7 BEST Locations for FREE CAMPING Esperance in 2023!
Are you looking for free camping Esperance?
Esperance is a coastal town in Western Australia, renowned for its beautiful beaches and stunning scenery. With a mild climate year-round, it’s the perfect place to camp out under the stars without spending any money. Whether you’re looking for an isolated getaway or just want to explore the surrounding natural attractions, there are plenty of free camping spots in Esperance that will make your trip memorable.
I am a Western Australian local of 35 years, with 20 of those years working in the tourism industry, and I also love to camp, so I am here to guide you on the best Esperance free camping sites, so you can plan your next adventure with ease!
Let’s dive in!
This article contains some affiliate links which means that I may earn a small commission when you click on them, at no additional cost to you. I do hope you find the information in this article helpful!
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Free Camping Esperance – What Are The Rules
Unfortunately, free camping is not allowed in the Shire of Esperance. This includes national parks, car parks, coastal areas, or remnant bushland. Camping in the Shire of Esperance includes sleeping in a tent or vehicle.
It is illegal to go camping anywhere in the Shire of Esperance, unless it is a designated campsite or you have permission from the landowner. According to the Caravan and Camping Regulation (1997), failure to adhere to 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.
There are several other rules to observe if you decide to camp in Esperance:
- Campfires are only permitted at designated campsites, and there is a prohibited burning period each year. Check the current dates here – Shire of Esperance Burning Restrictions and Bans.
- To help keep the environment safe and pristine, keep off any dunes.
- Use designated footpaths and walking trails.
- Bring along reusable cups and water bottles.
- Dispose of rubbish thoughtfully.
- Don’t use the bush like a toilet, it is best if you take your own portable toilet with you.
🏕️🏕️🏕️NOT WHERE YOU WERE LOOKING FOR? Check out my other guides: Free Camping Busselton, Free Camping Albany, Free Camping Margaret River and Free Camping Kalbarri so you can free camp your way around WA! 🏕️🏕️🏕️
Free Camping Near Esperance
If you’re looking for free places to camp in Western Australia, plenty of options are available if you start to 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.
>>>Like free camping? Check out my complete guides: Free Camping Margaret River, Free Camping Busselton and Free Camping Kalbarri!
Free Camping In Esperance – Sites Within 100km Of Esperance
If you are looking for free camping in the surrounding areas of Esperance, there are a few options available. Here is my list of best options within 100km or so of Esperance:
1.Membinup Beach 4WD Campground
🌏DISTANCE TO ESPERANCE: 99km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: None | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: No | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 4WD, Tent, RV, Camper Trailer, Caravan |📍LOCATION: Daniels Road, Howick WA | Google Maps
Membinup Beach 4WD Campground is a great spot to camp for a few days due to its low-key atmosphere, minimal facilities, and stunning beach views. The campsite itself is located at the end of Daniels Road, about 99km from Esperance. If you’re heading to camp behind the dunes or on the beach, you’ll need a vehicle with 4WD capabilities as the track leading to the beach is quite sandy.
Once you arrive, there’s plenty to explore! There’s heaps to do from fishing to swimming and exploring the surrounding dunes. If you are camping on the beach, just make sure you’re mindful of the tides, as you would be at any beach camp.
You will also need to be completely self-contained here, as there are no facilities available at the campsite.
2.Membinup Beach 2WD Campground
🌏DISTANCE TO ESPERANCE: 99km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: None | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: No | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 2WD, Tent, RV, Camper Trailer, Caravan |📍LOCATION: Daniels Road, Howick WA | Google Maps
Membinup Beach is a low-key camping area with minimal facilities, perfect for those looking to head somewhere off the beaten track.
The 2WD access is perfect for those that don’t have a 4WD. It has stunning views and ample room for up to 20 vehicles, so it is ideal for groups of friends or family looking for a peaceful getaway. There are also picnic tables and a shelter available, making this the ideal spot for an outdoorsy retreat.
3.Condingup Community Oval
🌏DISTANCE TO ESPERANCE: 69km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: None | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: Yes | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 2WD, Caravans, Big Rigs, Camper Trailers, RVs, Tents |📍LOCATION: 94 Sutcliffe Street, Condingup WA | Google Maps
The Condingup Community Oval is an excellent option for those looking to camp in the Esperance area if you are fully self-contained. The community oval has plenty of space for large RVs, caravans, camper trailers and tents with a time limit of 72 hours.
There is no water or shower available on site but there are flushing toilets and bins in the campground. It is a perfect spot for a multi-night stay with large flat, grassy parking area, some shade and good phone reception. What’s more, it is only 69km away from Esperance!
The nearby Condingup Tavern offers some food and fuel if you need to replenish your supplies during your stay.
4.Mt Ridley’s Wave Rock Carpark – 4WD Only
🌏DISTANCE TO ESPERANCE: 74km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: | 🚻TOILET: Yes | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 4WD Only |📍LOCATION: Off Dempster Road, Mount Ney WA | Google Maps
If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-track experience, Mt Ridley’s Wave Rock Carpark is a great option for free camping within Esperance. It is 4WD only access, but if you have a capable vehicle it’s worth making the effort!
The carpark has plenty of space for tents, and offers excellent views of the iconic wave rock. There is also a toilet and bins provided, while pets are allowed on site. You can stay here for up to 24 hours, perfect if you need somewhere to break up your journey or spend the night before heading off again in the morning.
For those who are adventurous enough to venture out, there is a great deal of indigenous art to explore in the area – but be careful, it isn’t very well marked and tricky to find! The mini wave rock is pretty cool too. It’s a really good place to see, so remember your camera and make sure you follow the 4WD path from the car park until you bump into signs.
5.South Coast Highway Gravel Pit
🌏DISTANCE TO ESPERANCE: 83km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: No | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 2WD, Caravans, Big Rigs, Camper Trailers, RVs, Tents |📍LOCATION: Esperance WA | Google Maps
The South Coast Highway Gravel Pit is a great option for those seeking an off-the-grid camping experience within easy reach of Esperance. This unmarked gravel pit is located just off the South Coast Highway and is perfect if you are looking for a quiet spot away from the crowds for a one-night stay.
The gravel pit has lots of space for large caravans, RVs and tents and there is good phone reception in most areas. Pets are also allowed on site so it’s a great spot to stay without having to leave your pet at home.
What’s more, the area is relatively secluded from traffic and it’s very easy to level up – a great spot for an overnighter! Although there are no toilets or showers on site, it offers a secure and sheltered area away from the main road.
6.Truslove Rest Area
🌏DISTANCE TO ESPERANCE: 66km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: No | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 2WD, Caravans |📍LOCATION: Coolgardie-Esperance Highway, Grass Patch WA | Google Maps
The Truslove Rest Area is a great choice for those looking to camp near Esperance without having to pay if you just need someone to stay for one night. It is located 66km from Esperance and offers the perfect combination of convenience and tranquillity, with plenty of space for caravans and an excellent 4G Telstra signal.
Although there are no facilities such as toilets or showers, the peace and quiet of this spot make up for it. Plus, you can enjoy a morning walk in nature before heading off to explore the nearby Truslove North Nature Reserve!
Just make sure you don’t head as far down as the Nature Reserve when you’re picking where to camp, as you are not allowed to stay overnight there.
7.Scadden Road Old Stockpile Site
🌏DISTANCE TO ESPERANCE: 50km | ⏰TIME LIMIT: 24 hours | 🐶PETS ALLOWED: Yes | 🚻TOILET: No | 🚿SHOWER: No | 🚐ACCESS: 2WD, Tent, RV, Camper Trailer, Caravan |📍LOCATION: Coolgardie-Esperance Highway, Scaddan WA | Google Maps
If you’re looking for a free overnight rest bay near Esperance, then the Scadden Road Old Stockpile Site is perfect for you. It is a standard ex-gravel stockpile site, located 50km from Esperance, boasting easy access from both ends and a flat graveled area with good wind protection from surrounding bush.
Plus, the site is fairly level and provides a peaceful retreat after a long day of traveling, with very little noise from trains and road traffic. There are no facilities on site, being a roadside rest bay, and there’s also lots of litter in the nearby bush and plenty of mosquitoes too – so make sure you bring some insect repellent!
FAQs About Free Campsites In Esperance
Are There Any Free Camping Sites in Esperance?
Yes, there are a variety of free campsites located near Esperance. These include the South Coast Highway Gravel Pit, the Truslove Rest Area and the Scadden Road Old Stockpile Site. My favorites are Membinup Beach and the Condingup Community Oval.
What Facilities Are Available at the Free Camping Sites Near Esperance?
Most of the free campsites in Esperance do not have any facilities, such as toilets or showers. However, some spots may offer access to phone reception and flat gravel areas with wind protection from the surrounding bush.
Are Pets Allowed at the Free Campsites Near Esperance?
Yes, most of the free camping sites in Esperance allow pets on-site, especially the roadside rest areas. As long as you avoid National Parks and Reserves, your pets should be ok.
Is There Any Time Limit for Staying at a Free Campground Near Esperance?
Generally, most free camping spots near Esperance have a 24-hour time limit, especially the overnight rest areas. It is important to check the specific regulations of each campsite before you stay there, as rules and regulations can vary. When you arrive, look out for any signs that say that you can’t stay there or what the time limit is, and always have a backup plan in place.
Are There Any Rules I Need to Follow When Camping at Free Campsites Near Esperance?
Yes, it is important to follow all of the rules associated with camping in these areas. For example, you should always practice leave no trace principles when you are visiting a free campsite near Esperance and ensure that you don’t litter or damage the environment. Additionally, always obey any fire bans that might be in effect and check with local authorities for any other regulations you should be aware of before setting up camp.
Finally, make sure that you respect your fellow campers by not making too much noise or disturbing them late at night. By following these regulations, you can ensure that all of the free campsites near Esperance remain a safe and pleasant place for everyone.
Wrapping Up: Esperance Free Camping
Overall, free camping in Esperance is an amazing opportunity for travelers to explore this stunning region without breaking the bank. With plenty of campsites available, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs.
The beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters make this an ideal spot to relax and enjoy all that the area has to offer. As a bonus, you won’t have to worry about crowding or loud noises when camping here – so it’s perfect for those looking for a peaceful getaway.
If you’re planning to take a trip to Esperance, be sure to check out the free camping spots and save your money for something else!
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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!
💦Can you drink the water in Australia?
Yes — In all major cities in Australia, you can drink the tap water. There are very few areas that you can’t (mostly extremely remote locations that rely on rainwater or bore water). You should also never drink river, lake or dam water anywhere in Australia. I recommend a Brita Insulated Filtered Water Bottle to stay hydrated on long hikes and backcountry camping.
🚗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!