Beach Camping at Cliff Head

Cliff Head is a nature-based campsite located on the Indian Ocean Road between Leeman and Dongara.

These sites are beautifully located among limestone cliffs and the turquoise water that this coastline is noted for.

Free camping at Cliff Head

Update: Effective from 22 March 2021, the Shire of Irwin has implemented paid camping. This means fees will be applied to all camping along Indian Ocean Drive in the Shire of Irwin. Ratepayers in the Shire of Irwin, are entitled to 10x nights camping at no charge each year. All other visitors will be charged $20 per vehicle per night. For more  information online, see

There are three camping sections – Cliff Head North, Cliff Head South and Cliff Head Central. Campers can stay for three nights within a 28-day period at no charge.

Cliff Head Central is the largest of the three sites and includes eco-toilets, an undercover area with sink, benches and tables and a communal fireplace.

FFree camping at Cliff Head


Free camping at Cliff Head

Seating area at Cliff Head Central

Cliff Head South is the smallest of the three sites and located inside a lovely sheltered cove. The site has eco-toilets but no other facilities.

Million dollar view for free

Million dollar view for free at Cliff Head South

The beaches can get quite weedy, depending on the season and conditions. However, in nice weather, like I had here, it’s a great place to spend a day or two. Dogs are welcome too.

Access to the site is via a gravel road from the Indian Ocean Drive. The sites can be accessed by two wheel drives and are suitable for large caravans.

The Shire of Irwin has done a fantastic job in providing these sites for free. Please support them by buying locally. 

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Things to see and do on the Indian on the Indian Ocean Drive

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  1. Julie says:

    Happy new year ?

    • Nina B says:

      Thanks Julie, happy 2017. Hope it’s a great year for you with plenty of adventure along the way.

    • What best time of year to stay there

      • WA Explorer says:

        You could stay there year round. From September to the end of the year the coastline can be very windy especially in the afternoon but days are mostlyIf sunny and reasonably warm. In the winter months seasonal cold fronts are the main consideration. Best time May when there’s less wind and hotter days – unfortunately this usually also means more flies.

  2. Hi Nina

    Great! Thanks for the Free Camping tip. We may camp there when we’re there with our parents. Looks like a great camp.

    Liebi Grüess & happy New Year,

  3. […] Free Camping at Cliff Head […]

  4. […] Free Camping at Cliff Head […]

  5. Nina B says:

    Thanks for the tip Peter. I didn’t encounter any bees but plenty of flies.

  6. […] For a comprehensive post that details all the attractions along this road see my article on things to do on the Indian Ocean Drive and see my favourite free camping site here. […]

  7. […] no camping at the Pinnacles Desert. For a fantastic free camping option consider Cliff Head north of […]

  8. Peter Brown says:

    How do I go about finding more info. As in exactly how to get there and how to book?

    • WA Explorer says:

      The Shire of Irwin is your best point of contact for more specific information. Sites can’t be booked in advance and are allocated on a first come first served basis. Currently camping at Cliffhead is restricted to a maximum of three nights and it’s free, however, there are rumours that the shire will commence charging a fee. The campsites are located in Arrowsmith off the Indian Ocean Highway. A search on Google maps will give you the precise location. There are signposts at the turnoff but there are no signs giving advance notice of the turnoffs which means you need to slow down before to make sure you can make the turn, especially if you’re towing a caravan. There are two turnoffs though, so if you miss the first you can take the next turn. Last time I travelled south along this route, I witnessed a near-miss near this turnoff due to impatient drivers, so take care, especially during the busy school holiday times.

  9. Can you please update the title of this page to not say free camping as it is no longer free to camp at.

    Kind Regards
    Dongara Visitor Centre

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