Camping under the stars, away from the city at campsites only accessible by 4WD – sounds pretty good right? In case you wanted to know where to find such heavenly places, here are the best 4WD accessible campsites in NSW.

 

My most unpopular opinion is half the reason I enjoy camping – it’s the solitude and serenity being out in nature alone brings. I know many people love the camaraderie of the camping community, but I’m just not one of those people. I’ve made my peace with it. All I need is my swag, some beer, and my Jeep, and I’m one literal happy camper.

There are many things I love about my Jeep, but perhaps what I love most about it is the campsites it can take me to that my pink Suzuki Alto never could have. It means I can camp in a space that’ll be less crowded, and if there’s a crowd, it’ll be with my kind of people – people who enjoy the off-road life. It’s a win-win all round. 

NSW has an insane number of gorgeous campsites, with some of the best campsites being accessible by 4WD only. In good news for you, we’ve rounded up the best 4WD camping spots. And please, if you’re going to visit these places, make sure you camp and drive responsibly, capiche?

Leave no trace: 10 Tips on How To Tread Softly in Our Wild Places

4WD Sacred Rules

The 4WD life is a whole lot of fun, but there are some sacred fourby rules you need to follow when heading to 4WD accessible only campsites;

  • Sounds obvious, but if you own an AWD, don’t attempt to access 4WD campsites. It’s only going to end badly for you. Read up about the differences. 
  • Some access tracks will require you to deflate your tyres so you don’t get bogged. Getting bogged happens to the best of us, but making sure you know how to change the tyre pressure is super important (having your own deflator and inflator comes in handy). This is especially important for sand driving. 
  • It’s also a good idea to have a pair (or four) Maxtrax, and a winch.
  • Speaking of a winch, it’s safest to head out with other 4WDs. If you get bogged, you’ll be thankful they’re there to winch you out. 
  • If a track says it’s restricted or closed, don’t think you’re special and can drive down it anyway. Most national parks update their websites with road closures, so check before you go. 
  • And finally, if it’s been raining heavily or the weatherperson says the rains are coming, it’s wise to give it a miss. Wet tracks plus 4WDs don’t mix well.
Canyoning In Search Of A Good Beer Harriet Farkash, Osprey Adventure Grant, campsite, blue mountains, car,

4WD accessible campsites offer a new level of remoteness | @harrietmccready

Best 4WD Accessible Campsites Northern NSW

1. Belmont Wetlands State Park

Where: Belmont
Distance from Sydney: 149km north (2 hours and 15 minutes)
Facilities: None
Cost: Beach permit access $33 for 7 days from date of purchase. Monthly and annual permits available too.

There aren’t many places you can beach camp in NSW, but Belmont Wetlands State Park is one of them, and it’s only accessible by 4WD. 

Located on Awakabal Country, Belmont Wetlands State Park is a huge area of natural bushland, boasting wetlands, rolling hills and epic sand dunes. It’s right near Lake Macquarie and is a truly gorgeous 4WD access only campsite. 

The good news is you can camp almost anywhere on the beach that you want, but not near the wetlands or on top of the dunes. And in even better news, beach campfires are allowed. There are a few permit options, ranging from weekly, to monthly to annually, so take your pick! Because there are no facilities, make sure you pack out what you take in.

2. Pebbly Beach

Where: Yuraygir National Park
Distance from Sydney: 594km north (6 hours and 45 minutes)
Facilities: Toilets
Cost: Park entry fee: $8, Camping fee: $24 per night

 

Hiking The Yuraygir Coastal Walk With A Boat On My Back (NSW), photo by Jospeh Faggion, hiking, coastal, packrafting, beach, nsw, sunrise, nude

You might get some coastline all to yourself | @the_endless_honeymoon

 

Head north for just over six and a half hours and you’ll reach Pebbly Beach Campground situated just between Coffs Harbour and Yamba. Pebbly Beach is 4WD-access-only as you need to drive along the beach and then across a saltwater tidal crossing (make sure you check tides before you go). 

The campground is a beautiful grassy spot just metres from shore and is sheltered by large sand dunes to the west. There are plenty of spots for fishing, swimming or just admiring the views. There are toilets, but make sure you BYO water. Access includes a combination of unsealed roads, dune track, beach, and saltwater creek crossings – all the fun things!

3. Nymboida River Campground

Where: Nymboida National Park
Distance from Sydney: 666km north (7 hours and 45 minutes)
Facilities: Picnic tables, barbecue facilities, toilets
Cost: Free

If you’re up for a bit of a longer drive from Sydney, you can’t go past Nymboida River Campground around eight hours up north. If you love campsites that are remote, rugged, and untouched by the masses (or 2WDs), this is one of the best 4WD access only campsites. 

If water sports are your thing, Nymboida River will be your haven with the option to fish, swim, canoe or even whitewater raft. Or, if land is more your style, there’s plenty of bush walking too. The campground itself is relatively small and quiet and if you head in at the right time, you might just find you have it all to yourself.

4. Mungo Brush Campsite

Where: Myall Lakes National Park
Distance from Sydney: 258km north (2 hours and 45 minutes)
Facilities: Picnic tables, barbecue facilities, boat ramp, toilets
Cost: Park entry fee: $8, Camping fee (peak): $24 per night, off-peak: $17 per night.

 

Queensland's Capricorn Coast is a Beach Adventure Playground, Eva Davis-Boermans, beach, 4WD, car, troopy, Farnborough Beach

Driving on the beach is on of the highlights of owning a 4WD | @evadavisboermans

 

Mungo Brush Campground is a beautiful 4WD camping spot in Myall Lakes National Park, close to Hawks Nest on the North Coast. Myall Lakes NP has one of NSW’s largest coastal lake systems and more than 40km of beach.

While technically 2WDs can access the Mungo Brush campsite itself, not too far from Mungo Brush campground is an epic beach drive, which your 4WD can access via the Lemon Tree 4WD track. As far as 4WD accessible beaches go, Mungo Beach is a bit quieter than other popular spots like Stockton or Blacksmiths. There’s a lake for some water fun, and several walks nearby too.

Read More: Mungo Walking Track

5. Samurai Beach Campground

Where: Tomaree National Park, Port Stephens
Distance from Sydney: 218km north (2 hours and 45 mins)
Facilities: None
Cost: There are no camping fees at this campground but a $6 booking fee applies.

If you fancy a bit of a nudey-rudy 4WD escape, Samurai Beach Campground is where it’s at. A truly zen oceanside campsite, find a spot amongst the dunes, settle in and get your kit off (if you want). Samurai Bach is a designated nude bathing area, so don’t be surprised if stumble upon someone in the spread eagle position (hey, it’s happened to me).

Clothing is required in other areas, including the dunes and bushland, so just be aware of where you roam naked. Samurai Beach is also a great spot for a surf, or a swim in the waves. You can’t camp directly on the beach, only in the designated camping spots. Access to the 4WD only accessible campground is via Gan Gan Road. And please, don’t drive on the dunes – they’re fragile!

Read more: How To Get Nude For Mother Nature (Hint: She’s Seen it Before)

Best 4WD Accessible Campsites Central West NSW

6. Woolshed Flat Campground

Where: Turon National Park
Distance from Sydney: 191km north west (3 hours and 15 minutes)
Facilities: Picnic tables, barbecue facilities
Cost: Free. There are no camping fees at this campground but a $6 booking fee applies.

If you head north west from Sydney for just under 200km you’ll stumble across Woolshed Flat Campground. Access to this remote and tranquil campsite involves a cruisey river crossing, so it’s only suitable for 4WDs or self-sufficient campers.

From the campground there are plenty of bushwalking tracks, as well as a diverse landscape and native animals so you can just sit back with a beer in hand and enjoy.

 

Canyoning In Search Of A Good Beer Harriet Farkash, Osprey Adventure Grant, campsite, blue mountains, car,

You’ll need a 4WD to cross rivers, a common feature on 4WD tracks | @harrietmccready

7. Murphys Glen Campground

Where: Blue Mountains
Distance from Sydney: 88km west (1 hour and 45 minutes)
Facilities: Toilets
Cost: Free. There are no camping fees at this campground but a $6 booking fee applies.

I love a sneaky camping trip with the Jeep to Murphys Glen Campground in the Blue Mountains. It’s the ideal distance from Sydney for a short overnight trip and it’s a campsite not frequented by the masses because as you know, it’s 4WD accessible only. 

Take the Woodford Station to Murphy’s Glen 4WD trail and you’ll find yourself in your own slice of paradise. It’s a free campground (double win) and it’s one of the best remote camping spots I’ve been to in NSW – you’ll rarely get a phone signal.

Best 4WD Accessible Campsites Southern NSW

8. Bendethera Valley Campground

Where: Deua National Park
Distance from Sydney: 358km south (6 hours)
Facilities: Picnic tables, barbecue facilities, toilets
Cost: Free. There are no camping fees at this campground, but a $6 booking fee applies.

 

A Doable 4WD Day // Deua NP (NSW) Rachel Dimond, road, fire trail, trees

Slippery when wet | @wanderer_rachel

 

If you prefer to head south, you can’t go past one of the best 4WD access only campsites on the south, which is the Bendethera Valley Campground in Deua National Park. It’s a bit of a challenge to get there, but that’s half the fun of a 4WD, right? 

Water crossings can get as high as your bullbar in normal weather, and stock 4WDs might find the steep hill climbs a bit of a challenge (so it’s always safer to go with another 4WD). It’s also best to avoid accessing this camping spot in bad weather (just use your common sense).

Along the river you’ll find plenty of spots for a cheeky dip while kangaroos and wombats graze around you.