Best Free Camping Spots in Sydney and NSW

By: Serina Hajje, ellaslist

Escape the stifling chaos of the city and relax under clear skies, serene trees and open land. There’s nothing like a good camping spot to untangle all the nerves and stress of day to day life. 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 camping grounds which are completely FREE! But just remember to check with the camp organiser to make sure there are available spots.

1. Old Olney Camping Area

Where: Watagan Forest Road, Laguna
More Info Here.
Located west of Lake Macquarie, this area is gorgeous!. This spot is full of family activities: start by trying any of the forests walks like the Abbotts Falls Walking Track or the Rock Lily Walking Track. If you camp out in the Basin you can have a swim in the nearby creeks and take the Great North Walk. Campfires and BBQs are available and it’s pet-friendly.

2. Ngarigo Campground

Where: Kosciuszko Road, Jindabyne
More Info Here.
This spot is perfect during the summer for families who enjoy riding, fishing, hiking or touring. You’ll find rivers filled with rainbow and brown trout and you might even spot a platypus. 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.

best camping spots in nsw_ngarigo campground
Source: NSW National Parks and and Wildlife Service

3. Bummaroo Ford Campground

Where: Abercrombie Road: The campground is situated where the road crosses Abercrombie River, 74km, South of Oberon
More Info Here.
Take your swimmers and hike along the Abercrombie River or 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.

best camping spots in nsw_bummaroo reserve
Source: Mountain Ash

4. Ellenborough Reserve

Where: 500m North of Oxley Highway
More Info Here.
The ideal area for canoers, kayakers and birdwatching. You’ll find a wide range of birds flying through the trees and plenty of kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, possums and echidnas. Be sure to bring your own water for showering and drinking, and firewood to use the wood-powered BBQs. If it’s warm enough you’ll find swimming holes perfect for a dip.

best camping spots in nsw_ellenborough
Source: Chilly Max

5. Swans Creek Crossing

Where: 16 km NW of Kendall
More Info Here.
Rest up in a large open grassy area surrounded by native forest and hardwood plantations. Go for a swim in the nearby shallows of Upsalls Creek. There are canoeing and kayaking spots nearby and a horse riding trail. Explore the Longworths Tramway Heritage Walk which is a short drive away but there are plenty of walking trails at the campsite. There are campfires available and it’s pet-friendly.

6. Ingar Campground

Where: end of Queen Elizabeth Drive, Blue Mountains National Park
More Info Here.
Experience the true Aussie bush in this beautiful spot. 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. You’ll find Aboriginal culture rooted in every crevice and you’ll certainly come across a waterfall or two on your walks!

best camping spots in nsw_ingar reserve
Source: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services

7. Paddys River Falls

Where: East of Tumbarumba, along Tooma Road
More Info Here.
The name suggests 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. Bring your own firewood and warm clothes as it can get cold even in the warmer times of the year.

8. Rocky River Fossicking Area camping area

Where: Devoncourt Road, Uralla
More Info Here.
Relive the glory days of the Gold Rush. Take the kids gold hunting by collecting your equipment from the Uralla Visitor Information Centre! There are shallow swimming holes, perfect for little ones. Be sure to get some firewood for the BBQs.

best camping spots in nsw_rocky river
Source: findacamp.com.au

9. Blackbird Flat Camping Ground

Where: Armidale Road, Bellbrook
More Info Here.
Sitting right beside a river will give you 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.
Source: oh5xb

10. Newtons Crossing Campground

Where:15k East of Eden off Imlay Road
More Info Here.
Stretch your legs by the creek and enjoy a full day of dipping into the swimming holes or fishing. 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.

Going camping with little ones? Check out our top tips for camping with under 5s. Looking for a camping spot a bit nearer to home? Here’s our favourite camp grounds in and around Sydney.

 

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