Our List of the Best Campsites to Stay at in New South Wales This Summer

Exploring a NSW camp spot close to the beach while carrying the portable gas BBQ (the STOV BBQ) in its carry bag.

Camping in NSW and some of its National Parks: The Great Outdoors Awaits

Summer in New South Wales offers the perfect opportunity to escape the busyness of everyday life and immerse yourself in nature. If you're a camping and outdoor enthusiast looking for the best places to stay, this is it. In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover the top campsites across New South Wales, making sure your summer adventure is nothing short of epic. New South Wales boasts an incredible diversity of landscapes, from pristine beaches along the coastline to lush forests and awe-inspiring mountains. So, grab your gear, fuel your sense of adventure, and let us tell you more about the best campsites in this remarkable region.

Why you should try camping

Camping in NSW and its National Parks allows you to create a connection with nature. It's a chance to unwind, disconnect from screens, and appreciate the simple pleasures of life and/or enjoy your favourite outdoor activity, such as fishing, trail running, surfing or drinking beer while tending to the barbecue… NSW national parks offer an array of campgrounds where you can do just that.

The Ultimate Campsites in NSW National Parks

Coastal Paradise: Myall Lakes National Park and Mungo National Park

For those seeking coastal tranquility, Myall Lakes National Park is a must-visit. With many campsites only reachable by foot or boat/kayak this place offers amazing bush and beach camping. You might even get the place to yourself if you go during the week. For us, this is one of our top beach camping spots in NSW with its almost secret camping spots (come first to get the first choice of your camping spot) and find great beach camping along the Mungo Bush Road with many beautiful beaches north and south.

Location: Located on the mid-north coast of NSW, Myall Lakes NP is known for its stunning coastal landscapes, pristine lakes, and extensive waterways.

Key Attractions: The park offers a mix of coastal and rainforest environments, making it a haven for water-based activities such as boating, fishing (please note to keep an eye on the no-fish zones), and kayaking. It's also home to diverse bird species and offers excellent birdwatching opportunities. Bushwalkers can explore various walking trails, from short walks to longer ones, including the Mungo Rainforest Walk and the Dark Point walking track.

Mountain Retreat: Blue Mountains National Park

Escape the summer heat in the cool embrace of the Blue Mountains with its world heritage and bush camping sites. Camp at Blackheath Glen and relish the views of the Megalong Valley or head to Newnes Campground which offers a great camping site. For this camping site, you might need to cross a tiny river, but even with your 2WD you should be fine. This place can get busy during school holidays so make sure you reserve your camping spots well in advance. There are some picnic tables available that can be convenient to gather the entire family.

Location: Covering the rugged Blue Mountains region, this NP is located just west of Sydney.

Key Attractions: The Blue Mountains NP is famous for its striking sandstone cliffs, deep canyons, and lush eucalyptus forests. Popular attractions within the park include the Three Sisters, Wentworth Falls, and the Jenolan Caves. The park offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including bushwalking, rock climbing, abseiling, and camping.

Wilderness Wonderland: Kosciuszko National Park

Kosciuszko National Park offers an unparalleled alpine experience. Set up at some of the camping sites at Thredbo Diggings and enjoy hiking, fishing, and, of course, delicious BBQs amidst breathtaking scenery. There are picnic tables available and it is a stunning place to take the family during school holidays. Please note, book early and keep in mind that this place requires booking and camping fees.

Location: Situated in the Snowy Mountains of southeastern NSW, Kosciuszko NP is Australia's highest national park and includes the country's tallest peak, Mount Kosciuszko.

Key Attractions: In the winter, the park is a premier destination for snow sports, including skiing and snowboarding. In the warmer months, it offers hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and horse riding. The Main Range track leads to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko. The park is also home to unique alpine flora and fauna. While the brumbies are not part of the native wildlife, they are still amazing to see in the mountains.

South Coast Serenity: Mimosa Rocks National Park

Mimosa Rocks National Park beckons with its rugged coastline and secluded campsites. Enjoy the peace and quiet of the bush. Low cost campgrounds are on offer with possibly the best beach camping around. You might need to bring your own drinking water.

Location: Located on the far south coast of NSW, this NP is characterised by its rugged coastline and sandy beaches.

Key Attractions: The park with its camping spots is perfect for those looking for a tranquil coastal escape. Visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and fishing. It's also a great place for beach-combing and exploring the tidal rock pools. Birdwatchers will find a variety of bird species here.

Bendeela Recreation Area

Situated on the banks of the Kangaroo River, Bendeela Recreation Area is a serene haven for campers. The lush green surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for a camping trip and to explore this area. It is a great camping spot for family trips and if you don't want to travel far from the large city.

Location: Bendeela is a picturesque recreation area situated near Kangaroo Valley in the Southern Highlands of NSW.

Key Attractions: Bendeela is known for its serene riverside camping. It's a popular spot for picnicking and barbecues, and it's the gateway to Tallowa Dam. Visitors can take in the beautiful small river beaches and natural surroundings, go canoeing or kayaking, and enjoy wildlife watching, particularly platypus sightings.

Jindabyne Holiday Park

Jindabyne Holiday Park, located on the shores of Lake Jindabyne, offers a tranquil setting for campers. Enjoy water sports, fishing, and BBQs with a stunning view of the lake. Book your camper trailer site by the lake, and explore the little town with its great cafés after your mountain activities. Bonus: Use the hot showers after your winter sports activities. There is a large car park available as well.

Location: Located in the Snowy Mountains region, this holiday park is nestled beside Lake Jindabyne.

Key Attractions: The park offers a mix of water and mountain activities. In the winter, it's a base for snow sports enthusiasts visiting nearby ski resorts. In the summer, visitors can enjoy water sports on Lake Jindabyne, including boating (there are several boat ramps close to or around town), fishing, and swimming. It's also a great place for hiking and mountain biking and don't forget the native wildlife.

Coastal Gem: Depot Beach Campground

Depot Beach Campground is a hidden gem on the South Coast. It offers direct access to a pristine beach where you can swim, snorkel, and enjoy BBQ feasts at sunrise. if you are after a beach holiday this is the place to be, it is beach camping at its best.

Location: Depot Beach is part of Murramarang National Park, situated on the South Coast of NSW.

Key Attractions: This campground provides a great beach camping experience. Visitors can relax on the beach, snorkel in the clear waters, and take coastal walks to explore the diverse marine life. Wallabies and kangaroos are commonly spotted in the area, making it a beach campground and great native wildlife watching spot.

Rainforest Paradise: Dorrigo National Park

Dorrigo National Park is a lush rainforest paradise. Campers can explore waterfalls, walking trails, and the unreal feeling Skywalk. it is also an option to stop on your way to the NSW north coast. The park is part of the Gondwana rainforest and is world heritage listed, a direct window in the past.

Location: Located in the Northern Tablelands region of NSW, Dorrigo NP is renowned for its lush rainforests and waterfalls.

Key Attractions: The park offers a range of walking tracks, including the popular Skywalk and Crystal Shower Falls Walk. If you are only passing through, this short walk is short but takes you through the forest to this beautiful waterfall. The Dorrigo Rainforest Centre provides information and educational exhibits.

Cathedral Rock National Park and Campground

Cathedral Rock National Park Campground is a fantastic destination for nature lovers, hikers, and photographers, offering a combination of natural beauty and outdoor activities in a serene and peaceful setting. The campground offers basic facilities for campers (e.g. picnic tables), making it an excellent place to enjoy a night under the stars.

Location: Cathedral Rock NP is situated in the Northern Tablelands region, approximately 100 kilometres west of Armidale and 500 kilometres north of Sydney.

Key Attractions:

Cathedral Rock: The campground takes its name from the park's stunning natural feature, Cathedral Rock, a large granite outcrop with incredible views over the surrounding landscape.
Granite Arch: Explore the unique granite arch formation, which is a great spot for photography and birdwatching.
Scenic Beauty: The park is known for its breathtaking landscapes, including eucalyptus forests, rock formations, and native flora.

Key Activities:

Bushwalking: There are several walking trails within the park, including the Cathedral Rock Track, which leads to the summit and provides panoramic views of the area.

Photography: The unique geological formations and scenic beauty make this park a photographer's dream.

Stargazing: Due to its remote location, Cathedral Rock NP is an ideal spot for stargazing and observing the night sky.


Wollemi National Park

Wollemi National Park is a place of natural wonder, offering a wide range of outdoor activities and a chance to explore unique geological features while discovering rare and ancient plant species like the Wollemi Pine. The park offers free camping facilities at Wheeny Creek Campground.

Location: Wollemi National Park is located northwest of Sydney. It covers a vast area making it one of the largest NSW national parks in the state. It's part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

Key Attractions:

Wollemi Pine: One of the most significant attractions in the park is the Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis), a rare and ancient species of tree that was thought to be extinct until its rediscovery in the park in 1994. Visitors can see these "living fossils" in their natural habitat.

Glow Worm Tunnel: The park is home to the historic Glow Worm Tunnel, which was once a railway tunnel. It is now a popular walking track, and it's an ideal spot to see glow worms at night.

Pagoda Rock Formations: Wollemi National Park is known for its stunning sandstone pagoda rock formations. These unique geological features create a dramatic and picturesque landscape.

Key Activities:

Bushwalking and Hiking: The park provides an extensive network of walking tracks, quad biking and hiking trails, catering to various skill levels. Some of the popular routes include the Newnes Plateau, Wolgan River, and Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp.

Rock Climbing: The sandstone cliffs and rock formations in the park make it a destination for rock climbing and abseiling, but these activities should be undertaken by experienced climbers.


Other great spots to explore in NSW

There are many more amazing places to explore in New South Wales and here are some of our other favourites.

  • Jervis Bay (Check out Honeymoon Bay and Green Patch Campground for all your beach camping needs)
  • The Royal National Park with its waterfalls and swimming holes (and some more beach camping)
  • The NSW south coast with stunning beaches and excellent bush camping
  • And the outback NSW offers heaps of free camping.
  • Diamond Head Campground in Crowdy Bay National Park (one epic beach campground).
  • Bouddi National Park.

The South Coast and the Outback will be a topic for a future blog post with some of those places even offering free camping.

Elevate Your Camping Experience with Portable BBQs

The Convenience of Portable BBQs

We are all about cooking in the outdoors, so here is why portable BBQs are a game-changer for campers. They're a must-have for us because they are compact, easy to transport, and make cooking outdoors easy. So how can you get started with the right BBQ for you?

Choosing the Right Portable BBQ

When selecting a portable BBQ, consider factors like size, fuel type, and ease of use. Gas BBQs are a popular choice for their convenience and quick setup. Look for models with the right size and that are made to last out of stainless steel.

Our recommended portable gas BBQ for camping is the STOV BBQ. It is not only a convenient BBQ but we also offset all our carbon emissions by planting native trees here in Australia. Read more about our sustainability efforts here.

Grilling tips for camping

- Prep Ahead: Prepare your ingredients at home to minimise work at the campsite.

- Safety First: Follow safety guidelines for operating your portable BBQ in the great outdoors.

- Cleaning Made Easy: Pack cleaning supplies to keep your BBQ in top condition throughout your trip.

Camping tip: Enjoy a Social Cooking Experience

Gas BBQ facilities often serve as communal hubs where campers can bond over their love for the outdoors. Share stories, recipes, and cooking tips with fellow adventurers.

Our favourite NSW campsite meal: The classic burger

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the best NSW campsites

Can I bring my own portable BBQ to campsites?

Yes, most campsites in New South Wales allow you to bring your own portable barbecue. Just ensure you follow safety regulations and campground rules. Make sure there is no total fire ban in place. 

Are there camper trailer sites with power for RVs and camper trailers?

Absolutely. Many campsites offer powered sites for RVs and camper trailers, making it convenient for those who prefer a little more comfort.

What are the best camping spots for families with kids?

Campsites like Lane Cove River Tourist Park and Jindabyne Holiday Park are family-friendly with amenities (Land Cove even has a pool) and activities suitable for children. Many will also offer a camper trailer site and a car park for added convenience.

Do I need to book campsites in advance?

During the peak summer season, it's advisable to book your campsite in advance, especially at popular locations. You can book campsites on National Parks NSW or even use Hipcamp (an Airbnb for camping where you might discover some really epic places). 

Are campfires allowed at all campsites?

Campfire policies vary by location. Check the specific rules of your chosen campsite before lighting a campfire. Some wood fired spots might not be allowed to be used during fire bans.

Can I fish at camping spots in NSW?

Yes, many campgrounds are located near rivers and lakes, providing excellent fishing opportunities for campers.

Final thoughts on our favourite camping spots in NSW

This summer, make the most of your outdoor adventure in New South Wales by exploring the best campsites the region has to offer. From coastal paradises to mountain retreats and rainforest getaways, there's a campsite to suit every taste (and some even offer free camping). Don't forget to bring along your trusty portable BBQ or take advantage of gas BBQ or campfire facilities at campgrounds for an easy cooking experience. With the right gear and a spirit of adventure, your camping trip to the national parks NSW is bound to be unforgettable.

Happy camping from STOV!