What's better than escaping the busy city life than packing up the car and taking a trip into the wilderness to escape it all??? Nothing aside from taking your pooch with you. Imagine it, taking your pup walking, star gazing, swimming and snuggling, it might just be the best thing in the world...
With a pup in the family though, there comes a price. That means many restrictions in national parks and where and when you can give Fido the freedom to escape off his leash. Thankfully, we've saved you a bunch of searching time and rounded up the absolute best camping grounds you can take your dog too, no strings (or leashes) attached.
SOUTH WEST ROCKS
Casually sitting on the banks of a scenic tidal waterway, Ingenia is the ultimate place to camp with your dog in NSW. Around here, you’ll be in for a tonne of things to do with your dog including fishing and surfing. There’s a range of pet-friendly caravan and camping sites so the only thing you need to do is check availability.
Surrounded by two blue calm water beaches, Halifax is the perfect spot to camp with your dog in NSW. This stunning spot is a two and a half-hour drive from Sydney and is home to deep water boat ramps, an epic sling of cafes and restaurants too. The same pet rules apply to Halifax which means you’ll have to work this park’s peak times but when you do, brace yourself for direct access to Shoal Bay Beach, BBQs, picnic areas and a bunch of walking and cycling tracks.
Merry Beach Caravan Park
Merry Beach Caravan Park lies on the coastal heart of Murramarang National Park (and its the absolute definition of beachfront). For campers (and caravanners if you’re so inclined), you can choose from ensuite, powered or unpowered sites which sit right on the shoreline or spots with beach views. All camping sites cater for open fires in a brazier or above-the-ground fire pit. Your dog is allowed here throughout the whole year but there’s just a maximum of two dogs per booking and you’ll have to keep your pup on a leash when in the park.
CHICHESTER STATE FOREST
This one goes out to anyone who ever saw The Blue Lagoon and thought, "sounds great". The Coachwood Camping Area, three and a half hours north-west of Sydney, is remote and for the most part, accessible only by 4WD (2WD can work sometimes, but it can be difficult). The site sits on the Telegherry River and offers a rainforest setting with a lagoon for paddling, dog or otherwise.
KARUAH RIVER, BARRINGTON TOPS NATIONAL PARK
These guys fully understand the term, "fur babies". They know you love your dog and that there’s no such thing as too many hugs, kisses and photos of them. Appropriately, all 750 acres of their camping area is available to dogs on or off-leash. The nearby Barrington Bar and Grill even has a "Hound’s Breath Café" menu just for pets, that includes a "Pup a Chino". You and your dog can also enjoy walking trails and cool, mountain pools. Most sites aren’t powered but there are hot showers and coin-operated laundry. Not into tents? Cabins are also available and are pet-friendly.
TURON RIVER, BLUE MOUNTAINS
If there’s one thing we like, it’s a retreat. Especially retreats described as a "bush hideaway". Coming in at a cool 6,000 acres, Turon Gates isn’t just pet-friendly, it’s like they built the place with pets in mind. Whether you opt for a cabin or glamping, you and your doggo will wake to mountain views, rolling rivers and all the outdoor activities you could dream of. Try your hand at mountain biking (BYO), canoeing, gold panning and more. Pets are allowed off-lead, so long as they are kept under control.