It’s time to head to the beautiful northern NSW region of Byron Bay. One of the most popular spots for Australian holidays so free camping in Byron Bay is a well sought after venture. It is one my favourite spots that I have been to, including the surrounding areas such as Brunswick Heads, Mullumbimby and Bangalow.
Here is the hard truth, there really are no free campgrounds within Byron Bay. It is a super commercialised holiday location. If you decide to set up shop in your campervan somewhere in Byron Bay chances are you will swiftly get a knock on your window from the local rangers and risk a fine. May as well have paid for a spot at the Aarts Factory.
In saying that there are several spots that are not too far from Byron which you can usually stay a night or two. These are ‘rest’ areas and they can be utilised to park and have a sleep while you are ‘passing’ through Byron. With a few of them in the regions, it means you can hop between them too and spend the night over several locations.
What to expect at these Byron Bay rest areas?
Not a lot friend. In fact, you are most likely only encounter a toilet, which is better than nothing I suppose. If you are staying here and need a shower, super bonus! Just drive up to the beach where they have an abundant amount of beach showers where you can get your wash in public (do keep your bits and pieces covered still). You will also find that there are BBQ’s at these beach locations which you can use to cook your hot meals. So technically you can do it for free it just not as practical as most other free camping sites.
Byron Bay Rest Area Locations:
Hilltop Lookout – Free Camping Byron Bay Region
This rest area is typically only used for day use but reports around the interwebs suggest that it is rare that you will bump into a ranger at this location. The reality is if you do happen to bump into a ranger in this location, just tell them that you need to rest due to fatigue. You will continue your journey north or south when you’re in a position to do so. Ain’t nobody going to force a tired driver back on the road my friends
The location itself has an amazing view over the Byron Bay region and the surrounding countryside. In saying that as mentioned prior that there are no free camping sites in Byron so you will be 16 kilometres out of town. The price you pay for free.
The location of Hilltop Lookout is located in the below image, closer direction and a zoomable map can be found here.
Yelgun Rest Area – Free Camping Byron Bay Region
Again being a free camping area in the Byron region, it does happen to be 25 km’s away from the town centres. In saying that for a rest area it actually is pretty sweet! You can stay in your campervan at no cost in this location. You obviously can’t whip out your tent, but for the self-sufficient camper, it will make do.
The area itself has got some really good amenities with a toilet block and BBQs available. It even has a playground for those of you with kiddies that can be used to keep them busy for hours. Same rules apply if you get the friendly knock from the ranger, just use the resting excuse if they ask you to move on.
It might not be right near Byron Bay but there is a bonus that is actually is not that far from the awesome beaches at South Golden Beach, which is a super ideal location to enjoy the day at the beach as well.
The location can be seen below but if you are looking for a specific map that you can zoom on please click here.
Sunnycrest Lane Rest Area
Another free camping in Byron Bay region is the Sunnycrest Lane Rest Area. It is the closet to Byron Bay on this list of rest areas. ‘Just’ 12 km’s from Byron Bay it is just a hop skip and jump to the heart of town.
Th Sunnycrest Lane Rest Area is located on the B62 just on the Sunnycrest Lane. There is a nice clear sign in the area which clearly states, no overnight camping allowed. It seems from the word online is that people have rarely had problems in this location, alas the rest excuse is always in your back pocket. Some have even noted that they have spent many nights there.
Not being on the main freeway makes it a good hideaway from the pesky rangers and will allow you to same some moula if you are on a tight budget on your travels around Australia.
The image below shows you the location but to get a zoomable map please click here.
Sunnycrest Lane Rest Area – Camping Location
Tyagarah Rest Area
The final location of free camping in the Byron Bay region is the Tyagarah Rest area. The sign clearly states no camping. As I have mentioned previously you can always use the old line of that you are too tired to continue driving. As this location is on the main Pacific Highway I would suggest it would be one of the more prominent locations for rangers to visit. Alas, you can always try your luck. Location below:
So if you cant get free camping why not look at some cost effective accommodation when visiting Byron Bay next? Well look at our guide for Byron Bay Caravan Parks. We also have some great information on beach camping Byron Bay.
Free Camping Byron Bay FAQ
Byron Bay Council use local parking and camping restrictions to limit the ability to sleep in your car. If you are stuck in a bind and need to rest for the night it is best to check street signs nearby for any rules around parking and camping.
Yes, there is free parking in Byron Bay. This parking can be found at Butler St Reserve, Byron Bay.
At most popular beach in Byron Bay you will find free public showers. These are usually in close proximity to parking lots and grassy break out areas. These are there to wash up after a swim or surf. These showers are out in the open and use cold running water.
In popular holiday areas like Byron Bay, the fines can range from $110 to a maximum of $2,200. For repeat offenders the council will issue a court order. In this case a maximum penalty of $110,000 can be issued.