Camping in Sydney: Top Spots for Outdoor Adventures

  • Family

Camping in Sydney creates the perfect opportunity to bond and create the best memories for the kids. Whether it's for school holidays or a spontaneous weekend away, there’s something magical about a night under the stars, huddled around a campfire. The kids form a gang of new best friends and the parents spend a few peaceful days away from technology - a win-win in our books!

Start your outback adventure with our list of the best spots for camping in Sydney, all within a two-hour drive from the city.

Camping in Sydney: Top Spots for Outdoor Adventures

1. Calmsley Hill City Farm

Calmsley Hill City Farm
Calmsley Hill City Farm offers an authentic and affordable family camping experience.

If your little city slickers love animals and petting zoos and you are looking for a way to combine their passion with a camping experience, then a weekend camping trip to family-friendly Calmsley Hill City Farm is an absolute must.

Located in Abbotsbury, 40 minutes out of Sydney, the farm is a place where the whole family can meet a range of native and farmyard animals with exclusive activities and personal animal encounters.

The farm also offers a unique and affordable overnight camping farm stay experience, including a barbecue dinner and breakfast where the kids get to collect their own chook eggs! This venue is both educational and really fun for the whole family - kids and grown-ups alike!

Why we Love Camping at Calmsley Hill City Farm

With resident animals joining in the fun, Calmsley Hill City Farm is absolutely perfect for the first-time camping family!

Location: 31 Darling St, Abbotsbury

Where to go Beach Camping in NSW

2. NRMA Parks and Resorts

Where to go camping in Sydney
NRMA Parks and Resorts have loads of well-equipped camping sites near Sydney.

At ellaslist, we can't get enough of NRMA Parks and Resorts, having stayed at many over the years. They are always great fun for adults and kids.

One of the closest parks for camping in Sydney is NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort in Umina on the Central Coast. This super family-friendly spot is kitted out with jumping pillows, playgrounds, swimming parks with waterslides, go-karts, cafes and more. 

Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park on Narrabeen Beach is full of fun activities, including a kids' club, go-karts, a kids’ water park and a games room. 

Check out our list of the best caravan parks in NSW for more parks like these!

Why we Love Camping at NRMA Parks and Resorts

Whether you like to plan ahead or prefer a spontaneous road trip, NRMA Parks and Resorts offer an easy, affordable escape in idyllic natural surroundings. They have a host of accommodation styles on offer, from traditional camping to cabins and safari tents, plus loads of fun features. There are plenty of things to keep the kids occupied, and enough mod-cons to ensure parents can relax. With plenty of open space, they are also great for group getaways. 

3. Bouddi National Park

Where to go camping in Sydney
Bouddi National Park

You cannot go past Bouddi National Park if you’re looking for the perfect beach camping spot.

With three intimate camping spots to choose from, including Little Beach, Putty Beach, and Tallow Beach, it's an idyllic location on the Central Coast.

With plenty of camping sites and facilities, the region is also famed for its bushwalks, surfing, swimming and fishing.

Why we Love Camping at Bouddi National Park

Bouddi National Park is camping by the beach! Does it get any better than that? It’s perfect if you’re a camping family that wants an authentic experience and are brave enough to survive with just the basics, where it's just you and the great outdoors. Bliss!

Location: Maitland Bay Track, Bouddi

4. Cockatoo Island

Where to go camping in Sydney
Cockatoo Island has a unique waterfront campground in Sydney Harbour.

Camping in Sydney doesn't get more adventurous than at Cockatoo Island!

Cockatoo Island is a really special place to visit with camping facilities from glamping (a luxury camping experience) to a more basic camping package. An overnight stay here is an amazing experience for the whole family and prices start at only $45 a night during the week.

Cockatoo Island offers your family a glimpse of Sydney as they've never seen it before. You can escape the city with a 15-minute ferry ride to this fascinating island with extraordinary views, interesting views and great facilities. Camping at Cockatoo Island is a fantastic way to spend the day with plenty of historic buildings to explore, boats to watch, and family-friendly activities to keep everyone entertained. In the summer months (from October), there is even the fabulous Island Bar, where mum and dad can enjoy a cheeky cocktail at the end of a long day of exploring.

Why we Love Camping at Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island is perfect for family camping as it's close to Sydney, easy to get to, and well-equipped - ideal if you want to get out of your comfort zone but still be close to some urban comforts like toilets and hot showers. The views across Sydney Harbour are incredible!

Location: Sydney Harbour

5. Lane Cove National Park

Lane Cove National Park
Lane Cove Holiday Park is a beautiful, serene campground overlooking the valley.

This precious gem is set in fabulous bushland in the middle of Sydney and it's a place that all families should experience!

Lane Cove National Park is a great spot as it has plenty of amenities for both amateur and experienced campers. Choose from a BYO campsite or glamp out in a cabin. The kids will enjoy the children’s play equipment, flat grassy areas with easy access to walking tracks and bike tracks all around, plus BBQ facilities and picnic tables. Check out our guide for more of the best things to do in Lane Cove National Park.

Why we Love Camping at Lane Cove National Park

Lane Cove National Park is terrific if you’re a beginner camping family looking for a back-to-nature experience. Lane Cove Holiday Park itself is very well-equipped and has a swimming pool, camp kitchen and electric barbecues. The park is only 20 minutes from the city so if it all gets too much, you'll be home in no time!

Location: 2 Max Allen Road, Lindfield 

6. Royal National Park

Royal National Park camping
Camp in Sydney's big beautiful backyard amid 16,000ha of Royal National Park.

Established in 1879, the Royal National Park is the world’s second-oldest national park featuring unique heritage attractions, along with fascinating plants, birds and animals.

The park offers a beautiful natural wonderland with a diverse range of camping landscapes, from the dramatic cliffs to a tranquil rainforest riverside. North Era Campground and Uloola Falls Campground are two of our favourites, though they offer a more remote, off-grid experience.

It’s a perfect camping spot for bushwalking, fishing, cycling and surfing activities, plus you can check out our all-time favourite Audley Boatshed for school-kid-sized activities. For beach lovers, there are plenty of Royal National Park beaches to add to your itinerary.

Why we Love Camping at The Royal National Park

The Royal National Park is a beautiful natural wonderland with plenty of camping landscapes to choose, from beachside to riverside bushland. It’s a terrific destination for the seasoned family camping family and a great spot for birdwatching and whale watching during migration season.

7. Glenworth Valley

Where to go camping in Sydney
Camp or glamp under the stars in unspoilt surroundings in Glenworth Valley.

Glenworth Valley is a spectacular 3000-acre wilderness property with a beautiful natural setting for camping. Their camping offerings range from a 200-acre riverfront BYO camping ground to hiring one of their permanently erected tents, tipis or lotus bell tents.

Located only one hour from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the campsites are scattered along the riverbank in a number of large open fields, are kept in a natural state and are all unpowered. It may not have the offerings of a commercial caravan park, but they do offer hot showers, toilets, wood-fired BBQs and picnic tables.

Why we Love Camping in Sydney at Glenworth Valley

Glenworth Valley is a gorgeous bush camping destination in a pristine natural environment and is great for seasoned family campers. They also have plenty of organised activities like horse riding and kayaking, which is ideal for school-aged kids.

Location: 69 Cooks Road, Glenworth Valley

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