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Free camping Queensland

Updated on November 29, 2014

Normanton Queensland

Normanton scroll down for pictures

Normanton A fantastic town situated on the Norman river, on the edge of civilization and well worth a visit.

There are many long and dusty kilometers between Cairns and Normanton. But an excellent sealed road, with miles of 110Km stretches and many free camp sites to visit. My name is James Hamilton and I travel this wonderful country of ours with a 1973 york caravan, seeking out free campsites for my Grey Nomads “” web page. This quest took me to the top of Queensland this year and across the Gulf country along the Savannah way. The road from Cairns goes up the Kuranda range into the air-conditioned climes of the Tablelands

Past Mareeba, where there is a great place to camp at the Mareeba rodeo grounds. Then up through Walkerman and Tolga, with free camps at Rickey Creek and Kari. Atherton a bustling town of about 7000 people is the last place with a supermarket, and the other trappings of civilization. Then ever up more ranges to Ravenshoe. Where there is a great cheep camping place. (power,hot showers and dogs welcome and only $6 May 2010) On ever west there is another good free camp spot at Archer creek some 16km to the west.

After that you have crossed the ranges and the country starts to flatten out.

Mt Garnet is an interesting place where there was a lot of tin mining in the past.

Then west to the turn off just past the 40 mile scrub, onto the road past the Undara Lava tubes and on to Mt Surprise. Where the Rock hounds all head for to get the Topaz found on O’Brien s creek'

. Next stop is George town, a gold mining “almost City” of the past now cattle and not a lot of people. There is a free campsite on the Gilbert river crossing on the north side of the road, this has to be one of the remotest camp spots I have ever been in, at night the stars look like diamonds on black velvet..

Croydon is next Terminus of the Gulf-lander train from Normanton. A rail line put in to supply another bustling gold mining town of the past. Then on to Normanton. This town is something else, it is one of the most isolated towns in Queensland. People here do their grocery shopping in Mt Isa, There are two general stores and two butchers,a pink one and a blue one. There is a good bakery and three pubs of which the purple pub is the most famous. It is on the banks of the Norman river, itself once a fairly large sea port. And home of big crocodiles, one spotted just a month or so and, estimated at 8 plus meters. And of course the replica of the “biggest crocodile ever shot in the world” Guinness book of records. This was known as Krays savannah king 8.63 meters shot in 1957 by Krystina Pawloski.

Normanton is also the home of the Croydon rail motor A train that has run for over a hundred years. Tourists can take the trip to Croydon and back with a night in Croydon at the hotel. There is a museum at the station and an information and tourist shop, where you can get crocodiles that glow in the dark T shirts for the grandchildren and all sorts of other interesting stuff. A must while you are there is a trip to Karumba the prawn capitol of Queensland. Another fascinating “ outback town by the sea”

On the way there is a free camp at Walkers creek where I cot a picture of a crocodile on the river right next of the camp site. Camp there if you dare, but I wouldn’t be taking any moonlight walks..


The plans for next year 'All going well' are to travel down to Canberra via the inland route and using the country roads where possible, looking for nice camp spots. Then on down to Aubrey and along the Murray for a couple of hundred Km's then back up through western NSW to Burke and across to Lightening Ridge. Then up through north west Queensland via Longreach and Cloncurry to Normantown, (again) then across to Cooke town and back down the coast to Brisbane. About a nine month trip.


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    • CaravanDrifter profile image

      James Hamilton 3 years ago from Queensland

      Not sure how to start a face book acc, I'm a bit new at this :)

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 3 years ago from Southern Spain

      Nothing like free camping aye ! My facebook group free camping aussie has over 3,000 happy free campers roaming Australia !

    • CaravanDrifter profile image

      James Hamilton 3 years ago from Queensland

      I know I used to stop there 40 years ago on my way to Agete Creek. Next year the destination will be Cooktown. :-) jim

    • profile image

      joy berwick 3 years ago

      we travelled from mt surprise through the back to Einsleigh ~ what a beautiful george, although not much water at the time. One pub is all that is in town.! Terrible road lots of ridges and rocks. 4wd only. We arrived at Forsyth which was 62 kms from Einsleigh. Caravan Park in town . Cute looking tavern they have a hospital as well. We pressed on to Georgetown and decided to stay. We decided to stay there. We have toilet and shower so were going to stay in the park behind the pool but the mossies were rampant. Decided to free camp near the river.

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      Douglas 3 years ago

      Love it

    • profile image

      caravandrifter 7 years ago

      All the exact distances are given on the website also the GPS points, didwnt want to make the story too long J

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 7 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      If I were you I would put in the exact area like how many k's from cairns and also how many k's from the town from the other way so people can find them.

      Have a look at the camps books which will give you a better idea. So many free camps have been closed down as people trying to push us nomads into caravan parks.

      We love the free camps as its so much more friendly than stopping in caravan parks and a lot cheaper too of course