5 Awesome Camping Spots in the Southern Highlands
There are so many National Parks and State Forests right on our door step in the Southern Highlands and you know what that means…….soooo many awesome camping spots!
We checked some out, so you don’t have to do the hard yards when planning your next camping trip. Here are five of our fav spots with a little something for everyone!
GAMBELLS REST CAMPGROUND // Morton National Park Bundanoon
Right at the entrance to Morton National Park in Bundanoon, this spot is perfectly located to take advantage of the many walks and lookouts in this gorgeous place while still being close enough to town (20 minute walk or a 3 minute drive) to pop down the shops for a morning coffee if you don’t fancy firing up the billy.
Booking through National Parks can be done online and prices vary depending on the season but you’re looking at about $25 per night for a site during peak times like school holidays.
You get good bang for your camping buck as the campground has toilets, hot showers, picnic tables and BBQs as well as 10 moderately sized sites - perfect for families and couples wanting to explore the nearby Erith Coal Mine or Fairy Bower Falls.
Gambell’s Rest Campground is a great mix of roughing it with access to town and a few creature comforts.
The Fold Loves // a toasty hot shower to relax aching muscles after a big hike.
HQ CAMPGROUND // Wingello State Forest
Wingello State Forest is one of the lesser-known destinations in the Highlands but boy does it have some good camping! Hidden away about 10 minutes south east of Wingello itself, the State Forest is probably best known for its mountain bike trails that crisscross through the pine forest… so remember to pack the bikes!
There’s something pretty spesh about heading down Forest Road and watching the landscape change in front of your eyes as scrubby Australian bush transforms into rows of beautiful big pine trees.
The campsite has the perfect combination of open grassy spots for those with caravans while underneath the tall pines were some open flat clearings for those with a tent.
It’s a great spot to base yourself for big hikes and long bike rides – one for adventurous and active families, for sure! Oh, and because it’s a State Forest, your furry family members can come along too!
Camping in State Forests are all absolutely free, but that does mean the trade-off is facilities are more limited. This site has drop toilets and no designated campsites but that just means you can choose to camp wherever takes your fancy!
The Fold Loves // hitting the single tracks at Wingello.
DALY’S CLEARING CAMPGROUND // Belanglo State Forest
Daly’s Clearing is exactly what it sounds like - a big open campsite perfect for large groups looking for a quiet place for a relaxing camping weekend. We took the Belango Road off the Hume Highway, and within 10 minutes we were exploring the site looking for the best spot to pitch our tent. How easy is that!
We found a great mix of travellers and of course several large groups sitting around and sinking a few bevvies while soaking up the beautiful ambience of the thick pine forest that surrounds the clearing.
This is also a favourite spot for day-trippers bringing along their BBQ (there are currently solid fuel bans across most NSW State Forests so check their website before you go!) and kicking back in the shade while the kids run around without the worry of disturbing anyone else… yep, the clearing is THAT big!
With not much else to do, this really is the perfect spot for those just looking to kick back and unwind and we love it!
The Fold Loves // being able to escape all our busyness so close to home.
BERRIMA RIVER CAMPGROUND // Berrima
This little campground is nestled on the banks of the Wingecarribee River and is just a 10 minute walk from the centre of Berrima… nice and close to town, but this is one of the best equipped campsites you’ll find locally, so you probably won’t even need to head into town!
For only $18 per site per night (max 2 night stay) you have access to flush toilets, showers, BBQs, picnic tables and there’s even play equipment for the kids. This is a council run campground - everything is well maintained and there are only 4 sites so its super quiet. Perfect for families with young children who are just dipping their toes into the camping lifestyle.
We love this little spot so much, tucked away behind Berrima and the history associated with it. It’s actually on the site of the old internment camp.
The Fold Loves // the River Walk that starts at the campground.
SANDY CREEK CLEARNING // Meryla State Forest
Ok now this one is not for the faint of heart. If you aren’t much of an outdoorsy type, look away now!
If you are, you will LOVE Meryla State Forest! Packed with 4x4 and dirt bike tracks this is the spot for the more hard-core among us who love to get out and rough it (and by rough it we mean it is COMPLETELY off grid).
Meryla State Forest is tucked away off Yarrawa Rd, about 15 minutes from Moss Vale and while it has very few designated campsites, Sandy Creek Clearing is one of the best if you want to bring a few of your buddies for a drive (and it definitely needs to be a four-wheel drive!)
We loved making our way down Meryla Rd and putting the car into high range to tackle some of the rougher parts before we stumbled on Sandy Creek Clearing about half an hour after entering the forest. That said, you could always just roll out your swag anywhere and with so many tracks running through the dry eucalypt forest there’s plenty of space for everyone!
The Fold Loves // getting the adrenalin going with some 4WD’ing!
How lucky are we to have so many camping options close to home?! Now, excuse us……we’re going bush!!