Lucinda Starr

by Lucinda Starr

posted on March 12, 2024

With its beautiful beaches and laid-back vibe, you might think free camping in Byron Bay is the best way to see this holiday hot spot.

If you’re looking to unplug and unwind, there are several caravan parks and cheap camping options available on the North Coast of NSW. However, there are also some important rules and regulations around illegal free camping in Byron Bay. Discover everything you need to know so you’re prepped and ready for an unforgettable camping trip.

Surfers in Byron Bay NSW
Surfers in Byron Bay, NSW

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Free camping near Byron Bay

Here’s the catch: there are actually no free camping sites in Byron Bay.

Camping on streets, parks and reserves in the Byron Shire is prohibited, and enforcement patrols work seven days a week, dishing out fines. They range from an on-the-spot fine of $110 to a maximum penalty of $2,200. Instead, visitors are advised to stay in approved holiday parks and camping grounds, which we’ll cover in this article.

While free overnight camping isn’t allowed at rest stop areas, these are some common rest areas in the surrounding suburbs that some travellers use to rest along their journeys. Note that these areas will have very basic facilities.

Yelgun Rest Area is a 20-minute drive from central Byron, off the Pacific Highway, managed by Transport NSW. While camping overnight at Yelgun Rest Area is not allowed, many travellers do take ‘extended’ rest stops here, making use of the close location, kids playground and BBQ station.

Tyagarah Rest Area is another popular spot, 15 minutes out of town, where travellers in campervans have reported hassle-free stops. Again, a ‘no camping’ sign makes the rules clear.

You may also want to check out Sunnycrest Lane Rest Area and Hilltop Lookout. These rest areas have similar restrictions and facilities for campers looking for a place to stop.

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Budget camping sites near Byron Bay

While free campgrounds in Byron Bay remain elusive, there are some cheap camping options available for the budget-conscious camper. Here, you’ll find a mixture of powered and unpowered sites, better facilities than the rest areas, and no chance of a ranger tapping at your window.

Campsite 1. Belongil Fields

  • Top features: Five-minute drive to Main Beach. Plenty of space for campers who want more of a remote experience.
  • Distance from Byron Bay: 1.9km from the town centre.
  • Accessibility: 2WD accessible. Also caters to large camper vans and motorhomes.
  • Facilities: Powered and unpowered sites, toilets and showers, coin-operated BBQs with tables and seating, hot water, coin-operated laundries and dryers, plus washing lines.
  • Pet Friendly: Yes. But dogs must be kept on a leash and aren’t allowed over Easter or Christmas New Year period.
  • Does not have: Swimming pool, activities such as fishing or hiking, onsite shop or cafe.
  • Best suited for: Campers with four-legged friends looking for a no-frills site close to the action.
  • Address: 394 Ewingsdale Rd, Byron Bay 2481

With accommodation ranging from camping and cabins to units at competitive prices and close to the town centre, Belongil Fields is a popular camping spot, with plenty of space for large groups. Prices start at $30 per night.

Campsite 2. Glen Villa Resort

  • Top features: Unpowered sites are spacious and set on the green flats that back onto the National Park. A short walk to all the shops, restaurants, cafes and beaches.
  • Distance from Byron Bay: 650m from the town centre.
  • Accessibility: 2WD accessible. Also caters to large camper vans and motorhomes. All amenities are wheelchair accessible.
  • Facilities: Powered and unpowered sites, toilets and showers, camp kitchen, BBQs, coin-operated laundries and dryers, saltwater swimming pool, wifi, dump points for waste.
  • Pet Friendly: No
  • Does not have: Fire pits, activities such as fishing or hiking, onsite shop or cafe.
  • Best suited for: Campers looking for enough space and facilities to feel at home. Sprawled over 14 spacious acres and with private tropical gardens a lush saltwater pool, Glen Villa resort promises a relaxed, sunny atmosphere.
  • Address: 80/86 Butler St, Byron Bay 2481

Glen Villa prides itself on its spacious powered sites, which are perfect for caravans or campervans, plus unpowered sites that are spacious and set on the green flats that back onto the National Park. Prices start at $30 per night, with discounts offered for longer stays.

Turquoise waters and breathtaking views in Byron Bay

Campsite 3. Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park

  • Top features: Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park has one of the best natural beachfront holiday park locations in the region with direct access onto Tallow Beach. Powered safari tents and cabins also available. 
  • Distance from Byron Bay: 6.3km
  • Accessibility: Accommodates all types of vans, camper trailers, motorhomes and tents.
  • Facilities: Powered sites, showers and toilets, sullage and dump points, water stations, camp kitchen, BBQs, undercover dining area, laundry with dryers and clothesline, wifi, ice and snacks available from the office, glamping.
  • Pet Friendly: No
  • Does not have: Swimming pool, fire pits.
  • Best suited for: Campers in search of nostalgia. With its relaxed atmosphere and ‘old-world charm’, Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park promises a traditional camping experience reminiscent of those you had as a kid.
  • Address: Alcorn Street, Suffolk Park 2481

Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park backs onto Tallow Beach, with the town centre a ten-minute drive away. If you want all the fun of a Byron Bay holiday without all the hustle and bustle, then this might be the right destination for you. Prices start at $45 per night.

Campsite 4. Broken Head Holiday Park

  • Top features: Broken Head Holiday Park is just a stone’s throw from the popular beach, with newly refurbished facilities.
  • Distance from Byron Bay: 8.8km
  • Accessibility: Caters to tents and caravans. All amenities are wheelchair accessible.
  • Facilities: Powered and unpowered sites, showers and toilets, camp kitchen and BBQ area, coin-operated laundry with dryers, iron and ironing board, dump point, onsite kiosk with ice, ice-creams and confectionery.
  • Pet Friendly: No
  • Does not have: Swimming pool, fire pits.
  • Best suited for: Campers with kids. There are loads of great amenities at Broken Head Holiday Park, and there’s a large park located at the Beach Shacks, which has a playground for children.
  • Address: 184 Broken Head Reserve Rd, Broken Head, 2481

Situated on the beachfront of Broken Head just south of Byron Bay, Broken Head Holiday Park is surrounded by a national park and offers budget-friendly accommodation options. Prices start at $41 per night.

Campsite 5. Mullumbimby Showground

  • Top features: Low-cost camping close to beautiful beaches. The famous Mullumbimby markets are on the other side of the Showground every week.
  • Distance from Byron Bay: 20km
  • Accessibility: 2WD accessible, tent, campervans.
  • Facilities: Powered and unpowered sites, showers and toilets, a dump point, dishwashing station and town drinking water.
  • Pet Friendly: Yes. There are ‘on leash’ and ‘off leash’ areas on the grounds. 
  • Does not have: Kitchen facilities. No advanced bookings unless you’re booking at a specific festival time.
  • Best suited for: Festival goers. This site is located near major festivals held on the NSW Far North Coast, including Bluesfest and Splendour in the Grass.
  • Address: 62 Main Arm Road, Mullumbimby, 2482

The Mullumbimby Showground grounds are open to the public for recreation and enjoyment. As well as offering camping, they have areas that can be hired for events, weddings, exhibitions and festivals. Note that this campsite is closed in November for the Mullumbimby Agricultural Show. Prices start at $30 per night.

Campsite 6. Rummery Park Campground

  • Top features: Quiet and remote. A short walk from the beautiful Minyon Falls lookout.
  • Distance from Byron Bay: 40km
  • Accessibility: 2WD accessible. Sites are marked and suitable for motorhomes, caravans, camper trailers and campervans.
  • Facilities: No flush toilets, picnic tables, BBQs.
  • Pet Friendly: No
  • Does not have: Phone coverage, power, showers, rubbish bins, cooking or drinking water.
  • Best suited for: Campers looking for a quiet, remote and affordable campsite.
  • Address: Rummery Park Campground is in the eastern precinct of Whian Whian State Conservation Area. Minyon, Falls Road, Whian Whian NSW 2480

Rummery Park Campground is a small but well-equipped spot for camping near Byron Bay and Lismore. It’s the perfect place to base yourself if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Byron Bay and enjoy the many fantastic trails within Whian Whian State Conservation Area and Nightcap National Park. Prices start at $25 per night.

Byron Bay Lighthouse

Pet friendly camping sites in Byron Bay

If you’re bringing your pet pooch along for the ride, there are a number of dog-friendly campsites that will happily welcome your four-legged friend.

Campsite 1. Ingenia Holidays Byron Bay

  • Top features: As Byron’s largest accommodation provider, there’s plenty of space and extensive family-friendly facilities.
  • Distance from Byron Bay: 4km
  • Accessibility: 2WD accessible. Camping and caravans. Cabins are also available.
  • Facilities: Powered and unpowered sites, showers and toilets, cooking facilities , coin operated laundry, communal TV room, jumping pad, swimming pool, café, games room and playground.
  • Pet Friendly: Yes. Note that blackout dates apply during busy periods, and there is a limit of one pet per booking unless prior arrangements have been made for additional pets.
  • Does not have: Fire pits.
  • Best suited for: Campers who want to bring the whole family, including pets, along for the ride.
  • Address: 5-37 Broken Head Road, 2481

Ingenia Holidays Byron Bay’s 28 acres of parklands fronts onto the famous Tallow Beach. With 170 campsites and 61 cabins, – 1 king pod, Figtree House and 6 Belle Tents, there’s no shortage of space or accommodation options. Prices start at $65 for two nights (minimum stay).

Campsite 2. Ferry Reserve Holiday & Caravan Park

  • Top features: A waterside camping area situated along Brunswick River, with direct river access and a boat ramp.
  • Distance from Byron Bay: 15.9km
  • Accessibility: 2WD accessible. Camping and caravans. Cabins are also available.
  • Facilities: Powered and unpowered sites, showers and toilets, cooking facilities, coin operated laundry, BBQ area, kiosk, fishing, boat ramp and school holiday activities.
  • Pet Friendly: Yes, both dog-friendly camping and accommodation.
  • Best suited for: Families looking to camp or stay by the water with their furry friends, with all campsites, cabins and tiny homes dog-friendly all year around.
  • Address: Riverside Cres, Brunswick Heads NSW 2483

Situated on the edge of Brunswick Heads, Ferry Reserve Holiday Park is the ultimate dog-friendly camping spot near Byron Bay. Head to the off-leash exercise area near Maines Beach to give your best friend a run before heading back to your dog-friendly camp site, cabin or tiny home.

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Unique camping sites in Byron Bay

If you’re looking for something a little different, a couple of sites offer unique camping experiences in Byron.

Campsite 1. First Sun Holiday Park

  • Top features: Central location in the town centre and comprehensive facilities.
  • Distance from Byron Bay: 450m
  • Accessibility: 2WD accessible. Camping and caravans. Cabins are also available.
  • Facilities: Power and unpowered sites, camp Kitchen, outdoor dining area, BBQs, laundry and dryer, dump point, wifi, kiosk, surfboard and bike hire.
  • Pet Friendly: No
  • Does not have: Campfires or fire pits.
  • Best suited for: Those who want to stay right in the heart of Byron Bay for an extended period. There is a three night minimum on all booking types.
  • Address: Lawson Street, Byron Bay 2481

For those looking for something more luxurious than a tent, First Sun Holiday Park offers ‘Hippy Huts’ with an ensuite, kitchenette and BBQ. This glamping option sleeps up to 6 people and is perfect for staying in touch with nature without sacrificing comfort. Prices are available upon request.

Campsite 2. Reflections Holiday Parks

  • Top features: Central location, great amenities and unique accommodation options, including the bell tent and Jayco Silverline, a luxury caravan experience.
  • Distance from Byron Bay: 1.5km
  • Accessibility: 2WD accessible. Camping and caravans. Cabins are also available.
  • Facilities: Powered and unpowered sites, toilets, showers, camp kitchen, BBQs, picnic tables, laundry facilities, a playground, kiosk, and regular school holiday activities.
  • Pet Friendly: No. But pets are welcome at dog-friendly Reflections Holiday Parks in Ballina.
  • Does not have: Campfires or fire pits.
  • Best suited for: Campers who want a bit more of a luxurious experience.
  • Address: 1 Lighthouse Rd, Byron Bay 2481

As well as cost-effective camping, Reflections Holiday Parks also offers bell tents for glamping. These tents feature a luxe queen-sized bed, a couch, a fridge, microwave and kitchen essentials, and air conditioning. While they have no internal bathroom, they are conveniently located near park amenities.

As well as this Byron Bay location, Reflections has nearby holiday parks in Ballina and Lennox Head. Prices start at $45 per night for an unpowered site.

Nature is calling; start planning your next camping trip now

Honourable mentions

Byron Hinterland near the beach

This private, off-grid campsite is set on 30 acres of paradise in the beautiful Byron Bay Hinterland. There is only one group at a time, so you’ll enjoy your own piece of paradise in an idyllic location near a creek and a spring-fed dam.

  • 10 minutes from central Byron.
  • Bring a tent or camper van!
  • This is an off-grid property without amenities, so campers must have their own toilet and be self-sufficient.

Arts Factory Lodge

The Arts Factory Lodge is a hostel with a campsite, so it offers all of the atmosphere and activities of a hostel, with the low cost of a campsite.

  • 10 walk from the beach.
  • Facilities include BBQs, laundry, swimming pool, wifi and an onsite cafe.

Maca’s Camping Ground

35 minutes north of Byron Bay, Maca’s Camping Ground is a scenic, peaceful site. Alfresco diners will be happy to hear that campfires are allowed and there is a BBQ area.

  • Wifi and shower facilities are available.
  • Well placed for trips to Mount Jerusalem National Park, as well as Byron.
  • Lots of opportunities for bushwalking and birdwatching.

Frequently asked questions about free camping in Byron Bay

Can you free camp in Byron Bay?

Unfortunately, you can’t free camp in Byron Bay. For those searching for free camping in the area, there are no free campsites in Byron.

Camping in streets, parks and reserves in Byron Shire is strictly prohibited, and enforcement patrols work seven days a week, dishing out fines, which range from an on-the-spot fine of $110 to a maximum penalty of $2,200.

Visitors are advised to stay on approved camping grounds, and luckily, there are a number of budget friendly camping spots to choose from.

Where are you allowed to camp in Byron Bay?

In Byron Bay, visitors can stay in approved:

  • Holiday parks
  • Camping grounds
  • Other visitor accommodation

There are a number of campgrounds in Byron Shire mentioned in this article.

What is the fine for illegal camping in Byron Bay?

Fines for free camping range from an on-the-spot fine of $110, to a maximum penalty of $2,200. For significant breaches or for repeat offenders, the Council can issue Court Attendance Notices that have a maximum penalty of $110,000.

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Book a car on Turo for your next Byron Bay camping trip

Choose from a range of SUVs, 4WDs, and camper vans for your next camping trip in Byron on Turo. Select short or long-term hire, pick up from different convenient locations near you. There’s even an option to add on handy extras like surfboards or tents, so you have everything you need to tackle your next camping adventure.



Lucinda Starr

Lucinda Starr

Lucinda is a Sydney-based content specialist and avid road tripper. Having travelled across Asia, North America and the South Pacific, she's experienced everything from glamping in a Yurt in -30 degrees in The Yukon, snorkelling in the open seas of Vanuatu and hiking the rocky alps of Kamikochi in Japan. She's currently planning her next overseas adventure, a toss-up between a classic #EuroSummer or a multi-day trek through Nepal.

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