When it comes to camping in Australia there are many unspoken rules which campers are expected to abide by. So if you’re heading out into the Australian countryside to sleep under the stars, here are our top tips on camping etiquette.
1. Follow Campsite Rules
Stick to the speed limits while driving into and around the campground (for the safety of others and to avoid blowing dirt and dust over other people’s campsite). And only camp in areas dedicated to camping.
2. don’t camp too close to others
The reason most people go camping in Australia is to get away from other people and enjoy the wide-open space of the outdoors. Remember that Aussies are used to having a lot more space than many other nationalities so try to leave as much space between you as possible.
Park in front of your own campsite and beside your own tent or camper trailer. Parking close to someone else’s camping area or blocking another campsite is a big no-no.
4. camp fires
There is nothing better than toasting marshmallows around the fire, cooking your own potatoes in the coals or feeling the warmth of the fire on a cold night.
But check when you book whether you are allowed to have campfires, otherwise you could be fined for building one.
Many national parks and campgrounds don’t allow individual campfires. Some campgrounds provide one communal campfire that is lit nightly for everyone’s enjoyment.
If you are camping by the beach, you are generally allowed to build a campfire on the beach itself, but always check first. And only throw things on the fire that will burn.
When you leave the campsite always make sure your campfire is completely out by throwing dirt or sand on it. Smouldering embers can easily start a bushfire.
The rules vary when it comes to firewood so check when you book. Sometimes you are allowed to chop your own firewood within the vicinity of the campsite, but many places require you to bring your own firewood or buy it.
Many campgrounds and national parks don’t allow dogs. This is to protect the local wildlife. If you are allowed dogs, make sure you keep them within your own campsite and don’t let them wander off. They should be kept on a lead, leash or chain at night.
7. walking around the camp
It is considered rude to walk through someone else’s campsite, even if it provides a shortcut to the beach or the toilets.
8. rubbish and wildlife
Never feed the local wildlife. Always put rubbish in a bin, bury it, hang it up high or leave it in the boot of your car as the smells attract wild animals to the camp looking for scraps. Once you leave the campsite take all your rubbish with you if there are no bins.
9. keep noise to a minimum
There is nothing wrong with having fun as long as it doesn’t disturb other campers.
Try to keep noise to a minimum after 9pm and the same goes for early mornings.
If you enjoy getting up early to watch the sunrise do it away from other campers who may be sleeping.
Many campgrounds don’t allow generators but if they are permitted, the general camping etiquette around generators is to only use them during the day for short periods of time if possible. If you have a medical reason for using a generator at night, try to find a campsite away from others and let those camping near you know that you will be using your generator, giving them the opportunity to move to another campsite.
11. gutting fish
If you are keen fishers, gut your fish away from other people’s campsites so they don’t need to smell it.
Always leave toilet and shower facilities how you would like to find them. Make sure you flush toilets and leave the shower facilities clean and tidy after you’ve used them.
13. be courteous
If you’re friendly and respectful to your camping neighbours they will often stop for a chat and share great tips on other off-the-beaten track places to stay or visit. So stop and say hello but don’t overstay your welcome.
Make sure you teach your children about not annoying other campers. And, while its great for kids to make new friends with other children when they’re camping, be aware of them spending too much time at other people’s campsites because they’re not babysitters.
15. torches (flashlights)
If you use a torch to walk to and from the toilet at night, shine the torch onto the ground in front of you rather than into other people’s tents.
Camping is great fun in Australia and a great way to experience the country but make sure when you leave, the only thing you leave behind is your footprints.
travel nq fast facts:
- If you’re camping in the tropics of North Queensland, take lots of mozzie coils and insect repellent
- The most important rule of Australian camping etiquette is to make sure you don’t leave anything behind except your footprints