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11+ Best Locations for Free Camping Geraldton in 2024!

Looking for free camping Geraldton spots?

You’ve hit the jackpot! This post is your go-to guide for camping on a budget around Geraldton, Western Australia.

I’ll tackle the common headache of finding comfortable yet cost-free camping areas, ensuring you know exactly where to head for your next outdoor adventure.

With 35 years of living and breathing the Western Australian lifestyle, and two decades in tourism, I’m here to share the insider tips you need.

Whether you’re solo or with a troop, follow along as I uncover the best free camping gems in Geraldton, without denting your wallet.

BONUS: Skip to the end to see some really nice low-cost and by-donation options (under $20 a night!) if none of the free sites I list are suitable for you!

Free Camping Geraldton – What Are The Local Shire Rules

Unfortunately, free camping is not allowed “just anywhere” in the City of Geraldton, although they do have a good RV option in the centre of town (Francis Street Carpark).

In the Shire of Irwin, just south of Geraldton, covering the towns of Dongara and Port Denison, there used to be several great free camping spots, but they have changed their camping policy recently to allow for paid camping along Indian Ocean Drive in the Shire of Irwin, with a nightly fee of $20 per vehicle, and a max stay of three nights per visit.

For those with an RV or caravan, Dongara Town Oval offers overnight stays for self-contained vehicles at $10 per night, with a one-night limit. A Patrol Officer visits daily to collect fees, and there are rubbish bins and a dump point facility facilities provided.

If you’re looking to camp outdoors, you must do so only in a registered caravan park or designated camping ground. After all, it’s illegal to sleep anywhere else – whether that be on or around your vehicle, tent, caravan or swag in roadside parking and stopping areas that don’t have 24hr signs displayed.

If you decide to “risk it,” and get caught, you may receive an on-the-spot fine of $100.

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

St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Geraldton, Western Australia, showcasing its distinctive sandy-hued twin towers and central clock under a blue sky with fluffy clouds, a circular patterned forecourt in the foreground.
St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Geraldton

Free Camping Near Geraldton – What is the Law?

In Geraldton, if you’re on the hunt for free camping spots, roadside rest areas are a good bet. These spots typically allow a stay of up to 24 hours, so it’s crucial not to overstay your welcome.

Here’s the lowdown for free camping in Geraldton and Western Australia:

  • You can park your caravan, car, or RV at roadside rest areas for up to 24 hours.
  • In case of emergency, you’re allowed a 24-hour stay in a road reserve.
  • Camping is permitted on designated camping land, unallocated land, or in unmanaged reserves.
  • With landowner permission, you can camp for up to three days within a 28-day period.
  • If safety concerns prevent moving your vehicle, it’s acceptable to stop for a break, provided you don’t obstruct traffic or pose a risk to others.

You can read the Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Regulations 1997, look for Part 2, Section 11 “Camping other than at caravan park or camping ground.”

Camping regulations are designed to prevent disturbances and ensure community peace. By camping responsibly—being quiet, clean, and respectful—you’re likely to enjoy a hassle-free experience. Choose your camping spots wisely, avoid disruptions, and leave no trace to ensure a pleasant stay in Geraldton.

The bustling Geraldton Port with a large cargo ship docked at the iron ore loading terminal, set against a backdrop of vibrant turquoise ocean and a clear sky.
Geraldton Port

Free Camping In Geraldton – Sites Within 150km Of Geraldton

If you are looking for free camping in the surrounding areas of Geraldton, there are a few options available. Here is my list of best options within 150km or so of Geraldton:

1. Francis Street Carpark

🌏DISTANCE TO GERALDTON: 950m | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: Yes, 300m away and closes at around 8pm | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: RVs, Caravans, Big Rigs |📍LOCATION: Off Marine Terrace, Geraldton WA | Google Maps

In Geraldton, the Francis Street Carpark offers practical options for free camping, featuring eight 24-hour RV parking bays. This car park, located in the city centre, provides an RV dump station and water point. The car park’s location is a significant plus, conveniently close to the Visitor Centre, the Geraldton Foreshore, cafes, shops, and the Stirling Central shopping mall with a Woolworths.

Visitors should note that the carpark is adjacent to a 24-hour working port, leading to potential noise throughout the night, akin to loud traffic sounds. Some unusual loud noises, like thunderclaps, may occur, though this varies. Despite the noise, the area is well-lit at night for security, but offers little to no shade during the day, except for two seating areas near the ocean.

The Francis Street car park is designed for fully self-contained RVs, with a stay limit of 24 hours to accommodate more travellers. Amenities are limited; there are no dedicated facilities within the carpark, and the nearest toilet block, approximately 200-250 meters away, closes at sunset. The surrounding area does however, have tables, bins, walking and cycling paths, barbecues, a playground, and a boat ramp.

A Beach in Geraldton, with its calm blue waters meeting a clear horizon and a soft sandy beach flanked by grassy areas and a solitary windswept tree.
Geraldton Beach

2. John Batten Community Hall

🌏DISTANCE TO GERALDTON: 14km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: Yes | 🚿SHOWER: Yes | 🚐ACCESS: RVs, Camper Vans, Big Rigs, Cars with Rooftop Tents |📍LOCATION: 61 Whitehall Road, Drummond Cove WA | Google Maps

The John Batten Community Hall carpark in Drummond Cove, near Geraldton, has five overnight bays for non-self-contained vehicles. Here’s the lowdown:

  • Amenities: No ground tents allowed, but you’ll find accessible toilets, showers, picnic tables, barbeques, and a nearby swimming beach.
  • Family-Friendly: A playground and pet-friendly rules make it great for all family members.
  • Facilities: Clean toilets and showers are open 24/7, with facilities for wheelchair users.

It’s a popular spot with limited parking, so aim to get there before 4 pm. This quiet and tidy area is a top pick for free camping in Geraldton.

Ellendale Pool, a natural waterhole surrounded by steep rocky cliffs and lush vegetation, located near Geraldton. A serene oasis that is a favorite for free camping enthusiasts seeking the beauty of Western Australia's natural landscapes.
Ellendale Pool Campground

3. Ellendale Pool Campground

🌏DISTANCE TO GERALDTON: 50km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 5 nights | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: Yes | 🚿SHOWER: Yes | 🚐ACCESS: RVs, Camper Trailers, Caravans, Big Rigs, Tents |📍LOCATION: Ellendale Pool Road, Ellendale WA | Google Maps

Ellendale Pool Campground, located 45 km southeast of Geraldton, is a scenic spot with a rich history, marked by interpretive signs that highlight its Aboriginal and European significance. Part of the Yamaji Drive Trail, this natural water hole, bordered by gum trees and a rocky gorge, offers a very peaceful bush setting. Here’s the lowdown:

  • Facilities: Includes flushing toilets, cold outdoor showers, picnic and barbecue areas, a playground, and a dump point.
  • First-Come, First-Served Basis: Ellendale Pool operates on a non-reservation system, meaning sites are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, so arriving early can secure a prime spot.
  • Regulations: Dogs are allowed on a lead, but swimming is discouraged due to potential bacteria risks. No fires are allowed, and there’s no drinking water on-site.
  • Extras: A boat ramp is available for fishing, and the area is known for its beautiful early morning views and riverside walk trail.

Despite its beauty, visitors should be cautious of the summer heat and the river’s water quality. Currently, as of November 2022, camping seems to be free until further notice.

A farmer kneels in a harvested wheat field, holding the crop in his hand, with a large red combine harvester parked behind him under a vast, cloud-streaked sky.
Western Australian Farmer kneeling in a harvested wheat field.

4. Bringo Lookout Camp

🌏DISTANCE TO GERALDTON: 26km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: No | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: RVs, Camper Trailers, Caravans |📍LOCATION: 2087 Geraldton-Mt Magnet Road, Bringo WA | Google Maps

Bringo Lookout Camp, located 26 kilometers east of Geraldton, is a spacious option for free campers. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Views: Offers great vistas of Geraldton, nearby pastures, and the train line.
  • Space: Can comfortably accommodate 8-10 vans.
  • Privacy: More open area, so privacy could be less for non-self-contained setups.
  • Amenities: Flat, clean area with rubbish bins available.

Despite its proximity to roads and railways, Bringo Lookout remains a solid choice for those in search of scenic camping with essential facilities.

A flock of sheep grazing on a golden field with sparse trees in the background and a single utility pole standing tall. The pastoral scene captures the essence of rural life near Geraldton.
Sheep in a Western Australian paddock.

5. Coronation Roadside

🌏DISTANCE TO GERALDTON: 27km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: No | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: Caravans, RVs, Big Rigs |📍LOCATION: Coronation Beach Road, Howatharra WA | Google Maps

Coronation Roadside in Geraldton is a no-frills, free camping option on a deserted side road with a sturdy gravel surface. It’s reachable from both ends and fits any vehicle type. Here’s the scoop:

  • Scenery: Enjoy the northward view of sprawling farmlands.
  • Space: With careful parking, there’s enough room for multiple vans.
  • Privacy: Surrounded by bush, it offers a private and quiet atmosphere.
  • Setup: Designed for self-contained vehicles, featuring pull-through bays for easy access.

This spot is perfect for those seeking a simple, peaceful stay amidst nature. Just remember, it’s for self-contained rigs only, as their are no facilities here.

Expansive view of a harvested wheat field with undulating golden stubble under the vast Australian sky, and a cluster of trees adorning the distant hilltop.
Western Australian farm.

6. Ogilvie Gravel Pit

🌏DISTANCE TO GERALDTON: 69km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: No | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: Caravans, RVs, Big Rigs |📍LOCATION: North West Coastal Highway, Ogilvie WA | Google Maps

Ogilvie Gravel Pit, tucked beside a heavy vehicle site, offers a spacious area for free camping, but it’s only accessible to northbound vehicles. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Accessibility: Northbound access, catering primarily to self-contained vehicles.
  • Setting: Gravel terrain with scenic views when camped away from the road.
  • Family & Pet-Friendly: Ample space for kids to play, low road noise, dogs allowed, and generators permitted.
  • Facilities: Bins on-site, with good TV and mobile reception, including Telstra.

It’s a practical spot for a quiet stay, with the essentials covered for a comfortable, self-sufficient camping experience.

A vast, white sandy beach extends to the calm blue ocean under a sky scattered with clouds, with a few 4WD vehicles parked in the distance. This spacious beach setting is perfect for adventurers seeking free camping spots along the Geraldton coast.
Geraldton Beach

7. The S Bend Rest Area

🌏DISTANCE TO GERALDTON: 28km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: No | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: Caravans, RVs, Big Rigs |📍LOCATION: Brand Highway, South Greenough WA | Google Maps

Just off the highway, south of Geraldton, there’s a parking bay rest area nestled among a few trees, providing an open space for free camping. Here’s the scoop:

  • Location: Easily accessible, situated just off the highway, south of Geraldton.
  • Setting: An open area with some trees offering a bit of shade and scenery.
  • Vehicle Requirement: Strictly for self-contained vehicles to ensure minimal impact on the environment.

This spot is ideal for travellers seeking a straightforward, no-fuss stopover while exploring the region. With its convenient location and basic setup, it’s a handy option for a peaceful night’s stay on the road.

A winding river meanders through dense greenery, leading to the blue ocean in the distance, with a glimpse of the coastal city of Geraldton on the horizon.
Irwin River in Dongara

Low-Cost/By-Donation Camping Geraldton

Unfortunately there aren’t too many options for free camping around Geraldton, so it would be remiss of me to mention these super-low cost options:

8. RV Overnight Stay at the Dongara Town Oval

🌏DISTANCE TO GERALDTON: 64km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 💲COST: $10 per vehicle |🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: No | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: Caravans, RVs, Big Rigs |📍LOCATION: Waldeck Street, Dongara WA | Google Maps

At the Dongara Town Oval, there’s an overnight option for fully self-contained RVs and caravans, priced at $10 per vehicle. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Cost & Payment: $10 per vehicle, with fee collection daily by a local patrol officer via cash or EFTPOS.
  • Stay Limit: One night only to ensure availability for others.
  • Site Rules: No generator use after 10pm, oversized vehicle parking available, and no externally strung washing lines. You must have a portable toilet to stay here.
  • Local Amenities: Within walking distance to an IGA, bakery, and coffee shops.

Make sure to respect the site by using the rubbish bins and dump point facilities. This setup keeps the area pleasant for everyone and allows you to enjoy the local conveniences nearby.

A tranquil beach scene with clear turquoise waters and a sailboat in the distance, complemented by a sunny blue sky dotted with fluffy clouds. The sandy shoreline and protective rock wall create a picturesque setting near Geraldton.
Geraldton Town Beach

9. Coronation Beach Campground

🌏DISTANCE TO GERALDTON: 34km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 30 nights per year | 💲COST: $15 per person per night | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: Yes | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: RVs, Camper Trailers, Caravans, Big Rigs, Tents |📍LOCATION: 57 Coronation Beach Road, Howatharra WA | Google Maps

Coronation Beach, located about 28 kilometers north of Geraldton, is a renowned hotspot for beach lovers and windsurfers. Known for its world-class windsurfing conditions and its appeal to travelers, especially during the off-season, it’s a must-visit for those exploring the Mid West Coast. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Access: Easy to reach, with a marked turnoff and a sealed road leading directly to the campsite.
  • Facilities: Offers clean, sheltered campsites and picnic areas close to the beach, pit toilets, a shower cubicle, and a communal gas barbecue in the day-use area.
  • Camping Rules: Stay is limited to 30 nights per year. Camping is strictly in designated areas (1-21), and adherence to environmental and operational rules is enforced by an onsite caretaker to preserve the site’s natural beauty.
  • Beach Activities: Specific areas are designated for launching windsurfing and kite surfing equipment.

No water or power on-site, so come prepared. Payments are cash-only, and the campsite operates on a first-come, first-served basis, with no online booking. A caretaker is available to assist, ensuring a smooth camping experience at this prized beach destination.

Close-up of delicate pink Geraldton wax flowers with soft petals and prominent stamens, nestled among vibrant green foliage.
Geraldton Wax.

10. Fig Tree Crossing Picnic and Camping Area

🌏DISTANCE TO GERALDTON: 69km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 💲COST: By donation | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: No | 🚻TOILET: Yes | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: RVs, Camper Trailers, Caravans, Big Rigs, Tents |📍LOCATION: 1293 Chapman Valley Road, Yetna WA | Google Maps

Located alongside the Chapman River on the Chapman Valley Road, Fig Tree Crossing is a charming spot gaining favor among caravaners and campers. Here’s the lowdown:

  • Setting: Scenic valley location, and a nice drive out of Geraldton.
  • Facilities: Equipped with public toilets, dump point, BBQ, and shaded seating areas.
  • Quiet Surroundings: Much quieter than the free camping locations in Geraldton itself.
  • Cost by Donation: The camp operates on a donation basis, allowing you to contribute what you feel is fair for your stay.

This spot is ideal for travellers seeking a simple, nature-filled stopover in the Geraldton area.

A dome tent pitched amidst the sandy dunes with coastal shrubbery, basking in the golden light of a setting sun.
Rural Western Australia camp.

11. Yuna Overnight Camp

🌏DISTANCE TO GERALDTON: 89km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 💲COST: By donation | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: Yes | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: RVs, Camper Trailers, Caravans, Big Rigs, Tents |📍LOCATION: 6967 Chapman Valley Road, Yuna WA | Google Maps

Behind Memorial Hall in the tiny town of Yuna, there’s a handy spot for free camping, welcoming caravans and camper vehicles. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Amenities: Comes with the essentials like public toilets, BBQ facilities, and a playground.
  • Pet-Friendly: Bring your furry friends along—it’s dog-friendly.
  • Vehicle Access: Suitable for RVs, camper trailers, caravans, and big rigs. Tent camping is also permitted.
  • Stay Duration: You can stay for up to 24 hours, making it perfect for a quick stop.
  • Environment: Expect plenty of parking space, cleanliness, and a quiet atmosphere.

This location is great for those traveling near Geraldton, and definitely an off-the-beaten track location!

A curious kangaroo sits alert amongst the lush greenery, its ears perked and eyes watchful.
Spotting local wildlife is always fun!

FAQ: Geraldton Free Camping

Is There Free Camping at Geraldton?

Yes, there are free camping options around Geraldton. Locations like the Francis Street Carpark, John Batten Community Hall, Ellendale Pool Campground, and various roadside stops offer no-cost camping opportunities, mainly catering to self-contained vehicles. Most sites, like Fig Tree Crossing and the area behind Memorial Hall in Yuna, also provide basic amenities.

What Facilities Are Available at Free Campgrounds Near Geraldton?

Facilities at free campgrounds near Geraldton can vary but generally include:
– Public toilets and sometimes (rarely) showers
– BBQ areas and picnic tables
– Dump points at selected locations
– Playgrounds for children in some spots
– Limited or no water and power supply, so campers should come prepared

Is Geraldton Free Camping Pet Friendly?

Many free camping sites around Geraldton are pet-friendly, allowing dogs as long as they are kept on a leash. However, it’s essential to check the specific rules of each campground, as policies may vary.

Is There Mobile Phone Reception at Geraldton Free Camping Sites?

Mobile phone reception at free camping sites near Geraldton is usually good, especially with major service providers like Telstra. However, the strength of the signal can vary depending on the exact location of the campsite and its proximity to urban areas.

Are There Any Other Camping Restrictions at Geraldton?

Yes, please be mindful of your surroundings and adhere to local rules such as noise, and campfire restrictions. It’s especially important that you also only camp in designated areas. Also, please do not leave any rubbish behind as this can negatively impact the environment.

Is the Free Camping at Geraldton Safe?

Yes, all of these campgrounds are well-maintained and patrolled regularly by law enforcement authorities. However, it is always important to be aware of your surroundings and take necessary precautions for your own safety.

Wrapping Up: Geraldton Free Camping

Geraldton and its surrounding areas offer a variety of free camping options that cater to different needs, from self-contained vehicle spots to areas with basic amenities like toilets and BBQs. Whether you’re traveling with a pet or need a spot with mobile reception, you’ll likely find a suitable place near Geraldton. These sites provide a budget-friendly way to explore the stunning landscapes and attractions of the region.

If you’re planning to venture further north, be sure to check out our posts on free camping in Coral Bay and free camping in Kalbarri. They offer valuable insights and tips for making the most of your camping experience in these beautiful parts of Western Australia. So, pack your gear, embrace the adventure, and dive into our guides to discover more fantastic free camping spots along your journey!

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!