AUSTRALIA ON A BUDGET

Free Camping, Wiki Wise!!

By no means am I wealthy, no parent’s to dish out the funds. I’m one of the many who works to get what they want. And, well, I pretty much just want to TRAVEL!!

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Oh, it’s safe to say I’m a bit of a tight arse at the best of times, when it comes to freely spending my money! Free camping therefore is a lifestyle that I have taken on whole heartedly. Why wouldn’t you?? IT’S FREE!! One of my most favourite words 🙂

My plans had been to save as much of my pennies over the Winter time and then to Cruise down the East Coast taking my time and exploring as much as I could in the few weeks leading up to Christmas. As plans so often do, mine changes with no discussions with me. Probably better that way, I may have just said “NO”.

Instead I managed to gain a few extra months to go car camping at the expense of fewer funds in my saving. But I don’t really mind at all. I see it as a positive challenge to make my pennies last as long as they can while still allowing myself to see as much as I can.

Paradise Dam, Qld

Paradise Dam, Qld

Chillin in Chillagoe

Chillin in Chillagoe

Thanks to a great app called “Wikicamps” I’ve been crisscrossing the land between the beaches to the mountains, the forests to the outback. And wherever else I can find on the glorious open road in between.

Wikicamps offers so much more than just the free listings, but it’s a pretty great start for me. It indicates plenty of paid sites as well, like the caravan parks, and the cheap as chips National Parks and gold coin donations stops. But what I appreciate the most is that it’s pretty much been compiled by information passed on by fellow travellers, folks like you and me.

 

LIVING THE WIKI WAY

You can add a new spot, enter comments about the place, the facilities, the attractions. Heck, you can even have a whinge about the ones with a generator on all night or word up others on the crazy campers, if you want. I don’t take all the comments to heart as their opinions could be different to mine. So, i’ll usually still go and check out the campsite that has a few bad reviews. I want to be able to make up my own mind too, thank you!!

Under the shade of a big old tree

Under the shade of a big old tree

I find it so more relaxing when I can head off in the morning in a general direction with at least one or two spots picked out as possible camp stops for a night or more. As I’m always setting up my tent at each new spot I’d rather stop a good hour or two before the sunset.  Sure, I’ve set up camp in the dark, all well and good. But you’ve got no idea of what your surrounds look like. A nice surprise for the morning, I guess 🙂

Going to sleep with the sound of the waves. Nice

Going to sleep with the sound of the waves. Nice

HOW FAR TO GO?? ARE WE THERE YET??

Wikicamps is also pretty good for giving you the distances you’re looking at travelling from one camp to another. This has helped me a lot for those times when I’ve been keen to just drive for hours, not heading anywhere in particular. I can see and read on the app what i’m likely to find on the road, somewhere, up ahead and how far I’ve yet to travel. It’s also helped me out a few times when I’ve turned up at a campsite and thought “Eek, this wasn’t what I was after. How far until the next stop?” Then, if it’s do able , it’s usually back into the car to the following desirable location.

Hanging out by the old hall

Hanging out by the old hall

Did I mention I love the FREE/CHEAP options! From simple road side stops with a toilet block for your convenience to some amazing places where you’re camping practically on the beach, or in the middle of nowhere looking out to the serenity and calm of the outback.

SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE

I first heard about Wikicamps when one Grey Nomad was telling another about this great find. Since then I’ve been passing it on to the travellers I meet, hoping that they’ll get as much use out of it as I have. Sharing is caring, right!!

Sure, there are times when I’ll pay to stay somewhere. Usually it’s because there’s something special I want to see and no free/cheap camps for miles. I also do my bit for helping the local communities too. Purchasing my necessities in the smaller towns where the spending is more appreciated. Helping to keep these places going forward, rather than fading in the dust like far too many little towns have.

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So next time you’re off travelling, or got a friends who’s on the move, give Wikicamps a look. Try it, it might just work for you too!!

Happy Travels!!

TCT

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About the chameleon traveller

Since 1999 I've been travelling between Australia, Europe and South East Asia!!! and Still going Strong.. After 15 years of travels there's a backpack full of photos and a van load packed with stories that need to be shared. Not to mention the future adventures that are always just around the corner!!! Come Join Me!!
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