It’s hard to beat waking up to the sounds of lapping waves, lazy days spent in the wilderness and evening card games by the fire.
The Basin In among the pine trees and lush grassland of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is The Basin – one of Sydney’s finest camping spots. This particular spot is only accessible by boat or you can catch a ferry from the Palm Beach wharf. The water is clear, calm and safe for swimming and the campsite is spacious. Enjoy a picnic during the day, sitting next to kangaroos, and at night light a campfire in one of the designated areas.
Seal Rocks Seal Rocks is just over a three-hour drive from Sydney, just a short distance from the pristine beach. You’ll find no hotels or shopping strips, just a small corner store and a coffee stall to grab your morning brew. There are plenty of scenic walks to keep you busy, and the cooking amenities are great. But really, you’ll just while away your days on the beach.
Bawley Point The three-and-a-half hour drive south of Sydney to Bawley Point is almost a holiday in itself. Cruise down the winding roads and look out to the coastal stretches and untouched nature. If you’re going with a campervan you can enjoy the tourist park, which has two tennis courts, a basketball court and a mini-golf course. Once there you can go bush walking, fishing and swimming. Or simply do nothing at all.
Shoal Bay Life at Shoal Bay seems to move at a slower pace. The azure water is sheltered from the wind, the people are friendly and you’re surrounded by nature. Choose from shady powered campsites, accessible cabins, villas, Safari Tents and the popular ensuite van sites. Plus the park is dog-friendly, so you can take your best buddy on your next trip, too.
Forster You can’t go wrong camping at Forster. Actually, you couldn’t do much better even if you tried, with the variety of activities and beaches to explore. The campsite, which has great cooking facilities and a boat ramp, is just a short stroll from Forster main beach where you’ll be able to spot dolphins on any given day. The main street has some great boutiques and eateries and there’s a few options for gelato so you can cool down after a hot day. Spend a day snorkeling in the waters of Tuncurry.
Lakesea Park Lakesea Caravan Park Durras is near Batemans Bay on the southern coast of NSW. Expect to find natural wildlife, grassy shaded sites with barbeque facilities, including a camp kitchen, free gas, fridge and oven. Just moments to Durras Beach and Lake Durras, you can enjoy surfing, kayaking, fishing and bushwalking in nearby Murramarang National Park.
Lennox Head The crystal-clear swell at Lennox Point draws in surfers from all around the world. It is on the Far North Coast of NSW, and has a relaxed yet vibrant feel with plenty of restaurants, bars and leisure options.
The campsite has both powered and unpowered spots and is spacious enough for big groups. The tent sites are located near the waters of Lake Ainsworth and Lennox Head's 7 Mile Beach.
Port Macquarie Port Macquarie’s charm lies in its welcoming community and abundance of beaches. Right across from the town’s longest beach, this tropical campsite is just far enough out of town to enjoy the tranquility. But it’s close enough to visit all the bars, cafes and restaurants that Port Macquarie has to offer. Plus, it’s adjacent to an 18-hole championship golf course.
Brunswick Heads It always feels like summertime at Brunswick Heads, situated at the mouth of the Brunswick River. The camping ground, which is right next to Simpsons Creek, is an ideal place for a short stop to rejuvenate or for a longer, more relaxing stay.
This article was updated on December 21 2017.