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Best campsites for holidays with kids

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Pitching a tent somewhere (or setting up in a campervan at a caravan park) can be a low-cost way to have a holiday with the whole family. Our wise North Shore Mums from the Facebook group share their best campsites where kids can splash at nearby beaches or spot some local wildlife!

1. Toowoon Bay, Central Coast at Wyong


The jumping pillow at Toowoon Bay

Toowoon Bay will give you the best of both worlds! There are quiet and relaxing campgrounds but they’re also close to delicious dining options and grocery stores if you don’t want to be too far from civilsation! Kids will love splashing about and making sandcastles at Toowoon Bay Beach and Shelly Beach, which are beautiful (and patrolled in summer). Nearby Little Bay is perfect for little ones as it has calm waters thanks to a breakwall that protects it from the surf.

Things to do and attractions:

  • Boating, fishing and swimming
  • Local golf course
  • Pelican feeding
  • Australian Reptile Park
  • Jumping pillow (like a trampoline that is set in the ground)

More info: Toowoon Bay Holiday ParkToowoon Bay Holiday Park, Koongara Street Toowoon Bay NSW

  • “We do Toowoon Bay and the kids absolutely love it – pool, beach, jumping pillow and playground.” – Amy
  • “Highly recommend making a trip to the rock pool near the Norah Head lighthouse if you have kids under 10. It’s beautiful.” – Monique

2. Diamond Head, Crowdy Bay National Park (near Port Macquarie)


Diamond Head at Crowdy Bay

Whether you’re a tent, camper or caravan-camping type, Diamond Head campground in Crowdy Bay National Park has a setup for everyone. It’s limited in its on-site faccilities, so bring your own firewood and water. But Crowdy Bay National Park is breathtaking, a coastal setting with rocky outcrops and sandy beaches, and will suits families looking for low-key, low-teach ‘back to nature’ experiences like bushwalking, birdwatching, and catching critters in the rockpools studded around the beaches.

Things to do and attractions:

  • Beach camping
  • Picnic areas
  • Fishing spots and walking tracks
  • Supplies available in Laurieton, approx. 10km to the north of Diamond Head
  • Facilities include an amenities block, BBQs, carpark, showers, toilets

More info: Diamond Head campground websiteCrowdy Bay National Park, Diamond Head Rd, Laurieton NSW

  • “It’s right on the beach and has wild kangaroos!” – Tanya

3. Stockton Beach, Newcastle region


Stockton Beach campgrounds

It’s practically on the sand itself, and Stockton Beach Holiday Park offers powered and unpowered sites for tent camping or vans. It’s a great spot on its own or as a gateway on the way to the Hunter Valley. Top attractions include the Stockton Sand Dunes, and if you’re heading onwards to the Hunter Valley, the Hunter Valley Gardens – 25 hectares of sensational and colourful plantlife, plus vineyards.

Things to do and attractions:

  • Fishing, beach, breakwater and nearby rivers
  • Various walks: shipwreck, harbourside, coastal
  • Stockton’s Sand Dunes –Stockton Beach, has some of the biggest, legally drivable, dunes in the country, ideal location to 4 wheel drive (permit required) . 4WD and quad bike tours available
  • Surfing and kite-surfing lessons, kayak hire, kite flying
  • Oakvale Farm & Fauna World
  • Blackbutt Reserve, Kooragang Wetland, Wetlands Centre Australia (Shortland).

More info: Stockton Beach Holiday Park, 3 Pitt St, Stockton NSW 

  • “They have good free kids activities during the school holidays including daily colouring in competition with prizes. Easy beach access and the break wall is popular for fishing.” -Carlie

4. Glenworth Valley, Central Coast NSW

glenworthThe rolling hills of gorgeous, green Glenworth Valley offer a sprawling setting with no boundary area for camping, and when it gets a bit busy, they just open up another paddock (some are limited for families only). Over two hundred horses live on the property, and you can take led trail rides or overnight camping rides, plus kayaking, bushwalking. quad bike riding and just exploring the amazing property with its bridges over bushland streams and wandering tracks. 

Things to do and attractions:

  • Horseriding
  • Laser skirmish
  • Quad bike riding
  • Abseiling
  • Kayaking

More info: Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures website, 69 Cooks Road Glenworth Valley

  • “Not far from home but feels ‘a million miles away’.” -Carlie

5. The Basin, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park 

basinThe unpowered, unmarked sites at The Basin require slightly more planning than a cabin set up, but the lush surrounds and wandering wildlife make up for the effort involved. With entrancing water views and loads to do, everyone will enjoy themselves, especially swimming and paddling at the sheltered beach and inland lagoon. It’s a popular spot for North Shore families, so make sure you book ahead. 

Things to do and attractions:

  • Barine walking track
  • Nearby Beechwood Cottage is a historic property
  • Educational talks by volunteers on a range of topics
  • Amenities block
  • Picnic tables
  • BBQ facilities
  • Drinking water, showers, toilets

More info: The Basin campground website, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

  • ‘The most amazing scenery and wildlife- we go every year!’ – Amanda

And from our wise North Shore Mums, you might want to investigate these other honourable mentions:

What’s your favourite camping spot? Hit us with suggestions in the comments!

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