Best Camping in New South Wales

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What better way to explore the vast Australian countryside than loading the car with the family tent, fishing gear, esky, sleeping bags and heading off to that special place for a camping trip. New South Wales on the east coast of Australia has many ideal camp grounds, so we asked some fellow bloggers to share some of their favourite spots, for camping in New South Wales.

With the New South Wales coastal areas ideally suited to camping, it’s a favourite pastime of many residents and visitors. So come along with us as we share some of the best spots for camping in New South Wales.

Best Camping in New South Wales

Blackheath Glen Reserve

by Eloise of My Favourite Escapes

The Blackheath Glen Reserve was the best campground we found to explore the Blue Mountains for a weekend. The price (it’s free!) and the location were the main reasons why we chose to stay there. It only takes 15 minutes to drive to Govett Leaps Lookout, with some of the best views and hikes in the World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains.

In about 20 minutes, we were in the popular Katoomba, where visitors from all around the world gather to see the iconic Three Sisters. The Blue Mountains are huge – bigger than Belgium – so you won’t run out of things to do in the region, especially if you like hiking.

We found the campground perfect to spend the night in a natural setting within the National Park. The place gets busy as it’s a free camping area. Parking a car gets challenging after a certain time as it is first-in-first-served. But there was more space than needed for tents although we visited during the weekend. There were a few secluded spots for those who are after an early night. Despite the number of people, the toilets were rather clean. 

It was fantastic to have a fire pit, especially because it can get chilly in the Blue Mountains. It made our stay a lot more comfortable. We could easily drive to the closest shop to buy wood and food to cook a tasty, fancy dinner on the fire. Wooden picnic tables were available, which was ideal as we were travelling interstate with limited camping gear.

 Three Sisters - Blue Mountains NSW
Three Sisters – Blue Mountains NSW

Dalmeny Campground

By Kathy Marris from 50 Shades of Age

The small town of Dalmeny is located 6 kms north of Narooma on the South Coast of NSW. During our travels we heard good things about the Dalmeny Campground that is situated on a headland with panoramic views of Dalmeny Beach, a creek and the adjoining Eurobodalla National Park.

The Campground amenities include:

  • Large grassed park on Dalmeny Headland
  • Toilets, Showers and Laundry
  • Campfires allowed
  • Dump Point
  • Small shop in Office
  • Dog friendly

Local attractions near Dalmeny are plentiful and include:

  • Close to shops and café
  • Children’s Playground adjacent
  • Swimming and Surfing
  • Beach and Lake Fishing
  • Boating
  • Bushwalking in Eurobodalla National Park
  • Walking/Cycling Path from Dalmeny to Narooma 7 kms away
  • Day cruises to nearby Montague Island

An absolute must do is to either walk, cycle or drive the Dalmeny/Kianga Scenic Route. It is a visually beautiful experience, tracing the beaches all the way to Narooma – great for surfing, swimming, fishing and whale watching or just relaxing on the designated dog-friendly beaches on the way. 

Dalmeny Campground is great value for money with good amenities, close proximity to shops and Narooma only 7 kms away plus the views from the headland are magical.

Dalmeny beach in NSW
Beach of Dalmeny

Illaroo Campground, Minnie Water

by Vivien & Aaron of The Dharma Trails

Turn off the (A1) highway and drive for thirty minutes through the thick, Yuraygir National Park bushland. By the time you reach the Illaroo beachfront campground, you’ll be perfectly disconnected from the bustle of modern-day life. All you can focus on is the sound of Kookaburras and crashing waves.

After setting up your tent on the top of the sand dune area, kick back and watch the dolphins surf through the waves or get out there and surf yourself. The Rocky Point headland (just south of the site) provides a great right-hander surf break.

There are a few covered picnic tables and two electric BBQ’s, a drinking water tap and a bathroom on the site.

But the best thing about Illaroo is its isolation. You can have miles and miles of beach to yourself.

Nearby

The small town of Minnie Water is about a 10-minute drive back down the dusty road. It has one petrol station and a small shop with essentials. Therefore, you want to be fairly prepared when camping at Illaroo.

The closest main town is Grafton (about 45-minute drive).

This makes Illaroo campsite perfect for those who really want to get away, have a beach to themselves and have access to a unique national park.

Tips

  • The site only allows 35 people which doesn’t seem to fill up (but good to book ahead for weekends)
  • If you have a group take the space up the northern road turn-around (you can fit a few tents all close together)
  • If you want the best ocean view from your tent take the spot just south of the turn-around

Camping is such a great way to eco travel, especially in NSW. And Illaroo is a true hidden gem.

Rocky Point headland - Minnie Water New South Wales
Rocky Point headland – Minnie Water NSW

Waves Campground, Crescent Head

by Darren & Lauren of faramagan

During our time camping in Australia, our experience at Waves Campground, Crescent Head was an absolute highlight. Do not be put off by the unsealed, dirt track which leads up to it; this bumpy detour will be worth it as you arrive at a peaceful oasis mere minutes from the beach, surrounded by towering trees and pitches with fire pits and picnic tables.

Not only does the campsite offer yoga and surf lessons but funky communal areas to meet like-minded travellers, enjoy a beer and share travel stories or learn of hidden gems nearby. After a day of hiking, fishing, surfing or snorkelling in the area, you can enjoy hot showers and a BBQ thanks to Waves campgrounds excellent facilities.

If you fancy a day trip further afield, the picturesque town of Port Macquarie is just 45 minutes drive away offering stunning seaside views. If you head to Tacking Point Lighthouse, you will have the opportunity to spot whales and dolphins enjoying the waves.

A hub for surf enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, Waves Campground is ideal for those wanting to be immersed in nature. Not only did we spot a dingo as we were washing our dishes, but the campground is also home to its own friendly python which you may be “lucky” enough to meet in the bathroom!

We paid $30 for a powered site for our campervan (peak season) and felt it was worth every penny, whether you’re seeking a surf spot or a chilled weekend, Waves Campground will not disappoint. 

 Waves Campground, Crescent Head
Waves Campground, Crescent Head

Mungo National Park

by Emma of small footprints, big adventures

Mungo National Park is part of the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area, which holds a dual listing for both its natural/historical and cultural significance. There are several options for camping and exploring Mungo, including the Main Camp where we stayed as a family, and a more secluded campsite halfway around the Mungo Track.

This Belah Campsite serves as a rest point if you’re taking some time to explore Mungo on a self-guided tour, which you can do by bike or car.

Near the Main Camp is an excellent visitor centre which details the amazing discoveries of the region: Mungo Lady is the earliest known evidence of a cremation in the world at 42,000 years old! Mungo Man and some fossilized footprints are also significant discoveries, and still today remains of ancient fireplaces and tools used by Indigenous Australians can be seen on a guided tour.

A tour by an Aboriginal guide is the only way to explore the “walls of China” and the Lunettes, and is a great way to learn about the special sites, hardy plant life and the amazing landscape at Mungo. We loved learning more about Aboriginal culture and walking in the footsteps of their ancestors.

It is a very special place at Mungo and I recommend taking a few days to explore it thoroughly. There’s also a Pastoral Heritage Loop with remains of early white settlers to the region, and spectacular lookout points along the Mungo Track.

The Main Campground is quite basic with some shaded sites and covered fireplaces/stoves to cook on, but no toilets. It was serene though with great views of the sun rising and kangaroos close by in the mornings. My family loved our time at Mungo and will be heading back soon to explore it again now our kids are older!

Mungo Lunettes - Mungo National Park
Mungo Lunettes

Bent Basin State Conservation Area 

by Rohini of Why You Wander

Located 68 KM away from Sydney, Bent Basin State Conservation Area is one of those places in and around Sydney which provides you with the feeling of a weekend away without travelling much away from Sydney. Also, this unpowered area has got a large space which is particularly good for bigger travel groups.

It can accommodate trailers, tents & caravans as well. Not just for camping, this is a great area for barbeque as well. In most cases, you get to choose to park next to your camping spot.

Being quite popular in the summer, it would be a great idea to book your lot in advance. Online booking is available. The site fee of $24 includes first 2 occupants, and each additional adult will be charged $12 per night. This does not include the Park entry fee which is another $8.

Apart from having a swimming hole which is pretty big for a camping site, there are short walks closer to the area. The lake is good for fishing and kayaking as well.

Toilet/Shower facilities are available. There is also a large kitchen shelter and barbeque areas within the camping ground.

The gates are closed in the evening which can be still accessed using the gate code provided by the office when you check-in. 

Bent Basin campground NSW
Bent Basin campground

Holiday Haven, Huskisson

by Rachel Rodda from Adventure and Sunshine

Huskisson is a small town in Jervis Bay on the south coast of NSW. The Bay is home to some of the prettiest beaches in NSW and the whitest sand in Australia. Huskisson makes the perfect base from which to explore the area.

Holiday Haven is a small caravan park with both cabins and powered sites, a swimming pool and tennis courts. It is a tranquil and well serviced campground for holiday makers.

The reason why this campground is one of the top spots in NSW is its location. The park runs right along Huskisson Beach and all sites are just a stone’s throw away from the water. BBQs and a playground are available in the grassy park located between the beach and the campground.

Early morning walks along the beach are rewarded with regular sightings of the resident dolphins.   The beach is protected, and the calm waters are perfect for small children, paddle boarding and kayaking. Huskisson town is just a short walk away with many nice cafes, pubs and bakeries.

A short drive from Huskisson is Hyams Beach, which is said to have the whitest sand in Australia. It has become a popular tourist destination, so for a more relaxed day out, head further along the bay to Greenpatch in Booderee National Park.  Along with gorgeous unspoilt beaches you are likely to see wildlife including rosellas and kangaroos.

For hiking lovers, there are many pretty walks in the area including the White Sands walk from Vincentia to Hyams Beach and the Scribbly Gum loop track. Huskisson is a lovely destination for wildlife lovers, beach lovers and those looking to escape the everyday to enjoy the outdoors.

Huskisson Beach New South Wales
Huskisson Beach NSW

Last words on Best Camping in New South Wales

From national park campgrounds to secluded hideaways, above are just some of the many places to enjoy camping in New South Wales. There are of course so many more throughout this vast state of Australia.

So whether your a local, or visiting NSW, we hope we have inspired you with our snapshot list of favourite New South Wales camping grounds. Do you have a special campsite? let us know below!

For those travelling further north into the sunshine state of Queensland, you may also be interested on where to find some of the best spots for camping during you stay in Queensland.

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