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The Best Family Camping Destinations in NSW

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by Barry J (subscribe)
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Published April 22nd 2018
Have an In Tents Camping Holiday
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Make your own music while camping (by Yassine_Noamani / CC0)


Sydney has enough family entertainment to keep the kids captivated but make your holiday memorable on an escape from the city. NSW has hundreds of camping sites, with over 2 million visitors parking caravans and pitching tents every year.

Choose from the best camping spots for families with this top 5 list in NSW.


Depot Beach
Head 3.5 hours south along the Pacific Hwy to reach Depot Beach, beside Batemans Bay on the south coast.

After setting up camp, stretch the legs on the easy bushwalks, all suitable for children. Start with the Durras Lake Discovery trail, with the fun stepping stones, lookout tower and log walk. The trail is sheltered beneath tall gumtrees. Look up to spot New Holland honeyeaters and chirpy rosellas.

Explore more of Murramarang National Park on the Murramarang Aboriginal Area walking track, a 2km 90-minute loop through Aboriginal cultural sites, or the Wasp Head walk to the water's edge to see Wasp Island.

You'll share the site with eastern grey kangaroos and hear the distinctive calls of lyrebirds, the Satin bowerbird and wonga pigeon.

Head to Dark Beach for a swim or paddleboard beside the weathered volcanic rocks and coarse black sand along the coastline. Once you've setup your fishing gear, look up to the cliff tops for peregrine falcons gliding on the ocean winds.

For a night-time adventure, children can join a Forests Alive at Night tour with park rangers guiding campers to spot nocturnal animals via torchlight.

In the 60-site campground, there are cabins, with dozens of places for tents and caravans. Each spot has parking, with centrally located amenities blocks with toilets, showers, barbecue, open-air and covered picnic areas.

During peak season (January and school and public holidays), prices start at $37 for a family of 4, with kids under 5 free. During off-peak, the price drops to $26. There is also an $8 entry fee per car to access the park.
For more info and to book, visit the NPWS website.

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Sunrise at Trial Bay Gaol campground (by NPWS)


Euroka campground
See the sun rise over the Blue Mountains, a World Heritage site, from this perfectly placed campground. Euroka is just an hour's drive west of Sydney, on the eastern edge of the NP.

Every member of the family will find something to enjoy, as you enter the habitat of dozens of endangered animals, from yellow-bellied gliders and sooty owls, to booroolong frogs and wailing bush stone-curlews.

Walk into history on the Red Hands Cave track, having lunch and a swim at the Blue Pool watering hole. Climb high on a hike to Mount Portal lookout for panoramic views of the Cumberland Plains, with the Nepean River slicing through the bush.

Return to camp to grab your fishing gear, snorkel and boogie board to hit the Nepean before a barbecue dinner.

The campground is suitable for tents, with spots spread over 5 sections of the campground. There are toilets, barbecues and picnic tables. With your camp gear, pack drinking water and firewood.

During peak season (January and school and public holidays), prices start at $37 for a family of 4, with kids under 5 free. During off-peak, the price drops to $26. There is also an $8 entry fee per car to access the park.
For more info and to book, visit the NPWS website.


NSW Office of Sport - Family Camps
If you just can't decide or it's your first family camp, try a holiday hosted by the NSW Office of Sport. They organise weekend family camps throughout the state, in bush, beach and alpine campgrounds. The kids will practise new outdoor activities, led by instructors.

The next family camp is in Jindabyne, 5 hours south of Sydney on the M31 through Canberra. During the snow season in July 2018, you can signup to ski and snowboard on the Snowy Mountains. Instructors will teach kids the basics with lessons on the Blue Cow mountain trails.

To beat the cold, you'll stay in lodges, with BYO sleeping bags, towels and pillows. All meals, equipment hire and lift passes are included.

The camp begins on Friday evening, ending on Sunday with enough time to drive home by dinner.

For skiers, prices start at $634 for adults and $470 for children, with kids under 5 free of charge. There are big discounts if you're not a skier.

For more info and to book, visit the NSW Govt. Office of Sport website.

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Camp beneath the stars (by pxhere)


Mungo Brush campground
Head for the north coast, 3.5 hours drive on the Pacific Hwy, just past Nelson Bay, to reach the Mungo Brush campground in the Myall Lakes National Park.

The whole park is lined with spectacular walking tracks, including the easy 30-minute Mungo rainforest walk. Hike up to Sugarloaf Point in winter to whale watch, or spot dolphins frolicking in summer. The trails are painted with colour during spring as wildflowers blossom.

If your teenage children are experienced hikers, take them on the grade 5 Dark Point walking track for a 2km hike. You'll see a 4000-year-old gathering place of the Worimi people, where ancestors were buried, their resting places marked with middens.

Ride your mountain bike or hike south to tackle all or part of the 21km Mungo walking track. At the finish line, cool off with a swim at Hawk's Nest Beach in Providence Bay.

On the Myall River, you can paddle canoes and kayaks or take a fishing boat out for bream, salmon and flathead.

The campsite has spots for tents and caravans, with toilets, barbecues and tables available. No campfires though.

During peak season (January and school and public holidays), prices start at $37 for a family of 4, with kids under 5 free. During off-peak, the price drops to $26. There is also an $8 entry fee per car to access the park.
Book by September 2018 for a long weekend special, staying 3 nights and paying for 2.
For more info and to book, visit the NPWS website.


Trial Bay Gaol campground
Push further north on the Pacific Hwy, passing Port Macquarie on the 5hr trip to the Arakoon National Park.

Plan to stay longer to take in all the activities in Arakoon, making time for days of hiking, biking and swimming.

Stay during whale watching season to spot the giant mammals swimming north in winter, then returning in spring with the calves.

Swim in Little Bay Beach beneath the stunning Trial Bay Headland or take the boogie board to Front Beach.

Catch fish off the rocky coastline for dinner at Little Bay picnic area while children try out the playground.

If the fish aren't biting, you can order the fish of the day for dinner at the Trial Bay Kiosk and Restaurant within the NP.

To reveal the secrets of the site's gaol, take the easy 1hr hike on the Monument Hill walking track to see the memorial to Germans interred at the gaol during WWI. To follow up, continue onto the Powder Magazine trail for views of the coastline through the leaves of casuarina and bloodwood trees.

For an interactive history lesson, children can go on a wilderquest history adventure, learning about the lives of the former prisoners and their guards.

The campsite has 4 sections, with 100 spots for tents, trailers and caravans. There are beach showers, taps for drinking water, picnic areas and barbecues. The site is lined with Norfolk pines, providing shade from the sun.

During peak season (January and school and public holidays), prices start at $48 for a family of 4, with kids under 5 free. During off-peak, the price drops to $53. There is also an $8 entry fee per car to access the park.
For more info and to book, visit the NPWS website:

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Mount Portal Lookout in the Blue Mountains (by NPWS)


While camping, stay safe with these tips:
Check for signs to confirm the boundary of the campground and whether campfires are permitted.
To avoid clashes with native wildlife, pets aren't allowed in national parks. Leave your pet with a friend during your camping holiday.
Take selfies near native animals but don't disturb or feed them. Keep your food in containers between meals.
Download the Triple Zero smartphone app for info and contact numbers in emergency and non-emergency situations. The app also gives GPS coordinates to read to the emergency operator.
Before swimming, check the conditions, especially the speed and depth of rivers.
Don't swim alone. A friend on the riverbank can use a rope or stick to reach you.
Pay the NSW Recreational Fishing Fee if you're fishing in Sydney's fresh and salt waters. There are options for a long weekend (only $7), and up to 3 years for $85. You can pay the fee here.


To avoid camping fees, try these top 5 free camp sites in NSW.


Where do you love to go camping with the family? Please leave a comment. We'd love to hear your ideas.




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Cost: Various prices and specials
Your Comment
Camping has never been my thing but it is undoubtedly the best way to see nature.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|7224) 545 days ago
These camp spots look so beautiful
by Emilie Jayne (score: 2|152) 545 days ago
Looks amazing.
by Phoebe Hackett (score: 2|318) 545 days ago
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