Western Australia has plenty of wilderness but wild camping, or bush camping as the Aussies call it, isn’t always as easy as you might think.
While camping out in the middle of nature is certainly popular, most locals do this after a day of hiking away from civilization.
Bike tourists tend not to get so far off the beaten track and the biggest problem we had in Southwestern Australia was finding any unfenced land. There’s so much farmland, you can ride down a rural road for miles and not find a single bit of public or unfenced land to put your tent on.
When you do find an uncultivated area, you may struggle to find a flat spot between all the plant life. The forest floor is often covered in little bushes.
This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to free camp on a bicycle tour – just plan a little more time for hunting out a spot than you would otherwise.
Aside from rural areas, check out picnic parks and rest areas, which are often deserted from early evening onwards. The ones on busy roads aren’t so interesting but sometimes you find parks on quiet roads, where you’re unlikely to be bothered by much passing traffic. They often come with a bonus water tap or BBQ.
Don’t forget to research bicycle trails like the Munda Biddi, which have huts on the path for free camping.
State forests are also worth a look – you can camp for up to 3 nights on any clearing in the forest. Remember to leave nothing but footprints behind and use a fuel stove instead of a campfire for cooking.
And if you’re craving a shower after a few nights of free camping, just ask at a tourist bureau or hotel where you can buy one. Because bushwalking is so popular, in many places you can buy a shower for a few dollars and then carry on camping for several nights to come.
If you’re lucky, you might even find a hot shower for free in one of the region’s excellent public toilets.
Beaches are quite likely to have cold showers, if you’re brave or the weather is hot enough.