The Best Free Camping Townsville

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Whether you are road-tripping from Melbourne to the Cape, or just looking to get out of Townsville and into the great outdoors for a weekend this is the best free camping Townsville has to offer.

One of the best parts about traveling in this part of the world is the amount and the variety of free camping North Queensland has available. And the towns and wild areas surrounding Townsville are no different.

From golden beaches to lush rainforests, outback towns, and impressive parklands, free camping around Townsville runs the gamut from remote camping, accessible only by four-wheel-drive to free public caravan parks with numerous amenities to friendly country pubs welcoming weary travelers with country hospitality and cold beer.

For this free camping Townsville list, we have included camping within two hours’ drive of Townsville. We have also included some excellent camping around Townsville that is next to free (under $10 a night) because sometimes a little goes long way.

Without further ado, here are our pick of the bunch for the best free camping Townsville.

Free Beach Camping Around Townsville

Golden sandy beaches, crystal clear estuaries fringed by mangroves, and endless views across the tranquil coral sea to the islands of the Great Barrier Reef. What could be better than camping right on one of Townsville’s gorgeous pristine beaches? Well, camping here for absolutely nothing.

The Townsville council has made the commendable decision to open up some of their stunning beaches to campers, caravaners, #vanlifers and tent campers, absolutely free of charge. Undoubtedly some of the best free camping Townsville can be found here, along the iconic North Queensland coastline.

Balgal Beach Camping

Balgal Beach Free Camping is some of the best free camping Townsville has. There are two free campsites here right on the scenic and undeveloped Balgal Beach.

Balgal Beach Tents Only camping area at Justin Park is reserved for tent campers. It offers a shady green space right on Balgal beach as well as covered tables, water, toilets, and a cold outdoor shower.

Further north Balgal Beach Campground provides camping for caravans, camper vans, and camper trailers. With water, toilets, an outdoor shower, swimming nets and a dump point, the absolute beachfront camping at Balgal Beach Camping is hands down some of the best free camping Townsville.

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Toomulla Beach Camping

Some Townsville's best free camping can be found behind Toomulla Beach
Free camping can be found behind Toomulla Beach

Toomulla Beach Free Camping is yet another example of local councils providing excellent free camping Townsville. Toomulla Beach Free Camping, offers clean comfortable free camping in a shady park, right behind Toomulla Beach. With playgrounds, green space, picnic tables, and barbecues, Toomulla camping area is a great place to stop off with the kids.

Toomulla Beach is also popular fishing spot. Boaties and anglers will appreciate the nearby boat ramp. Keep your eyes peeled for the resident crocodile that lives here at Toomulla beach and stay croc wise.

Useful Information

  • Address: Toomulla QLD 4816, Australia
  • Maximum Stay: 48 hours
  • Cost: Free!
  • Mobile Reception: Yes – Some
  • Camping Type: All types of campers are welcome

Saunders Beach Camping

Saunders Beach Camping is another awesome spot for free camping Townsville. A limited number of spots right behind this beautiful stretch of coast provide a quiet weekend getaway or restful sleep for the weary traveler. Limited space means you need to get here early to secure a spot. Also watch out for the bat colony that has made their home near the campground.

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Crystal Creek Beach Camping

Wild camping near Townsville can be found where Crystal Creek meets the sea
Wild camping where Crystal Creek meets the sea, near Townsville

This basic campsite offers wild camping right on the beach. At Crystal Creek Beach Camping you won’t find marked sites, showers, or toilets, but you will find plenty of space behind the dunes to set up for a weekend or longer. Here you can enjoy not only wild camping but free camping Townsville.

From Barrilge Road, follow the dirt track which eventually turns into soft sand behind the beach. Four-wheel drive is necessary to reach this remote camp.

Unfortunately, many of the campsites here have been left littered with rubbish which is a real shame. Be sure to take your trash with you when you visit, or go one better and take an extra bag of rubbish home with you when you leave.

Useful Information

  • Address: 8 Barrilgie Rd, Coolbie QLD 4850 n.b. This is the turn-off point from marked roads. Continue down this road until you find the beach. Just be careful not to take the wrong road and end up on private property.
  • Maximum Stay: Unknown
  • Cost: Free!
  • Mobile Reception: Yes – Some

Wunjunga Camping

Beach free camping Townsville

Another wild camping area without facilities but with plenty of scenic beach all to your self. Wunjunga South Camping offers beachfront camping in the calm and protected Wunjunga bay with beautiful views to Cape Upstart.

A basic campsite along Wunjunga Road is available to conventional vehicles and offers beachside camping absolutely free. However, if you have a four-wheel-drive, you can drive down to the southern end of Wunjunga beach. Here you can camp next to the dunes. We camped here for a weekend, alone but for the motorsports enthusiasts who would occasionally ride in various buggies, bikes, and off-road vehicles.

Without any facilities, you will need to be self-sufficient, but your reward is this beach camp (practically) to yourself. If wild camping is your thing then this is some of the best free camping Townsville has to offer.

Useful Information

  • Address: Wajunga Rd , Wunjunga QLD 4806
  • Maximum Stay: 7 days
  • Cost: FREE
  • Mobile Reception: Yes – Some
  • Camping Type: Campervan, caravan, and trailer camping permitted. 4wd drive required for southern end beach camping

Free Bush Camping Around Townsville

With stunning beaches, esturies, fishing, access to the Great Barrier Reef and countless islands, you could be forgiven for forgetting that Townsville is surrounded by incredible inland national parks. What’s more camping in these stunning places needn’t cost an arm and a leg. Here is the best of free camping Townsville bushland and national parks.

Paluma Range National Park Camping

The Paluma Range National Park is a great place to explore and offers some of the best free camping around Townsville
The view from from the Paluma Range to the sea

If you want to immerse yourself in nature while camping Paluma National Park offers several different experiences.

Drive-in camping is available near popular swimming holes at Jourama Falls Camping area and Big Crystal Creek Camping area. These camping areas have toilers, untreated water and picnic tables.

Hike in, wilderness camping is available at Mount Spec and Mount Halifax. These remote camps for experienced bush walker have no facilities and campers must be fully self sufficient.

All these sites have a small National Park overnight fee of $6.75 per person per night. While not quite free these sites are cheaper than any commercial campsite and far more scenic. Paluma Range National Park Camping offers some of the most beautiful next to free camping Townsville.

Useful Information

  • Address: Crystal Creek QLD 4816, Australia
  • Maximum Stay: 30 days
  • Cost: $6.75 per person per night
  • Mobile Reception: Yes – Poor
  • Camping Type: All types of camping are welcome

Wallaman Falls Camping Area, Girrungun National Park

Wallaman Falls Camping Area is some of the best (almost) free camping Townsville has to offer

The Wallaman Falls Camping area is just around the corner from the spectacular Wallaman Falls, Australia largest perennial single drop waterfall and a must-see attraction in north Queensland. The Wallaman Falls Camping area also offers access to other attractions in the remote Girrungun National Park.

The Wallaman Falls Camping area offers basic camping facilities including fire pits, untreated water, toilets, cold showers, and picnic tables. With space for just forty campers, reservations are recommended.

Wallaman Falls Camping Area is in the Girrungun National Park, and camping here costs $6.75 per person per night. While not technically an example of free camping Townsville, it’s a small price to pay to stay next door to one of Queensland’s most incredible natural attractions.

Useful Information

  • Address: Wallaman QLD 4850, Australia
  • Maximum Stay: 30 days
  • Cost: $6.75 per person per night
  • Mobile Reception: No
  • Camping Type: Tent and campervan

Babinda Boulders Camping

The historic town of Babinda is home to not one but two AMAZING donation based campsites. One just outside the town and another nearby the iconic Babinda Boulders.

The Babinda Boulders are one of the most spectacular attractions near Townsville and nearby is some of the best free camping Townsville

The Babinda Boulders are an incredible attraction in their own right. Here, the crystal clear Babinda Creek forms beautiful swimming holes and sections of rapids, all set amongst lush tropical rain forest.

From the pretty picnic area and top pool you can take the short 1.3 kilometer Devil’s Pool trail to see the amazing granite formations that have created this beautiful section of creek. Discover the Aboriginal legend of the curse that haunts this creek.

Nearby, Queensland’s highest mountain, Mount Bartle Frere can be found providing a challenge to hikers.

In addition to an incredible setting near the beautiful Babinda Boulders swimming hole, the Babinda Boulders camping area has hot coin operated showers, toilets, and water available for campers.

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Free Town Camping Around Townsville

Home Hill Comfort Stop

Okay, this ones probably not for the weekend warriors looking to escape into nature for the weekend, but it is certainly for caravaners, vanlifers, roadtrippers, grey nomads, backpackers,whizbangs and anybody else making their way up or down the Bruce Highway, living out of their car.

The small township of Home Hill under 100 kilometers south of Townsville has found the secret ingredients to attract weary, dusty travelers to stop off in their small township. Free hot showers!!!

For those of you travelling long term, without a shower on board and a measly budget, I need not say anymore. Free, steaming hot showers in clean, modern amenities blocks.

The ‘campsite’ here is some street-side parking outside the train station. There are a handful of picnic tables, some green grass, and that’s about it. But night after night this unassuming country town street is lined with caravans, campers, and rooftop tents. All attracted to Townsville’s’ closest and most welcoming free rest stop.

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Babinda Camping Area

The second of two awesome FREE Babinda camping areas, this large free camp is just outside the historic town of Babinda. Set amongst the tropical rainforest native to this area, with a crystal clear creek flowing through it, this large free campsite is open to all styles of camping.

Possibly topping the list for the best free camping Townsville and North Queensland have is the Babinda Rotary Park Free Camping Area. The campsite has first-rate facilities including coin operated hot showers.

Nearby attractions include the charming town of Babinda, the Babinda Boulders and Mount Bartle Frere. While in town be sure to checkout the popular Babinda bakery, the Babinda butcher for smoked ham and bacon, and Trolley coffee for North Queensland’s best flat white. If you need to get some work done, the Babinda library is the perfect place to catch up on some emails.

The camp is popular and can be quite busy but with so much space you can usually find a spot. An enthusiastic rooster, the occasional train, and inconsiderate campers can threaten a good nights sleep here but besides that Babinda camping scores high.

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Vincent ‘Bushy’ Parker Park

Yet another council run free camping Townsville site. Bushy Park offers all the amenities campers could need for a comfortable stay. It is also close to Paluma National Park.

The clean, quiet camp, is set on a pretty stream. It has toilets, drinking water, tables, barbecues, and dump points for caravans and RV’s.

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Bluewater Park, Blue Water

This free campsite can be found in Blue Water just 33km out of Townsville. Another good option right along the Bruce Highway if you are doing a road trip and need a place to stay for the night.

Bluewater Park offers all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay including barbecues, tables, drinking water, and toilets. Another great example of the free camping Townsville council has provided, Bluewater is popular and can get busy so plan to arrive early so you don’t miss out on a spot.

Useful Information

  • Address: Bluewater QLD 4818
  • Maximum Stay: 48 hours
  • Cost: Free!
  • Mobile Reception: Yes
  • Camping Type: All types of campers are welcome

Pub and Hotel Free Camping Townsville

Savvy pubs and hotels across Australia, throw open their doors and car parks to campers, caravaners and rv’ers. Allowing campers to stop over for a night on the understanding they will support the pub by purchasing a meal and a beer, making it a pretty great deal for travelers. We make it a point to stop off in some of Australia’s most iconic pubs on a Friday night when road tripping here.

These are our pick of the best free camping Townsville at hotels and pubs.

Halifax Hotel

A classic Aussie pub that welcoming campers. They have a large grassed area at the back of the hotel with 24-hour access to outdoor toilets and access to the swimming pool. Aand you can stay for free when you patron this Historic Australian Hotel.

Located close to Lucinda, a top fishing destination and one access point to the legendary Hinchinbrook Island National Park it is the perfect place to stop for an evening if you are passing through.

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Railway Hotel Ravenswood

The Outback Railway Hotel in the historic town of Ravenswood not only allows campers, they welcome them with open arms. In addition to a warm welcome, this charming historic hotel serves up great pub food and cold beer. The friendly owners have renovated a downstairs whiskey bar and restored the original miners quarters in the hotel, providing a unique point of difference.

Useful Information

  • Address: LOT 1 Barton St, Ravenswood QLD 4816
  • Maximum Stay:
  • Cost: Basic unpowered sites free with pub meal or $15 for a powered site
  • Mobile Reception: Yes
  • Camping Type: All types of campers are welcome

Tips for Free Camping North Queensland

Free camping is rare in many parts of the world and even in many parts of Australia. The abundance and quality of free camping North Queensland and Townsville provides is truly unparalleled.

Help keep these incredible facilities open, do the right thing. Clean up after yourself, follow time limits, noise curfews, and rules surrounding permitted camping types in different camping areas. Where donations are requested dig deep, that money goes directly back into maintaining these awesome free camps.

Support the community supporting you! These communities have welcomed you in and provided awesome facilities and access for free! Give back by buying locally when you stop off. These communities rely on your business.

Be considerate of your fellow campers. Free camping is for everyone, don’t spread out when space is tight, don’t leave rubbish around your campsite, and don’t make too much noise, especially at night. Simple!

Have you visited any of the free camping around Townsville? Did we miss any great spots? Let us know in the comments below!

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