On the 29th of April 2022, Dylan and I finally set off from Perth.
After over a year of building out the van and planning for the trip (or lack there-of), we got in the van, Daisy, and headed North.
I am usually a stickler for planning. I consider myself a bit of a control freak. However, I knew this trip would be such a good way to get out of my comfort zone in this sense. So, aside from what direction we were going in, we have done little-to-no planning.
We’ve saved up as much money as we could over the last year, hoping we won’t have to work too much on the road, aside from HOPEFULLY getting some photography and videography gigs along the way.
But this also means we’re travelling on a budget. If you’ve done any research into how to travel around Australia on a budget, one of the number one things you’ll come across is to try and free-camp as much as you can.
So far, we’re three nights in and we’ve free camped each night. Fingers crossed we can keep this up for as much as we can.
Moore River Bridge Rest Stop
Our first night we stayed at a rest stop. These are great in WA because you’re allowed to stay there for usually a maximum of 24 hours. They’re there to make sure you’re travelling safely, and not driving tired. This one is a little bit pulled away from the road so the road noise isn’t terrible. You definitely can still hear it, so if you’re a super light sleeper it might bother you, but if you’re able to get a spot a bit further from the road you’ll be alright.
There’s also toilets and rubbish bins here.
It was a nice little spot, a great way to start our adventure.
Our second night we stayed in Lancelin. We were initially planning on pulling out of Lancelin and staying at a rest stop on the side of the main road. But my friend Tina came up to visit us and decided to stay with us for one night in the van. This changed our plans a little as it would be a lot more comfortable having toilets around, it being the three of us.
So, we decided to take our chances and park at a beach that didn’t have a “NO CAMPING” sign. You’ll find most places do, but where we stayed there were a couple of other cars parked there.
We spoke to a local in the morning who said, technically it’s not legal to park there and you can get a fine.
He said the problem was really with people not cleaning up after themselves and taking advantage of the toilets blocks but not being considerate of other people using them, or the cleaners who have to clean them everyday.
I had been on edge all night, waiting for someone to knock on the door. But I hoped the worst that would happen is that they would tell us to move on, rather than giving us a fine. No one knocked, but I’ll leave it up to you if you want to take a chance like we did.
Just make sure you look after the places you stay, whether it’s legal to camp there or not. Leave that place better than you found it and respect the locals.
Tuarts Reserve is just a 10 minute drive out of Cervantes, and 20 minutes from Jurien. We had spent the day by the beach and at the pinnacles, so a rest stop amongst the trees was just what we needed.
This spot is a 72 hour free rest stop and we were the only ones there.
It’s a little off from Cervantes road, which is not very busy so we only heard a few cars go by in the distance.
This is another spot you want to respect. It’s for those who are fully self-contained, meaning you have a toilet and a grey water tank.
You can tell this is something not everyone considers when they are staying here. But the fact that the council is proving this spot for free means everyone should respect the rules in place.
Lots of trees and the sound of birds will peacefully wake you in the morning.
Free camping is probably the thing I’ve been the most nervous about in planning/thinking about our trip. Knowing it’s something we will have to do but at the same time, wanting to make sure we do the right thing and follow the rules.
So far, three nights into this trip, it hasn’t been too bad at all. I’ll keep you updated if things change and with any other tips that may pop up along the way. And, comment below your thoughts. Have you free camped before? Do you have any tips?