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camping laws and where you are permitted to camp

permitted camping in Australia

private land

  • many councils will have regulations regarding usage of private land that you own such as:
    • “A person must not reside in a caravan, makeshift dwelling or portable shed on any private land without a permit. Apply for a Living in Caravans or Portable Sheds Permit”.
      • this presumably does not apply to brief “camping” but to semi-permanent living in such a dwelling
    • “A property owner or occupier must not allow any person to reside in a caravan or on a property that is not connect to a reticulated sewage system or at anytime if that caravan or van is visible from a public area.”
    • “A person must not without a Permit locate a caravan, tent, or like structure on private property unless it is being used for storage or for the purpose of sale of such structure, and is not being used human habitation”.
    • “Except for cooking food outdoors a person must not burn or allow to be burned any matter in the open air without a permit. Apply for an Open Air Burning Permit.”

public land

  • councils will have regulations regarding usage of public land such as:
    • “A person must not without a Permit camp in the municipal district either on Council land or any public place in a tent, caravan, vehicle, mobile camper vans or other temporary dwelling or makeshift structure unless the land is a registered caravan park or camping ground.”
    • Some councils DO permit brief free camping in designated areas such as riverside camp sites - there is usually signage to this affect and these sites are generally listed on phone apps such as WikiCamps
  • sleeping rough is generally permitted for the homeless in many cities but camping is NOT
      • “It's not against the law to sleep rough. The Local Law includes provisions around camping in structures in public places, portable advertising and causing obstruction. ”
      • HOWEVER, “belongings should fit in 2 bags and must not include mattresses, furniture or tents which could be deemed as camping”
      • Activities Local Law 2019 clause 2.8 states: “Unless in accordance with a permit, a person must not camp in or on any public place in a vehicle, tent, caravan or any type of temporary or provisional form of accommodation.”
  • State forests:
    • you can generally camp in State forests without a permit or booking on a first come basis EXCEPT when the park is closed and this may include Code Red bushfire days
    • you generally CANNOT camp within 20m of a water way such as a river
      • if you camp on the river side of bollards, expect an unidentified contractor in a car to come around and take incriminating photos of the fact and then you will receive a fine in the mail in the coming weeks!
    • some DO require paying a booking fee BEFORE you get there such as:
      • Murrindindi - no phone reception there to pay online when you get there so book prior!
  • National Parks:
    • these may require booking and fees for camping in designated camp grounds (some may require several months pre-booking via a ballot system for peak periods)
    • some parks may allow camping as for State forests
    • most of these will ban pets, power generators and open fires

camp fires and stoves

    • in general during a Fire Restriction Period (which is almost everywhere in Victoria in summer) for a wood fire or solid fuel BBQ, the wind must be < 10kph ie. leaves and small twigs must not be in constant motion, plus there are other requirements
australia/camping_laws.txt · Last modified: 2023/01/30 18:24 by gary1

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