Camping spots in and around Sydney
Australia has a reputation of being one of the most beautiful places in the world and the abundance of coastal beaches and inland lakes means you don’t have to break the bank or travel very far to visit a scenic gem. Here are some of our favourite camping sites in Sydney
Cockatoo Island Camping
A waterfront campground in Sydney with access to scenic picnic spots, BBQ facilities and cafes. Tents are pre-erected right by the water so you have excellent views of the harbour and the surrounding suburbs. Inside the tents you'll find camping beds with real mattresses and linen, towels, sun lounges, cushions and a lantern. After a sleep-in, you can wander over to The Canteen for a hot breakfast and a coffee, then on to The Island Bar for cocktails in the sun. Only a short ferry ride from Circular Quay, it’s a good camping option for the non-camper.
Unpowered sites Monday - Thursday: $89 p/night; Friday - Saturday: $99 p/night
Lane Cove National Park
Lane Cove National Park is a reserve close to Sydney's city centre. Located 20 minutes north west to the CBD, it’s the perfect place for a family day out, school excursion or local adventure. Explore historic sites along the Heritage walk or enjoy a picnic, canoeing, birdwatching or bushwalking.There's four amenities blocks equipped with a pool, children’s playground, wireless internet and fully equipped kitchens. A fun fact for Home and Away die-hards: this is the site they use for Summer Bay Caravan Park.
Powered sites $37 p/night, Unpowered $35 p/night
Coxs Creek campground is a peaceful camping area nestled among tall eucalypts, with birdwatching opportunities and nearby walking and mountain bike trails to explore. Located deep in the Blue Mountains, this one's for the hardcore campers and bush lovers. There are pit toilets and water to drink (it has to be treated first) and a few picnic tables. On the plus side, no booking is required and camping is free, yay! There are excellent bush trails (watch out for the wild cows) and beautiful spots to swim in the river, which is also an excellent place to catch trout for dinner.
The Basin Campground
The Basin campground in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is one of Sydney's most popular beach camping spots. It is is tucked away in the meanders of Pittwater, north of the city. There are walking tracks around, including the Bain Trail Walking Track, which will take you up to Ku-Ring-Gai National Park. Shaded by gum trees and populated by diverse wildlife, the Basin in Sydney is a great destination for a day trip or an overnight camping adventure.
$28 per night (2 person inclusive)
$14 per night per additional adult (16+ years)
$7 per night per additional child (5-15 years) infants free (0-4 years)
Carpark entry of $12 per day per vehicle
Jervis Bay, Booderee National Park NSW
Found 200 kilometres south of Sydney, Jervis Bay is nine times bigger than Sydney Harbour, the deepest bay in Australia, and home to 25-kilometres of unspoilt beaches, protected for the most part by Booderee National Park. There are three beachside campsites to choose from - for still water, go for Green Patch; if you're taking your surfboard, opt for Caves Beach. Bookings, available online, are essential during summer.
Green patch and Bristol Point: $25 (max 5 people) or $56 (max 10 people) during Peak season
Cave beach: $14 during Peak season
Hawkesbury River, Cattai National Park
Cattai Campground sits on a bend in the Hawkesbury River on the edge of Cattai National Park, about an hour's drive northwest of Sydney. Along with camping, the waterway also offers perfect conditions for fishing, boating and bushwalking. To add some history to your trip, visit the Cattai Homestead, a National Trust-listed dwelling built in the 1820s. The home is also attached to the ruins of a windmill which is believed to be the oldest industrial building in Australia. Campground facilities include showers, toilets, barbecues and picnic tables. Oh, and the occasional kangaroo and possum, too.
Adults (13 years+) $13 per night
Children (5-12 years) $10.00 per night, children under 5 enter free
Family rate (2 adults and up to 2 children) $34 plus $10 for additional children
This campsite is perfect if you have a foreign friend wanting a true-blue Australian adventure - you'll be camping amongst kangaroos, possums, goannas and a million birds. Probably best to warn them though, as our overseas friends don't seem to realise how freaking huge kangaroos actually are. There's heaps to do here - snorkelling, surfing, canoeing and mountain bike riding as well as an open-air cinema in summer. There are hot showers and wood-powered BBQs to grill the fish you've caught too.
Powered sites $35 p/night, Unpowered $30 p/night
Kingfisher Pool, Heathcote River, Heathcote National Park
Kingfisher Pool Campground is a secluded oasis tucked deep within Heathcote National Park — 5.5 kilometres to be exact. After a leisurely walk in, you'll be rewarded with a serene, undisturbed vista. So, despite being just 40 kilometres southwest of the Sydney CBD, the campground feels like it's in the middle of nowhere. The pool is a magical swimming hole along the Heathcote River, with rock platforms to lounge on and pretty cascades. Facilities are rustic, being limited to toilets and picnic tables, so don't forget to pack all the water you'll need.
$10 per night (2 person inclusive) or $5 per additional adult
$3 per night per additional child (5 -15 years) Infants free (0-4 years)
If you’re into glamping...
Tandara, Lane Cove national Park
If you love camping but your partner isn’t a fan, you can meet in the middle at Tandara. This luxury camping option within Lane Cove National Park and Lane Cove River Tourist Caravan Park is a stone's throw from Sydney's CBD via the Gore Hill freeway — It’s a perfect option if you want a weekend away without the long road trip. The spacious African safari-style tents feature a stylish get-up, with a TV, bathtub and nice shower facilities — making it the ideal reading/DVD retreat space for the not-so-keen nature junky. A wildlife tour is a must: hang out with lorikeets, water dragons, tawny frogmouths, ringtail and brushtail possums, owls, sugar gliders and even endangered bandicoots. Tandara boasts beautiful manicured gardens to enjoy with glass of bubbly in hand.
Lane Cove River Tourist Park. $220 per night. nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/camping-and-accommodation/accommodation/tandara