Want a nice camping getaway close to Sydney?
You don’t need to drive far from Sydney to find a fantastic camping site. Here on the Central Coast, we really are blessed with stunning lakes, bushland and beaches.
Whether you set up in the bushland near the beach or deeper in the bush, you’ll find great things to do. Enjoy bushwalking, kayaking, swimming, surfing or fishing.
These 10 spots below are the best campgrounds I know.
Located in Patonga at the mouth of the Hawkesbury River, Patonga Camping Ground is considered one of the best campsites near Sydney.
This campsite is in a stunning spot surrounded by a creek, the beach and Brisbane Water National Park. Kids love swimming in the waterway, and you can kayak upstream. Bring fishing rods – it’s a must.
You can also enjoy a meal in town at the Boathouse Hotel and bushwalking to Pearl Beach via Warrah Lookout.
Facilities at this camping site include a kids playground, tennis court, showers, barbecues, boat ramp and laundry facilities.
Campfires are permitted in an enclosed and elevated (20 cm above ground) fire pit from April-August.
Find out more about Patonga Camping Ground.
Located in Bouddi National Park, Putty Campground is in a beautiful spot behind the beach.
If you like bushwalking, this campsite is surrounded by top walking tracks. Put on that backpack and walk the 8-kilometre Coastal Walk or swim at Putty Beach.
Facilities at this camping site include drinkable water, flush toilets, cold shower, picnic tables and barbecues.
The campsite is accessible by car and is wheelchair accessible.
Find out more about Putty Beach Campground.
Sleep with the sound of the ocean at Little Beach Campground in Bouddi National Park.
Six campsites sit in a secluded cove surrounded by a littoral rainforest.
Little Beach Campground is one of the most popular camping spots on the Central Coast. Remember to book ahead.
There is no vehicular access—you must carry food and water and walk 750 metres along a walking trail. Or sleep overnight while walking the 8-kilometre Coastal Walk.
There are a picnic table, barbecue and non-flush toilets at the camping site. The beach is also popular for surfing and fishing.
Find out more about Little Beach Campground.
If you're looking for a remote camping site, this site is the place to go.
Tallow Beach Campground is located near the beach in Bouddi National Park. Access to the campsite and surfing beach is via a 1.2-kilometre steep but easy walking trail.
Enjoy fishing, surfing and bushwalking in Bouddi National Park. And retreat to the serenity of nature while listening to the waves crashing on the beach.
There is no vehicular access to the camping site, no drinking water, and no amenities except non-flush toilets.
Find out more about Tallow Beach Campground.
Camp in a tent-only campsite in the bushland of Munmorah State Conservation Area beside one of the most scenic beaches on the Central Coast.
Frazer Campground is a mere 50-metre walk to the stunning Frazer Beach.
Lifeguards patrol the beach during Christmas and Easter school holidays. You can also surf, enjoy some great fishing, and the camping site is close to walking tracks, including the Palms circuit track and Mooney Beach trail.
The campsite is accessible by car.
Facilities include showers, toilets, barbecues and picnic tables.
Find out more about Frazer Campground.
If you like BIG4s, check out NRMA Ocean Beach Resort & Holiday Park in Umina Beach.
There are so many fun things to do for kids, from jumping pillows to resort-style pools to playgrounds to perfect waves for learning to surf.
This holiday park has direct access to Ocean Beach. The beach is patrolled, often calm and shallow at the southern end.
Also, there's a fabulous large playground just up the road.
There are a variety of cabins, powered and unpowered sites and glamping tents.
Find out more about Ocean Beach Resort & Holiday Park.
Camp and wake up to a new adventure in the wilderness of Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures.
Try horse riding, quad biking, abseiling, laser skirmish, kayaking and pony lead riding for children.
Bring your tent, hire a tent or a tepee, or sleep in an Eco Cabin.
The camping sites are unpowered, and they are scattered on the edge of Popran Creek, where you can have a dip. You can bring your kayak.
Facilities include hot showers, toilets, picnic tables and wood-fired barbecues. Bring your own firewood or buy at their shop.
Find out more about camping at Glenworth Valley.
Freemans Campground is in the bushland of Munmorah State Conservation Area.
Surf or enjoy nude bathing at Red Ochre Beach on the northernmost section of Birdie Beach. Or swim at Lakes Beach between the flags.
Walk the Moonee Beach trail or Palms circuit track.
The camping site is accessible by car.
Facilities include toilets, showers, drinking water, barbecues and picnic tables.
Find out more about Freemans Campground.
Mill Creek Campground is tucked in Dharug National Park, 2 kilometres from the Hawkesbury River.
It's a perfect base for bushwalking and cycling. Walk the 1.6-kilometre Grass Tree circuit loop with your children. Or enjoy a longer hike. You can also visit parts of the Old Great North Road.
Wake up to wildlife and see wombats.
The campsite is accessible by car and the camping site is fully wheelchair accessible. There are barbecue facilities and toilets, and you need to bring your own drinking water and food supply.
Find out more about Mill Creek Campground.
Ten Mile Hollow Campground is a remote camping site in Dharug National Park.
This is a welcome overnight campsite for those walking the Old Great North Road. Walkers can rest their weary legs after a day’s walk.
There is no vehicular access.
Facilities include barbecues, drinking water and toilets. No need to book, the campsite is free.
Find out more about Ten Mile Hollow Campground.
Note: all these Central Coast campsites can get busy during the peak season so remember to book ahead.