A lot of free camps are really average, and when Sarah suggested we stay at a rest stop West of Innisfail, I wondered if it would be another bland, boring and often unpleasant stop on the side of the road or not.
Of course, I never should have doubted her recommendation as we quickly agreed its a great place, and we ended up spending two great nights at Archer Creek Rest Stop.
Where is Archer Creek?
You’ll find this rest stop about 20km West of Ravenshoe, or 1.5 hours west of Innisfail. It is right on the edge of the road, but has a fair bit of space that you can get away from the road noise if you want.
What amenities are at Archer Creek?
Most free camps have nothing at all, but Archer Creek has two flushing toilets, and rubbish bins which we were quite impressed with.
Do you need to be self contained?
No, you do not. You can make use of the toilets, and grey water can be sensibly disposed of onto the ground.
Where can you camp?
There’s a lot of room on the top grass level when you first pull in, on either side of the entrance. This is flat, easy to access for all vehicle types and would comfortably fit 30 + groups of campers without too much of an issue.
If you go down to the lower levels though, there’s room for about 6 or 7 more groups, and this is right next to the water. Interestingly, there is a sign saying no vehicular access to the bottom, but its only on one of the entrances, and the gate is open.
Ironically we entered from the other side and didn’t even see it until we’d set up, but lots of others were down there with us, and I believe the caretaker would have mentioned something if it was off limits.
Its worth mentioning that almost all of the spots down the bottom have very, very limited solar, and we parked under a big tree which meant absolutely zero generation for the entire stay, so go prepared!
Can you swim?
There’s a few parts of the creek that are easy enough to access, and they get fairly deep. They can also be flowing quite fast, and you want to be cautious of this, but there’s certainly space to swim and its supposed to be salt water crocodile free.
See it on the vlog
If you want to see more, check out our vlog:
We really enjoyed a visit to Millstream Falls, and doing the army history walk nearby. We gave little Millstream falls a miss due to the levels of mud that you had to get through, but it sounded like a decent spot.
We also took a drive to Innot Hot Springs, which are insanely hot in spots (like scold your foot immediately hot), and the kids loved a splash around where it was warm, but not too hot.
These are nothing special to look at (outside of the caravan park), and we didn’t pay the $40 for our family to visit the man made pools in the actual park, so can’t comment on that.
Overall though, Archer Creek Rest Area is just a great place to pull into and relax, especially if you can get a nice spot near the creek.