Tassie free camping report delayed by two months

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A free camping area in Tasmania.
A free camping area in Tasmania.

A report clarifying the regulations surrounding free camping on council land in Tasmania has been delayed by two months.

The Tasmania Examiner says that the report was supposed to be handed to the Local Government Association of Tasmanian in June so it could be discussed at its July 25 annual general meeting.

The report, to be prepared by a steering committee led by the Tasmanian Treasury, is now expected in August.

“The time frame was extended due to a request from local government members of the working group for further matters to be considered,” a state government spokeswoman said.

The Local Government Association of Tasmanian passed a motion at its March meeting to seek clarification on the legality of free camping on council land.


The Tasmania Examiner reports that the National Competition Policy, which is enforced by the state government and Tasmanian Economic Regulator, dictates that it is illegal to offer free camping as it impinges on private businesses.

However, there is inconsistent enforcement of the rule, with some councils offering free camping and others not.

Northern Midlands mayor David Downie told the Examiner he was a “little disappointed” the state government report had been delayed.

“All tourists are important to our economy and we need to find a way to cater for them whether they are travelling with self-contained facilities or people who use caravan parks,” he said.

LGAT chief executive Katrena Stephenson said one of the major issues was there were two types of campers.

She told the Examiner that free council camping areas were only suitable for self-contained vehicles, while RV parks provide other amenities.

“There’s a difficulty to find the balance between rights of private companies, but also recognising there is a new market,” she said.

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11 Responses to Tassie free camping report delayed by two months

  1. The easy answer is to charge 5 cents per night, payable into a secure cash box on site the same as some State (sorry, National) Parks. Then it is not “free”.

  2. We are personally in favour of ‘free camping’ especially in Tassie because of the cost of nearly $2000 to arrive in Devonport. This needs to be offset with the availability of free camping. We intend to say six months so would be spending lots in small towns. I am sure these shops in these towns that offer ‘free camping’ appreciate the money that we spend.

    • Agreed. If the Tassie government want tourism then they can either:
      1. Subsidise the cost of getting vans/MH there, or
      2. Allow free camping.

      Either/or, don’t care. Otherwise I will not be going!

  3. I hope that , despite the pressure from RV parks, the govt can see the importance of having these free or low cost camping areas, an essential part of some small towns income

  4. We prefer to stay in towns that provide free or low cost camping areas as our caravan is self contained. We have noticed that a lot of caravan parks are increasing their fees. I believe this will lead to more grey nomads opting out of using caravan parks.

  5. Free camping must remain a free joyce to the traveler. The distance we drive to go to a certain spot costs us lot’s of money. The QLD NP Is a good example of ” failures “, you can’t book a spot on line nor by phone for many resons, there are yo many to wright about. Free camping must be offert all over Australia with out any discussion.

  6. Do away with free camping and I will not travel anywhere.

  7. Re Roger’s comment
    “” We prefer to stay in towns that provide free or low cost camping areas as our caravan is self contained. We have noticed that a lot of caravan parks are increasing their fees. I believe this will lead to more grey nomads opting out of using caravan parks”””

    With such a growth industry that we are involved in I fail to see why the C.P have an issue with Free camping. As the numbers grow so will the booking at C.P. But increasing prices will just drive more of their customers to update their units so as to be able to free camp.

    We only use C.P if and when we have to..ie… major regional cities like Gold Coast Mackay Townsville and Cairns to name a few.
    My view is let the Market Forces decide.

  8. I totally agree that the low cost and free camping should be available, we spend a lot of money in towns that make us feel welcome and we call it support camping instead of free as we are helping town’s that if not for travellers would die out. For some towns it’s already too late

  9. We are a fully self contained 34ft Motorhome towing a Suzuki and try not to pay exorbitant caravan park fees when ever possible and dont generally need CP facilities. We are planning a trip to Tassie next year for approx 4 months. Coupled with the transport costs to get there we would not make the trip if there were no FREE or LOW cost camps available and choose to do our travels on the main land. We find it amusing to think that if we dont make the trip planned then the Tassie local businesses will not get our spending $ and I am sure other travelers will be of the same mind.

  10. althoug attacks have ocurred at free camp sites more murders have been done in many more caravan parks by far cheers

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