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7 Best Places for Free Camping in South Coast NSW

Bastian Graf Portrait

Written by Bastian
Sales & Marketing Manager

Planning a road trip down the South Coast of NSW? We’ve put together a list of our favourite spots to camp for free.

From pristine beaches to lush rainforests, these campgrounds have something for everyone – so you’ll definitely have options on your next adventure.

Bring your canoe or get your hiking shoes on – it’s time to explore free camping down the coast!

Quick links

  1. Cave Beach, Booderee National Park
  2. Bendethera Valley Campground
  3. Bendeela Recreation Area
  4. Red Gum Campground, Clyde River National Park
  5. Carrington Falls Campground, Budderoo National Park
  6. Bodalla Forest Rest Area
  7. North Head Campground, Murramarang National Park

Cave beach at Booderee National Park

1. Cave Beach, Booderee National Park

Jervis Bay, NSW

Cave Beach is the perfect free campground in Jervis Bay for travellers who love to be surrounded by water, bush and wildlife.

In fact, the campground is within walking distance of two amazing beaches: Cave Beach and Bherwerre Beach. Cave Beach is a great spot for surfers and swimmers – with some amazing tidal caves on offer – and Bherwerre attracts visitors for its fishing and endless white sand.

Did you know? Cave Beach Campground also inhabits native Australian wildlife, like Kangaroos and Echidnas, and provides a range of trails and circuits for those who love a good bush walk.

Overall, it’s a picturesque camping spot equipped with access to water, barbecues and showers, plus it’s a great way to wind down and escape the busy streets – so we’d definitely recommend it on your next road trip.

For more information, feel free to visit the Booderee National Park  website.

FEATURED AMENITIES

  • Public Toilets
  • Sheltered gas barbecue area
  • Cold water showers
  • Fresh drinking water
  • Wood barbeques

cute wombat looking at the camera

2. Bendethera Valley Campground

Deua National Park, NSW

Bendethera Valley Campground is a relaxing and secluded spot to stay, whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation or both. The campground is located in a quiet bushland area, and is a great base for any travellers looking at exploring the Bendethera Cave. Next to the caves, there’s an ambitious walking track for those who like an adventure – roughly an 8 km round trip, with some challenging terrain towards the end.

The great thing is, Bendethera Valley Campground is also a fantastic place for families: it’s right near the Deua River (perfect for the kids to swim in) and it invites many native wildlife, like Kangaroos, Wallabies – and if you’re lucky – some Wombats in the evening.

Travel in early spring to watch the Bendethera Wattle bloom, or head down any time of the year for a relaxing time away – either way – put it on your list!

For more information, feel free to visit the Bendethera Valley Campground website.

FEATURED AMENITIES

  • Wood barbeques
  • Picnic tables
  • Public toilets
  • Hiking trails
  • Fire rings

kangaroo valley river

3. Bendeela Recreation Area

Kangaroo Valley, NSW

For travellers wanting to stay in secluded bushland, Bendeela Recreation Area is the perfect free campground – located at the bottom of Kangaroo Valley, and surrounded by natural forestation.

With access to a range of activities, like bushwalks, canoeing, fishing, swimming and boating – there’s certainly something for everyone!

Keep in mind – this campground offers fresh drinking water and public amenities, but you will need to make a reservation via BIG4 Holiday Parks. f you’re considering heading down the south coast for a rustic camping adventure, check out Bendeela Recreation Area on its own, or pair it with a campervan hire to extend your trip.

FEATURED AMENITIES

  • Picnic Area
  • Public toilets
  • Fresh drinking water
  • Portable gas barbeques permitted
  • Canoe launching areas

black cockatoo flying

4. Red Gum Campground, Clyde River National Park

Batemans Bay, NSW

Red Gum Campground is a lakeside free camping spot, located in a remote bush area near Batemans Bay. The campground is very intimate, with just 4 camp spots along the river.

You’ll find many bush trails for walking and bike riding, and of course, the beautiful Clyde River for all things fishing, swimming and kayaking. Like some of our other featured favourites – Clyde River also attracts many rare birds, so don’t forget your binoculars! Besides the rare black cockatoo and sea eagle, you will also be able to catch sight of some wallabies and possums at night.

Red Gum Campground is a great choice for those looking at a night or two away in nature. Make sure to bring your own drinking water and firewood to use at the campsite – we’ll see you there!

FEATURED AMENITIES

  • Toilets
  • Barbeque facilities
  • Riverside campsites
  • Extra parking available

carrington falls in the southern highlands

5. Carrington Falls Campground, Budderoo National Park

Robertson, NSW

Looking for the magnificent Carrington Falls Waterfall? You won’t have to go far – this campground is in prime location to set up camp. Located next to the Kangaroo River, Carrington Falls Campground is a small no-frills campground with access to many trails and lookouts of the falls.

It’s connected to an easy trail up to Izzards Lookout, but for the best view, we’d point you over to the Missingham Lookout and Warris Chair Lookout tracks. Trust us, these longer trails are a bit more challenging, but they’re totally worth it for the front views of the gorges.

Travelling in warmer months? You’ll find a tonne of swimming holes near the campground to cool off in – and in springtime – catch the yellow and red native flowers that bloom in the bloodwood forest.

Like Bendeela, don’t forget to book a site in advance and bring drinking water – see you there soon!

FEATURED AMENITIES

  • Toilets
  • Picnic tables
  • Carpark
  • Walking trails

Bodalla Forest Rest Area

6. Bodalla Forest Rest Area

Bodalla, NSW

Just off the Princes Highway, Bodella Forest Rest Area can be found in the Bodalla State Forest near Narooma. This bushland campground is surrounded by spotted gum trees and plenty of easy walking trails through the Bodalla State Forest.

On your way, you’ll uncover designated bike tracks and various walking trails, including the highly-recommended Mummaga Lake Walking Track, which takes you through a circuit of the forest and Mummaga lake. Alternatively, try out the Box Cutting Rainforest Walk: unlike how it sounds, it’s a really enjoyable trail that takes you through moss-covered trees and bird nests all the way through.

Back at your campground, the Bodalla Forest Rest Area also attracts many native animals and birds, making for a perfect overnight stay for your highway travels. It’s a simple and small campground that provides drinking water, toilets and allows you to bring your pets – and if you plan to start your own campfire, make sure to bring your own firewood.

Happy camping!

FEATURED AMENITIES

  • Toilets
  • Drinking water
  • Picnic tables
  • Barbeques
  • Dog friendly

North Head Beach Batemans Bay

7. North Head Campground, Murramarang National Park

Benandarah, NSW

A short drive from Batemans Bay, North Head Campground is a remote bush camp spot surrounded by nature’s best. The campground is located in a beautiful bushland, home to lots of wildlife including kangaroos, wallabies and birds.

It’s within walking distance to Honeysuckle Beach, known for its crystal-clear water, fishing spots along the rocks and calming sounds of crashing waves during the evening. You can also venture on the Oaky Beach walking track, which will take you through a beautiful bushland and offers swimming and fishing at a remote beach in Murramarang National Park.

The campground is secluded, so make sure to pack everything you need – including water for drinking and cooking.

We’ll catch you there soon!

FEATURED AMENITIES

  • Toilets
  • Swimming & Fishing spots
  • Walking trails

Whether you’re travelling during the warmer seasons or through the cold, these free camping spots all have something unique to offer. From bushwalks to swimming, these campsites are all highly recommended by travellers for their amazing views, activities and amenities.

If you’re after more free camping spots, check out our favourite campgrounds in New South Wales, or get in touch with Travellers Autobarn for more handy advice.


About The Author

Bastian Graf Portrait

Bastian
Sales & Marketing Manager

Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.

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