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11+ Best Locations for Free Camping Albany in 2024!

Are you looking for free camping Albany?

Albany is known for its beautiful landscapes, stunning coastline, and unique wildlife. It’s no wonder that free camping Albany is so popular! From sandy beaches to lush forests, there are plenty of places to stay in the area without having to spend a dime. Whether you’re looking for some secluded beach camping or something more central, I’ve got you covered!

I have lived in Western Australia my whole life and I have visited Albany numerous times over the last 35 years. In fact, I even gave birth to two of my sons in Albany as it had the nearest hospital to where we were living! I’ve camped more times than I can remember – and I absolutely love it – especially now as my kids are getting older. When it comes to free camping in the Albany area, I have some of the best spots to share.

Let’s dive in!

Free Camping Albany – What Are The Rules

Unlike lots of other places in WA, the City of Albany actually allows free camping as long as it is at a designated free nature-based campground.

Outside of these three campgrounds, like the rest of WA, you are not allowed to camp in national parks, car parks, coastal areas, or remnant bushland via sleeping in a tent or vehicle.

It is illegal to go camping anywhere in the City of Albany unless it is on land designated for camping by the landowner. Not adhering to the Caravan and Camping Regulation (1997), ignoring these rules will result in either an on-the-spot fine of $100 through infringement or, more seriously, a summons for up to $1,000 if brought before a court.

If you do decide to camp at one of the designated free nature-based campgrounds in Albany, there are several rules to adhere to:

  • Sites cannot be pre-booked so have some back-up accommodation planned in case the campgrounds are full
  • Camp only in the designated bays
  • Stay for no more than seven days during peak periods.
  • Do not drink the water from public toilets as it is non-potable.
  • Drinking water can be found in Albany or other nearby townsites like Manypeaks and Wellstead.
  • Rubbish bins are provided, however campers are encouraged to take their rubbish with them due to limited capacity during peak periods.
  • No fires are allowed at any time.
  • Dogs are allowed, but must be on a leash at all times.
  • There is limited or no mobile reception in the area.
  • Camp Hosts are available during peak seasons (November-April).

🏕️🏕️🏕️NOT WHERE YOU WERE LOOKING FOR? Check out my other guides: Free Camping Busselton, Free Camping Margaret River, Free Camping Esperance and Free Camping Kalbarri so you can free camp your way around WA! 🏕️🏕️🏕️

Crystal clear water lapping at the shore of a beach at a free camp near Albany

Free Camping Near Albany

If you can’t get into one of the free nature-based campgrounds within the City of Albany, maybe you should consider roadside rest areas. Bigger rest stops often allow you to stay for up to 24 hours, just make sure not to set up camp and stay any longer than that.

The rules are simple – you can camp at a caravan park or campground, or you may camp elsewhere under the following rules:

  • Stay for up to 24 hours in your caravan, car, or RV at any roadside rest area.
  • Stay for up to 24 hours in a road reserve if you need to rest in an emergency
  • On land that is set aside for camping
  • On unallocated land or in an unmanaged reserve
  • Within 28 days, you can camp on private land with the permission of the landowner for up to 3 days

If you are in a situation where it is unsafe to move your caravan/vehicle, taking a short rest break is permissible – as long as you aren’t obstructing the road or putting other drivers at risk. If you’re feeling too exhausted or inebriated to drive, it is perfectly acceptable to stop and take a break as long as you don’t cause disruption on the roadways or put other drivers at risk.

The laws regarding camping and caravans were made to deter vagrancy and disruptive crowds from congregating in certain areas while protecting local communities from disturbance.

As long as you are respectful, quiet, and tidy when camping or caravanning, chances are you won’t run into any problems. Just make sure to pick your spots carefully and not cause any disruption or leave anything behind and you should be ok.

Free Camping In Albany – Sites Within 100km Of Albany

For those seeking free camping near Albany, I can provide a few solutions located within 100km or so of the town. Here are my top picks:

1. East Bay Camping Ground

🌏DISTANCE TO ALBANY: 52km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 7 Days | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: Yes | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 2WD, Tent, Camper Trailer |📍LOCATION: Off Bettys Beach Road, Manypeaks WA | Google Maps

East Bay Camping Ground is a very small free campsite located within Eucalypt Mallee shrubland, with direct access to the beach, just 53km east of Albany. It is a great spot for fishing, bird watching, nature walks and more!

Although it is suitable for 2WDs, it’s not recommended to bring a caravan or large campervan here, due to the steepness of the access road and lack of available turning space within the campsite. Camping on the beach is not permitted.

Due to its popularity, the campground has a limited number of non-demarcated camping sites that tend to be full all the time, so it is best to try to arrive between 8am and 10am to try and snag a spot.

If you are in need of any basic supplies, Manypeaks is a short 13km drive from East Bay, and aside from stocking all sorts of alcohol as well as ice, they also carry general grocery supplies.

2. Bettys Beach

🌏DISTANCE TO ALBANY: 50km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 7 Days | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: Yes | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 2WD, Tent, RV, Camper Trailer, Caravan, Big Rigs |📍LOCATION: Betty’s Beach Road, Manypeaks WA | Google Maps

Bettys Beach camping ground is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway with its stunning white sandy beach, crystal clear waters, and majestic views. Spend the day swimming, fishing, and exploring the area around Bettys Beach before settling in for the night under your own star-filled sky.

Unfortunately, Bettys Beach does close every year from mid-Febuary until late April/early May, so the professional fisherman can fish for salmon, but if you are looking for a free campsite in Albany at any other time of year, this is one of the best.

Long-drop toilets are available here, but not much else, so you’ll need to be self-contained to stay. There are only 6 sites available here, and it is accessible to RVs, camper trailers, caravans and big rigs. With its friendly atmosphere and pet-friendly policy, Bettys Beach is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a free spot in the Albany region.

There is patchy phone reception in the campground, however, if you head to the day-use area, you should be able to pick it up. Also, remember that no bins are provided here, so make sure to take all your rubbish with you when you leave.

3. Normans Beach

🌏DISTANCE TO ALBANY: 51km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 7 Days | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: Yes | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 2WD, Tent, RV, Camper Trailer, Caravan |📍LOCATION: Normans Beach Road, Manypeaks WA | Google Maps

Normans Beach is a great spot for those seeking to explore the Albany region in search of some peace and quiet. With only 4 campsites available, this is the perfect spot for a getaway with your family or friends.

Normans Beach is a short walk to the Southern Ocean, and the beach is easily accessible via a short trail and set of stairs over the dunes. You can also bring your pets along in accordance with the campground’s pet-friendly policy.

The campsites are suitable for 2WDs, tents, RVs, camper trailers, and caravans, and are unpowered. Be aware that if the campground is empty, it’s much easier to maneuver larger set-ups around, but if it’s full, you may struggle to get out.

Facilities here include toilets, picnic tables, and bins. There is no mobile phone reception and generators can be used between the hours of 7.30 am and 10 pm.

A seven-day maximum stay applies all year round, and no fires are allowed at any time. So, if you’re looking for a secluded beach setting surrounded by coastal scrub, Normans Beach is the perfect spot!

4. Lake Nunijup

🌏DISTANCE TO ALBANY: 89km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 21 Days | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: No | 🚻TOILET: Yes | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 2WD, Tent, RV, Camper Trailer, Caravan, Big Rigs |📍LOCATION: Off Stockyard Road, Tenterden WA | Google Maps

Lake Nunijup, whilst a little inland from Albany, is certainly within driving distance, and if you are staying a while in the area, the 21-day time limit makes it a really good option.

There are stunning views of the lake here, plus loads of bird life, and the water is perfect for swimming. It’s a really big space, with lots of large flat spots available, so you can camp right along the lake’s edge or further back amongst the trees, or even in the large flat area near the flushing toilets.

Cranbrook is just a 25km drive away if you need supplies, and if you are staying between April and October, you can even have a fire! Lake Nunijup is close to the Stirling Ranges, the Porongorups, and also the wineries around Frankland River. I would definitely rate this free camping site near Albany!

5. Green Range Rest Area

🌏DISTANCE TO ALBANY: 74km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 Hours | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: No | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 2WD, Tent, RV, Camper Trailer, Caravan, Big Rigs |📍LOCATION: South Coast Highway, Green Range WA | Google Maps

If you are looking for a night of peaceful rest near the Albany region, Green Range Rest Area is the perfect spot. This roadside rest area offers 24-hour free camping and is open to all types of vehicles, including 2WDs, tents, RVs, camper trailers, caravans, and even big rigs.

The rest area is separated from the road by a strip of trees and bushes, making it almost soundproof from the noise of passing cars. Plus, pets are allowed so you can bring your furry friend along for a night under the stars!

The rest area is located in close proximity to some great local beaches, such as Cheynes Beach (one of my favourites for beach 4WDing and fishing!) and Cape Riche which are both just a 30-minute drive away. So if you’re looking for an easy overnight, this is it!

6. Kalgan Road Side Stop

🌏DISTANCE TO ALBANY: 22km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: No | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 2WD, Tent, RV, Camper Trailer, Caravan, Big Rigs |📍LOCATION: South Coast Highway, Kalgan WA | Google Maps

Kalgan Road Side Stop is a great free overnight rest area for travelers heading to or from Albany. It’s located just 22km east of the city and offers 24 hours of free camping with access for all types of vehicles, including 2WDs, tents, RVs, camper trailers, caravans, and even big rigs.

The roadside stop is separated from the road by a strip of trees and bushes, making it almost soundproof from the noise of passing cars. Plus, pets are allowed so you are fine to bring your dog!

If you’re looking for a convenient place to stay near Albany with lots of natural beauty surrounding it, Kalgan Road Side Stop is the perfect spot. Staying here will give you the opportunity to take advantage of Albany’s local attractions, such as its gorgeous beaches, wineries, and national parks, perfect!

7. King River Rest Area

🌏DISTANCE TO ALBANY: 14km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: No | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 2WD, Tent, RV, Camper Trailer, Caravan, Big Rigs |📍LOCATION: South Coast Highway, King River WA | Google Maps

Not the nicest overnight rest area in the Albany area, but can do in a pinch, and handy as it is very close to town. You must be full self-contained to stay here as there are no facilities.

This rest area is located just 14km from Albany and offers 24 hours of free camping with access for all types of vehicles, including 2WDs, tents, RVs, camper trailers, caravans and even big rigs.

The rest area’s proximity to town makes it an ideal spot if you need some supplies or want to make use of town services.

8. Napier Creek Rest Area

🌏DISTANCE TO ALBANY: 25km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: No | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 2WD, Tent, RV, Camper Trailer, Caravan |📍LOCATION: Chester Pass Road, Napier WA | Google Maps

If you’re looking for a peaceful overnight stay near Albany, Napier Creek Rest Area is an ideal spot. It’s located just 25km from the city and offers 24 hours of free camping that’s accessible to 2WDs, tents, RVs, camper trailers and caravans, with one entry and exit and a loop road and turn around space.

While there is no toilet or shower available, the rest area is quite pretty with a little creek running nearby and plenty of blackberries to pick if you’re game. There’s also a picnic table and rubbish bins available. Plus, it’s only 20 minutes from Albany and 20 minutes from the spectacular Granite Sky Walk at Porongorup National Park.

Be aware that the rest area can be a bit noisy from trucks driving by and it’s also tucked away off the main road behind trees, so can be hard to see. But once you find it, Napier Creek Rest Area is an excellent place for a peaceful overnight stay.

9. Dunsky Beach Camp – 4WD ONLY

🌏DISTANCE TO ALBANY: 41km | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: No | 🚻TOILET: No | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 4WD only – don’t tow anything here |📍LOCATION: Off Dunsky Beach Road, West Cape Howe WA | Google Maps

If you’re after a secluded camping experience near Albany, Dunsky Beach Camp is the spot to go. It’s located 41km from the city and accessible only via a VERY rough 4WD – no towing recommended – so it’s perfect for those who are extremely experienced at off-roading and don’t mind scratches on their 4WD.

The track in is incredibly tough, so make sure you come with another vehicle and all the suitable recovery equipment just in case. Access is via Dunsky Beach Road – be careful of following Google Maps as it may try to take you to Shelly Beach and a walking track.

As for the campsite itself, there is room for 3 small camps down just before the beach, in a very sheltered location. There are no facilities here, so make sure you are fully self-contained.

Dunsky Beach is excellent for fishing and swimming, and also enjoying the seclusion. You won’t find many people here – just the way I like it!

10. Hay River

🌏DISTANCE TO ALBANY: 38km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: No | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 2WD, Tent, Camper Trailer, Caravan |📍LOCATION: Off Keith Road, Youngs Siding WA | Google Maps

If you’re looking for a peaceful overnight stay close to Albany, Hay River is an ideal spot. Located just 38km from the city, this rest area offers 24 hours of free camping that’s accessible to 2WDs, tents, camper trailers and caravans.

The Hay River area is very picturesque – surrounded by rolling hills and a tranquil river. There are plenty of great spots for fishing, swimming or just relaxing and taking in the fresh country air. It’s also suitable for small caravans or camper trailers as there is enough room to park two vehicles side-by-side.

The road leading into Hay River is quite corrugated in places, so please drive carefully. But once you get there, you’ll be rewarded with peace and serenity – the perfect spot to relax and unwind! There are no facilities available here, so make sure you come fully self-contained. Enjoy your stay at Hay River!

11. Woogenellup North Rest Area

🌏DISTANCE TO ALBANY: 62km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: No | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 2WD, Tent, RV, Camper Trailer, Caravan, Big Rigs |📍LOCATION: Chester Pass Road, Woogenellup WA | Google Maps

Woogenellup North Rest Area is an excellent choice for those seeking a stopover between the Stirling Ranges, the Porongurups, and their surrounding areas. Being a roadside rest area it does have a 24-hour time limit, but it provides ample space for all kinds of vehicles, from 2WDs to Big Rigs.

Located just 62 kilometers from Albany, this rest area also has some great amenities such as a picnic table, rubbish bin, and plenty of trees and bushes providing privacy from the road. It is pet-friendly with plenty of room to walk and great views of Bluff Knoll and surrounding canola fields.

No toilets here though, so make sure you’re self-contained before stopping here.

FAQs About Free Campsites In Albany

Are There Any Free Camping Sites in Albany?

Yes, there are several free camping sites in the Albany area. These include Hay River, Dunsky Beach Campground and Woogenellup North Rest Area. Each offers a different range of amenities and access requirements – please check out each individual listing for more information.

What Facilities Are Available at the Free Camping Sites Near Albany?

Most of the free camping sites near Albany generally have no facilities such as toilets and showers. However, some sites do offer picnic tables and rubbish bins, so please check out each listing for more details. It’s probably just easier to make sure you come fully self-contained if you plan on staying at one of these free campsites.

Are Pets Allowed at the Free Campsites Near Albany?

Yes, most of the free roadside rest areas near Albany are pet-friendly, however any free campsite that is on the beach or in a National Park tends not to be. It’s best if you check the requirements of each location you’re planning at camping at before bringing your dog.

Is There Any Time Limit for Staying at a Free Campground Near Albany?

Yes, all of the free campgrounds in Albany have time limits to stay there. Most of the free roadside rest areas near Albany have a 24-hour time limit for visitors, whereas the nature-based campgrounds on the beach have a 7-day limit. If you plan on staying longer than this, you’ll need to find a paid campsite or caravan park in the area.

Are There Any Rules I Need to Follow When Camping at Free Campsites Near Albany?

Yes, it’s important to remember that when camping at free campsites near Albany you need to leave the area exactly as you found it. This means picking up all your litter and disposing of it properly, not making excessive noise, being considerate of other campers and respecting any wildlife in the area. To help keep these areas enjoyable for all, please stick to the rules and regulations of each campground.

Wrapping Up: Albany Free Camping

Free camping in Albany is a great way to experience this beautiful region of Western Australia, with some lovely sites offering plenty of amenities and room for all kinds of vehicles.

With the right preparation and planning, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy some serene locations while taking in all that nature has to offer.

Remember to follow the rules wherever you stay and be respectful of other campers, and you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience in Albany. Enjoy!

Australia Travel Planning Guide

🚑Should I buy Australian travel insurance?

100% YES! — Australia has “free” healthcare but it’s only for citizens and permanent residents. Foreigners visiting need travel insurance in case anything happens on their visit. I like SafetyWing – their Nomad Insurance starts at just $1.50 USD a day!

🚗Should I rent a car in Australia?

Yes — Renting a car is a necessity in most of Australia! If you want to go on road trips or adventures outside of the major cities, and even if you’re staying in a major city, you’ll want to rent a car. If you are visiting Margaret River, it will be even more important that you hire a car, you’ll need it to be able to get around and see all the great attractions and wineries!

🏨What’s the best way to book my Australian accommodation?

My go-to for Australian hotels is Booking.com. Pretty much all registered accommodation use Booking.com (but not necessarily any of the other major booking platforms), and even most of the holiday homes and caravan parks use Booking.com too!

If you’re planning a trip to Australia where you will stay at multiple locations, it’s super handy to have all your accommodation listed in one place, and accommodation owners like Booking.com because it’s easy to contact the guests using the messaging platform if the guest has an international phone number.

I sincerely hope you enjoy your visit to Margaret River!