Bush and Remote Camping
Bookings are now required for all campgrounds and campsites in NSW national parks, including those without camping fees. This is to manage numbers in each location to support social distancing. Make an online booking or check the NPWS COVID-19 update page for more information.
Sometimes you just want to get away from it all. If you know where to look, you can find remote campsites across NSW tucked into bushland or set beside secluded rivers. These aren’t designed for first timers – you’ll need to bring all your own supplies and probably a 4WD – but the absolute seclusion is worth the effort.
Bush campsites close to Sydney
You don’t necessarily have to travel very far to get off the grid. In the Royal National Park, Uloola Falls Campground is beside a small waterfall and surrounded by lush bushland. It’s only accessible on foot or mountain bike and you’ll need to bring all your own supplies, but there are toilets on site.
Heathcote National Park is just south of Sydney but a world away from the city. Pitch a tent at Kingfisher Pool Campground, perched 50m above the tranquil Kingfisher Pool; waterside Lake Eckersley Campground, with space for just six tents; or and the pretty Mirang Pool Campground. You have to walk in to all three and bring food, water and fuel.
Marramarra National Park in the Hawkesbury is also the perfect bush escape. You’ll need to hike a 10km trail or paddle in by kayak to reach Gentlemans Halt Campground, but once you’re there your only companions will be wedge tailed eagles. Or take a boat to reach Twin Beaches, where you can camp by the river and explore the colonial ruins on Bar Island.
There’s something extra soothing about setting up camp beside the water. Many campsites sit right along the edge of the Murray River, like Benarca Campground near Moama, Quicks Beach Campground near Barooga and the remote 4WD-only Woperana Campground, which has room for just a few tents or trailers.
On the South Coast, Blue Gum Flat Campground is by the Clyde River in the Morton National Park near Ulladulla. Look out for shy wombats. Nearby in the Budawang National Park, the isolated Long Gully Campground beside Yadboro River is a spot for experienced campers to escape. Campers with dogs in tow can stay in the Yadboro Flat campground.
Close to Mudgee, you can camp amongst the trees that line the riverbank at Big River Campground in the Goulburn River National Park. Or explore the tranquil waters of Dunns Swamp in the Wollemi National Park from the Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp campground. Both sites have BBQ facilities, picnic tables and toilets.
Can’t decide between beach or river? Then head for Yuragir National Park in the Clarence Valley. At Sandon River Campground you’ll have the river on one side and the ocean on the other. Nearby Station Creek Campground sits on a calm estuary that’s the perfect swimming spot for families.
Remote campsites in NSW
If you’d like to get even further away from civilisation, Outback camping might be for you. In the Sturt National Park, on the very edge of NSW, you can pitch a tent or set up a camper at Olive Downs, Fort Grey or Dead Horse Gully. Meet the emus and soak up the sunsets at Emu Lake Campground in Kinchenga National Park.
Escape into the ancient rainforest of Tapin Tops National Park near Taree and camp at Dingo Tops, a perfect base for exploring creeks and waterfalls. Or if you don’t mind the cold, set up a tent in the snow in the Snowy Mountains for the ultimate off-the-grid adventure. Just be sure to speak to the experts first.