Tasmania’s natural beauty is hard to match and there are few better ways to enjoy everything that Tasmania has to offer than by taking a camping holiday in your own car, a rental car, motorhome, campervan, or by using public transport. Stunning coastal reserves and unspoilt beaches, mountains, crystal clear lakes, and rolling hills are available all across the island state of Australia, Tasmania or Tassie as it is often referred to by locals. The hardest part is deciding where to start, once you have travelled to Tasmania. Camping is a very popular family activity in Tasmania, with commercial caravan parks plentiful, affordable, and generally in good condition. Campsites are tent friendly with lots of space for you to pitch your tent on grass plots, a change from gravel options available in some countries. Most sites also offer self-contained cabins, on-site vans, caravans, or some other form of hard accommodation for varying degrees of luxury. Standard facilities are usually supplied and Tasmanian tourism and travel operators are renowned for their friendliness and willingness to help. Camping is an affordable and fun way to truly experience Tasmania.
Throughout Tassie will find a whole range of different locations and experiences. Opportunities exist to stay in a wide range of accommodations ranging from sites to park motels. We wish you an enjoyable camping experience in Tasmania, the opportunity to meet great people within our parks, both guests and owners, and above all have a wonderful time. Tasmania is without question one of the best-suited destinations in Australia to go camping and explore in car rental Tasmania, campervan, motorhome, camper trailer, big rig, or caravan. Around 40% of Tasmania is protected for national parks and reserves and there are more than 50 caravan parks located across Tassie, including at major destinations including Cradle Mountain, Port Arthur, and the Freycinet National Park. Take care on days of Total Fire Bans in Tasmania – if camping in areas at risk of bushfire, carry a radio and stay tuned to local ABC radio. Before heading our camping, check the Fire Tasmania website for any fires in the area. During Winter camping in Tasmania can be challenging with extreme temperature shifts common in more elevated and remote regions – always be prepared when Camping in Tasmania.
Most national parks across Australia and indeed the world, don’t allow dogs and other pets to be taken into them or conservation reserves. It should be noted, that dogs even in your car or on a lead are also not allowed into National Parks in Tasmania. Assistance dogs, or dogs that provide support for people with disabilities, are exempted and are allowed to accompany their handlers into national parks and reserves in Tasmania. If at all possible, it is a good idea to alert Tasmanian National Parks and Wildlife Service staff of the dog’s presence on entry to the Park.
Many campsites in Tasmania, particularly in forest reserves, allow you to bring your dogs however they are prohibited from entering Tasmania’s National Parks. Click here to search this site for campsites that allow dogs. For many people pets are part of the family, however, in many areas, Australian health regulations prohibit animals in many types of accommodation, with one clear exception being guide and hearing dogs. Most motels, hotels, and resorts do not welcome pets, and domestic pets are also banned from entering Australian national parks. Where campsites do allow dogs, always follow the rules below: Keep your dog under control at all times. Prevent your dog from making unreasonable noise; especially barking at night when people are trying to sleep. Do not allow your dog to annoy or endanger any person or wildlife. Remove and dispose of any faeces left by your dog. Prevent your dog from defecating in or near any freshwater supplies.
OK, so narrowing down our top 10 Campgrounds in Tassie is no easy feat! In Tasmania, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to great free camping options – in this instance, we refer to free camping as being places you can camp at NO COST. For people who regularly go camping in Tasmania, it will come as no surprise that camping Bay of Fires features in our list, and indeed that 4 of the campgrounds are located on Tasmania’s sunny East Coast, or North East Tasmania. Lists of best camping are, of course, very subjective and will depend very much on what your interests are. These are our top 10 favourite free campgrounds in Tasmania, let us know yours.
Glamping Tasmania, or glamorous camping, even luxury camping is as the name suggests – camping but with all the creature comforts of home. Glamping is designed for people who want to experience camping or who love the idea of camping and getting back to nature but aren’t excited by the idea of sleeping on the hard ground, being subject to rain or being cold, or leaving a ‘real’ toilet and shower behind. More traditional campers would laugh at the idea of glamping, as they don’t consider it to be real camping. But why not? Many might say it is very smart, everything is done for you and you get to experience camping but with some luxury touches thrown in. Generally when you go glamping, everything is already prepared before you reach the campsite or campground. This includes the tent, bedding, lights and power supply and generally all set up on some form of platform. Again, generally glamping tents aren’t the same as normal camping tents, but rather when glamping you’ll sleep in either a yurt, teepee, safari tent or canvas bell tent. One major benefit is that compared to the standard four-person dome tent that you’re probably familiar with, glamping tents are huge to the point where they can easily fit a double bed. See: Best Camping Tasmania
Lake Pedder is located in Southwest Tasmania in the Southwest National Park. To access Lake Pedder, you take a good sealed road and travel some 150 kilometres west of Hobart. Lake Pedder is app. 90 km from Mt Field National Park. Lake Pedder is in Tasmania’s wild southwest wilderness and ringed with rugged mountain ranges that are simply spectacular. Both Lake Pedder and Lake Gordon are popular with fishermen with some of the best trout fishing in Tasmania found in these lakes. The small town of Strathgordon is close to Lake Pedder and also the famous Gordon Dam, the site of one of the world’s highest commercial abseils, run by Aardvark Adventures. Lake Pedder and its companion Lake Gordon, together comprise the largest inland freshwater storage in Australia, covering more than 500 square kilometres and holding over 37 times the volume of water than Sydney Harbour. When travelling to camp in the Lake Pedder area please take suitable clothing and equipment as the weather conditions can change quickly – it isn’t called the Wild Southwest for no reason! Snow, rain, wind and sun are all possible at any time of the year. A valid Tasmanian National Parks pass must be purchased for entry to the Southwest National Park and to camp in the Lake Pedder area. Striclty NO PETS
There are three excellent campgrounds at Lake Pedder – click on each of the following links to explore each campground, where you will also find short videos of the campgrounds. Wildlife is very common in this area, so please take care when driving, never feed native animals and don’t leave food lying around or your tent open as you will likely receive a visit from a possum in the middle of the night.
Camping South Bruny Island (no bookings, small overnight fee)
South Bruny National Park is a popular location for campers, with sites providing easy access to swimming, fishing and water activities, together with stunning coastal walks, and beach exploration. There are 2 separate sites at Cloudy Bay – The Pines on Cloudy Bay Road is a small site, ideal for surfers drawn to the waves and bushwalkers keen to explore the area. At the far end of Cloudy Bay, the Cloudy Corner site is larger, but only accessible to 4WD vehicles and requires a 3 km drive along the beach at low tide. No bookings possible – campsites are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Self-registration deposit boxes are situated at each campground, meaning you must carry cash to pay. A pay display kiosk is located at Jetty Beach for credit card payments.
Arve River Campground (no bookings, no fee)
If you have time left, our last recommended stay is ar Arve River campground. This is a great little campground located in the Tasmanian wilderness in the Hartz Mountains National Park, just outside the township of Geeveston. This camping area is best suited to tent-based camping, however, there is limited room for small caravans, campervans, rooftop tents, or camper trailers. There is water available from a tank on-site, and generally, there are small amounts of firewood available at the campsite most times. Please boil the water before drinking. The Hartz Mountains are twin mountains located in this area, some 55 kilometres southwest of Hobart.
Chain of Lagoons Camping (no bookings, small overnight fee)
Lagoons Beach Camping area is a very popular campground on the Chain of Lagoons, and located 20-minutes north of Bicheno and close to St Helens and St Marys. This large campground is located next to a beautiful beach where you can fish or simply walk to enjoy this magnificent part of Tasmania. There are large camping areas suitable for all sorts of camping (caravans, motorhomes, campervans, tents) but avoid over Christmas, school holidays, and Easter as they fill fast, and to overflowing. Drop toilets are available.
This is a brilliant, and very popular campground located in the South East of Tasmania near the Port Arthur Historic site. There are very few ‘free’ campgrounds in this area, being a primary reasons why this site is so popular. The other reason is that it is close to a lovely beach, has great views and is generally flat and set amongst native trees. The well-shaded campsites are suitable for tents, campervans, motorhomes and caravans – sites are not numbered. Facilities include four pump-flush toilets and camp fireplaces – fire restrictions are common in Summer, meaning fuel stoves are recommended for cooking. Generators are permitted but must be switched off by 10pm. All other noise, including music, must also stop completely by 10pm.
Tasmanian caravan parks are also known as tourist or holiday parks (motor camps / RV parks to North American visitors) and usually provide onsite self-contained cabin facilities suitable for families, with many having swimming pools, tennis courts, games room, children’s playground, campers kitchen, laundry facilities and sometimes an on-site restaurant, cafe, or shop.
Treat yourself to a night in Hobart to explore everything it has to offer, including great food choices. There are NO free or even low-cost campgrounds remotely close to Hobart, so book a powered or non-powered site and take advantage of the facilities in a park. Chose from caravan parks at Hobart Airport, Cambridge, Richmond, Hobart Showgrounds, New Norfolk or Elwick.
The campgrounds at Black River are attractive, and have facilities basic – there are no powered sites. Black River campground has pit toilets and a hybrid toilet. Nearby Peggs Beach campground has flushing toilets. There is no safe drinking water at either location. Water from the campground tank should be boiled for at least three minutes or treated before drinking. Dogs on leads are OK – fishing for bream is popular at the Black RIver Campground.
For fishermen (saltwater) or people who love camping close to the sea, this campground is perfect. And importantly, it can be less busy than a lot of other Tassie campgrounds (except Christmas, it is always packed). The Waterhouse Conservation area is a 25-kilometre length of beach located app. 40 kilometres East of Bridport and accessible from the B82 via Blackmans Lagoon and Homestead Roads. There are multiple camping options at Waterhouse Reserve, with not all perfectly suited to bigger caravans – the road into Waterhouse can be rough following bad weather and high traffic. You must camp in designated areas only. In order to protect valuable vegetation at Waterhouse, the cutting of firewood and collection of wood is not permitted and fuel stoves are recommended.
We’ve intentionally left Bay of Fires out of this camping itinerary, as it is often very full. We prefer Policemans Point, as it is reasonably close by and whilst quite small compared to Bay of Fires, you generally have a better chance of finding a great campsite close to the beach or estuary near the Ansons Bay River. You will find a variety of campsites at the Policemans Point Campground set amongst the trees – there are excellent, fairly new toilets, but no other facilities. You must bring your own water and firewood, and remove all rubbish. The maximum stay is 4 weeks, and dogs are OK on leads and under control at Policeman’s Point, but not on the opposite side of the opening to the Bay, which is part of the Mt William National Park.