Campers will rejoice at the multitude of camping options on offer around Port Macquarie.
From sites next to the ocean to riverside campgrounds where you can rough it while remaining close to the town, located on the Mid North Coast of NSW. Come for the chance to unwind, stay for the scenery and friendly campsite vibes.
Here’s our guide to the best Port Macquarie camping spots, which we’ve narrowed down to six.
Diamond Head Campground at Crowdy Bay National Park
If you’re looking for a coastal getaway, it doesn’t get much better than this National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) park near Diamond Head in Crowdy Bay National Park. After a day spent photographing Split Rock and lounging around the picnic area you can gaze at the stars while listening to the snap, crackles and pop of the campfire (you can hire a fire basket and access firewood from the onsite office).
Less than an hour’s drive from Port Macquarie, this campground has picnic shelters and gas barbecues, toilets and outdoor showers and is suitable for motorhomes, caravans, campervans, camper trailers and tents. Hike to the top of Diamond Head on the 4.8-kilometre loop track to enjoy panoramic views of the glittering sea.
NRMA Port Macquarie Breakwall Holiday Park
It’s no wonder the NRMA Port Macquarie Breakwall Holiday Park is one of the most sought-after campgrounds in Port Macquarie. Park your van or pitch your tent here and take in the sunrise from near to the boulder-strewn breakwall along the coastline. Popular for its outstanding waterfront views, beautifully manicured gardens and friendly staff, the holiday park is located near the 9.1-kilometre coastal walk along the Hastings River, which stretches from Westport Park to the iconic Tacking Point Lighthouse.
If you’re more of a wimper (wimpy camper) than a hard-core outdoorsy type you will be stoked by the park’s convenient location right by the beach and city centre, where you will find a plethora of great places to eat. What makes this holiday park so loved by campers and caravanners is the fact you can be lulled to sleep by the sound of ocean waves and the smell of salty sea air. Check into a Waterview cabin if you fancy an upgrade.
Diamond Waters Caravan park
Tucked away in native bushland on the shores of the Camden Haven River, this leafy campground and caravan park is sandwiched between the river and the sea. Diamond Waters Caravan Park has its own frontage and boat access to the waterway, which makes it easy to escape the throngs and explore the Camden Haven waterways by boat or kayak, which you can hire from the Dunbogan Boatshed.
The caravan park is near to the mouth of the Camden Haven River, which connects with various lakes and lagoons, making it a popular spot for fishos who converge here to try and catch estuarine species such as bream and flathead. The caravan park has en suite cabins, powered sites and non-powered sites available. It is also located within walking distance to a pet-friendly beach (pets by arrangement).
Cobrabald-Wild Bull recreation area
If you’re after a shady, serene spot to set up camp and unwind, then plug Mount Boss State Forest into your GPS. Only a short drive from Wauchope, Mount Boss State Forest is a bit of a hidden secret (not anymore!) for locals who like to free camp. What the park lacks in amenities (there’s only BBQ facilities and toilets), it makes up for in rugged beauty.
Walk through the tangle of jungle near the Cobrabald-Wild Bull recreation area and you will find the perfect waterhole for a dip, if you don’t mind sharing the pool with catfish that is. Although Cobrabald-Wild Bull sounds like it could be in coyote country, in the US, it’s actually a lovely secluded spot just a short drive from Wauchope and one of the best camping spots on the Mid North Coast of NSW. Perfect for active couples or small groups.
Kerewong State Forest
String up your hammock, and kick back near your campsite at Swans Crossing in Kerewong State Forest, which is a popular destination that is revered by families who return here year after year.
The camping spot, about a 40-minute drive from Port Macquarie (between Taree and Kempsey), is located on former farmland that was owned by the Swan family. Surrounded by regenerated native forest and hardwood plantations it’s a lush backdrop to a beautiful expansive area. The nearby shallows of Upcalls Creek provide a cool, quiet swimming spot.
Take a hike along the historical Longworth’s Tramway Heritage Walk, which is only a short drive away, or tackle one of many bushwalking trails that crisscross Kerewong State Forest. Fancy a dip? Skip the crowds and unwind at nearby Upsalls Creek, a tranquil swimming spot.
Reflections Holiday Parks Bonny Hills
Forget rolling out your swag in the middle of the NSW outback, although that option does have merit. If you want to take a break from your busy life and reconnect with nature then why not do it in style at one of the glamping options on offer at Reflections Holiday Parks Bonny Hills?
Camping here does not equate to roughing it. Conveniently located between Port Macquarie and the waterways of Camden Haven near to picturesque Lake Cathie and overlooking Rainbow Beach, Reflections has a range of options on offer, from camping and glamping to cabins and powered caravan sites. And anyway, you are still technically sleeping under the stars when glamping in a luxury tent, it’s just that you’re doing so with a fully-equipped kitchen and comfy bed, TV and private bathroom. So there.