Looking for places to camp near Sydney? Well, you’re in the right place! All of the sites on this list are within three and a half hours drive of Sydney.

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while now as I wanted to visit each place on my list before I put it up here. But, that’s going to take me AGES and I keep seeing the same question posed over and over. Where are the best places to camp close to Sydney?

So I figured I’d get the list out there and you guys can work your way through it with me! Every spot on this list is within three and a half hours drive of the Sydney.

I have been adding places based on recommendations from friends mostly and also from reviews and articles I see online. As always, when I find somewhere great or hear about somewhere new I’ll add it so keep checking back as the list will grow 🙂

I’m inclined to want to get off the beaten track and go a bit more remote sometimes, I’d LOVE to hear of any places you know of that fit that description. I’ll try and make sure this list has a mixture of both caravan parks and free/offroad/remote camps so that there is hopefully something to suit everyone.

I’ll add reviews and photos of all the places we have visited at the end of the post (they are highlighted in green).

I’d also love to hear your feedback about any of these spots and hear about any that aren’t on the list that you think should be.

Also, feel free to leave your reviews (good or bad) in the comments below to help the next person out.

Remember, if you are on the hunt for places to camp near Sydney, or anywhere else, there are heaps of apps that can help you out. Check out handy apps for road tripping & camping for some options.

If it’s not camping you are after but you do want something within 3.5 hours drive of Sydney then check out farmstays within 3.5 hours of Sydney, there are some awesome options there.


Town Place/Site Distance from sydney
Belmont Belmont Pines Lakeside Holiday Park 1 hour 55 minutes
Bundeena Bonnie Vale Camp Ground 1 hour 13 minutes
Cattai National Park Cattai National Park 1 hour
Coledale Coledale Camping Reserve 1 hour 20 minutes
Currarong Beach Currarong Beach Holiday Park 2 hours 50 minutes
Fingal Fingal Bay Holiday Park 2 hours 50 minutes
Forster Lani’s at Forster 3 hours 30 minutes
Glenworth Valley Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures 1 hour
Hallidays Point Big 4 Happy Hallidays 3 hours 30 minutes
Hawkes Nest Reflections Holiday Parks Jimmy’s Beach 2 hours 45 minutes
Hornsby Crosslands Reserve 55 minutes
Kangaroo Valley Bendeela Recreation Area 2 hours 15 minutes
Kiama Surf Beach Holiday Park 2 hours
Kioloa Merry Beach Caravan Resort 3 hours 30 minutes
Ku-Ring-Gai Chase The Basin 55 minutes
Lane Cove Lane Cove River Tourist Park 20 minutes
Limeburners Creek Tattersalls campground 2 hours 35 minutes
Lithgow Lake Wallace Free Camp 2 hours 25 minutes
Megalong Valley Dunphys Camping Area 2 hours 25 minutes
Mungo Brush White Tree Bay Camp Ground 3 hours
Narabeen NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park 40 minutes
Nelson Bay Ingenia Holidays One Mile Beach 2 hours 40 minutes
Newnes Newnes Camp Ground 3 hours 10 minutes
Pacific Palms Pacific Palms Caravan Park 3 hours 25 minutes
Patonga Patonga Campground 1 hour 35 minutes
Seal Rocks Treachery Camp 3 hours 30 minutes
Seal Rocks Yagon Camp Ground 3 hours 30 minutes
Toowoon Bay Toowoon Bay Holiday Park 1 hour 30 minutes
Umina Ocean Beach Holiday Resort  1 hour 25 minutes
Upper Colo Upper Colo Reserve 1 hour 35 minutes
Wangi Wangi Wangi Point Lakeside Holiday Park 1 hour 50 minutes
Wisemans Ferry Del Rio Riverside Resort 1 hour 45 minutes
Wollondilly River Wollondilly River Station 2 hours 45 minutes
Wombeyan Caves Wombeyan Caves Camp Ground 2 hours 45 minutes


Coledale –

I think this has gotta be my favourite. It’s really close to home, under two hours so it’s easy to do it for a night or two. It’s also right on the beach so Geoff can surf while we go between camp and swimming without me having to cart stuff back and forth.

It’s clean, tidy and small. There aren’t any facilities for kids, the beach is it, but it’s the perfect kid friendly beach with little rock pools down the south end.

The toilets and showers are close to camp and there is a small store within walking distance. When it comes to places to camp near Sydney, at about an hours drive total, this is just about as close as you can get.



The Basin – 

This place is STUNNING and close to Sydney.

You can’t drive into the camp site so either have to walk in from the car park or ferry across from Palm Beach. It is recommended that you take the ferry or water taxi across if you have a lot of heavy gear or kids who will struggle with the walk.

There are wallabies, goannas and a number of other animals cruising around. A beautiful lagoon to swim in, plenty of shade and grassy areas to hang out.

You would be hard pressed to find somewhere more picturesque I reckon.



Merry Beach Caravan Resort – 

If you are a bit freaked out by kangaroos in close proximity of your camp then this place will totally freak you out! There are hundreds of them and they just cruise around the camp sites. Plenty of native birds too which are happy to come down and say hi to the kids.

It is right smack bang on the beach and there is a little fenced playground at one end which saved me when I was doing a solo set up and pack down recently.

The staff are lovely and helpful, the showers are cold but clean and the others campers were mostly return visitors who love the place and have been coming for years.

It’s a fair way out of town so you want to take all your supplies if you don’t want to be driving in for top ups.



NRMA Sydney Lakeside –

This is our go to when we want to go camping but don’t actually have the time, it’s literally twenty minutes from our house. Ridiculous I know.

Anyways, it’s your typical Big 4. Plenty for the kids to do including a water park, playground, river/lake and beach all within walking distance.

Narabeen Lake is the highlight for me as it’s perfect for little kids to play safely without you having to dart back and forth all day saving them from the surf, so it’s almost a bit relaxing.



Yagon Camp Ground –

This is another of my absolute faves. It’s right off the beaten track, no running water although there are drop toilets. It’s a short walk to the beach but a decent drive down a bumpy dirt road to get there which keeps the crowds at bay.

There are a lot of animals about, remember to stash your food from the goannas as they are pretty ballsy and don’t mind coming right into the camp on a hunt for dinner.

The kids were patting a kookaburra, not sure what was going on there, a little bit too much feeding by campers I guess but it made their day.



Toowoon Bay Holiday Park –

Another Big 4 with all the bells and whistles to keep the kids entertained.

This one is handy as it’s super close to Sydney (1.5 hours) and its goes next level with the kids entertainment.

There is a massive pool, a kids games room, an outdoor cinema when we were there (in school holidays) and also a huge jumping cushion. The beach is lovely and dog friendly, as is the park.



Ocean Beach holiday Resort Umina – 

This one is a winner straight up as it’s less than an hour and a half from Sydney. Again, your standard Big 4, the kinda place you avoid like the plague as a childless person and then flock to like seagulls once you have kids in tow. Plenty for the kids to do, there is a great playground super close and some cool markets within walking distance on the weekends.

There is also an arcade games room which is great for the older kids, a couple of huge jumping cushions and a great water park.



Newnes Campground

Newnes is out near the Blue Mountains and is a favourite for many.

There are some beautiful red rock cliffs around the entire campsite that look amazing at sunset. It is pretty remote so perfect if you like to get off the beaten track a bit. Speaking of track, be prepared for the 9km of corrugated dirt road to get in, it rattled my van around a fair bit.

Campfires are fine and there is a creek nearby. The main camping area is a large cleared space surrounded by the cliffs and scrub, with fire pits and picnic tables spread throughout.

There are toilets but you need to take your rubbish out with you. You are also about 20 minutes drive from the nearest phone reception.



Lake Wallace Free Camp

I didn’t stay here as I was heading out to stay at Newnes but Lake Wallace is right before you head into the road down to Newnes.

I wish I got more photos for you but I got totally distracted getting this shot of the old power station, sorry! I’m thinking you would either be heading through on your way somewhere or be semi local to head out to Lake Wallace. It’s a handy spot if you are wanting to see some of the sites around the area and the fact that it is free and has ammenities is a plus.

It’s on the water which is cool and there is a kids playground which is a big plus for some families. It also has mobile reception and is great if you want to paddle around the lake in a boat or go fishing.



White Tree Bay Campground

Ok, so another new favourite alert here!

This place is awesome. You have lake on one side, perfect for kiddos or paddle boarding or kayaking or whatever sort of flotation device you are into.

There’s beach on the other side of you with access for 4WD’s if you want to do that.

I think my favourite thing about Mungo Brush is that there are actually a whole bunch of camps along this stretch of road and other than one there is no need to book. We rocked up on a Saturday afternoon and chose between sites at four different campgrounds.

Then, if you want to head north and adventure further, you chuck the car on the ferry and head across the river to cruise up towards Seal Rocks. We will be back here a fair bit I reckon.



Bendeela Recreation Area

I love this place!

One of the great things about it is that the drive from Sydney is really beautiful, as soon as you get off the highway that it is. It just sets the mood and makes it a bit more special I reckon.

The campground is right on the river and is massive so even though it can get a bit busy there is plenty of room.

To be honest, I’m amazed that it’s free when there is such a lot of work going into the infrastructure. There are loos, bins, drinking water, gravel roads which are in great condition and huge amounts of grassed areas that are regularly slashed by the look of it.

The river is perfect for kids to swim as it gets deep really gradually so they can pick their depth. If you have canoes then definitely take them. It’s also perfect for the kids to ride their bikes so chuck them in too.

I just love the fact that is was so green and lush, it’s close to water and there are beautiful hills all around.

Oh, did I mention wombats? Heaps of wombats! They cruise around the campsite at dusk every day.



Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures – 

Close to Sydney (less than an hour and a half), beautiful, on a creek and there’s horses everywhere.

I mean really, what can I say, this place is amazing. I’m in love.

We stayed in winter so there was no-one around, we had the whole campsite to ourselves which was awesome. I’m sure it gets a bit busy in summer.

There’s a creek right by the site we set up that is perfect for young kids in summer. Deep enough to play and stay cool but still really safe.

The kids had a pony ride which they loved. The horses are in good condition and really chilled and well suited to their job. The staff were great.

Oh, and they have real coffee in a cafe up the hill if you decide you need one. Heaven.


Lily x


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