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BEST SPOTS FOR FREE CAMPING NSW (AUSTRALIA)

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Camping and van lovers? Looking for an incredible nomad experience in NSW? You have reached the definite information you need to live a nomad free camping life in NSW (Australia).

  • Is it legal free camping in NSW?
  • What beaches can you camp on in NSW?
  • Can you camp in a national park for free?

These and more questions will be answered in the following paragraphs. I will also let you know, along with the text, the different tips you need to know for free camping along the coast of NSW.

Before starting with the best spots for free camping in NSW,  you should be ready with this travel essential: This comfy sofa for lazy days  and mosquito killer (believe me, you’ll need it in Australia…)

Free-camping-NSW-Australia

Free camping in NSW, Australia

Let your dreams come true traveling and feeling the freedom of the camping life in the most amazing beaches and mountainous landscape of Australia. From the Blue Mountains to the light blue water of the ocean in NSW.

Best camping spots in NSW

Depending on the area, you will be able to enjoy different natural environments. Beach camping, national park camping, and mountain camping will be covered here to make it easier for you while traveling in NSW.

All you need to discover and enjoy camping in these places is a campervan or a vehicle with a tent and basic camping gear. If you are looking to buy your own car or campervan have a look here, if, otherwise you would like to rent, click here to find the vehicle that best suits your needs.

Free camping near Sydney

Blue Mountains

If you are looking for a heavenly mountainous place near Sydney, the Blue Mountains is your place to be. One of my favorites free camping sites is Murphys Glen campground, with a number of small pools and stunning lookouts. Check out the local water dragons that inhabit this area. Do not worry, they are really friendly!  Another incredible spot to free camp overnight is the Cathedral reserve in Mount Wilson. In this last one, you will be able to swim in waterfalls and get immerse in its bush nature. In both campgrounds, you will be able to access public toilets.

Blue-mountains-free-camping

Free camping NSW | Blue Mountains

Watagan Mountains

It is located between Sydney and Newcastle. I discovered this secret camping spot not long ago and it has become one of my favorites. With a lot of chances of watching Koalas, walking around this forest will give you the privilege of enjoying the silence and peace of nature. The free camping spot is located in Olney State Forest inside the Watagan forest. It counts with barbecue facilities and public toilets. Ready for a magic camping night?

Queen Elizabeth Beach

Magical place if you love camping on the beach. Who needs a traditional shower if you have the light blue transparent water of the ocean? This is the paradise on earth when it comes to camping spots. It’s white sand and stunning views of the seven-mile beach are amazing. For the most adventurous, you can follow a path through the forest at the southern end of the beach that takes you to a virgin nude beach.

This place is also perfect for beginner and advanced surfers as it is surrounded by incredible surfing spots like Boomerang Beach, Blueys Beach and Seal Rocks.

It is 3 hours driving distance from Sydney and is one of the most beautiful beaches in NSW without a doubt.  But not everything can be perfect since this spot does not count with public toilets but you can find them 2 minutes by car heading south at north Boomerang Beach.

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Free camping NSW | Elisabeth beach

Booti Booti National Park

Regarding national park camping, is it legal? Well, in this case, legally you need to pay a small fee (around 15 $ per vehicle) to the local rangers. The truth is that I’ve never seen a ranger in any national park I’ve been camping on.

Booti Booti National Park has been my home for almost one month. It is just 10 minutes north from Queen Elisabeth Beach.  This massive national park stretches along a road that on one side there is a seven-mile beach great for surfing and on the other side, there is a lake which is great for fishing and chilling. At the northern part of the seven-mile beach you will find a trail that leads to a small free camp area just beside an amazing beach spot where you can sleep hearing the sound of the waves and contemplating the glow of the stars. Enjoy the peace and beauty of this national park.

free-camping-Booti-booti-national-park

Free camping NSW | Booti Booti National Park

Free camping south coast NSW

Probably the least-known area of NSW but in my opinion, the best one. The following spots are ordered from closest to farthest from Sydney heading south.

Kangaroo Valley

On your way through the south coast of NSW, you will be able to discover diverse landscapes from mountains and bushlands to awesome beaches.

In this case, we will be able to discover in Kangaroo valley: Beendela camping. Natural bushland on the banks of Kangaroo River, an arm of Lake Yurrunga.  As the name indicates, your neighbors will be Mr and Ms’s wombats and kangaroos! Ready to do some Kayaking? Get all your water-equipment ready and come to enjoy the strength of the Kangaroo River. This camping is perfect for bird lovers as a lot of different species inhabit here. Also, it’s the perfect spot for long hiking in the bush discovering lots of different reptiles and small mammals.

Jervis Bay

Incredible spots with all the facilities needed for camping: public toilets, picnic areas, and BBQs. We are talking about Cave Beach and Wombat Flats Campground. If you like surfing as soon as you wake up, Cave Beach campground is your place. If otherwise, you prefer pure nature and animals, your place is Wombat Flats. Regarding the first one, be careful, as in summer, it gets really packed and they may start charging you.

Jervis Bay is considered one of the more incredible places in NSW as the contrast between bushland and beachy landscape is enormous. Located 2 hours south from Sydney, It is also a very well-know spot for youngsters and surfers. Ready to start meeting other nomads like you in this paradise?

Jervis-bay-Australia

Free Camping NSW | Jervis Bay

Northern Kosciuszko National Park

Located 430 kilometers south of Sydney. Blowering Dam Campground, open and grassy campground on the banks of Blowering Dam.

This is a great little spot to base for water skiing, kayaking, fishing, or simply swimming and enjoying the mountainous views. Sleeping for free in your van or tent in such an incredible and magical place? I would not miss it! Be well-prepared as it is a very remote campground and there are no markets of convenience stores near it.

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Free Camping NSW | Blowering Dam Campground

Northern NSW

Want to enjoy the warm weather and spend your day at the beach? Check out these awesome, and more importantly, free, campgrounds.

Tibbuc

The Gloryvale Reserve is located 300 km north from Sydney in the middle of a National Park and it is free of charge. The community has installed toilets and bins to make everything easier for campers and travelers. It has easy access from the main road and you will quickly feel the magic of the place. One of the best things about this place, aside from its beauty, is that you can enjoy kayaking and canoeing really close to the campground.

Byron Bay

Picnic in this amazing lookout? Been able to check the waves from bed? Sleeping in a paradisiac spot is not that expensive anymore! This place is called Hilltop Lookout campground, located 16 Km away from Byron Bay, you will be able to enjoy one of the most amazing views of Byron Bay and it’s countryside. It is not a very well known spot and it is very remote located in Coorabell Creek. To find its exact location click here.

free-campoground-byron-bay

Free Camping NSW | Byron Bay

Yamba

Yamba is a heavenly spot for surfers, 50 minutes south from Byron Bay. This is the place were surfers from the more packed beaches of Byron Bay come on the weekends to have the rest of the town and enjoy perfect waves. I could not miss mentioning this spot due to the importance it has for local people in the north of NSW. The free camping area in Yamba is located in Yamba east rest area. Do not miss it and check it out as soon as possible!

6 General tips for Nomads

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Free Camping NSW | Female Traveler

Before finishing…some advice I think you might need if you are planning to go free camping in NSW.

1. Free camping in NSW is legal in areas where there is no sign saying that you can’t camp overnight. A piece of advice, wake up early (6:30 am or earlier) and move to spend the day in different places in case there are neighbors close.

2. Respect locals: Some of the secret spots recommended are really appreciated by them. Travelers need to be very respectful to the local people so that we all are welcome.

3. Respect nature: Australia is well known for its beautiful nature. Let’s maintain everything super clean and be really strict keeping your waste in your own vehicle/motorhome.

4. Be careful with campfires: Camping and making a fire to cook dinner sounds like a great idea but we all should be really careful since the bushland that surrounds the beaches is usually very dry and ashes or ambers can easily spread with the wind. Please take this as a very important tip while camping.

5. Most of the free campgrounds have public toilets but no power sites or more important, showers. I have the solution to solve this! The solution to that problem is called Aquatic Center. These centers are located in a lot of secondary and primary cities in NSW. Swimming pool, gym, shower, yoga and Zumba sessions, plugs to charge your devices, BBQs… are some of the facilities these places can offer you. By paying a really cheap membership per fortnight or daily pass you will be able to use all of its facilities.

6. The free camping Australian app by excellence: Campermate. Here, you will be able to check the public toilets around, free camping sites and caravan holiday parks.

Thank you for your time and let’s keep on traveling!

I hope you now know clearly where to camp for free in NSW (Australia)!  Fell free to share with other travelers your favorite spots commenting below. In case you have any doubt about organizing your next journey, do not hesitate to contact me on the e-mail: gabriela@nomadicmindtravel.com

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who is gabi? 

Hey! I am Gabriela, a full-time traveler!  Originally from Spain, but I find home everywhere I travel too. I want to show you how to travel 100% safe with a backpacker budget making the most out of your journeys. Currently living in Australia and happy to share my travel experiences with you!

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