Free Camp – Calliope River Rest Area, Queensland

Calliope River Rest Area


Looking for a great free camping area just off the Bruce Highway between Brisbane and Cairns?  Calliope River Rest Areas located at River Ranch, Queensland offers a lot of availability for camping far enough off the highway, but close enough that it’s easily accessible.  We stayed at both the North and South camping areas on two different occasions and can recommend them both with kids, for different reasons.

Calliope River Rest Area SOUTH:

Situated on the lower bank, the camping area is largest of both of them, with many spots available along the river or closer to the flushing toilets (a short walk up from the river).  This side of the river would be best for campfires, larger groups, and for taking the kids down to the bank and along the bridge (although be aware crocs have been sighted in this area).  This area doesn’t have as much grass so expect kids to get dirtier!

Calliope River Rest Area NORTH:

The NORTH area is situated on the opposite side of the river and high up on the hill overlooking the South camping area.  Also with basic facilities, if you are travelling with small kids, the only thing to be aware of is there is a cliff that you may camp along, however we found the most peaceful spot right at the back with an awesome hill for the kids to roll/run/crash down, which surprisingly none of the grey nomads was in for a go!  This area is possibly quieter, has more grass and is also closer to the Museum.


Whichever side you choose, you really can’t go wrong with a friendly 48-hour stay with things to do around.  Our kids loved fishing and visiting the local museum which is within walking distance to, for hours


Calliope River Rest Area Facilities include:

  • 48-hour stay max.
  • Flushing toilets
  • Non-potable water
  • Telstra reception
  • Suitable for all rig type
  • Great for fishing
  • Plenty of space
  • Things to do in the area

Need more advice? We’d love to hear from you. We love travelling as a family, sharing our handy advice and saying YES to every adventure! Send us a message and connect with us on social media – Facebook, on Instagram, Pinterest, and our YouTube.   



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