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Free Camping Cairns

Cairns is a city in Queensland, Australia, on the tropical northeast coast of Far North Queensland. It serves as the ultimate gateway to two of nature’s most remarkable wonders, the majestic Great Barrier Reef and the awe-inspiring Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest. 

Cairns is a popular tourist destination, with many attractions, including Cairns Esplanade and Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Cairns is a great place to visit any time of year, but the best time to visit is during the dry season, which is from May to October. If you are looking to escape the bustling life of the city and want to be fully immersed in nature, Cairns has a lot to offer. 

Is There Free Camping in Cairns?

In Cairns, there are limited options for free camping within the immediate vicinity of the city. However, there are a few potential options for free or low-cost camping in the broader Cairns region. 

It’s important to note that camping regulations and availability can change, so it’s advisable to check with local authorities or conduct further research before planning your trip. To help you find the best camping sites, we have prepared a list of both free and low-cost camping spots in Cairns and the surrounding areas. 

Free Camping in Cairns

Green Patch RV Park

Green Patch RV Park

The site offers a range of facilities including coin-operated hot showers, clean toilets, a dump point, and both drinking and non-drinking water. Notably, all facilities are wheelchair accessible. The RV Park provides ample shaded picnic tables as well as waste bins. Fishing is allowed, but swimming is not recommended due to the presence of saltwater crocodiles. 

The park features pull-through bays for easy maneuvering of vehicles. However, Green Patch RV Park has seasonal closures due to flash flooding. No fires are allowed within the park. Dogs are allowed at the RV park but must be kept on a leash. Generators are also permitted for use, but between 8 AM and 8 PM. 

For those traveling with tents or campervans, there is an area of grass on the lower level under the large trees designated for their use. The maximum stay limit at Green Patch RV Park is 72 hours, and a local ranger periodically checks the campsite to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations. 

Cost: Free

Distance: 26 min from Cairns

Direction: Find on map

Boulders Camp Area

Boulders Camp Area

Boulders Camp Area is a secluded camping spot located on a sealed road, ensuring privacy for visitors. The camp provides basic amenities such as cold showers, toilets, a playground for children, picnic tables, and waste bins for proper waste disposal. 

The maximum stay at this campsite is three days. Despite its size limitations, the camp area has enough space to accommodate caravans, camper trailers, tents, and motorhomes. The sites at Boulders Camp Area are unpowered, but generators are allowed for use between 8 AM and 8 PM. However, dogs are not permitted at this campsite.

Cost: Free

Distance: 54 min from Cairns

Direction: Find on map

Western Summit Campground

Western Summit Campground

Located 8 km away from the Junction camping area, Western Summit is perfectly positioned at the western end of the renowned Atherton Tableland walking trail. Adventure awaits as you embark on a scenic 750-meter journey to reach the majestic Bartle Frere summit from the camp. 

The campground has a small clearing beside a creek. There are no facilities, so campers must bring their own water, food, and toilet paper. Open fires are prohibited, so campers must use a fuel stove. Generators are also not permitted. Camping in tents is allowed.

Cost: Free

Distance: 56 min from Cairns

Direction: Find on map

Gravel Pit, Mulligan Hwy

Gravel Pit, Mulligan Hwy

The small gravel pit along Mulligan Highway offers a rustic camping experience. The site is privately owned and has no access to the lake. Mobile reception is also not available in the area. Only self-contained vehicles are allowed at the site, and generators are permitted. 

There is plenty of firewood available for campfires. The location is close to the road, so some road noise can be expected, especially in the early morning. Dogs are permitted at the gravel pit. The site is accessible for big rigs, caravans, RVs, and camper trailers, providing options for different types of travelers. One of the highlights of this camping spot is the fantastic sunset view over the lake from the top of the hill, offering a picturesque and memorable experience.

Cost: Free

Distance: 58 min from Cairns

Direction: Find on map

Low-Cost Camping in Cairns

Pride Gardens

Pride Gardens

It is a small, family-owned campground located in the suburb of Yorkeys Knob. It is close to the beach, the Esplanade, and the Cairns CBD. The campground has a variety of accommodation options, including powered and unpowered sites, cabins, and villas. It also has a swimming pool, a playground, and a barbecue area. 

In terms of facilities the garden only offers drinking water. Pride garden has a boat ramp nearby which makes it easy to enjoy activities such as fishing. The site has good TV reception as well as Telstra and other mobile reception. Dogs are not permitted at Pride Gardens, and they have a strict self-contained vehicle only policy. 

Cost: $15 per person per night

Distance: 18 min from Cairns

Direction: Find on map

Cairns Sunland Leisure Park

It is a 3-star caravan park located in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Cairns Sunland Leisure Park offers essential amenities such as toilets, showers, and power. Enjoy shaded tables, barbecues, and a playground. Stay connected with Telstra reception and good TV reception, and access Wi-Fi. 

On-site cabins are available. Motorbikes, caravans, motorhomes, and camper trailers are welcome. Tents are allowed. The park provides a dump spot for waste disposal, ensuring cleanliness.

Cost: $18.50 per person per night

Distance: 8 min from Cairns

Direction: Find on map

Hambledon Camp

Hambledon Camp

Hambeldon Camp is a campsite that requires booking in advance. Dogs are not allowed at this location. Essential amenities such as toilets, showers, and drinking water are provided. Power is available for convenience. 

Bins are available for waste disposal. A camp kitchen and laundry facilities are also provided. Telstra reception ensures connectivity, while good TV reception allows for entertainment. WiFi is available for guests. On-site accommodation in cabins is an option, and tents are allowed for camping. The campsite is accessible for motorbikes, RVs, camper trailers, and caravans.

Cost: $15 per person per night

Distance: 16 min from Cairns

Direction: Find on map

For more free camping in Queensland, check out our complete Queensland Free Camping Guide.

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