24 August, 2023

Free Tasmanian campsites that put bliss within your budget

Enjoy five-million-star accommodation for zero dollars with your own tent, caravan or campervan.

Bringing your own accommodation means huge holiday savings, especially if you can find fee-free places to settle in for the night. We’ve done the hard work for you with this hit list of campsites that are not only free but also set in some of Tasmania’s most breathtaking natural locations.

Just note that you need to buy a Parks Pass to enter national parks, and that dogs aren’t allowed in these protected environments. Fido is welcome at most other sites on our hit list, but please keep him on a leash.

Freycinet National Park

With pink-granite mountains and pure blue waters caressing white-sand beaches, Freycinet National Park is one of Tasmania’s treasures. So it’s no surprise that many holidaymakers want a piece of the Friendly Beaches campground at Isaacs Point, which is the park’s only free accommodation option with vehicle access. Get in quick, especially during summer holidays and Easter. Amenities are basic – there’s no running water and only a pit toilet – but the scenery is sensational and that seemingly endless beach is just steps away.

Friendlys Beaches (Image: Pete Harmsen)
Friendlys Beaches (Image: Pete Harmsen)

Bay of Fires Conservation Area

A little further north is another east-coast icon boasting more white sand and blue waters that are easier to park yourself next to. The Bay of Fires Conservation Area has eight free camping areas, and because it’s not a national park a Parks Pass isn’t required plus dogs are allowed (except at the Jeanneret Beach site). Amenities are limited, with toilet facilities varying from site to site, but that hardly matters when you’re right by one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

Camping at Bay of Fires (Image: Sean Scott)
Camping at Bay of Fires (Image: Sean Scott)

The south-west wilderness

Roaring rivers and jagged peaks. Rugged coast and vast lakes. Curious wildlife like quolls and pademelons, and towering trees including Huon pines. If you like to go where the wild things are, head for Tasmania’s mostly untouched south-west region. The majority of this huge wilderness is within Southwest National Park, which at 600,000 hectares is the state’s largest. Its two free campgrounds have picnic facilities, toilets, non-treated water and either fireplaces or free electric barbecues. Just outside the park there’s also the Edgar Dam campsite with similar amenities, and several with more basic services at Cockle Creek in Recherche Bay Nature Recreation Area, where dogs are allowed.

Southwest National Park (Image: Tourism Tasmania & Geoffrey Lea)
Southwest National Park (Image: Tourism Tasmania & Geoffrey Lea)

Leven Canyon Reserve

Less than an hour’s drive south-west of Devonport, Leven Canyon is one of Tasmania’s best kept secrets. It’s an easy walk from the carpark to Cruikshanks Lookout, where you can watch the Leven River rushing through the canyon hundreds of metres below, and forested mountains beyond. Complete the 1.2 kilometre circuit trail, which takes in Edge Lookout as well, to conquer one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks. Leven Canyon Reserve also has barbecue and picnic facilities, flushing toilets and grassy camping sites. More good news: dogs are welcome.

Leven Canyon (Image: S. Group)
Leven Canyon (Image: S. Group)

South Bruny National Park

Just south of Hobart, beautiful Bruny Island is a world away, rich with fauna such as penguins, parrots, seals, rare white wallabies and perhaps some migrating whales passing by. Add diverse landscapes, from eucalypt forest to soaring cliffs, and you’ve got one glorious getaway. The Pines campsite, one of four in South Bruny National Park, is free. The only amenities are pit toilets, so come prepared with everything from water to cooking equipment, then kick back and admire that Cloudy Bay vista.

Setting up camp near the Cape Bruny Lighthouse (Image: Tourism Tasmania & James Bowden)
Setting up camp near the Cape Bruny Lighthouse (Image: Tourism Tasmania & James Bowden)


Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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