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National Park camping between Brisbane and Sydney

Discussion in 'Camping Areas' started by Robbie_P, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. Robbie_P

    Robbie_P Member

    Hi All,

    We are planning a road trip from Brisbane to Sydney (Wollongong area) in December and was just wondering if there were any good NSW national parks or reasonably priced camping sites along the way?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Les PK Ranger

    Les PK Ranger 4x4 Earth Contributer

    There're heaps inland from the NSW coast from the border (Border Ranges NP and south).
    Some might be bush camping, often no fees to camp.

    Take a look at the link below to start, work out approx distances for daily travel you think would suit you (and family ?), zoom in on the big green parts, and you will find Nat Pks and forests that you can then do further Google searches on.,150.2115562,7z?hl=en

    Oh yeah, there are some beaut places on the coast too, I've done a bit of travel / camping through Yuraygir NP, Sandon River / Pt, etc, very nice.
  3. Robbie_P

    Robbie_P Member

    Thanks for the advice, much appreciated!
    We will probably do something like this:

    Brisbane to Yuraygir National Park – about 4 hours
    Yuraygir National Park to Myall Lakes National Park – about 5 hours
    Myall Lakes National Park to Wollongong – about 4 hours
  4. Ditch

    Ditch Active Member

    One of the best spots along the coast would have to be Pebbly Beach in Yuraygir NP, 40 km north of Coffs Harbour. Can only access the campsite at low tide as you need to cross a creek after a short drive up the beach.
    There are other campsites in the park but this would have to be the pick of them. Avoid at Christmas as it is usually booked out.

    A bit further south near Kempsey.
    At South West Rocks is Arakoon -
    Bit further down the coast is Hat Head NP & Hungry Gate campground -

    Couple of free camping areas inland off the Pacific Hwy about halfway on your trip.
    No 1 Fire Tower in Ballangry State Forest, about 30 km west of the Pacific Hwy near Port Macquarie. GPS - 31.2860S, 152.5355E
    Coopernook State Forest, just over 5 km off the Pacific Hwy North of Taree. GPS 31.7883S, 152.6103E

    Hope this helps.
  5. Les PK Ranger

    Les PK Ranger 4x4 Earth Contributer

    Looks good, a quick google of those places should find info on camping, any fees, and things to see / do.
    If you can get down to Sandon Pt campground, I like that place, though you do have to back track to come out again . . . you CAN go through the middle of the forest, exit Sandon Rd to Bosches Waterhole Rd, Sandon, Candole State Forest, Wooli Rd, Eight Mile Rd, and come out a bit south of Grafton South, but you would need a decent topo map (paper or on nav system), plot it out and take a little more care (if towing etc).
    The tricky part is leaving Sandon, the turn west isn't shown on any HEMA maps, even the 250k topo, but Mapout (free i device app) has it when zoomed in.
    They are mostly forest tracks then, not too bad . . . we did a detour and drove a very elevated ridgeline when going north a few years ago,
    Have a nice trip.
  6. Hoyks

    Hoyks Well-Known Member

    Just keep in mind that Pebbly Beach and Myall Lakes will be standing room only around Christmas


    If you have a pension card apply for NPWS Exemption Card so you dont have to pay entry fees. Yes you can get one if you live in QLD
  8. abw

    abw Well-Known Member

    Grab yourself the WikiCamps app which has pics and reviews of campsites. Well worth the few bucks.
    CaptainBanana, barcher and Albynsw like this.
  9. Albynsw

    Albynsw Well-Known Member

    X2 on WikiCamps
    We travel with it and just find places as we go
    CaptainBanana, barcher and abw like this.
  10. Robbie_P

    Robbie_P Member

    Thanks for all the advice guys, much appreciated!
    I will be in my Patrol, however, there will be a Honda Jazz traveling with us so unfortunately the campsite will need to be accessible by a 2wd.
  11. Robbie_P

    Robbie_P Member

    Standing room? So do you mean VERY busy? Aslong as we can stay one night thats fine. Do they booked out?
  12. mikehzz

    mikehzz Well-Known Member

    Hungry Gate is nice near Hat Head. Also, I quite like Kylie's Beach just south of Laurieton. It's a good drive along the beaches from South West Rocks, through Crescent Head to Port Macquarie but they've increased the beach permit fees this year.
    abw likes this.
  13. hiluxdriver

    hiluxdriver Well-Known Member

    Platypus flat on the Nymboida is a nice stop.
  14. WildtrakRudy

    WildtrakRudy Active Member

    Just north of Myall Lakes NP is Booti Booti NP. Highly recommended. Clean campsite with all amenities. Situated on 7 mile beach and within walking distance to Wallis Lake. But once again, it's really busy in December. Booking essential.
  15. Paddler Ed

    Paddler Ed Well-Known Member

    For a one night stay at each stop, I'm not sure I'd be going down the Pacific Highway around Christmas.

    As others have said, the good spots are busy and some of those that are listed have vehicle fees as well.

    My preference would be to do along the Dividing Range, and then drop down
    Day 1: Brisbane to Bald Rock (nr Stanthorpe) - 3hrs and a bit, bookable sites and showers etc. QLD Park fees, so sensible money for you get.
    Day 2: Bald Rock to Bretti Reserve- 4hrs40 (but the clocks change, so "6"hrs)
    Day 3: Bretti Reserve to Wollongong - 5hrs (+ getting through Shitney)
    The only problem with that route is Thunderbolts Way, but I was trying to avoid staying around Tamworth in December and was struggling - the best I could come up with is either Thunderbolts Way or going to Nundle.
    hiluxdriver likes this.
  16. Robbie_P

    Robbie_P Member

    Thunderbolts Way, never heard of or about it.. why is it a problem?
  17. mikehzz

    mikehzz Well-Known Member

  18. Paddler Ed

    Paddler Ed Well-Known Member

    Thunderbolts Way is a 2 lane road, with limited passing opportunities but lots of traffic that travels at different speeds (trucks, cars, motorbikes) and therefore sometimes things don't go according to plan. When that happens, detours are few and far between, and often quite long. We've been caught up by stock trucks and timber trucks in the past, and they're only doing 40kmh tops on some sections up or down, with no way of passing them for a few KMs as it goes up and down and round and round.

    A long running debate here is which is quicker to Newcastle - New England Highway or Thunderbolts. A lot of people reckon on Thunderbolts, but there pros and cons to both routes. One of the problems is lack of places to stop for a feed, fuel or comfort break (other than the side of the road) after Gloucester and before Walcha. You're also much more restricted on fuel choices, so if travelling on a weekend or outside of main travelling hours it's worth double checking what time places are open.

    The Cartoscope maps are pretty good as a general high level map over the area:
    -Thunderbolts Way:
    -New England Region:
    -Hunter and Newcastle:

    At least you can see how everywhere joins up a bit more.
    WildtrakRudy likes this.

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