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Young man and women sitting on beach in front of Apollo rental campervan

Alyssa Tresider
/ Categories: AU Blog

The best pet friendly campsites and holiday parks in NSW.

In this guide, we're breaking down the most welcoming spots for pets, top activities for pets, as well as our top 16 picks for pet-friendly campsites for your campervan hire in NSW. So pack your leads, collars and harnesses, and let’s explore the doggo and pet-friendly corners of New South Wales.  

Let’s be frank. Since the swinging '60s brought us the original VW campervan, pet parents everywhere have been dreaming of seeing their four-legged buddy peeking out from an Australian motorhome. But it's only in the last few years that we have really started making this a reality in Australia. In the boom of travellers wanting to bring their fur babies along for holidays, pet-friendly camping has become more important in Australia than ever. NSW, with its radiant beaches and rustic Outback, has become a top pick for pet lovers everywhere. 

In this guide, we're breaking down the most welcoming spots for pets, top activities for pets, as well as our top 16 picks for pet-friendly campsites for your campervan hire in NSW. So pack your leads, collars and harnesses, and let’s explore the doggo and pet-friendly corners of New South Wales.  


Are pets allowed in caravan parks and campsites in NSW?

Travelling with pets requires a tad bit more preparation than one might anticipate. While national parks and reserves usually don't roll out the welcome mat for our furry companions due to environmental concerns, state forests are a different matter. In fact, dogs are welcome in ALL state forests in NSW (yay!) and can often be more accommodating for pet-friendly campsites. 

The real variance comes into play with holiday parks and private campsites where the pet policies are at the discretion of the owners. Some parks might offer expansive dog-friendly beach areas, trails or enclosed parks, while others might have specific zones dedicated to pets or (the pet owners' pet peeve) the park may not allow them at all. 

Furthermore, travelling with pets on transport in NSW can be a little tricky. The solution? While hiring a motorhome is easily one of the best ways to see Australia with your pets, it's important to do your research. Platforms like Travel Nuity, with its dog-friendly NSW recommendations can be wonderful sources of information – but nothing beats a direct call to the campsite or park in question. Being well-informed ensures that your road trip is enjoyable and hiccup-free for both you and your furry sidekick. 


Best road trips in NSW

Looking for the best road trips in NSW as well as tips and ideas for your upcoming campervan hire? Here are a few of our most loved travel itineraries and travel guides for NSW to get you started on planning your pet-friendly campervan hire adventure in New South Wales:


The top 14 Pet-friendly campsites in NSW

Ready to explore the best road trips in NSW with your furry mate by your side? When it comes to campsites and holiday parks, this state doesn't disappoint. Let's dive into the 14 best pet-friendly camping options in NSW.


1. Red Rock Holiday Park

Nestled in between the serene ambience of the Corindi River and the Pacific Ocean, the Red Rock Holiday Park is a waterside paradise for both you and your pet. Boasting amenities such as a laundry, outdoor BBQ area and waterfront sites, this park has all the pet-friendly camping essentials. 

Conveniently located about 30 minutes north of Coffs Harbour, your options for pet-friendly activities are aplenty. Think long walks along the Surf Coast Track or exploring the nearby Corindi Beach completely off-leash, ensuring both you and your furry friend have an exhausting, fun-filled day. For more dog-friendly beaches around Coffs Harbour, the Coffs Harbour City Council has curated a helpful list of dog-friendly areas in Coffs Harbour that is worth checking out before you book your pet-friendly motorhome hire. 

Cost: A powered campsite starts from $54 per night.


2. Horseshoe Bay Holiday Park

For those who have a penchant for Australia’s pristine coastline, the Horseshoe Bay Holiday Park in South West Rocks is a dream pet-friendly camping option. The amenities here, from campervan facilities to barbecue zones, ensure that your stay is comfortable and with lots of outdoor time for you and your pet. 

Located on the beautiful South West Rocks, this pet-friendly holiday park is just a few meters from the esteemed Horseshoe Bay. Even though Horseshoe Bay beach isn’t dog-friendly, both Back Beach and Trial Bay beaches on either side are dog-friendly beach areas. These are within easy walking distance, offering a scenic spot for your dog to run wild and free. 

Cost: A powered campsite starts from $56 per night. 


3. Old Bara Campsite

Venture a little inland, and you're met with the rustic charm of Old Bara Campsite near Mudgee – around a three-hour drive in your campervan hire from Sydney NSW. This campsite is a gem for those who prefer spacious landscapes, lush green fields, and a genuine connection with nature. 

This unique campground is an 1100-acre working cattle station with multiple different camping areas, sprawling grounds and picnic spots dotted across the property. The wide open area is the perfect setting for you and your pets to recapture your wild side. This campsite is a perfect addition to a road trip exploring dog-friendly wineries in the Hunter Valley before returning your campervan to the Apollo Sydney branch

Top Tip: Old Bara, being a cattle property, tends to have wild animals like kangaroos and wallabies roaming about. So it’s important to keep a good eye on your fur baby when they aren't on a lead next to you so that you don’t disturb these wild animals.

Cost: A campervan campsite starts from $30 per night. 


4. Lake Mac Holiday Parks

Shifting gears back to coastal vibes, the Lake Macquarie region offers a no-fuss pet-friendly camping experience at the Lake Mac Holiday Parks. With three out of their six holiday parks offering sites to take your pet friendly campervan hire there are plenty of beach or lakeside options for all pet owners looking to explore the best dog beaches near Sydney. 

The beachside location of their Blacksmiths Beachside Holiday Park is perfect for dog-friendly beach activities like the simple joy of watching your furry pal play catch by the shore or dig holes in the sand! 

Cost: A powered campsite starts from $46 per night. 


5. Shoal Bay Holiday Park

Another top contender for beachside campervan stays is Shoal Bay Holiday Park. This is a popular pick among many people with their own Australian motor homes, as it captures the essence of a coastal retreat. With amenities that mix the best of luxury with the wild outdoors – think modern toilet blocks, play areas, and a convenient camp kitchen – the setting is perfect for both relaxation and exploring. 

The park is strategically positioned on the beautiful head of Port Stephens, giving you close access to wonderful little nearby towns like Nelson Bay and Anna Bay. But the real cherry on top? There are plenty of dog-friendly beaches in the area, including Marrungbanga Reserve, ensuring that your pet gets their fair share of sand and sea. 

Cost: A powered campsite starts from $64 per night. 


6. Discovery Parks Burrill Lake

Let's venture to the calm, pet-friendly waters of Burrill Lake, where the lakeside meets the ocean breeze at Discovery Parks Burrill Lake. This park is a sanctuary for those who crave a lakeside experience with all the modern trappings. With amenities like a resort-style swimming pool, a water park for the kids, and the tranquil vibe of the lake, this pet-friendly holiday park is a hub for relaxation. Located near Ulladulla on the beautiful South Coast and just three hours south of Sydney, it’s a must-visit during your NSW road trip. Best of all, there are also plenty of dog-friendly beaches, and dog friendly hikes and walks throughout the region, including Collers Beach, Mollymook Beach and Narrawallee Beach (limited access hours.)

Top tip: If you're planning a trip with your pet, just remember that pets aren't allowed during school holidays and long weekends, so it's always best to give the holiday park a call before booking.

Cost: A powered campsite starts from $57 per night.


7. Merry Beach Caravan Park

Breathe in the salty air and immerse yourself in coastal serenity at Merry Beach Caravan Park. Nestled amidst unspoiled beauty, this park is a favourite for those traversing the South Coast with their campervan hire in NSW. Among the perks of this park are well-equipped campervan sites, including sites with beach views or directly on the beachfront, turning your campervan into an affordable holiday beach house. Located at Kioloa, it's a scenic three-hour journey down the South Coast, offering a picturesque retreat from city life. For the pets, the nearby dog-friendly beaches, including Cormorant Beach, promise boundless opportunities for frolicking in the sand – be it an early morning fetch session or an evening stroll watching the sunset. 

Cost: A powered campsite starts from $31 per night. 


8. Reflections Holiday Parks Grabine Lakeside

Escape to the hinterlands and feel the calming embrace of Reflections Holiday Parks Grabine Lakeside. Set against the backdrop of Goulburn's countryside, this holiday park offers the dual experience of lakeside lounging and bushland beauty. It's situated near Crookwell, which makes it a convenient pit stop for those charting the Goulburn terrain with their pet-friendly campervan hire. For the furry members of the family, the open landscapes and the neighbouring Grabine Lakeside State Park offer the perfect outdoor playground. Exploring, sniffing, and even an occasional splash in the lake, it's a pet’s paradise! 

Cost: A powered campsite starts from $44 per night. 


9. NRMA South West Rocks

Lush green stretches and the gentle rhythm of waves: welcome to NRMA South West Rocks. This destination is less of a campsite and more of a coastal sanctuary. Catering to both the adventurer and the leisure seeker, the park comes loaded with modern amenities, including resort-style pools, adventure playgrounds for kids, and fully equipped camp kitchens perfect for evening barbecues. Located along the Mid-North Coast, South West Rocks (a little under 5 hours from Sydney) is known for its historical charm and pristine beaches. And for your furry companion? The nearby dog-friendly beaches like Trial Bay and Back Creek Beach provide endless sand sprints and refreshing dips. 

Cost: A powered campsite starts from $53 per night. 


10. Two Shores Holiday Village

The Two Shores Holiday Village is a haven for those travelling in their Australian motorhome to explore the serenity of Tuggerah Lake and the expanse of The Entrance Beach. Amenities aren't lacking either; with well-equipped BBQ areas, a swimming pool, and beautiful lakeside-powered sites, you’ll have all the essentials for a pet-friendly camping adventure. This village is aptly located at The Entrance North, an easy one-and-a-half hour drive from Sydney for anyone wanting a slice of coastal paradise in NSW. And the furry friends? They'll be wagging their tails at the dog-friendly beach spots nearby, this includes the expansive The Entrance Beach right across the road. 

Cost: A powered campsite varies depending on the season – call the front desk for the most up-to-date pricing.


11. BIG4 Forbes Holiday Park

Step into a lush green paradise with BIG4 Forbes Holiday Park on the picturesque central coast. Renowned for its family-friendly atmosphere and impeccable grounds, this park is a must-visit for campervan travellers. Key features include a rejuvenating saltwater pool, a fun-filled playground for the little ones, a dog wash, and generous campervan parking tailored for every type of traveller. Nestled in the heart of the charming town of Forbes, five hours west of Sydney, this is the perfect pit stop on a pet-friendly campervan hire road trip to the NSW Outback. With the nearby Wheogo Park and onsite leash-free areas, Fido will love the time to stretch his legs.

Cost: A powered campsite starts from $48 per night. 


12. Wellington Riverside Caravan Park

Nestled along the Macquarie River's picturesque banks, Wellington Riverside Caravan Park beckons travellers seeking tranquillity and scenic beauty. This park, a favourite for those getting the most of their campervan hire in NSW, with an array of amenities like BBQ facilities, modern camp kitchens, and tranquil riverside campsites. Located in the vibrant town of Wellington, the park serves as an excellent base to explore the region’s attractions like Lake Burrendong or Dubbo Zoo. As for pet-friendly activities, your furry friends can enjoy a romp along the riverbank or join you on a laid-back afternoon fishing by the river. 

Cost: A powered campsite starts from $40 per night.


13. NRMA Merimbula Beach Holiday Resort

Experience coastal grandeur at the NRMA Merimbula Beach Holiday Resort. Standing tall on the cliffs of Merimbula, the panoramic views here are nothing short of breathtaking. Equipped with all the hallmarks of a top-tier resort – including resort-style pools, an adventure playground, and a stylish café – it's a dream destination for the whole family. Merimbula, known as the gem of the Sapphire Coast, is a perfect stop for travellers looking to explore the coastal route from Sydney to Melbourne (hands down one of the best road trips in NSW.) Plus, with plenty of nearby dog-friendly beaches like Bar Beach, the whole family gets to enjoy the treasures of the Sapphire Coast. 

Cost: A campervan campsite starts from $37 per night. 


14. Reflections Holiday Parks - Wee Jasper 

A nature lover's paradise, Reflections Holiday Parks Wee Jasper (previously Wee Jasper Reserves) is a charming escape that embraces the untouched beauty of the Australian hinterland. Wee Jasper, situated near the Brindabella Ranges, is just a couple of hours from Canberra and an ideal stop on your NSW road trip. Covering a vast area, there are multiple different primitive campsites within the holiday park that are pet-friendly campervan hire paradise. From well-maintained BBQ pits to neat camping spots and caravan areas, Reflections Holiday Parks at Wee Jasper is the ideal spot for those looking to delve into the southern hinterland wilderness with their Australian motorhome. Best of all, pets can indulge in the wide-open spaces of the holiday park, and the nearby Micalong Creek is a favourite for both two-legged and four-legged visitors. 

Cost: A campervan campsite starts from $32 per night.


Ready for a trip with your furry friend to New South Wales?

Ready to discover the charm of NSW's pet-friendly campsites and holiday parks with your four-legged companion? Start your adventure by booking an Apollo pet-friendly campervan hire online today, so you can easily pick up your camper from any one of the 10 Apollo branches in Australia and hit the road with the whole family!

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