Top 7 Free Camping Sites in the Northern Territory

The Northern Territory is home to a wide range of stunning sceneries and incredible natural sights. The top end of Australia is home to spectacular waterfalls within beautiful rainforests and sprawling deserts. Indeed, there are plenty of places to explore in the Northern Territory.

You don’t even need a big budget to go camping in the area. Here are the best free camping sites in the Northern Territory.

1. Mary Vale Road

Mary Vale Road Camping Site

If you’re near the old Ghan train line on a weekend, you should set camp somewhere near Mary Vale Road. It’s perfect for those who want a bit of off-road madness during their adventure. You should plan your vacation on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June. During this time, there’s a multi-terrain, off-road bike and buggy race that spans two days. Known as the Tatts Finke Desert Race, this event runs from Alice to Finke.

Finke is infamous for being among the most challenging off-road courses in one of the most isolated places in the world. The best part is you can set camp along the tracks for free. So, you can choose any spot to park your caravan or pitch your tent without worrying about barriers or fences.

Keep in mind that the road is closed around the 50 km mark at Deepwell to make way for the race. We recommend camping 10 km from the starting point. This way, you can easily drive back to the nearest town if you need anything. Of course, you need to get all your camping supplies and shelter ready. Keep fires under control because this is a self-sufficient, free camping ground.

2. Stingray Head

Do you prefer beachfront camping? Well, Stingray Head is the perfect free and pet-friendly spot for you. Just 10 km south of Dundee Beach, this camping location is right on the edge of a cliff. So, there’s always a chance to spot sharks, crocodiles, and dolphins.

However, you should know that there are no camping facilities in the area and fires are not allowed. So, you should bring all your supplies, and make sure you have enough water containers. Also, you can only access the area with a four-wheel drive via a private property at Finnis River Station. You can choose from two track options.

The beach is facing west. So, once you set camp, make sure you wait for the sunset because the colours of the sky, ocean, and cliff can be magical.

3. Mud Tank

Also referred to as the Zircon Fossicking area, Mud Tank is a free camp in the Northern Territory that gives your kids plenty of things to do. Located on Alcoota Station in the Harts Range district, this camping area is known in the fossicking industry for its zircon abundance.

If you’re bringing the family along, everyone will easily spend hours fossicking at the mine sites and through the creek beds. There are friendly locals in the area who are ready to lend you equipment that you can use for fossicking.

There’s plenty of space for big motorhomes and caravans in the area. So, you can have all the caravan accessories you want when you’re camping outdoors. What’s more, you’ll easily find drop toilets and water bores.

4. Salt Creek Rest Area

Conveniently located between two major attractions in the Red Centre, the Salt Creek Rest Area is a free and pet-friendly campground. So, expect the area to be generally busy on most days. It is the perfect place for an overnight getaway, especially since it is located between two iconic destinations in the Northern Territory. The Salt Creek Rest Area is 113 km from Kings Canyon and 210 km north-east of Uluru.

Make sure you pitch your tent or park your caravan in the shaded picnic/barbeque area. There are lots of trees around here, making it the perfect place to relax in nature. There’s enough room for bigger motorhomes. However, make sure you bring your own water since there isn’t any accessible in the area.

5. WW2 Gorrie Airstrip

During World War II, the Gorrie Airstrip became the Northern Territory’s biggest airbase for repairs and services. However, these days, it’s simply a 1,800-metres-long abandoned airstrip. The great news is that you can set camp here for free. It’s an incredible place for an adventure if you want history to be part of your trip. Of course, the added bonus is that you get to sleep on an airstrip.

No matter how big your motorhome or caravan is, you’ll still find an area to park on the strip. You are allowed to bring your pets, but there are no facilities in the area. So, make sure you bring everything you need. It can be a great spot for camping and for teaching your kids a bit about history.

6. The Pebbles

The Pebbles Camping Site

Also known as Kunjarra, The Pebbles is a sacred site where the healing and dancing rites of the Munga Munga take place. It’s also an outcrop of granite boulders that you can find 11 km north of Tennant Creek. You can set camp here for free but do note that overnight stays are not allowed. There are walking tracks around the area. So, there are plenty of opportunities for exploration.

While you won’t find toilets around the site, the Northern Territory tourism department has announced that there are plans to build appropriate facilities. The Pebbles is a popular spot for people travelling from Alice to Uluru.

7. Little River

Little River Camping Site

What’s great about the Northern Territory is that it is home to an array of stunning and incredible landforms. For instance, you’ll find ancient rock formations, waterfalls, and waterholes in Cape Crawford. If you’re planning to explore the area, set base near Little River. Located beside a tranquil river, this place is 10km west of Cape Crawford.

There are minimal facilities in the area. However, it can be a great place to rest if you’re driving with a caravan or camper along the northern cape.

Camping can be great fun. However, before you head out, make sure you’ve got everything you need for your trip.

Contact your nearest Supex stockist to get all your camping supplies!