A free-spirit studying psychology at the University of Sydney.
Published March 12th 2014
Locations and Tips for Campers in NSW
Why go camping?
Camping in NSW will give you an array of valuable experiences. It gives you a chance to get back to nature, to take time off from the crowded areas of Sydney city (or whatever city you may be coming from), and to have a serene, stress-free lifestyle for a little while. Taking a campervan is an ideal way to do your camping adventure. You don't have to worry about setting up any tents of camping gear, you'll have comfort facilities right at your door-step at all times, and you can easily move from place to place.
Waterside in Kangaroo Valley.
For when you come to deciding which campervans to take on your NSW camping holiday, here are a couple of companies for you to consider. Firstly, we have KEA. This company will provide you a modern and luxurious motor-home. With this, you get the freedom to holiday and explore the state at your own pace, and the chance to just this in complete comfort for the entirety of the journey. The size and roomy set-up of KEA campervans make them an ideal way to do a laid-back holiday with the family. For an idea of the cost, taking a small model KEA campervan (for example the 'KEA 2 Berth Shower/Toilet') from Sydney for 10 days would cost you $2,497.00. This is the starting price for all vans if you are looking at 10-day or more holiday.
Travels in the Maui campervan
A second option, among the many campervan hire companies that are out there, is Maui Motorhomes. Maui also have quality vehicles for both of your travel and accommodation needs. They have lots of storage and flexible sleeping set-ups, meaning they would also be a good go-to for a relaxed family-style holiday. Prices for hiring a van from Maui for 10-days start from $2,233. Also, by travelling by 30th April you can get a discount. Up to 25% off as they say on the website - seems like something that'd be worth looking into!
Of course you may also take a more back-to-nature, traditional style of camp - tents. There are spacious grounds and facilities to make for more convenience in all of the campgrounds to be mentioned.
So once you have your campervan sorted, where to? Here is a list of 10 of the top camping spots in NSW that you should think about making your destination. In this list I have included an idea of the pricing for camping in these spots, as well as what kind of facilities you can expect to find.
1. The Basin at Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
The Basin is one the most popular beachside camping spots in NSW, especially in summer time - many campers in the location give it a social and a not so isolated atmosphere as many other camping spots can come to have. It is surrounded by Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park which is home to a lot of native vegetation and wildlife like wallabies, kookaburras, and various reptiles.
There are quite a few options for leisure activities here to keep you entertained and so that you can more closely experience the fresh, natural environment. There are picnic areas, walking and biking trails, and areas to swim. You can also learn more about the area and the environment from educational talkers.
Beach at The Basin.
The grounds here only accommodate tents - tents which you would have to bring yourself. Facilities include picnic tables, woodend barbecues (however, bring your own firewood), gas and electric barbecues, flush toilets, cold showers, drinking water, and a public phone. Accommodation rates are $14 / night for adults, and $7 / night for kids.
More info on the environment here, things to do here, and further contact details go to this page. For more info, about accommodation, facilities, and bookings, go here.
2. Kangaroo Valley
Located along the NSW South Coast, this valley has a range of fresh, green, luscious landscapes. It is the quintessential image of tranquil Australian country-side with its green rolling hills, trees, creeks and rivers. It has cabins and camping sites with powered amenities - with Kangaroo River a short and scenic stroll away from. Once at the river you can enjoy some swimming, and paddling upon the calm waters. There are also lots of beautiful picnic spots around. All you do here in Kangaroo Valley will be in the surrounds of inspiring natural scenery. For more info, visit the page.
Canoeing @ Kangaroo Valley.
Caravans and camping can be purchased from the Kangaroo Valley Tourist Park and Glenmack Park from $45-$55 / night. This considerable higher price than the other camping spots mentioned here is due to the more luxurious nature of these parks. Pretty much all of the facilities you would want and need are here - from BBQ facilities to kitchens to kiosks, amenities blocks, communal showers and lounges, televisions, and even movie hires. This is actually pretty far from the traditional camping or caravan experience you may be after, however it still makes a comfortable and easy escape from the city, and you and the family are still sure to be surrounded by beautiful natural scenery. For more info about the accommodation, check out this Visit NSW site.
3. Paperback Camp, Jervis Bay
Tucked away in the midst of bushland alongside Jervis Bay, is the cute and quite cosy Paperback campsite. Again, this campsite has some gorgeous natural landscapes for you to marvel at, to relax in, and to enjoy some recreational activities in. On one hand you have the green vegetation that surrounds you and creates another world in which your stresses can be forgotten, and serenity can take over. On the other hand, you have the beautiful clean beaches and waters of Jervis Bay for you to chill out by, to swim at, and to simply relish the Aussie coastal land. Just 2 hours drive from Sydney, this camp is a very easy getaway from busy city life.. For more info about this camp, visit this link.
In terms of accommodation, while I haven't found any specific information regarding staying in your caravan, there is another pretty cool option available. As you'd see on the weblink, there are luxurious, 4-star safari tents for you to stay in. They look quite cosy and contemporary actually - check it out below!
Facilities include a tree-top dining room, an outdoor private en-suite attached to tents, hot showers, comfortable beds, and more. Rates for accommodation alone range from about $395 - $590.
4. Warrumbungle National Park
Warrumbungle is sprawling, heritage national parkland in central-western NSW. The park has been victim to several wildfires, with the most recent being in 2013, meaning that some previously used facilities are now unaccessible. Despite this, many beautiful natural features of the land such as The Breadknife still stand tall.
As the Warrumbungle Park is quite a sprawling land, there are several camping points within it. Choose from 5 main camping sites, such as Burbie Camp which is more remote and sits close to natural spring, or the usually more populate Camp Blackman. Several bushwalks to beautiful look-outs can be taken in between chilling out - White Gum look out is just one of these. Being so distant from built up areas, camp Warrumbungle is a perfect place for star-gazing - the milky way is so much more obvious than in city regions.
Campervans are allowed in the Camp Blackman and Camp Wambelong sites of Warrumbungle - expect untreated water (meaning you'd better boil it before drinking), non-flush toilets (flush is available in Camp Blackman), benches and barbecues at these. Also, expect rates of $10 per adult per night, and $3-5 per child per night.
For more info on where to stay, what to see, and what to do, visit here
5. Myall Lakes National Park
Myall Lakes is a pretty surreal-looking camp-spot. The water here is stunning - turquoise by day-light under blue skies, fiery red by sunset, and many other artistic shades with the time and weather. National parkland surrounds the large freshwater lakes making this camp-spot perfect for anybody looking for a nature-getaway, especially one that is by the water. Like all of the mentioned camping-spots, there is plenty of space for campervans to be stationed, and for camping gear to be set up.
The only campervan-friendly site in this area is Banksia Green (approx. $7-$10 / night), which has barbecues, benches, non-flush toilets, and a track access-point. There is however no available drinking water.
The Barrington Rock camp ground is situated amongst bushland within NSW famous wine-region, the Hunter Valley. There are several camping spots around the area. Camping here will offer you and your family the chance to live close to wilderness, creeks from mountains, scenic plateaus and more.
If travelling with a caravan, the campsites across the Barrington area that will accommodate you are: the Gloucester River campground ($10/night for adults, $5/night for kids), Horse Swamp campground ($5 per adult per night. $3 per child per night), and Polblue campground ($10 per adult per night. $5 per child per night). In general, you can expect to have picnic tables, gas/electric barbecues, non-flush toilets, and track access-points at these sites.
Why not get a little higher off the ground when travelling and camping? The Snowy Mountains and the alpine region that surrounds definitely falls into the list of NSW's most scenic camping places.
The are quite a few caravan-accommodating campsites here at the Snowies. In addition to these generally (but not always) having flush-toilets, power, and kiosks among other things, many of these sites include fireplaces to make it all the easier to stay warm while up in this frosty climate.
As for the caravan-sites, you can choose from Tumbarumba Creek Caravan Park, Cooma Snowy Mountains Tourist Park (which has a mix of cabins, shaded, and unshaded caravan spots), and on Aussie's tallest mountain, Kosciuszko Mountain Retreat, just to name a few.
So, what you can do here? Really, this is a season-dependent question. Spring brings fields of beautiful wildflowers, that create an even more colourful exploration of the area - with the area taking on a totally different look with the vibrant colours of Autumn around. In Summer perhaps you could take advantage of the warmer weather by going bushwalking, fishing or playing water sports. Then in Winter of course, you have the snow which means skiing, snow-boarding and other snow recreation activities at your feet. This is just a selection of the recreational options available to you whilst camping in the Snowy Mountains area.
You will notice that there is quite a list of camping and caravan-friendly spots in the Snowy Mountains on this Visit NSW site. Prices range from a budget-friendly $23 up to a more exclusive $120.
8. Seal Rocks
The NSW-north coast location of Seal Rocks is also quite an ideal camping destination. Picture being close to beautiful beaches and sparkling seas of the Pacific Ocean. Swimming, surfing, diving, and just having some relaxing beach-days with the family are all things to get involved in here at Seal Rocks.
Seal Rocks coastline. Image from:https://www.northcoastholidayparks.com.au/our_parks/seal_rocks_holiday_park/
There are powered grass sites for your caravans, and close access to amenities and BBQ areas. Prices here generally start form $30. More info contacts for enquiries or bookings found here.
9. North Bourke
North Bourke has been popular with campers since the 1900's due to its wide, open spaces and close proximity to a river. The renowned Kidman's Camp was established here in 1998, and now there are a few parks around the area that cater to both those wanting to stay in caravans, and those wanting to stay in cabins - such as the Mitchell Caravan Park. There are BBQ's, clean bathroom facilities, kitchen facilities, plenty of table's and chairs, and a swimming pool at the Kidman's camp. Cabins start from around $89/night.
10. Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay
Last but not least of the camping spots around NSW is the Booderee National Park. This is a very extensive land of both marine environment and Botanic Gardens. There is a great diversity of species living here that you may get the chance to see from camping here - inclusive of whales, crabs, and sea-urchins. You will have much to discover and enjoy on bushwalks and strolls or swims at the Jervis Bay beaches. For more info on Booderee, check out this NSW government webpage
The Green Patch camping-zone here at Booderee is unfortunately not suitable for caravans, however there is a parking space close to where tent sites are. Facilities include toilets, freshwater, hot showers, child-friendly facilities, and of course, BBQ's. Rates of the tent sites range from $11 up to $49 per night, depending on the size of your chosen site, and the current season.
So here you have a list of top NSW camping spots for you to consider travelling to with the family for some chill-out time from the big smoke. Some of these will only accommodate you through tents or cabins, however there is also a handful of sites that would be great for you to stay on in your KEA, Mighty, or whatever kind of caravan you may be travelling in. While tents are more close to the traditional style of camping, caravan's give you the opportunity to explore some more, and to travel around more freely while still being in total comfort - you really have the best of both camping worlds to choose from here. Enjoy your adventure!
Why? Escape the city. Enjoy natural locations. Travel freely and in comfort.
Cost:Campsites have rates/night (e.g. $14 per night for adults) while campervans have a set price for the length of time you choice (e.g.$2,333 for 10-days) - check online with the site/company of your choice.