Camp in Style: The Best Camping Spots Around NSW
During the Sydney summer, we're spoilt for choice when it comes to holidaying in the great outdoors. And whilst camping is not exactly considered the most glamorous of holidays, there are plenty of stunning locations to snuggle up in – and believe us, you'll be far from slumming it. From the coast to the bush, many spots boast jaw-droppingly beautiful vistas and luxury add-ons, allowing you to afford an awesome getaway without the luxury hotel price tag. So for the ultimate outdoor escape, pitch up at one of these gloriously romantic camping spots, for an alfresco adventure you'll never forget.
Just a 2.5-hour drive south of Sydney, Jervis Bay is a unique landscape bordered by coast and bushland. The renowned white sand beaches provide the perfect backdrop to a summer getaway. In terms of camping, there are a plethora of powered sites and off-the-grid stays scattered along the coast and in-land. A popular spot to pitch your tent is in the Booderee National Park at one of their sites; Green Patch and Bristol Point are perfect for a leafy outlook, and Cave Beach for a coastal aspect. Make sure to take time to explore Point Perpendicular Lighthouse, Booderee National Park Botanic Gardens and famous Hyams Beach.
If you're looking to stay close to Sydney, The Basin – located just 1 hour from the CBD – is the ultimate camping staycation. Accessed by a ferry from Palm Beach or a drive through Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, The Basin boasts stunning views across Pittwater, along with the perfect conditions for paddle boarding, snorkelling and kayaking. With an amenities block, picnic tables, barbecue facilities, drinking water, public phone, showers and toilets, you can either set up camp for the weekend or host your next family gathering.
A peaceful pocket of the Central Coast, Killcare is all about slow and steady living. Right on your doorstep, explore the beautiful beaches and natural landscape. Just 90 minutes from Sydney, the area is perfect for weekenders looking to escape the city grind. To get amongst nature, a stay in the boutique Putty Beach campground is a must for adventure seekers that love fishing, swimming and bushwalking. If you get sick of cooking over the campfire, award-winning dining is only a short drive away.
One of the largest and most popular campgrounds in the Crowdy Bay National Park, Diamond Head delivers on location and quality facilities. The grounds are expansive with lots of grass, shade cover, barbecues, tables and well-maintained amenities, making an average camping trip a more comfortable one. In close proximity to the water, 4WDs can access the beach too- in case you want to bring your boat or jet ski along for the ride. Make the most of your relaxing nature escape with a bushwalk from the campground to Indian Head. Along the way, take the opportunity to stop and admire the views from Kylie lookout. Keep your eye out along the way for furry friends, with kangaroos, koalas and cockatoos making up the local population.
On the outskirts of Sydney, the Hawkesbury is picturesque, peaceful and the perfect escape from the city. The Hawkesbury River flows past lush wilderness, walking trails, quaint towns, bays and bobbing boats, and in between national parks. As one of the oldest colonial settlements, there are hints of history at every turn, and today, the area is also one of Sydney’s agricultural hotspots. The Cattai campground in the National Park is a no-frills space for an authentic camping trip complete with walking, canoeing and bike riding. If the open-wilderness frightens you then book into Percy's Place Caravan Park. Set riverside on 110 acres, Percy's provides an idyllic backdrop and first-class facilities to help make the most of your stay. Our advice? Wind your way down the river and explore everything the Hawkesbury has to offer.
A popular tourist destination for whale and dolphin watching, fishing, boating and swimming, Port Stephens is the ultimate coastal playground. Just three hours north of Sydney, it is hard not to get swept up in the natural surrounds and completely switch off from the daily grind. Whether you set up camp in the quiet Shoal Bay Holiday Park or head down the road to Halifax in Nelson Bay, you won't be disappointed with the modern amenities and proximity to adventure. If you are looking to get off the beaten track but still need your creature comforts, the BIG4 Koala Shores at Lemon Tree Passage provides resort-style facilities, away from the main tourist drag.
For a serene bush getaway, head straight for the Queensland border to the Bald Rock National Park. Just south of the border in NSW, let the Bald Rock camping ground be your base camp for a few days of trekking and nature discovery. Once the tent is up, start off with a BBQ breakfast and from there you can choose your walking track for the day. A non-negotiable for the trip is visiting the Bald Rock itself- Australia's largest exposed granite rock. Measuring at close to 1300m above sea level, you will feel like you have conquered Everest once you reach the summit. To get the best photos be sure to head up at dusk and take snacks and drinks.
Unassuming yet utterly alluring, Mollymook, on the South Coast of New South Wales is beautiful all year-round. With Ulladulla and historic Milton close at hand, the thriving community is bonded by a strong surfing culture and the forested mountains. The Mollymook Tourist Park is perfect for camping and with its woodfire pizza oven, swimming pool, tennis court, laundry and wifi, you won't miss resort-style living. With nature walks, outdoor activities and beach hopping the best way to spend your time, you are forced to slow down and take in all that this coastal town and its surrounds have to offer.
A coastal village known for its sparkling sea, laid-back lifestyle, and warm and friendly locals, Avoca Beach is a Central Coast gem brimming with charm and character. It’s not surprising that it becomes a hub of activity during the warmer months, with well-heeled Sydney families arriving en-masse for a relaxing sojourn. For a more luxe-camping experience, the 'glents' (glamorous tents) at Elebanah are so well kitted out- think king size bed, linen, cushions, towels, deck chairs, Wifi and cooler box- you won't even realising you are camping.
I'd love to live near