If you’re planning a road trip, or perhaps have a particularly long day ahead, you might be interested to know if you can sleep in your car or not.
At the moment, there are no nationwide laws against sleeping in your car. In some regions of Australia, this means that you can pull over in a rest area and spend the night. Certain state and local governments do have laws against sleeping in your car, however. In some places, you can only sleep in your car in certain areas.
Sleeping In Your Car In QLD
Queensland is known as an area where these laws are a bit stricter in regards to sleeping in your car. In Queensland there are 450+ rest areas where you can stop for up to 20 hours at any time during the year. These are obviously not long-term camping areas and are designed for an over night stay as you journey along. You can refer to the Guide to QLD Roads PDF for more information about rest areas, their location, amenities and whether camping is permitted.
Local Council Laws in QLD
In more populated areas and popular tourist destinations such as Brisbane, the Gold, Fraser and Sunshine Coasts, local council laws are much more specific about where you can and can’t sleep over night in your car. For example, on the Gold Coast, sleeping in your car is part of the definition of camping according to council by-laws. This means that you can only sleep in your car if you are in an area where it’s legal to camp, such as a public camp site or designated rest area. In Brisbane, the council by-laws are similar. On the Fraser Coast local council is very vigilant about deterring illegal camping and actually encourages people to report illegal camping.
Sleeping In Your Car After Drinking Alcohol
You should also be aware that if you are sleeping in your car after having a few drinks, your situation might be different again. Watch our video: Is It Legal To Sleep In Your Car After Drinking.
Should I Sleep In My Car In QLD?
If you are thinking about sleeping in your car, it’s a good idea to check what local laws apply, to avoid a possible fine. The Guide to QLD Roads is very informative in this respect at letting you know where it is legal to spend the night or where you need to obtain permission.
If you’re unsure, try contacting your local council. They should be able to fill you in about whether it’s legal to sleep in your car where you are.
Popular Local Council Websites & Contact Phone Numbers
- Gold Coast: http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au Phone: 07 5582 8211
- Brisbane: https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/ Phone: 07 3403 8888
- Sunshine Coast: https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au Phone: 07 5475 7272
- Moreton Bay: https://www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au Phone: 07 3205 0555
- Fraser Coast: http://www.frasercoast.qld.gov.au Phone: 1300 79 49 29
For a comprehensive list of local government websites and phone numbers in Queensland visit the Local Government Directory.