Listed in the order in which we stayed at them.
- Ebor Sport and Rec Area, NSW – quiet site close to river, Ebor Falls nearby.
- Kendalls Camping Area, Rubicon, Victoria – a popular bush camp but fairly quiet, spacious sites, walking trails, fire pits, trout fishing rivers close by.
- Terowie Rail Yards, SA – very quiet site, lots of interesting walks, info centre, little store for basics, bbq’s in park, spotless toilets.
- Doon Doon Roadhouse WA. Free unpowered camping. Clean amenities, grassy sites, great location, hot meals and groceries. Interestingly, also had a cane toad disposal chute (for live toads only).
- Mary Pool WA. One of WA’s free rest areas which are off the highway, have picnic tables, toilets, a dump point, bins and are generally in a scenic spot.
- Whim Creek Hotel, WA. An iconic Pilbara pub. Free camping in a spacious area at the front which is off the highway.
- Galena Bridge Rest Area, WA – another of WA’s 24 hour free rest areas. A beautiful spot by the river with lots of space. I suspect people stay there longer than 24 hours.
- Avon Pioneer Park, York WA – a 24 hr council free stop with four power points (first in, best dressed). Opposite a well-stocked IGA and a short walk from the historic town centre.
- Kalgoorlie 24 hr RV park. Next to a large grassy park. Lots of room. Toilets and a drinking water tap. Closer to town than the van parks. Council Ranger visits twice a day to note down regos.
- Lake Ballard WA – A huge area for camping in a bushland setting, with plenty of shade. Picnic tables, fire pits, a long drop, rubbish bins and a dump point. No phone reception whatsoever. Easy walking distance to the huge salt lake and the ‘Inside Australia’ art installation by Antony Gormley. Biggest downside – huge horse flies. Best thing – completely quiet and hardly anyone else around.
- Green Hill Lake Reserve, 5km south of Ararat, Vic – This actually ticked all the boxes. Plenty of space, well maintained, scenic lake, dog friendly walks, toilets and rubbish bins, only 5km from a town, strong phone reception and also TV reception.
- Rotary Park, Echuca, Victoria. 48 hour stays. Lots of level grassy sites by the Campaspe River. A short drive to Echuca. $5 donation if you use the amenities or dump point. Toilets were locked though and no caretaker about.
- Cockle Creek, Tasmania. Lots of free spacious spots along the creek before you get to the National Park with no limit on stays. Beautiful beach on the other side. Very popular with locals and some permanents. A nice local told us they wouldn’t camp there over the summer. 20km unsealed road leads to the creek which is often quite rough. Oysters and mussels on the rocks in the creek.
- Swimcart Beach, Bay of Fires, Tasmania. A very popular camping area next to a beautiful beach with no limit on stays. Unsealed road leading to camping area – need to take it steady. Quite a few spots with direct beach access. Some permanents. Long drop toilets, no rubbish bins. Short drive to the town of St Helens. Lease 65 Oyster Farm also a short drive.
- Moonee Beach Holiday Park, NSW for its location – swimming, boating and fishing on the creek. Beach and headland walks. Great tavern within walking distance which allows pets in the beer garden.
- Snowy River Holiday Park, Dalgety, NSW for its location and friendliness of managers. Right on the Snowy River where Jonathan caught a huge trout. Also saw a platypus.
- Fossickers’ Tourist Park, Nundle, NSW – outstandingly well maintained park, quaint and interesting village.
- Jindabyne Holiday Park, NSW – the unpowered sites right on the lake side are good value and there are dog friendly walks around the lake. Town is in easy walking distance and has a great coffee roastery.
- Buronga Riverside, NSW for its facilities – car wash, dog wash, free laundry for pets’ bedding, riverside available for all to enjoy.
- Temple Bar Caravan Park, Alice Springs. Lovely location with the West Macdonnell Ranges behind. Friendly atmosphere and very dog friendly.
- Ayers Rock Resort Campground. Great May deal of stay 3 nights pay for 2 which made it $30 a night instead of $45. Lots going on in the Town Square for free. Most activities dog friendly. Lots of walks and could cycle round resort. Just outside of Uluru National Park.
- Barn Hill Station Stay WA. Amazing Indian Ocean views and sunsets. Friendly atmosphere, bowling green, Sunday roast, games nights. Beach easily accessible from campsite and dog friendly.
- The Cove Caravan Park, Point Samson WA. Quiet park with spacious sites and close to beach. Good fishing spots. Short drive to the historic town of Cossack and the lovely Settlers Beach where dogs are allowed.
- Queen’s Grove Caravan Village, SE Perth. A short distance from the CBD and only $30 for a powered site. Brand new amenities and the whole park is pristine. Good for plane spotters and people with flights to catch too.
- Kookaburra CP, Busselton, WA. The $39 a night was worth it for the location. Walking distance to the famous jetty. Not only are there dog friendly beaches directly over the road, the town is within walking distance and has every high street shop you can think of as well as Coles, Woolies and loads of takeaways.
- Nannup CP, WA. A lovely spot by the Blackwood River with several walking trails. Close to the quaint little town which has a big tourist information centre that also sells local produce.
- Eucla, the Eyre Highway, WA/SA border. There were some pretty dismal roadhouses along the Eyre Highway so this caravan park was a pleasant surprise. Roomy sites with views across the plains to the ocean. Spotless amenities and only $25 a night with power. Also has a little museum with lots of interesting info about the area.
- Streaky Bay Caravan Park, Eyre Peninsula, SA. Water view powered sites $45 but unpowered sites right on the beach only $27. Fish and chip shop in the park.
- Lake Colac Caravan Park, Victoria. Very relaxing park. Next to a botanic gardens which was dog friendly.
- Great Ocean Road Tourist Park, Peterborough. Riverside sites at no extra cost with walks down to a dog friendly beach. Spotless amenities and very well equipped kitchen. Very close to the 12 apostles and London Bridge.
- Maryborough CP, Victoria. Quiet, spacious sites, you beaut amenities. Next to Lake Victoria. Walking distance to a historic town and supermarkets, including Aldi. Best bookshop in Australia, run by the Lions Club.
Special mention goes to the Marina View Van Village in Hastings, Victoria for its excellent book swap. No Mills and Boon and smelly old books in this one!
Pet Friendly Parks
The 2017 June/July Issue of Time to Roam magazine features the top pet friendly parks in each state as voted by its readers. Our two favourite beaches are listed. Mudjimba Beach was voted Nr 1 Qld park and Moonee Beach was voted Nr 2 NSW park.
- Old Adaminaby NSW – lots of rabbits to chase – “Mum was worried I would disappear down a wombat hole by accident.”
- Cowes Caravan Park Vic – lots of rabbits to chase and beach runs
- Moonee Beach NSW – beach runs, lots of doggy pals, shallow creek for swims.
- Glenrowan Tourist Park Vic- carpet on the slab outside the van – “I hadn’t seen carpet for weeks, it was great.”
- Onslow Caravan Park WA – right on a dog friendly off leash beach – “I could almost have walked myself!”
“Traveling up through the red centre and across to the WA coast were the longest few weeks of my life. I made the best of things with rolls in the dust but it was hard to find grass without prickles . When we did get to some water, I wasn’t allowed in, in case of crocs.”