Spend a night out under the stars, on your DriveWA adventure. However, before doing so, read on for some handy hints about camping in the WA outback!
DriveWA recommends that on your DriveWA adventure, you spend at least one night camping out underneath a wonderful Western Australian sky!
There are some places that are so far from well lit cities that you get an absolutely unbelievable view of the star-filled sky. You can camp almost anywhere in the bush for free, or at national park camping grounds for a nominal fee. You can even stop at a roadhouse for a shower for only a couple of dollars.
If you decide to camp on your own in the wild, please follow these rules. Please note that they are merely a guide, and that in every situation you will need to use your own judgment to ensure a safe and happy journey:
- Most of the land in Australia belongs to someone. Even if you haven't seen a house for 100km you are undoubtedly in a person’s back yard, so you need the owner's permission before you utilise their land as a camp site
- In National Parks and on Aboriginal land, you'll need permits. On public land please observe and obey all the relevant rules and regulations
- Select your camping spot carefully and start looking well before nightfall
- Select a campsite that makes you invisible from the road (away from walking and driving tracks)
- In the majority of popular camping areas, you'll notice a number of vehicle tracks leading off the main road into the bush - explore a few carefully and see what you find
- Keep to constructed vehicle tracks and never "bush bash'. Avoid areas that are easily damaged, such as sand dunes
- Don’t camp under certain trees; for example river red gums, and desert oaks. These are notorious for dropping limbs!
- Ants live everywhere, and it's easy to set up camp on an underground nest!
- Carry out all of the rubbish you bring in. Don’t just bury it as wild animals will dig it up again
- Strictly observe all fire regulations. Any fire you light must be lit safely and extinguished properly before you leave the camp site
- Always use a gas stove for cooking if there is any doubt about the safety of a fire. Don’t put your family, other travellers, and flora and fauna in danger.
- Respect the wild life. Carefully observe crocodile warnings, and keeping at least 50 metres away from suspect river banks
- Stay at least 250 metres away from water points, as you may scar the wild stock from drinking from that area.
- Don't pollute the waterways. Ensure that you camp at least 25 metres away
- Use toilets where they are provided. If there isn't one, find a handy bush, dig a hole, do the job and then fill in the hole. If you're staying a few days, dig a trench (long, narrow and deep) and use that as a toilet pit for everyone. Each individual covers his or her waste with a little dirt
- Burning used toilet paper is a good, idea but don't start a bushfire! Bury all human waste well away from watercourses, even if the lakes/dams/rivers are dry during your stay
- If you have small children with you, remember disposable nappies take a long time to break down. Instead of burying them, carry them away with you in a heavy duty plastic bag (on the roof rack). They will not smell if wrapped up correctly (tight and well sealed). Dispose of them appropriately in the next town.