We arrived in Tasmania around 6 months into our journey around Australia and New Zealand. There was little we knew about the state in all honesty and we had planned absolutely nothing, other than our ticket on the boat too and from the state. But that is exactly how we wanted this part of our trip to be. We wanted to just arrive and be surprised. See where we ended up each day and hopefully see as much of the state as possible in our three weeks there.
Our journey on the island began deboarding the Spirit of Tasmania in Devonport and driving south to Launceston right away. From there we then made our way to the north east of the island and along the way stopping at small towns, information centers and any brown sign that sounded interesting, brown signs being iconic places or landmarks.
And throughout this beginning of our journey we realised that Tasmania had an abundance of free camping spots in amazing locations, like seriously amazing! So in our love of anything free and adventurous, we set off on trying to free camp our way around most of Tasmania.
Our first epic camp spot was right off the beach with our own stretch of private sand, just south of the Bay of Fires in the north east of the island.
We had a massive site, drank champagne of the beach whilst the sun went down and woke up to a beautiful beach. What more could you want out of camping?!
After that night we continued journeying south and camped along the beach another 3-4 times. All in free camps that had beach access and views, toilets, even if they were drop, and even the possibility of fires at a few.
Our first impression of Tasmania, was yes that it was significantly quieter than expected, but it was also beautiful and amazing, so much so that we could camp right on the beach for FREE!
Each town we passed through we would fill up our water bottles at a free tap or petrol station, making sure we got the full free experience.
And when it came to the need of showers, because it was quite cold and no way were we going swimming in the ocean, we located RV friendly towns. In most cases RV towns meant that the free camp/s they provided also contained showers. Most often you had to pay for hot water but it was only a $2 coin, so not too bad. Except that when Alex and I arrived after 4/5 days I think ready for a hot shower to take away the cold outside, we realised we had absolutely no coins….
No to worry, a free shower is a free shower and we were not turning that down. Even if it meant we would freeze for a minute or two. It was quite entertaining to both of us, and I don’t think either of us have ever showered so quickly, nor appreciated a shower more. It felt like ice but afterwards oh we were so clean.
All that free camping and free shower earned us a meal out that day and it was delicious!
Slowly by slowly, each day we made our way further south, free camping all the way in the direction of Hobart.
Before we visited the city we in fact made a small journey over to Bruny Island. An island off an island, off an island, just to clarify.
It’s a tiny island about 2ish hours drive south of Hobart. You take a barge over which comes every hour most of the day and only costs $30. We hoped on in the morning one day and planned on staying maybe 1-2 nights depending on what there was to see and do.
That day we drove pretty much the entire island, taking in the sites and enjoying the very quite nature that surrounded us.
That night we camped in a National Park where we paid a donation fee of $10 to stay the night. It had toilets, was right on the beach and even had running water we could wash our dishes with. For that price why wouldn’t you stay, have a fire, listen to the ocean and watch the stars?!
After one night on the island however, we were ready to go back to the other island, Tasmania that is… We missed the boat back by 5 minutes and so waited in line for 2 hours because it was their lunch break, just our luck. But once it came we were back on Tasmania in no time and ready to continue exploring.
We stopped off in Hobart for a few days, which we will tell you all about in another blog, because well it didn’t involve any free camping.
But afterwards we made out way north west. And yep you guessed it, we free camped again. On the west coast it is mostly a national park with very little towns and civilisation around, so free camping was easy and always nice.
But because of that limited number of towns, when we did drive through one, we did take advantage of caravan parks for a night here and there and their showers. There glorious warm showers ahh!
All in all, for the three weeks we spent on Tasmania, two of them were free camped. And for some it may seem like a lot of sleeping in the bush, going a day or two without showers or even a decent coffee, which in a way is true. But after our journey thus far around Australia, anything free is always welcome! And to our wonderful surprise free isn’t always crapy. In fact in Tasmania it was the opposite. Every free camp we stayed at and found on the island was amazing! Right on the beach most of the time, with private stretches of sand, the ability to light fires and epic sunsets!
Tasmania was very different to what we had expected, even without any idea what we would encounter there. But the best surprise and part of our journey there was free camping! There is nothing quite like it and if you have the chance, give it a try, we are sure you will enjoy it, especially on Tassie!