Free Camping Site – Minnipa

Tcharkuldu Hut
Tcharkuldu Hut

Our intended stop for this night was to be at Kyancutta at the junction of two highways (Eyre and Tod Highways) however we arrived far too early to set up camp for the night. Our decision to continue on down the road to the next available free camping site was vindicated when we arrived at Minnipa.

At Minnipa there are two vastly different free camping locations, one close to the town centre and the other 4 kilometres down a dirt road.

Even though we did not stay at the Tcharkuldu Rock free camp site we did in fact have a drive around, checking out the “lay of the land” so to speak. On my return trip, at some stage in the future, I will definitely be staying here.

First free camping site

Free Camp Minnipa
Free Camp Site, Minnipa, SA

This is called Apex Park and is located just at the edge of the township, and not all that far from the centre of town.

It has limited parking spots, none of which are marked, so first in best dressed rules apply. In addition, it has what is locally referred to as the “Concrete Crappa” (ie toilets, male and female), there are no other facilities.

If you want to have a camp fire please bring your own fire wood, do not use any wood lying around, it is just a respect thing for the locals.

There are no special features of this park but it has an atmosphere which exudes relaxation, try it and find out.

Our first visit here, we arrived late and there was only one or two spots left. Everyone had left room for others, there were campers talking around a fire giving a relaxed look and feel to the place.

Free Camp Minnipa
Free Camp Minnipa – Over Head

Our second visit, we arrived first, only an hour before the arrival on our first visit! At the end of the night the place was only half full yet we enjoyed this as much as any other camping site, enjoying a chat around a small camp fire.

Second free camping site

Tcharkuldu Rock
Tcharkuldu Rock

Heading west into Minnipa take the first turn into Minnipa at Moseley Terrace, follow this to the end of the bitumen and turn right onto Bockelberg Rd. This is a dirt road, and at the time of my drive down to Tcharkuldu Rock (May 2018) it was in good condition. Follow this road for approximately 4 kilometres. The free camp site is on the left.

This area is being developed yet you are still able to camp here. The only facilities is a standalone outhouse (one person at a time) which means that you need to be fully self-contained (this is not a requirement) to really enjoy your stay.

The rock is impressive, able to be climbed and the camping sites are unmarked and it is totally up to you as to where you camp. We did not stay as we are not that well-equipped yet, we still need proper toilet facilities!

Tcharkuldu Hut
Tcharkuldu Hut

There is one other feature of the Tcharkuldu Rock camp site, and that is the Tcharkuldu Hut.

Originally built in 1915 as a surveyors – workmen hut when building the dam, tank and drains for the town’s water supply.

Currently, it us not used for any specific purpose, rather it is left for the use of those camping, locals or others who visit for any reason.

Concrete Crappa
Concrete Crappa at Minnipa, SA

We enjoyed our short stays in Minnipa, including our coffee and cake at the Minnipa General Store which was also the Post Office.

If you have stayed here and wish to share your views please feel free to do so in the comments section below.

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19 thoughts on “Free Camping Site – Minnipa

  1. Simon Watson Reply

    That actually sounds like a superb free camping site. Down a dirt track and in the middle of no-where, sounds ideal for me (was I not disabled) In fact, you explain the “Lay of the Land) really well, and I hope that many people will check this place out.
    Informative post my friend



    • Steve Post authorReply

      Thanks Simon,

      Disabled or not you would be able to enjoy the site, no worries about that. The township deserves all the credit, because it is they who have the foresight and drive to make changes, all in the name of supporting their own people.

      Glad you liked the information provided.

      Thanks Simon


  2. comountaingirl Reply

    What an inspiration you are. This article makes me want to go out and explore more! What is the best time of year to camp in Minnipa? Also I see that there is rock climbing nearby are any other activities available, any hiking or lakes or rivers for fishing? Great description, and directions for free camp sites. Thank you for the info.

    • Steve Reply

      Activities abound in the area, fishing is less than 2 hours away in Venus Bay and other locations on the coast. The Gawler Ranges provide for plenty of 4 wheel driving and camping, with Pildappa Rock being a fantastic place for rock climbing.

      These are not the only areas where these activities can be undertaken but they are indicative of the terrain, and enjoyment available in the region.

      The climate in this area really suits all year around activities like those discussed above, in particular the 4 wheel driving and camping however some areas are frequently closed due to bush fire danger.

      Thank you for your comments, I appreciate them.

  3. Parmi Reply

    Thanks for this Steve! I’ve never been to Australia so obviously never been to Minnipa either. But Australia is in my goals. I used to go camping quite a bit until a couple of years ago, so will definitely plan to go there when I do visit Australia. I’ll be on the lookout for that ‘post office’ haha. It seems such a cool place to have a nice little coffee. And your images look just so great! Look forward to visiting!

    • Steve Post authorReply

      Hi Parmi,

      Book your tickets and come across, you won’t regret it.

      It is easy to hire a 4wd vehicle and any camping gear and you will be able to find that “Post Office”.

      By doing so you will be able to have your coffee roadside or in a coffee shop.

      Free camping is the best.


  4. Sourabh Reply

    Hi Steve. I am from India and I’m very fond trekking, rock climbing, camp fire, exploring new places and adventures. In India we have lots of camping sites especially at Himalaya. But the places you have mentioned in your blog are highly captivating for me. I would definitely like to visit Apex park and Minnipa along with my friends. Is vegetarian food also available there :)? From where we can gather more info about the place like pre booking of hotels, guide, route, etc. ?

    • Steve Post authorReply

      Hi Sourabh.

      India and Australia are two vastly different countries in many ways. An example is when size and population are compared – Australia, in area, is twice the size of India however, in population terms India has 5 times more people.

      The reason that we have such a small population is in part because 70% of our land is arid (ie like a desert) or close to arid leaving the remaining 30% to live mostly along the coastline.

      I am generalising a bit there but it is to make the point that the areas in which a lot of touring is done is in these arid areas. Accordingly, we must be totally self sufficient to drive into this type of country.

      That leads me to make the point that for you to enjoy this part of our country you would need to participate in a tag-a-long tour or hire a vehicle (which many overseas people do) and tour the country in a self drive style.

      Whilst things like booking ahead for accommodation can be done, in general these things do not happen.

      Why? it is because these are remote areas and the people in these areas do not provide this form of accommodation. Again, this is a generalisation because there are places where this rule does not apply. In fact, one place I came across in our trip is Kimba, South Australia.

      On another point, it is interesting to me about the camping available in the Himalayas and I will be adding this to my list of places to visit.

  5. fawaz Reply

    thanks for this great information .

    what part of Australia is  Minnipa located? 

    Australia ,is one of the most beautiful country i would live to visit ,and participate in such events like the one you are talking about .

    DO you do these kinds of events frequently ? 

    What is the best time of year to camp in Minnipa? what are other activities beside camping ?

    • Steve Post authorReply

      Free camping can be done all year round in Minnipa, as well as many other great locations in South Australia.

      Many Australians travel around Australia every year, and a lot of others travel for weekends, annual holidays and just for a break from work.

      In and around Minnipa there is plenty of rock climbing, 4 wheel driving, fishing and camping.

  6. Paul Reply

    Dear Steve,

    Thanks a lot for the information on Free Camping Site at Minnipa.

    You have provided detailed information on free camping site and thanks for sharing from your own experience.

    You have provided clear instruction and direction which is going to be a greater help for many. I am planning to share your post with my friends and I believe it will be a greater help to them.

    Wishing you much success!


    • Steve Post authorReply

      Hey Paul,

      Thank your for the comment. I can only hope that you and your friends find the township of Minnipa as wonderful as we did. We love free camping.

  7. Renton Reply

    Very cool post. It almost felt like i was on the adventure with you (don’t worry I wasn’t). I think it is great that you are sharing your journey like this. I am sure campers in the area close to Minnipa  will find this a great resource when trying to figure out what to expect or even for logistical purposes.

    It seem like a great place, thanks for the share.

    • Steve Post authorReply

      We certainly had a great adventure. I look forward to returning to Minnipa in the future to see how the new site has developed. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Amber Reply

    Hello Steve, 

    This article sounds so great. It  motivates and excites many people to go on a camping trip. This article is ideal for me because I really love camping, I have done some over-night camping trips with friends but your camping trip sound amazing. After reading this, I really would love to visit Minnipa and do some free camping someday. 

    Thank you for great information. 

    • Steve Post authorReply

      It is fantastic to go free camping in places like Minnipa, because the community there really wants and needs for many more visitors to the town. I hope you can come over one day.

  9. Jurgen Reply

    I’ve never been on a free camping site before, but from what I can read, I should definately try it sometime. What’s good is that the people seem to be very considerate of each other, as they leave space on the site, even when it was almost full and that people seem to be very relaxed and friendly.

    This is something I’ve not seen often on holidays. So this is definitely going on my to do trip-list.


    • Steve Post authorReply

      It is truly something to experience. The only way to do that is to get out and travel.

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