There has never been a better time to get out and explore Australia. You might think you know everything there is to know about your own country, but one night out in the bush will teach you otherwise. And best of all, you won’t have to go far to do it either because there are amazing places to go camping close to Sydney. 

A Guide to NSW Camping 

You can’t just pick a spot in Australia or NSW and set up your tent or caravan. There are designated camping areas all throughout Australia and illegal camping is tightly controlled. So, make a booking before your trip. This also helps manage visitor numbers in each location. 

Some of the camping areas in NSW are free and others are low cost, so before you leave, check out the rules in these amazing spots. 

1. Treachery Camp 

If you want to go camping but want to be comfortable at the same time, then check out Treachery Camp. Located about 3 hours out of Sydney near Seal Rocks, NSW, it’s one of the best places to go camping in NSW for families. It’s a good choice if you want to enjoy everything from secluded beaches to historic sites and lots of pristine bush areas. 

2. Newnes Campground

If you’re looking for a free place to camp in NSW, then try the Newnes Campground. Set in an incredibly dramatic landscape and surrounded by sandstone cliffs and eucalypt trees, the area is truly awe inspiring. Located less than 3 hours out of Sydney, the campground is free and offers local attractions like the Wolgan River, walking trails, the Newnes Shale Oil Ruins and the undeniably cool Glow Worm Tunnel.

3. Tapin Tops National Park 

If you want to see some local wildlife, then this park is one of the best places to go camping. Just over 4 hours out of the city, the park is filled with waterfalls, swimming holes, and subtropical rainforest. It’s also a little more isolated than other campsites, so would suit more intrepid campers. Just set up your base at the Dingo Tops campground and prepare yourself to share space with wallabies, koalas, gliders, and other animals. 

4. Beachcomber Holiday Park 

The Beachcomber Holiday Park backs onto the Eurobodalla National Park, so expect to see lots of local wildlife like kangaroos and wallabies during your stay. Located about 4 hours south of Sydney at Potato Point in the Eurobodalla region, it’s a little further from the safety of the city but well worth the drive. 

5. Honeymoon Bay 

Located in Jervis Bay, this bay is secluded and close to the beach, giving you the best of both worlds. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for good places to go camping south of Sydney because it’s just 3 hours’ drive south of the heart of the city. 

6. Patonga Camping Ground

Just over an hour out of Sydney, this is one of the most convenient places to go camping in NSW. Nestled in a tranquil back, it offers a relaxing, convenient spot to set up your tent or caravan and just enjoy the ocean breezes. There are also facilities like tennis courts, walking trails in the Brisbane Water National Park, a children’s play area, and good fishing spots for more active travellers.   

7. Bonnie Vale Campground

Located in the Royal National Park close to Bundeena, a charming little seaside town, the Bonnie Vale Campground is just over an hour from Sydney. With lots of historic sites, walking trails, waterfalls, and beach picnic areas, it’s ideal for an active, independent holiday spent exploring. 

8. Oxley Wild Rivers National Park

For more of a wilderness experience, grab a NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service day-use vehicle permit and spend some time in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Located near Walcha in the NSW Northern Tablelands, this park is known for its amazing waterfalls, walking trails, and World-Heritage listed ancient rainforest. It’s the perfect place to have an active holiday in Australia’s outback. 

9. The Basin

If you like beach camping, then grab a spot near the Basin Lagoon in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. You can get to the campgrounds by ferry from Palm Beach Wharf and spend some time picnicking, taking pictures of the views, and swimming. There are plenty of amenities nearby including BBQ areas, fire pits, toilets, and showers for convenience too. 

10. The Ingar Campground

Another popular and free option for campers is the Ingar Campground, just under 2 hours from Sydney on the Kings Tablelands. Isolated and fairly primitive, this area is the perfect antidote to the busy city. The most popular attractions are the Wentworth Falls to Woodford Trail, the Anderson Trail, and the dam on Ingar Creek where you can swim or paddle. 

The local wildlife is also a draw, particularly at night, so make sure that you bring a good torch with you! 

The Takeaway

There are lots of places to go camping around Sydney if you’re looking for a nature break away from the city. And while you’re there, you just might start to understand why travellers fly huge distances to see and experience Australia’s outback.