If you’re anything like me, I know you will have been dreaming about heading off on an international holiday, preferably laying on a tropical beach, with a cocktail in hand and not a care in the world. But a global pandemic squashed a lot of those tropical holiday dreams and instead we have had to stay put (for now).
But that isn’t at all a bad thing! If you can’t lay on that tropical beach, then why not lay under the stars in our own backyard. Australia is one of the most beautiful and diverse islands in the world and we have the perfect opportunity to be out exploring our spectacular country (even when we do again have access to those tropical islands).
Although the whole of Australia has so much to offer, we really do have some of the most pristine locations to explore within the Great Southern Region of Western Australia.
And if you head off that beaten track, you really can come across some beauties!
So with that sense of adventure in your mind, pack up the camping gear, throw in the cocktail shaker for good measure and check out some of these awesome free camp sites within our great outdoors.
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Lake Poorrarecup – Shire of Cranbrook
With its sandy shorelines and vast open water, you would never know that this campsite is not along the coast but is in fact situated around an inland fresh water lake! Lake Poorrarecup is a popular camping destination amongst all water sport lovers and provides sufficient room to swim, paddleboard, canoe and even has a ramp to launch your boat (know anyone with a ski boat?).
There is no potable water or power available, however facilities do include toilets and a shaded picnic area which is the perfect place to sit and replenish your energy between all that fun in the water.
If a dip in the water isn’t really up your ally, then don’t fret as the lake still has so much to offer. Take a walk around the bush trails and be sure to keep your eyes out for the various types of orchids during the wild flower season or sit back at sunset, relax and watch the beauty of the natural wildlife and resident water birds.
Torbay Inlet (also known as Floodgates)– Albany
Surfers and Fishermen take note, this is a camp site for you!
Be sure to pack the board as a short walk from your campsite will have you arriving at some epic waves and for those that like to throw in a fishing line, whiting can also be caught off the beach and Black Bream within the inlet.
This peaceful campsite is located 30km west of Albany’s Townsite and is surrounded by lush peppermint trees that provide welcomed shade and protection from the wind.
It is worth taking note that the campsites are smaller in size, so would not be suitable for larger caravans.
Access to the site can be made by 2WD however, if you have the opportunity to chuck a tinnie (aka boat) on the back of the car, you can launch via 4WD beach access.
Long drop toilets are located at the campsite; however, you will need to bring along your own power and water supplies.
Betty’s Beach – Albany
Albany is rich in history and this campsite is no exception!
Named after one of the original European settlers who liked to camp in the area some 200 years ago, this quaint little campsite is surrounded by some stunning coastal scenery. And by stunning I’m talking about rolling granite rocks, turquoise waters and squeaky white sand!
The campsite is closed to general campers from Mid-February to the end of April when the campground is accommodated by professional Salmon fisherman.
Out of this season when the fisherman aren’t occupying the campground, their presence is still felt amongst the quirky fisherman’s huts built at the site. Be sure to pop your head in some of the huts and check out the modern art (could also be called graffiti, depending on which way you look at it I suppose) left by passing artists.
The sites are suitable for tents and small caravans and as recommended for all free camp grounds, it is best to arrive earlier in the day to lock in a spot. Like the other free campsites, there are long drop toilets situated at the site, but you will again have to bring your own water and power supplies.
No BBQ facilities are available at any of these campsites and camp fires are not permitted. But chuck in your portable cooker or mini BBQ and let that inner MasterChef flow. If you have managed to snag yourself a fish, you could even take the title of becoming a full hunter gatherer, otherwise there are plenty of opportunities to purchase some local produce from farm stalls or town stores when passing through.
Try out some other activities in the area
Now while you are in the region and since you have saved some pennies via free camping, I would suggest checking out some of the broad array of activities to do within the region. Wine not (get it?) tingle your taste buds by visiting some of the stunning wineries within the Porongurup or Denmark regions or take in some more of Albany’s history by heading up Mount Clarence to the ANZAC memorial centre.
If you are more of the adventurous type, head out to hike one (or all) of the 6 peaks within the Stirling Ranges or head down to Bremer Bay where it’s the only place in Australia that you can head out on a tour to see Killer Whale watching in Australia in their natural habitat! Now I think that would certainly be an experience worth taking advantage of!
Wherever you decide to head on your Aussie camping trip, may adventures be had, happy memories be made and the drinks always be cold!
Happy Camping People!