We’ve rounded up 12 of the best dog-friendly camping spots in NSW for you and your pooch to pitch a tent at and play ball.

Dogs love camping. Suddenly the whole world’s a park and everything smells so good! Sadly though, the options for dog-friendly camping in NSW are kinda limited – most campsites are in national parks and dogs aren’t allowed because they freak out the wildlife. Dog-friendly camping does exist though. Here are some of our faves for you and pup to escape the cat race.

Love bushwalks with your dog? Read: 14 Fantastic Dog-Friendly Walks Near Sydney

Doggy Dos

Dog-friendly campsites are awesome, here’s how to keep them that way:

  • Keep your dog on a leash when required
  • Pick up after your dog and dispose of it in a bin (nothing worse than a plastic bag full of dog poo on the ground)
  • If your dog loves a good bark, consider the impact on other campers
  • Don’t forget to take gear to keep your dog comfortable and secure, such as dog boots and safety lights.
  • Don’t take your dog into restricted area
  • And don’t forget to check your dog for ticks and other pests once you’re back home!

Dog Friendly Camping Near Sydney


1. Coachwood Camping Area

Location: Chichester
Time from Sydney:
3.5 hours
Cost: Free!

Tucked up under Barrington Tops National Park is a cute little spot called Coachwood Camping Area. It’s in the Chichester State Forest and has a ferny rainforest vibe, swimming hole, and some gentle rapids. It’s a primo playground for your furry mate.

Coachwood Camping Area is first-come, first-serve and it’s free! There are bins, fire pits, and long-drop toilets but you’ll have to bring your own water. 2WD vehicles can make it in but be cautious in the wet or in low cars.

2. Riverwood Downs

Location: Monkerai
Time from Sydney:
 3.25 hours
Cost: From $44

Further north, but still backing onto Barrington Tops, is the Riverwood Downs Campsite. If you’re looking to treat yourself and pamper your pooch by the river, while still getting very much in touch with nature, then look no further.

The campsite is located in the Monkerai Valley on a 750-acre property with 5km of mountain river frontage to drink there.

Riverwood Downs has everything you could need, there are even spas (not sure if doggy paddle is allowed though) and an on-site bar and grill. This campground isn’t free though so make sure you book ahead.

3. Wollondilly River Station

Location: Mittagong
Time from Sydney:
2.5 hours (and 2.5 hours from Canberra too)
Cost: $20 per adult per night / $10 per school age child per night

In the Southern Highlands south of Sydney, down the Wombeyan Caves Road from Mittagong, sits Wollondilly River Station. This true blue bush camping retreat is run by Ina and Brian Casburn and it’s refreshingly down to earth.

They’re not into squeezing every dollar out of the place, so it never gets too crowded and the grounds are pet friendly, so you can bring your ferret! Or dog, I guess.

Bookings by phone are essential and payment is in cash on arrival. There’s no internet, nice.

4. Glen Davis Camping Area

Location: Capertee
Time from Sydney:
3.5 hours
Cost: Free!

How’s camping on the edge of the second widest canyon in the world sound? Well you can make it a reality with pup in tow, just over the Blue Mountains at Glen Davis Camping Area. It’s basically a park with some BBQs and a toilet block but hey, what more do you actually need?

Why not go waterfall chasing on the way there? Dog Friendly Waterfalls in The Blue Mountains

This free campground is pretty rudimentary, but a fantastic base to explore the ruins of the oil shale mining in the area.

Note! This campground is different to the nearby Coorongooba campground, which is in the national park and not dog-friendly.


5. Wee Jasper Reserves

Location: Wee Jasper
Time from Sydney:
4 hours (and 1.5 hours from Canberra)
Cost: $18 a night for adults

The Wee Jasper Reserves offer a quiet off-grid spot where you can have some quality time with your best mate. There are bushwalks, strolls along the river, and fishing spots across five different locations, all dripping in alpine bliss.

Dogs must be kept on leads, partly because surrounding bushland can have fox baits that aren’t so dog-friendly. Water is available at all sites except Carey’s Reserve.

Bookings are done online and ahead of time so make sure you grab your spot!


6. Wingello State Forest

Location: Wingello
Time from Sydney:
2.5 hours (and 1.75 hours from Canberra)
Cost: Free!

The plantation pine trees of Wingello State Forest have a real North American vibe. You can camp at the dog-friendly HQ camp, which is a great base for nearby walks and mountain bike rides. Did someone say trail dog?!

Camping in Wingello State Forest is free, but you’ll need to be self-sufficient as toilets are basically the only amenity.

Dog Friendly Camping NSW North Coast


7. Delicate Campground

Location: Crescent Head
Time from Sydney:
 5 hours (and 1 hour from Port Macquarie)
Cost: $24 for two people per night

This one’s special. A beachside camp, right next to the Goolwah National Park, Delicate Campground gets its dog-friendly status by being located in Goolwah Regional Park. Fetch on the sand? Tick. Dog surfing? Tick! Dog hair all through your tent? You bet.

Delicate Campground doesn’t take bookings, but you’ll want to get in early during peak periods. It’s $24 a spot (including two people, more for extra) and payment is in cash. You’ll need to be self-sufficient and BYO water but there are toilets.

danielle-macinnes, unsplash, dog, beach

Photo thanks to Danielle MacInnes

8. Maca’s Camping Ground

Location: Main Arm
Time from Brisbane:
2.5 hours (and 30mins from Byron Bay)
Cost: Sites from $15 per person a night

Is there a more Aussie name for a campground than ‘Maca’s Camping Ground’? This quintessentially Australian spot is close to Mount Jerusalem National Park, but it’s got Garden of Eden vibes with peacocks strolling the lawns and wild macadamias and mulberries to pick. Of course, dogs are more than welcome to join in on the fun.

Maca’s Camping Ground is close enough to Byron Bay that it packs out with Bluesfest, Splendour in the Grass, and Falls Festival campers, and prices more than double. Avoid these times if you’re looking for a quiet one.

9. Coopernook Forest Park

Location: Coopernook
Time from Sydney:
3.5 hours (and only 30 mins from Port Macquarie)
Cost: Free!

Just north of Taree, there’s a dog-friendly camping spot where you can hang out beneath the gum trees with your pooch. The spot is grassy and open, surrounded by walking tracks and the starry sky above. What more could you want?

Coopernook Forest Park has toilets and BBQs, but you’ll have to bring your own water. This campground is free with no booking required and as it’s just off the Pacific Highway, it makes a good spot to crash on road trips.

Dog Friendly Camping NSW South Coast


10. Scrubby Creek Picnic Area

Location: Narrabara
Time from Sydney: 6.25 hours
Cost: Free!

Twenty clicks south of the windswept fishing town of Eden sits Scrubby Creek Picnic Area. The native bushland of East Boyd State Forest offers a super basic camping retreat that’s dog-friendly. It’s the perfect spot to practice ‘sit’, ‘shake’, ‘heel’ and ‘bring me a beer round the campfire’.

Expect tables, fire pits and not much else. As well as dog-friendly camping, Scrubby Creek is a great rest stopover for self-sufficient campers on a coastal road trip. 

11. North Head Camping Area

Location: Moruya
Time from Sydney:
4.5 hours (and only 30mins from Bateman’s Bay)
Cost: From $12 per adult per night ($18 in peak season)

North Head Camping Area (different from the NSW National Parks run North Head campground) sits at the mouth of the Moruya River where it meets the ocean. Kick back with Fido as the sun sets, you’re in for a wet and sandy weekend!

You can book North Head Camping Area online and fees change depending on the season. In really peak times there are minimum stays of up to 7 days. Expect water, toilets, cold showers, waves and vibes. BYO Schmackos and lead – the whole campground is an on-leash area.

12. Mystery Bay Campground

Location: Narooma
Time from Sydney: 5 hours
Cost: From $12 per person a night

It’s a real mystery how one of the most mind-blowing coastal campgrounds in NSW has dog-friendly status. Gums dot the campsite that gives way to coastal cliffs and small beaches. Every beach has different regulations but most allow dogs off-leash between 5pm and 9am. You know, the best times.

You can’t book Mystery Bay Campground so get in early if it’s a busy weekend! Fees change throughout the year but it’s pretty cheap, long drop toilets and cold showers are the only real facilities. Oh and luuush scenery, of course.

Dog Friendly Camping FAQs

1. Where can you camp with dogs in NSW?

Luckily, we’ve compiled a handy list above of all the campsites you can bring your pooch to. We’ve got bush camping, beachside and even a a campsite next to a canyon!

2. What to do with dogs while camping?

Keep them busy! Hit the trails and go for walks. While you’re hanging around camp throw the stick or let them play with their favourite toy.

3. Where do dogs sleep when camping?

Depending on your preference and how well behaved your doggo is, you may choose to have them sleep in the tent, outside on a blanket or tied up if they have a tendency to wander

3. What should you bring for your dog when camping?

Make sure you bring the essentials to keep them healthy like their food, water, water bowl, leash and any medication they take. To keep your dog occupied you can also bring a few of their favourite toys or treats!

Feature photo by Michael Harris Photography

We’ve shared these recommendations because we genuinely rate them and want you to enjoy them too. Our writers use a mix of personal experience, recommendations, and research to compile these lists, and they’re also encouraged to be honest when things aren’t up to scratch. For more information on our approach, check out our Editorial Standards.