (07) 4094 7168 or send an e-mail at chillagoehotel@gmail.com.
Other Amenities: Laundry; WiFi and TV reception; Dog-friendly; Cycling, hiking, and 4WD tracks; Pub; On-site accommodation; Wildlife spotting.
Time Limit: 48-hours limit.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Hughes Crossing On Drumdruff Road

Great pit-stop on your way from Chillagoe to Karumba, where you can camp right on the river. The South side is pretty limited but if the water level allows it, crossi to the North and you’ll find a larger area. Plenty of fish, crocodiles and kangaroos can be seen!

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 4WD.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Wildlife spotting; Shades.
Time Limit: None.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Pennefather Beach Camp

Many camping spots on Pennefather River, but this one sits at the top of our list. To reach it you must take on an adventurous journey through the dunes but the end is very rewarding. Crystal clear water, soft sand, and great fishing spots all around.

Showers/Toilets: Toilets and cold showers.
Access: 4WD.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Drinking water; 4WD tracks; Wildlife spotting; Fishing.
Time Limit: None.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Nolan’s Brook

Big camping area with a tranquil atmosphere on the Old Telegraph Track. After you cross Nolan’s there’s a crystal clear creek you can chill out in, plenty of shades to camp under and relax. The water level at Nolan’s depends on the season so make sure your vehicle is suitable for the challenge before you start crossing.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 4WD and motorbikes.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Swimming; Dog-friendly; Open fire pits; 4WD tracks; Wildlife spotting; Fishing.
Time Limit: None.

 
 
 
 
 
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