When I told a friend of mine that I was going to put an article about great places for families to camp in and around Sydney, she just laughed.
‘Camping,’ said she, ‘that’s just housework… but harder, isn’t it?’
No, no, no it isn’t, my friend!! Well, yes it is sometimes, but for loads of families, camping makes a great way to reconnect with nature and to get the kids off their electronic devices, as well as to have a relatively inexpensive holiday away from home.
Here follows a list of great campsites both within Sydney and fairly close by.
How many of these places have you visited?
Camping Within Sydney
Lane Cove Holiday Park Campsites
This is quite a luxurious tourist park in Lane Cove National Park, it even has a swimming pool. There are caravan spaces and cabins there too.
Read our article about Lane Cove Holiday Park here.
NRMA Sydney Lakeside Park in Narrabeen
This extentive tourist park is at Narrabeen on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. It has camping spots, caravan spaces and cabins too. It’s a walk away from beautiful North Narrabeen Rock Pool and the iconic surf beach.
Camping at The Basin on Pittwater
This waterfront campside is the only place you can camp in Ku-ring-gai Chase national Park. You have to catch the ferry from Palm Beach to get there.
Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour
Isn’t it great that you can camp in the middle of Sydney Harbour? You can take your tent, or just bring sleeping bags etc and use the tents set up there.
Read our guide to the kid-friendly things to do on Cockatoo Island.
Check out all the accommodation options on this historic island.
Camping Near Sydney
Upper Colo Reserve, near Windsor
Right beside the Wollemi National Park, Upper Colo is very close to Sydney. It’s on the Colo river, is very inexpensive and you can light open fires.
Check out all you need to know about camping at the Colo Reserve here.
Del Rio Riverside Resort, on the Hawkesbury
Just one and a half hours from central Sydney, this campsite has great amenities and riverside frontage, and comes highly recommended by watersports’ lovers.
Bush camping on the Shoalhaven River, near Nowra, about three hours south of Sydney. There are kid-friendly rapids on the river, they can whizz down in lilos and it’s safe for kids aged over five or so. It’s got open camping, meaning you pick your own site, and you can have open fires.
Glenworth Valley Camping
Again, this campsite at the popular horse riding and outdoor adventure centre has a creek nearby. It’s just an hour north of Sydney, you can have open fires and enjoy the 3000 acre wilderness property.
Newnes Campground, Wolgan Valley Blue Mountains
This is a free camping site, meaning it costs nothing and you cannot book ahead. It’s run by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Read our post on Newnes Campground here.
Royal National Park Campsites
Just to the south of Sydney lies the huge Royal National Park. There are several campsites within the park. We stayed at Bonnie Vale, which is right on safe, calm water, great for the kids to play in. Gorgeous spot.
Patonga Camping Ground
Just a quick drive north from Sydney up on the Central Coast is this council-run website which a friend highly recommends.
Green Patch at Jervis Bay Camping
Within Booderee National Park is this much-loved camping area, right by the beautiful clear waters of Jervis Bay. Very popular in school holidays.
Heaps of ideas for things to do at Jervis Bay with kids on this post.
Turon Gates Camping
In the beautiful Blue Mountains just a couple of hours from Sydney, this rural retreat has lots of camping space, and even some glamping available too.
We’ll keep adding to this list of the best places to go camping in and around Sydney, so please do let us know of any favourite places we’ve missed.
Where’s your family’s favourite camping spot?
Go on, admit it, it’s the backyard!
No seriously, please let others know of places you love, and we’ll catch you there.
Happy camping, campers.