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camping Australia

The Craziest Men I Have Met At Free Campsites

A moment lived in Australia by Jess Weller, a traveller from United Kingdom

For the last 9 months, I have been travelling around Australia in my car. Using the most valuable app to any backpacker in Australia, Wikicamps, I find and stay in free campsites as much as possible. Now these free campsites can range from car parks and gravel rest stops on highways to full blown grassy campsites with showers and toilets, it’s the most amazing thing! But as most things free, it can also attract a stranger crowd… We have encountered our fair share crazy, but these guys really stick in our minds, I’m not too sure why though?!
The Man Who Wanted To A Beer At 2am
This local pub allowed people to camp for free on a small patch of land behind them, where again apart from a caravan we were alone. The caravan looked as though it hadn’t been touched in years, run down and a bit gross so we actually thought we did have the place to ourselves. That was until 2am, I awoke looking out the window with a guy staring in at us (no more than 50cm from my face, luckily the window was shut). Then he started tapping on the window half shouting if we wanted to have a tinny (can of beer) with him. Yep, that’s exactly what we want to do, get woken up in the middle of the night to share a beer with a drunk, crazy stranger looking through our car window.
The Man Who Liked To Wee
Tasmania seems to be the place to go if you have a fetish for being weed in front of! This campsite was a gravel car park with a park around the sides. It was pretty big and there weren’t many cars so it was a bit unnecessary for this guy to park right next to us. He was just sitting in his front seat for an hour or so, but kept looking towards our car, in which we were snuggled up watching a film. Just before going to sleep, we did our usual routine, get out the car and brush our teeth. Obviously hearing us opening the doors, he looked up, opened his door and got out, whacked his willy out and started weeing – literally a meter away facing us. At 5am he turned his car on, tested how loud his speakers could go and then sat there blaring out crazily loud music for 10 minutes then left. Maybe he was crazy, or maybe looking for an argument, or maybe he was just blind and deaf, who knows!
The Man Who Thought He Was Police
I think this guy is our favourite crazy of the 6. To cut a long story short… Whilst at a campsite in the Gold Coast, I saw a man in a land cruiser (meet LC man) drive drunk into the back of a fisherman’s van (meet FM man). After arguing for a while, LC decided arguing wasn’t getting him anywhere so whacked out his knife… I know, it escalated quickly! Luckily no one got hurt in the writing of this blog… It was all for the show. He then came over to me and gave me his car keys so when the police arrived he couldn’t get nicked for drink driving. The police didn’t actually do anything, maybe gave them a warning but it was still very good afternoon entertainment for a nosey person like me! Fast forward to the evening when LC walks over to Ben and I with a watermelon in one arm and a bulletproof vest in the other. He started telling us how he is an undercover policeman, and the vest is his proof. The vest looked as though he had written POLICE with Word Art, printed it and stuck it on with sellotape. The Aussie police must be cutting costs. Next, he gives us the watermelon (it’s already half eaten by the way) as a sorry for the commotion earlier gift. Yum.
The Man Who Was A Thief
I sadly didn’t get the chance to meet this charming man. We stayed on the outskirts of Melbourne in a car park. We were the only ones there, but all night cars would drive in and meet another car, both with their lights off. Probably drug dealing. Ice is a big problem in Aus, maybe because it’s so hot here they think it will cool them down (what even is ice?!). So we woke up in the morning to the lovely surprise of needles laying around the car. Someone must have had a nice evening. We then noticed we no longer had our rear number plate! So during our sleep in the car, someone managed to unscrew and steal it. Rather than the beach, the police station was our first stop that morning. Turns out it happens a lot!
The Petrol Sniffer
This guy roamed the same campsite as LC in the Gold Coast, so maybe this place should probably be avoided. We stayed here for 4 nights, and every day this young but aged guy would walk around with a water bottle pushed to his mouth. It was empty bar a tiny amount of yellow liquid. Petrol. All day he would walk around sniffing it. He would then find a metal pole and fight it, punches and all. These poor poles couldn’t put up a fight. One day we were sitting at a picnic table eating when he walks over to us, bends down and pulls out a weed from the ground. Grasping it in a similar manner to when proud children hold out flowers to their playground crush in films, he hands me this weed. Very thoughtful. It was more flowery than the (lack of) flowers I have received for a while. And off he went, to fight another metal post!

This traveller has a blog : Ben and Jess Adventures

credit photo : Jess Weller


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  1. Leslie Walker says:

    Sounds like you’ve had some interesting experiences camping in Australia. Adventure traveling seems very wild and exciting and I’m glad you’re able to see the positive in these situations. Thanks for sharing!

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