Sydney’s best summer camping spots
November 15, 2014
(Originally published at www.hijacked.com.au, now www.junkee.com.au)
Summer’s finally (almost here), and that means the perfect time to do something a bit different. Whether it’s a luxurious glamping weekend, or a week living native, there are few escapes more serene and relaxing than a good old camping trip. Here are some good spots to check out.
Glamping in the Blue Mountains
Only an hour and a half from Sydney; the Blue Mountains are a conveniently close and stunning beautiful getaway. While the area is filled with spectacular views, plenty of wildlife, bushwalking trails and waterfalls, it also offers the modern conveniences of nearby cafes and boutique shopping, as well as plenty of camping options.
Hiking and biking at Kosciusko National Park
The Southern Highlands of New South Wales is the unrivalled champion of snow sport tourism during winter but is often overlooked as a camping spot in the summer months.
Although the trip is five and a half hours from Sydney, it’s definitely worthwhile. Kosciusko National Park is home to Australia’s highest mountain with breathtaking scenery all year round, and is perfect for hiking and mountain bike riding in summer.
A girls' weekend in the Hunter Valley
Only three hours from Sydney, the Hunter Valley is famous for its local wine and produce, and is the perfect place to explore with the girls. With beautiful summer camping weather and locations accompanied by plenty of wine tours and restaurants you won’t be short of places to visit. Summer also means the Hunter Valley Gardens is on providing amazing displays in its heavenly botanic wonderland with special Christmas and New Years Eve events.
A tree change at the Wombeyan Caves
If natural wonders and secluded getaways are your thing then exploring the beautiful Wombeyan caves in Wollondilly will make a great escape. A scenic three to four hour drive away, there are some great campsites and of course the majestic caves. The Wollondilly River also runs through the area and is perfect for canoeing and fishing along.
A photographer’s dream in Kiama
One of the more accessible getaways, Kiama is less than two hours drive from Sydney and you can get a train there, too. With some beautiful walks and scenery surrounding your prospective campsites, don’t miss the town’s legendary blowhole. Lots of great photo ops. Kiama also acts as potential gateway to the South Coast including Nowra and the Kangaroo Valley.
Coastal heaven of Port Stephens
A short two and a half hour drive will take you from inner Sydney to the coastal heaven of Port Stephens. Adventure abounds in this stunning holiday area – you can go camel or horse riding on the beach, whale watching, shark feeding , snorkelling, surfing and more. The area is gloriously unpopulated compared to the bustling beaches of Sydney, making it a beautiful camping escape.
Water-loving fun at the Nepean River
Located in the western suburbs of Sydney, the Nepean River offers an abundance of water activities for those wanting to escape the heat without travelling out of Sydney. There’re plenty of places to fish, canoe, bird watch and bush walk in the area, and the Cables Wake Park offers cable ski facilities and coaching for beginners. The Great River Walk is also a great way to see the beautiful surrounding region.
Surround yourself in nature at the Wollemi National Park
Two hours from Sydney, this world-heritage listed national park home to an abundance of wildlife, pristine rivers, countless bushwalks, and an ancient secret. Hidden somewhere deep within the park is the Wollemi pine treethought to be one of the world’s oldest plants, which was only discovered 20 years ago. You can camp in the national park, and there’re glow worm tunnels, rivers, waterfalls, and even ruins to explore in this huge expanse of bush - what’s not to love?
Choose your own adventure on the Central Coast
The central coast is the gateway to coastal and rural paradise. With activity havens such as the Glenworth Valleyand the renowned beaches such as Terrigal, Umina, and Killcare all within easy reach of bustling city centres, it’s easy to see why the Central Coast is so densely populated during the summer.
Luckily there are plenty of unspoilt beaches to explore such as MacMasters, Soldiers, and Toowoon Bay. This offering of isolated in coastal paradises alongside tourist hot spots makes the Central Coast a unique get away.
Explore your backyard in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park
The second oldest national park in Australia is located only 45 minutes away from the centre of Sydney and has plenty to offer. There’s good camping, notably at The Basin, and there’s lots of bushwalking to do, ancient Aboriginal rock-art to see and the historic Barrenjoey Lighthouse to explore, all easily accessible via well maintained walking tracks.