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Top 5 Free Camping Spots in Newcastle

Newcastle metropolis is the second most populated city in New South Wales. The second oldest city in Australia, Newcastle, is situated just two hours north of Sydney. A harbour city situated on the mouth of the Hunter River, Newcastle is renowned for its pristine beaches, iconic ocean baths, street art, vibrant nightlife, and creative architecture, such as cafes and hotels. 

Newcastle’s amazing natural beauty ranges from a stunning coastline, golden sandy beaches, a busy harbour, swamps, and sand dunes to hilly mountains. The sun-soaked Newcastle perfectly blends indigenous Aboriginal and convict history just as well as it blends city life with country vibes.  

Surrounded by most of New South Wales’ top tourist destinations, Newcastle is a perfect choice for a safe, fun, and friendly place to visit. The Bathers Way is a coastal walk that links Merewether Beach to Nobbys Beach. It gives you access to the convict-built ocean bath, Bogey Hole, and Fort Scratchley, a historic site from the 1800s and a great vantage point from where you can view migrating whales. You can also visit King Edward Park and Starrett Park in New Lambton. 

If you are looking for a relaxed, laid-back holiday destination, Newcastle should definitely be higher up on your must-visit list. 

Is there any free camping in Newcastle? 

Yes. There are several free camping spots around the Newcastle area. From these camps, you can visit Newcastle’s many attractions, engage in outdoor activities and take in the breathtaking views. Enjoy hiking the trails, watching wildlife, surfing, swimming, fishing, or walking the scenic Bathers Way Walk. 

We’ve prepared a list of free and budget-friendly camping spots around Newcastle.These campgrounds will allow you to see everything that Newcastle has to offer without denting your bank account.

Free Camping in Newcastle

Little Mountain Campground

Little Mountain Campground

Little Mountain Campground is located on Little Mount Forest Road, Limeburners Creek, New South Wales. A quiet, remote campground, it is set amongst the trees by the river. Little Mountain Campground is located in the Karuah National Park and is accessible only to 4WD vehicles and off-road caravans. 

Pets are not permitted here. You’ll enjoy lots of shade, picnic tables, open fire pits, scenic views, and a good Telstra reception while at this camp. Ground tent camping is allowed. The road leading up to the campground can be slippery when wet. Do not forget to check closures and fire bans in advance.

The site is currently closed until 01/04/2023 because the access road is impassable due to damage from a flood. 

Cost: Free

Direction: Find on Map

Distance: 59 minutes from Newcastle

Wattaka Rest Area-Westbound

Wattaka Rest Area-Westbound 

Wattaka Rest Area is a free rest area on Hunter Expressway, Buchanan, New South Wales. It is accessible to cars and trucks travelling eastbound, and you cannot stay longer than 24 hours.  

This wheelchair-friendly rest area includes toilets, non-potable water, sheltered picnic tables, garbage bins, and good mobile & TV reception. The rest area is accessible by motorcycles, camper vans, camper trailers, caravans, and big rigs. While here, ensure you do not park in the area designated for trucks or block the entry and exit to the truck parking area.  

Cost: Free

Direction: Find on Map

Distance: 32 minutes from Newcastle

Kurri Kurri Sports Ground

 Kurri Kurri Sports Ground

Kurri Kurri Sports Ground is a campground by the Cessnock City Council off Allworth St, Kurri Kurri, New South Wales. Situated on a Recreation Ground, it offers basic facilities and can only be accessed by fully self-contained vehicles. To access the campground, you need to have an onboard toilet, shower, toilet, cooking, washing, sleeping facilities, and holding tanks for black and grey water. 

You can stay at Kurri Kurri Sports Ground for up to three nights. The campground does not allow for swags, ground tent camping, or any other form of non-self-contained camping. While it is a pet-friendly site, your dog must always be on a leash. 

The Kurri Kurri Sports Ground offers 12 spots for RVs and 8 spots for cars. There are street lights, rubbish bins, and an RV dump point. It is accessible by a sealed roadway and offers drinking and non-drinking water. It is accessible by RVs, caravans, and big rigs. 

Cost: Free

Direction: Find on Map

Distance: 37 minutes from Newcastle

Abermain Bowling Club

Abermain Bowling Club

Abermain Bowling Club is located at 74-76 Armidale St, Abermain, New South Wales, between Cessnock and Kurri Kurri. It sits on the periphery of the Hunter Valley Wine Country. 

The Club Abermain offers all the regular facilities, including a TAB lounge, six beers on taps, a pool table KENO, and dartboards. The Heritage Bistro is open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday, and you can look forward to some amazing discounts. The friendly staff and members are very welcoming and hospitable. 

Dogs are allowed here, and there is an RV dump point at the back. You can stay here for a maximum of three nights, and it is accessible by RVs, motorhomes, camper trailers, caravans, and big rigs. 

Cost: Free

Direction: Find on Map

Distance: 42 minutes from Newcastle

Branxton RV Camp

Branxton RV Camp

Branxton Park is located on John Rose Avenue, Branxton, New South Wales. A free camping ground, it is perfect if you plan to explore the Hunter Valley region. Located about 45 minutes west of Newcastle, Branxton RV Park permits fully self-contained RVs only. You must have onboard sleeping, cooking, and wastewater collection facilities. Camping in tents and any form of non-self-contained camping is not allowed.

You can stay at the Branxton RV Park for up to three days in any 14-day period. Dogs are permitted, but you have to keep them on leads. Facilities include drinking water, toilets, picnic tables, garbage bins, and an RV dump point. It is accessible by RVs, camper trailers, caravans, and big rigs. 

Cost: Free

Direction: Find on Map

Distance: 51 minutes from Newcastle

Low-Cost Camping in Newcastle

Ganyamalbaa Camping Area

Ganyamalbaa Camping Area

Ganyamalbaa Beach Camping Area is a unique beach camping spot ideal for holidays with family or friends. It is located at a remote beach in the Worimi Conservation Lands north of Newcastle. Dogs are not permitted here, and you have to book in advance. It is accessible to motorbikes, off-road caravans, and 4WD drives. Camping in tents is allowed. There are no amenities here except for a fire pit, and you’ll need to be fully self-sufficient, including water, power, toilet, and a rubbish bin. 

While here, you can take a stroll on Stockton Beach, swim, or fish off the beach. The dunes are scenic and offer a good trail for 4WD vehicles. To access the site, enter from Lavis Lane or Fern Bay, as the Anna Bay entrance is far away. Please take your rubbish home with you. 

Cost: $17 Per Person Per Night

Direction: Find on Map

Distance: 33 minutes from Newcastle

Coach Stop Caravan Park

Coach Stop Caravan Park

Coach Stop Caravan Park is located on Cracknell Lane, Maitland, New South Wales. It is located 10 minutes from Maitland, where you can visit the showground, sports fields, shops, wineries, and other attractions. Coach Stop Caravan Park provides pocket-friendly camping options, including unpowered, powered sites or cabin accommodation. It is a good base for exploring the nearby Werakata National Park and Hunter Valley. 

Dogs are not permitted into the campground. The amenities include hot showers, toilets, drinking water, tables, BBQ areas, bins, a playroom, a playground, a camp kitchen, laundry facilities, power hookups, and an RV dump point. It is accessible by campervans, camper trailers, and caravans. Camping in tents is allowed. 

Cost: $15 Per Person Per Night

Direction: Find on Map

Distance: 36 minutes from Newcastle

Teralba Lakeside Caravan Park 

Teralba Lakeside Caravan Park 

Teralba Lakeside Caravan Park is situated at 21 Anzac Pde, Teralba, New South Wales. It sits on the north end of Lake Macquarie, just six minutes north of Toronto and five minutes away from the Hunter Regional Sports and Athletics Centre.

Teralba Lakeside Caravan Park offers overnight accommodation, including drive-through powered sites, on-site ensuite cabins, and tent sites. It’s a dog-friendly site where you’ll need to book in advance and check in from noon. While here you can go hiking, swimming, fishing or cycling. 

The amenities include showers, toilets, drinking water, tables, bins, BBQ areas, a boat ramp, mobile and TV reception, gas refill, pull-through bays, refuelling station, and power hookup. Camping in tents is allowed, and the campground is accessible by campervans, RVs, camper trailers, and caravans.

Cost: $20 Per Person Per Night

Direction: Find on Map

Distance: 28 minutes from Newcastle

Williams River Holiday Park

Williams River Holiday Park

Williams River Holiday Park is a caravan park on 98 Durham Street, Clarence Town, New South Wales. If you are looking for a camping spot next to the river, Williams River Holiday Park is the place for you. It is the ideal base camp to explore the Hunter Valley, including the historic Clarence Town and everything else the region has to offer. 

The Williams Rivers Holiday Park provides powered and non-powered sites in picturesque natural surroundings. It is accessible by Recreational Vehicles up to 10 metres long, including campervans, camper trailers, caravans, and big rigs. While here, you can take in the beautiful views, swim, or fish in the Williams River.

This dog-friendly site boasts modern amenities, such as showers, toilets, drinking and non-drinking water, guest laundry facilities, a waste dump point, barbecue areas, fire pits, bins, tables, power hookups, and an adjoining reserve where the children can play.

Cost: From $15 Per Person Per Night 

Direction: Find on Map

Distance: 54 minutes from Newcastle

The Bucketts Way Camp n Stay

The Bucketts Way Camp n Stay

Bucketts Way Camp n Stay is a campground on 47 The Bucketts Way Twelve Mile Creek, New South Wales. Located off the Pacific Highway on Bucketts Way, the campground sits on a flat grassed and shaded open area. 

It offers wheelchair-friendly facilities such as toilets, showers, drinking water, a camp kitchen, and a dump point. The sites are large and can accommodate one camping vehicle or tent per site, giving you more than enough room. Contained fires and generators are allowed, and the campground is pet friendly. You can stay here for up to seven days. 

Bucketts Way Camp n Stay is accessible to motorbikes, RVs, camper trailers, caravans, tents, and big rigs. Enjoy the new and clean amenities, meet the friendly owner and restock your supply with fresh eggs from the hens on site. 

Cost: $15 Per Person Per Night

Direction: Find on Map

Distance: 41 minutes from newcastle

Tattersalls Campground

Tattersalls Campground

Tattersalls Campground is a free riverside campground on the banks of the Karuah River in the Karuah National Park. A booking fee of $6 applies. It offers unmarked and unpowered camping spots. It is surrounded by beautiful bushland, making it an ideal spot for bush hiking, birdwatching the black cockatoos, swimming, fishing, paddling a kayak, or boating. 

It offers a clean drop toilet and an open fire pit, but that’s about it. Since this is a remote camping spot, you’ll need to be self-sufficient. Camping in tents is allowed. Also note that mosquitoes are common, especially during the summer. 

Cost: $6 Per Person Per Night (Booking Fees)

Direction: Find on Map

Distance: 1 hour from Newcastle

Drovers Camp

Drovers Camp

Drovers Camp is a campground on 317 Elderslie Rd, Branxton, New South Wales. It sits on a 120-acre cattle, horse, and sheep farm, a short distance from Branxton. Drovers Camp provides serene and spacious unpowered sites. The large sites are on a flat, grassy area with lots of shade near a creek. 

Experience great hospitality from Neil and use this campground as your base to explore the nearby wineries. Advance booking is required, and the campground does not have an EFTPOS system. It is a dog-friendly site with toilet facilities, and you’ll need to be fully self-sufficient. Campfires are permitted, and wood can be collected on-site. It is accessible by RVs, camper trailers, caravans, and big rigs. 

Cost: $13 Per Person Per Night

Direction: Find on Map

Distance: 53 minutes from Newcastle

Cessnock Showground

Cessnock Showground

Cessnock Showground is a campground on 111 Mount View Rd, Cessnock, New South Wales. This dog-friendly campground offers toilets, showers, drinking water, a dump point located at the toilet block on the southern end entrance, bins, power hookups, and a playground. It is dog friendly.

It is accessible to RVs, camper trailers, caravans, and big rigs. The Cessnock Showground also allows camping in tents. There is no EFTPOS, and the campground is cash only. 

Cost: $10 Per Person Per Night

Direction: Find on Map

Distance: 51 minutes from Newcastle

For more free camping in NSW, check out our complete NSW Free Camping Guide.