The weather is warming up. Summer is on the way. What better time to pack the car and head off on a camping holiday.
The NSW South Coast is an easy place to go. It’s only a few hours from both Sydney and Canberra. It has great beaches and a chilled-out vibe.
Your first choice is whether you want to camp or to glamp. Here’s our rundown of the best glamping and camping spots on the South Coast.
Glamping is luxury camping – you won’t even have to set your own tent. It’s camping – with the kitchen sink. That makes it an easy option for families with little kids. Or families who love the idea of camping – but hate the hassle.
Here are few South Coast glamping sites we recommend.
Tanja Lagoon Camp – Tanja
Tanja Lagoon Camp is surrounded by Mimosa Rocks National Park and overlooks the magnificent Tanja Lagoon. It’s 12 kilometres north of Tathra, or 35 kilometres south of Bermagui.
The unique, luxury safari-style tens were designed to allow full accessibility. They include an ensuite bathroom and kitchen features. Each tent has a handcrafted queen size bed and room for up to three children. In the lounge area families will find a sofa and writing desk.
Dinner is easy at Tanja – you can use the kitchen oven or grill or fire up the gas barbecue to cook some snags. Sit back and relax on the spacious deck and soak in the serenity as you gaze over the lagoon.
Seven Mile Beach holiday park
Seven Mile Beach on the kiama coast has great safari tents for families. The tents are already set up for you and they have a great deck area to sit and relax. These tents have secluded river views, a kitchenette and an ensuite bathroom with a toilet, shower, vanity and a luxurious claw foot bath.
Grab a kayak and explore the river. Try fishing or simply spend the day on the beach. This park is also dog-friendly.
South Coast Retreat
The South Coast retreat in Greenwell Point has luxurious African safari-style tents with queen beds, bathrooms and kitchens. The outdoor decks have barbecues and in winter, the tents have electric heating and warm alpaca blankets.
This resort is pet-friendly. They offer guests free bike use, free DVD loan, free Wi-Fi, great espresso coffee and complimentary farm-fresh eggs (subject to availability).
The Escape is luxury camping on the Clyde River. This resort gives you all the benefits of camping, without having to rough it. Each glamping tent has a queen sized bed and extra long daybeds as well as luxurious bathrooms with Sukin beauty products supplied.
The Escape offers plenty of ways to keep the kids entertained. You can try bocce, bushwalking, bush picnics, kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, swimming and bird watching.
Flash Camp at Coolendel is the best place for multi-family or multi-generation camping. It has two different campsites. One has six tents, the other five.
Each of the tents can fit a family of four. Both campsites have an undercover communal marquee with chairs, tables and lighting. The camp also supplies some games. Toilets and showers are less than 100 metres from the tents.
This budget camping park at Durras Lake makes camping easy. Families can expect a fully erected spacious dome tent, comfortable chairs, table and two padded stretcher beds. All you need to do is sit back, relax and maybe enjoy some toasted marshmallows in front of the campfire.
Holiday parks are great for families. You can choose between cabins and campsites. You get all the fun of camping, but great facilities such as pools and pizza ovens. Many of the South Coast’s holiday parks have prime position on the best beaches.
Here are a few we recommend:
Tathra Beachside Holiday Park – Tathra
Tathra Beachside is absolutely beachside. This holiday park has 500 metres of Tathra beach frontage on the unspoilt Sapphire Coast. And it is within easy walking distance to Tathra shops, restaurants, cafes, galleries and clubs.
One of the best things about this park is that it is pet-friendly. Tathra beachside has four pet-friendly cottages – so your fur-baby can come on holiday too.
Tathra’s popular Kids Club is a great place for the kids to meet new friends. The park has family programs and a pizza oven that pumps out mouth-watering homemade pizzas all year round.
Shellharbour Beachside Tourist Park
This tourist park is beachfront, pet-friendly and accessible for those with special needs.
The on-site playground is great for toddlers and preschoolers. Bigger kids will love the 50m ocean pool and the nearby beaches.
The brightly coloured beach huts are the pick of the accommodation. They have a double bed and bunk beds for the kids, a TV, tea and coffee facilities, a bar fridge and a shared barbecue area.
Discovery Park – Gerroa
Discover Park Gerroa has a jumping pillow, a swimming pool, a playground and a camp kitchen. The hardest part of this holiday will be leaving.
Families can choose from powered sites, unpowered sites, cabins and hotel rooms. The most popular cabins here are the two bedroom spa cabins. They can fit up to six people.
The park sits at the mouth of Crooked River, with the white sands of Seven Mile Beach nearby.
Easts Beach – Kiama
Easts Beach at Kiama is one of the most popular holiday parks on the South Coast. The park has options to camp or to stay in cabins.
Kids love Sunny’s Aquaventure park. It has three waterslides and a tipping bucket. They’ll alternate between that and the huge jumping cushion.
One really great thing about Easts Beach is that it has a massage studio. So parents can get a little bit of pampering while the kids are occupied.
Werri Beach Holiday Park – Gerringong
Werri Beach at Gerringong has camping, caravan and cabin sites available for families. This holiday park is beachfront so you can surf in the morning and stroll back to the cabin for breakfast.
In the afternoon you can laze on a sunlounge by the pool. Or let the kids run their energy off on the jumping cushion.
Discovery Park Pambula Beach
Discovery Holiday Park – Pambula Beach is a complete camping resort experience. It occupies 500m of absolute beachfront on the famous Pambula Beach within Ben Boyd National Park.
Families can paddle and swim at Pambula Beach or the stunning Pambula Rivermouth. Surfers should check out the waves at Lions Beach.
In the park, kids will find plenty to do. Park facilities include a games room, jumping pillow, kids club, kids playground, kiosk and licensed restaurant, children’s bathroom, BBQ’s, heated swimming pool, spa, internet access, camp kitchen, sports facilities and hire equipment.
Kangaroo spotting is a daily occurrence with regulars in residence all year round.
National Park Camping
Camping immerses you in nature, it resets your body’s natural rhythms and gives you more energy to tackle life back home. It’s also very satisfying – setting up camp, tending a fire and catching your own dinner are all challenges that most of us don’t get to do every day. The Sapphire Coast is blessed with nine unspoilt national parks with numerous and diverse campgrounds to choose from. We suggest the following:-
Bittangabee Bay – Ben Boyd Nat Park – Eden
Bitangabee has around 30 sites. It’s beautiful sheltered cove once provided safe anchorage for mariners and fishermen. It was also used as a port for the construction of nearby Green Cape Light Station. Ruins still remain, including an old railway which carted building materials nine kilometres south to the light station.
If you’re not keen on camping, but love the idea of Bittangabee you can also stay in the lighthouse cottages at Green Cape.
Saltwater Creek – Ben Boyd National Park – Eden
A remote beach in the southern section of Ben Boyd National Park, ‘Saltwater’ is bordered by two intermittently closing creeks and their small lagoons.
Saltwater Creek has 15 camp sites. The beach is exposed to swell and bordered by small estuaries that are perfect for kayaking and fishing.
Hobart Beach – Bournda National Park (between Tathra & Merimbula)
Stunning Hobart Beach is set on the shores of the flat waters of Bournda Lagoon in Bournda National Park.
The camping area is one of the best in the region, with hot showers and an amenities block, barbecues and 66 unpowered sites. It is suitable for car-based and caravan camping. Bookings are required, especially between Boxing Day and mid-January.
Surfers call Killalea Beach ‘The Farm’ It was declared a national surfing reserve in 2009. The beaches here are excellent for surfers, however, they are not patrolled.
Killalea state park features 250 hectares of pristine coastal reserve. Expect stunning views, beautifully landscaped picnic areas and public amenities for the family to enjoy. When you’re not surfing, try any one of the bush and coastal walking trails.
The camping areas have undercover barbecues and backpacker style bunkhouse for 40 people. There is a kiosk within the park.