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Camping on a Budget

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For our ‘Big Lap’, we committed to a camp fee budget of $120 a week, and we record every dollar we spend in a receipt book to avoid accidentally blowing our budget. Here is how we went camping on a budget.
Young Nomads top campsites
We’ve found that staying in a mix of paid and free sites evens out the cost, and it has allowed us to enjoy the variety of camping in caravan parks, national parks and on the roadside. Here is a selection of our top campsites across the country.
Sawpit, free
Large sites perfect for caravans in a peaceful bush setting, with clean drop toilets, access to firewood and the chance to spot koalas.
South Australia
Mount Remarkable National Park
A bush haven perfect for wildlife lovers. We spotted kangaroos, emus, lizards and even bird-eating spiders. While there are no showers within the national park, the flushing toilets are well maintained and the sites are very generous in size.
Lincoln National Park
We camped at Fishermen’s Point for five nights of ocean views, great fishing and beach 4WDing.
Western Australia
Conto Campground
With large campsites, free firewood and close proximity to the Margaret River wine region, this was the perfect spot to meet family from Perth for the Easter long weekend.
Karijini National Park
A trip to the Pilbara wouldn’t be complete without hiking the gorges of Karijini National Park. Here we stayed at Dales Campground, and while there were only drop toilets, its close access to the gorges makes for a pleasant stay.
Northern Territory
Longreach, free
Towing down the gravel road is well worth it for scenic views of the lake teeming with birdlife. It’s hard to believe such peaceful surrounds are just off the Stuart Highway!
Mission Beach Council Campground
Palm trees, ocean views, hot showers, flushing toilets, and cheap seasonal fruit and veg only a short stroll away – need I say more?
New South Wales
Wombeyan Caves
A hidden gem in country NSW, this campsite is the starting point for hikes into the caves and surrounding gorges and is teeming with kangaroos, wombats and echidnas.
How we locate a campsite
Knowing where and how to locate reasonably priced campsites in fantastic locations certainly pays off. To plan where we are going to stay, we rely on:

We’ve found the WikiCamps app to be a necessity to accessing the location of thousands of campsites across the country, and it also allows you to read reviews from other travellers.

This book is a must for the budget-conscious traveller. It highlights rest stops, free campsites and camping spots available for under $25 a night.
With some careful planning and by keeping track of every dollar spent, we’ve been able to enjoy camping across Australia on a budget.
Want more Young Nomads? Read their next article: Servicing our tow rig on the road
Drew and Court are a Melbourne couple who are travelling around Australia for 10 months. They’re writing about their experiences for Without a Hitch, giving us the real story of life on the road.
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