What to Know Before you Park Your Caravan

Author: Tahlia Maynard   Date Posted:6 October 2016 

Before you can set up camp and get the kettle on, it’s important to know where you can park and for how long.

Caravanning is embraced in Australia with open arms by more and more campers each year. Arguably, this is because of the heightened sense of freedom, the rush of adventure and for the drive of the unknown. When you’re out on the road, you get to explore amazing destinations for as little or as long as you want, enjoy quality time with your family and friends as well as embrace the tranquillity of nature.

By definition, caravans are considered to be ‘heavy long vehicles’ which unfortunately means there are some restrictions on their use.

If you don’t fancy running into any troubles with local authorities, without a doubt the easiest way to avoid tapping on your window in the middle of the night is to utilise one of many certified caravan parks located in almost all popular tourist spots. While the rates tend to vary spot to spot, most charge from $15 per night and will include most amenities that you’re after.

There are some really awesome websites available now to help you find good spots to park at throughout Australia which means you can both plan ahead or pick your camping sites while you’re on the road.

If campsites are not your thing, you have to be aware of local parking by-laws to avoid getting into sticky situations. If you plan on going to remote destinations, it’s important to do your research ahead of time. Local councils have the last say when it comes to parking in Australia. This means that the laws and their enforcement differ substantially from place to place.

For example, popular tourist spot; Byron Bay has implemented a no-parking rule between 1am-5am to discourage tourist from pulling up and free parking overnight. Similar beach destinations have follow suit and can incur fines upwards of $200 if you are caught. The best call of action is to check the local government websites to find out what the specific rules are for each place to ensure you always make informed decisions.

While there are lots of variances in the parking rules there are also some laws that apply for majority of Australia. One of which being that you are unable to park in residential streets (especially those close to busy tourist spots).

A popular misconception with campers is that National Parks are free to camp at. While yes, they are popular camping spots they do require pre-payment and a booking. To book or to find out more you can visit the Australian Government National Parks website which will direct you to the suitable websites for each state. 

The best advice is to do your research and organise your trip ahead of time if you can. This will give you both peace of mind and guaranteed availability of the amenities that you need. There is lots of information out there, so it’s worth just spending a little time to get in the know, it will definitely help save you from getting a fine on your next adventure. Wouldn’t that be a shame.