Camping and Caravanning with pets near Sydney
by Julia Champtaloup, Aircamp
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So you want to go camping with your WHOLE family? Well you are in luck because there are some great options for all you dog (and maybe cat) lovers.
As summer continues and the warm weather persists, many are contemplating their next adventure
getaway. Keen pet owning campers are always asking the Aircamp team for pet friendly suggestions so we
have put together a list of campsites close to rainforest walks, mountain streams and coastal breezes
where you and your dog can cool down and chill out.
Head to Coachwood Camping area within the Chichester State Forest, a fairly remote site with a nice swimming hole in the Telegherry River and walking track in a rainforest. It’s dog friendly and located in a state forest, which generally don’t have quite as many restrictions on pets. Be sure to bring your own water and firewood, though there is plenty water for the dogs from the various natural water sources in the area.
Other sites in the Chichester State Forest include Old Camp camping area, Frying Pan Creek camping area, White Rock camping area and Telegherry Forest Park camp sites - all of which allow for dogs. Keep in mind these are pretty remote areas and usually need 4WD.
This area is located to the south of Barrington Tops National Park and is popular with families and those who want to bit more freedom for their dogs.
Note: Dogs are allowed in all NSW state forests as long as they are kept under the owner’s control and in some areas a leash is required. Always remember to pick up after your dog and respect other campers who don’t have dogs!
Riverwood Downs is another pet friendly area close to the World Heritage listed wilderness area of Barrington Tops National Park. A huge camping area with walking trails, lovely swimming holes and mountain streams - all perfect for dog walks and paddles. There are also cabins and a riverside cottage available for rent and a restaurant on site. Just 2.5 hours north of Sydney, this is the perfect peaceful mountain retreat when camping with pets and looking to stay cool.
Heading south from the Barrington Tops area towards the Southern Highlands, Wollondilly River Station is a perfect rustic bush camping area where pets are welcome. You can even bring your horse and do some riding on bush trails. Secluded grassy camping areas are located along the river, where swimming and canoeing are easily accessed. Once again, the river setting provides perfect swimming and drinking water for dogs. There’s no power and make sure to bring your own firewood and plenty of clean drinking water.
Campers are spoilt for choice when it comes to idyllic coastal and beachside camping in NSW. But pets are generally restricted. The Delicate campground near Crescent Head offers excellent beach camping and welcomes dogs. Dogs are allowed off leash on the beach although there are some restricted areas. There’s also wonderful walking trails including a rain forest walk that is pet friendly. There’s caravan camping also but be aware: this is a remote campground so again it’s BYO necessities. Still, this is one of the best and only (national park) beach camping areas in northern New South Wales where you can enjoy coastal camping with your dog. This national park campground is an exception to the general rule in NSW - camping with pets in NSW national parks is generally forbidden.
???? fightinwombat. Be sure to ring ahead and check with the campsite managers Rules can be seasonal and change at any time.
Mystery Bay is as good as it gets for camping with pets on the south coast of New South Wales. Just five hours from Sydney, it is one of the last natural camping areas on the coast, boasting beautiful rocky coves and coastal cliffs with campsites scattered through shady bush areas. Easy, nearby bush walking trails are perfect for dog walks. Dogs must be kept on leash and of course - cleaned up after. Coastal camping with ocean views is unsurpassed here with gorgeous swimming spots for your all your camping companions - including the family and the dog.
Staying on the coast, many holiday parks also welcome pets. Kendalls on the Beach near Kiama is close to the beach and not far from lovely rainforest and bush walks, ensuring there are plenty of activities for the family and dogs. Pets are welcome at powered and unpowered sites only outside of NSW school holidays and long weekends. Dogs are not allowed on the beaches although there are some dog friendly beaches in the area. Plenty of beach side cabins for rent along with powered and unpowered sites.
Seven Mile Beach Holiday Park is located in the Gerroa, another one of NSW’s lovely coastal towns. Close to the unspoilt coastal bushland and walking trails of the Seven Mile Beach National park, this is an ideal launch pad for pet friendly camping. Accommodation ranges from safari tents to beach cabins and there are also powered and unpowered caravan and tent sites. Access to the beach and nearby river make it ideal for kayaking, fishing and dog walking and dog dipping. Pets are welcome at campsites only outside of NSW school holiday and long weekends. Campfires are allowed, making it a great spot to chill in the cool of the evening within ear shot of the surf.
Other pet friendly camping holiday parks on the NSW coast: (all tend to restrict pets during school holidays and on long weekends)
Currarong Beachside Holiday Park is close to Jervis Bay Marine Park (dogs not allowed) and the famous Point Perpendicular Lighthouse. Another stunning natural coastal camping area with varying accommodation including waterfront cabins boasting wonderful bay views. Safe bay swimming for the kids and the dogs with direct access to Warrain Beach and Currarong Creek.The area is also know for excellent fishing with boat charter operators in Huskinsson.
Toowoon Bay Holiday Park is affordable and comfortable with plenty of caravan and powered camping sites, along with rental cabins.
Budgewoi Holiday Park is located on the pristine Lake Munmorah but also close to the coast. Camp here for a bush experience with the sound of the surf in the background.
Brooms Head Holiday Park is great for surfers, fishing and families with beachfront cabins, camping and van sites. Pet friendly but only in one camping site and no pets allowed in the rental accommodation.
Pyramid Holiday Park is located near Tweed Heads at the northern border of NSW. Pet friendly and offers caravan and camper sites. Pets are only allowed on powered sites. Not accepted in onsite rental accommodation, tent or caravan sites.
Tips for camping with your dog:
- Make sure if the area requires dogs on a lead - it is on the lead at all times.
- Use good dog camping etiquette by keeping your dog and dog noise under control.
- Ensure your dog doesn’t interfere or intrude with other campers and their camping areas.
- Always keep a collar and ID on your dog.
- If camping where they may be ticks, make sure you use tick prevention and know how to check and treat for ticks.
- Check that vaccinations are up to date and know where local vets are located.
- Dogs can be a threat to native animals and can scare animals and birds, often causing them to leave their young unprotected. Ensure your dog doesn’t
- chase or scare local wildlife.
- Dog faeces carry diseases which can be harmful to wildlife and people. Be sure to clean up after your dog even in the remote bush or on beach.
- Dogs can disturb beach and dune nesting birds. Ensure your dog doesn’t chase coastal birds or dig at their nests.
- Don’t leave your dog unattended. Boredom or loneliness in a strange environment might cause it to bark or cry, annoying other campers.
- Ensure to bring plenty of food and water for the dog, along with portable water bowl when on bush hikes.
- Dogs can carry their own portable water bowl, hydration sack, poo bags and snacks in a dog back pack.