Best Camping Spots NSW

by Guest

New South Wales is a state in Australia which borders the Tasman Sea on its eastern coast. It stretches north from Queensland down to South Australia and encompasses Sydney, the country's most populous city. Away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, New South Wales has a wealth of beautiful bush landscape which lends itself well to camping. Here's a rundown of the best camping spots to visit in the spectacular wilderness of the state.

Cockatoo Island camping

Cockatoo Island lies just off the harbour of Sydney. If you don't have much time to get away from the city, then this is the place to go. This UNESCO World Heritage island has a long and interesting history as a shipbuilding centre and dockyard. Its name comes from the sulphur-crested cockatoos found on the island when it was first discovered in the early 18th century. Now, the island has a campsite with a number of glamping tents complete with beds and mattresses, fresh sheets, fluffy towel, a fully stocked bar, and a restaurant serving up simple fare. Overlooking the ocean, it's a good way to get away from the hustle and bustle of a city for a night or two.

Honeymoon Bay camping

Honeymoon Bay sits in a beautiful spot along the larger Jervis Bay. Located near to Currarong along Perpendicular Lighthouse Road, the area is used by those wanted to sunbathe on the sandy beach, swim in the azure seas, or go fishing. During the summer months, the bay gets overrun with hordes of crowds, but it's still one of the finest places to camp. The pitches can't be booked, so ensure that you arrive early to avoid disappointment. There is a toilet block, and bins, but not many other facilities, so you will need to bring your own camping stoves, gas, water, food, and provisions. The campsites overlook the stunning bay and sea. Spend lazy days lounging on the beach, swimming in the sea, swinging in a hammock reading your book, or going for walks along the coastal paths. Anglers can cast their lines to catch fish for supper

best camping spots nsw

Looking out over Morton National Park from Fitzroy Falls. Photo by Daniel

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Snowy Mountains camping

This is the heart of Australia's Alpine region. The spectacular Kosciuszko National Park has several campsites where guests can really get away from the bustle of the city. Spend days fly fishing for trout in the rivers, taking dips in the clear and cold waters of the lakes and rivers, take the chairlift to the summit of the mountain for spectacular views, hiking along the trails, or go mountain biking down the challenging routes. The campsites here are basic, but do have pitches available for campers and provide basic facilities like hot showers. During the winter months, ensure you pack warm clothing and bedding because the mountains area seriously cold and carpeted in a thick layer of powdery snow. There is nothing quite like unzipping your tent to look out over the glistening mountain views.

Crowdy Bay National Park camping

The Crowdy Bay National Park has dozens of miles of hiking trails to walk through bushland. Some of these have spectacular views over the coast, forest, and the mountains. These lands teem with wildlife including coastal birds. Camping is permitted, and it's a great place away from the crowds of the cities to set up and spend a night under the stars, uninterrupted by light pollution.

Bundjalung National Park camping

Woody Head is located in the Bundjalung National Park in New South Wales. It's an amazing spot that sits up high overlooking the ocean below and is backed by a forest of tall gum trees. The campsite has almost 10 pitches open to tents, motorhomes, and caravans. Spend your days swimming in the sea, relaxing on the beach on the in surroundings of the campsite, or hiking through the forest in search of birdlife. Facilities here are basic but include picnic tables, hot showers, toilets, and barbecue equipment which can be used to cook up dinner. It's also a great place to cast in your line, or go snorkeling with the rich marine life. It's a charming spot which shouldn't be missed.

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Lane Cove National Park camping

Not far from the city of Sydney is the Lane Cove National Park which can be reached by public transport and a short walk. You may be close to the city, but it feels a million miles away. The landscape of bubbling creeks, rivers, rocky outcrops, and gum trees is particularly scenic. Interestingly, this was one of the filming locations for the hit Australian soap Home & Away. A the Lane Cover River Tourist Park, there are plenty of pitches for tents, motorhomes, and caravans. There are facilities including an outdoor swimming pool where guests can take refreshing dips in the hot midday summer heat, there is a fully equipped kitchen where camp meals can be cooked up, electricity hook ups, and internet access throughout the site. It's a great option for groups or families who don't have the time to get far out of the city, but still want to get away for the weekend.

Tapin Tops National Park camping

Located a few hours north of Sydney is the Tapin Tops National Park. It lies up in the mountains and makes up part of the Great Eastern Escarpment. The landscape here is made up of rocky outcrops, towering cascades, and forests of eucalyptus teeming with koalas, wallabies, and birdlife. Wild camping is not allowed here, but there is a very basic campground. They are no facilities, so you will need to bring your own tents, sleeping bags, camping stoves, water, food, and provisions. At some times of the year, you'll be able to have the whole place to yourself, but during the summer months the camp does get busy with campers who want to hike around the mountain trails.

best camping spots nsw

View from the Govetts Leap Lookout on the cliff top track. Photo by Lenny

Barrington Tops National Park camping

Barrington Tops National Park is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is well worth the effort to reach it. Excellent trails and paths work their way through the bush and tropical rainforests. Wildlife camping is not permitted, but the Gloucester River Campground offers pitches for tents, motorhomes, and caravans and provide basic facilities. This is one of the best places for adventure activities including horse riding, white water rafting, mountain biking, and hiking. It's also an excellent place for spotting Australia's rich avifauna.

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Lake Macquarie camping

Lake Macquarie lies around 70 miles north of Sydney. Camping here isn't so much about being completely in the wilderness, but being surrounded by beautiful New South Wales landscapes, but close enough to the towns and villages for bites to eat, or to go out of a night to listen to live music. The Redhead Beach Holiday Park has a range of pitches for tents, motorhomes, and caravans, but also provides several bungalows and cabins for those looking for a little more comfort. During the day, guests can relax in the beautiful surroundings, or head to the beach for swimming, snorkeling, or to learn to surf.

Seal Rocks camping

Sea Rocks boasts an incredibly location on a peninsula flanked by four different white sandy beaches which look straight out of the travel brochures for the Caribbean or Asia. It's located a few hours north of Sydney and you can camp here in the site which has all the amenities you would expect. During the day, you can walk up to Sugarloaf Point to see the lighthouse, go down to the beach to work on your tan, swimming in the shallow azure waters, snorkel with plenty of marine life, and even see fluking whales out to see. This will be one campsite that you won't regret it.

Cape Byron State Conservation Area camping

Located in in the north of New South Wales, Byron Bay is a popular surf spot. Outside the town, the Cape Byron State Conservation Area offers the chance to be closer to nature, and the spectacular wildlife of the region. Here, you can get completely out into the wilderness to hike the trails, find secluded beaches and bays, surf, swim, snorkel, or lounge around in the shade of the trees and read your book. Remember to bring your tent and provisions as their isn't any facilities here.

Durras Beach camping

This is Aussie camping at its best. Nestled on the coast a few hours south of Sydney, Durras Beach is in the Batemans Marine Park and the Murramarang National Park. Spend your days snorkeling with some of the most colourful and fascinating marine life, swim in the azure sea, watch kangaroos hop past the campsite, or lounge around on the white sandy beach. The Durras Beach campground is rustic, but does have hot showers, and there are wood barbecues which can be used to cook up a camp dinner. Enjoy wild watching the famous melting Aussie sunset. Bliss.

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Royal National Park camping

This rugged national park is simply stunning. Located along the coast, towering cliffs tumble down onto the golden sand beaches. Inland, the dense forests are punctuated with waterfalls and lakes. There are some terrific wooden boardwalks that meander along the high coastal cliffs, and trails that wind through the forests. Travellers can spend their days hiking, mountain biking, swimming in the sea, and exploring the vast 15,000 hectares of parkland. It is possible to camp here, but remember to bring your tent, equipment, food, water, and any provisions you think that you will need.

Mount Warning camping

Mount Warning towers up over a thousand metres in the Wollumbin National Park. To reach the summit, travelers will need to hike and climb up a steep ascent which takes at least a couple of hours. Most start the climb before sunrise, so that you can see this amazing natural wonder from the top along the panoramic views across the Gold Coast and Cape Byron. The mountain is actually a dead volcano which last erupted millions of year ago creating an enormous crater. You can camp in the rainforest park at the bottom which makes the early start a bit easier. It's located an hour or so from Byron and has facilities which include hot showers, toilet blocks, tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool, and internet access throughout the park.

Myall Lakes National Park camping

Nestled between sand dunes is a campground next to the Myall River in the national park. Nearby are some beautiful sandy beaches and the turquoise waters of the Tasman Sea. The best thing to do here is hiking the trails, some of which are steep, but work their way through the Myall Lakes National Park, as well as some coastal walks. There is plenty of wildlife here to see including the rare Gould's petrel which lives on Cabbage Tree Island. Other activities here including kayaking, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, mountain biking, and lounging around in the most beautiful of Southern Australian bushland.  The campsites are basic, but have all the facilities you need to have a comfortable time.

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The Pacific Coast camping

There is nothing better or more famous for camping that the Pacific Coast road that works its way from Sydney to Brisbane in the north of the state. Along the way there are a staggering number of national parks and state forests which can be camping it. The best way to experience the drive is by hiring a comfortable campervan and parking up along the way. Be sure to visit Minyon Falls, the Nambucca Valley, go surfing in Coffs Harbour, and walk in the Bouddi National Park. It's almost a 700 miles, so you will need a good five days to experience the drive. Adventurous activities for adrenaline junkies include bungee jumping, white water rafting, and skydiving.

Blue Mountains camping

The Blue Mountains National Park is made up of a staggeringly large 250,000 hectare strip of pristine land that is not listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can't wild camp here, but there are several camping  grounds which provide basic facilities. During your stay, be sure to hike to Hargraves Lookout and Evans Lookout for wonderful views. Travelers can also take the world's steepest railway and see the world's oldest caves, Jenolan.

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