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.

Swans Creek Crossing

Free State Forest Camp: Swans Crossing

Popular with both the locals and visitors, this free camping ground is a NSW gem. At Swans Creek Crossing you will find a large open grassy area surrounded by native forest and hardwood plantations. This area is suitable for tents, caravans and campervans, however there is no power available. The nearby shallows of Upsalls Creek is a popular swimming hole and the camping ground itself is located in the Kerewong State Forest. Just a 20 minute drive from Kew (halfway between Taree and Kempsey) Swans Creek Crossing is a quiet and peaceful camping ground with sufficient facilities for a couple

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Olney HQ Camping Area

Olney HQ Camping Area is a great stopover – and it is free!

If you are travelling along the Central Coast of New South Wales Olney State Forest is a great spot to stop over. Located in a popular recreation area, this free camp site is great for both families and small groups. Located west of Lake Macquarie, the area is impressively green and is bordered by Watagan State Forest, Wyong State Forest and Watagans National Park. In both 2012 and 2013, the State Forests of the Watagan Mountains won the Gold Award for Adventure Tourism in the Hunter Central Coast Tourism Awards and won a bronze award for tourist attraction in 2011. It’s safe

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Rocky River Fossicking

Rocky River fossicking and free camp, Uralla, NSW

If you are looking for a free camping area rich with Australian History, you will find it at Rocky River. A major gold rush ensued in this area in the 1850s after gold was found in 1851. Although the site is historic, there isn’t much to see other than holes – the traces of eager hands and machinery digging for gold. By 1856 the fields in this area were the largest in northern NSW with approximately 4000-5000 miners working the site. There is a visitor centre nearby where you can hire equipment to try your luck fossicking. The best way,

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Ellenborough Reserve

Ellenborough Reserve is a wildlife haven

Ellenborough Reserve camp site provides a grassy rest area among trees on the banks of the Hastings and Ellenborough Rivers in NSW. This is a particularly great spot for canoers, kayakers and birdwatching enthusiasts. The area is home to a wide range of birds including bowerbirds, kingfishers, king parrots, wedge-tailed eagles and honeyeaters. You may also come across native Australian animals such as kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, possums and echidnas if you are quiet enough. Goannas, platypus and turtles are less commonly seen, but are known to live in the area. The camping area itself is a reasonably large grassy area

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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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NSW Wingello HQ Camp

Free camp in a grove at Wingello State Forest

There’s a lot to love about this site, which is a simply a clearing in radiata pine forest. There are walking trails and excellent mountain bike tracks, and it is popular for horse riding – but the best thing is you may spot a wombat! There’s plenty of birdlife here too. This free camping site is located on a large grassy area among Wingello State Forest in NSW. It is suitable for big rigs with level ground, there are toilets, fireplaces, water, mobile reception, and it is pet friendly. With over 50 campsites to choose from, it’s only a 5-minute

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