Regional Travel,  Road Trips,  Sydney

The Very Best Free Camping in NSW, Australia

Many of us are on a budget but still love to have adventures and live life to the fullest.  The good news is if we are keen travellers, there are many options to stick to a budget and keep the costs down.

Road Trips are increasingly popular in Australia, especially with international travel restrictions in place in 2021.

Even better, there are plenty of free camping spots throughout Australia. 

In this post I am focusing on Free Camping in New South Wales. 

NSW current travel rules let you travel in and out of the city. The climate is that bit warmer than Victoria, and not as intense as QLD, which is an even better reason to explore the Free Camping Spots in NSW, and head on your road trip.

Take this list as a starting guide only and ensure to research these camp spots before your trip, for closures and COVID related details.

Save for later! ❤

Below I have broken down the Best Free Camping in NSW options by area, for easier navigation.


Best free camping in Sydney


Marramarra Creek Campground

The Marramarra Creek campground is off Berrowra Creek, and is only accessible by foot or by water.

This secret free camping near Sydney spot is the perfect place to fish, canoe on the creek, or relax at this spot near Horsby, on the northern outskirts of Sydney.


Blackbird Flat Reserve Campsite

Another option for free camping near Sydney, is the Blackbird Flat Reserve camping ground, a large, grass filled area next to the Macleay River.

The campground is pet-friendly, but please ensure to confirm with the campground beforehand.

Its recommended bringing your own water for drinking, even though some tank water is available. Amenities include a pit toilet, shelter shed, and a covered wood barbecue.

Pet Friendly

Macleay River, NSW, Free Camping in NSW
Macleay River, NSW

Swans Crossing, Kerewong State Forest

Swans Crossing Campground is a popular, free camping near Sydney spot, with sheltered camping sites and simple toilet facilities. The area is quite well shaded, is pet friendly, and is also easily accessible by car.

Pet friendly

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Best free camping in regional NSW


Gunneemooroo Campground

There are heaps of free campgrounds in Warrumbungle National Park, such as the the Gunneemooroo campground, underneath Mount Naman.

There are toilet facilities, but you will need to bring along water for cooking and drinking.

Also note while camping is free here, there is a $6 booking fee and a possible National Park entry fee.




Best free camping South Coast NSW


Long Gully Campground

Long Gully Campground is located on a grassy flat next to the Yadboro River.

The secluded campsite is the perfect spot to set up before bushwalking in the Budawang backcountry. With not many facilities, you will need to bring all you need with you.


Bendethera Valley Campground

Bendethera Valley Campground, is in In Moruya, where the Deua River runs through the valley. Nearby activities include swimming in the river, wildlife spotting, and exploring the nearby Bendethera Cave and cave track. 



Best free camping Northern NSW


Ingar Campground 

Ingar Campground on Kings Tableland is a popular free camping spot which is surrounded by trees and sandstone cliffs, situated beside the Wolgan River.

As its on the Wentworth Falls to Woodford trail and you could hike or swim at the Ingar Creek.

Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains, NSW, Free Camping in NSW
Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains, NSW

Newnes Campground 

Newnes Campground is a lovely free camping spot, and the ideal place for exploring the Glow Worm Tunnel and the Newnes Shale Oil Ruins.



Best free camping near Coffs Harbour

There are many options for the best free camping near Coffs Harbour. Here are some of the best free camping spots.

Riverside Reserves Campground

Cangai Bridge is located at Hanging Rock Rd, Cangai, New South Wales, 153.8 km drive from Coffs Harbour.

Pets, camper trailers, caravans are allowed. Fishing and swimming options are nearby, at this top reviewed free campground.

Pet friendly

Lilydale Campground- Winegrove

Lilydale Campground- Winegrove Campground is an ideal option for a free stopover by the river.

Pets and fires are allowed, there are nearby swimming and fishing options, and the area has good phone reception.


Best free camping near Byron Bay

It seems like the ultimate holiday dream. Visit Byron Bay and stay for free. 

To be clear, in the middle of Byron Bay there are fines for camping in your car anywhere, aside from the paid caravan parks.

But a short drive from the centre of town there are many free camping options available.

Here they are below:

Bundjalung Rest Area

Bundjalung Rest Area is located on the Pacific Hwy, Jacky Bulbin Flat, New South Wales.

This camping spot has accessible toilets, allows pets, and is perfect for travellers who have all their equipment and food/water/fuel and need a basic place to stay, as this free camp provides limited amenities.

Pet friendly


Boonah Bicentennial Park

Boonah Bicentennial Park is located in Boonah, Queensland. This campground is free for one night.  Pets are allowed and there are accessible toilets, BBQs and drinking water.

Pet friendly

Sleepy Hollow Rest Area


There are two rest areas here at Sleepy Hollow NSW, one north and one south.  Toilets available and pets are allowed. Ensure to bring your own water.

 Pet Friendly

Free Camping in NSW

 

Lord William Rest Stop

Lord William Rest Stop is located at Summerland Way, Wiangaree, New South Wales. This campground has no toilets or drinking water. Pets are allowed.

Pet Friendly


Woodburn South Rest Area

The Woodburn South Rest Area is located at 8945 Pacific Hwy, Trustums Hill, New South Wales. Toilets available and pets are allowed.

Pet Friendly

 

New Italy Rest Area

New Italy Rest Area is located at 8275 Pacific Highway south of Woodburn Northern Rivers District of NSW, Australia.

This free, unique campground is near a small café and museum detailing the Italian History of the area.


Best free camping North Coast


Brushy Mountain Campground

Brushy Mountain Campground is located within the Gondwana rainforests and eucalypt forests in the Werrikimbe National Park.

Gondwana rainforests, NSW, Free Camping in NSW
Gondwana rainforests, NSW


Nymboida River

Nymboida River Campground is further north on the Nymboida river. Activities include swimming or canoeing in the river. You will need a 4WD to access this secret camping spot. 


Best free camping in Wollongong

Here below is a list of free camping near Wollongong.


Bunnigalore Camp Site

Bunnigalore Camp Site is located at Bunnigalore Rd, Belanglo, New South Wales.

This campground allows pets and camper trailers, is within the state forest and has good phone reception.

Pet Friendly


Soapy Flat Bush Camp

Soapy Flat Bush Camp is located at 136 Soapy Flat Road, High Range, New South Wales. This camp spot is 2 hours from Sydney, accepts caravans and has phone reception.

 

Rocky Bridge

Rocky Bridge is located at Belanglo Firebreak Road, Belanglo, New South Wales. Allows pets and camper trailers, is within the state forest and has good phone reception.

Pet Friendly



Dalys Clearing Campground

Dalys Clearing Campground is located at Dalys Rd, Belanglo New South Wales.

Amenities include toilets, separate sites, non drinking water and fires are permitted.

Pet Friendly


Brethren Point Camping Area

Brethren Point Camping Area is located at Brethren Fire Track, Belanglo, New South Wales.

This free campground allows pets and camper trailers, is within the state forest, and has good phone reception.

Pet Friendly


Toorooroo Campground

Toorooroo Campground is located at Yalwal Rd, Buangla, New South Wales

This campground allows fires, has 4WD trails and is close to national parks.


Little Rach’s Clearing

Little Rach’s Clearing is located at Penrose Forest Way, Penrose, New South Wales.

This campground allows pets and fires, is within the state forest and has good phone reception.

Pet friendly


Cave Beach Campground

Cave Beach Campground is located at Caves Beach Rd, Jervis Bay New South Wales.

Amenities include toilets, showers, garbage bins, fishing, hiking trails, and swimming.

Jervis Bay, NSW, Free Camping in NSW
Jervis Bay, NSW


Wanderest Travellers Park

Wanderest Travellers Park is located at 71 Francis St, Richmond New South Wales.

Pets are allowed at this campground which is 2 hours from Sydney. The park also includes toilets, drinking water, powered sites, wifi and good phone reception.

Pet friendly


Best free camping near Batemans Bay

Little Island Camp Area

Little Island Camp Area is located at Little Island Trail, Batemans Bay, New South Wales. An ideal camping spot for fishing.

Batemans Bay, NSW, Free Camping in NSW
Batemans Bay, NSW

Currowan Creek Camp Area

Currowan Creek Camp Area is located in the Currowan State Forest, New South Wales.

Pets and camper trailers are allowed.

Pet friendly


Red Gum Campground

Red Gum Campground is located in Batemans Bay, New South Wales.

Amenities here include toilets and BBQ areas and the campground allows fires. Ideal spot for fishing, swimming, and 4WD trails.


Beach Campground, Clyde River

Beach Campground is located at Beach Camp Rd, Batemans Bay, New South Wales.

Amenities here include toilets, non drinking water, and BBQ areas. The campground allows fires and is close to hiking trails, fishing, and swimming spots.



Sunburnt Beach Campground

Sunburnt Beach Campground is located at Stokes Walking Track, Termeil, New South Wales.

Amenities include toilets, phone reception, allows fires, and swimming and fishing nearby.


Termeil Point Campground

Termeil Point Campground is located at Termeil Point Rd, Termeil, New South Wales.

Includes toilets, phone reception, fishing, swimming and hiking in National Parks.


Meroo Head Campground

Meroo Head Campground is located at Meroo Lookout Walking Track, Termeil, New South Wales.

Amenities include good phone reception, allows fires, toilets, hiking trails, and swimming access.


Free camping NSW map

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Conclusion

As you see from this post, there are heaps of free camping spots in New South Wales.  With some investigating and preparation, any road tripper will be able to keep costs down by staying a night or two in these free camp spots. 

Whether you decide to balance these free options out with other paid camping spots, or if you create a road trip by travelling to only these free camping spots, you will save a lot of money for other activities!

As long as you prepare for each camping destination by taking water when needed and being aware of shower or toilet facilities you are guaranteed to save precious funds if needed.

Ensure to continue to research using the websites provided to stay up to date with which campgrounds are open, and of course travel restrictions and details due to COVID.

Australia has some incredible, natural landscapes, wildlife and cultures, and one of the best ways to experience these fully is by camping in the natural environment and living amongst the natural environment.

Have you stopped in any of these free camping spots in NSW, listed above? If the answer is yes, I’d love to hear in your comments below!

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