We’ve stayed at some truly awful free camps when travelling our way around Australia. Waterloo Plains Environmental Park is up there with the absolute best, for plenty of different reasons.
On our way from NSW to Airlie Beach, we stayed at some terrible, and some fantastic campgrounds. Waterloo Plains Environmental Park in Wandoan was an awesome surprise, and we were all very grateful to have found it.
We’d been driving for the better part of 8 hours, and had been past a few other campgrounds that were either average, or had zero reception (which I needed to roll out an update to this blog!), and rolling into Waterloo Plains we couldn’t have asked for a better spot.
Where is Waterloo Plains?
Waterloo Plains Environmental Park is in the small town of Wandoan, roughly 3 hours north of the Queensland and NSW border. It’s only a few hundred metres from the Leichardt Highway, and makes for the perfect pull over spot.
What amenities are there?
We were really surprised at this place. You’ve got rubbish bins, about 5 decent toilets, and a single hot shower that you can use. On top of this, there’s water available from various taps, exercise equipment and stunning views.
What does it cost?
What makes this place even more fantastic is that it costs absolutely nothing to stay. We love these spots and go out of our way to support towns who provide rest areas like this, as they are hugely appreciated.
What’s at the campground?
The actual campground is a big, gravel area with lots of little ‘fingers’ that run off to give you a bit of privacy. The sites look over a man made lake that has a heap of bird life, and is truly beautiful, especially when the sun goes down. I had a heap of fun walking around with the kids and exploring the area, and we really rated it. This place was certainly a good start to finding awesome Queensland camp sites.
Now, every camp site has some form of downside, and we’d be lying if I said there’s no road noise. It’s certainly not bad at all, but you can hear the big trucks rolling through in the distance, and if you are a light sleeper it might be a problem. For us, the road noise was totally fine, and nothing to complain about, but its worth mentioning.
We had a meal at the hotel
I was so happy with the location that we decided to walk to the hotel, which takes about 5 minutes from the campground, and we had a nice pub meal as a family. You could get some fuel, groceries or what ever you like, but towns that provide great amenities should be supported to the highest degree, in our opinion.
Is it worth a stay?
Completely, in every way. Normally free camps cost in one way or another, but this ones pretty awesome.
We were super grateful to have a nice warm shower, find a bit of privacy and stretch the legs around the beautiful lake. When its completely free you can’t go wrong, and this was without a doubt one of the better camp sites we stayed at on our way north. I’d even go as far as to say its up there with the best free camping we’ve done on the East coast, and that’s a big call!
If you are looking for a great place to camp, you can’t go wrong with the Wandoan Waterloo Plains Environmental Park.