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Home > Lists and Links > Recommended free and low cost camping > New South Wales
Free camping and low cost camping places we have enjoyed in New South Wales

Copeland Reserve.  Approximately five kilometres west of Barrington (which is seven kilometres north west of Gloucester) on theScone via Barrington Tops road.  Free camping, one month maximum.  Very old pit toilets.  A small tank had the tap disabled.  A large level grassed area, open to the road and backing onto a creek beyond a fence, from where we were serenaded by the tinkling calls of the bell miners and a chorus of frogs.  Picnic shelters and fire places.  Near Copeland State Conservation Area.  Pets permitted.  A lovely spot to stay for a day or two, or use as a base for exploring Barrington Tops.  Some noise from dogs at neighbouring houses across the road.  Stayed 2009

It was school holidays when we stayed at Bretti, and campers regularly came for their holidays and some had set up pumps from the river to tanks for their camp groups.  Pets permitted.  Water from river good quality.  A lovely spot amongst green hills.  Also Gloryvale Reserve free camp (one month maximum) is eleven kilometres further south, flatter and with newer toilets, but close to the road and much smaller.  Stayed 2009 

South East New South Wales

North East New South Wales

Dumaresq Dam. CLOSED  Fourteen kilometres north west of Armidale.  By a scenic weir which is used for recreation such as boating and fishing.  Flush toilets, covered picnic area with gas barbecue and open fireplace, small water tank (non potable water).  Washing water can be drawn from dam.   One power pole and outlet – key from Visitor Centre.  Park on grassy slopes (not level).  No dogs.  Birdlife.  A pleasant walk trail around the dam.  A delightful free camp. We chose to stay and commute to tour Armidale and the surrounding area, including some of the nearby waterfalls and walks, rather than take the caravan to National Park camp grounds which we do enjoy.  Stayed 2009. NOW DAY AREA ONLY.

 

Read about this campsite being closed on our News Page.   There is hope.  See latest News and the full report from Armidale on Armidale Regional Council will apply for $1.5 million to fund an upgrade of Dumaresq Dam

Mother of Ducks Lagoon, Guyra.  On the western edge of Guyra; the highest altitude town on the New England Highway.  Toilets and water.  Pets permitted.  A pleasant 48 hour free camp, but we chose to continue to Dumaresq Dam, Armidale as it was early in the afternoon and we prefer to be out of town.  Visited 2009

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27 kilometres east of Rylestone, which is 55 kilometres south east of Mudgee.  $5 per person per night honesty box fees #. Pit toilets.  Water can be drawn from dam.  A large campground on the edge of a dam with interesting sandstone formations and “pagoda” rocks.  Most camp sites not level or suitable for caravans or big rigs.  A flat open area for caravans was full as it was school holidays.  Display boards show the walks; there were several long and different walks; nice walks but not well signed.  Boat and canoe hire available during peak times.   Stayed 2009

Fourteen kilometres from Dubbo, being four kilometres west of Brocklehurst, a light industrial area serving Dubbo on the Newell Highway ten kilometres north of Dubbo and 57 kilometres south of Gilgandra.  A small free campground along the Macquarie River alongside an Aboriginal cultural site.  Walk through the cultural site along the river and see axe grinding marks on rocks.  Flush toilets with water supplied from a tank, but no water for campers.  Fireplaces and bins.  Pets permitted. Canoe or swim in a pool on the river.  Campground fills by late afternoon.  A quiet and pleasant alternative to staying in Dubbo and suitable for commuting to the Western Plains Zoo and for sightseeing in Dubbo for those not wanting to stay in town.  Stayed 2009 Update: Time limited 24 hour campsite.

A community run camp ground in the tiny town of Burcher which is 49 kilometres north of West Wyalong and thirteen kilometres east of Bena.  Gold coin donation at the Hotel (even if they say you don’t need to).  Powered sites and taps with dam water.  Drinking water from a tank at the nearby hall is provided at the amenities block.  Picnic table and chairs and a sink with hot water under cover.  Plans to build a paved barbecue area.  Not fancy, but has all you need in this town that loves people to come and stay.  Stayed 2009

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Bretti Reserve. At the junction of the fast flowing Barnard and Manning Rivers, at the bottom of the long steep road which forms part of Thunderbolt’s Way; the steep drop which commences near Nowendoc to the south of Walcha. Campground is 34 kilometres north of Gloucester. There is quite a large area along the river going some distance from the road, although not all flat.  Old pit toilets.  Maximum stay one month. Stayed 2009 
Rest areas in New South Wales can be accessed from RTA Rest Areas
The maps do not specify any time limits on staying. 
 
National Parks shown here may be too expensive to meet low cost criteria if you are paying the daily entry fees on top of the camping fees.  They may become cost effective if you have a Parks Pass.  Note # 6th October 2015 daily park entry and camping price rises.
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Good sports grounds and playground nearby.  This town used to be at the end of a rail spur with wheat bins; the rail link now closed with the station master's house and bins in disrepair.  Pets permitted.  Friendly and welcoming people in the town. An interesting place to visit and support as the area has suffered badly through droughts and poor seasons.  Apart from their bi-annual event Poppers in the Pines which displays principally vintage tractors and a tractor pull contest, there are not many visitors at this very low cost serviced camp ground.  
Glen Davis Campground
Burcher.
Terramungamine Reserve near Dubbo
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Boonoo Boonoo National Park.   Camping by the Boonoo Boonoo River near Platypus Pool at Cypress Pines Campground.  Toilet and picnic tables.  A small campground suitable for caravans, camper trailers and tents.  Park entry fees and camping fees apply; $8 per car daily entry and $12 per person per night camping, updated 2017.   Visited 2009 but due to a change of plans we did not stay.
Bald Rock National Park. Picnic tables, barbecues, drinking water, toilets.  A small campground suitable for caravans, camper trailers and tents.  Park entry fees and camping fees apply; $8 per car daily entry and $12 per person per night camping, updated 2017.   Visited 2009 but due to a change of plans we did not stay.  
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Basket Falls National Park and Boonoo State Forest.  Fourteen kilometres north-east of Tenterfield off the Mount Lindesay (Woodenbong) Road with access by dirt tracks; four wheel drive require in some parts of the park.  Internal tracks not suitable for towing.  Timbarra Lookout with a wide vista west and south, Basket Swamp Falls and walk to the Woollool Woolloolni Aboriginal Place.  Boonoo State Forest, which has a picnic and camping area with tables and toilet, is directly north, although we did not find this picnic and camping area.  Worth a day trip for those with four wheel drive.  No fees.  Visited 2009

52 kilometres south east of Rylestone and 33 kilometres east of Capertee.    Free community run campground with flush toilets and hot showers in well appointed bathrooms.  Tap for water.  Laundry with hot and cold water – trough but no washing machine.  Sites not level.  Picnic tables and children’s playground.  44 gallon drum bins and fireplaces.  Pets permitted.  This tiny town is almost a ghost town, with very few houses left and no shops open.  Town adjoins the former Oil Shale mining and processing area which jutsinto the Wollemi National Park.  Well appointed for a free camp and worth the visit. Stayed 2009

Dunn’s Swamp in the Wollemi National Park.
More New South Wales camps >
Pilliga Bore Baths
 
Camping area is a large flat fenced area around the warm artesian bore bath, and alongside a creek.  Campfires permitted.  The bath and campground is a short way from the tiny town of Pilliga, where you pay camping fees at the Café.  $5 per night, 21 day limit.  Pets permitted, but not in pool enclosure.

Well maintained hot pool with artesian water 37° rushing in and through the pool.  Seats, free gas barbecues. Two unisex toilets, one basic shower (bore water – run till warm).  Stayed 2017
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Eumungerie Recreation Reserve
A pleasant camping area one kilometre east of the Newell Highway, 40 kilometres north of Dubbo. Cross railway line to camping area.  Caretaker on site.  A few trees and drums for fires around the large level grounds adjacent to the show arena.  Powered sites near amenities block.  Basic showers (no dressing cubicle included), cold water only.  Mirrors behind handbasins, and soap provided.  A pleasant campsite but trucks on highway audible at night.  $10 powered, $5 unpowered.  Tiny town has a school, hotel and Post Office. Stayed 2017