With the cooler nights that come with autumn, the four day Easter long weekend break is the perfect opportunity to go and spend some time in the outdoors with your family. Here are five campsite locations that are close enough to Sydney that you won’t spend half your time in the car getting there, but far enough away to give you a good break.
Deua National Park
At just over 4 hours south of Sydney, Deau National Park is a bit of a drive, but well worth the trip. There are three main campsites from which you can choose and all campsites work on a first come, first served basis, so there is no prior booking:
- Bendethera Valley Campground: free, no marked sites, camping beside vehicle, toilet/BBQ and picnic facilities, no drinking water, unpowered
- Berlang Campground: 10 sites, amenities block/picnic/BBQ/toilets, park a short walk to tent, no drinking water, unpowered, $6A, $3.50C
- Deua River Campgrounds (Dry Creek, Bakers Flat and Deua River): four sites, camping beside vehicle at Dry Creek and Deua River, picnic/BBQ/carpark/toilets, no drinking water, $6A, $3.50C
There are plenty of things to do in Deua National Park, such as kayaking, caving, hiking, picnicking and swimming so it makes for a fantastic spot to escape the city rush.
The Wee Jasper Reserves are located 3 1/2 hours south of Sydney. There are five reserves in total and with no bookings undertaken they all work on a first come, first served basis. This is great for when you decide to go away at the last minute and all other campgrounds have been booked out months in advance, although of course during Easter it does get extremely busy. Camping fees are $10A per night with under 16s free of charge. Whilst all reserves have some form of toilet, only two have showers (with only one of these with hot water) and none have power or drinking water. Some of the reserves also have picnic tables, electric BBQs and there is even a playground at one reserve (Billy Grace).
Located near the Goodradigbee River and Micalong Creek, Wee Jasper is a picturesque locale and is a great place to unwind over the Easter long weekend.
If you are organised at least four months in advance, and willing to commit to at least two night’s stay, you can’t go past camping at Green Patch within Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay. Jervis Bay is located just over 2 1/2 hours south of Sydney, on the NSW south coast. With calm, clear waters a portion of Jervis Bay has been declared as a marine park and is home to an abundance of aquatic wildlife, including dolphins, rays, birds, seals and even migrating whales.
Green Patch is located right on the beach and sites are well planned and spacious. Amenities include fresh water, toilets, hot showers and BBQs. During peak periods such as Easter, the fee per standard site is $22 and $49 per large site. You also pay $11A and $5C.
Gloucester and Barrington Tops
Three hours drive north of Sydney, or one hour north west of Newcastle, is the World Heritage listed Barrington Tops National Park and wilderness area. With lush rainforests that are considered some of the, “most extensive strip of diverse rainforest anywhere on earth” * the park has an array of different hiking tracks, 4wd trails and picnic areas. The Barrington and Gloucester Rivers also provide great opportunities for kayaking and wildlife spotting.
There are several rustic camping spots in and around the national park, none of which take bookings.
Whilst some of these are walk-in sites only, the following can be accessed with a car**:
- Polblue Campground: within the heart of the park, 40 sites, picnic/BBQ/toilets, 11.50A $6C
- Little Murray: remote campsites, 4wd only, picnic/BBQ/carpark/toilets, $6A $3.5C
- Junction Pools: 4wd only, 5 campsites, BBQ/carpark/toilets $6A $3.5C
- Horse Swamp: remote, picnic/BBQ/carpark/toilets, $6A $3.5C
- Gummi Falls: remote 4wd only, 5 sites, BBQ/toilet, $6A $3.5C
- Devils Hole: 3 campsites. BBQ/carpark/toilets, $6A $3.5C
- Gloucester River: accessible, 25 sites, picnic/BBQ/toilets, $11.50A, $6C
** some sites may not be accessible during inclement weather
Lane Cove National Park
Feel like escaping the bustle of the city, but don’t actually want to drive anywhere? Why not try the Lane Cove River Tourist Park, within the Lane Cove National Park and only 10 km to the Sydney CBD. The tourist park has 206 campsites available and solid amenities which include; picnic tables, BBQ, kiosk, drinking water, showers, toilets and even wifi. Whilst you won’t find the rustic camping you may of some of the national parks outside of Sydney, you do have the option of staying in either a powered or unpowered site, and if you forget to bring anything, you can always pop back home quickly to retrieve it.
Even though it is in the middle of the city, there is still plenty of short walks to be done within the Lane Cove National Park. The campground itself also has a swimming pool if the weather is a little warm.
Booking is essential for camping here during peak periods and fees also carry a city price-tag, with $39/day for powered sites (2A) and $37/day unpowered sites (2A). Children under 12 are free.
Where do you like to camp near Sydney?