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Campervan parks, reservations Oct/Nov., free camping ???

Campervan parks, reservations Oct/Nov., free camping ???

Sep 28th, 2009, 06:50 AM
  #1  
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Campervan parks, reservations Oct/Nov., free camping ???

We'll be spending 11 days in QLD and 5 days in the red centre with 2 different motor homes.

One question we have is: In QLD late October (24th - Nov 3) will we be able to pull up to campervan parks without advance booking and find a spot? How about Nov. 4 -7 at the red centre?

We HATE to make advance reservations, especially when we don't have a feel for the amount of time driving takes from A to B in a new country. Plus we don't know how much we'll enjoy each spot and whether we'll want to linger at any of the places we visit.

We love spontaneity. Are we setting ourselves up for disappointment?

Is free-camping a possibility or is it discouraged and unappealing? It was so wonderful free-camping in NZ, we're hoping to duplicate the experience in OZ.

Thanks for your input.
KimbyMT is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 07:00 PM
  #2  
 
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Australia is not as set up for free camping as NZ.
You should be fine at that time of year without advance bookings.
Saltuarius is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 07:56 PM
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You should not free camp within say 5-10klms of a town. They definitely wouldn't like that and I think, but don't quote me, that is illegal to do so.

We free camp a bit but it is more along the wide open spaces and we are always with a group of people. Not sure if I'd be quite as keen if we were just on our own though.
stormbird is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 08:24 PM
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I'm with stormbird. Yep, free camp (I'd call it bush camping) but not close to towns. It's a good idea to be well off the road if you are bush camping - head up a side road for a couple of kilometres.

Red Centre - I'd not see remote bush camping as being a great idea. But you can camp at places like roadside stops, where there are often other campers and caravans. I've done that.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 06:41 PM
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Can anyone suggest camping locations (away from the road and traffic, and ideally with some appeal) in the following locations:

- on the route between Alice Springs and Uluru (we pick up the campervan mid-afternoon in Alice, and doubt we could get all the way to Uluru before dark when the suicidal kangaroos attack),


- closer to Alice, if it isn't feasible to attempt the drive to Uluru after 3 pm


- near Uluru, perhaps between Uluru and Kata Tuja (we'd like to avoid the tourist throngs at the Yulara Voyages monopoly campervan park)


- and somewhere along the sealed route between Kings Canyon and Alice (we will have to get the campervan back to Alice by 3:30 pm on day 5, so ideal location would get part of the drive out of the way the day before after exploring KC)

Also any tips for non-commercial camping grounds in N QLD would be good too.

Thanks for input already received and yet to come.
KimbyMT is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 06:44 PM
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Check out Finke River between Alice and Yulara.
Between Ulaeru and Kata Juta - camping is not possible, as you are in the National Park. The camping ground at Yulara is OK and spacious.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 07:47 PM
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Peter, how many hours do you reckon it takes to drive from Alice to Finke River? And are there any camping spots (not necessarily developed campervan parks) between Yulara and Kings Canyon?

Do the Aboriginals object to free camping in/near the red centre? We will have a self-contained campervan, so don't need the facilities of an organized park. Unless it's so dam hot that we need to run the AC.

Does it cool off at night in the red centre in early November?
KimbyMT is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 12:18 AM
  #8  
 
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KimbyMT you might find this site useful for your camping requests. www.greynomadaustralia.com.au/
Saltuarius is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 02:20 PM
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Hi Kimby,
It is about 125 km from Alice to Finke River - say 1.5 hours or so. Yo go past the original telegraph station and the spring that gave Alice its name.

a useful site:
whereis.com gives you distances on the roads.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 03:00 PM
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Peter, isn't Finke River on a 4WD road? Rental contract allows only sealed roads or well-maintained entrance roads to established campgrounds. Does Finke qualify?
KimbyMT is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 03:04 PM
  #11  
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whereis.com won't let me enter places like King's Canyon or Watarrka National Park. It assumes I'm looking for a street named that. And you can't enter the park name as a business unless you know a street address for it.

Any suggestions?
KimbyMT is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 06:29 PM
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whereis.com is a bit limited, I agree.
Finke is not on a 4WD road - it is an OK place to camp, and not far off the bitumen.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 09:41 PM
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Curtin Springs roadhouse (about 90 km east of Yulara)has a free unpowered camping ground. There is a small camping/caravan park at Mount Ebenezer which is about 180 km east of Yulara. The Erldunda roadhouse on the intersection of Stuart Highway and the Lassiter Highway has a good caravan park.
There are two or three rest areas between Kings Canyon and Alice Springs where you could stop for the night.
Tell us where you plan to go in North Queensland and I'm sure we can come up with some suggestions.
At that time of year, I feel fairly confident you could get into caravan parks anywhere without booking ahead.
marg is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 10:26 PM
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I've just found this site in the " Grey Nomad's Guidebook" by Cindy & Jeremy Gough.
Rest area map for the NT..
http://www.nt.gov.au/transport/ntroa...side/restareas

Hope it works.Safe trip.
Carrabella is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2009, 03:32 PM
  #15  
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Thanks all, for the recommendations.

Peter, I was thinking of Finke Gorge. Where is the Finke River you speak of? Is it along the paved route from Alice to Uluru?

marg, are those rest areas between KC and Alice along the sealed route? I hope.

Carabella, I will try your link. My initial impression of the Grey Nomad website mentioned by Saltuarius was that there were few threads, few posts, and little activity since 2007, but I might not have visited the right parts of it.

In QLD, we will head from Cairns north to Palm Cove and Port Douglas, Daintree/Mossman, Cape Trib, and from Cairns south who knows how far, Mission Beach, Townsville? Inland we might go to Undara, maybe Chillagoe.

Not decided on Kuranda. Probably wouldn't spring for the train and skyrail, but drive there (campervan costs 155 per day; hate to park it and pay another pile of money for alternate transportation!), and Kuranda itself sounds pretty tourist-tacky. If there are other rainforest locales on our itinerary that are just as good or better, we could easily give Kuranda a miss.

Would love to hear about camping opportunities along these routes, thanks.
KimbyMT is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2009, 03:37 PM
  #16  
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Good link, Carabella. It answers my question to Peter. Finke river rest area is north of Erldunda, 126 km south of Cairns.
KimbyMT is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2009, 10:19 PM
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Re the Finke River, please don't go looking for water. The Finke has only about three permanent water holes - the rest is usually dry river bed.

Yes, the rest areas between Kings Canyon and Alice are on bitumen. We have just been through NT with a caravan.

Some suggestions for free camping - Babinda (about 60 km south of Cairns) has a great free camp ground at The Boulders - no power but a good toilet block. The Boulders is a very pretty spot, worth visiting. Babinda is on the Bruce Highway, turn westwards in the town (The Boulders will be signposted) and the camp ground is two or three km.

We always stay at Crystal Cascades Caravan Park in Cairns - one of the nicest we have come across, so I can recommend that. Palm Cove (which is a lovely little village) has a caravan park right on the beach. It's run by the council and is reasonably basic but in a great location.

Re Undara, we stayed in the camp ground there and weren't impressed with the facilities. Several friends have stayed Mount Surprise and have recommended the caravan park there.

There is a free camping area about 20 km north of Townsville at Blue Waters (west side of the highway) plus a inexpensive caravan park on the other side of the highway. There is also an overnight rest area at Saunders Beach, turn off the highway about 20 km north of Townsville.

There is a rest area just north of Mossman which allows overnight camping.

El Arish (on the highway near Mission Beach) has an overnight rest stop. There is a council caravan park right on the beach at Mission Beach. There is an overnight rest area at Rollingstone, turn off the highway and go through town. Tully has two free overnight rest areas - check with the visitors' centre for details. The Bilyana rest area 22 km south of Tully is usually full overnight.

Kuranda is very touristy - if you are going to Cape Trib, I'd take Kuranda off the list.

Hope some of this is of help to you.

PS - are you going to visit Paronella Park? I understand that you can camp there fairly cheaply.
marg is offline  
Oct 4th, 2009, 01:37 PM
  #18  
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Thanks for all the recommendations.

"There is a council caravan park right on the beach at Mission Beach."
Would reservations be needed here? In late October/early November could we just show up late afternoon and expect to find a place to park the campervan?

Something I've wondered: When you have a van/motorhome, you have to leave your campsite to go sightseeing - how do you indicate you intend to return to the site so someone else doesn't grab it?
KimbyMT is offline  
Oct 4th, 2009, 09:29 PM
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Here's another link to try.. users' reviews www.home.vicnet.au/~badger04
Carrabella is offline  
Oct 5th, 2009, 07:38 AM
  #20  
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"Sorry, the page you were looking for cannot be found
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable."
;-(
KimbyMT is offline  

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