So we’re going to share our favourite Sydney weekend getaways, campsites, and caravan parks in Sydney so you’ve got something really amazing to look forward to.
After being asked by our readers to share more Sydney itineraries, we’re sharing with you how we would specifically spend our weekends in these Sydney gems.
Oh and all the places mentioned are within a 3 hour drive radius because you don’t want to spend your entire weekend driving. You’ll need a car to reach all of the places mentioned, and if you have kids, some of the places mentioned might be unsuitable to take them.
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Drive straight up to Blue Mountains after work. Although you can easily take the train to Blue Mountains, you really need a car to get around to see the best of Blue Mountains. Find the cheapest car rental in Sydney.
Things to do in Blue Mountains
Saturday activities: If you’re getting up for sunrise, then check out a Blue Mountains sunrise at Govetts Leap.
2. Spend The Weekend At Wombeyan Caves Near Sydney
Distance from Sydney: 181km / 3 hour drive
Wombeyan Caves makes for a fantastic weekend away from Sydney because the campsite is amazing and there’s loads to do.
First tip we need to mention is to go the Goulburn way and don’t take the Mittagong exit. We’ve been to Wombeyan Caves twice and made the mistake the first time round. Although the scenery is amazing via the Mittagong exit, it will take much, much longer as a lot of the road is unsealed and very bumpy so it will take you a good extra hour to get there.
Then stop off in Bowral on the way back to Sydney for lunch!
Wombeyan Caves restaurants: Whilst there aren’t any restaurants at Wombeyan Caves, you can drive over to The Taralga Hotel which feels a bit like an English pub complete with an open fire!
You can buy some basic items to cook at Wombeyan Caves if you’re camping at the tourist information shop at the caves itself.
3. Camp At Kanangra-Boyd National Park Near Sydney
Distance from Sydney: 226km / 3h30m
Kanangra-Boyd National Park might require a bit more effort to reach, but it’s an amazing national park in Sydney which is much quieter than most. The highlight is the fact that it honestly makes you feel like you could be in somewhere like Borneo with the views that you’ll see here. This is undoubtably one of the best camping Sydney weekend getaways!
Kanangra-Boyd National Park Accommodation
Because of its remoteness, you’ll need to camp at Kanangra-Boyd National Park at Boyd River Campground. Make sure you bring absolutely everything with you, including water.
Thing To Do In Kanangra-Boyd National Park
Saturday activities: We recommend the Kanangra Walls walk which has an amazing lookout. The hike doesn’t actually take that long, but you can read our guide here.
Sunday activities: On the way home, you’ll drive through Jenolan Caves which we recommend stopping off at if you haven’t been yet. Otherwise, treat yourself to Sydney’s only Japanese Onsen at Sparadise: the Japanese Bathhouse to end the weekend.
Watch our video to Kanangra-Boyd National Park below!
4. Visit The Glow Worm Tunnel At Newnes
Distance from Sydney: 186km / 3 hours
When my best mate suggested we go camping for the weekend, she found Newnes because it’s got one of the best free camping near Sydney. We were both totally unprepared for how amazing Newnes actually would be until we drove over the pass and down into the Wolgan Valley. Honestly it’s breathtaking!
When you arrive into Newnes, you’ll pass by the what was once a mining town. We heard the residents literally just packed up and it became a deserted town over night once the mining stopped there. The ruins are kinda fascinating to see and the pub is even more amazing. It’s literally all been left as it was – make sure you go check it out. There is a caretaker living there so knock on the door first.
Once you drive past the old town, the end of the road opens up into the incredible Newnes free campground which is protected by the mountains. It’s pretty special and there’s an energy there like the mountains are literally protecting you.
You can stay at the accommodation in the old town but personally the vibe isn’t somewhere I’d want to stay, but more rather just check out.
Things To Do In Newnes
Saturday activities: Hike to the Glow Worm Tunnels in Newnes! It’s an amazing hike even if my mate and I actually got lost! We took the wrong turn and ended up walking much, much further than we should have done! But we did see families with kids doing this hike too.
It’s actually just 1 hour hike to the Glow Worm Tunnels which you can loop back. The tunnel is pitch black so bring a torch and be super quiet because you’re more likely to see the glow worms this way.
Sunday activities: Take on the Industrial Ruins Walk to the old coke ovens which is just 2.5km or take on Mystery Mountain walk. Or you could try and find the River Caves Canyon which looks amazing but we had to give up as we just couldn’t find them at all.
Newnes restaurants: There’s no restaurants in Newnes so you’ll need to bring everything with you. There are toilets at the campground.
There’s some great camping in Sydney spots in the south as well as loads of hikes, lookouts and waterfalls to discover. Here’s our favourite places to visit for a weekend away from Sydney.
5. Explore Royal National Park
Distance from Sydney: 40km / 1 hourdrive
Although The Royal National Park is usually visited by people doing a day trip from Sydney, there’s some great camping in Sydney spots you need to know about.
There’s something pretty special about The Royal National Park. Not only is it the world’s second oldest national park, it gives you a feeling of utter disbelief about how it can be so close to Australia’s largest city.
Sunday activities: Take on one of the many amazing Royal National Park walks. Our favourites include: Wattamolla to Eaglehead Rock, Figure 8 Pools and Winifred Falls walk.
Watch our video to Figure 8 Pools below!
Or, you can either spend the weekend hiking the famous Coast Track which takes two days. You’ll need to book the campsite way in advance in order to do this hike. Or you can check out our favourite 15 hikes in Royal National Park for some inspiration.
Royal National Park restaurants: The only places you can buy food in Royal National Park is in the town of Bundeena and the cafe at Audley. If you want to eat out, we recommend heading down to The Scarborough Hotel for food.
6. Weekend Camping Near Stanwell Tops
Distance from Sydney: 66km / 1h10m drive
There’s quite a bit to do around the area of Coledale and Stanwell Tops, just north of Wollongong. With fantastic lookouts, hikes, beaches, pubs and places to eat, it’s the kinda of weekend from Sydney that’s more accessible and easier to find eating options than some of the other more remote camping in Sydney spots mentioned in this post.
Stay at the beautiful Coledale Campground which sits right on the beach. There’s very few campsites in NSW which beat this one!
Saturday activities: Check out the famous Sea Cliff Bridge lookout, but just be careful as there’s not a well trodden on path and it requires climbing up a hill. Don’t take children and watch your steps as it can be quite dangerous. It only takes 15 minutes to get to the top of the lookout. If you’re up for doing another hike, go check out the amazing Kelly’s Falls.
Sunday activities: Hike to the incredible Macquarie Jump Pass Rock. I doubt you’ll have ever seen anywhere more beautiful!
Stanwell tops restaurants: Check out the beautiful Sri Venkateswara Temple for absolutely 100% authentic South Indian food (it’s the best we’ve had anywhere outside of India!), Nan Tien Temple for fantastic Asian food, The Scarborough Hotel for cliff top Aussie pub views or venture into Wollongong for cafe food.
7. Go Waterfall Chasing at Kangaroo Valley
Distance from Sydney: 117km / 1h30m drive
Kangaroo Valley is an amazingly beautiful part of NSW, and it’s just an 1h30m drive to get to the main town of Bowral from Sydney. Here you’ll find beautiful rolling hills, gorgeous towns and loads of hikes, waterfalls and some of the best campsites in NSW.
Saturday activities: Spend the day hiking the Three Views Walks in Kangaroo Valley. Although it seems like it would take a long time to do at 9.5km return, it actually takes around 2 hours. You’ll see three beautiful views on this walk including Lake Yarrunga, Tallowa Dam and Shoalhaven River.
Sunday activities: Spend the day checking out all of the waterfalls in Kangaroo Valley. Our favourites include Balmoral Falls, Carrington Falls, Fitroy Falls, Gerringong Falls and Minnamurra Falls. It’s pretty dangerous to try and get to the bottom of all of these waterfalls, but all have great lookout points.
Balmoral Falls is a particularly decent waterfall, you’ll actually drive over the top of them (don’t cross the top of the falls in your car if the water is too heavy, it would be way too dangerous), and you can go on a 10km hike or bike ride to the top of Gerringong Falls like we did (again, don’t go down to the bottom as it’s way too dangerous).
Or if you’re up for another hike, check out the Red Track in Bungonia National Park which will take you right through Bungonia Gorge. This is s hike I’ve wanted to do for ages! It’s not for the faint hearted and takes a good 4 hours to walk just 4km. You’ll walk right through a the Bungonia Slot Canyon and it’s more of the lesser known and hidden gems near Kangaroo Valley.
Kangaroo Valley restaurants: As we mentioned, you should base yourself in Bowral but also go and check out Berrima, Mittagong and Moss Vale too. Eat at The Press Shop or Harrys On Green Lane for breakfast or lunch, and Ludo in Bowral for dinner.
8. Weekend Camping At Jervis Bay
Distance from Sydney: 22km / 3 hour drive
Jervis Bay is always known for having some of the best beaches in NSW an of course it’s home to the whitest sand beach in the world at Hymns Beach. But there’s many things to do in Jervis Bay than to just go to the beach. Here’s how we’d spend our weekend in Jervis Bay.
Jervis Bay camping options
Jervis Bay is also home to some of the best campsites in NSW and Australia! The only problem is, they are also incredibly popular and you have to book them way in advance. Check out Honeymoon Bay Campground,Green Patch Campground and Cave Beach Camping Ground which are our personal favourites! You actually need to walk into Cave Beach campsite which is 300 metres from the carpark but it’s worth the effort because of its location
Saturday activities: Take on a coastal walk in Jervis Bay like no other! The White Sands Walk is absolutely beautiful which starts from Vincentia and finishes at Hyams Beach. It took us about 1 hour each way but you can technically start the walk at various parts along the track.
The great thing about this walk is we actually didn’t see another person on it. It’s a track which takes you through part bush and part boardwalk and is easy enough to take the whole family on as there’s no hills or any tricky parts to it.
Sunday activities: Take on the Steamers Beach hike which you can choose between the 3km hike or the loop which is about 16km and takes a good 6 hours. Steamers Beach is known to be the most beautiful beach in Jervis Bay and worth making the effort to see! Just be careful as there are known to be sharks in the area. You can find out more about the Steamers Beach hike in our full blog post.
There’s plenty of amazing camping Sydney weekend getaways you need to know about in North Sydney. Expect historical walks, beach walks and so much more.
9. Camp Near Palm Beach at The Basin
Distance from Sydney CBD: 44km / 1 hour drive
Whilst Palm Beach in Sydney is a popular day trip and although it’s still technically in Sydney, it definitely feels like a million miles away from city life. The tropical vibes always leaves us trying to figure out how we could live there in the future.
But for now, if you’re looking to camp at Palm Beach, you can (sort of!).
Palm Beach Camping Options
Catch the ferry from Palm Beach over to The Basin Campground which is honestly one of the best campgrounds in Sydney. You’ll have water views and there’s good amenities here like showers, toilets and bbq facilities. It’s a popular campsite so make sure you book in advance.
Things To Do In Ku-ring-gai National Park
Saturday activities: Hire a kayak, paddleboard or snorkel from Eco Treasures and enjoy the surrounds of The Basin Campground. Then embark on The Basin Trail walk which will take you to Aboriginal Gravings and continue on to Mackerel Beach. From here, continue on to the far left of the beach and you’ll find a trail which will take you over to Resolute Beach.
Sunday activities: Take the ferry over to Palm Beach and hike up to the famous Lighthouse for amazing views overlooking Palm Beach!
Palm Beach restaurants: You wont be able to buy food at The Basin Campground so make sure you bring everything with you. If you’re looking to eat in Palm Beach, then head over to Palm Beach Fish & Chips (apparently they are the best!), the convenience shop at Palm Beach Wharf if you’re on a tight budget and happy to eat burgers & chips, or The Boathouse for one of their classic salads.
10. Spend The Weekend At Wisemans Ferry
Distance from Sydney CBD: 75km / 1h15m drive
Wisemans Ferry is a beautiful part of Sydney which isn’t as busy as some of the other areas mentioned in this post. Set around the Hawkesbury River you’ll have access to loads of hikes, historical sites and great campgrounds to choose from.
Although the walk actually stretches over 260km up the coast, you find the remnants of convict life along this walk including stonework throughout. Make sure you lookout for the impressive Hangmans Rock! It takes about 3h30m-4h to walk this 9km track but it’s also popular with families too!
Sunday activities: Either hire a kayak at Wisemans Ferry and spend the day floating down the Hawkesbury River!
LOOKING FOR MORE ADVENTUROUS CAMPING WEEKEND IN SYDNEY?
If you venture further up the river from Wisemans Ferry, you’ll come to the Colo River. Here you can go on an 8KM hike to Colo Meroo Campground which is one of the most picturesque Sydney camping spots in NSW.
My friend and I attempted this hike once but we got so lost, we ended up turning around instead. But then we were a bit notorious for getting lost – we needed Steve there who seems to navigate his way around the bush easily!
11. Explore Beautiful Bouddi National Park Near Sydney
Just over the water from Palm Beach is Bouddi National Park. It’s kinda mad to think how busy Palm Beach can get, yet Bouddi National Park tends to be much quieter. You can jump on the ferry from Palm Beach over to Patonga or Wagstaffe if you’re travelling by public transport.
We love Bouddi National Park because there’s some proper hidden gems here and spectacular beaches and coastal walks to discover, plus some fo the best Sydney camping spots you’ll find!
Saturday activities: If you’re staying at Patonga, hike along the Dark Corner Track and onto the Pearl Beach Patonga Firetrail. The 4km walk takes about 1 hour each way but it’s worth it because Pearl Beach is stunning!
Or take on the amazing Bouddi Coastal Walk. The 8.5km one way hike starts at Putty Beach and ends at McMasters Beach and is one of the best coastal walks in Sydney . You don’t need to do all of the hike though, you could start at Putty Beach and end at Maitland Bay which is one of our favourite secluded beaches in Sydney! It’s the type of beach you’ll want to spend the whole at because it’s that beautiful.
Sunday activities: Hike the Mount Bouddi Walking Track. It takes around 1 hour to walk from the Mount Bouddi Picnic Area and takes you down to Bouddi Point. Here you’ll have access to amazing views of Maitland Bay. This is a great option if you’re not keen on tackling the Bouddi Coastal Walk.
Or you could jump on the ferry from Little Wobby Wharf and head over to Brooklyn to spend the afternoon on the fun Riverboat Postman Cruise.
If you’re looking for an adventurous weekend from Sydney which is easy to organise and there’s activities on tap that you don’t need to plan the how to get there’s, then a weekend camping at Glenworth Valley could be just the trick! It’s also a great place to bring the whole family who are looking for a decent family holiday from Sydney which isn’t too far to get to.
Glenworth Valley Camping Options
Glenworth Valley has a range of campsites to choose from in open fields. So, just be prepared that they aren’t like a holiday park as they are unpowered, but they do have hot showers, toilets, BBQ areas and picnic tables.
If you’d prefer a cabin or a glamping style set up, you can book these options at Glenworth Valley too!
Glenworth Valley activities: We’ve decided to list the different adventures at Glenworth Valley because there’s so many to choose from. Expect everything from abseiling, horse riding, quad biking, kayaking and axe throwing to be on the agenda during your stay.
13. Munmorah State Conservation Area
Munmorah State Conservation Area is one of my favourite places to visit near Sydney. Expect amazing beaches, caves, and hikes to discover in this incredible hidden gem in Sydney. This easily makes one of the best hiking and Sydney camping trips you can go on.
Munmorah State Conservation Area Camping Options
Make sure you book in advance to stay at the amazing Frazer Beach Campground. Situated over looking the fantastic beach, it doesn’t get much better. Facilities are limited at this campground with cold showers, BBQ facilities, picnic tables and toilets. The site is unpowered so bring everything with you.
Things to do in Munmorah State Conservation Area
Saturday activities: Spend the day hanging around the amazing Frazer Beach and Bongon Beach next door. Here you’ll find loads of rock pools to discover. If you’re looking to fo a hike, take The Coast Walk over to Birdie Beach (it’s a nudist beach FYI).
Sunday activities: Head over to Ghosties Beach via Moonee Beach. Don’t go the Snapper Point Road way like we originally did – you’ll be bush bashing to get there. It’s easier to park up at Moonee Beach and walk along the beach to get there.
Ghosties Beach isn’t only an amazing beach, the walk through caves are some of the best caves in Sydney!
14. Port Stephens Camping Weeekend
Port Stephens is one of those places in NSW which has something for everyone. When I first came here, I honestly thought the scenery in Shoal Bay reminded me of Thailand. It’s pretty spectacular.
Port Stephens doesn’t only make for a fantastic camping Sydney weekend trip, it’s a great place to bring kids too.
If you’re looking for free camping in Port Stephens, the only place you can go to is Samurai Beach Campground which is actually on the sand dunes. You’ll have to walk from the carpark to get there if you don’t have a 4×4 which takes about 15 minutes. Bring everything with you as there’s no facilities.
Otherwise there are loads of Port Stephens camping to choose from. Opt for Shoal Bay Holiday Park for the amazing views or head over to the Big4 Ingenia Holidays Campground at Soldiers Point.
Saturday activities: Start the day by hiking up to the top of Mount Tomaree for exceptional views across the bay and over to Fingal Bay. It only takes about 15 minutes to walk to the top and it’s an easy path to follow (with a lot of stairs!).
We then recommend heading over to Anna Bay to go on one of the following adventure tours like sand boarding or quad biking on the Southern Hemisphere’s largest sand dunes! Make sure the trip includes a visit to Tin City, it’s where many famous movies have been made like Mad Max!
Sunday activities: Go swimming with dolphins in the only place in NSW! That’s right, Port Stephens is the only place in NSW you can swim with dolphins!
Saturday activities: Spend the day exploring the area of Seal Rocks. We recommend heading up to the Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse to see the incredible views over Lighthouse Beach. If you have a 4×4, you can drive along this beach too.
Sunday activities: Drive 20 minutes down the road over to Blueys Beach. Here you’ll find back to back amazing beaches to check out. Blueys Beach is a great surfing beach near Sydney so bring your board with you! Head over to the Recky Club in Blueys Beach to watch the sunset over the lake.
Seal Rocks restaurants: There’s no restaurants at Seal Rocks but there is a shop selling basic camping food essentials if you need anything. If you’re looking to eat nearby, Blueys Beach have a couple of cafes to choose from. Head over to Kembali for an awesome Balinese lunch or dinner, or to the Pacific Palms Recreation Club for a decent cheap Parmie.
Looking for more NSW campgrounds?
We also recommend heading over to Barrington Tops which is one of the most mind blowing National Parks in Australia and one of the oldest national parks too! There’s loads of campsites and hikes to choose from. We’ve only done the Antarctic Beech Forest Walking Track which is incredible, and under a 2 hour walk!
If you’re looking for more hikes, check out our popular top 18 hikes in Sydney post. We hope our guide to the best camping Sydney weekend itineraries has inspired you to get out more and explore how beautiful NSW really is!
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Weekend from Sydney camping and hiking itineraries!
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