Whether you’re a mud-faced eco-warrior, frustratingly skint student on the cusp of earning a salary, or maybe just an utterly useless driver who should never set foot on an accelerator; you’ll be relieved to hear that you don’t need a car to enjoy a wild weekend adventure in NSW


Did you know there’s an official 5-pronged argument for Public Transport adventuring from Sydney?! Here it is:

  1. Sydney’s bus and rail network is for the most part incredibly fast and reliable once out of the CBD
  2. It’s also a damn sight cheaper (petrol, tolls, insurance, rego, NRMA don’t even factor in)
  3. Your adventure starts from the very moment your front foot steps beyond your front door
  4. You don’t need to worry about your car getting broken into by the locals (by locals I mean a possy of joy-riding possums, or a sluggish wombat in search of comfy night’s kip on your drivers seat)
  5. And let’s face it, aside from having a memorable weekend of vagabonding with your mates, you’ll actually be doing your bit to save this beautiful planet too – all the more reason to fall asleep in your tent with a great big smile on your face.

So why not take full advantage and hop aboard the adventure express?

The following 7 camping areas have been handpicked by the We are Explorers team, each based on firstly being a suitably remote escape from the city, and secondly its raw, unadulterated beauty:


1) Royal National Park
1-2hrs South of Sydney

Best campsites: Bonnie Vale and North Era
Getting there: By train to Cronulla, scenic ferry to Bundeena and then walk 500m OR by train to Loftus, Engadine or Waterfall stations

Highlights:

  • Magnificent white-cliff coastlines to bushwalk in the North and rugged, gym-free beaches to surf in the South (Garie Beach and North/South Era)
  • Sprawling rainforest to tear through on mountain or road bikes, with over 100km of walking trails to lose your marbles in
  • Wattamolla is a stunning waterfall that comes with a free, stomach-turning cliff jump into a lagoon
  • Hire a rowboat, canoe or Kayak from Audley Boat Shed and explore Kangaroo Creek and Hacking River

Strolling down the beach to pitch camp in the Royal National Park


2) Blue Mountains NP
1.5-2hrs West of Sydney

Best Campsites: EurokaCox’s River, Murphy’s Glen and Perry’s Lookdown
Getting there: By train to Blackheath, Glenbrook, Katoomba, Leura, Mount Victoria or Wentworth Falls

Highlights:

camping in a tent


3) Bouddi Bouddi NP
2-3hrs North of Sydney

Best Campsites: Putty Beach and Little Beach
Getting there: By train to Woy Woy then bus to MacMaster’s Beach, by train to Gosford then bus to Kilcare Heights or by bus to Palm Beach then ferry to Ettalong (Wagstaffe Wharf) and then walk

Highlights:

  • Possibly the best beach camping in NSW, this is an incredible weekend escape from Sydney full of diversity and jaw-hurting views along the numerous coastal walking tracks
  • Lots of opportunities to swim amongst the dolphins, spot a whale and even catch your own dinner (neither of the aforementioned creatures)

Maitland Bay - Susi's first time in a Hammock-200


 4) Brisbane Waters NP
2-3hrs North of Sydney

Best Campsite: Patonga
Getting there: By ferry from Palm Beach, or by train to Gosford then bus to Kariong or Umina Beach then walk

Highlights:

  • At $40p/n for an unpowered site, this is a lot more expensive than others on this list, however its idyllic beauty and proximity to Sydney ensure it makes the We are Explorers adventure camping cut.
  • The water here is a stones throw away from your tent site, so make the most of this playground. You can hire a kayak or better still, bring your own little $20 pack-raft like we did here.

canoe


5) Heathcote NP
1.5hrs South of Sydney

Best Campsites: Kingfisher Pool and Lake Eckersley
Getting there: By train to Heathcote Station then walk

Highlights:

  • The campgrounds here are like Nordic Goddesses; rugged and incredibly beautiful. They’re also pretty remote given the distance from Sydney so have little in the form of facilities. Take more than enough water with you and don’t forget your map so you can navigate the multiple trails through the park.
  • Treat yourself with a well deserved morning scrub in the tranquil waters Kingfisher Pool

camping out


6) Berowra NP
2-3hrs North of Sydney

Best Campsite: Crossland’s Reserve
Getting there: By train to Hornsby, then an hour’s walk to the campground

Highlights:

  • You can hike or bike deep into Berowra Creek from the campground, exploring this wonderful pocket of paradise that’s unbelievably close to the city.
  • These campsites can get very popular so make sure you book ahead to avoid disappointment.

hanging out on a rock