Best Camping Sydney: Caravan Parks and Campsites

Camp on an island smack bang in the middle of Sydney Harbour for just $45. Beach camp for $32 or in a riverside haven of bush and wildlife a short drive from the heart of Sydney for $37. You don’t need a big budget to enjoy the best of Sydney. Here are the top 7 campsites and caravan parks in and around Sydney. Three are for tents only, four are camper van and caravan friendly.

I have given distances from the heart of Sydney – Circular Quay. Drive times are given without traffic, which is laughable really. Sydney always has traffic. What’s more, parking in Sydney can be expensive. Take public transport if you can. Here is the list in order of their distance from Circular Quay. I’ve mapped them all at the bottom of the blog.

1. COCKATOO ISLAND (for tents only)

Distance from Circular Quay: 26 mins by ferry.

Cockatoo Island is a UNESCO world-heritage listed island right int he middle of Sydney Harbour. There are heritage buildings to explore, netted swimming areas, picnic areas, BBQs, three places to eat and a bar. Some of the campsites have views of the harbour bridge.

Facilities

  • Flush toilets
  • Hot showers
  • Camp kitchen with fridge and microwave and plenty of sinks.
  • 10 BBQs
  • Three restaurants
  • Island Bar
  • To make life easy you can buy breakfast and BBQ packs on the island if you wish.
  • Tennis
  • Boat hire

RATES: $45 – $50 (Does not include New Year’s Eve, of course. For that you pay upward of $400.)

Website

Camping on Cockatoo Island, Sydney. Photo: Sydney Harbour Federation Trust
Camping on Cockatoo Island. Photo: Sydney Harbour Federation Trust
Camping on Sydney Harbour. Cockatoo Island. Photo: Sydney Harbour Federation Trust
Camping on Cockatoo Island. Photo: Sydney Harbour Federation Trust
Camping on Cockatoo Island. Photo: Sydney Harbour Federation Trust
Camping on Cockatoo Island. Photo: Sydney Harbour Federation Trust

2. LANE COVE RIVER TOURIST PARK

Distance from Circular Quay: 18 mins by car, 43 mins by train.

Set in natural bush, this is a haven of tranquility in the city. It scores 4 out of 5 on Trip Advisor, is by a river, and is within easy walk of the nearest train station. It is campervan friendly. This is as close as you’ll get to the heart of Sydney in a campervan and it’s a great place to base yourself when exploring the city and surrounds.

Facilities

  • Flush toilets
  • Hot showers
  • BBQs
  • Swimming pool
  • Paddling pool
  • Camp kitchen with instant hot water on tap, fridge, gas cooking, microwave and toaster.
  • WIFI
  • Laundry
  • Recreation room
  • Kiosk
  • Boat hire

RATES: $37 – $39 for 2 people. It is in a national park, so park entry fees apply.

Website

Camping Sydney. Lane Cove River Tourist Park. Photo: National Parks NSW.
Lane Cove River Tourist Park, Sydney. Photo: National Parks NSW.
Camping Sydney. Lane Cove River Tourist Park. Photo: National Parks NSW.
Lane Cove River Tourist Park, Sydney. Photo: National Parks NSW.

3. SYDNEY LAKESIDE HOLIDAY PARK

Distance from Circular Quay: 37 mins by car without traffic, 1 hr by public transport.

This is a BIG4 and NRMA holiday park, which means it’s family friendly with plenty of facilities. You park your campervan in a large grassy area with other campervans and caravans. It has about as much charm as a football field but the coastal location makes up for it.

Facilities

  • Flush toilets
  • Hot showers
  • Laundry
  • Camp kitchen
  • BBQ pavillion
  • Playground and water playground
  • Kids activities
  • Recreation room
  • Close to patrolled beach
  • Security boom gates

RATES: From $58.

Website

Camping Sydney. Australia. Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park
Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park

4. CROSSLANDS RESERVE (tents only)

Distance from Circular Quay: 50 mins drive without traffic. 1 hr 20 mins on the train.

Nestled in the Berowra Valley National Park, this campsite is peaceful, but has no showers or power. The nearest train station is a ten minute drive away.

Facilities

  • Toilets
  • Electric
  • Electric BBQs
  • Walking and bicycle tracks
  • Picnic shelters

RATES: $24 for 2 people.

Website

Camping Sydney. Crosslands Reserve Campground. Photo: National Parks NSW
Crosslands Reserve Campground. Photo: National Parks NSW

5. THE BASIN CAMPGROUND (tents only)

Distance from Circular Quay: 1 hr drive plus a ferry ride to Palm Beach, 1.5 hrs by public transport.

Located in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, on the shores of Pittwater, this scores ten out of ten for beauty. There is a sheltered beach and an inland lagoon for swimming in. Sites are shady. It is not a drive up campground. If entering via the Ku-ring-gai Chase National  Park you must park your car and walk or cycle  2.8km down a track, or from Palm Beach catch a ferry across Pittwater.

Facilities

  • Amenities block with sinks
  • Picnic tables
  • Barbecue facilities
  • Drinking water
  • Hot showers
  • Toilets

RATES: From $32

Website

Beach Camping Sydney. The Basin Campground, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Photo: National Parks NSW
The Basin Campground, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Photo: National Parks NSW
Beach Camping Sydney. The Basin Campground, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Photo: National Parks NSW
The Basin Campground, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Photo: National Parks NSW

6. BONNIE VALE CAMPGROUND

Distance from Circular Quay: 1 hr drive, 1 hr 50 min by public transport.

Bonnie Vale campground is on the banks of the beautiful Port Hacking surrounded by the Royal National Park. There is a seemingly endless choice of hikes and on weekends you can hire kayaks and mess about on the river. A large sand spit makes swimming in the bay sheltered and safe.

Facilities

  • Flush toilets
  • Hot showers
  • Drinking water
  • BBQs
  • Picnic tables

RATES: From $32

Website

Bonnie Vale campground, Royal National Park. Photo: National Parks NSW
Bonnie Vale campground, Royal National Park. Photo: National Parks NSW
Beach Camping Sydney. The bay at Bonnie Vale Campground. Photo: National Parks NSW.
The bay at Bonnie Vale Campground.
Beach Camping Sydney. Public transport at Bonnie Vale Campground. Photo: Internshipsdownunder.com
Public transport at Bonnie Vale Campground. Photo: Internshipsdownunder.com

7. POPLAR TOURIST PARK

Distance from Circular Quay: 1 hr drive, 1 hr 40 min by public transport.

Poplar is by a river in the historic town of Camden, south west of Sydney. It scores 4.5 stars on Trip Advisor and the site has shade trees. Public transport is at your front door and you are within easy access of restaurants and shops.

Facilities

  • Slab sites or freestyle on the grass
  • Toilets
  • Hot showers
  • Laundry
  • Camp kitchen
  • Internet access
  • Dump site
  • Pet friendly
  • Recreation Room

RATES: $25 – $32

Website

Camping Sydney. Poplar Tourist Park.
Poplar Tourist Park.


If you are planning to explore Australia in a campervan, check out my campervan rental price comparison. Sometimes the cheapest quote has creeping fees that end up costing you more than any other campervan rentals. I found that the cheapest all-inclusive quote is Camperman Australia. You can hire a campervan from Sydney and drop it off at another depot in Melbourne, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Townsville or Cairns at the end of your journey.

Happy Camping!

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