There’s no place like home — especially when these ‘places’ boast gorgeous, natural hot springs in the middle of a desert, incredible views of mountain ranges, white sand, blue surf, and eerie rock formations.
South Australia is home to all this — and more. And if you’re ready to take your campervan rental on a veritable adventure, we’ve put together a list of 5 free camping spots in South Australia that you would be crazy to miss!
Since your Travellers Autobarn campervan hire comes with everything you need and you’ll be packing the essentials, all you’ll really need is a rough plan of what you’d like to do and where you can rest your head.
And, if you head to the campsite and decide you’d like to look for something else, access the Aircamp AU app to find a more suitable spot. Travellers Autobarn also offers free roadside assistance so you’re really never alone, even if you’re bush camping.
We’ve vetted these 9 free camping spots in SA for you, though, so take our advice and get your campervan adventure started!
Get ready to dive into the raw beauty of Parachilna Gorge Campground, a haven for outdoor enthusiasts nestled in the northern Flinders Ranges. This remarkable spot is known for its stunning Parachilna Gorge, a dry gorge adorned with steep cliffs and mountains. The landscape teems with life; from Mountain Goats scaling the cliffs to Kangaroos grazing on the scarce vegetation, it’s a wildlife lover’s paradise.
The campground offers over a dozen individual spaces for setting up camp. Don’t fret about the rough terrain; with a bit of courage, any car can make it in. However, remember to pack everything necessary as amenities are scarce. A short drive away lies the Angorichina Tourist Village, with a shop and public toilets.
The lack of phone reception might initially seem daunting but trust us, the tranquillity it offers is priceless. If you need a dose of civilisation, a quick drive or climb will get you back in touch.
The campground is also generous with fire pits, but do check with the local tourist centre before starting a fire. And while you’re there, why not book a tour of the old Blinman Mine? It’s a treat!
With towering gum trees and hundreds of potential campsites to choose from, this serene campground truly is a fantastic place to unwind.
Ever considered a camping getaway that’s free, has phone reception, and is just a stone’s throw from the Flinders Range? Let’s introduce you to Horrocks Pass Bush Camp.
Situated about 90 minutes from Flinders Ranges, this camp keeps you in close proximity to the area’s stunning views and exciting activities. It’s conveniently placed off-road, far enough to keep passing cars from being a nuisance, yet easily accessible for 2WD vehicles.
The camp offers ample space for caravans and trailers, with about six or seven separate small campsites. While amenities are sparse, with no toilets or bins, there are a couple of picnic tables for your convenience.
The beautiful scenery is complemented by a nearby river that adds charm in winter. And if you’re lucky, you might hear wild horses at night, enhancing your wilderness experience. This picturesque spot is perfect for an overnight stop or a longer stay.
Fires are allowed
Suitable for Camper Trailers and Caravans
Looking for a beachside camping paradise to add to your bucket list? Let us introduce you to Greenly Beach. Nestled in Coulta, on the Eyre Peninsula, just an hour’s drive from Port Lincoln, this golden sandy beach is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.
Greenly Beach is not just about lazing around, it’s a popular spot for swimming, paddling, and surfing, with waves reaching up to a metre high. It’s bordered by bluffs and backed by active sand dunes, offering a unique landscape that’s sure to leave you in awe.
As you approach, an unsealed gravel road guides you towards the sea, leading to around 20 campsites perched atop sand dunes, overlooking the beach. Forget about shops, drinking water, or mobile signal, this place is all about disconnecting and immersing yourself in nature.
So, grab your camping gear, surfboard, and sense of adventure, and experience Greenly Beach.
Looking for a cost-effective camping experience that doesn’t compromise on amenities? Enter Kimba Recreation Reserve. This free camping spot offers facilities that rival paid campsites, complete with toilets, coin-operated showers, and a playground for the kids. The best part? It’s pet-friendly!
Situated in the heart of Eyre Peninsula, this gem of a site is perfect for caravans and RVs. Extend your stay up to five days (or longer with council negotiation) and make the most of the user-friendly dump point and camp kitchen equipped with barbeques, sinks, and seating.
With the Roora Nature Trails close by and sporting clubs just a stroll away, your days will be filled with exploration and new friendships. And when the day ends, you can look forward to a hot shower and a cozy spot under the stars.
So, are we setting our compass towards Kimba Recreation Reserve? Trust us – you won’t be disappointed.
Free BBQs & Camp Kitchen
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to freedom camp in SA at a spot surrounded by ancient limestone caves?
Talia Caves Campground provides campervan rentals and travellers the chance to undertake bush camping right at the edge of beautiful limestone caves. To get here, simply take the signposted Talia Caves Rd off Flinders Hwy, 44 km north of Elliston. Besides the opportunity to rockfish and explore the caves themselves, campers can also access Talia Beach.
The wave-hollowed caves below provide absolutely stunning views of the beach and are large, cavernous and almost desolate.
Known as ‘The Tub’, which is essentially a large crater, with a granite base, feeding into the sea, and ‘The Woolshed’, these mountainous dunes are simply not to be missed. If you’re camping here, however, take note that there’s not a lot of shelter from the wind, which can really pick up.
The sandstone cliffs, with their intricate honeycombed ceilings and natural blowholes
give travellers ample opportunity to wander, get lost and explore. Make sure to bring your camera with you, however.
The Talia Caves campground includes:
Access by 2wd
No bookings required and no limit on maximum stays but there are no toilets
In search of a pet-friendly, free camping site with basic facilities? Allow us to point you in the direction of Tarpeena Recreation Reserve. Nestled in the town of Tarpeena in the Limestone Coast region, this reserve offers up to 3 days of free camping for you and your furry friend.
Accessible to caravans, big rigs, and suitable for tents, this spot provides a serene camping experience. It’s conveniently located on the Riddoch Highway between Mount Gambier and Penola – just turn east into Edward Street, and voila, you’ve arrived.
What’s more, the reserve features plenty of parking space, toilets, a skate park, and even a kids’ playground. Need water or a dump site? They’ve got you covered. Fancy an interesting painted skate park or a barbecue by a fenced playground? It’s all there.
It’s a fantastic place to stay, with quiet grass areas and proximity to Mount Gambier. Don’t forget to leave a donation as a token of appreciation for the wonderful volunteers who maintain this hidden gem.
If you’re looking for a unique camping experience, Eight Mile Creek Campground is the place to be. Located in Grant, South Australia, this small but stunning locale is famed for its unique seascapes, with the Ewens Ponds Conservation Park being a major highlight.
The park’s limestone sinkholes filled with crystal-clear water are part of Eight Mile Creek, an adventurer’s paradise. For experienced snorkelers and divers, swimming in these ponds is an absolute must-do. The water is so clear you can see colourful marine life and limestone cracks up close.
For novice swimmers, there’s a 5-metre-deep pool that offers a fantastic view of bubbling water from its rough bottom. Summer is the best time to visit, and remember to pack the right gear for an unforgettable adventure.
Eight Mile Creek Campground offers beach access, grassy flat grounds, and even pre-dug fire pits. It’s approximately 24 kilometres from Mount Gambier and 248 kilometres from Adelaide. So, why not try a unique camping experience amidst nature’s finest?
Looking for a serene riverside camping experience? Let’s head over to Murtho Forest Landing Campsite. Tucked away upstream from Renmark, this spot offers an unbeatable view of the mighty Murray River.
What’s on offer, you ask? Well, there’s a boat ramp for those who love to sail, and the river is perfect for a refreshing swim or fishing. It’s also a popular mooring point for houseboats.
The campsite, surrounded by large, shady river redgums, is just a 10-minute drive north of Paringa. It’s easily accessible via Headings Road, with a gravel path leading to the organic-style camping spots.
Got a canoe or boat? Don’t miss a trip upstream to the magnificent Headings Cliff area. And yes, your furry friends are welcome too! Just remember, there’s no toilet or shower facilities, so pack accordingly and leave no trace.
Pack your bags and gear up for a lakeside camping adventure at Narrung Jetty Reserve. Nestled near the tranquil town of Narrung and perched by the magnificent Lake Alexandrina, this campsite is a haven for campers seeking a serene retreat.
The reserve offers spacious grassed sites that can accommodate both caravans and big rigs. With a maximum stay of 72 hours, it provides amenities like toilets, mobile phone service, and a small jetty perfect for those who love fishing.
Accessing the reserve is straightforward – take the Poltalloch Road off Princes Highway or take the scenic Narrung Road around Lake Albert. The location also offers breathtaking views of Point Malcolm Lighthouse, Australia’s only inland lighthouse.
And there’s more! The campground features clean toilets, green grass, a shelter with tables and chairs, and garbage bins. Plus, it’s just a short drive to Meningie, a charming town on Lake Albert. So, get ready for a memorable camping experience at Narrung Jetty Reserve.
If you’re camping in the high season — usually the holidays — it can be hard to find ‘free’ camping spots in SA, since these might be full by the time you get there, so plan ahead and give yourself time. Since your Travellers Autobarn campervan rental comes with all the amenities you need for a good night’s sleep, you can park at most spots, really, that allow 2wd access. Just make sure the spot is a legal, so you don’t get fined.
Travellers Autobarn also provides you with several options to reduce your spending when it comes to selecting campgrounds during your trip. All customers will receive on pick-up a booklet that will highlight free campgrounds all around Australia – meaning instead savings for you. We also get a discount on specific holiday parks we partner with! The benefits are endless.
Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.