Free Camping Near Launceston Tasmania: 9 Best Campsites

free camping near launceston

For travellers eager to immerse themselves in the unique charm and diverse attractions of Launceston without taking too much of a hit to their budget, Launceston offers an enticing array of fantastic free camping spots waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a local seeking a weekend escape or a visitor keen to uncover the charms of Launceston, our guide on the best free camping in Launceston is the ultimate free camping resource.

We’ve put together this guide to help you discover the best free camping near Launceston. Join us as we run through a curated list of the 9 best free campsites that are all within a 30-minute drive of Launceston. We discuss everything you need to know about each free campsite such as their maximum length of stay, whether they allow pets, what facilities they offer and more.

1. Lilydale Falls Reserve (Lilydale)

Cost: Free.

Distance from Launceston: The Lilydale Falls Reserve campsite is 29.7km from Launceston which is approximately a 25-35 minute drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).

Maximum Length of Stay: 24 hours.

Ground: Gravel and grass (gravel for vehicle setups and grass for tent camping).

Facilities: Toilets, BBQs, fire pits, a playground, shelter, picnic tables and bins.

Requirements: Nothing, camping is available to motorhomes, campervans, caravans and tents. There is a large grass area for tent camping.

Phone Reception: Yes.

Pets Allowed: Yes (dogs are allowed within the camp ground area on leash only, they are not allowed on the Lilydale Falls walking track).

Just north of the quaint town of Lilydale, a short 30-minute drive from Launceston, Lilydale Falls Reserve is a free camping haven for both vehicle setups and tent campers. This popular spot offers the best of both worlds, seamlessly combining the mesmerising beauty of a tourist attraction with the allure of free camping. The fantastic waterfall walk and convenient camping quickly made this spot one of our favourites for free camping near Launceston.

Camping options include the gravel car park for vehicle setups or a grassed area for tents. At the campsite, a well-maintained walking trail invites visitors on a serene journey amidst the soothing sounds of cascading waterfalls and lush ferns to two spectacular waterfalls. The first waterfall is just a short 5-minute walk away and the second a mere 5 minutes further. The reserve also features facilities such as toilets, BBQs, a playground and picnic tables, making for the perfect getaway.

Lilydale Falls Reserve is a very popular free camping site near Launceston so we’d recommend getting there early to secure a spot if you’re visiting during peak season. It’s also important to note that the campsite is quite small and is shared with day use visitors so manoeuvring a large setup would be extremely difficult when the campsite is full. This is something you’ll need to consider if you have a big rig or caravan. While located just off the main road, road noise is minimal during the night with little traffic.

In addition to the main car park area at Lilydale Falls Reserve there are a couple of bays along the road in that are open for camping.

2. Gravelly Beach Overnight Rest Area (Gravelly Beach)

Cost: Free (takes donations).

Distance from Launceston: The Gravelly Beach Overnight Rest Area is 26.3km from Launceston which is approximately a 25-35 minute drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).

Maximum Length of Stay: 5pm until 9am each day.

Ground: Paved.

Facilities: Rose Bay Park next to the rest area has bins, electric BBQs, a skate park, a basketball court, a playground, picnic tables, toilets and dog bag dispensers.

Requirements: Must be self-contained (no tents). Only camp between 5pm-9am in the allocated bays.

Phone Reception: Yes.

Pets Allowed: Yes.

Nestled within 30 minutes of Launceston in the beautiful coastal town of Gravelly Beach, the Gravelly Beach Overnight Rest Area offers a tranquil free camping experience in a picturesque setting. Experience a night of riverside bliss and serenity, with stunning views of River Tamar, before exploring the beauty of Launceston and its surrounds. Another one of our favourites for free camping near Launceston, we stayed here multiple times and had spectacular sunsets, sunrises and a peaceful night every time.

Situated in the car park of the Gravelly Beach Boat Ramp, this free camping spot features multiple bays for campers to park in overnight. Adjacent to Rose Bay Park, campers have access to an array of facilities including a skate park, basketball court, playground, toilets and BBQs, ensuring ample entertainment and convenience. Despite its proximity to the road, a popular park and the boat ramp, the campsite offers a quiet retreat for campers at night with little traffic in the area.

It’s essential to note that camping is only permitted between 5pm and 9am, with the area designated as a day use spot outside of these hours. You will need to consider this if you plan on staying here. While the council offer this location as a free camping site there is signage that says that donations towards the upkeep of these areas can be made at the Tamar Visitor Centre.

3. Honeysuckle Banks Overnight Rest Area (Evandale)

Cost: Free.

Distance from Launceston: The Honeysuckle Banks Overnight Rest Area is 19.6km from Launceston which is approximately a 15-25 minute drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).

Maximum Length of Stay: 48 hours.

Ground: Gravel. Supposedly in the past the council have allowed campers to park on the grass area also. Every time we stayed here (in spring and summer) the grass area was blocked off and only the gravel area was available.

Facilities: Picnic benches and bins.

Requirements: Must be self-contained (no tents). Need to obtain a camping permit on the Northern Midlands Government website or at 13 Smith St Longford (during business hours). The permit number must then be displayed on your dashboard.

Phone Reception: Yes.

Pets Allowed: Yes.

A short 15-minute drive from Launceston, nestled in the charming town of Evandale, lies the Honeysuckle Banks Overnight Rest Area. Set in the gravel car park of the Honeysuckle Banks Reserve, this camping spot offers fantastic views overlooking the South Esk River.

The reserve itself is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for swimming, fishing, kayaking and scenic walks along the riverbank. For the best vistas, parking along the riverside of the car park promises picturesque views of the river and surrounding countryside. I may sound like a broken record here, but Honeysuckle Banks quickly became another ‘go-to’ for us when free camping near Launceston. Despite being just 15-minutes away from the city we were always blown away by how peaceful and beautiful this spot was.

Camping at Honeysuckle Banks is only available from November to April due to the area’s susceptibility to flooding, which has been significant in the past. During the rest of the year, the campsite is closed off to ensure visitor safety. It’s also worth noting that Evandale is right next to the Launceston Airport, so planes frequently fly quite low over the campsite. During our time at Honeysuckle Banks, a couple of planes flew over us during the day and none flew at night.

Photo on the left is from our stay at Honeysuckle Banks and the photo on the right is taken from ‘Keith’ on Google Maps.

4. Paper Beach/Swan Point Overnight Rest Area (Swan Point)

Cost: Free (takes donations).

Distance from Launceston: The Paper Beach/Swan Point Overnight Rest Area is 31.4km from Launceston which is approximately a 30-40 minute drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).

Maximum Length of Stay: 5pm until 9am each day.

Ground: Grass.

Facilities: The park next to the rest area has bins, BBQS, shelter, picnic benches and toilets.

Requirements: Must be self-contained (no tents). Only camp between 5pm-9am in the allocated area.

Phone Reception: Yes.

Pets Allowed: Yes.

Located on a grassed area adjacent to the day use car park for Paper Beach, the Paper Beach/Swan Point Overnight Rest Area offers a delightful coastal retreat just a stone’s throw away from a beautiful beach. With its convenient proximity to Launceston, this free camping spot provides an ideal escape for those seeking to immerse themselves in the beauty of Tasmania’s coastline without straying too far from the city.

While the campsite itself may not boast views of the beach, the pristine shores are merely a tiny 1-minute walk away. Here, visitors can indulge in a refreshing swim, try their luck at fishing, embark on a kayaking adventure or simply take a leisurely stroll along the beach. Camping is only permitted between 5pm and 9am so rock up early to enjoy the beach and witness a magnificent sunset before packing up and spending the next day exploring Launceston.

It’s important to note that camping is only allowed on the grass area, not the gravel car park which is for day use only. The gravel car park has no camping signs which seems to cause confusion for campers but there’s camping signs on either end of the grassed area. While this location is a free camping site there is a sign that if you wish to make a donation towards the upkeep of these areas you can at the Tamar Visitor Centre. The nearby toilets are also locked at night which is something you’ll need to keep in mind if you were planning on using them.

Images taken from Google Maps street view.

5. Exeter Hotel (Exeter)

Cost: Free (with the purchase of a meal or drink at the pub).

Distance from Launceston: The Exeter Hotel is 25.1km from Launceston which is approximately a 25-30 minute drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).

Maximum Length of Stay: Not specified.

Ground: Grass.

Facilities: None.

Requirements: Must be self-contained (no tents). You must check in with the Exeter Hotel staff before setting up.

Phone Reception: Yes.

Pets Allowed: Yes.

At the Exeter Hotel, hospitality extends beyond the confines of its pub to include a generous offering of free camping on an adjacent empty block of grassed land. Nestled beside and looping behind the hotel, this campsite provides a peaceful retreat for travellers within 30 minutes of Launceston.

To enjoy a night at the campsite, simply purchase a meal or drink at the bistro or pub—a small token of appreciation for the convenience offered. With its array of amenities including a bistro serving delicious meals, a sports bar, gaming options and a bottle shop, the Exeter Hotel ensures that guests can enjoy a hearty meal and mingle with locals before retiring to the tranquility of the campsite at the back of the hotel.

The Exeter Hotel is just off a main road but road noise is minimal during the night with little traffic, making this another great spot for free camping around Launceston.

Image on the left is taken from the Exeter Pub Facebook page and image on the right is taken from Google Maps street view.

6. Prince of Wales Hotel (Evandale)

Cost: Free (but please show your support by grabbing a meal or a drink).

Distance from Launceston: The Prince of Wales Hotel is 19.7km from Launceston which is approximately a 15-25 minute drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).

Maximum Length of Stay: Not specified.

Ground: Grass.

Facilities: None.

Requirements: Must be self-contained (no tents).

Phone Reception: Yes.

Pets Allowed: Yes.

Situated just a short 15-minute drive from Launceston, the Prince of Wales Hotel in Evandale extends a warm welcome to travellers seeking convenient free camping near Launceston. Tucked behind the gravel parking along a back fence, a grassed area awaits, generously offered for free camping by the hotel.

Amidst this cozy setting, guests can indulge in the hotel’s offerings, including a lively beer garden, refreshing cold drinks and delicious hearty meals prepared by the talented kitchen staff. With friendly service and a vibrant atmosphere, the Prince of Wales Hotel promises a memorable stay for campers looking to unwind in the charming town of Evandale.

Keep in mind that the campsite is a relatively small parking area at the back of the hotel. The gravel area is reserved for customers, with campers instructed to park along the back fence behind the gravel area. Only around 3 or 4 campers would be able to setup here, depending on their size. This can pose a challenge for larger rigs and caravans as manoeuvring a large setup would be extremely difficult if the hotel is busy. Similarly to the Honeysuckle Banks campsite it’s also worth noting that Evandale is right next to the Launceston Airport, so planes frequently fly quite low over the campsite. During our time at Honeysuckle Banks, a couple of planes flew over us during the day and none flew at night.

prince of wales hotel evandale free camping launceston
Image taken from Google Maps street view.

7. Falls Park Rest Area (Evandale)

Cost: Free.

Distance from Launceston: The Falls Park Rest Area is 20.3km from Launceston which is approximately a 15-25 minute drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).

Maximum Length of Stay: 48 hours.

Ground: Grass and gravel. Majority of the camping spots are on the grass, during wet weather the council encourages campers to park on the gravel road not the grassed area.

Facilities: None.

Requirements: Must be self-contained (no tents). Need to obtain a camping permit on the Northern Midlands Government website or at 13 Smith St Longford (during business hours). The permit number must then be displayed on your dashboard.

Phone Reception: Yes.

Pets Allowed: Yes.

Located just a short 15-minute drive from Launceston, Falls Park Rest Area offers serene free camping near Launceston right in the heart of the historic town of Evandale. Sat within the beautiful Falls Park, the well-maintained surroundings offer a tranquil atmosphere, allowing guests to relax and recharge.

Beyond its peaceful ambiance, the location provides easy access to explore both Launceston and the charming streets of Evandale. Renowned for its pristine heritage buildings such as the St Andrews Church and Uniting Church, a walk through the town is a must. Time your visit right and you can witness one of the many world-famous events that the towns hosts. Such as The National Penny Farthing Championship which brings the town to life with market stalls, entertainment and thrilling Penny Farthing races.

Camping at the Falls Park Rest Area is only available from Monday to Friday due to Evandale’s Sunday Market which is held at Falls Park. All vehicles must leave before 10am on Saturday, with overnight parking only available after 6pm on Sunday. As we’ve mentioned with all of the other free camping sites in Evandale, Evandale is right next to the Launceston Airport, so planes frequently fly quite low over the campsite.

falls park evandale free camping launceston
Image taken from ‘Jan’ on Google Maps.

8. Westbury RV Free Camp (Westbury)

Cost: Free.

Distance from Launceston: The Westbury RV Free Camp is 34.2km from Launceston which is approximately a 25-30 minute drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).

Maximum Length of Stay: 72 hours.

Ground: Grass.

Facilities: None.

Requirements: Must be self-contained (no tents).

Phone Reception: Yes.

Pets Allowed: Yes.

Situated in the heart of Westbury, just a quick 25-minute drive from Launceston, Westbury RV Free Camp offers a convenient and spacious free camping option for travellers. Nestled on a large block of empty grassed land off the main road, the campsite is huge, providing ample space for numerous campers, making it suitable for big rigs and larger caravans.

While the site may not offer breathtaking views, its central location in the quaint town of Westbury places visitors within easy reach of Launceston and its surrounding attractions. Additionally, the campsite is just a short 5-minute walk from an IGA, ensuring easy access to essentials during your stay. Experience the charm and convenience of Westbury while enjoying comfortable free camping near Launceston at the Westbury RV Free Camp.

Keep in mind that as the campsite is grass, during the winter months or following heavy rain, the Westbury RV Free Camp can get extremely wet and boggy.

Image on the right is from Google Maps street view.

9. Cressy Recreation Ground (Cressy)

Cost: Free.

Distance from Launceston: The Cressy Recreation Ground is 33.8km from Launceston which is approximately a 25-30 minute drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).

Maximum Length of Stay: 48 hours.

Ground: Grass and gravel.

Facilities: Bins. There is also a water tap at one of the buildings on the site however it’s unclear whether it’s potable water and it’s not advertised as available for campers.

Requirements: Must be self-contained (no tents). Need to obtain a camping permit on the Northern Midlands Government website or at 13 Smith St Longford (during business hours). The permit number must then be displayed on your dashboard.

Phone Reception: Yes.

Pets Allowed: Yes.

Located just a short 25-minute drive from Launceston, Cressy Recreation Ground offers a convenient free camping option in the heart of Cressy. Free camping is available on the gravel and grassed area near the entrance of the recreation ground. While the site may not offer stunning views, its location places visitors within easy reach of Launceston, making it the perfect base for travellers exploring the region.

Cressy itself boasts a range of conveniences, including an IGA, a laundromat, cafes, a public swimming pool and more, ensuring that campers have access to all they need during their stay. Experience everything Launceston and Cressy have to offer while enjoying a comfortable free camping experience at Cressy Recreation Ground.

It’s important to note that while the free campsite is operating as normal at the time of writing this (January 2024), major renovations are noted in the 2025 master plan for the Cressy Recreation Ground. The work includes major renovations to the; oval, clubhouse, visitor change rooms, camping area and more. Carried out in a ‘staged’ approach it’s likely that the campsite may be closed or disrupted in the future when work is being done.

cressy recreation ground free camping launceston
Image taken from Google Maps street view.

Enjoy Free Camping Near Launceston!

That’s the end of our guide on free camping in Launceston. We hope we’ve helped you pick the perfect free campsite for your trip to Launceston. Whether you’re spending multiple days exploring the city’s hidden gems or you’re passing through on a short day trip, there’s a free camp near Launceston for you.

Wondering what to do in Launceston? Check out our list of the 44 best things to do in Launceston.

Heading towards Devonport? Check out our guide on free camping near Devonport.

Watch Our Experience Free Camping in Launceston!

If you’d like to you can watch our experience exploring Launceston in our YouTube video below. In the video we free camp near Launceston at Gravelly Beach Overnight Rest Area and Lilydale Falls Reserve.

Lydia
Lydia

Hey! I’m Lydia.

Share: