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Cost: Free

Address: Macquarie Woods Dr, Guyong NSW 2799

GPS: -33.408228, 149.312048

Toilets: Yes

Showers: No

Campfires: Yes, and wood BBQs (check current fire restrictions)

Max Stay: No limit

Road Access: 2WD

Water: Non-potable water available – boil before use

Number of Sites: Unmarked, 80+ sites

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Big Rigs: Yes

1. Macquarie Woods Forestry Reserve Campground
Guyong, NSW

Who doesn’t love a grassy, shaded free camp with ample space to spread out? Macquarie Woods Forestry Reserve is a huge campground within Vittoria State Forest, halfway between Bathurst and Orange in NSW’s Central West. It’s located a five-minute drive off the Mitchell Highway via a good quality, 2WD-accessible gravel road.

Fringed by pine plantation and bushland, this large free camp has open grassy areas and more protected corners to choose from. Sites are unallocated with a first-in-best-dressed policy. Given the size of the campground, you should have no problem finding space for even the largest of vans, year-round. It’s pet-friendly and there are interesting tracks within the surrounding State Forest to explore on foot or by 4WD.

The historic village of Millthorpe is a 10-minute drive away, where you can visit cellar doors, eat local produce and get a great coffee.

LIFESTYLE Bush Camps

RIPPER
BUSH CAMPS

5

We stayed at all these NSW gems while filming our new TV show Foodie Trails. You can see it all on Channel 10, from December 1

WORDS EMMA RYAN

Cost: $6 per adult/night, $3.50 per child/night

Address: Dunns Swamp Rd, Kelgoola NSW 2849

GPS: -32.835126, 150.206932

Toilets: Yes

Showers: No

Campfires: Yes, BYO firewood (check current fire restrictions)

Max Stay: No limit

Road Access: 2WD

Water: Non-potable water available – boil before use

Number of Sites: Unmarked, 80+ sites

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Big Rigs: Yes

2. Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp Campground
Kelgoola, NSW

One of the prettiest campsites we’ve seen in a while, Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp is located in the World Heritage Wollemi National Park, 20-minutes outside Rylstone in NSW’s Central West.

The drive from Rylstone is via a good quality, 2WD-accessible gravel road and is beautiful in its own right, weaving through intricate pagoda rock formations. The campground is framed by these uniquely beautiful structures, whose time-weathered grey tones contrast splendidly against the deep orange earth, pale scribbly gums and vibrant wattle.

Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp Campground is positioned on the banks of the Cudgegong River and provides 80 campsites, most of which are suitable for caravans. The sites are nestled amongst scribbly gums, which offer partial shade. It’s a short walk from camp to the beautiful wetlands of the swamp, which is fringed with reeds and surrounded by pristine bush. Bring your hiking boots as there’s some fabulous bushwalks departing from camp. But the best way to explore is via kayak; BYO or hire one locally, or take a two hour guided kayak tour with Southern Cross Kayaking which includes watercraft hire.

“The campground is framed by these uniquely beautiful structures, whose time-weathered grey tones contrast splendidly against the deep orange earth, pale scribbly gums and vibrant wattle.”

Cost: $25 per powered site, per night

Address: 1040 Bombay Rd, Braidwood NSW 2622

GPS: -35.435208, 149.689047

Toilets: Yes

Showers: Yes

Campfires: Yes

Max Stay: No limit

Road Access: 2WD

Water: Drinking water available

Number of Sites: 10

Power Available: Yes

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Big Rigs: Yes

3. Saddle Camp
Braidwood, NSW

Some of the most beautiful spots to set up the caravan for a few nights are on private property, and Saddle Camp is the proof in the pudding. Located a few minutes outside Braidwood, an hour east of Canberra, Saddle Camp provides powered or unpowered sites overlooking a rugged, untouched valley.

As the name would imply, the property is run as a horse-riding school and camp for kids. It’s therefore a great choice for family camping; kids can pat and ride horses and, in school holidays, there’s usually other kids around to play with. There’s also plenty of bushwalking on offer, the most popular route leading to a nearby creek where platypuses are often spotted.

There’s an onsite café and communal kitchen area, and Braidwood has some excellent places to eat, too. Saddle camp also has two tiny houses available for rent, each accommodating three people.

Cost: $12 per site, per night (up to 5 people)

Address: 42 Dignams Creek Rd, Dignams Creek, 2546

GPS: -36.353177, 149.981830

Toilets: No

Showers: No

Campfires: Yes

Max Stay: No limit

Road Access: 2WD

Water: BYO

Number of Sites: 5

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Big Rigs: Yes

4. Digadoo
Cobargo, NSW

For those unfamiliar with the campsite gems that can be found on Youcamp, let this be your introduction. Youcamp taps into the modern share economy zeitgeist, connecting property owners with campers seeking quiet, secure and beautiful places to set up their tent, camper or caravan.

Digadoo fits that bill. Located 9km outside the village of Cobargo on NSW’s Far South Coast, it’s a private property that allows camping on the lush grassy banks of a meandering creek. There are no facilities so campers must be self-sufficient with their own toilet and grey water storage. Digadoo allows only 4-5 groups at any one time, with campsites spaced out generously for maximum privacy.

The creek, although seasonal with variable water flow, has some deeper pools for swimming and provides kids somewhere fun to explore. Nearby Cobargo has shops, cafes and a pub. Slightly further afield (15-minute drive) you’ll find Bermagui, one of the prettiest towns on the South Coast with the peaceful waterways of Wallaga Lake and the Bermagui River flowing to beautiful beaches.

Cost: From $13 per adult, per night

Address: 23 Kulbardi Close, Bournda, 2548

GPS: -36.829887, 149.904850

Toilets: No

Showers: No

Campfires: Yes

Max Stay: No limit

Road Access: 2WD

Water: BYO

Number of Sites: 20+

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Big Rigs: Yes

5. Merimbula-Bournda Bush Camp
Merimbula, NSW

Another Far South Coast campground found on Youcamp, Merimbula-Bournda Bush Camp is private property camping at its best. With over 200-acres of lush farm and bushland at your fingertips, you’ll find your own private campsite where you know you won’t be interrupted by other campers or the general public.

There’s a three-acre shared creek-front camping area with good-sized sites and excellent views, but we reckon the ticket is one of the secluded campsites, which are approximately five acres each. Yes, that’s five acres all to yourself! You’ll never want to squeeze between wooden bollards again.

You’ll need to be totally self-sufficient to camp here, including your own toilet and grey water storage. It’s imperative campers are mindful they’ve been given access to someone’s home, so this is very much leave-no-trace camping.

The property adjoins Bournda National Park, with a 2km bushwalk to Bournda Lagoon and North Tura beach. The shops, cafes and restaurants of Merimbula are just 10 minutes by car.

1. Macquarie Woods Forestry Reserve Campground
Guyong, NSW

Who doesn’t love a grassy, shaded free camp with ample space to spread out? Macquarie Woods Forestry Reserve is a huge campground within Vittoria State Forest, halfway between Bathurst and Orange in NSW’s Central West. It’s located a five-minute drive off the Mitchell Highway via a good quality, 2WD-accessible gravel road.

Fringed by pine plantation and bushland, this large free camp has open grassy areas and more protected corners to choose from. Sites are unallocated with a first-in-best-dressed policy. Given the size of the campground, you should have no problem finding space for even the largest of vans, year-round. It’s pet-friendly and there are interesting tracks within the surrounding State Forest to explore on foot or by 4WD.

The historic village of Millthorpe is a 10-minute drive away, where you can visit cellar doors, eat local produce and get a great coffee.

Cost: Free

Address: Macquarie Woods Dr, Guyong NSW 2799

GPS: -33.408228, 149.312048

Toilets: Yes

Showers: No

Campfires: Yes, and wood BBQs (check current fire restrictions)

Max Stay: No limit

Road Access: 2WD

Water: Non-potable water available – boil before use

Number of Sites: Unmarked, 80+ sites

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Big Rigs: Yes

RIPPER
BUSH CAMPS

5

We stayed at all these NSW gems while filming our new TV show Foodie Trails. You can see it all on Channel 10, from December 1

WORDS EMMA RYAN

LIFESTYLE Bush Camps

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2. Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp Campground
Kelgoola, NSW

One of the prettiest campsites we’ve seen in a while, Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp is located in the World Heritage Wollemi National Park, 20-minutes outside Rylstone in NSW’s Central West.

The drive from Rylstone is via a good quality, 2WD-accessible gravel road and is beautiful in its own right, weaving through intricate pagoda rock formations. The campground is framed by these uniquely beautiful structures, whose time-weathered grey tones contrast splendidly against the deep orange earth, pale scribbly gums and vibrant wattle.

Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp Campground is positioned on the banks of the Cudgegong River and provides 80 campsites, most of which are suitable for caravans. The sites are nestled amongst scribbly gums, which offer partial shade. It’s a short walk from camp to the beautiful wetlands of the swamp, which is fringed with reeds and surrounded by pristine bush. Bring your hiking boots as there’s some fabulous bushwalks departing from camp. But the best way to explore is via kayak; BYO or hire one locally, or take a two hour guided kayak tour with Southern Cross Kayaking which includes watercraft hire.

Cost: $6 per adult/night, $3.50 per child/night

Address: Dunns Swamp Rd, Kelgoola NSW 2849

GPS: -32.835126, 150.206932

Toilets: Yes

Showers: No

Campfires: Yes, BYO firewood (check current fire restrictions)

Max Stay: No limit

Road Access: 2WD

Water: Non-potable water available – boil before use

Number of Sites: Unmarked, 80+ sites

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Big Rigs: Yes

“The campground is framed by these uniquely beautiful structures, whose time-weathered grey tones contrast splendidly against the deep orange earth, pale scribbly gums and vibrant wattle.”

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3. Saddle Camp
Braidwood, NSW

Some of the most beautiful spots to set up the caravan for a few nights are on private property, and Saddle Camp is the proof in the pudding. Located a few minutes outside Braidwood, an hour east of Canberra, Saddle Camp provides powered or unpowered sites overlooking a rugged, untouched valley.

As the name would imply, the property is run as a horse-riding school and camp for kids. It’s therefore a great choice for family camping; kids can pat and ride horses and, in school holidays, there’s usually other kids around to play with. There’s also plenty of bushwalking on offer, the most popular route leading to a nearby creek where platypuses are often spotted.

There’s an onsite café and communal kitchen area, and Braidwood has some excellent places to eat, too. Saddle camp also has two tiny houses available for rent, each accommodating three people.

Cost: $25 per powered site, per night

Address: 1040 Bombay Rd, Braidwood NSW 2622

GPS: -35.435208, 149.689047

Toilets: Yes

Showers: Yes

Campfires: Yes

Max Stay: No limit

Road Access: 2WD

Water: Drinking water available

Number of Sites: 10

Power Available: Yes

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Big Rigs: Yes

4. Digadoo
Cobargo, NSW

For those unfamiliar with the campsite gems that can be found on Youcamp, let this be your introduction. Youcamp taps into the modern share economy zeitgeist, connecting property owners with campers seeking quiet, secure and beautiful places to set up their tent, camper or caravan.

Digadoo fits that bill. Located 9km outside the village of Cobargo on NSW’s Far South Coast, it’s a private property that allows camping on the lush grassy banks of a meandering creek. There are no facilities so campers must be self-sufficient with their own toilet and grey water storage. Digadoo allows only 4-5 groups at any one time, with campsites spaced out generously for maximum privacy.

The creek, although seasonal with variable water flow, has some deeper pools for swimming and provides kids somewhere fun to explore. Nearby Cobargo has shops, cafes and a pub. Slightly further afield (15-minute drive) you’ll find Bermagui, one of the prettiest towns on the South Coast with the peaceful waterways of Wallaga Lake and the Bermagui River flowing to beautiful beaches.

Cost: $12 per site, per night (up to 5 people)

Address: 42 Dignams Creek Rd, Dignams Creek, 2546

GPS: -36.353177, 149.981830

Toilets: No

Showers: No

Campfires: Yes

Max Stay: No limit

Road Access: 2WD

Water: BYO

Number of Sites: 5

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Big Rigs: Yes

5. Merimbula-Bournda Bush Camp
Merimbula, NSW

Another Far South Coast campground found on Youcamp, Merimbula-Bournda Bush Camp is private property camping at its best. With over 200-acres of lush farm and bushland at your fingertips, you’ll find your own private campsite where you know you won’t be interrupted by other campers or the general public.

There’s a three-acre shared creek-front camping area with good-sized sites and excellent views, but we reckon the ticket is one of the secluded campsites, which are approximately five acres each. Yes, that’s five acres all to yourself! You’ll never want to squeeze between wooden bollards again.

You’ll need to be totally self-sufficient to camp here, including your own toilet and grey water storage. It’s imperative campers are mindful they’ve been given access to someone’s home, so this is very much leave-no-trace camping.

The property adjoins Bournda National Park, with a 2km bushwalk to Bournda Lagoon and North Tura beach. The shops, cafes and restaurants of Merimbula are just 10 minutes by car.

Cost: From $13 per adult, per night

Address: 23 Kulbardi Close, Bournda, 2548

GPS: -36.829887, 149.904850

Toilets: No

Showers: No

Campfires: Yes

Max Stay: No limit

Road Access: 2WD

Water: BYO

Number of Sites: 20+

Power Available: No

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Big Rigs: Yes