The Best Family Camping Spots around Sydney

  • Family

Camping with the family creates a perfect opportunity to bond and the best memories for the kids. School holidays or a spontaneous weekend away are great times to be spent in a tent and there are plenty of camping spots for families across NSW.

There’s something magical about a night under the stars, huddled around a campfire. The kids form a gang of new best friends and parents spend a few peaceful days away from technology.

Start your outback adventure with our list of the best family camping spots around Sydney all located within a two-hour drive.

1. Calmsley Hill City Farm

Calmsley Hill City Farm is one of The Best Family Camping Spots around Sydney
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 up close and personal animal encounters. The farm 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! Fun fact: We had our first ellaslist Family Campout experience at Calmsley Hill City Farm with 50 families.

2. Mogo Wildlife Park

Mogo Wildlife Park camping
Want to feed giraffes, enjoy an animal encounter and have breakfast with tigers? Camping at Mogo is for you! 

The perfect activity for families, Mogo's camping experience is all-inclusive—with tents, beds and meals included, as well as a group animal encounter on arrival. There is the opportunity for guests to deep dive into the history of the South Coast region and enjoy some live country music around a campfire after dinner, while the following morning involves having breakfast overlooking the park's Sumatran tigers, exploring the park and feeding a giraffe. What an experience! 

Why we love camping at Mogo Wildlife Park

This South Coast gem truly has so much to offer visitors, and we love being able to experience the park in a whole new way. The all-inclusive nature of the package makes it a dream for families—especially as zero equipment is required!

3. NRMA Parks and Resorts

NRMA Parks and Resorts
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 best parks closest to Sydney is NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort in Umina on the Central Coast, kitted out with jumping pillows, playgrounds, swimming parks with waterslides, go-karts and cafes. Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park on Narrabeen Beach also full of fun activities including a kids club, go-karts, kids’ water park and games room. If you are looking for a short trip away that ticks all the family-time boxes, find out Why NRMA Holiday Parks Are Perfect For Families.

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 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. 

4. Bouddi National Park

Bouddi National Park
Bouddi National Park is ideal for nature-packed beachside camping

You cannot go past Bouddi National Park if you’re looking for the perfect beach campsite for the family. With three intimate beach campsite 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!

5. Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island
Cockatoo Island has a unique waterfront campground in Sydney Harbour

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. You can totally escape the city with a 15-minute ferry ride to this fascinating island with extraordinary views, interesting views and great facilities. It is a fantastic way to spend the day with plenty of old buildings to explore, boats to watch, and family-friendly activities to keep the whole family 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 its close, easy and equipped - ideal if you want to get out of their comfort zone but still be close to some of the urban comforts like toilets and hot showers. The view across Sydney Harbour is incredible!

6. 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 place for family camping 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.

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. Its only 20 minutes from the city so if it all gets too much, you'll be home in no time!

7. Royal National Park

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

The Royal National Park is 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.

Established in 1879, it’s the world’s second-oldest national park featuring unique heritage attractions, along with fascinating plants, birds and animals. It’s a perfect camping spot for bushwalking, fishing, cycling and surfing activities, plus our all-time favourite Audley Boatshed for school-kid sized activities.

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.

8. Glenworth Valley

Glenworth Valley
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. 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 at Glenworth Valley

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

More Camping Tips

Our Top Tips for Camping with Kids
Ultimate Guide to Camping with the Family
Survive camping with under 5s
Tips for Camping in the Rain with Kids

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