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Cost: FREE

Address: Watagan Forest Rd, Olney State Forest, NSW 2325

GPS: 33°3'46"S  151°20'11"E

Toilets: Longdrop or composting

Showers: No

Campfires: Yes

Max Stay: TBC

Road Access: 2WD

Water: Non-potable

Number of Sites: 20

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Big Rigs?: Yes

1. The Pines
Olney State Forest, NSW

The Pines campgrounds at the Olney State Forest, just west of Lake Macquarie and only two-and-a-half hours north of Sydney, provides a wonderful opportunity for adventure. Thanks to the many tall pine trees that give this camping spot its name, there are plenty of shady areas for you to pitch your tent, and there are drop toilets, fireplaces and picnic tables to make your stay more comfortable.

Explore the nearby Watagan Mountains during your stay, or go for a stroll along the Pines Walking Trail, which will lead you through rainforest to a rockpool, or the Abbotts Falls Walking Trail, which carries you into blue gum forests. You can collect firewood in the area and dogs are permitted. Note that the road into the forest is rough, but still accessible by 2WD.

LIFESTYLE  Bush Camps 

RIPPER
BUSH CAMPS

5

Relax and reconnect with nature at one of these out-of-the-way camping spots  

WORDS JANIE MEDBURY, IMAGES VARIOUS

Find more ripper bush camps at CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE

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Cost: FREE

Address: Mount Zero Road, Halls Gap, Vic 3381

GPS: -37.0889, 142.525

Toilets: Non-flush

Showers: Bush showers

Campfires: Yes

Max Stay: TBC

Road Access: 2WD

Water: Limited non-potable

Number of Sites: 30

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: No

Big Rigs?: Yes

2. Plantation Campground
The Grampians, Vic

How does a camping trip among the dramatic sandstone formations of the Grampians sound? Well, you will want to pitch your tent at the Plantation Campground, which is the biggest campground in the Grampians National Park – and better yet, it’s free. The grounds are located in the Grampians’ northern section within a pine forest, about three hours’ drive north-west of Melbourne. There’s 30 spots to choose from, with access to non-flush toilets, bush showers, fireplaces and picnic tables. The campground is close to Halls Gap, where you can get your hands on some great coffee and delicious pub meals; it’s also a short drive away from some great picnic areas and Aboriginal rock art. There’s also plenty of landmarks to check out, including The Balconies, Mackenzie Falls and Mount William, plus a few hiking trails to tackle, if you’re up for the challenge.

Find more ripper bush camps at CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE

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Cost: From $8 per adult per night

Address: Beardmore Road, North Walpole, WA 6398

GPS: -34.81808, 116.594249421

Toilets: Yes

Showers: No

Campfires: Yes

Max Stay: 3 nights

Road Access: 2WD

Water: Yes

Number of Sites: 8

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: No

Big Rigs?: No

3. Fernhook Falls Campground
Mt Franklin South NP, WA

Nestled within the jarrah forest is a lovely spot called Fernhook Falls, where in winter the water gushes furiously over the granite boulders, and in summer, it’s a calm, tranquil place. A trip here offers the perfect excuse to get the canoe out of storage, as there is a canoe launch near the campground at Rowell’s Pool. Bring the sneakers along too, because there’s a great walking trail that offers views of the cascading falls and beautiful forest.

There are eight campsites suitable for tents, small campervans and camper-trailers, plus two small huts. With a camp kitchen with gas barbecues, picnic tables, toilets and wood barbecues, your stay will be a comfortable one. The campground operates on a first in, first served basis and can get very busy in the summer holidays, so bear this in mind when planning your trip.

Find more ripper bush camps at CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE

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Cost: From $13 per 2 adults

Address: 28 Mile Crossing, Coorong SA 5264

GPS: -36.433108, 139.780949

Toilets: Yes

Showers: No

Campfires: Yes

Max Stay: 5 days

Road Access: 2WD

Water: Non-potable

Number of Sites: Plenty

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: No

Big Rigs?: No

4. 28 Mile Crossing Campground
Coorong NP, SA

Inhale the ocean breeze as you camp among the sweeping sand dunes and samphire flats at 28 Mile Crossing Campground in Coorong National Park. Known for its saltwater lagoons and wonderful landscape, the park is a protected area located 156km south-east of Adelaide. 

28 Mile Crossing offers a semi-protected, quiet place to camp at the southern end of the park, with level grassy areas sheltered by low trees. There is a walking trail down to the beach, and the campground is accessible via 2WD. The park is very popular for 4WDing, as well as fishing, swimming, kayaking, birdwatching and walking.

Find more ripper bush camps at CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE

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Cost: FREE

Address: Cnr Bruce Highway and Coventry Road, Guthalungra, Qld 4805

GPS: 19° 55' 24.78", 147° 50' 33.03"

Toilets: Yes

Showers: No

Campfires: Yes

Max Stay: 24 hours

Road Access: 2WD

Water: Yes

Number of Sites: Plenty

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Big Rigs?: Yes

5. Guthalungra Rest Area
Mackay, Qld

While not exactly out in the sticks, the Guthalungra Rest Area is the perfect place to stop and stretch your legs, let the kids or the dogs run around, and catch up on some sleep if you’re travelling along the Bruce Highway. Depending on which direction you are travelling from, you will find this rest area 250km north of Mackay, 63.5 km north of Bowen and 141km south of Townsville.

It’s free to stay here, although you can only stay one night, and pets are allowed. You will pretty much have everything you need here – toilets, drinking water, wood-burning barbecues (BYO wood) and eating areas. There’s also a nearby service station where you can stock up on fuel and food.

Find more ripper bush camps at CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE

LIFESTYLE  Bush Camps 

RIPPER
BUSH CAMPS

5

Relax and reconnect with nature at one of these out-of-the-way camping spots  

WORDS JANIE MEDBURY, IMAGES VARIOUS

1. The Pines
Olney State Forest, NSW

The Pines campgrounds at the Olney State Forest, just west of Lake Macquarie and only two-and-a-half hours north of Sydney, provides a wonderful opportunity for adventure. Thanks to the many tall pine trees that give this camping spot its name, there are plenty of shady areas for you to pitch your tent, and there are drop toilets, fireplaces and picnic tables to make your stay more comfortable.

Explore the nearby Watagan Mountains during your stay, or go for a stroll along the Pines Walking Trail, which will lead you through rainforest to a rockpool, or the Abbotts Falls Walking Trail, which carries you into blue gum forests. You can collect firewood in the area and dogs are permitted. Note that the road into the forest is rough, but still accessible by 2WD.

Cost: FREE

Address: Watagan Forest Rd, Olney State Forest, NSW 2325

GPS: 33°3'46"S  151°20'11"E

Toilets: Longdrop or composting

Showers: No

Campfires: Yes

Max Stay: TBC

Road Access: 2WD

Water: Non-potable

Number of Sites: 20

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Big Rigs?: Yes

Find more ripper bush camps at CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE

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Accessing your vehicle is as easy as one step up

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2. Plantation Campground
The Grampians, Vic

How does a camping trip among the dramatic sandstone formations of the Grampians sound? Well, you will want to pitch your tent at the Plantation Campground, which is the biggest campground in the Grampians National Park – and better yet, it’s free. The grounds are located in the Grampians’ northern section within a pine forest, about three hours’ drive north-west of Melbourne. There’s 30 spots to choose from, with access to non-flush toilets, bush showers, fireplaces and picnic tables. The campground is close to Halls Gap, where you can get your hands on some great coffee and delicious pub meals; it’s also a short drive away from some great picnic areas and Aboriginal rock art. There’s also plenty of landmarks to check out, including The Balconies, Mackenzie Falls and Mount William, plus a few hiking trails to tackle, if you’re up for the challenge.

Cost: FREE

Address: Mount Zero Road, Halls Gap, Vic 3381

GPS: -37.0889, 142.525

Toilets: Non-flush

Showers: Bush showers

Campfires: Yes

Max Stay: TBC

Road Access: 2WD

Water: Limited non-potable

Number of Sites: 30

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: No

Big Rigs?: Yes

Find more ripper bush camps at CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

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3. Fernhook Falls Campground
Mt Franklin South NP, WA

Nestled within the jarrah forest is a lovely spot called Fernhook Falls, where in winter the water gushes furiously over the granite boulders, and in summer, it’s a calm, tranquil place. A trip here offers the perfect excuse to get the canoe out of storage, as there is a canoe launch near the campground at Rowell’s Pool. Bring the sneakers along too, because there’s a great walking trail that offers views of the cascading falls and beautiful forest.

There are eight campsites suitable for tents, small campervans and camper-trailers, plus two small huts. With a camp kitchen with gas barbecues, picnic tables, toilets and wood barbecues, your stay will be a comfortable one. The campground operates on a first in, first served basis and can get very busy in the summer holidays, so bear this in mind when planning your trip.

Cost: From $8 per adult per night

Address: Beardmore Road, North Walpole, WA 6398

GPS: -34.81808, 116.594249421

Toilets: Yes

Showers: No

Campfires: Yes

Max Stay: 3 nights

Road Access: 2WD

Water: Yes

Number of Sites: 8

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: No

Big Rigs?: No

Find more ripper bush camps at CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE

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4. 28 Mile Crossing Campground
Coorong NP, SA

Inhale the ocean breeze as you camp among the sweeping sand dunes and samphire flats at 28 Mile Crossing Campground in Coorong National Park. Known for its saltwater lagoons and wonderful landscape, the park is a protected area located 156km south-east of Adelaide. 

28 Mile Crossing offers a semi-protected, quiet place to camp at the southern end of the park, with level grassy areas sheltered by low trees. There is a walking trail down to the beach, and the campground is accessible via 2WD. The park is very popular for 4WDing, as well as fishing, swimming, kayaking, birdwatching and walking.

Cost: From $13 per 2 adults

Address: 28 Mile Crossing, Coorong SA 5264

GPS: -36.433108, 139.780949

Toilets: Yes

Showers: No

Campfires: Yes

Max Stay: 5 days

Road Access: 2WD

Water: Non-potable

Number of Sites: Plenty

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: No

Big Rigs?: No

Find more ripper bush camps at CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE

Australia’s most luxurious slide out caravans

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5. Guthalungra Rest Area
Mackay, Qld

While not exactly out in the sticks, the Guthalungra Rest Area is the perfect place to stop and stretch your legs, let the kids or the dogs run around, and catch up on some sleep if you’re travelling along the Bruce Highway. Depending on which direction you are travelling from, you will find this rest area 250km north of Mackay, 63.5 km north of Bowen and 141km south of Townsville.

It’s free to stay here, although you can only stay one night, and pets are allowed. You will pretty much have everything you need here – toilets, drinking water, wood-burning barbecues (BYO wood) and eating areas. There’s also a nearby service station where you can stock up on fuel and food.

Cost: FREE

Address: Cnr Bruce Highway and Coventry Road, Guthalungra, Qld 4805

GPS: 19° 55' 24.78", 147° 50' 33.03"

Toilets: Yes

Showers: No

Campfires: Yes

Max Stay: 24 hours

Road Access: 2WD

Water: Yes

Number of Sites: Plenty

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Big Rigs?: Yes

Find more ripper bush camps at CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE