camping in australia

The 10 Best Camping Spots near Sydney

Although this is probably not the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of it, but one of Sydney’s biggest selling points is the natural beauty that surrounds it and the the amazing camping spots near Sydney. Once you leave the clean, ordered streets of New South Wale’s capital, you are only minutes away from some of Australia’s most diverse and magical flora and fauna.

Pristine beaches, breathtaking mountain ranges, and endless prairies are just some of the landscapes you will encounter, and the best part is that accommodation is highly affordable. Tired of walking through the same city streets every day? If so, you should check out these 10 exciting camping locations and sleep under the clear country sky! Don’t forget to bring the right camping equipment.

1) Cockatoo Island

cockatoo island

Located just a ferry ride from Circular Quay, Cockatoo Island is a quaint location with a great view of Sydney’s harbor making one of the very popular tourist camping spots. It’s particularly popular during the fireworks in the new year’s eve celebrations! Once settled, you can tour the island’s well-preserved historical heritage, it’s a quick trip, but the added benefit is that you’ll be right in the harbor so you can catch regular ferries and sight-see around Circular Quay when you’re done.

If you want to camp out overnight on the island, there are hot showers, flush toilets, and communal fridges to be found in the island’s campsite. However, if you are looking to spend a romantic evening outdoors and experience the sights and sounds with your significant other, you can go big and try glamping.

Forget about sleeping in the hard soil when glamping, choosing the glamping pack will give you access to a spacious Safari Bow tent with a mattress, crisp linen bedding, cushions, a fridge, microwave, toiletries, and a lantern. Basically, everything you could wish to find in an outdoor hotel room!

2) Royal National Park

royal national park

A short 40-minute drive south of Sydney is all you need to reach the exuberant Royal National Park. Here visitors will find camping spots are available surrounding beautiful scenery and provides plenty of opportunities for sightseeing, swimming, fishing, bush-walking, barbecues, and picnics.

If you hate crowds and touristy areas, you will be happy to hear that the park’s two intimate campgrounds allow you to enjoy the sounds of nature without being disturbed. The campsites’ facilities are rustic (only non-flush toilets are available) yet well-suited for backpack camping.

Wood-fire is prohibited though, so if you are going to spend the night you need to bring a fuel stove. If you are looking for a truly unique experience, the North Era campground is located close to the beach and has some of the best vantage points to spot whales during their annual migration.

3) Lane Cove National Park

Lane Cove National Park camping spots

This award-winning park is a great spot for campers looking to experience the outdoors without sacrificing the comfort they are used to having at home. Some of the amenities you will find in the campsites include a pool, wireless internet, hot showers, TV sets, flush toilets, and free gas barbecues.

Lodging options for camping spots include pitching your own tent, renting a ready to use tent set up for you in advance, or sleeping inside your own car or caravan. Despite its popularity, Lane Cove still maintains a peaceful atmosphere that promotes relaxation.

Once you step away from the camp and into the wilderness, the sheer amount and diversity of wildlife available (including species like possums, owls, kookaburras, and water dragons) is enough to keep you entertained until your next meal is ready.

4) Olney State Forest

Olney State Forest

Olney’s luscious pine forest is a must-visit for anybody near Sydney. The park’s rules are pretty flexible when it comes to visitors, so you will have no problem bringing your whole family and even your dog with you, as long as you keep him under control.

There are several campsites nearby (Casuarina, Turpentine, and The Basin) which offer both privacy and well-kept bathrooms. Olney is crossed by several trails which allow visitors to explore every corner of the forest.

Although most people prefer to hike or cycle, others use dirt bikes for added excitement. Despite being far from the sea, Olney’s huge expanse and picturesque mountain sights (which are ideal for picnics) are well worth visiting.

5) Euroka Campground

Euroka CampgroundEuroka is the place to camp if you are hiking through the wild Blue Mountains. Nestled in a small valley not too far from the town of Glenbrook, Euroka’s idyllic location has camping spots that are a welcome change from the fast-paced city life.

Fire pits, picnic table, and wood for barbecues are all available on the campgrounds, although the absence of a grocery store means you will have to bring your food with you. Facilities are Spartan, so campgrounds have no running water, no electricity, and only pit toilets.

However, these conditions only give campers an extra reason to explore the beautiful surrounding. Several trails traverse Euroka, many of which are suitable for small children, and are actively visited by kangaroos and other local fauna.

6) Lake Macquarie

Lake MacquarieIf bird-watching and hiking aren’t stimulating enough for you, then you will probably find that the energizing atmosphere and endless activities available in Lake Macquarie are just what you need.

Famous for being the largest salt lake in the southern hemisphere, Lake Macquarie is a popular getaway destination where Sydney locals go to swim, fish, sail, climb rocks, ride horses, and basically do anything but getting bored.

The popularity of the lake, variety of activities, and quality of the amenities available in the park are perfect for millennial and city-dwellers who might feel out of place in more intimate campgrounds. But don’t be fooled by the animated environment, though, because there are still plenty of secluded places where you can appreciate the beautiful scenery far from the noisy crowds.

7) Coledale Beach

Coledale BeachAn hour of driving is all you will need to step out of the busy city and enjoy a relaxing weekend at the beach. Sandwiched between the sea and the rocky outcrops that protect visitors from the worst of the weather, Coledale is the perfect place to let your inner beach bum roam free.

The beach itself is a great location to surf, dive, fish, swim, or just sit back and enjoy the view with a cold drink on each hand. However, tourists aren’t the only visitors on the beach because dolphins and whales can also be spotted year-round.

Back in the Coledale Beach Camping Reserve, visitors can enjoy several amenities such as kitchens with power points, flush toilets, and plenty of room where kids and adults alike can play and relax.

8) Glenworth Valley

Glenworth ValleyFamous for being a haven for horse riders, Glenworth Valley is a simple campsite where peace and quiet are the order of the day. Campsites are spread around some 80 hectares along Popran Creek and include wood-fired barbecues, hot showers, and a variety of activities that go from horse riding to quad-biking and kayaking.

Camping options include pitching your own tent, ready set up tents for rent, or straight out glamping in one of the campsites’ fully equipped cabins. Despite having comfortable cabins, all sites lack electricity and there is a 10 pm noise curfew that visitors must respect.

9) The Basin

The BasinIf you are looking for a remote, exciting location for your next family trip, The Basin might just be the answer to your prayers. Located in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, The Basin is the only campground in the park and an ideal location for backpack camping.

Despite not being reachable by car, The Basin offers all the amenities you need to regain your strength back after a hard day of hiking. Picnic tables, barbecue, public phones, hot showers, toilets, and drinking water are just some of the amenities you will find in the campground’s amenities block.

Near the camp, you will find an inland lagoon and a sheltered beach where you can take a dip to cool off, swim, or kayak. A well-kept system of trails connects the campground to the rest of the park, so you can easily explore the site’s natural wonders on foot or bike. Local attractions include bird-watching, sightseeing, and visit the Basin aboriginal art site.

10) NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park

NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park

Located in Narrabeen Beach, the National Roads and Motorists’ Association Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park is the place where the natural beauty of Sydney’s northern beaches and glamping meet.

One of the few caravan camping locations with a beachfront, the Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park is packed with fun activities —- such as kayaking, sailing, and hiking — that the whole family can enjoy. Children’s entertainment opportunities include the water park, pedal go-karts, various playgrounds, a recreation room, as well as school holiday activities.

Campsite amenities are excellent and include camp kitchen, barbecue areas, family bathroom, free WiFi, a dump point, refuse stations, and laundries — to name a few. Although NRMA members can get discounts to many of these benefits, the park also offers special discounts and packages for families, so make sure to visit their website before you hit the road.

Summing Up

While Australia’s large landmass create endless opportunities for camping spots, Sydney is a living proof that you don’t need to go far from the city to have a unique outdoor experience. The city’s location between the Blue Mountains and the ocean means that you are never more than an hour away from taking a swim, sailing, hunting, or bush walking through the beautiful scenery.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, call your friends and family members, and pick your destination for your next weekend getaway today!

By Kokoda Gear Walking in Australia