Caravan and camping grounds

The department administers the Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Act 1995 (the Act). 

Camping and caravanning are activities enjoyed by many locals and tourists in Western Australia.

All camping and caravan use is regulated by the Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Act 1995.

This legislation ensures that:

  • camping occurs in a safe manner
  • caravan parks provide a sufficient level of services to their customers
  • local governments can enforce health and safety standards.

Caravan parks

Under the Act, all caravan parks must be licensed by their local governments.

The park owner must renew their licence annually. They must also ensure that their park is up to standard and has all the buildings and services required by the Act.

Residents of caravan parks must also comply with certain standards to ensure that the park is safe and enjoyable for everyone.

The complete list of standards is set out in the Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Regulations 1997. Additional standards can also be imposed on the park depending on the terms of the park’s licence.

Park homes

Some caravan parks are specifically set up for the use of park homes. The Act defines a park home as being:

  1. a vehicle of a prescribed class or description
  2. designed for habitation.

Park homes are subject to special requirements regarding their design, certification and installation.

Camping outside of a caravan park

It is recognised that not everyone wants to camp inside a licensed caravan park.

For this reason, the Act allows people to camp outside of licensed parks provided they have obtained the right approval. Further details on these exemptions can be found below:

These exemptions are designed for occasional or once-off situations and only grant protection to the camper.   

If a property owner allows short-term camping to occur regularly on their property, they will still be operating a caravan park and need to comply with the requirements of the Act.

Nature based parks

As a general rule, caravan parks need to provide a minimum level facilities and services to anyone who is residing in the park.

However, parks which are set up in natural environments may be licensed as a nature based park. These parks are designed to allow people to camp in a natural environment while minimising the environmental impact of campsites.

Nature based parks have less buildings and don’t need to provide as many amenities. However, minimum standards still apply. The park will also be subject to stricter rules regarding fire control, waste disposal and camper safety.

Tiny homes

The caravan and camping market has seen a growth in dwellings commonly referred to in the industry as 'tiny homes'. Tiny homes are built in a variety of ways which can often lead to confusion regarding what legislation applies to them as the term is not defined within WA legislation. 

If a tiny home fits the statutory definition of a caravan (i.e. a vehicle fitted for habitation and capable of being towed) or a 'camp' (i.e. a portable tent, shed or hut) then it will fall under the powers of the Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Act 1995.

Should a tiny home not fit the statutory definition of a caravan or a camp the Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Act 1995 cannot apply. Depending on the nature of the structure it may still be subject to building approvals or other building requirements.

Local governments are encouraged to avoid the tiny home phrase and, dependent on the nature of its design, refer to the dwelling either as a caravan, a camp or a building.

Micro camping

All across Western Australia landowners have been partaking in what is commonly referred to in the industry as 'micro camping'. Micro camping involves a landowner allowing people to camp on, or stay in either a caravan or other form of dwelling for a fee.

If a person is allowing people to use caravans or camp on their property in exchange for money, then it could be interpreted that they are carrying out the business of a caravan park or camping business under the Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Act 1995 which requires a licence. If a person is conducting a commercial caravan park or camping business, they are not exempt from needing a license if they only have one or a small number of sites.

If the dwellings do not fit the definition of a caravan or camp then it does not fall under the Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Act 1995 but may still be subject to the need for building approvals or other processes relating to planning or zoning.

An approval under regulation 11 of the Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Regulations 1997 allowing a camper to stay on a property does not exempt a property owner from needing a license if they are operating a caravan park of camping business, if the Act requires it.

More information



Executive Director
Sector Regulation and Support
Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries
GPO Box 8349 Perth Business Centre WA 6849

Page reviewed 02 December 2021