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Five undiscovered camping destinations on the NSW coast
Pull off the beaten track. These are five secret camp spots on the stunning NSW coast.
Whether you’re working your way along the New South Wales coast, or yearning for a break from Sydney, there’s a sandy camp spot waiting for you just off the Hume Highway.
From sleeping in a seabird colony on your own private island to settling into one of the country’s best sand-duned sunset vantage points, here are five slices of paradise to stop and set up camp.
Above: Treachery Bay Campground (image via Facebook), Seal Rocks, aerial view of Seal Rocks, Pebbly Beach, Murramarang National Park (image via Destination NSW), Trial Bay
Five stunning, undiscovered camping destinations on the NSW coast
Treachery Camp, Seal Rocks
Don’t let the gnarly name fool you. Just over three hours north of Sydney lies one of the coast’s most stunning stretches.
Pick a site in the first-come, first-served bush camping area, where there are hot showers, barbecues and a laundry. Or secure your spot in a cabin packed with creature comforts.
Bordered by sand dunes, the camp is only a short climb to some of the coast’s most unspoiled – and uncrowded – beaches. Try to get there before the day’s end to watch the spectacular sunset from the top. And surfers, be sure to take your boards.
If you’re there on weekends or during school holidays, pop-up cafe Tim’s on Treach has you covered for bacon and egg rolls, coffee and milkshakes.
Little Poverty Beach at Broughton Island, Myall Lakes National Park
This is the pick for those who want to get away – really away – from it all.
Grab four of your nearest and dearest, book out the five campsites at Little Poverty Beach and you’ll have the whole island to yourselves. It’s the only spot in NSW where you’re allowed to sleep in a seabird colony, so you’ll be waking with the local wedge-tailed shearwaters.
You’ll reach Dark Point, near Hawks Nest, in about three hours from Sydney. From there, access to the island is via kayak, boat or a dive or fishing charter. This is back-to-basics camping, with toilets as the only facilities. Boat in everything else with you, including gear, food and ample drinking water.
Kangaroos at Pebbly Beach, image via Destination NSW. Right: Broughton Island, image via NSW National Parks and Wildlife.
Pebbly Beach Campground, Murramarang National Park
Head four hours south of Sydney for a weekend admiring lush forests, trekking serene coastline and chilling out near the friendly resident kangaroos. Located in the Murramarang National Park, Pebbly Beach is in prime position between the forest and the sea, and only a short stumble to the clear waters.
You can handily camp next to your car, too, with 23 gravel platforms ready for you to drive in and pitch your tent palace. Amenities are many, including cold showers, toilets, barbecues and drinking water. With no mobile phone coverage, it’s a place to truly switch off and recharge.
Diamond Head Campground, Crowdy Bay National Park
Settle into the sheltered serenity of Diamond Beach, awaiting four hours north of Sydney in Crowdy Bay National Park.
There are 75 spots to either pitch your tent, unroll your swag or drive in your motorhome.
It’s a particularly calm sea for swimming. Or, if staying on dry land is more your style, you can take to the Diamond Head Loop, admiring the paperbark forests and coastal vistas along the 4.8-kilometre journey. Keep an eye out for quartz crystals in the cliffs – you might be lucky to catch a glimpse of them sparkling in the sunlight.
Afterwards, you’re covered with showers, toilets, barbecues and picnic tables.
Trial Bay Gaol Campground, near South West Rocks
Pack your snorkels, bathers, rods, runners and surfboards. You’ll be able to use them all in this sandy beachfront spot in Arakoon National Park – about five hours’ north of Sydney. Front Beach lives up to its name by being right in front of you, with calm waters for swimming, paddleboarding and fishing. Keep an eye out for sea eagles and osprey – you’ll likely spot them searching for their own supper out in the water.
Explore the historic ruins of the 1886-built Trial Bay Gaol, take to the Monument Hill walking track or drive 10 minutes into nearby South West Rocks.
There are barbecues at the neighbouring picnic area, or Trial Bay Restaurant is close by if you’re too deep in holiday mode to cook.