We reveal the best parks within an hour and a half of the big smoke, so you can see Sydney from the affordable comfort of your van


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GUIDE Best caravan parks in Sydney


We reveal the best parks within an hour and a half of the big smoke, so you can see Sydney from the affordable comfort of your van


1. Lane Cove River Tourist Park
Lane Cove River Tourist Park gives you the best of both worlds – you’ll be surrounded by the beautiful natural environment within Lane Cove National Park, yet the city is right at your drop-step. For a day of adventure, stay and explore the national park, which offers bushwalking, biking, cycling and kayaking. Or take it easy and enjoy a scenic picnic in the bushland, throw a line in Lane Cove River, and indulge in the fine dining and city lights on Sydney harbour after the sun goes down.

A powered site at Lane Cove River Tourist Park will set you back $43 a night for two adults, and an extra $10 per additional adult, or an extra $6 per additional child between 5-15 years. There are four amenities blocks with hot showers, coin-operated laundry facilities, picnic table areas with free barbecues, a shaded swimming pool, WiFi and a kiosk – pretty much everything you need for a great holiday.

Distance from CBD: 15km / 20-30 mins

Getting to the CBD: The fastest way to the CBD is via the M1; simply merge onto the M2 in North Ryde, then follow the M1 to the city.

Address: 13 Plassey Rd, Macquarie Park NSW 2113

GPS: -33.790318, 151.144067

ABOVE You won't feel crowded in thanks to the spacious sites

Lane Cove River

Lane Cove National Park

2. NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park
You can’t go wrong with this multi award-winning, 4.5-star NRMA holiday park just metres from the beach and the calm waters of Narrabeen Lake on the beautiful Northern Beaches. In fact, it’s one of the only beachfront caravan and camping options in Sydney, so if you like the sand between your toes and the sea breeze in your hair, why would you go anywhere else? You’ll be happy to know that it’s also only around 40 minutes from the CBD, which you can easily get to via bus, right from the park.

The park has options to cater for every traveller, including powered grass or drive-through sites, ensuite powered sites, and tent sites; no matter which you pick, you will be near amenities and a fully self-contained kitchen. With a playground, kids’ activities, face painting, board games, DVDs, and walking tracks to stretch your legs, plus a security boom gate for peace of mind, this park is fantastic for families.  

Distance from CBD: 30km / 40-50 mins

Getting to the CBD: The drive to the city should take you just under an hour, via either Wakehurst Parkway or the A8.

Address: 38 Lake Park Rd, North Narrabeen, NSW 2101

GPS: -33.7021, 151.299957

ABOVE It's a popular park here // BELOW Mosman is just 15km from the NRMA park

Your own beachfront without Sydney crowds

ABOVE Cabins are available if you don't tow your beds // BELOW And you can lie low!

3. Ingenia Holidays Sydney Hills 
At the Ingenia Holidays Sydney Hills park in the peaceful suburb of Dural, you could hardly be better positioned to see the best of Sydney, with the city lights and Northern Beaches less than an hour’s drive south-east, and the beautiful Blue Mountains the same distance to the west. You will also be less than half-an-hour from two national parks – Berowra Valley and Ku-ring-gai Chase, and without even leaving Dural, you can visit the Golden Day Animal Ridge Farm and local putt-putt for a fun family day out. 

Park your van or camper-trailer on one of the generously-sized concrete or grass sites, which will provide you with power, a town water tap and a sullage connection. Amenities, camp kitchen and barbecues will help make your stay here comfortable and easy, while features like a tennis court, swimming pool, playground and kiosk make this park an appealing prospect for adults and children alike. Plus, pets are welcome here, so your furry bestie doesn’t need to miss out!

Distance from CBD: 35km / 40-60 mins

Getting to the CBD: To get to the city, you will want to jump onto the M2 in Beecroft from New Line Road and Castle Hill Road, then continue onto the M1 to North Sydney.

Address: 269 New Line Road, Dural NSW 2158

GPS: -33.699546, 151.028047

BELOW Way to work up an appetite

4. Riverside Ski Park 
The Riverside Ski Park is just an hour’s drive from Sydney city, and is encompassed by the Cattai and Scheyville National Parks, which offer plenty of adventure activities and a chance to reconnect with nature. Why not also visit the lovely historic town of Windsor, just 15 minutes away, with its cosy cafes and Sunday markets, or enjoy a family picnic just a half-hour drive from the holiday park at Wiseman’s Ferry, where you can relax right by the water, kick a ball around on the park lawns, or let kids run loose in the playground.

There are powered and unpowered caravan and camping sites spread across the lush green 36 acres along the Hawkesbury River, starting from $30 a night per couple. You can expect the all usual facilities (including hot showers and barbecues), as well as a boat ramp, pool table, lawn tennis, kiosk and free WiFi. Thanks to its location right on the river, there’s plenty of things to do without venturing far from, or even out of, the park, including swimming, fishing, boating, water skiing and beach volleyball.

Distance from CBD: 60km / 60 mins

Getting to the CBD: There’s a few ways you can get to the city, but generally the fastest will be via the M2. Take Boundary Road to Windsor Road/A2, continue on A2 then take the M2 and M1 to the CBD.

Address: 307/309 Cattai Rd, Cattai NSW 2756

GPS: -33.57123, 150.89281

ABOVE The recently made-over on-site kiosk has you covered for snacks and essentials

Obviously, boats are big here

5. Corrimal Beach Tourist Park
Wollongong is one of Sydney’s most popular holiday destinations, thanks to its pristine surfing beaches and vibrant city life, where you can spend a day relaxing on the shore (don’t forget the SPF), shop to your heart’s content at the bustling Crown Street Mall, and indulge in some good food at a trendy café or the weekly Eat Street Markets. For stunning ocean views, a drive over the scenic Sea Cliff Bridge is a must. And if you happen to run out of things to do in Wollongong, you’ll be pleased to know that Sydney CBD is just an hour and 30 minutes away.

Corrimal Beach Tourist Park, located in North Wollongong, is the ideal place to park up the van during your stay. The 10-hectare waterfront park offers powered sites starting from $37 per night, which also gets you access to a long list of features, including clean amenities, dump point, sheltered barbecue areas, children’s playground, guest laundry, the on-site ‘Ebb & Tide’ café, kiosk and takeaway, free WiFi, access to a scenic coastal walkway, and bike hire if you’d rather cycle it.

Distance from CBD: 80km / 1.5 hours

Getting to the CBD: The quickest route to the CBD is generally via the Princes Highway and M1. You will jump on the M1 in Cataract from B65.

Address: Lake Parade, East Corrimal NSW 2518

GPS: -34.22498, 150.545674

If you don't fancy Sydney beaches you can just stay local

BELOW Surf culture is deep here

6. Toowoon Bay Holiday Park 
The Central Coast boasts some of the most beautiful holiday spots in Sydney. Our pick for you is Toowoon Bay, just south of The Entrance and roughly 80 minutes from the heart of Sydney. Swimming, fishing, surfing and snorkelling are popular here with plenty of beaches to choose from, including the patrolled Toowoon Bay Beach, and Little Bay Beach, which has gentle waves and soft sand that makes it perfect for kids. Nearby are more great natural attractions, including the Wyrrabalong National Park and Tuggerah Lake.

Toowoon Bay Holiday Park welcomes RVers with large, grassy powered sites that are within walking distance to the beach, as well as four clean amenities blocks. These sites will set you back $41 a night, and are big enough to accommodate camper-trailers, large vans, fifth-wheelers and motorhomes. You will be very well catered for at this holiday park, with a camp kitchen, Dump Ezy dump point, resort-style pool, playgrounds and grassed areas, jumping pillow, free school holiday activities and secure boom gate access. Pets are welcome.

Distance from CBD: 100km / 1.5 hours

Getting to the CBD: To get to the city, you will need to get onto the Pacific Motorway/M1 in Ourimbah. 

Address: 1 Koongara St, Toowoon Bay NSW 2261

GPS: -33.362912, 151.495732

ABOVE The view's not too shabby // BELOW A scene worthy of a postcard

The kids should be plenty satisfied here

You needn't even leave the park to enjoy a swim

GUIDE Best caravan parks in Sydney

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