Four Mid-to-North Coast National Parks To Hit This Long Weekend
COASTALWATCH | TRAVEL
Score some waves, save some coin
There’s a lot to love about a National Park campground. They’re usually not over-developed, meaning natural bushland surrounds them and wildlife is in abundance. While that may mean hiding your food from hungry dingoes and bush turkeys, it also means fewer crowds. While other campgrounds are jammed with amenities like jumping pillows, pools and laundries, you’re lucky to get a decent drop toilet at these ones. What you will score, however, is an epic location and a heap of savings. And most of them allow you to have a safe fire pit as well. Is it really camping without a crackling fire to sit around and talk rubbish by at the end of the day?
Many are also close to beaches that offer spectacular beach 4WDing. Coastalwatch was lucky enough to jump in the VW Amarok V6 recently and explore what the North Coast’s National Parks had to offer.
1. Diamond Head, Crowdy Bay National Park
Mind blowing views of the ocean and forest greet you at this awesome campground at Diamond Head. While it can get busy at peak times, it’s also perfectly placed for exploring with a bunch of 4WD tracks and beach driving close by, epic fishing, hiking tracks and more.
Starts at $24 a night, 75 spots available.
Our pick of the best nearby surf spot: Lighthouse in a Northerly with not much swell around. Town Beach in a southerly if there’s a bit more juice. The rip off the Breakwall gets super fun.
2. Little Beach, Bouddi National Park
If you don’t like having other campers right on top of you, then Little Beach is the spot for you – there are six sites available for tents only. Pump up five of your mates and take the whole location for yourself. More Central Coast than North Coast, this spot is surrounded by coastal rainforest and even offers picnic tables and BBQs. Spectacular cliffs surround you, along with a tonne of good breaks.
Starts at $34, six sites available.
Our pick of the best nearby surf spot: Pelos. Fun, consistent beachie with good banks most of the year.
3. Woody Head, Bundjalung National Park
Skip the madness of Byron and stay just north of Yamba at Woody Head. You’ll score some above average hookups at this campground due to the fact it’s big – with nearly 100 sites on offer, plus hot showers, drinking water, a boat ramp, BBQs and tables. You can access the Iluka walking track directly from the site, leading you through heritage-listed rainforests and coastal views, not to mention the warm waves on offer nearby.
Starts at $34, 94 sites available.
Our pick of the best nearby surf spot: In Northerlies Turner’s Wall, fun wedgey left up the north end, off the wall that forms the bar of the Clarence. In Southerly’s, head to Angourie Point.
4. Trial Bay Gaol Campground, Arakoon National Park
Perfectly positioned for sunsets and dolphin watching, Trial Bay campground is beachfront and always super busy, so book well in advance. Great fishing on offer and nicely placed for surf runs as far as Crescent Head. The local bakery in town also does an astonishingly good apple turnover.
Prices vary around $35, beachside campsite has 34 spots, more available over the hill.
Our pick of the best nearby surf spot: Head North to Grassy – beautiful little right point, nobody around (and not good enough for locals to get eggy about).
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