Free Camping in NSW: 10 of the Best Campgrounds

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Escape the stifling chaos of the city and relax under clear skies, serene trees and open land at a free campground in NSW.

There’s nothing like a good camping spot to untangle all the nerves and stress of day-to-day life, and even better when it's free camping! NSW is full of lovely camping spots and you don’t need to spend a packet to put down your tent. In fact, we have found some beautiful campgrounds that are completely FREE! All you have to do is pay a small park entry fee if camping in a national park, and the rest is free!

Free Camping in NSW: 10 of the Best Campgrounds

1. Old Olney Camping Area

Old Olney Camping Area
Fall asleep to the sound of the running river at Old Olney Camping Area.

Where: Watagan Forest Road, Laguna

Located west of Lake Macquarie, Old Olney Camping Area is the perfect spot for free camping in NSW.

This picturesque spot is full of family activities: start by trying any of the forest walks like the Abbotts Falls Walking Track or the Rock Lily Walking Track. If you camp out in the Basin, you can swim in the nearby creeks and take the Great North Walk. Campfires and BBQs are available, and it’s pet-friendly - what more could you ask for?!

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2. Ngarigo Campground

Ngarigo Campground
Go completely off the track and camp right next to a river in Jindabyne. Image Source: NSW National Parks And Wildlife Service.

Where: Kosciuszko Road, Jindabyne

Ngarigo is another one of our favourite spots for free camping in NSW, particularly for those who love riding, fishing, hiking, and touring. You’ll find rivers filled with rainbow and brown trout, and you might even spot a platypus when camping at Ngagirgo Campground.

There are plenty of trails that offer bushwalking and mountain biking, including the Thredbo Valley track and Kosciuszko walk. Alternatively, you can just hop into your car and tour the area too! You’ll need to stock up on firewood and drinking water at nearby Jindabyne or Thredbo for your meals using the wood BBQs and picnic tables. 

3. Bummaroo Ford Campground

Free camping in NSW
Add Abercrombie River to your nature in NSW bucket list and you won't be sorry.

Where: Abercrombie Road: The campground is situated where the road crosses Abercrombie River, 74km South of Oberon.

Take your swimmers and hike along the Abercrombie River, hire a canoe or kayak, and paddle through it. During spring, the beautiful golden wattles and red and yellow Callistemon (bottlebrushes) along the river come into flower, bringing feeding birds with them and the songs of frogs by the water. Go out and spot kangaroos and wallabies near the campsite or sit quietly by the waterholes at dusk and spy a platypus. 

4. Oxley Wilds River National Park

Free Camping NSW Oxley Wilds River
This picture-perfect spot is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.

Where: Located in the Macleay Gorges area of Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Follow Moona Plains Road from Walcha for 50km.

Dramatic rainforests and flowing waterfalls are offered up in droves at Oxley Wilds River National Park's free campground. 

Budds Mare and Dangars Gorge are the two free camping spots and are completely pet-friendly! There are toilets, barbecue facilities, mobile reception, and all the fishing you can imagine. 

5. Ellenborough Reserve

Ellenborough Reserve
The ideal camping spot for canoers, kayakers and birdwatching enthusiasts.

Where: 500 metres North of Oxley Highway

You’ll find a wide range of birds flying through the trees and plenty of kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, possums, and echidnas at the Ellenborough Reserve free campground.

Be sure to bring your own water for showering and drinking, plus firewood to use the wood-powered BBQs. You’ll find some natural swimming holes perfect for a dip if it's warm enough. 

6. Ingar Campground

Ingar Campground
This mountain-bikers heaven is found in the Blue Mountains National Park.

Where: End of Queen Elizabeth Drive, Blue Mountains National Park

Experience the true Aussie bush in this beautiful free camping spot in NSW.

Swim or paddle in the dam on Ingar Creek, or explore any of the walking trails or mountain-biking tracks. After a barbecue dinner, get out the torch and look for the local nightlife where you can see sugar gliders, possums and bandicoots. Aboriginal culture is rooted in every crevice, and you’ll certainly come across a waterfall or two on your walks! 

7. Paddys River Falls

Paddys River Falls
Couple your camping trip with some waterfall watching at Paddys River Falls.

Where: East of Tumbarumba, along Tooma Road

As the name suggests, Paddys River Falls free campground offers plenty of swimming and fishing. There’s also horse riding, mountain biking, and bushwalking. In the evenings, crouch near the dam and see if you can spot a platypus.

Remember to bring your own firewood and warm clothes as it can get cold at night, even during the warmer months. 

8. Rocky River Fossicking Area Camping Area

Rocky River Fossicking Area Camping
A camping spot where you can actually search for gold!

Where: Devoncourt Road, Uralla

Relive the glory days of the Gold Rush at the Rocky River Fossicking Area and enjoy some free camping while you're at it!

You can take the kids hunting for gold with equipment from the Uralla Visitor Information Centre. Plus, there are shallow swimming holes, perfect for little ones. Be sure to get some firewood for the BBQs.

9. Blackbird Flat Camping Ground

Blackbird Flat Camping Ground
Blackbird Flat Camping Ground is made for 4-wheel-driving families. Image source: Visit NSW.

Where: Armidale Road, Bellbrook

One of Armidale's favourite camping sites, Blackbird Flat gives holidaying families plenty of opportunities to enjoy an afternoon of fishing, swimming, and canoeing. The large grassy area is also perfect for picnics, and once you’ve enjoyed a full meal take a ride or walk along the trails. 

10. Newtons Crossing Campground

Newtons Crossing Campground
There are plenty of waterholes to go swimming, fishing or canoeing at Newtons Crossing Campground.

Where:15 kilometres East of Eden off Imlay Road

Stretch your legs by the creek and enjoy a full day of dipping into the swimming holes or fishing at Newtons Crossing. There are also some spots for canoeing and kayaking near the campsite. Go on a tour of the area in your car and experience the lush beauty of the area. 

Hero image: Oxley Wild Rivers National Park by WhichCar.

Crazy For Camping? Check These Out:

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Jan 03 2019

North Wagga Wagga free camp site with toilets