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20 Free Camps You Need To Know About In Outback Queensland

by Meri Gasem

Almost entirely uninhabited and hidden from Australia’s large commercial centers, the Outback is exciting, mysterious, and a little challenging. It can get boiling hot in summer, so to spare you the time of roaming through the desert in search of a good free camp, we sorted out the best.

Read Next: Everything You Need To Know About Free Camping In Australia

Bullo River

A bush camp on the Bullo riverbank, located only a kilometre from Quilpie – a town full of sites, museums, and parks that are a must-see. The camping area is large and best to visit in the dry season. Even with no amenities, this is a beautiful, quiet, and relaxing spot. You can reach the town centre in just 30 minutes on foot.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 2WD.
Phone Service: Telstra only.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Generators allowed; TV Reception; Fishing.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Bullo River Station (@bulloriverstation)

 

 

Camooweal Billabong

Breathtaking bush camp right in the billabong of Georgina River, beside the beautiful Lake Francis, south of Camooweal town. Clean, shady spots and lots of room, so you’ll get much-desired privacy. Get up early to witness some of the best sunrises of the Outback.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Yes.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Pet-friendly; Generators allowed; Wildlife; Hiking and 4WD tracks; Open fire pits;
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by WHERE 2 NEXT (@where2nextaus)

 

 

Lake Canellan-Georgina River

Home to over 30 different species of birds and a large camping area. It is secluded, quiet, and easy to access, with many flat spots and jaw-dropping sunsets over the billabong. Bring firewood to enjoy the nights by the open fire pits.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Telstra only.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Open fire pits; Wildlife; TV Reception; Hiking tracks.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Ode to the Road (@ode2theroad)

 

 

Clem Walton Park

Green frogs, cows, birds, and reptiles surround this peaceful, clean campground. If you packed a kayak, the creek is the perfect spot to go kayaking. You can even spot some wallabies and kangaroos at sunset or enjoy stargazing at night.

Showers/Toilets: Flushing toilets.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Generators allowed; Wildlife; Picnic tables; Fishing; Boat ramp;
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sean Scott | Australia (@seanscottphotography)

 

 

Fountain Springs Rest Area

One of the best areas for an overnight stop to rest and continue your drive in the morning. Close to the road if you want to make a stop on the Barkly Highway, in the middle between Mount Isa and Cloncurry.

Showers/Toilets: Toilets only.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Telstra only.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Non-drinking water; BBQ area; Open fire pits.
Time Limit: 24 hours.

Read Next: Your Ultimate Guide To Overlanders Way

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Miles+Barbie | Travel (@ourlifeontop)

 

 

Mary Kathleen Town

Located on private property and suitable for self-sufficient vehicles only, this campground is spacious, filled with bush and concrete areas. Off the main road so peace and serenity are guaranteed. It is an excellent base to stay at if you want to explore the mine in the township, Ballara, Railway Tunnel, or Fountain Springs.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Telstra only.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Generators allowed; Wildlife; Hiking and cycling tracks; 4WD tracks;
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Burke River

A huge picturesque area on the Burke River, one of the best free camps in the Outback. Close to the township of Boulia, where you can find a dump spot and drinking water. The river is ideal for fishing so try to score some free dinner.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Telstra only.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Wildlife; Hiking tracks; Open fire pits; Fishing; Swimming; Generators allowed.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Michael Verständig (@misterv.79)

 

 

Burke & Wills Memorial/Corella River

A lovely flat area that can accommodate up to 4 campers, ideal for a quick stay. It’s within walking distance of a creek on the Corella River. This campsite is an obelisk location, erected in memory of Burke and Wills, who went on an expedition to find a route between the South and North coast. One might say that they were the first big lappers!

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: None.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Trash cans.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Bengeacca Creek

Perfect for self-sufficient campers, spacious and secluded. The clear creek is great for cooling off and fishing. Plenty of shady areas and leveled parking spots. You can pick which side of the creek to camp at, but both offer serenity.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Telstra only.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Non-dinking water; Generators allowed; Wildlife; Open fire pits; Swimming.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Old Diamantina Crossing

Wide open space, quiet, abundance of birdlife and a top spot for watching the sunrise each morning. Not very popular among tourists so you’ll get privacy and serenity. A little dusty during the dry season, but it’s to be expected in the Outback.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Yes.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Generators allowed; 4WD tracks; Swimming.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Open Sky Touring (@openskytouring)

 

 

Birdsville Town Common

A spacious area near Birdsville where you can restock on groceries and free drinking water. The eucalyptus coolabah trees provide nice shades to hide from the desert sun. The greenery is a rare view in the Outback, so this place is a true gem!

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Telstra only.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Drinking water; Generators allowed; TV reception.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Andree Burton (@thegutsytrol)

 

 

Newstead Creek

Big camping area to be used only when it’s dry. Light breeze, plenty of shades, peace, and spectacular sunsets Only 30 kilometres from Longreach, great free stay, and no road noise to disturb you during the night.

Showers/Toilets: No.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Telstra only.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Generators allowed; Tables; Open fire pits; Pull-through bays;
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Anderson Creek

Unofficial camping ground on private property. No facilities so ideal if you’re self-sufficient. Make sure not to leave a trace, since the owner is so kind to lend you his property for free. Close to the road, great for an overnight stay.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Telstra only.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Kaya&Monkey 💞 (@kayaaa.monkey)

 

 

5 Emu Camp

Home to emus, kangaroos, and free to stay at! Spacious, close to Aramac, with shops within walking distance. Secluded, serene, and quiet. Firewood around to make nights cozier.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Telstra only.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Generators allowed; Fishing; TV reception; Tables; Hiking and 4WD tracks.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Julian de Groot (@jj_degroot)

 

 

Nat Buchanan Bridge

Named after the famous explorer Nathaniel Buchanan, the first man to drive cattle across Australia’s top end. This is a spacious, well-maintained camp area along the riverbank. Occasionally goats, bush kangaroos, swallows, and other birds pay a visit.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 2WD; RV; Campers; Caravans.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Drinking water; Wildlife; Tables.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Patrick Webster (@pat_wildlife)

 

 

Rock Pool

Camping area near Charleville with a nice rock pool to take a dip in, lots of room, rocky ground but easy access. Only 11 kilometres out of town but little to no road noise. Frogs and birds will keep you entertained day and night.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Yes.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Open fire pits; TV reception.
Time Limit: 48 hours.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Julia Creek RV Stop

The town of Julia Creek has a designated free camping area on the edges of the creek. It’s suitable for self-contained vehicles since there are no facilities. Great spot to look at the sunset over the creek. Head in early since it fills up fast.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Yes.
Booking Required: Free permit valid for 96 hours is required, you can obtain it from the on-site camp host or from the Julia Creek Visitor Info Centre.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Generators allowed; Drinking water; Wildlife; Tables; BBQ area; Hiking tracks; Fishing; TV reception.
Time Limit: 96 hours.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Jane Pinkerton (@jane_pinkerton92)

 

 

Barcaldine East Rest Area

A rest area located along the Capricorn Highway, 3 kilometres from Barcaldine, with a limited stay of 20 hours at a time. This area is suitable to stop for a quick rest on your journey. It’s only 2 kilometres away from town, with plenty of shade and privacy.

Showers/Toilets: Toilets only.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Yes.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Tables; Open fire pits; TV reception;
Time Limit: 20 hours.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Robert Mathieson (@mathieson_imagery)

 

 

Long Waterhole

Campground on the banks of the manmade waterhole that was used for the World Crayfish Derby. Popular among locals for a weekend camp out, swimming, or water skiing. Emus, kangaroos, cattle, and rich birdlife, can be seen around during the day, but it’s tranquil overnight.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Telstra only.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Generators allowed; Fishing; Open fire pits; TV reception; Wildlife.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Hughenden RV Campground

This RV park caters only to self-contained vehicles. Grassy area, short walk to the lake where you can take a refreshing swim or sunbathe at the small beach. The city council manages the well-maintained campground, so support this cause by spending some money in town.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 2WD; RV; Motorbike; Campers; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Yes.
Booking Required: Register with Flinders Discovery Centre at (07) 4741 2970 to obtain a free permit.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Generators allowed; Drinking water; Dump spot; Hiking tracks; TV reception; Swimming.
Time Limit: 7 days.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Marita Anne (@vmarann)

 

 

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