Caravan Parks are not our preferred place to set up camp.
Today many caravan parks, especially along the coasts, have upgraded their facilities to appeal more to families rather than the likes of us, they install such things as bouncing pillows, spectacular pool side entertainment facilities, and cabins, many cabins, the result is site rates have had to increase, often dramatically.
It is our experience that cabins in caravan parks tend to sit empty for the biggest part of the year, the school holiday periods which account for only about 12 weeks in total...add in the few long weekends and that's it. It is during these times that caravan park investments are enhanced, often rates during these times will double, triple or even quadruple. Grey Nomads of course do not use cabins.
Cabin installation costs a lot of money, money likely borrowed and of course needing to be repaid, caravan site rates are about the only year round way to recover that money.
We seek out cheaper alternatives; free camps, show grounds, recreation grounds and some of the smaller inland caravan parks. Many rural councils have accepted that the Grey Nomad movement does bring much needed funds into these country areas and in an attempt to attract visitors they provide free or low cost RV parking facilities, the amenities at these camps are often very basic, perhaps simply a toilet only, many, if not most Grey Nomads have their amenities with extended water holding capacity, ensuites, solar and generator electricity etc.
Showgrounds are now becoming more popular for low cost camping, often a towns show grounds will sit unused expect for weekend ofthe annual show or perhaps a dog show or similar, show grounds nearly always have the facilities caravanners require; power and water. The show ground trust, or council can benefit by allowing short term camping in these places, the towns merchants too, will benefit.
Often, on our trips, often during Happy Hour we will hear of a camp that we might like to visit, some times we simply stumble upon them, or we may find them on Wikicamps or Caravancaravan.com, the good ones we feel we should share.
Each site listed below contains a link to Wikicamps for a full and up to date description, it is not necessary to have the Wikicamps app on your computer but you will need to click your browsers 'back' button to return to our website.
Note that only sites we have actually camped in will appear here...click the names below or scroll down the page.
Glenriddle Reserve is near Barraba, off the Fossickers Way in NSW. We found Glen Riddle while we were on our ANZAC 2015 Trip..to date we think this is the best Free camp we have yet stayed at! Click the name to learn more.
Heifer Creek, on the road between Gatton and Clifton, Qld. This is a great route for caravanners when traveling from Brisbane to the Darling Downs, a tad windy and a little narrow in places but quite flat, Heifer Ck makes for an excellent stop along the way.
The Gatton to Clifton Road can be found just a passing through Gatton, not on the Bypass, its just a little north from town, its well sign posted.
Chinchilla Weir, 11km from Chinchilla in Qld, not a large place but right beside the weir. And power is available if you get in early, only a few points, pay $5 at tourist info in town.
Update...2015. following our second visit to the Weir we found an issue...with only two power poles supplying power to a number of RV's there were many 240v leads running across access roads, we don't think this is safe...if you are prepared to go without power this may not be an issue as there is plenty of space away from power.
The Website of Paul and Pam Greig - Queensland Australia
Mount Morgan...Silver Wattle Caravan park.
It is most unusual for us to list a commercial caravan park on our 'favourite camps' page, most of the places are free or low cost campsites....this one is an exception. Mount Morgan's Silver Wattle caravan park is indeed exceptional. All guests are given half a dozen eggs upon arrival, each evening a 'happy hour' is provided around a camp fire complete with nibblie's!....all this for $25 a night.
Gin Gin Showgrounds, Central coast region of Queensland.
Gin Gin Showgrounds are, to date, our favourite show grounds, the caretakers are good, the grounds and facilities are always well kept, it is easy to get a site with both water an power, not something easy to do in many show grounds, the water is good, the sites are large and it is with in easy walking distance to a well equipped town...it ticks all the boxes.
Calliope River North camp grounds sit on the banks of the Calliope river in the Gladstone region of Queensland.
There are two parts to this huge camp grounds, north and south with the river separating the two. The Northern section is the most popular as the amenities (Toilets only) are located there, the southern section is more for 'roughing it'. Campers can camp right on the river banks on the southern section, the northern section river banks are higher.
It is not uncommon to have 40 or more RV's here each night.
There is no drinking water nor dump point at the Calliope River Camps.
Barcaldine Show Grounds are one of our top show grounds, the town of Barcaldine, or Barcy as it is commonly known is on the Capricorn highway in Central Western Queensland. The show grounds have everything travelers would require, although not really cheap ($26 in June 2016) we were told it is better than the local caravan parks.
The show grounds are also with in walking distance to town, a feature we always like.
Kendall is a small town a little south of Port Macquarie on the NSW Mid Coast. The show grounds in Kendall became our home six nights, we used it as a base for sightseeing along the spectacular coastline in this part of the country.
Judd's Lagoon is a popular camp ground just off the Warrego Highway near the town or Yuleba in southern western Queensland. The lagoon is very attractive with lots of bird life. It is one of our favourite camps.
Yelarbon Recreation Grounds are run by local volunteers. It is well equipped with water and power, a laundry and flat campsites...it is one of our favourite places.
Of particular interest in the local policeman, Steve. Steve, a very friendly bloke will often drop by the camp grounds for a chat...when ever we arrive in Yelarbon we will honk on the horn as we pass the cop shop..that we get him down.