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Top 7 Free Camping Spots in Flinders Ranges

Flinders Ranges is a mountain range in South Australia, about 400 kilometres north of Adelaide. The range is known for its spectacular landscapes, rugged terrain, and unique flora and fauna. The Flinders Ranges is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Australia, attracting visitors from all over the world.

The Flinders Ranges is home to several national parks, including the Flinders Ranges National Park, which covers an area of over 90,000 hectares. The park is famous for its stunning gorges, rugged mountains, and ancient rock formations. It is also home to a diverse range of wildlife, including kangaroos, emus, wallabies, and various bird species.

Moreover, Flinders Ranges is home to a few Aboriginal communities that have lived there for thousands of years. Visitors to the region can learn about the rich cultural heritage of the local Aboriginal people through guided tours and cultural experiences. The area is also home to several historic towns and villages, such as Wilpena, Hawker, and Blinman, which offer a glimpse into the region’s colonial past.

Is There Free Camping in Flinders Ranges?

As a popular tourist destination, there are relatively few free camping options in Flinders Ranges. The local government and private landowners have established camping areas and caravan parks to accommodate the influx of visitors. 

These facilities often have amenities such as toilets, showers, and electricity, which require maintenance and upkeep. The cost of maintaining these facilities is typically passed on to guests through camping fees. While there are relatively few free camping options in Flinders Ranges, we have prepared a list of free and affordable camping sites within an hour’s drive to Flinders Ranges.

Free Camping in Flinders Ranges

Yanyanna Hut Hikers Camp

Yanyanna Hut Hikers Camp

The Yanyanna Hut Hikers Camp is a resting place for hikers and a stockyard with a nearby parking area. There is no charge for using the facility, and bookings are unnecessary. It is on a first-come, first-served basis. The campsite provides basic accommodation, with a simple hut, a fireplace, and a camping platform that can be used for multiple purposes. 

The Yanyanna hut used to be the focal point of the pastoral Aroona sheep run. The site now features a dilapidated wattle and daub shepherd’s cabin that dates back to the 1850s as well as an iron shelter built in 1937. Pets are not allowed in the area. Although the place is vast, car access is not possible, but the parking area is close to the hut. Camping in tents is also permitted. The view is breathtaking, and there is a rainwater tank available. However, there is no mobile signal at all.

Cost: Free

Direction: Find on Map

Nooltana Creek Rise R.A.

Nooltana Creek Rise R.A.

The Nooltana Creek Rise R.A. is a rest area on the Outback Highway, positioned 10 km North of Hawker, and accessible to vehicles traveling in both directions. Despite its proximity to the road, it remains peaceful and calm. The rest area features a gravel pullout with trash cans, and it is imperative to leave no trace. 

Only picnic tables are available here, and there is no shade. The use of generators is permitted. The area boasts beautiful scenery and wildlife, and there is mobile reception from Telstra and other providers. The location is easily accessible for caravans, motorhomes, and camper trailers.

Cost: Free

Direction: Find on Map

Dylbags Retreat

Dylbags Retreat

Dylbags Retreat Campground is a cost-free camping site that caters to motorbikes, RVs, camper trailers, and caravans. Tent camping is also permitted. It is a fantastic and secluded location, with a quiet road and no dust. The campsite features numerous camping spots with plenty of options. Mobile service is available if you ascend the hill, and there are walking tracks and 4WD tracks to explore. The area is surrounded by lovely scenery, including shaded areas, and offers a chance to see some wildlife. However, the road can be hazardous during the rainy season.

Cost: Free

Direction: Find on Map

Parachilna Gorge

Parachilna Gorge

The Parachilna Gorge Campground is situated at the northernmost point of the Flinders Ranges. This spectacular, dry gorge extends east to west, with a road from Parachilna township to Blinman. The red dirt track winds along the base of cliffs and mountains adorned with foliage and features numerous cost-free campsites throughout the gorge. The primary campsite, Parachilna Gorge Campground, is likely the most breathtaking. No amenities or facilities are available at the camp, so visitors must be entirely self-contained. However, the Angorichina Tourist Village is just a short drive away and has a store and public restrooms.

There is no phone reception or data service at the campground or throughout the gorge. Campers must ascend a tall hill or drive a few minutes to get reception, usually most of the way to Parachilna or a few kilometers from Blinman, where the mountains transition to plains. There is a water tank available at the Parachilna Gorge trailhead, but hikers may need to walk 500 meters south to the Parachilna Gorge ‘walk-in’ site to find more easily accessible water. Mountain goats can be heard scaling the cliffs, and kangaroos grazing on scarce vegetation. Keep an eye out for the rare Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies.

Cost: Free

Direction: Find on Map

Motpena Free Camp Behind Ruins

Motpena Free Camp Behind Ruins

Motpena Free Camp is an informal, free camping spot behind a set of ruins. This secluded location provides stunning 180-degree views of the Flinders Ranges, with almost no noise from vehicles passing by, offering a peaceful and picturesque setting. There is an abundance of firewood available. Unfortunately, the ruins are breathtaking but covered in graffiti and broken glass. Since there are no amenities on-site, taking all trash with you, including toilet paper, is crucial. There is mobile reception available, and pets are permitted.

Cost: Free

Direction: Find on Map

Youngs Creek

Youngs Creek

Youngs Creek Campground is situated in a creek bed with pebble flooring, and 4WD can only access it during the dry season. The site offers stunning panoramic views of the Ikara Flinders Ranges, and campers can follow existing tracks to find some shaded areas and flat ground. There is an abundance of firewood and an array of wildlife and wildflowers to admire. 

Being self-sufficient during your stay is essential, as no amenities or facilities are available. The campground is located 45 minutes away from Blinman and provides a pleasant, shaded picnic spot. The dry, wide stony riverbed is lined with mature gum trees, but camping in the creek bed is not recommended due to the risk of flash flooding that can occur even after small amounts of rain in the distant hills. 

Tents are permitted, and camper trailers and off-road caravans are accessible, but 4WD is the only mode of transport. The site is self-contained, so visitors must bring all necessary equipment and supplies.

Cost: Free

Direction: Find on Map

Gravel Stockpile

Gravel Stockpile

This level site is next to a creek and can accommodate multiple caravans. Dogs and generators are permitted. The location is near the road and offers picturesque views and wildlife sightings. Telstra reception is available. It is accessible for motorbikes, motorhomes, camper trailers, caravans, and large rigs. Firewood is abundant along the dry creek bed. However, there are no facilities on site. The area is highly tranquil overnight.

Cost: Free

Direction: Find on Map

Low-Cost Camping in Flinders Ranges

Merna Mora Station

Merna Mora Station

Merna Mora, a popular tourist destination in the Wilpena Pound area of the Central Flinders Ranges, offers a great camping experience in the creek bed. Large gum trees surrounding the area provide beautiful shade. The site offers good clean toilet and shower facilities with hot water, and bins are also available. You can collect firewood for campfires around the area. However, there is no Telstra coverage.

Merna Mora offers various types of farm stay and self-sufficient cabins, including nine cabins, ten boarding houses, powered camping spots, and off-grid camping in a private creek setting. Coach groups of up to 45 can also be accommodated, with a fully equipped communal kitchen available. Both powered sites and bush camping are offered, with permits available from the homestead or at the site. The designated area for bush camping is still being developed. This pet-friendly site provides a barbeque, camp kitchen, car park, communal shower, dump point, gas, laundry, non-smoking, alfresco/outdoor dining, and 24-hour reception.

Cost: $12 per person per night

Direction: Find on Map

Aroona Campground

Aroona Campground

Aroona Campground is located in the northernmost area of Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, serving as a starting point for several loop walks. Positioned between two mountain ranges, it rests on the edge of Aroona Creek. The nearby Heysen Trail is a popular hiking destination. The campground features 13 spacious campsites that can accommodate caravans and trailers, though 4WD access is required, especially after heavy rainfall.

It is advisable to check the road conditions before heading there, particularly if traveling via the Gorges. The campsites are unpowered, and pets are not allowed. The facilities include a long-drop toilet, open fire pits, bush camping, and bus parking. Campfires are permitted, but seasonal fire restrictions apply. There is a water tank at the toilet block. However, the quality and supply of water are not guaranteed by NPWS.

Cost: $12 per person per night

Direction: Find on Map

Mt Little Station

Mt Little Station

Mount Little Station campground is an ideal holiday destination for those who want to tour the surrounding area. The spacious sites can accommodate large and small groups and can be accessed by all types of vehicles. Various activities are on offer, including two-and-four-wheel trails, hiking tracks, a permanent waterhole, a maze for children, and even a pizza inn and a pub though it doesn’t have a constant opening time. Dogs are allowed, and there are pet-sitting services available at the camp.

To reach Mount Little Road, take the Outback Highway, and note that the road is unsealed and can be accessed by a two-wheel-drive vehicle in dry weather. However, a 4WD is recommended for greater accessibility, especially during wet weather or when exploring self-drive tracks on the property. The sites are unpowered, but there is an amenities block with hot showers and toilets, a camp kitchen with gas cookers, BBQ, seating, cutlery, crockery, and protection from the elements. There is a small rainwater tank for drinking, but water is unavailable on-site. The closest water point and dump point are in Hawker, and other flushing toilets are scattered amongst bushcamp sites.

Mobile phone coverage is limited in the camping area due to the surrounding mountains. Each camping area has an open fire pit spot. Collecting wood from the property or using chainsaws is prohibited. Keep a cleared area free of grass and vegetation of at least 2m around your campfire, and avoid placing inflammable materials and rubbish in the camp.

Cost: $15 per person per night

Direction: Find on Map

Koolamon Campground

Koolamon Campground

Koolamon Campground in Flinders Ranges National Park is a fee-based camping area that offers visitors access to long-drop toilets. Dogs are not allowed on the grounds. The campground is easily accessible for RVs, camper trailers, caravans, and big rigs. Situated on Aroona Creek and nestled at the foot of the ABC Range, this campsite boasts breathtaking views of the beautiful landscape that inspired renowned artist Sir Hans Heysen. River red gums and acacias envelop the 4WD section, and a small area is designated for 2WD vehicles. The campground doesn’t offer much shade, but shared fire pits and BBQ plates are provided for campers’ use.

The campsite’s selected spots can only be accessed by 4WD vehicles. It is suitable for camping in tents, camper trailers, and caravans. Campfires are allowed on the grounds but are subject to seasonal fire restrictions. There are 13 designated campsites at the campground, and all are unpowered. Water is available from a tank near the toilet block, but NPWS cannot guarantee consistent water quality and supply.

Cost: $12 per person per night

Direction: Find on Map

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