Whether you want to fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves, or wake to morning mountain mist, you’ll find nature bliss at these camping spots near Sydney.

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Countries on which these adventures take place who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

 

13 Best Camping Spots Near Sydney to Spend Time With Nature:

1. North Era Campground
2. Kingfisher Pool Campground
3. Bonnie Vale Campground
4. Little Beach Campground
5. Dalys Clearing Campground
6. Shelly Beach Campground
7. Mill Creek Campground
8. Carrington Falls Campground
9. Dunphys Campground
10. Bristol Point Campground
11. Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp Campground
12. Pebbly Beach Campground
13. Wombeyan Caves Campground

 

Let’s Go Camping Sydney!

My friends and I have spent hundreds of nights roaming NSW’s mountains, coastlines, rivers, and lakes following our wanderlust and searching for those special camping sites and the promise of adventure in all sorts of weird and wonderful nooks and crannies.

Also Read:

We haven’t even touched the sides of all the great national parks and camping grounds out there, but we’ve found some stunners along the way.

The following camping sites are all tried and tested. They’re within 2-3 hours of Sydney, have varying facilities but are as far as possible from a caravan park! Sure you could hit up Lane Cove National Park, but so will every other Northern Sydney Explorer who can’t be bothered to escape the city.

These camping spots aren’t just the same old stomping grounds that appear when Googling ‘camping near Sydney’ (that means everyone’s going there, and the last thing I want when escaping hoards of people is hoards of people!). Let’s dive into the best camping near Sydney!

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

 

Camping Sydney FAQs

Where can I camp for free in Sydney?

Within Sydney itself, there’s not really anywhere that provides legal and free camping. There are a bunch of campgrounds close to the city that cost a small fee and further out of Sydney you go, the more choice you have.

Check out this list of NSW’s best free campsites to find one close to you.

Can you camp anywhere in Sydney?

There’s no wild camping in Sydney, or in Australia for that matter. If you don’t want to be camping illegally, you need to be pitched up at an official campground or private property.

 

The Top 5 Camping Getaways from Sydney by Henry Brydon tents, surfboards

Is wild camping illegal in NSW?

Wild camping i.e pitching a tent anywhere in the wilderness that you please, is not legal in NSW or anywhere in Australia. Camping has to be within a designated camping ground or on private property.

Do I have to book my campsite before I go?

If you’re camping at a NSW National Parks campground, then yes, you have to use the national parks booking system to secure your spot before you go. Each campground cost is different. Some campgrounds don’t cost anything to stay at, but you will have to pay a $6 booking fee to secure your spot.

If you’re camping at a state forest campground, these are often free and don’t need to be booked ahead of time, but it’s best to check the NSW Forestry Corporation website before you go.

Read more: What’s The Difference Between National Parks & State Forests?

What beaches can you camp on in Sydney?

Pitching a tent directly on any beach within Sydney is not allowed. However there are plenty of beachside campgrounds around NSW with a bunch less than a two hour drive from Sydney.

Read more: The 10 Best Beach Camping Spots in NSW

Camping Spots 1 Hour From Sydney

 

1. North Era Campground

Location: Royal National Park, Sydney
Distance from Sydney: 51km
Cost: From $12.30 per night

It’s hard to believe that beach camping sites like this exist within 60 minutes of Sydney’s CBD! To get to North Era campground, park at Garie Beach in the Royal National Park and walk over the headland with your supplies.

It’s a beaut beach campground, but expect to be wetter than an otter’s pocket on arrival – it’s a steep, sweaty climb and descent over the headland to get there. Don’t forget your surfboard!

This is the main camping ground on the Royal National Park Coast Track, so be prepared to book well in advance, it’s a popular hike!

If you’re keen on camping spots near Sydney, you’ve gotta visit Kanangra-Boyd National Park at ASAP.

Hike Your Surfboards to Dreamy North Era Campground Right by the Beach, James Tugwell - Royal National Park, Surfing, Hiking, Camping, North Era Campground

Photo by James Tugwell

 

2. Kingfisher Pool Campground

Location: Heathcote National Park, Sydney
Distance from Sydney: 44km
Cost: $6 booking fee

Down to the south of Sydney, Kingfisher Pool campground is a quaint walk-in campground situated right by the tranquil Kingfisher Pool and waterfall. It’s so peaceful here, you won’t believe you’re still in the city limits.

Don’t let the hike in deter you! From car to campground it’s max 25 minutes, even with some minor rock scrambling and packs on – but you may struggle to get a full esky in.

Facilities here aren’t vast, but there is a toilet block and picnic tables available.

Spend the day soaking in the pool and taking in the sounds of nature.

 

 

3. Bonnie Vale Campground

Location: Royal National Park, Sydney
Distance from Sydney: 55km
Cost: From $41 per night

Bonnie Vale Campground seems almost too good to be true. With access to all of the Royal National Park, as well as Simpsons Bay and Deeban Spit, this beach camping spot is ideal for a family getaway, without even leaving the city!

With space for tents, campervan, caravans, and camper trailers, as well as large groups, Bonnie Vale Campground can cater for just about anyone.

The campground’s just finished a bunch of renovations, so now there’s an updated amenities block (with hot showers) picnic areas, and BBQs.

It’s also conveniently close to Maianbar and Bundeena so if you forgot to pack the oil, breakfast won’t be ruined.

 

Photo thanks to NSW NPWS

Camping Spots Under 2 Hours From Sydney

 

4. Little Beach Campground

Location: Bouddi National Park, Central Coast
Distance from Sydney: 94km
Cost: From $34.85 per night

If I could, I’d relocate here permanently. A small and intimate campground within Bouddi National Park, there are only a few sites at Little Beach Campground so make sure you book in early during the summer months.

If you’re keen to hike the Bouddi Coastal Walk over a weekend, this is a great place to pitch up.

Complete with BBQ, toilets, sun, surf, and fishing, all you need to do is bring your friends.

 

Photo by John Spencer DPIE

 

5. Dalys Clearing Campground

Location: Belanglo State Forest, Southern Highlands
Distance from Sydney: 138km
Cost: Free!

Don’t let the location turn you off this one because Dalys Clearing offers a unique kind of camping trip that’ll have you feeling like you’re in North America.

This FREE campground in Belanglo State Forest is entirely surrounded by a pine forest. And because it’s in a State Forest, that means you can even bring your four-legged friend along.

The facilities are limited, but there are toilets and fire pits available, plus you don’t have to book in advance! Just rock up when you’re ready for adventure.

Related Read: 13 Best Camping Spots Near Sydney

 

6. Shelly Beach Campground

Location: Myall Lakes National Park, Mid-North Coast
Distance from Sydney: 254km
Cost: From $24.60 per night

With the bragging rights of one of the state’s largest lake systems and with Pacific surf rolling in a few metres in the other direction, Myall Lakes is nothing short of a honey-pot for escapee campers.

More than 20 campsites are hidden away in the region, so you’re bound to find a secluded spot to stick your proverbial flag. However, Shelly Beach campground, is our fave.

The catch is, the car will only get you so far. To reach this lakeside campground, you’re gonna have to get your legs strolling, pedalling, or even your arms paddling.

But the utter peace and quiet you arrive to make it all worth it.

 

7. Mill Creek Campground

Location: Dharug National Park
Distance from Sydney: 812km
Cost: From $24.60 per night

Not far from Wisemans Ferry on the northern side of the Hawkesbury River, Mill Creek Campground can be found nestled between the creek and the dramatic sandstone escarpment.

The flat, grassy and sheltered area of the campground is a sanctuary for humans escaping the rat race and native fauna alike. Don’t be surprised to see wombats, goannas, lil sugar gliders, and even lyrebirds.

Mill Creek Campground can host tents and camper trailers and provides BBQs and toilets.

 

8. Carrington Falls Campground

Location: Budderoo National Park, Southern Highlands
Distance from Sydney: 151km
Cost: From $12.30 per night

Not far from the town of Robertson and right by the stunning Kangaroo River, you’ll find Carrington Falls campground.

This tents-only campground is a glorious bush escape, with ample walking and swimming opportunities just a tent-pole length away.

You won’t get much here except picnic tables and toilets, but with dramatic views of Carrington Falls and the chance to cool off at Nellies Glen, a weekend here is always well spent.

Read more: Southern Highlands Waterfall Weekend Road Trip

 

Camping Spots Under 3 Hours From Sydney

 

9. Dunphys Campground

Location: Southern Blue Mountains, Blue Mountains National Park
Distance from Sydney: 135km
Cost: $6 booking fee

Experience the iconic Blue Mountains without the crowds at Dunphys Campground. Around an hour from Katoomba at the end of Megalong Valley, this campground is open and grassy, but doesn’t skimp on the good stuff, with views out to Mt Cloudmaker and the Wild Dog Mountains.

Bring your tent or camper trailer and enjoy the undercover BBQs, fire pits and picnic tables. There are also toilets here, so don’t stress.

You’ve got close access to the Cox River, the Six Foot Walking Track, and even Kanangra Walls if you’re up for the hike. Plus there’s a bunch of family-friendly hikes nearby too. Just don’t be surprised if some local kangaroos and wombats join in on the fun!

 

10. Bristol Point Campground

Location: Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay
Distance from Sydney: 198km
Cost: From $28 per night

Indulge in the complete and utter beauty of Jervis Bay at Bristol Point Campground. While its sister site, Green Patch Campground, might be a liiitle closer to the perfect beach (and one of the most popular beach camping spots around), that leaves Bristol Point a bit quieter and less riddled with kids.

Nestled amongst gorgeous gum trees and on soft sandy ground, this campground is a delight, and the mind-bogglingly blue waters of the Bay can be spied just through the trees.

Find hot showers, toilets, fire pits, and BBQs here and keep your peepers peeled for all types of wildlife – from echidnas crawling through the leaves, to dolphins playing in the water, and possums scrambling through the trees.

Read more: Booderee National Park is Worth a Winter Visit

 

Campgrounds Under 4 Hours From Sydney

 

11. Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp Campground

Location: Wollemi National Park
Distance from Sydney: 260km
Cost: From $12.30 per night

You’ll be relieved to hear the location for this little gem is more fortunate than its name. Perhaps Mr. Dunn was trying to stop anyone else from supplanting his slice of paradise?

Nevertheless, tucked away in Wollemi National Park is the perfect place to unwind and get back to nature – Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp campground. Keep your eyes peeled for a platypus!

Make it a road trip! Hartley to Hill End – A Road Trip Through Historic NSW

Did you know that you can go for camping near Sydney at the Sea Cliff Bridge, right on an epic surf beach, only 1.5 hours (if that!) from Sydney? You can. Do it.

 

12. Pebbly Beach Campground

Location: Murramarang National Park, South Coast
Distance from Sydney: 273km
Cost: From $24.60 per night

Probably the best-designed campsite of all that I’ve seen in NSW, not only is Pebbly Beach campground difficult to beat for watching the sunrise (alongside a pack of sand loving kangaroos if you’re lucky) you’ll also get your own private allotment to set up a base for the night.

Murramarang National Park, with its surf, epic cliffs, and mountains is an absolutely magnificent weekend getaway.

 

 

13. Wombeyan Caves Campground

Location: Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve
Distance from Sydney: 180km
Cost: From $24.60 a night

Whether you rock up with a tent, caravan or camper trailer, there’s a place for you at Wombeyan Caves campground.

With more facilities onsite than you can poke a marshmallow stick at, this is an excellent campground for large groups and families. There are BBQs, showers, toilets, drinking water, heck there’s even a cafe and public phones!

Consider this your launchpad for getting deep into the Wombeyan Caves themselves, plus surrounding waterfall and forest hikes too.

The campground has lots of open grass space for kids to run around and is hemmed in on all sides by beautiful temperate forest.

 

Essential Gear for Camping Near Sydney

  • Tent (some campgrounds have space for campervans and caravans, but if you’ve got a tent you’ll be set!)
  • Sleeping mat or blow up mattress
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillows!
  • Camp kitchen – camping stove, bowls & plates, cutlery & utensils
  • Camp chairs
  • Camp table
  • Water for drinking & cooking
  • All your own food

 

Feature photo by James Tugwell