Ah, the great outdoors...
There is a sense of relief and tranquility that envelopes you when you immerse yourself in nature; that's precisely why camping is so popular. For travelers and wanderers alike, nothing beats a nice camp-out after a long day of arduous outdoor activities.
In Australia, beach camping has never been more popular - especially in NSW. Camping sites, caravan parks and cabins are brimming with people. Let's face it, we are home to some of the best beaches in the world. With over 47 thousand kilometres of fine sand, tourists and locals alike take advantage of what nature has so kindly provided.
Caravan & Camping Industry Association NSW Chief Executive Officer Lyndel Gray is not surprisingly a big fan of the benefits beachside camping has on the soul.
"NSW has a vibrant and innovative caravan and camping industry. Spending time outdoors, being active and connecting with nature has enormous benefits and there is no better way to achieve this than a caravan or camping holiday in NSW", she said.
Beachside camping is a much-loved activity and New South Wales definitely offers one of the most diverse caravan and camping experiences in Australia. Surrounded by beautiful beaches, summertime camping along our shoreline is for some, an annual pilgrimage and others a part of a bucket list.
What are the rules of Beach Camping?
If you're about to embark on the ultimate camping trip on NSW beaches, near Sydney or Northern NSW, tourists and campers should be aware of the following rules:
- Permits are required. Since most of NSW's best campsites and caravan parks are nestled within national parks, it is mandatory for campers to have a permit. Visit national parks for more information.
- Check any restrictions before arrival at the destination. As a camper you should be aware of the particular rules and regulations beforehand. Not only as a courtesy to others but ultimately for your convenience.
- Campervans & Camper Trailers cannot be parked in random areas overnight. It's State policy, and you run the risk of copping a fine if you park your vehicle just anywhere. Do your research before you reach your destination.
- Some beaches don’t allow campfires. What is camping without a campfire you may ask? Well, there are some beaches in our National Parks that don't allow bonfires or campfires for obvious safety reasons. So again, do your research. This is usually regulated via signs or notices on the NSW National Parks website.
Best beach camping near Sydney
Price: Standard campsite $13 pp/pn (off peak), $25 pp/pn (peak). Add $13 per car (48-hour limit) for entry into the National Park.
This particular camping ground specifically targets families and small groups. Just a 3-hour drive south of Sydney, you can enjoy a choice of drive-in or walk-in camping sites. There's literally no denying that this is the best beach camping site nearest to Sydney, with its white powdery sand and pristine waters, it provides amenities such as: Freshwater, public toiletS, hot showers, and sheltered barbeques. It is in fact, one of the best beaches in NSW.
Best beach camping Northern NSW
2. Suffolk Park
Price: Tent site from $39 per night, Safari tents from $84 per night (sleeps 4), cabins from $134 per night (sleeps 2). Bookings required.
Just a 5-minute drive into Byron Bay, Suffolk Beachfront Holiday park is the perfect place to camp near the bay without any hassle. Plus, the campground offers safari tents, cabins, space for trailers and caravans. Their park is pet-friendly and is also a wonderful location during winter. Suffolk Park holds its own as one of the best northern beaches NSW has to offer.
Best free beach camping NSW
Price: 25 spots with no booking fee because... well, free!
There isn't really an abundant number of 'Free' Camping spots in NSW. But, to anyone who's up for free lodging and camping sights, Meroo Head, south of Ulladulla is one to visit. Remember to pack lightly though as you'll have to bring your food and water from the carpark to the campground. Once you've settled in your favourite spot, it just takes another 150m walk to the beach itself. It's a perfect spot for surfing, snorkelling and whale watching from May to November. This rustic camping ground has no showers or powersites, which makes the experience all the more rugged and wild, if that's your thing.
Best beach cabins in NSW
Price: 1-bedroom cabins from $150 per night, 2-bedrooms from $160 per night, 3-bedrooms from $210 per night. Bookings required. If glamping is more your style, there's a place called Kiama Harbour that offers luxurious cabins that are located right on Blowhole Point. They offer one to three bedroom cabins with ocean views... perfect to chill out and relax in or alternatively you can visit the lighthouse or Jamberoo Action Park which is just a short drive away! Each cabin comes with a fully equipped kitchen, washing machine, wifi and a spa bath.
Are you allowed to camp anywhere?
The short answer is no. Without wanting to limit your camping experience, it's always best to do your research before you trek off. It actually will make your holiday more relaxing and less stressful knowing what you're in for. There are plenty of stunning spots around the NSW coast where you don't need to book as long as you camp in a designated spot. Camping on the beach can be the ultimate way to relax... away from the stresses of everyday life... pretty scenery, falling asleep under a starry sky while listening to waves crash the shore.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your tent or camper trailer and hit the best beach camping NSW has to offer!