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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.
- Gumma Reserve
- NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park
- Green Patch Campground
- Yamba – Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort
- Blackheath Glen Reserve
- Dalmeny Campground
- Illaroo Campground, Minnie Water
- Waves Campground, Crescent Head
- Mungo National Park
- Bent Basin State Conservation Area
- Holiday Haven, Huskisson
- Last words on Best Camping in New South Wales
By Emma of MY RIG Adventures
For anyone travelling up and down the New South Wales coast, you’ll notice that most of the camps are sitting on premium land, meaning that they can be very pricey. When we stumbled across Gumma Reserve in Macksville, we knew we’d hit the camping jackpot!
Gumma Reserve is located in the Nambucca region on the Mid-North Coast. It is considered a low-cost camp, with prices ranging from $13 – $21 per night (average). For that you’ll get yourself an off-grid camp right beside the coastal Warrell Creek, which flows directly out to the Nambucca River.
- Pet friendly,
- Flushing toilets,
- Outdoor (cold) showers,
- Drinking water,
- Picnic tables,
- Rubbish bins,
- Dump point,
- Camp fires allowed,
- Boat ramp.
We found the camp to be very well-positioned for exploring the nearby Nambucca Heads, plus the hinterland area.
Here are some things worth checking out while staying at Gumma Reserve:
- V-Wall (Nambucca Heads);
- Captain Cook’s Lookout (Nambucca);
- Snorkel in the Nambucca River;
- The Pub with No Beer (Taylors Arm);
- Yarriabini National Park.
Each afternoon a friendly guy will come around and collect your daily fees (so be sure to have cash handy). You can easily while your days away swimming in the river, fishing, watching dolphins head up the river in the early morning and spot the goannas as they meander the camp ground throughout the day.
NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park
By Paula and Andrea of Viajar y Otras Pasiones
Do you want to enjoy a relaxing weekend of camping and nature not far from the city? Or maybe you are travelling around Australia with your van and want to stop by Sydney? Whatever is your situation, NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park is a great choice for you!
It is only 30 kilometers north from Sydney CBD, in the coastal suburb of Narrabeen (Northern Beaches). The camping is in a quiet area, next to both the Narrabeen Lagoon and the beach.
North Narrabeen Beach is very popular for surfers. Although, if you don’t feel like catching waves, you can always have a good swim in the lake or in the rockpool.
You can also make the most of your time in the Northern Beaches by travelling half an hour north to visit the West Head Lookout and the Barrenjoey Lighthouse. Another option is going further south to walk the Bicentennial Coastal Walk and enjoy the view from the Long Reef Headland.
Of course, don’t forget to have a look at other iconic beaches in the area like Avalon, Newport, Mona Vale or Dee Why.
The Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park is fully equipped and comfortable. It has barbecues, games room and an amazing water park that makes it ideal for families.
Another great thing about this camping is that if you can’t drive, you can get a bus and then a train and you will be in central Sydney in around one hour. Not bad!
Green Patch Campground
by Emma of Our Wayfaring Life
Green Patch nestled in bushland surroundings and near to the shores of Green Patch Beach is one of our family’s favourite campgrounds. Green Patch Campground is one of three campgrounds in the Booderee National Park (the others are Bristol Beach and Caves Beach Campgrounds both only open to tent camping) in Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast.
The park owned and cared for by the Wrecked Bay Village, an Aboriginal community within the park along with Parks Australia has some focus on indigenous culture.
Green Patch Beach is paradise. Pristine white sand, soft under foot and crystal clear blue water is what makes this place so special. Swimming, strolling the beach, kayaking, SUP, snorkelling and fishing are all activities enjoyed here. Booderee National Park also has other wonderful beaches, bush walking trails, coastal walks, a native Botanical Garden and the historic Cape St George Lighthouse to explore. The cliffs on which the lighthouse ruins stand is great spot to watch whales.
Green Patch Campground has sites for caravans, camper vans and tents. It is necessary to book and in school holidays a ballot for spots is held due to popularity of the campground. Sites are dirt, unpowered and clearly marked and there are hot showers, toilets and barbecues for campers to use. Also look out for the resident brush tail possums, used to people they will steal your food if they get the chance! Kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and various birds also frequent the campground.
Jervis Bay Village within the Booderee National Park has a general store and petrol station. Alternatively Vincentia Marketplace a 15 minute drive away has supermarkets, cafes and other stores.
Yamba – Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort
By Stephanie of Navigating Adventure
When asked what our favourite camping destination in New South Wales is, we can never go past the little town of Yamba and the Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort. This is fun and comfortable camping at its best.
Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort is situated on the banks of the Clarence River and just a few minutes drive to town. Yamba itself is perfect for a relaxing getaway. It offers beautiful beaches, a small-town atmosphere, great seafood, lively markets once a month, and plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from.
We love taking a long leisurely walk along the river or coast line, before indulging in some freshly caught seafood for lunch. You may also like to take a boat ride on the river, or explore the region further by participating in one of the local cultural tours.
Other than enjoying the great outdoors, one of our favourite activities at Yamba is a trip to Bowlo Sports and Leisure centre for a meal and some fun. This is a local bowling club with a difference. It has lawn bowls, ten pin bowling, mini golf, an indoor rock wall, soft-play area for toddlers, arcade games for the big kids and live music for the adults.
The holiday park itself offers everything you need. Wander down to the river bank and cast a fishing line in, or take a dip in one of its many pools – some of which are heated. Enjoy a cocktail at the swim-up bar and a meal at the restaurant. If you’re visiting with the kids they will never get bored – there are two games rooms for younger and older kids, go-karts, a water park, jumping pillow and playgrounds.
There are also multiple barbecues and camp kitchen facilities, as well as clean bathroom amenities. Cabins, villas and ensuite sites are also on offer, making this Yamba camping ground suitable for everyone.
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.
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
- 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. Definitely one of the best camping spots NSW has to offer.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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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