Tassie’s Top 10 Campsites

As visited by A Lazy Lap of Oz

So many people think that Tasmania is only a small place, I only need a week or two to explore it. Everyone who says this is so wrong! If you can take the time and have the budget we strongly believe that in 2 and 4 months you can give it a good go. Yes it costs a bit to bring your van over ($2300 for us) although we believe that the availability of free camps and low costs camps will outweigh this cost when you are staying for an extended period.

The best places to camp

A question we often get asked by those planning a trip to Tasmania is where is the best place to stay? Well, for us we like to mix it up with camps that cost us, and those that don’t. Tasmania is really a place you go to explore nature. There is so much variety and options when it comes to campsites so as a family we have pulled together our top 10!

In our time in Tasmania we stayed at 26 different campsites for varying lengths of time from 1 night to more than a week. We stayed at a combination of free campsites to caravan parks that cost us as much as $56 per night. All of our sites are pet friendly as we had Miss Molly with us. We decided on our top 10 basically by which sites stick out in our memories and why. So here they are…

Boat Harbour Beach

  • Free
  • Facilities – toilets, drinking water, rubbish, phone service, pet friendly, onsite café,
  • To do – swimming, fishing, hiking,

Just west of Wynyard on the north coast, Boat Harbour is a beautiful little holiday spot, with the amazing advantage of a council endorsed free camp. There are flushing toilets on site which are thoroughly cleaned daily, and rubbish bins that are emptied weekly. There is no dump point onsite, but it isn’t too far to either Sisters Beach on Wynyard for this facility. This site can get a little boggy after rain, and is extremely busy in summer, so get in early. Or be like us and enjoy it on your own out of peak periods. Here is the Wikicamps link for this site.

Old Mac’s Caravan and Motorhome Farm

  • Low Cost Camp
  • Facilities – toilet, water (small fee), rubbish bins, fires, phone service, pet friendly,
  • To do – close to Launceston, Ben Lomond – zig zag road, Cateract Gorge, bushwalks, farm animals.

This awesome low-cost camp is super convenient for those visiting the Launceston area. At $10 per site per night it is very convenient, affordable, well maintained and super close to the city. The sites are huge and grassy with plenty of space for the kids to ride their bikes and go and explore. There are some really nice walks on the site as well as farm animals that the kids to feed.

The owner has put some good rules in place to ensure the smooth running of the site. There is a toilet onsite at the top of the hill at the restaurant, or if you are self contained the dump point is only 5 minutes away. There is water available for a gold coin honesty payment per tank. This is a very popular place over the summer months so get in early to secure a spot. This site is also only open from September to May each year and is pet friendly. Here is the Wikicamps link for this site.

Waterhouse Conservation Area

  • Free
  • Facilities – toilets, pet friendly, campfires (except when banned),
  • To do – swimming, fishing, bushwalks

We stumbled upon this little gem when we were caught out by being unplanned and didn’t have a site for the long weekend. Waterhouse is on the north coast, east of Bridport. The area has 9 different campsites with varying sized campsites for sways, camper trailers and caravans. We found with our 21ft van that the spots were limited, but with my husband’s extraordinarily amazing parking skills we were able to find an amazing spot at Casuarina Campground.

We loved this area for many reasons including the beautiful beaches and endless exploring, but also for how quiet it was on a “busy” long weekend. The fishing wasn’t bad, but we did wish we had a boat or Dean’s spearfishing gear at this point to really enjoy the waters of the north east. There are well maintained drop toilets on site, is pet friendly and there is plenty of wildlife including birds and quolls. There is minimal phone service and little tv reception (both a positive for us) and be advised that in summer this site is extremely popular, and is also home to Tassie’s deadly Tiger snakes. Here is the Wikicamps link for this site.

Swimcart Beach, Bay of Fires

  • Free
  • Facilities – Pit toilets, pet friendly, phone service
  • To do – water sports, fishing, rock exploring, Bay of Fires Conservation Area

STUNNING! This is the only word to describe this location. Caravans line the beach, each being able to secure their own little piece of paradise . . . . all for Free! Located on the east coast, north of Binalong Bay. The turquoise waters, the white beaches, the orange lichen on the rocks and the beautiful stingrays that scoot up and down the beach each day, are all parts of what makes this place unforgettable.

The campsite is pet friendly and has onsite pit toilets. There are campsites that are in more protected positions if you are unable to secure the front row seats, as well as the other popular campsites of Cosy Corner which are just as amazing as Swimcart. Within the surrounding area there are so many things to explore including the Bay of Fires, St Helens and Binalong Bay. From here we also explored the Blue Tier and Pyengana areas. We could have stayed here forever, but we limited ourselves to a week. Here is the Wikicamps link for this site.

South Arm RSL & Community Club

  • Free/Low Cost
  • Facilities – Toilets and Showers (small fee), non portable water, park, phone service
  • To do – Fishing, Restaurant, water sports, lookout

We headed to South Arm, south-east of Hobart, after setting ourselves up with spearfishing gear and reading about the abundance of fish in the area. The RSL and Community Club is one of the best I have visited. It has the most amazing dedication to our diggers out the front. The club itself is lovely, with clean modern toilets and showers, pool table and they serve beautiful meals. If you are fully self contained you can stay here for free, but we decided to support the club and make use of the beautiful hot showers and toilets in opening hours and pay the $5 per person per night. They didn’t charge us for the kids. Here is the Wikicamps link for this site.

Scottsdale Northeast Park

  • Donation
  • Facilities – Toilets, Water, showers (small fee), rubbish, dump point, phone service
  • To do – Bushwalks, Train Track walks, Wildlife, Park.

The Northeast park is situated just on the outskirts of Scottsdale and this campsite was amazing for kids and parents alike. There is a large park and playground for the kids to play in as well as beautiful ponds to search for platypus and other animals. The campsite is maintained by the local Lions and a donation is requested to stay. For this small fee you get access to clean toilets, water and dump point all onsite and also hot showers for a small additional fee. Sites are level and well mown. We enjoyed the beautiful walk along the Old Railway walk which winds its way from town out to the Northeast Park. From here we explored Bridport, Targa area, and Derby. It was a great central location for the exploring the North east cente. Here is the Wikicamps link for this site.

Pumphouse Campground, Arthur’s Lake

  • Low Cost
  • Facilities – Toilets, Showers (small fee), non-portable water, fires, pet friendly
  • To do – fishing, water sports, snow in winter
Frosty Morning

We arrived at Pumphouse as a stopover between Hobart and the north to be blown away by the location. It was a freezing afternoon, 3 degrees at 4pm, but we had a great 2 nights here. The lake was beautiful, and I can only imagine being there in the warmer months enjoying the waterways and the fishing. For a tiny $4 per person per night Onions, the caretaker, keeps the place looking spic and span, with the best smelling pit toilets I have ever sat my bottom on! The hot showers take $1 or $2 coins and these too are kept beautifully clean. Kids had a great time mixing with the other families and riding their bikes around. There is a real family friendly feel about this place, and I think it all comes down to the beautiful caring caretaker. The Wikicamps link is here.

Left Of Field

  • Campground
  • Facilities – Power, Toilets, Shower, Decadent Bath (additional fee), fires, portable water, BBQ, camp kitchen, park, Pet friendly
  • To do – Mount Field NP, Putt Putt Golf (small fee), Gordon Dam,

The Left of Field experience is something that I had been hearing about from all the travelling mum’s since hitting Tassie shores. Left of Field is a bush camping experience that you need to have in Tassie! Adrian will be your amazing host and he will go above and beyond to ensure that your experience is one to remember. Bonus, if you stay 3 nights or more you don’t pay extra for your kiddies.

You are welcomed to site with the tradition of a Chupa-Chup while you do the “boring stuff” at check-in. The kids are welcomed individually, as was our puppy Molly. There is plenty to keep the kids entertained with swings and slides and a putt putt course for a small fee. Adrian can fill you in about the amazing walks that you can take from the site without having to move your car, as well as visits out to the amazing Gordon Dam, and how else you can fill your time in the local area.

The outdoor bath was my Mother’s Day pressie, although I think I would have done it anyway. Adrian has draws of decadent bath bombs to make your experience next level. Yes the air temp was a chilly 5 degrees, but I wasn’t missing out on this amazing experience. The kids and I met Adrian at the communal fire and were led to the secluded area where the bath has been placed in the most magical circle of trees. Lanterns hung from the tree, the campfire roaring, and the bath full with steaming hot water . . . what more could you want. You need to visit this campsite. It is so worth the $$. Here is the link for Wikicamps.

Gowrie Park Wilderness Village

  • Caravan Park
  • Facilities – Power, Toilets, coin operated showers, non-portable water, dump point, Pet friendly
  • To do – Sheffield, Mount Rowland, Devils Gullet, bushwalks, Water sports on Lake Barrington.

Gowrie Park is where we ended up meeting some friends for the Easter break. It is located in the central north near Sheffield, the town of murals. It is a small little family owned caravan park with beautiful facilities and is very reasonably priced. The surroundings are stunning with beautiful Mount Rowland towering above you. Most caravan sites are on the smaller side so make sure you communicate the size of your van with them. They were very accommodating to our group and our large vans.

The van sites are generally gravel, with the camping sites grass. If you don’t have your own shower these are $1 for 5 mins, and all reports say that they are super hot. We enjoyed a campfire with friends as the wallaby’s as hopped around, what more could you want? From here we explored Sheffield, Devils Gullet, Lake McKenzie, Tasmazia, Lake Barrington, and Cradle Mountain. Here is the Wikicamps link.

Finns Campground – Cockle Creek

  • Free
  • Facilities – Toilet, non-portable water, pet friendly, fires, minimal phone service
  • To do – hiking, fishing, swimming, boating,

After a couple of weeks in a house sit we were super excited to travel to the end of the road and arrive at Finns where there were only a few people and minimal phone service. The campsite was a little wet after recent rains, but the puddles soak in quickly in the sandy soil. We were able to enjoy a campfire, although you need to travel a little to collect wood. The drop toilet was adequate, not too smelly.

This location is quite remote so you need to bring in all your own food, water and supplies. The beach is amazing. Kids loved exploring and building sandcastles with their new friends, while the adults enjoyed a bit of fishing. The biggest highlight of this campsite for us was the oysters you can collect off the rocks at low tide. They are just epic in size and flavour. There are a few nice hikes from this location. I can see why it is extremely busy in the warmer months. Here is the Wikicamps link.

Has that wet your tastebuds for Tasmania?

With easy access to water, free camps and dump points, Tasmania is really a free campers paradise. Mix that up with a bit of luxury in some really lovely low cost campsites and caravan parks you really will have the most amazing camping experience.

If that doesn’t wet your taste buds for the amazing places you can visit in Tasmania, I don’t know what will. Maybe the top 10 attraction in Tasmania will put you over the line . . . keep any eye out for that post coming soon. Link will be here once live.

If you loved this blog post, you might like to read one of our others below…

Bruny Island – Tasmania

From Left of Field we headed towards Hobart. Along the way Adrian had suggested a stop at the Salmon Ponds. This was a great experience with the kids being able to feed the salmon and trout as well as learn about how they originally brought the fish eggs to Australia from England and started the trout and salmon industry in Tasmania. After spending a chilly morning in the English style gardens we stopped in the little café on site for a serving of their beautiful crepe style pancakes. Whether you choose savory or sweet, you wont go wrong.

Bruny Island

Bruny Island is a short half hour barge ride using the Sealink Bruny Island ferry from Kettering. The cost of the ferry is by length, for us it was $85 return. All the details of times and costs can be found at by clicking the link above. Although the ferry is a short ride the kids really enjoyed it. They are able to get out of the car and explore the barge, they even got to go up and see the captain and check out the view from the bridge!

Before arriving on the Island we had asked a few fellow travellers on their experiences about where to stay and what to do. We understand that every families preferences are different but we love hearing from others and their experiences.

While on the island we decided to stay at the Bruny Island Landscape Supplies. John and Sheryl have provided a great RV park where you get power and water for $20 per night (no charge for kids). Pets are welcome and there is plenty of wildlife onsite too. We decided to stay on the island a week, and the only problem we found with this site was the distance from a lot of the attractions on the South Island and also from the dump point at Alonnah. In saying this Sheryl mentioned that they are in the process of improving the site with toilets and dump point on site part of the plan. If we were to come back to the island I think we would probably split our stay or stay down on South Bruny because of the activities we like to enjoy.

Cape Bruny Lighthouse

Speaking of attractions . . . there is so much to experience on Bruny. Other than the fishing, our favourite experience was the tour of the Cape Bruny Lighthouse. Our tip is to book online before arrival or arrive after lunch to avoid all the tour buses. The small museum onsite is free entry and has some very interesting artifacts. The record of the tides and swell over time really intrigued us, and there is a pin board where you can record your home location.

The lighthouse is one of very few that is still in its original form. In the transition to modern lighting and power many lighthouses were gutted and their lenses etcetera thrown over the cliff. Luckily this one was preserved and the new, much smaller, LED solar powered lighthouse was built on the adjacent hill. The tour of the lighthouse is $35 for a family (children must be over 5 years) and lasts around 30 minutes. We were lucky enough to have the tour to ourselves, allowing us to get the tour guide to capture some great photos for us and for the all of us to ask plenty of questions. You will get the history of lighthouses like how they were built, how they were manned, the characters who manned them, and how they worked. To us the cost was well worth it for the information we learnt from the informative guide.

Fluted Cape Walk – Or Grass Point Walk

For a more natural experience we highly recommend the Fluted Cape Walk. Another of the Tasmanian 60 Great Short Walks, this is a 2.5 hour return walk that takes in the history of whaling in the area, some awesome rock stacking, the beautiful Grass Point and then up to the very high cliffs of the Fluted Cape.

This walk isn’t for the faint hearted, or for children. There are exposed high cliffs very close to the track and some points of the track are very steep.  A more tame and child friendly walk is the 1.5 hour return walk out to Grass Point only. You will get the history, and some views of the fluted cape from this lovely walk. We enjoyed this with the kiddies and even took our fishing rods out to wet a line. For more information on this walk check out the Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania Website.

The Food and Drink

Bruny Island is renowned for its fresh produce and amazing food. We thoroughly enjoyed a lot of it while we were there. The kids enjoyed a visit to the Bruny Island Chocolate Co and also The Honey Pot. Being able to view the inside of a working beehive was a highlight. And tasting the fudge and chocolate is always a pep up for everyone.

For the adults our highlights were the meal we enjoyed at Hotel Bruny. Dean and I shared the amazing Seafood Platter for Two which included all local produce where possible. We enjoyed oysters, fish, salmon, calamari, scollops, chips and salad. It was one of the most epic seafood platters we have ever eaten, and what the best part was . . . there was an abundance of local produce on the plate! The kids meals were also beautiful and fresh!

The other meal we really enjoyed was our visit to Get Shucked! We are both big oyster fans and had heard that the oysters that come out of these waters were divine. We enjoyed the mixed dozen oysters that come natural, Kilpatrick and Asian style. These were so beautiful. It is the first time we have tasted Asian style, and it is absolutely a style I plan to make in the future. They also do bowls of chips for the kids, and have a fully licenced bar onsite to enjoy a G&T with your oysters.  Take away is also an option, which we did ready for our 3 month anniversary on the road!

The last and most expensive stop that we enjoyed was The House of Whiskey. There is a cost associated with the tastings here but they were well worth it for the knowledge and information that we gained about the production of gin and whiskey and how to do it justice when drinking it. For me, Amy, I thoroughly enjoyed the gin tasting and brought home with me a small bottle of the Seclusion Limited Release Satellite Gin. This gin is super special, in that when tonic water is added it causes a chemical reaction and changes colour.  Added to this it tasted amazing. Dean tried and brought home the Lake Pedder Honey, Orange Zest and Spice Tasmanian Mellifera. We walked out a little poorer, but we have some lovely gin and whiskey to enjoy with our mates when we catch up with them in the Red Centre!

Other Attractions

Depending on your budget there are plenty of adventures you can go on. We chose not to pay for the big tours, but plenty of travellers we spoke to believed that the tour was well worth the dollars. For us we were much closer to home when we were trying out the fishing spots, four-wheel driving and visiting some of the more remote locations on the island. Our recommendations were a visit to Cloudy Bay, the inland 4WD track from South Bruny across to Adventure Bay through the Mount Midway Forest Reserve, and also a drive to the most northerly point, Dennes Point.

In conclusion we loved Bruny. Well worth the ferry cost and we can see why it is a really popular holiday destination for Tasmanian’s. We recommend trying to visit in the quieter periods so that you can enjoy the island, rather than waiting in line and dealing with the traffic. No matter your budget, you can have a ripper experience on this island.

In our next and final installment of our third month on the road we hit the sand and snow. When it goes live click here! In the mean time hit us up with your questions below.

Tasmania – Breaking the Budget

Tasmania is the best place to find your feet in the caravan, roll with the punches and just live. The budget is not what its about, its the attractions and experiences.

Our second month in Tasmania can be labelled the spending month! We have been spending left, right and centre. When we left on this adventure we agreed that we are not living to a struct budget, we are just LIVING! We are going to enjoy ourselves, and rein in the purse strings when we need to. That being said this month we have spent way more than anticipated on many things. But you know what, we have had the most amazing time. Tassie is the best place to find your feet in the caravan, roll with the punches and just live.

Polarsteps App – This is what month 2 looks like in our tracking app. We love this app for tracking exactly where we go, and also to give our families access to and piece of mind we are OK. You can also order a printed book at the end of your trip.

Campsites

During the month of April we have stayed at 7 different campsites, mostly being a mix of low cost and caravan parks. We really enjoyed all our campsites for many different reasons and here they are;

  • Scottsdale – Free Camp – water and toilets, flat sites close to town and beautiful park with platypus in the waterways.
  • Old Mac’s Farm – Launcestion – We really enjoyed this location for its convenience to Launceston for shopping (the bank account didn’t though), for the beautiful surrounds, the animals for the kids to feed and room for the kids to explore.
  • Longford Caravan Park – Although a little more expensive per night the park is beautiful, has an awesome skatepark next door and amazing park down the road.
  • South Arm RSL – Low cost at only $10 per night for access to lovely toilets and showers during opening hours. Lovely locals and they do a great meal. Mostly though we loved how close it was to some awesome fishing spots where Dean got to try out his new spearfishing gear.
  • Arthur Lake, Pumphouse campground – Low cost, amazing inland fishing spot, and the best smelling pit toilets you will ever visit thanks to the amazing caretakers.
  • Gowrie Park Wilderness Village – We stayed here over the easter weekend with friends and it was the perfect place to explore the area. Mount Rowland, Devils Gullet, Tazmazia, Sheffield town of murals, and Cradle Mountain – so much to do that we ended up expending our stay.
  • Strahan Golf Club – Although we had really average weather on the west coast we made the most of it. The campsite at the Golf club is quite basic with access to water and basic gravel sites but you cant expect much for for $40 for the week. So so cheap.

Attractions

We have ticked off some really big ticket items this month. We have feel like we have really explored all the area’s we visited thoroughly. But here are the epic attractions that we think are must sees;

Jacobs Ladder – Ben Lomond National Park – One hour from Launceston, and best visited in the warmer months, unless you want to ski!
Supercars Tyrepower Supersprint – Symmons Plains Raceway – super affordable for families compared with many other Supercars races, especially with the Park and View upgrade.
Cateract Gorge – Launceston – Chairlift is amazing fun, kids loved the park, and the parents enjoyed the quiet coffee taking in the surrounds.
Devil’s Gullet – Super easy walk for an epic reward. No photo could convey how high these cliffs are! We visiting this one from Gowrie Park.
Trial Harbour – The wild west coast, We traveled here from Strahan.

Montezuma Falls – Oh what an adventure this one was. It is the highest waterfall in Tasmania and we were getting there. Check out our Facebook post to find out how – click here

As you can see we have really mixed it up with the costs of our attractions. We are really picky on what we spend our travelling dollars on and we are not big on touristy attractions. Although the World Heritage Cruise cost us a couple of hundred dollars we felt it was well worth the money, especially with the discount we got through NRMA and the absolutely amazing lunch provided as part of the cruise.

The day out getting to Montezuma Falls was also one of our favorites, showing the determination of our family to get there in the end. But the outing we are most proud of this month is getting to Marions Lookout in the Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair Nation Park. For those who have walked it know it is quite a hike, and the kids didn’t whinge a bit . . . well maybe only a little bit! But we made it as a family, and the kids proudly called Grandma from the summit.

Budget

We have made some big purchases this month and which has lead to an increase in our overall weekly spend. We have also had to do some unscheduled maintenance on the caravan.

This month we have traveled 2567km resulting in 4 fuel ups to keep us moving. We have been able to save on fuel by shopping around using the FuelMap app and have paid between 155.9 and 157.9 c/L. Compared with last month we have driven about 1000km more, leading into a significant increase in fuel costs. We have also paid for accomodation more often with Easter and school holidays.

We have put new tyres on all 6 rims for the car costing around $1600. This was to ensure that the correct rated tyres were on the car for its specifications. We also set ourselves up for snorkeling and spearfishing resulting in a small purchase coming to $1125. Hopefully this will pay us back a little with fish in the freezer!

For the caravan we have had to replace the thermostat in the fridge, the pressure release valve on the hot water system and a new battery charger pushing up maintenance costs. But these costs will arise when we have a 15 year old caravan.

Budget Breakdown

MonthPer week
Accommodation$468.00$105.67
Food$1072.12$242.09
Fuel$912.00$205.93
Alcohol$388.85$87.80
Eating Out$424.90$95.94
Experiences$265.00$59.83
Other (phone, internet, other bills and spending$5830.47$1316.55
Total$9361.34$2184.31*
*1548.47 per week taking out the big purchases

In conclusion, with our everyday costs we have saved dollars on food shops and only spent slightly more in eating out. Alcohol is slightly up reflecting the “settling in period” for caravan life and distance schooling. To be honest I don’t think we had a dry day in April. Oooops! But overall we are happy with the fact that our everyday costs on the road are actually comparable to living at home.

If you have any questions for us please put them below. We want to encourage other families to do what we are doing, and experience this amazing country.

Campsite Review – Camp on Allyn

Want a spot right on the river with a relaxed countryside feel . . . then this is your place!

Large grassy campsites – we fitted 3 caravans, a camper trailer and a couple of tents all on the one site. (Note: each accomodation is charged as a site for fee purposes)

LOCATION

1972 Gresford Road, East Gresford, NSW[

Late last year we joined a group of our friends to celebrate a 30th Birthday at Camp on Allyn. The owners, Robyn and Tom, have recently opened up their working cattle property to the public, allowing them to enjoy this piece of paradise that is on the Allyn River.

Kids enjoying some pillow pasta around the campfire.

CAMP FEES

  • $25 per powered site (2 people)
  • $20 non-powered site (2 people)
  • $5 per extra person over 3 years of age

FACILITIES

  • Flat grassy paddock site
  • 2 x Family Rooms with hot shower and toilet
  • 2 x seperate toilets
  • camp kitchen
  • dump point and garbage disposal
  • central campfire – individual fire drums on request
  • pet friendly
  • 8 x powered sites available, and un-powered sites at the owners discretion (there is a maximum limit of people on the site to prevent over crowding)
  • access to the Allyn River

Upon arrival you get an in-depth induction into the correct use of this site. There is a lot of history on this site and the owners expect all campers to respect the site and facilities they have installed for your comfort. It is important to realise that if we all use these new campsites in the right way, they will be there for our kids and grandkids to use for years to come.

Gotta love a campfire…

What I loved about this campsite is that each of the sites are extra large allowing for groups to camp together, and to not feel like you are sitting right on top of your neighbour. It also gives the kids plenty of room to run and ride around and enjoy the countryside.

The sunsets were epic, and the company priceless . . . and that’s what camping is really about isn’t it.

To further check out the site or to make a booking click below – https://www.facebook.com/Camp-On-Allyn-East-Gresford-781950861978147/