Free camping in NSW

NSW is home to countess free camping spots where you can immerse yourself in breathtaking nature. Whether you prefer the serene embrace of the ocean or the enchanting allure of lush forests, these idyllic free camping grounds provide the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable getaway in NSW. 



Blue Mountains

Spend the night at Ingar Campground on Kings Tableland. This is a popular camping spot on the Wentworth Falls to Woodford trail and you can enjoy a post-hike swim at the nearby dam on Ingar Creek.

Surrounded by sandstone cliffs, eucalypt trees and positioned alongside the Wolgan River, Newnes Campground is a beautiful free camping spot. It’s a great base for exploring Newnes Shale Oil Ruins and the nearby Glow Worm Tunnel.

Couple enjoying a walk along the Wentworth Falls Track in the Blue Mountains National Park.

Wentworth Falls Track, Blue Mountains National Park

If you’re up for a bush hiking adventure, Acacia Flat campground located deep in the Blue Mountains will require a three-hour trek to get to, but it’s well worth it. Start at Perry’s Lookdown and take in stunning views of the timeless Blue Gum Forest of Grose Valley. From there, brave a steep, adventurous 3.3-kilometre trek through unspoiled wilderness down to the campground. 

If you’re looking for more accessible free camping, pitch a tent at Old Ford Reserve in the majestic Megalong Valley and take in incredible natural and historic sights while hiking the nearby Six Foot Track Walk. Or fall asleep under blue gums and towering turpentines at Murphys Glen campground – just a 20-minute drive from the quaint village of Lawson.  

Man overlooking the Old Ford Reserve, Glenbrook

Old Ford Reserve, Glenbrook - Credit: Old Ford Reserve

South Coast

There are plenty of free camping spots on the South Coast of NSW. In Kangaroo Valley, the Bendeela Camping Area is surrounded by verdant bushland and offers swimming, fishing and canoeing on the nearby Kangaroo River. 

Located on a grassy flat beside Yadboro River, Long Gully Campground is a spectacular free camping spot to get away from it all. The remote campsite is a great base for bushwalking in the Budawang backcountry. Facilities are minimal so bring everything you need with you. 

View of campsite tents at Bendeela Camping and Picnic Area, Kangaroo Valley

Bendeela Camping and Picnic Area, Kangaroo Valley - Credit: Bendeela Camping and Picnic Area

Looking to pitch a tent by the beach? Sunburnt Beach campground offers free camping with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Or head to the remote North Head campground where you’ll feel a million miles away from the world yet only a short drive from Bateman’s Bay.    

Stay at Bendethera Valley Campground near Moruya, where the Deua River flows through the valley. You can swim in the river, spot birds, wombats and wallabies and explore Bendethera Cave and hike the Bendethera Cave track

On NSW’s far southern coastline, Bittangabee campground near Eden offers a free camping spot ideal for sighting seals, dolphins and whales. It’s also perfect for swimming, fishing and snorkelling. So too is the nearby Saltwater Creek campground, where it’s only a short trek to the beach or one of the many trails in Beowa National Park

Scenic coastal aerial overlooking Bittangabee Bay in Ben Boyd National Park, Green Cape.

Beowa National Park, Green Cape

Country NSW

Camp in Australia’s first dark sky park in Warrumbungle National Park and marvel at the Milky Way as you fall asleep. There are a number of free campgrounds in the park including Burbie Camp located between iconic Mount Exmouth and Belougery Split Rock and Gunneemooroo campground, set in the shadows of Mount Naman. 

Fall asleep amidst towering eucalypts at the spacious Cox Creek campground, two hours' drive north of Mudgee. This free camping spot is great for sighting native birdlife, including sulphur-crested cockatoos, red wattle birds, kookaburras, crimson rosellas and blue wrens.  

Dark Sky Park, Warrumbungle National Park

Camping, Dark Sky Park, Warrumbungle National Park

In the beautiful Snowy Mountains, you can camp at Cooinbil Hut Campground, high on the country plains of Kosciuszko National Park. Or sleep at Geehi Flats Campground by the banks of the Swampy Plain River, with the soaring high alpine peaks as a backdrop. 

Set against the glistening blue waters of Blowering Dam, Humes Crossing campground is great for large groups and families, offering plenty of space to play ball games. Go walking on nearby trails like Blowering Cliffs walking track, or drive up to the magnificent limestone caves and walks at Yarrangobilly Caves

Yarrangobilly Caves - Kosciuszko National Park - Snowy Mountains

Yarrangobilly Caves in Kosciuszko National Park, Snowy Mountains

North Coast

Sleep next to the ocean or surrounded by luscious bushland at free camping sites on the North Coast of NSW. Discover ancient Gondwana rainforests and eucalypt forests when you stay at Brushy Mountain Campground in Werrikimbe National Park. Look out for the rare spotted-tailed quoll among the tall ribbon gum and blackbutt trees. 

Further north on the banks of the Nymboida River is the Nymboida River Campground. Bring your canoe for a paddle along the river or swim in the warmer months. A 4WD is required to access this remote and tranquil camping spot.  

In the Lake Macquarie area, take in breathtaking views of the Watagan Mountains and sleep among the towering pine trees of Olney State Forest, where you can camp for free. Taking the nearby Pines Walking Trail, you can journey through lush rainforests and eventually arrive at a serene rockpool. Essential amenities such as toilets, fireplaces and picnic tables are provided for your convenience. 

Aerial overlooking Pines Campground in Olney State Forest, Watagan Mountains

Pines Campground in Olney State Forest, Lake Macquarie

Further south in the tiny fishing village of Iluka, relax at empty beaches and explore World Heritage-listed rainforest while staying at Woody Head campground. Book a cabin, park your caravan or enjoy camping near water. 

The Forster and Taree area is home to an enchanting blend of untamed natural beauty, serene lakes and breathtaking shores. Enjoy free camping by the beach at Diamond Head campground, where you can explore hiking tracks in the beautiful Crowdy Bay National Park.  

For a unique free camping experience away from the mainland, venture to Hawks Nest and set up camp at Broughton Island campground. This secluded spot offers camping right on the beach and plenty of opportunities for swimming, fishing, snorkelling and scuba diving. 

Aerial view of Myall Lakes National Park overlooking Broughton Island campground, Myall Lakes

Broughton Island campground, Myall Lakes - Credit: John Spencer/DPE

Sydney & surrounds 

Sydney boasts an abundance of free camping spots just a short drive from the sights of the city. Stay at Bonnie Vale campground in Sydney South and enjoy fishing, kayaking and hiking through majestic Royal National Park. Further south lies North Era campground, where you can enjoy a picnic on nearby Garie beach or embark on several bushwalks, including the 26km Bundeena to Otford Coast track.  

Ninety minutes’ drive north-west of Sydney in the Hawkesbury region is Colo Meroo campground, set on the banks of the serene Colo River in Wollemi National Park. Spend your days swimming and spotting platypuses, and your nights falling asleep under millions of stars. You’ll need to conquer a 2.5-kilometre trek to get to this one, and make sure to bring your own food and water. 

Please note: bookings are now required for all campgrounds and campsites in NSW national parks, including those without camping fees. All free campgrounds now have a non-refundable $6 booking fee. Make an online booking for more information. 

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