by Mike Hill, Aircamp
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They say life is better around the campfire. And we could not agree more.
Over the years due to increase fire risk it's become a challenge to find great campsites that allow you to have a fire by your tent.
Please be a responsible Aircamper and brush up on your fire safety knowledge. Bushwalking NSW has a great article that'll give you the rundown on how to light a fire responsibly.
Below we've collected some hidden gems near Sydney that still allow you to sit back, toast your feet and incinerate some marshmallows while telling stories about camping when you were a kid.
13.5 HRS FROM SYDNEY - WOLGAN RD, NEWNES NSW 2790
Situated by the Wolgan River, and just 3.5 hours from Sydney, Newnes Campground is the perfect weekend retreat. While there, you'll be treated to plenty of wildlife encounters in the day and at night so make sure you bring your torches! Pitch your tent down in the valley surrounded by steep hills and beautiful forests.
Bookings are not available at Newnes campground so make sure you get there early and claim the best spot. While at the campground you can visit the Industrial Ruins and take in a bit of history, or just kick back and enjoy the scenery.
You can't buy firewood here unfortunately and it's a bit of a drive out to find more so make sure you stock up before you arrive. When you get there try and make your fire in the same place as a previous camper so as not to make new marks on the land.
23.5 HRS FROM SYDNEY - 166 THOMAS RD, SEAL ROCKS, NSW
If you haven’t been, why not!? Treachery camp is a short trip up the coast but it’s a favourite for almost anyone you speak to. Open fires, near the beach, shaded, great snorkelling and surfing. This campsite has it all. Even laundry and coffee on the weekends.
We’re going to stop talking now… just go there and check it out for yourself!
33 HRS FROM SYDNEY - WOMBEYAN CAVES RD, WOMBEYAN CAVES NSW 2580
The ultimate bush retreat for families with kids (and pets!). And if you don’t like kids… don’t go in the summer months.They are everywhere… and it’s amazing.
Wollondilly is a famous spot for school excursions and a great place to teach your little ones how to make a fire. The campsite has been family run for generations and constantly improving.
If you want a fire friendly bush retreat, add Wollondilly to your bucket list this winter.
41.5 HRS FROM SYDNEY - 525 WOLSTENHOLME AVE, GREENDALE NSW 2745
Bents Basin, not to be confused with ‘The Basin’ is one of the first campsites people go to when they start their camping life. It’s close to Sydney, with large wide open areas for kids to play around in.
Bring your fishing rod and kayak if you have them and go go for a paddle in the river on a hot summer’s day.
You can get firewood at the kiosk which is a huge bonus. But make sure you bring your own fire pit as you can’t start a fire on the grass.
51.5 HRS FROM SYDNEY - KU-RING-GAI CHASE NSW 2084
How fit are you feeling? Or how strong are your kids? Because if you want to go to The Basin you’re going to have to lug your gear on a ferry from the Palm Beach Wharf.
That being said, this is a cracking spot surrounded by the beautiful Hawkesbury River. There are designated fire pits so you get to meet some new friends over a toasted marshmallow.
Who says you can’t have a two day surprise camping getaway just for the fun of it? It was our first time going camping together and we trekked around 12ks (very steeeeep) , got rained on during a “super storm” and caught a bit of sunshine at the end. We made it & were officially “campers”. Thanks to @kelselizabethjones for planning it all and surprising me with a great couple days. #thebasincampground #itwasactuallythebest #lovemywife
63.5 HRS FROM SYDNEY - 311 UPPER MONKERAI RD, MONKERAI NSW 2415
Heard of Riverwood Downs? Nope, we hadn’t either. And we’re ashamed of ourselves because this place is beautiful! The are powered and unpowered sites. You are allowed fires on the unpowered sites down by the river. Situated in the foothills of Barrington Tops, just 3.5hrs from Sydney, this place is a tightly run getaway with great amenities for caravan owners as well as campers.
Cabins are also available, as well as an onsite restaurant if you want to go upmarket for a night! Oh, and bring your pets!
73.5 HRS FROM SYDNEY - GRASSY GULLY RD, BURRIER NSW 2540
If you want to head South, Coolendel, on the Shoalhaven river is a great option. Take your Kayak and fishing gear and kick back and enjoy the great outdoors. The campsite generates all it’s power and water on site so is totally sustainable.
There are 70-80 fire rings dotted around the campgrounds and if there isn’t one near you, speak to the manager who says he’s happy to drop one near you. Firewood is sold on site. Get in the car now and try this one out. It’s a beauty!
82 HRS FROM SYDNEY - KILLALEA DR, SHELL COVE NSW 2529
We’ve heard a sneaky rumour that the fire policy at Killalea has changed or is about to change. We hope that is not the case! Up until recently you were allowed to have Fires by your tent at this great site. Regardless of the decision there is a huge communal fire pit that is great for meeting new people.
The campsite is close to a great beach and lots of walks to do in the area. A great spot to add to your list of you are heading South. Firewood available on site.
93.3 HRS FROM SYDNEY - WOMBEYAN CAVES RD, WOMBEYAN CAVES NSW 2580
Oh wow the caves! You’ll need to bring your own wood to this special campsite. The site can get very busy in the summer so make sure you book ahead.
While you are there make sure you visit Fig Tree Cave for a self guide experience. You will not regret this crazy little adventure!
103 HRS FROM SYDNEY - UPPER TURON RD, RUNNING STREAM, NEW SOUTH WALES
As the owner Soren told me.. “Camping is not camping, without a fire!”. This place is a beauty. The campsite is relaxing and despite only being just outside of Sydney the climate seems to be cooler in the summer months.
The campsite is pet friendly and you can camp where you like so it’s perfect if you are visiting with friends. Bring your own firewood or buy on site. Turon Gates is one of the special, wild places we almost don’t want you to go!
Campfire under the stars 🌙💫 Photo by @alicewesleysmith 🌚 Also don't forget about our Midweek break offer - 3 nights for the price of 2! (Offer excludes NSW public and school holidays) #offer #camping #campground #bonfire #campfire #nsw #nswresort #seensw #exploreaustralia #explorensw #australia #bluemountains #kidsholiday #holiday
114 HRS FROM SYDNEY - WOLLEMI NATIONAL PARK | RYLESTONE, NSW
Don’t let the name fool you. There are swamps, there there is Dunn’s Swamp. This place is beautiful!
Bring your kayak (or hire one) and relax at night around a campfire to the sound of crickets and frogs.
There is limited firewood available at the camp but you can buy some at the BP garage up the road. And please remember to check for Fire Bans!
Get a flat pack fire! Having a portable fire pit is one of the best purchases you can make. You can fore it up at home when you are not camping!
Our favourite is the Snow Peak Fire Pit. You can get yours from Drfita. It's a seriously top quality piece of kit that you won't regret forking out for. There is even a whole Facebook group just for people who have bought one to share their photos!
Did we miss one?
If you think we missed one, let us know by dropping us an email.
You can find more great campsites that allow fires by using the filters on Aircamp to show you the correct campsites in your area.
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