On our East Coast road trip in Australia from Brisbane to Cairns, we stayed in what had to the be the best free campsite in all of Queensland. This was in a place called Bouldercombe.
It was our third day of our road trip and we were in Rockhampton. To find our free campsites we used the app WikiCamps, which if you are travelling Australia in a van or camping, I highly recommend getting. Every night we would go on the app, find the closest site that had the best reviews, and then that would be our home for the night. In Rockhampton, there is a camp very close to the centre and close to the Zoo and Botanic Gardens that we visited (video below of that). However, it is really close to a main road and I didn’t quite fancy that. The only other options meant either driving until it was dark, or driving around 20 minutes out of the way.
Why should you visit Bouldercombe?
We chose 20 minutes out of the way and boy are we glad! This little campsite was very quiet, but full with all different types of travellers. Along with us there were only four other people using this campsite. We were amazed that more people didn’t know about it. There were your typical backpacking couple, doing yoga and sleeping in their 4WD. A slightly older, lone German man staying in a compact camper. An middle aged Aussie couple with a van similar to ours. And then a single guy how pulled up just before the sun went down to set up his tent. What ever you’re sleeping in, this flat site is suitable for all.
The facilities at this camp are what made it outshine the rest. Across from the camp was a little triangle of a park, where the facilities were, and next door was the local pub. This camp has the cleanest toilets we’d ever seen on the trip. There were no spiders, hand soap in the dispensers, lots of toilet roll and even scented blocks all over to keep it smelling fresh. It was clear that a lot of hard work and time was spent by the locals to keep this little camp in tip top condition. There was even an outside cold shower, and we were amazed that all this was for free.
The grill area was also a lovely addition for this camp. Also situated in the park, there was a grill, a kettle, plug sockets, a sink and even a guest book. Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to open or read it, but we will 100% be coming back to this camp, so I’ll get to next time. There’s also a small play area for the kids.
A place for a quiet drink
We stopped in the pub, The Royal Hotel, for a beer in order to pay our way a little bit. If you end up staying here, we suggest you pop in too. According to the reviews on WikiCamps, they also serve food. The beers were also rather cheap only costing us $9.40 (just under £6) for two. We felt very welcomed and enjoyed sitting on the deck at the front of the pub. While sitting there just enjoying the night as the sky turned into a range of purples, we suddenly looked up and to our surprise there was a huge Kangaroo staring at us from the park across the street.
Now this being only the second Kangaroo we had ever seen in real life, never mind in the wild, we wasn’t sure what the protocol was, and Alex and I just kind of stared and I pulled my phone out to film it. All the locals were super impressed, especially the kids, but no-one more than we were! I unfortunately didn’t get many, if at all any, photos of this amazing free camp. I wish I had more to show you how beautiful the mountain range and the surrounding area was. But below is a video of our time in Rockhampton instead.
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