Stewart River Free Camp; pristine camping near Cape York

On our way back down from the tip of Cape York, we were looking for decent free camping options and stumbled across the Stewart River Brons Block on Wikicamps, and decided to have a peak.

As it turns out, this was a magic place, and easily competes with the Ang-Gnarra campsite north of Coen, which is also free. It was certainly one of the better places we stayed at on our way to Cape York, and given it costs nothing is a huge winner in our books.

Amazing camping on the Stewart River
This free camp on the Stewart River is a ripper

Where is this Stewart River camp site?

You’ll find this place just off the Peninsula Development Road (PDR) heading up to Coen. If you take the turn off towards Port Stewart, you’ll drive a couple of kilometres along a well maintained gravel road that comes to a creek crossing, and the camping is right here, in any location you can get to (more on that below!).

Stewart River crossing
The camp site is right on the creek crossing

What are the camp sites like?

If you have a 4WD, you can camp in a heap of different locations. You might have to let tyres down where its soft, but there are a couple of spots where its harder, and you can get magic views of the creek, which is pretty awesome.

We did see a couple of others come in and leave, because they had heavy rigs, or big vans that would have been too difficult to find a suitable spot to stay.

Free camping near Coen
There’s not too many hard, waterfront places, but with a 4WD you have lots of options

Watch where you drive

My tip for you is to think very carefully about where you drive, before its too late. I made a fairly quick decision to drive diagonally across the creek, and try and camp on a little sandy island, which didn’t end too well. The car started to sink down mid way across, and going backwards and forwards made it even worse.

I ended up with Maxtrax out that got me out, but it was a bit of mucking around and overall a waste of time and effort that could have easily been avoided. I also thought I’d snapped a CV, but I think it was just rocks getting stuck and being flicked out.

Bogged in the Stewart River
The river is soft if you drive in the wrong spot

Watch the vlog

YouTube video

Is the Stewart River worth a stay?

We really enjoyed our stay here. It’s far enough off the road that you only get a tiny portion of traffic going to and from Port Stewart, and other than that is completely peaceful and quiet. Shallow water for the kids meant it was a magic place to pull in, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Amazing camping on the Stewart River
This was another favourite camp site on the way to or from Cape York

If you are looking for free camping in Cape York, there’s not too many places that come close to this, with limited crowds, stunning views and a zero dollar fee to camp!

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