The 5 Best Campsites Near Surf Beaches in NSW

The end of Aussie winter is in sight! Time to start planning your first camping trip of 2019 and where better to camp than right in front of a pristine surf beach!

This article will tell you everything you need to know about the best campsites in NSW located right in front of beautiful surf beaches.

We also tell you where all the best surf spots and super fun activities are near each campsite so you never get bored.

DISCLAIMER: We strongly recommend you bring a car to these campsites as there are some amazing surf breaks nearby that you’ll need a vehicle to get to.

PLEASE NOTE: There is a detailed summary of all the amenities available at each campsite (drinking water, toilets etc) at the end of this article.

 1. Cave Beach, Jervis Bay, NSW

Cave Beach is situated in the Booderee National Park and is famous for its network of stunning sea caves at the southern end of the beach which can be explored at low tide.

Cave BeachCave Beach, NSW (source: visitnsw.com)

Campsite:

Cave Beach Camping Ground, Booderee National Park

About:

Cave Beach Camping Ground is a beautiful little campground right in front of Cave Beach. The campsite is about a 300m walk from the car park. This means you're required to carry all your equipment by hand in to the camping area so pack lightly. With no hot showers or power available, this campsite is more appropriate for experienced campers.

Cost:

In addition to your campsite fee, you will also need to pay a fee to enter Booderee National Park.

The national park entry fee is $13 and is valid for 48 hours.

Time

Campsite Fee (max 5ppl.)

October-March – Friday to Saturday

$14

October-March – Sunday to Thursday

$12

Any other time

$8

 Surf Spots Nearby:

Beach

Wave Difficulty

Best Wind

Drive time from Campsite

Cave Beach

Beginner

NW

0 mins

Steamers Beach

Intermediate

NW

21 mins

Culburra Beach

Intermediate

W

49 mins

Mollymook Beach

Beginner

W

54 mins

Fun Activities within Driving Distance:

Visit the Botanic Gardens - Booderee National Park:

    (Drive time from campsite = 5mins)

    The botanic gardens within Booderee National Park contain a number of beautiful walking trails where you can check out native birds and other wildlife.

    Bush Walk - Steamers Beach:

      (Drive time from campsite = 15mins)

      Starting at the Steamers Beach carpark there is a clearly marked bush trail down to the beach.  The trail is 2.3km each way (4.6km total) and takes you through tall eucalypt forest and tea tree towards the coast. It finishes with a steep flight of stairs.

      Fine Dining - Cupitt’s Winery

        (Drive time from campsite = 55mins)

        Looking for a long, boozy lunch? Cupitt’s Winery is the spot for you. Start with a wine tasting overlooking the vineyard and then enjoy a 3 course sit down lunch of delicious Australian contemporary cuisine. Make sure you reserve a table well in advance as this restaurant books out fast.

        2. Depot Beach, Batemans Bay, NSW

        Depot Beach is a stunning south coast location boasting a huge array of marine and wildlife. Kangaroos are known to come down to the shore at dusk to say hi.

        Depot BeachDepot Beach, NSW (source: visitnsw.com)

        Campsite:

        Depot Beach Campground, Murramarang National Park

        About:

        Set amongst the beautiful spotted gums native to the area, the Depot Beach Campground is located right on the beach. Once you’ve set up your tent, swag, camper trailer or caravan you’ll never want to leave.

        Cost:

        Unpowered site nightly rate:

        $24 per night (includes 2 people).

        Additional adults $12 per night, children (5-15yrs) $6 per night and infants (0-4 yrs) free.

        Powered site nightly rate:

        $34 per night (includes 2 people).

        Additional adults $17 per night, children (5-15yrs) $8.50 per night and infants (0-4 yrs) free. 

        Surf Spots Nearby:

        Beach

        Wave Difficulty

        Best Wind

        Drive time from Campsite

        Depot Beach

        Beginner

        SW

        0 mins

        Durras Beach

        Intermediate

        NW

        6 mins

        Mills Point

        Advanced

        S to SW

        25 mins

        Bawley Point

        Intermediate

        W to SW

        30 mins

        Fun Activities within Driving Distance:

        Fishing – Batemans Marine Park

          (Drive time from campsite = 0mins)

          Batemans Marine Park is a protected zone that spans across all ocean in the greater Batemans Bay area. It was setup to protect the ocean and the sealife living in it. The ocean in front of the Depot Beach campsite is technically a part of the park.

          An outstanding feature of the park is the large expanses of rocky reef that support a diverse array of fish, invertebrates and algae which make it perfect for recreational fishing.

          Visit the Zoo – Mogo Zoo

            (Drive time from campsite = 32mins)

            This privately owned zoo on the south coast is small but mighty. It boasts the largest collection of primates in Australia. With a very laid back atmosphere, this zoo offers up the opportunity to get up close and personal with lions, zebras, tigers and giraffes.

            Whale Watching – North Head Lookout

              (Drive time from campsite = 33mins)

              Start by walking the easy 300m track towards the gorgeous North Head. From there, the vantage point offers spectacular views of the coastline and in winter (June-August) you’ll be able to catch humpback whales on their annual migration. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins as they can be spotted here anytime of the year.

              3. Diamond Head, Crowdy Bay, NSW

              Diamond Head is one of the true gems of the Australian east coast. With crystal blue water and tonnes of wildlife, it’s no wonder why this is one of NSW’s favourite camping spots.

              Diamond HeadView of the natural arch on the Diamond Head Loop walk (source: nationalparks.nsw.gov.au)

              Campsite:

              Diamond Head Campground, Crowdy Bay National Park

              About:

              Filled with native trees and wildlife, the Diamond Head Campground, is located right next to the beautiful Diamond Head beach. Kangaroos and wombats have been known to wander through the camping area. Please note that drinking water is not available at the campsite and must be brought in. No powered sites are available.

              Cost:

              $24 per night (includes 2 people).

              Additional adults $12 per night, children (5-15yrs) $6 per night and infants (0-4 yrs) free.

              Surf Spots Nearby:

              Beach

              Wave Difficulty

              Best Wind

              Drive time from Campsite

              Diamond Head

              Beginner

              W to SW

              0 mins

              Dunbogan Beach

              Beginner

              W

              15 mins

              Lighthouse Beach

              Intermediate

              NW

              41 mins

              Old Bar

              Intermediate

              W to NW

              51 mins

              Fun Activities within Driving Distance:

              Bush Walk – Diamond Head Loop, Crowdy Bay National Park

                (Drive time from campsite = 0mins)

                The great thing about this walk is that it starts right from inside the Diamond Head campground. Passing through heath and forests of paperbark and swamp mahogany, pause to take in the exceptional views at Kylie’s lookout and scan the waters for dolphins. The headland rises dramatically and offers panoramic views across Crowdy Bay, north to Perpendicular Point and south to Crowdy Head.

                Visit an Adventure Park - Big Buzz Fun Park

                  (Drive time from campsite = 48mins)

                  Bring out your inner kid and try out the water slides and toboggan run at Big Buzz Fun Park. The park also offers putt putt golf, outdoor laser tag and trampolines!

                  Facial or Massage – Endota Spa, Port Macquarie

                    (Drive time from campsite = 48mins)

                    Sometimes you just need to treat yourself after a long, hard day surfing. Endota Spa is Port Macquarie’s pre-eminent day spa and offers a range of services including facials, massages and other beauty treatments.

                    4. Delicate Nobby, Crescent Head, NSW

                    Delicate Nobby Beach is located just down the road from one of Australia’s preeminent right-hand point breaks, Crescent Head. Bring your log for one of the longest rides of your life. 

                    Delicate NobbyThe view from nearby Racecourse Headland (source: nationalparks.nsw.gov.au)

                    Campsite:

                    Waves Campground

                    About:

                    Waves Campground is nestled among the trees just across the road from the stunning Delicate Nobby Beach. This is a full service campsite with everything you need including hot showers, laundry and even a café.  With yoga classes provided onsite you’ll be forgiven for not wanting to leave.

                    Cost:

                    Time

                    Unpowered - Nightly Campsite Fee (per person)*

                    School Holidays and Long Weekends

                    $15

                    Any other time

                    $10

                    *For a powered campsite, a fee of up to $15 is added to the nightly rate based on power usage.

                    Surf Spots Nearby:

                    Beach

                    Wave Difficulty

                    Best Wind

                    Drive time from Campsite

                    Delicate Nobby

                    Intermediate

                    W

                    0 mins

                    Racecourse Point

                    Advanced

                    W

                    3 mins

                    Crescent Head - Back Beach

                    Intermediate

                    W to NW

                    12 mins

                    Crescent Head - Point

                    Intermediate

                    W

                    15 mins

                    Crescent Head - Front Beach

                    Beginner

                    W to SW

                    15 mins

                    Fun Activities within Driving Distance:

                    Golf - 6 Holes at Crescent Head Golf Course:

                      (Drive time from campsite = 13mins)

                      The golf course runs along the famous Crescent Head headland and offers incredible views of surfers taking off from the point.

                      Bush Walk – Big Hill Rainforest Walking Track:

                        (Drive time from campsite = 13mins)

                        The Big Hill Walking Track is located just down the road from Waves Campground. Starting at the picnic area by the beach, this short loop trail winds around the top of the headland and through lush rainforest. It runs for 1.4km and takes about an hour.

                        Facial or Massage – Endota Spa, Port Macquarie

                          (Drive time from campsite = 1hr)

                          Admittedly this is quite some distance from the campsite, but sometimes you just need to treat yourself after a long, hard day surfing. Endota Spa is Port Macquarie’s pre-eminent day spa and offers a range of services including facials, massages and other beauty treatments.

                          5. Shelly Beach, Nambucca Heads, NSW

                          Nambucca Heads is the perfect little sleepy surf town for your next getaway. Shelly Beach has nice gentle waves if you’re looking for a more chilled-out surf.

                          Nambucca HeadsOne of the famous painted rocks at "V-Wall", Nambucca Heads (source: goondiwindiargus.com.au)

                          Campsite:

                          Pelican Caravan Park

                          About:

                          Pelican Caravan Park is located right on the beautiful Nambucca River. This is a family-orientated caravan park with absolutely everything you might need including a swimming pool! You will require a car for this campsite as the nearest beach, Shelly Beach, is a short 10 minute drive away.

                          Cost:

                          Time

                          Powered – Nightly*

                          Powered (Riverside) – Nightly*

                          Unpowered – Nightly*

                          Off-peak

                          $38

                          $50

                          $35

                          Shoulder

                          $42

                          $60

                          $38

                          Easter

                          $50

                          $70

                          $45

                          Christmas

                          $80

                          $100

                          $60

                          *All prices are twin share

                          Surf Spots Nearby:

                          Beach

                          Wave Difficulty

                          Best Wind

                          Drive time from Campsite

                          "V-Wall"

                          Intermediate

                          W

                          11 mins

                          Shelly Beach

                          Intermediate

                          SW

                          11 mins

                          Main Beach

                          Intermediate

                          W to SW

                          11 mins

                          Beilbys Beach

                          Intermediate

                          W

                          12 mins

                          South Beach

                          Advanced

                          W

                          17 mins

                          Fun Activities within Driving Distance:

                          Dinner at a Traditional Pub - Nambucca Heads RSL Club

                            (Drive time from campsite = 7mins)

                            Nambucca Heads RSL Club has a family-friendly bistro overlooking the river and mountain ranges. Make sure you get there early as the bistro shuts at 8:30pm!

                            Visit an Outdoor Art Gallery - V-Wall Outdoor Art Gallery

                              (Drive time from campsite = 11mins)

                              Winding off Bowra Street onto river-hugging Wellington Drive, visitors will be treated to an outdoor art gallery stretching from the car park to the river entrance. Visitors are encouraged to paint their own postcard message on the enormous rock boulders. Less artistic ones are sure to enjoy the walk and reading messages from around the world.

                              Chase Some Waterfalls – Dorrigo National Park

                                (Drive time from campsite = 1hr)

                                Only an hour’s drive away along Waterfall Way you will find the world heritage listed Dorrigo National Park. It is worth going just for the drive, as you pass by two waterfalls on the drive there. Dangar Falls is the easiest waterfall to view within the park. However, if you're feeling adventurous there are also six other waterfalls hiding away in other parts of the park. Try the Wonga Walk, Rosewood Creek Track or Blackbutt Track to discover them.

                                Summary of Campsite Amenities:

                                1. Cave Beach
                                2. Depot Beach
                                3. Diamond Head
                                4. Delicate Nobby
                                5. Shelly Beach
                                Drive Time from Sydney
                                3hrs 0mins
                                3hrs 45mins
                                4hrs 30mins
                                5hrs 0mins
                                5hrs 30mins
                                Fresh Water
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                -
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Public Toilets
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Showers (cold water)
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Showers (hot water)
                                -
                                Yes
                                -
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Sheltered Gas BBQ Area
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Wood Barbecues
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                -
                                Yes
                                -
                                Laundry Facilities
                                -
                                -
                                -
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Café
                                -
                                -
                                -
                                Yes
                                -
                                Power Supply
                                -
                                Yes
                                -
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                TV Aerial Connection
                                -
                                -
                                -
                                -
                                Yes
                                Car Parking On Site
                                -
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                Dump Point
                                -
                                Yes
                                Yes
                                -
                                Yes

                                 

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