Sunny shores, surf breaks, and golden sands await campers at this NSW beach town.
Whether you’re a beach lover, adrenaline junkie, or just want to get outside, Newcastle makes a strategic base for discovering central NSW, just a two-hour drive north of Sydney. Head beachside for surfing and water sports, venture inland to hike through rocky gorges and kayak around alpine lakes, or go wine tasting in the Hunter Valley. Camping options abound—seek out remote camping grounds in the heart of the hinterlands, enjoy a glamping experience complete with a traditional campfire BBQ, or park your campervan or camper trailer at a holiday park with a swimming pool.
Just a short drive south, camping spots around Lake Macquarie afford easy access to the town and Stockton Beach. A popular getaway for Sydney-siders, there’s plenty to do, from boat cruises around the lake and bushwalking in the mountains to dining at lakeside restaurants or lounging on sandy beaches.
North of Newcastle, the road to Port Macquarie passes through one of the most scenic stretches of New South Wales coastline. Enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and water sports in the Great Lakes region, where the Myall, Smiths, and Wallis Lakes are bordered by both beaches and rainforest. Pitch your tent in Myall Lakes National Park, or check into one of the camping sites or caravan parks around Forster and Bulahdelah.
Extending north of Sydney all the way to Newcastle, the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area encompasses the Yengo, Wollemi, and Blue Mountains national parks. Adventurous campers can sleep beneath the mountain stars in wooded camping grounds or trek to remote campsites accessible only by 4WD. Get set for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
Newcastle’s balmy summers (December through February) are the ideal time for coastal road trips or mountain getaways, escaping into the hills or cooling off at the region's lakes and beaches. Spring and autumn are the best times for hiking in the national parks, with spring flowers and autumnal leaves brightening the landscapes. Crowds dwindle in winter, but many campsites remain open and the weather is still mild enough for caravanning.
- Regular buses run between Sydney and Newcastle, as well as to other destinations along the Central Coast, but having your own transport is preferable for exploring the region’s national parks and state forests. - Newcastle has a number of grocery stores and camping gear shops, where you can stock up on supplies before heading out. - Fire bans are common in New South Wales during summer and dry periods, so be sure to check local recommendations before lighting your campfire or using designated firepits. - A National Parks pass is required to visit, hike, or camp in Australia’s national parks