Our Pick Of The Best Family Camping Spots around Sydney
Camping with the family creates a perfect opportunity to bond and the best memories for the kids. The summer season and school holidays are when many families plan their holiday, and increasingly this includes a weekend spent in a tent. There’s something magical about a night spent under the stars, huddled around a campfire. The kids forming a gang of new best friends and parents spending a few peaceful days away from technology.
Start your family camping adventure with our top list of family camping spots around Sydney all located within a 2-hour drive.
Calmsley Hill City Farm
If your little city slickers love animals, petting zoos and you are looking for a way to combine the camping experience, then a weekend camping trip to family-friendly Calmsley Hill City Farm is an absolute must.
Located in Abbotsbury, 40 minutes out of Sydney, the farm is a place where the whole family can get up close to a range of native and farmyard animals – you can do everything from milk a cow to feed a kangaroo! There is even sheep shearing, tractor rides and a stock whip show to keep you and the littlies entertained.
The farm offers unique and really low cost overnight camping-farmstay options for the family which includes barbecue dinner and breakfast where the kids get to collect their own chook eggs!
WHY WE LOVE IT? Calmsley Hill City Farm is absolutely perfect for the first-time camping family! That’s where we had our first ellaslist Family Campout experience with 50 families. This venue is both an educational and really fun family activity that caters to toddlers, pre-schoolers, older children and grown ups alike.
We love how special Cockatoo Island is with its camping facilities from the glamping (a luxury camping experience) to the more basic camping package – great choices for families with limited camping experience. An overnight stay here is an amazing experience for the whole family and prices start at only $45 a night during the week.
Cockatoo Island offers your family a glimpse of Sydney as they’ve never seen it. You can totally escape the city with a 15 minute ferry ride to this fascinating island with extraordinary views, interesting views and great facilities. It is a fantastic way to spend the day with plenty of old buildings to explore, boats to watch, and family friendly activities to keep the whole family entertained. And in the summer months (from October), there is even the fabulous Island Bar where mum and dad can enjoy a cheeky cocktail at the end of a long day of exploring.
WHY WE LOVE IT? Cockatoo Island is perfect for the first-time camping family looking to get out of their comfort zone yet still be close to some of the urban comforts.
Image: Cockatoo Island
Lane Cove National Park
This precious gem is a fabulous bushland in the middle of Sydney that families should experience! Lane Cove National Park is a great place for family camping as it has plenty of amenities for both amateur and professional family campers. Choose from a BYO campsite or glamp-out in a cabin. The kids will enjoy the children’s play equipment, flat grassy areas with easy access to walking tracks and bike tracks all around, plus BBQ facilities and picnic tables.
WHY WE LOVE IT? Lane Cove National Park is terrific if you’re a beginner camping family looking for a back-to-nature experience. Its only 20mins from the city so if it all gets too much, you'll be home in no time.
Bouddi National Park
You cannot go past Bouddi National Park if you’re looking for the perfect beach campsite for the family. With three intimate beach campsite spots to choose, there are very basic facilities with sheltered barbecues and toilets, plenty of bodies of water for fishing, paddling or the lazy ocean swim.
WHY WE LOVE IT? Bouddi National Park is camping by the beach! Need we say more? It’s perfect if you’re a beginner camping family that’s camped out a couple of times and brave enough to survive with just toilets.
Royal National Park
The Royal National Park is a beautiful natural wonderland with a hugely diverse range of camping landscapes – from the dramatic cliffs to a tranquil rainforest riverside. Established in 1879, it’s the world’s second-oldest national park featuring unique heritage attractions, along with fascinating plants, birds and animals. It’s a perfect camping spot for bushwalking, cycling and surfing activities. Plus our all-time favourite Audley Boatshed for school-kidsized activities.
WHY WE LOVE IT? The Royal National Park is beautiful natural wonderland with plenty of camping landscapes to choose from beachside to riverside bushland. It’s a terrific destination for the seasoned camping family, and amateur family camper for selected campsites.
Glenworth Valley is a spectacular 3000 acre wilderness property with an beautiful natural setting. Their camping offerings range from a 200 acre riverfront BYO camping ground to hiring one of their permanently erected tents, tipis or lotus bell tents.
Located only one-hour from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the campsites are scattered along the river bank in a number of large open fields, are kept in a natural state and are all unpowered. It may not have the offerings of a commercial caravan park, but they do offer hot showers, toilets, wood-fired BBQs and picnic tables.
WHY WE LOVE IT? Glenworth Valley is a gorgeous family-friendly, bush camping destination in a pristine natural environment great for the seasoned family campers. They also have plenty of organised activities like horse-riding and kayaking, which is great for school-kids.
Image: Glenworth Valley Glamping
Big4 Holiday Parks
At ellaslist, we can't get enough of Big4 Holiday Parks, having stayed at many of the years. They are ALWAYS great fun for Adults and kids alike. Two of the closest to Sydney is Big4 Easts Beach, Kiama and Big4 Ocean Beach Holiday Resort, Umina Beach. Both are kitted out with jumping pillows, play grounds, swimming parks with waterslides, go karts and cafes. If you are looking for a short trip away that ticks all the family time boxs, then Big4 is for you.
MORE TOP TIPS FOR YOU
- Our top Tips for Camping with Kids
- Ultimate Guide to Camping with the Family
- Survive camping with under 5 year olds!
- Tips for Camping in the Rain with Kids
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