Beach Camping in NSW
Beach camping in NSW is one of the best ways to spend a family holiday as it combines the stunning outdoors with family bonding time, and you can't beat those beach camping prices!
So, what beaches can you camp on in NSW? NSW is full of picture-perfect beach campsites, from the North Coast to the South Coast, and some of them are literally right on the beach. But not all NSW beaches were made for beach camping, and you can't just show up on any old beach and pitch a tent for the night, so it's best to do your research before you go.
A lot of NSW's national parks offer free campsites close to natural waterways and beaches, so check ahead on the park's website before you go. But if you're keen to sleep right next to the surf at some of NSW's most popular beaches, here are our favourite spots that come with incredible campsites for those neverending summer holidays.
Beach Camping in NSW
1. Honeymoon Bay, Jervis Bay
A Jervis Bay gem, Honeymoon Bay is a picturesque inlet that is perfect for holidaying families. Camping is permitted at Honeymoon Bay on weekends, and school holidays, however, Honeymoon Bay is closed from Monday to Friday.
This back-to-basics campground at Honeymoon Bay is more than made up for by the breathtaking beauty that surrounds it from ocean to bush. The crystal-clear waters at Honeymoon Bay are perfect for little feet that are learning to paddle, while the stretches of white sand offer an idyllic location to play the day away.
Location: Lighthouse Rd and Currarong Roads, Currarong
2. Diamond Head, Crowdy Bay National Park
Located in Crowdy Bay National Park near Port Macquarie, beachside camping doesn’t come much better than at Diamond Head. You’ll literally be able to roll out of bed and into the surf at Diamond Head, and it offers 75 camping sites, an amenities block, picnic tables and BBQs. As long as you’ve got the tent (and all of the attendant paraphernalia that’s necessary for a camping trip—hey, we never said it would be light on the packing front!), you’ll have all you need at the coveted Diamond Head campground.
And, if your kids are into wildlife—they’ll love getting up close and personal with the resident Diamond Head kangaroos!
Location: 763 Diamond Head Rd, Diamond Head
3. Woody Head, Far North Coast
Situated just outside Ballina on the far North Coast of NSW, Woody Head campground in the Bundjalung National Park is a great place for a family holiday, boasting a protected sandy beach that’s ideal for swimming and fishing, a boat ramp and a spectacular rock platform.
There are toilets, showers (amen), BBQ facilities, picnic tables and 94 campsites available, making it the perfect, well-equipped base for your next trip away. Needless to say, the dream of camping by water is brought to life at Woody Head!
Location: 92 Woody Head Rd, Woody Head
4. Mystery Bay, South Coast
If you really want to feel a million miles from anywhere and spend some quality time together in nature, the stunning setting of Mystery Bay is for you. Situated near the beautiful Narooma and other South Coast gems to check out, the sleepy hamlet is the perfect choice for swimming, exploring the beaches and rocky coves, surfing and beach fishing.
The campsite operates on a first-come, first-served basis and offers roomy unpowered sites, cold showers and pit toilets. We did say it was off the beaten track!
Location: 190 Mystery Bay Rd, Mystery Bay
5. Little Beach Campground, Central Coast
If you're looking for something a little closer to home, Little Beach Campground is just a quick drive to the Central Coast. Nestled opposite the waters of Little Beach, this family-friendly campground offers tent facilities, toilets, barbecues, and drinking water, so it's the perfect opportunity to get off the grid and back to nature in a truly beautiful part of the world.
Location: Little Beach Trail, Bouddi
6. Saltwater Creek, Ben Boyd National Park
Situated within the Ben Boyd National Park, Saltwater Creek is a small yet popular campground that boasts 14 campsites, toilets, picnic tables and BBQs. It also boasts zero phone reception, which means you can truly unplug with your family.
Once you’ve set up the tent among the rough-barked apple gums, you can head to the pristine beach for a swim, surf, or spot of fishing. There are several shallow lagoons perfect for the little ones who fancy a paddle, and the nearby bush is alive with wildlife all year round which young’s will love exploring. Camping with kids at Saltwater Creek is a true pleasure.
Location: Light to Light Walk, Green Cape
7. Depot Beach, Murramarang National Park
Ideal for a family camping holiday, Depot Beach Campground in Murramarang National Park just 200km south of Sydney is a well-equipped option that is just a stone's throw from the beach.
The idyllic, picture-perfect beach is a great spot to go for a swim, a snorkel or to indulge in a spot of fishing, and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of the local dolphins that seem to love this part of the coastline too. Wake up to the sounds of waves, and get up early to see the stunning sunrise over the golden sands—camping near Sydney simply doesn't get better than this.
Location: 2B Depot Beach Rd, Depot Beach
8. Bristol Point Campground, Booderee National Park
Nestled in the Booderee National Park and amongst the natural beauty of Jervis Bay, the Bristol Point camping area is the ideal spot to base yourselves for a family holiday. And, they cater for larger groups, so you can team up with another family for double the fun!
The national park is infamous for its diversity of wildlife and is a great pick for bird watching, fishing and whale watching. If you’re keener to be in the water instead of in front of it, there are also excellent swimming, hiking, kayaking and diving opportunities near Bristol Point, making it one of the best beach camping spots in NSW.
Location: Jervis Bay Rd, Jervis Bay Territory
9. Picnic Point, Mimosa Rocks National Park
If it’s fishing that you and the family are into—look no further than Picnic Point for one of the best camping near water experiences you can find. Nestled beside two stunning sandy beaches, the campsite will have you based just footsteps away from your next catch!
In terms of facilities, there are BBQ facilities, toilets, and a whole heap of natural beauty waiting for you at this beach camping spot!
Location: Off Picnic Point Rd, Wapengo
10. The Basin
Get ready to really get away from it all when camping at The Basin.
Nestled in the Ku-ring-gai National Park, the basin is one of the most popular beach camping sites for families and for good reason. The remote location means you can really get away from the hustle and bustle, and the kids will love spending hours in the water or exploring the nearby lagoons and bushland.
Access to The Basin is best done via a water taxi or the Palm Beach Ferry. You can park and West Head and walk, but it's a steep three-kilometre track.
Location: The Basin Trail, Ku-ring-gai Chase
11. Broughton Island
You'd be forgiven for thinking that Broughton Island was an island in the Mediterranean, yep, it's that beautiful!
Also part of the incredible Myall Lakes National Park along the Barrington Coast, Broughton Island is an incredible beach camping spot in NSW but because it's so unique and secluded (and with only five campsites!) it does get booked up, so you'd best book WAY ahead of your intended camping dates.
Another unique factor about camping on Broughton Island is that you can only get to the majestic island by boat, but hey, that just adds to the fun!
Location: Island Top Walk, Mungo Brush
12. South West Rocks
With two beach camping locations on offer, South West Rocks is a fantastic family holiday option for outdoors families. Trial Bay Gaol Campground is part of Arakoon National Park and is literally a stone's throw away from the incredible waters of the Macleay Valley Coast and offers tented sites and caravan sites with cooking, showering and toilet facilities.
Horseshoe Bay Holiday Park is in the next bay over (Horseshoe Bay) and isn't quite as close to the water as Trial Bay but you get some extra bells and whistles at this campground, including accommodation cabanas, a kids playground, a kiosk and wifi.
More Holiday Reads
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Sydney Staycation on a Budget: Fun-filled Adventures for Families with Young Children
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Oct 31 2022
Hmmm when we went to Bristol point it was full of drunk party people. Lovely spot but I wouldn’t risk it again - camping isn’t much fun on no sleep
Jan 09 2022
Little Beach camping site doesn’t have water fyi