Best secret camping spots in NSW

NSW has some amazing secluded camping grounds that have – so far – remained under the radar. Camp in World Heritage rainforests and by pristine beaches. Or uncover ancient Indigenous stories in Outback NSW. An unforgettable adventure beckons at these secret NSW campsites.   

Highlights

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Central Coast 

The Central Coast is a hop, skip and a jump away from Sydney, making it a great option for a weekend or overnight in the outdoors. Bouddi National Park is home to three campgrounds – Little Beach Campground, Putty Beach Campground and Tallow Beach Campground – all situated a short walk from the beach. The park itself has more than 100 Aboriginal sites, and makes an excellent vantage point for whale watching from April to November. White-sand beaches meet lush forest in scenic Munmorah State Conservation Area, home to the off-the-beaten-path Frazer Campground and Freemans Campground.

In the small village of Patonga and bordering Brisbane Water National Park, Patonga Camping Area is set on a small peninsula between Patonga Creek and Patonga Beach, which makes it a perfect spot for swimming, fishing, boating, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.

Frazer Campground, Munmorah State Conservation Area

Frazer Campground, Munmorah State Conservation Area - Credit: John Spencer/DPE

Wake up to the roar of the ocean at Blue Lagoon Beach Resort, a family holiday park that has powered sites for caravans and tents. The resort, in a quiet, private location in Bateau Bay, opens onto sheltered beaches and offers stunning views. Budgewoi Holiday Park is another lovely spot to bunk down for the night. Located on the banks of tranquil Lake Munmorah near Norah Head, the holiday park features self-contained cabins in leafy surrounds and is only a short drive from Norah Head Lighthouse, a popular vantage point for whale-watching

Glenworth Valley near Gosford is best known as a haven for horse riders, but it’s also home to some excellent bush camping. Glenworth Valley Oudoor Adventures operates multiple campsites on 80 hectares along Popran Creek, featuring wood-fired barbecues, hot showers and plenty of peace and quiet. You can also ‘glamp’ here, or hire a tent or teepee, and go horse riding, quad-biking, abseiling and kayaking. 

Camping with the family, Glenworth Valley

Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures Camping, Glenworth Valley - Credit Koorosh Lohrasbi

Country NSW

There are a wealth of secluded camping spots in Country NSW. Enjoy stargazing in Warrumbungle National Par near Coonabarabran and spend the night at Burbie Camp. This secret campsite is accessed on foot along the Burbie Canyon track and Burbie trail. 

In the picturesque high country near Armidale, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park is famous for its cascading waterfalls, striking gorges and ancient Gondwana rainforest. Sleep at Dangars Gorge campground and visit the nearby scenic waterfall lookout, where after heavy rain, you can watch water cascading over a 120-metre drop, shrouding everything in mist and creating beautiful rainbows. 

The night sky filled with bright stars over the Dark Sky Park, Warrumbungle National Park

The night sky filled with bright stars over the Dark Sky Park, Warrumbungle National Park 

Don’t let the name put you off – Dunns Swamp near Mudgee is actually one of the best river camping sites in NSW. Boasting outstanding plant and animal biodiversity, it’s home to over 100 native bird species and the perfect spot for canoeing, kayaking and swimming. 

Sunrise view at Dunns Swamp, Mudgee

Dunns Swamp, Wollemi National Park - Credit: Dunns Swamp

In the Orange area, Junction Reefs Reserve Campground is a secluded camping spot that combines serene riverside scenery with curious history. Explore a heritage-listed former mining dam and walks along the Belubula River, where you can find a hidden waterfall.   

Hillside Farmstay near Tamworth offers camping spots throughout the year, where you can take in views of beautiful green paddocks with grazing mares and foals. This secret camping site is also dog-friendly and features plenty of horse riding and walking trails, and even a dog run. 

View of dam wall at Junction Reefs Reserve Campground, Burnt Yards

 Junction Reefs Reserve Campground, Burnt Yards - Credit: Melise Davis

South Coast 

Jervis Bay is one of the South Coast's most popular beach destination, thanks to its bright white sands, incredible wildlife encounters and beautiful national park. You can get away from the crowds – while still enjoying the area's natural beauty – at Honeymoon Bay., a sheltered cove perfect for snorkelling and swimming. This one is for the more experienced campers, and you will need to bring your own drinking water and gas cooking equipment (as fires are banned in this region).

In the Bateman’s Bay area, Beachcomber Holiday Park has eco-cabins on the beach in Eurobodalla National Park. Appreciate the wilderness with aquatic activities and bushwalks such as the Bingi Dreaming Track, which traces the ancient songlines of the Yuin Aboriginal people. You’ll find a tranquil escape at Lakesea Park further north, too. 

Between the lake and the sea at Lakesea Park, South Durras

Lakesea Park, South Durras - Credit: Lakesea Park

You’ll love Mystery Bay campground near Tilba for two reasons. First, it’s pet-friendly. And second, it’s just moments from the lovely beaches and headlands of this tiny coastal hamlet. The town has plenty on offer – snorkelling, a good surf break at 1080 Beach, and beautiful views of Montague Island – as does nearby Tilba. 

In the far south of NSW, Mimosa Rocks National Park near Bega is dotted with lagoons, pockets of lush rainforest and rocks with castle-shaped features. You can set up camp at Picnic Point campground or Aragunnu campground, which are surrounded by untouched wilderness and just moments from secluded beaches and coastal walks. 

Aerial overlooking Boat Harbour Point and Mystery Bay with views across through to Mount Dromedary, Mystery Bay

 Mystery Bay, Tilba

North Coast 

Heading north, Koala Shores Port Stephens Holiday Park is located on the waterfront of Lemon Tree Passage in Port Stephens, near a nature reserve for koalas. Further north on the Macleay Valley Coast is Stuarts Point Holiday Park, a riverside camping hideaway with great fishing. Alternatively, set up camp behind the towering dunes of Tomaree National Park at Samurai Beach campground, only accessible by 4WD.

There’s so much to explore in Tapin Tops National Park near Taree – subtropical rainforest, old-growth eucalypt trees, waterfalls and swimming holes. Dingo Tops campground is the perfect base to do all that, and this remote site is frequented by plenty of local wildlife, including wallabies, red-legged pademelons, greater gliders (at night) and koalas. 

Broughton Island campground near Hawk’s Nest is truly secluded given its location off the mainland. There are only five campsites on the island, and it’s a great spot for fishing, swimming and snorkelling. In the Coffs Harbour area, Platypus Flat campground is a hidden gem set amongst the tall trees and rugged granite gorges of Nymboi-Binderay National Park

Situated between Yamba and Coffs Harbour, Yuraygir National Park offers secluded beachside campsites along its 65 kilometres of coastline. If you’re looking for 4WD beach camping in NSW, it’s hard to go past Pebbly Beach campground. You’ll need a high-clearance 4WD to get there, and once settled in, you can explore the oak-lined beach, try your hand at fishing and, from May to October, enjoy a little whale-spotting. 

Blue Mountains 

Acacia Flat campground is truly one of the best, most secluded campgrounds in NSW, located deep in the Blue Gum Forest of the Blue Mountains. As such, you’ll need to take on a three-hour, often steep trek to get there, but on the way, you’ll take in the stunning views and fresh air of Grose Valley. Or get back to nature at Newnes campground, which is surrounded by sandstone cliffs and eucalypt trees, on a pretty flat alongside the Wolgan River.

A 4WD is required to get to Murphys Glen campground, where you can pitch a tent among the towering blue gums and turpentines. Another of NSW’s popular 4WD camping sites is The Diggings campground. Nestled on the banks of the Turon River, it’s perfect for trout fishing, canoeing and spotting native wildlife.  

View of Newnes Campground, Wollemi National Park

View of Newnes Campground, Wollemi National Park - Credit: Elinor Sheargold, DPE

In the Lithgow area, Coorongooba campground is set on the crystal-clear Capertee River and surrounded by World Heritage-listed Wollemi National Park. Not far away, stay at Capertee campground and explore the Aboriginal and European heritage, native wildlife and birdwatching opportunities of majestic Capertee National Park.  

Or if you’re yearning for a more luxurious experience, glamp at nearby Bubbletent Australia where you can stay in a clear inflatable dome overlooking Capertee Valley, which comes with a telescope to gaze up at the stars.  

Bubbletent Australia luxury glamping accommodation under the night sky in the Capertee Valley

Bubbletent Australia, Capertee Valley

Outback NSW 

In the Murray region, head to Mungo National Park where you can explore the incredible Walls of China, spot emus and discover fascinating Indigenous history. Situated on the banks of Lake Mungo, Main campground provides the perfect base to explore this remote part of NSW. 

Located some three hours’ drive from Broken Hill, the timeless red landscapes of Mutawintji National Park are a marvel of the Australian desert. Stay at Homestead Creek campground and explore the ancient treasures of the Mutawintji Historic Site, which boasts one of the best collections of Aboriginal art in NSW. Or you can experience life at a working sheep station at Nelia Gaari Station, where activities include fishing, bushwalking and a nine-hole bush golf course. 

A scenic sand formation (lunette) in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mungo National Park, Mungo

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mungo National Park, Mungo

Please note: bookings are now required for all campgrounds and camping sites 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.