Favourite types of free camping overnight spots when "on the road"

Submitted: Thursday, Dec 16, 2004 at 21:44
ThreadID: 121651 Views:3376 Replies:2 FollowUps:0
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From: Steven Gibbs and Family,
Thought some "newbies" might like to know some of my favourite styles of overnight stops.... I often get asked..

In my travels in Oz, I have three favourites I have learned to spot. Now this only works on the back country roads for the most part, but that is how I generally travel, as the highway is the dangerous route. One is the Stock Route… Almost all small country roads were once or still are Crown Land style Stock Routes. You know you are on one when you see a fence along one side of the road and what?… The other side of the road a couple of hundred metres or more of Bush before the fence or gate starts?? That is or was most probably a gazetted Stock Route… Now I have learned that if the gate is unlocked or open, don’t bother anyone as it sees a lot of traffic. But if the gate is locked, it is usually not a lived in paddock or sees a lot of traffic… Ever notice the “fence inspection road” runs on the outside of the paddock? They are not silly, they are not going to rut up their own paddock, instead they drive down the Stock Route side… I often will pull up that dirt track until out of site or I find a place to turn around, and since 1988 I have never been bothered… Mind you no fires in a dry or restricted area, this is just for an overnight stop… And my rule is stay out of sight, so no one worries… And mind you, I travel on back country roads, and would probably not do this on the main coastal highway as much…

My second favourite is quarry sites… They almost never truck in the road base, they mine it every 40 or 50 kms in many places. It is a long lonely looking dirt track to nowhere, that sometimes opens up into a beautiful open pit left with a with a hard graded and rolled flat bottom and shear sound proof rock walls one to three metres high. I have found some of them a hundred metres wide or more and longer yet. A great pastime would be to map some of these and I have often regretted I did not do so..

My third favourite is the abandoned highway stretches… The bonus of looking down the dirt tracks is sometimes seeing it hump up and over an abandoned highway section. They often do not build the new road over the old because of traffic problems, they often abandon it and build alongside, particularly in stock route areas… I have found them with bridges removed, a bid dirt jump up in place, or dug up every couple of km, but otherwise left intact. My one rule is always get out of sight, but what a wonderful camping area. I have found them in sheer rock cut away spots right along a major highway, only a hundred metres off the road but out of sight and soundproof. I have found them alongside but above the road where a dirt track access went up to the top where they started blasting their way down. I have found them at the end of a stretch of abandoned highway next to a nice creek with the bridge out… Some marvellous places, that again I wish I had mapped. But then, what is the adventure in that? Got to find them…..

My major tips, always start looking about late afternoon, might take a while to find one. I always wait too late, get caught out in the dark, and have to look with a spotlight which is not as fun… Rule #2 is always stay out of sight, no sense worrying anyone or tempting fate. Rule #3, watch fires, no fire is better, or at least not in a fire area or dry area or when windy… And pour water on your fire if you do have one, when you leave…

Now I am sure I will catch **** from some well meaning, greenie, bunny hugging bureaucrat, for not having attended to the mail in advance, for surveyed gazetted Canberra approved permit application, with combined aerial photos and proper registered pegged out survey of my proposed campsite, and timetable with appropriate fee and dates reserved, and appropriate environmental impact study... But so be it, they haven’t caught me in 16 years and it is still a Free Country out there in my book.. The cattle and sheep drovers do it all the time, "No worries Mate". Some have lived like that full time for nine months as they drove their cattle alongside the back country roads and stock routes trying to keep them alive in a drought. I have travelled them with 4x4s and even horses driving cattle myself. It is the "Real Australia" and not the reserve of the bunny hugging bureaucrats that are taking our forests and State and National Park access away from us, but that is another subject...

Sooooo, be careful out there, and mind you don’t do it in Aboriginal Lands, but in the bulk of getting somewhere safe overnight spots, these are my three favourite ones that many people don’t seem to know about… It comes from experience and many miles done. I have posted this as I often get the enquiry.....

Regards to all....

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Reply By: Turist - Friday, Dec 17, 2004 at 01:43

Friday, Dec 17, 2004 at 01:43
A supporting note;
Unless the law has recently changed you are permitted to camp overnight on a gazetted stock route.
You can not be forced to move on by a ranger or other "official" twit.

Regards
Bob
"Do It While You Can"
Nobody is getting any younger.

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AnswerID: 565528

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Dec 18, 2004 at 06:11

Saturday, Dec 18, 2004 at 06:11
See, It was "for the greater good" that Steve came on-line.
They are good tips Steve,
I'm sure a lot of people get "caught short" with o'night stops and I know we're getting a BT so's we DON'T have to get ripped of in Van Parks.
AnswerID: 565529

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