Looking for places to camp near Sydney? Well, you’re in the right place! All of the sites on this list are within three and a half hours drive of Sydney.
I’ve been sitting on this post for a while now as I wanted to visit each place on my list before I put it up here. But, that’s going to take me AGES and I keep seeing the same question posed over and over. Where are the best places to camp close to Sydney?
So I figured I’d get the list out there and you guys can work your way through it with me! Every spot on this list is within three and a half hours drive of the Sydney.
I have been adding places based on recommendations from friends mostly and also from reviews and articles I see online. As always, when I find somewhere great or hear about somewhere new I’ll add it so keep checking back as the list will grow 🙂
I’m inclined to want to get off the beaten track and go a bit more remote sometimes, I’d LOVE to hear of any places you know of that fit that description. I’ll try and make sure this list has a mixture of both caravan parks and free/offroad/remote camps so that there is hopefully something to suit everyone.
I’ll add reviews and photos of all the places we have visited at the end of the post (they are highlighted in green).
I’d also love to hear your feedback about any of these spots and hear about any that aren’t on the list that you think should be.
Also, feel free to leave your reviews (good or bad) in the comments below to help the next person out.
Remember, if you are on the hunt for places to camp near Sydney, or anywhere else, there are heaps of apps that can help you out. Check out handy apps for road tripping & camping for some options.
If it’s not camping you are after but you do want something within 3.5 hours drive of Sydney then check out farmstays within 3.5 hours of Sydney, there are some awesome options there.
|Town||Place/Site||Distance from sydney|
|Belmont||Belmont Pines Lakeside Holiday Park||1 hour 55 minutes|
|Bundeena||Bonnie Vale Camp Ground||1 hour 13 minutes|
|Cattai National Park||Cattai National Park||1 hour|
|Coledale||Coledale Camping Reserve||1 hour 20 minutes|
|Currarong Beach||Currarong Beach Holiday Park||2 hours 50 minutes|
|Fingal||Fingal Bay Holiday Park||2 hours 50 minutes|
|Forster||Lani’s at Forster||3 hours 30 minutes|
|Glenworth Valley||Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures||1 hour|
|Hallidays Point||Big 4 Happy Hallidays||3 hours 30 minutes|
|Hawkes Nest||Reflections Holiday Parks Jimmy’s Beach||2 hours 45 minutes|
|Hornsby||Crosslands Reserve||55 minutes|
|Kangaroo Valley||Bendeela Recreation Area||2 hours 15 minutes|
|Kiama||Surf Beach Holiday Park||2 hours|
|Kioloa||Merry Beach Caravan Resort||3 hours 30 minutes|
|Ku-Ring-Gai Chase||The Basin||55 minutes|
|Lane Cove||Lane Cove River Tourist Park||20 minutes|
|Limeburners Creek||Tattersalls campground||2 hours 35 minutes|
|Lithgow||Lake Wallace Free Camp||2 hours 25 minutes|
|Megalong Valley||Dunphys Camping Area||2 hours 25 minutes|
|Mungo Brush||White Tree Bay Camp Ground||3 hours|
|Narabeen||NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park||40 minutes|
|Nelson Bay||Ingenia Holidays One Mile Beach||2 hours 40 minutes|
|Newnes||Newnes Camp Ground||3 hours 10 minutes|
|Pacific Palms||Pacific Palms Caravan Park||3 hours 25 minutes|
|Patonga||Patonga Campground||1 hour 35 minutes|
|Seal Rocks||Treachery Camp||3 hours 30 minutes|
|Seal Rocks||Yagon Camp Ground||3 hours 30 minutes|
|Toowoon Bay||Toowoon Bay Holiday Park||1 hour 30 minutes|
|Umina||Ocean Beach Holiday Resort||1 hour 25 minutes|
|Upper Colo||Upper Colo Reserve||1 hour 35 minutes|
|Wangi Wangi||Wangi Point Lakeside Holiday Park||1 hour 50 minutes|
|Wisemans Ferry||Del Rio Riverside Resort||1 hour 45 minutes|
|Wollondilly River||Wollondilly River Station||2 hours 45 minutes|
|Wombeyan Caves||Wombeyan Caves Camp Ground||2 hours 45 minutes|
I think this has gotta be my favourite. It’s really close to home, under two hours so it’s easy to do it for a night or two. It’s also right on the beach so Geoff can surf while we go between camp and swimming without me having to cart stuff back and forth.
It’s clean, tidy and small. There aren’t any facilities for kids, the beach is it, but it’s the perfect kid friendly beach with little rock pools down the south end.
The toilets and showers are close to camp and there is a small store within walking distance. When it comes to places to camp near Sydney, at about an hours drive total, this is just about as close as you can get.
This place is STUNNING and close to Sydney.
You can’t drive into the camp site so either have to walk in from the car park or ferry across from Palm Beach. It is recommended that you take the ferry or water taxi across if you have a lot of heavy gear or kids who will struggle with the walk.
There are wallabies, goannas and a number of other animals cruising around. A beautiful lagoon to swim in, plenty of shade and grassy areas to hang out.
You would be hard pressed to find somewhere more picturesque I reckon.
If you are a bit freaked out by kangaroos in close proximity of your camp then this place will totally freak you out! There are hundreds of them and they just cruise around the camp sites. Plenty of native birds too which are happy to come down and say hi to the kids.
It is right smack bang on the beach and there is a little fenced playground at one end which saved me when I was doing a solo set up and pack down recently.
The staff are lovely and helpful, the showers are cold but clean and the others campers were mostly return visitors who love the place and have been coming for years.
It’s a fair way out of town so you want to take all your supplies if you don’t want to be driving in for top ups.
This is our go to when we want to go camping but don’t actually have the time, it’s literally twenty minutes from our house. Ridiculous I know.
Anyways, it’s your typical Big 4. Plenty for the kids to do including a water park, playground, river/lake and beach all within walking distance.
Narabeen Lake is the highlight for me as it’s perfect for little kids to play safely without you having to dart back and forth all day saving them from the surf, so it’s almost a bit relaxing.
This is another of my absolute faves. It’s right off the beaten track, no running water although there are drop toilets. It’s a short walk to the beach but a decent drive down a bumpy dirt road to get there which keeps the crowds at bay.
There are a lot of animals about, remember to stash your food from the goannas as they are pretty ballsy and don’t mind coming right into the camp on a hunt for dinner.
The kids were patting a kookaburra, not sure what was going on there, a little bit too much feeding by campers I guess but it made their day.
Another Big 4 with all the bells and whistles to keep the kids entertained.
This one is handy as it’s super close to Sydney (1.5 hours) and its goes next level with the kids entertainment.
There is a massive pool, a kids games room, an outdoor cinema when we were there (in school holidays) and also a huge jumping cushion. The beach is lovely and dog friendly, as is the park.
Ocean Beach holiday Resort Umina –
This one is a winner straight up as it’s less than an hour and a half from Sydney. Again, your standard Big 4, the kinda place you avoid like the plague as a childless person and then flock to like seagulls once you have kids in tow. Plenty for the kids to do, there is a great playground super close and some cool markets within walking distance on the weekends.
There is also an arcade games room which is great for the older kids, a couple of huge jumping cushions and a great water park.
Newnes is out near the Blue Mountains and is a favourite for many.
There are some beautiful red rock cliffs around the entire campsite that look amazing at sunset. It is pretty remote so perfect if you like to get off the beaten track a bit. Speaking of track, be prepared for the 9km of corrugated dirt road to get in, it rattled my van around a fair bit.
Campfires are fine and there is a creek nearby. The main camping area is a large cleared space surrounded by the cliffs and scrub, with fire pits and picnic tables spread throughout.
There are toilets but you need to take your rubbish out with you. You are also about 20 minutes drive from the nearest phone reception.
Lake Wallace Free Camp –
I didn’t stay here as I was heading out to stay at Newnes but Lake Wallace is right before you head into the road down to Newnes.
I wish I got more photos for you but I got totally distracted getting this shot of the old power station, sorry! I’m thinking you would either be heading through on your way somewhere or be semi local to head out to Lake Wallace. It’s a handy spot if you are wanting to see some of the sites around the area and the fact that it is free and has ammenities is a plus.
It’s on the water which is cool and there is a kids playground which is a big plus for some families. It also has mobile reception and is great if you want to paddle around the lake in a boat or go fishing.
Ok, so another new favourite alert here!
This place is awesome. You have lake on one side, perfect for kiddos or paddle boarding or kayaking or whatever sort of flotation device you are into.
There’s beach on the other side of you with access for 4WD’s if you want to do that.
I think my favourite thing about Mungo Brush is that there are actually a whole bunch of camps along this stretch of road and other than one there is no need to book. We rocked up on a Saturday afternoon and chose between sites at four different campgrounds.
Then, if you want to head north and adventure further, you chuck the car on the ferry and head across the river to cruise up towards Seal Rocks. We will be back here a fair bit I reckon.
I love this place!
One of the great things about it is that the drive from Sydney is really beautiful, as soon as you get off the highway that it is. It just sets the mood and makes it a bit more special I reckon.
The campground is right on the river and is massive so even though it can get a bit busy there is plenty of room.
To be honest, I’m amazed that it’s free when there is such a lot of work going into the infrastructure. There are loos, bins, drinking water, gravel roads which are in great condition and huge amounts of grassed areas that are regularly slashed by the look of it.
The river is perfect for kids to swim as it gets deep really gradually so they can pick their depth. If you have canoes then definitely take them. It’s also perfect for the kids to ride their bikes so chuck them in too.
I just love the fact that is was so green and lush, it’s close to water and there are beautiful hills all around.
Oh, did I mention wombats? Heaps of wombats! They cruise around the campsite at dusk every day.
Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures –
Close to Sydney (less than an hour and a half), beautiful, on a creek and there’s horses everywhere.
I mean really, what can I say, this place is amazing. I’m in love.
We stayed in winter so there was no-one around, we had the whole campsite to ourselves which was awesome. I’m sure it gets a bit busy in summer.
There’s a creek right by the site we set up that is perfect for young kids in summer. Deep enough to play and stay cool but still really safe.
The kids had a pony ride which they loved. The horses are in good condition and really chilled and well suited to their job. The staff were great.
Oh, and they have real coffee in a cafe up the hill if you decide you need one. Heaven.
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Wombeyan Caves. Once you have navigated the well graded but.long dirt road in for Taralga you are greeted with a beautiful setting. There are a choice of powered or non powered sites. The facilities are good with hot showers. The wildlife is fantastic. So many birds, bats, kangaroos, wallabies and even wombats. There are cave walks on offer for a small charge. We did the self guided fig tree cave tour and it was awesome. The kids loved camping here. We roasted marshmallows and kept warm in the cooler evening around our fire. There is a small kiosk where you pay for camping that also supplies milk, snacks, pies, hot chips and coffees.
One of our favourite campsites so far. There is no phone signal anywhere so it’s super relaxing. Take a kite, a ball, a torch and a pack of cards and enjoy.
Thanks so much for your review! It sounds amazing. In fact, I reckon I’m going to put that one down as next on my hit list, it sounds like our kind of spot 🙂
This is really great stuff, thanks so much for pulling this together.
It’s going to be so, so useful for when we travel through this area with our two little ones (5 months and 3 years) in the next few months as we travel around Oz and capture it in our own blog here – https://williamsoztravels.wordpress.com/
I’ll be sure to add comments for any sites that we use
Thanks so much James, I’m looking forward to hearing your reviews. Let me know if you find somewhere great that I should add to the list… I’m going to jump on your blog and follow your travels. Have fun!
I’d add two more – Lane Cove National Park and Cross Lands Reserve up near Hornsby. Both are excellent. Lane Cove has a swimming pool, hot showers and a kiosk and is super close to the CBD. Crosslands is right on a lovely river and has a children’s playground including a flying fox.
Thanks Nikki, you’re a legend, they both sound great! I’ll chuck them on the list tonight 🙂
Have been to treachery. Wombeyan, wollandilly on this list among others. We tend to go a big more remote and cook over fire. Have to add Dunns Swamp – ganguddy …had a fabulous timd there. So beautiful.
Hi Kerry, thanks for recommending Dunns Swamp! I think are a few of us that like to get a bit more remote so I’m always stoked to be able to add good spots that fit the bill to the list. I’ll get it up there asap 🙂 UPDATE: Dunns Swamp is around the 4 hour mark from Sydney so it is just a bit too far to add to this list. It sounds great though, maybe it’s time for the great camps within 5 hours of Sydney list! 🙂