Adelaide is an attractive city for people on a motorhome or campervan holiday. It is the perfect base for exploring the nature and wine regions of South Australia. It is also an appealing destination in its own right, with excellent restaurants and boutiques, plenty of green spaces, beaches, waterways, and family-friendly attractions.
Why would Australian backpackers and travellers choose a motorhome or campervan for a trip to Adelaide and South Australia? These vehicles offer a great deal of flexibility and independence. You do not have to worry about hotel reservations or restaurant spending, so you can choose your itinerary and change it whenever it suits you to do so.
If you travel in a campervan or motorhome, you need to find the best campsites in Adelaide. Backpackers Australia guides list hotels and resorts, but they often overlook caravan parks and campsites. Luckily, there are a number of free places to park your motorhome in and around the city.
Where to Find Free Campsites in Adelaide Here are the best free campsites in Adelaide for a motorhome or campervan.
BELAIR NATIONAL PARK
National parks offer excellent sites for people travelling by motorhome or campervan. Technically, national park camping is free, but you need to cover entry and reservation fees. The advantage of camping in Belair National Park is that it is less than 30 minutes from central Adelaide. You can visit the park’s website to find out more.
FRANK POTTS RESERVE
Frank Potts Reserve is in the town of Alexandrina, which is less than an hour outside of Adelaide. Though this location does not have showers, a pool, or laundry facilities, it can accommodate motorhomes or campervans. There are toilets on-site, and guests have access to drinking water. There are also picnic facilities. Since there are no dedicated sites, you cannot book ahead. However, you can find out information about this location on the Alexandrina town website.
ONKAPARINGA RIVER NATIONAL PARK
This national park is 30 km outside of Adelaide. It boasts a small campground with some sites that are suitable for motorhomes or campervans. The park itself is great for wildlife viewing, and you may encounter koalas or kangaroos on your trip. The facilities in the campground are basic, but you do have running water, toilets, and campfire equipment. The Onkaparinga River National Park website has more information.
PALMER CRICKET GROUND
The town of Palmer just outside of Adelaide allows campervans and motorhomes to park next to the local cricket ground. There is no charge to stay here, but many campers give a donation when they leave to help with upkeep and cleanup. In addition to open and shaded camping spaces, the site has toilets, running water (non-drinkable), and barbecue facilities.
PORT PARHAM CAMPGROUND
Port Parham is about 1 hour from Adelaide. The campground is situated right along the coast, so this is an excellent free option if you want to be near the beach during your stay. The campground has toilets and running water. You can also access fresh drinking water, and there is barbecue equipment if you wish to cook outdoors. You cannot reserve a space here, which could be a challenge because it can get quite crowded due to the attractive location.
Hettner Landing, in Walker Flat, boasts a caravan park that sits right on the bank of the Murray River. You can find spots next to the water or set back in the brush. Campfires are allowed here, and you can have access to gas barbecue equipment and to toilets. There is a small general store within walking distance. It is possible to swim in the river here.
SWAMP HEN RESERVE
Swamp Hen Reserve is another option on the banks of the Murray River, a little over an hour outside of Adelaide. This location offers excellent river access, so it is ideal if you have a boat or kayak. In addition to a central landing, some of the campsites have private beach access. Facilities here include toilets, barbecue facilities, and a couple of picnic tables. You are also within walking distance of a general store selling food, cooking gas, and other necessities.
PARA WIRRA CONSERVATION PARK
Para Wirra Conservation Park has a small campground that has at least six sites that can accommodate a campervan. This location is about 40 km from Adelaide’s CBD. It offers toilets, a camp kitchen, gas barbecue equipment, and fire pits, which you can use when there are no burning restrictions in the area. As with other national parks, you may need to pay entry or reservation fees to camp here. You can find out more information on the park’s website.
BURRA CREEK GORGE RESERVE
This free campground is within driving distance of Adelaide. If you are looking for a scenic place, this reserve, which is also known as Worlds End, certainly fits the bill. In addition to plenty of room to camp, there are toilets and easy access to the area’s trails.
RED BANKS CONSERVATION PARK
This park is north of Adelaide in the Burra area. If you are interested in nature, this place is the best option for your South Australia motorhome trip. You have direct access not only to walking trails that pass the namesake’s bright red rock formations but also to wildlife, such as wombats and kangaroos. The campsite here can accommodate campervans and motorhomes, but facilities are basic. You do get toilets and picnic tables. Unfortunately, there is no cell phone service here.
HOW TO HIRE A CAMPERVAN OR MOTORHOME FOR YOUR ADELAIDE ADVENTURE
Before you book your campsites in Adelaide, you need to find the right motorhome or campervan for your needs. Australian Backpackers offers a search function that lets you find options based on your needs and required features. Hire a campervan in Adelaide with us for your next adventure!