With summer fast approaching we thought we would share a few of our favourite spots along the NSW coast to throw down the swag for the night and be lulled to sleep with the sounds of the crashing surf. So grab your hat, sunscreen, surfboard and of course the swag and try some of these on for size this summer.
Heading south out of Sydney situated between Shellharbour and Kiama perched on a hill overlooking the rolling green hills and the ever expanding urban sprawl of the Illawarra region is Killalea State Park. Covering many kilometres of coastline Killalea is best known for its superb surfing but if you are after a break from the surf and sand between your toes there is also some excellent walking through rainforest and wetlands to while away the hours. The camping area has stunning views being perched on the hillside and features individual bays, a large communal camp kitchen with gas barbecues, some fireplaces and hot showers. Fees are payable on entry and being situated so close to Sydney it is best to try and visit midweek out of holiday times for a quieter break.
Further down the coast in the beautiful Jervis Bay Region sitting on the southern flank of the bay is Booderee National Park. Jutting out onto a peninsula surrounded by the South Pacific Ocean to one side and encompassing the eastern shoreline of St Georges Basin to the other there are a myriad of beach and bays to explore as well as many kilometres of superb coastal walking tracks. There are 3 camping areas to choose from with two suitable to tent based, walk in from carpark campsites and one suitable for vehicle based camping and by far the largest of the 3. Hot showers are available at 2 of the campsites and bookings are essential with sites being allocated once booked.
To the north of Batemans Bay the large Murramarang National Park hugs the coastline from not far south of Ulladulla to just north of Batemans Bay. With some superb scenic vistas and many secluded beaches Murramarang is definitely a place to soak up the salt water and get in touch with the rhythm of the sea. There are many camping areas to choose from here but our pick would have to be Pretty Beach located in the north of the park. There are hot showers here and even powered sites available for those who require a bit more luxury. Once again bookings are essential with sites allocated once you have booked.
Further down the beautiful south coast between the seaside towns of Bermagui and Tathra lies Mimosa Rocks National Park. With secluded bays, beaches and headlands to explore this one is one of our favourites. Being that bit further away from the major cities also means it tends to be that bit quieter outside of holiday times. There are several camping areas to choose from with our pick being Gillards Beach where some sites even have beach frontage, the perfect place to be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the crashing waves on your doorstep. Fees do apply here and are collected by the ranger on site.
Our final favourite for the stunning south coast has to be Ben Boyd National Park. Located to the north and south of Eden and wrapping around the picturesqueTwofold Bay you will be spoilt for choices in what to do in this stunning park. From the historic remains of Davidson Whaling Station and Boyds Tower to the vibrant colours of the Rainbow Cliffs, not to mention the myriad of serene beaches to laze the day away along. There are a couple walk in and a couple vehicle based camping areas here to choose from, all being located in the south of the park. Basic facilities are provided at the two vehicle based camping areas including gas barbecues and pit toilets. Accommodation options are also available at the nearby Green Cape Lighthouse.
Moving to the north and just north of Taree hugging the coast below the seaside hamlet of Laurieton is Crowdy Bay National Park. There are some excellent surf beaches along here with relaxing strolls along the beaches and adjacent heathland a must. Crowdy Bay has five camping areas with one of our favourites being Kylies Beach. Basic facilities are provided here by way of cold showers and pit toilets with a short stroll or drive, there is also 4wd beach access available from the camping area, will have you straight on the beach.
North of Coffs Harbour and taking up a huge swathe of coast, around 60km in fact is Yuraygir National Park. From long coastal hikes, awe inspiring beaches and inland lakes and wetlands you could easily spend days in each section of this monolithic park. As big and diverse as Yuraygir is so too is the camping options with ten sites in all scattered north to south through the park. Some are easily accessible, some are walk in only and some are only accessible via 4wd beach access. Although one of the easier accessible sites one of our favourites up here is Red Cliff camping area. This campground is well spread out with several camping areas, some more protected than others along a headland. Basic facilities include picnic tables and pit toilets as well as some firepits.
Yet further north between the seaside villages of Illuka and Evans Head is the beautiful Bundjalung National Park. With over 30km of pristine coastline as its backdrop this certainly is a place on the far north coast to sit back, unwind and breath in that fresh sea air. There are a couple campgrounds here but our favourite as it is a bit more remote is Black Rocks in the north of the park. This large well laid out camping area has numerous individual sites, each with privacy and protection although a short stroll will land you directly on the beach. There are also a couple old WWII bunkers to check out in the adjoining picnic area as well as a delightful walk through wetlands and along the river. Once again basic facilities here include wood barbecues (gas available in the picnic area) and pit toilets.
With so much on offer up and down the NSW coast it was hard to whittle the list down to these few, which are just some of our favourite coastal camps. Next time you have a few days off and want to hit the coast why not try one of these out and get that fresh fix of sea air that we all crave from time to time.,