Free camping sites in New South Wales & ACT

If you are exploring the East Coast on a budget you will be particularly eager to find a free place to stop over that has sufficient facilities. New South Wales is a fascinating state and not to be underestimated – with the Great Dividing Range and Pacific Ocean beaches, beautiful National Parks and the only location in Australia you’ll be Back of Bourke and see the Dog on the Tuckerbox!

Here’s a preview of free NSW and ACT campsites we have found during our travels, discover more with our App and comprehensive Camps 11 Guidebook.

NSW Bretti Reserve

A free camp that the cows love as well: Bretti Reserve, NSW

This is a beautiful camping and picnic area located in a serene environment. Although the facilities are basic, Bretti Reserve features large open spaces and a flowing river that makes for a refreshing swim. The river is frequented by birdlife and don’t be surprised if a few cows graze close to your site! The site has toilets, fireplaces, shade and access for a big rig; the maximum stay is one month. There are no showers and taps, however you can drink water from the river if you boil it for at least 15 minutes. If you have packed your canoe, you

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“Hanging Rock “Jackadgery NSW

Free and pet friendly: Cangai Bridge at Jackadgery, New South Wales

This FREE pet-friendly camp spot is 20 km west of Jackadery via Gwydir Hwy. Small vehicles only, narrow bridges – we call it Cangai Bridge in CAMPS 11 – NSW site 245. Or find it on the Camps Australia Wide App! Photographer Anne Meagher says this area is also known as Hanging Rock, Jackadgery. It is for self contained vehicles, and Anne said there were plenty of caravans on site, with a good gravel road in from the highway. They camp on the grassy slopes just after the wooden bridge, probably about 8 km in from Gwydir Hwy. Fishing allowed

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All-natural playground at the popular Swan’s Crossing in Kerewong State Forest

Swans Crossing Campground is a top spot for kids

Forestry Corporation of NSW has worked with a local contractor to unveil a new all-natural playground at the popular Swan’s Crossing in Kerewong State Forest. Swans Crossing is a camping and picnic site located just 15 minutes from Kendall and a popular spot for locals and visitors alike to come and experience the beauty of State forests. Forestry Corporation’s Partnerships Leader, Sandra Madeley, said the new playground is just another great reason to visit the scenic state forest. “There are so many things to do when visiting Kerewong State Forest, and the new playground is an excellent addition,” Ms Madeley said.

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Newnes Campground - image Bec Conroy

Everything money can’t buy is at Newnes Campground, New South Wales

Newnes Campground – image Bec Conroy Love kangaroos, campfires, towering rock faces and sunsets that blow your mind? Then Newnes Campground is the place for you. Newnes Campground really is (as the sign at the entryway states) everything money can’t buy. Deep in the NSW Wollemi National Park, just outside of Lithgow, Newnes Campground is a hidden (and free) gem.  There are a couple of loos and loads of fire pits, but no running water or trash facilities. Bring all you need in and pack it all back out. Multiple hikes leave from the campground to explore the surrounding Wollemi

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NSW Cowra Overnight Rest Stop

Cowra Overnight Rest Stop, New South Wales has location, location, location!

This overnighter is opposite McDonalds in Cowra, a pleasant walk to the Australia’s World Peace Bell, 50 metres to the river, and just over the bridge you’ll find the shops. There are toilets and a dump point, plus an Information Centre and even a rose garden! This bitumen parking area is surrounded by parkland and sports fields, and is adjacent to Edgell Park, with BBQs and a good dog area. Cowra is best known for the largest Prisoner of War breakout in modern military history. It has a cemetery, POW theatre and hologram, military and migrant camps. There’s even more

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NSW Kyffins Reserve

Kyffins Reserve, New South Wales, is a bird watcher’s paradise

You just have to look at the photograph to see why this spot made our list. Right on Lake Mulwala, the kilometre of shoreline has walking tracks and designated areas for bush camping. For fishing and boating enthusiasts, it comes highly recommended. Camp beside these ghostly river red gums, and you might just catch some Murray Cod, Trout Cod, Golden Perch (Yellow Belly), Silver Perch or Murray Crayfish. Note that a NSW recreational fishing licence is required for the Murray River. Alternatively, if you are just after a peaceful setting with wonderful birdlife – this is for you! Facilities are

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NSW Bethungra Dam

Beautiful night skies at Bethungra Dam and Reserve, New South Wales

This site is not so well known, which makes it even more attractive if you’re hoping to get away from it all! There are good facilities here – toilet, picnic tables, fireplaces, boat ramp, access for big rigs, shade, and it’s pet friendly. There is a big flat gravel area for RVs, and the night skies are perfect for stargazing. In 1895 the dam was constructed as a water supply dam for Junee, north of Ulandra Nature Reserve. After 1906, water quality problems led to its disuse. Blue green outbreaks may mean it is closed for recreation, but it still has

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Imperial Hotel Qurindi

New listing – Imperial Hotel Quirindi, New South Wales,

Image Courtesy Mattinbgn WikiCommons If you find yourself on the Kamilaroi Hwy heading south from Gunnedah, pop in and say hello to new owners Ann and Mick at the Imperial Hotel in Henry Street, Quirindi. Nestled In this beautiful district in northern NSW, the Imperial is a traditional country hotel offering old fashioned pub meals, a yarn or two from the locals and we hear that the food is excellent. On a hot day, there’s a cool beer garden to relax in and the hotel is close to the centre of town, bowling club, swimming pool and tennis courts. Owners

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The Reef Reserve Oberon NSW

Free camp: The Reef Reserve, Lake Oberon, New South Wales

This pretty spot is situated around 3.5 kilometres from the centre of Oberon, New South Wales.  It’s quickly becoming a fisherman’s paradise as it is well stocked with trout and both fly fishing and spinning for trout are permitted all year round.   The unpowered campground provides beautiful views of Lake Oberon and you can stay for up to 72 hours. Treed with native Eucalypt and grassland, you can choose to camp amongst the shade trees or near the lake and toilets. Sites are well spaced for privacy and dogs are welcome on lead. Facilities include a boat ramp, picnic area

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