fbpx

16 Free Camps You Need To Know About On Central Coast (NSW)

by Meri Gasem

At first glance, the Central Coast of New South Wales might seem like a tiny, humdrum area nested between Newcastle and Sydney. But this coast is full of charming locations, pristine beaches with excellent surfing conditions, picturesque hinterlands, and a rich wildlife presence. Just an hour away from Sydney, spread out along the 86km Pacific Ocean shoreline, the Central Region successfully combines wild nature and commercial hubs. This area provides some of the best free camps in New South Wales!

Related: Top Events In NSW You Need To Check Out

Casuarina Camping Area

Casuarina campground is a quiet, serene place located in Olney State Forest. Camp spots are well spread out and private, snuggled in the oaks and eucalyptus forest, while amenities are clean and tidy. An abundance of birdlife, great walks, and campfires to keep you warm at night. A supreme location that’s surprisingly never crowded.

Showers/Toilets: Toilets.
Access: 2WD; Caravans; RVs.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Non-drinking Water; Picnic Tables; Hiking Tracks; 4WD Tracks; Open Fire Pits; BBQ.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by adam Newling (@muelzy_)

 

 

Bangalow Campground

A secluded little campground located in Watagans National Park, with three unpowered sites available. No facilities, so bring everything you need and don’t leave a trace behind. Enjoy some lovely walks to Monkey Face Lookout and Gap Creek Falls. Pets, smoking, and collecting firewood (even fallen) are prohibited within the national park. Lots of wildlife around, wallabies, bush turkeys, goannas, and some snakes!

Showers/Toilets: Toilets.
Access: Short 2WD vehicles, 4WD mandatory in wet weather.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: Yes, book online or call 1300 072 757. While camping is free, a $6 booking fee is applied.
Other Amenities: Hiking Tracks; Wildlife; Picnic Tables; Open Fire Pits; BBQ.
Time Limit: 7 nights per booking.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Micheal Norris (@m_norris_)

 

 

Gap Creek Campground

An exquisite location in Watagans National Park, nearby the unique Gap Creek Falls with great amenities. Limited to only three official camp spots, so make sure to book and arrive early to pick a good place. Stay in the middle of the forest and hang out with the friendly resident wallaby! National Park rules and bans apply.

Showers/Toilets: Toilets.
Access: 4WD; Campers.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: Yes, book online or call 1300 072 757. While camping is free, a $6 booking fee is applied.
Other Amenities: Wheelchair Accessible; Non-drinking Water; Hiking Tracks; Open Fire Pits; BBQ; Picnic Tables.
Time Limit: 7 nights per booking.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Brad Mistry McNabb (@bradmistry)

 

 

Watagan HQ Camping Area

A basic, quiet, and clean campground with limited flat sites. A rough, bumpy 3km path to reach the camp; thus, a 2WD is not recommended. It’s situated along the Watagan Forest Road, without facilities, so good for a short stay or more prolonged if you’re self-sufficient. You’re allowed to gather some firewood and have a campfire.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: High clearance 4WD; Motorbikes; Caravans.
Phone Service: Yes.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Picnic Tables; Walking Tracks;
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by @elsie_de_van

 

 

Black Stump Lookout

Remote bush camp located on the beautiful Black Stump Lookout offering some breathtaking views. Serene and secluded, reachable only by a 4WD. No facilities on site so suitable for self-contained travelers. Most times you have the whole place to yourselves!

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 4WD; Off-road Caravans.
Phone Service: Telstra.
Booking Required: Yes, book online or call 1300 072 757. While camping is free, a $6 booking fee is applied.
Other Amenities: Walking Tracks.
Time Limit: 7 nights per booking.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Jason Reeve (@jaseinthewild)

 

 

The Basin Campground

An open grassy area along the creek suitable for larger groups and families, ideal for cooling down during wet weather. Pick a campsite at least 20 metres from the water to avoid any flooding inconveniences. Sites are not marked but opt for an already used one and don’t clear out new areas. Three camper van sites and many more tent sites available. Cutting trees for firewood is not permitted.

Showers/Toilets: Toilets.
Access: 4WD.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Non-drinking Water; Dogs allowed on a leash; Wildlife; Picnic Tables; Walking Tracks; 4WD Tracks; Open Fire Pits; Swimming.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by @bartholomewthewhippet

 

 

Olney HQ Camp Ground

The Olney Headquarters Camp is located in Olney State Forest next to Watagan Road, down a 7km gravel road. The camp is named after its previous use as a forestry building. It is a large open area, with decent facilities, suitable for a night’s rest before continuing your travels. Wonderful birdlife around; you’ll be astonished in the mornings.

Showers/Toilets: Toilets.
Access: 4WD.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Non-drinking Water; Open Fire Pits; Picnic Tables; 4WD Tracks; BBQ.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Brennan Ellis (@ellsysadventures)

 

 

Wattle Tree Camping Area

A picturesque camp area with small private camp spots under the trees near Pines Picnic Area. Rainwater available as well as a sheltered area for camping in tents. Use fallen branches or bring your own wood if you want to have a campfire – when Total Fire Ban is not in place.

Showers/Toilets: Toilets.
Access: 4WD.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Non-drinking Water; Dogs allowed on a leash; Picnic Tables; Walking Tracks; Open Fire Pits.
Time Limit: None.

Read Next: 6 Incredible Central Coast Experiences To Have On Your Big Lap

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by 4WheelingInNSW (@4wheelinginnsw)

 

 

Turpentine Camping Area

Lovely campground located next to Casuarina and Pines camping areas. You’ll find plenty of secluded camp spots among the turpentine trees to choose from. No facilities, but you can hop off and use those of the nearby camping areas. A few small, scenic streams with tiny waterfalls along the walking tracks and utmost tranquility when staying during the week.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 4WD; Off-road Caravans.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Wildlife; Walking Tracks; 4WD Tracks; Open Fire Pits.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Dylan (@dylanm1ller)

 

 

The Pines Campground

The Pines campground is located under the tall pine trees in Olney Forest. The trees are remainders of a trial planting of different pine species made in the 1920s. The camp features a large shaded open area reachable by an unsealed road with several walking tracks to explore the woods. It can get quite packed over the weekends since it’s one of the best-looking campgrounds around.

Showers/Toilets: Toilets.
Access: 2WD; Motorbikes; Caravans.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Open Fire Pits; Wildlife; Picnic Tables; Walking Tracks; 4WD Tracks.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Mark Banham (@roccos_modern_wife)

 

 

Broken Back Ridge Campsite

Witness some of the most stunning sunsets in Pokolbin State Forest while staying at Broken Back Ridge campground. Privacy and peace are guaranteed because the camp is just a small clearing reachable by a rough road. It’s an excellent overnight bush camp when you want to escape the crowds.

Showers/Toilets: None.
Access: 4WD; Off-road Caravans.
Phone Service: Yes.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Non-drinking Water; Generators Allowed; 4WD Tracks; TV Reception
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by Allison MacKenzie (@schmallison123)

 

 

McNamara Park

Large campground with many shady and sunny camp spots to choose from adjacent to a park with playground and toilets. Everything you need for a perfect stay; grassy area, clean amenities, and tranquility at night. Lots of things to explore around, some shops and a servo right across the road.

Showers/Toilets: Toilets.
Access: 2WD; Caravans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Yes.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Non-drinking Water; Walking Tracks; Picnic Tables; Open Fire Pits; Fishing.
Time Limit: 72 hours.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by MRSVDJ – Asha (@mrsvdj)

 

 

Wollombi Tavern

The Wollombi Tavern offers a free campground with plenty of private, level sites in the village’s centre, right behind the pub. Although it’s a free camp, make sure to support them. The food is great value for money, the toilets are open all the time, and fires are allowed when there’s no fire ban in place.

Showers/Toilets: Toilets.
Access: 2WD; Carvans; Big Rigs.
Phone Service: Yes.
Booking Required: No, first in best dressed.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Picnic Tables; Open Fire Pits; Pub; On-site Accommodation; Wildlife.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

A post shared by Nicole Brown (@nicrus71)

 

 

St Albans Reserve

Great camping area opposite a rustic pub right on Macdonald River in Saint Albans. Not a lot of space, but it’s a lovely grassy area, very calm at night. Roosters, peacocks, and resident dogs cruise the property. Toilets at the pub are open 24/7, and there are public toilets available too.

Showers/Toilets: Toilets.
Access: 2WD; RVs; Caravans.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: No.
Other Amenities: Dog-friendly; Non-drinking Water; Picnic Tables; Open Fire Pits; BBQ; Playground.
Time Limit: None.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

A post shared by Sylvia Monckton (@syls_snaps)

 

 

Gentleman’s Halt

Supreme location by the water in Maramarra National Park. It is reachable by a kayak, boat, or a 10km hike from the national park entrance, along Canoelands Ridge and Hawkesbury River. The challenging access is worth it once you reach the campground and experience untouched nature and serenity. Perfect for those looking for an extra adventure!

Showers/Toilets: Toilets.
Access: On foot or by boat. 2WD to Maramarra National Park entrance.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: Yes, book online or call 1300 072 757. While camping is free, a $6 booking fee is applied.
Other Amenities: Non-drinking Water; Walking Tracks; Open Fire Pits; Swimming; Fishing; Kayaking.
Time Limit: 7 nights per booking.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

A post shared by Paola Mixy Lay 🧜🏽‍♀️ (@mixy)

 

 

Ten Mile Hollow Walk-In Campground

Ideal, tidy, and grassy campground in the Mangrove Mountains. Accessible by a bushwalk on the Dubbo Gully trail and suitable for an overnight stay in a tent. Fantastic birdlife and many wallabies roaming around.

Showers/Toilets: Toilets.
Access: 4WD.
Phone Service: No.
Booking Required: Yes, book online or call 1300 072 757. While camping is free, a $6 booking fee is applied.
Other Amenities: Drinking Water; Open Fire Pits; 4WD Tracks; Wildlife.
Time Limit: 7 nights per booking.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jules (@soulfulhiking)

 

 

Read Next: Everything You Need To Know About Free Camping In Australia

You may also like

Leave a Comment

GET OUR BIG LAP PLANNING SERIES

Planning your Big Lap of Australia? Enter your email below to get our FREE Big Lap Planning Series