The Best Campgrounds Near Canberra


Looking to switch-off, kick back, and relax, all the while taking in the spectacular sights and sounds of the natural world? Sounds like you need to take a camping trip.

Memories made when camping last a lifetime. Not only is the camping experience inexpensive and ideal for families, it also gives us the opportunity to disconnect from our screens and reconnect with those closest to us. It’s no wonder the family camping trip has been a tried and true tradition in Australia for decades.

If you’re on the hunt for the best campgrounds near Canberra, we have you covered. After conducting a little research and listening to local feedback, we’ve come up with this list of the top three campgrounds in the region. Let’s jump right to it.

What makes a great campground?

What you want out of a campground will depend if you’re a serious outdoorsy type, a first-time camper, or a family with little kids. Here are a few starting points to keep in mind:

  • A spectacular surrounding. First and foremost, the best campgrounds near Canberra are situated among spectacular natural surroundings.
  • The facilities you need. Do you need bathrooms and showers, or are you more than happy to go all out and camp without any other facilities?
  • Proximity to activities. This might be a cinema, pool, or playground, or a few hikes, a beach, or some other type of nature-based activity, nearby. Enquire about this before you plan your trip.
  • Other features. Maybe you need a powered campsite. Perhaps you’d like a resort-style swimming pool, a sauna, and a restaurant, too. Or it could be you are after the home comforts of a cabin or villa. Consider the features you’d like and find a campground that ticks all the boxes.

The top campgrounds near Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and maintain a minimum average of 4/5 stars on both Google and Facebook reviews.

Here are your top picks for campgrounds in and around Canberra.

Cotter Campground

Set on the stunning banks of the Cotter River, Cotter Campground is the most highly serviced campground in the ACT. The picturesque spot is ideal for a wide range of campers, from swags to vans, and 10-person tents to camper trailers. The site includes hot showers, water, dishwashing facilities, toilets, wood, BBQs, and more. Plus, you’ll enjoy easy access to the fabulous walking trails in the region.

Honeysuckle Campground

Located adjacent to the former space tracking station site, Honeysuckle Campground is a scenic location suited to couples, families, and large groups. A stone’s throw from both the Booroomba Rocks and the Australian Alps Walking Track, Honeysuckle Campground is a great base to explore the local area.

Alivio Tourist Park

After something a little less out-there? The Alivio Tourist Park is a fully-serviced park with campsite, cabin, and extremely comfortable villa accommodation available. Situated a short 4km from the city centre, the Alivio Tourist Park is conveniently accessible, and yet still surrounded by gorgeous, tranquil bushland. As a guest, you’ll have access to the swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, BBQs, table tennis tables, laundry facilities, and an on-site café and bar. How good is that?

Which campground did you pick?

Thanks to our commentators who have provided insightful feedback on the best and worst Canberra campgrounds.

If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Where do you camp in and around Canberra? Share your camping experiences below – whether good or bad – for our readers to check out.

What's Your Opinion?

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23 Responses to The Best Campgrounds Near Canberra
Thumper Thumper 8:32 am 21 Oct 10

Mystery Bay is a fave of mine too

Stunningly beautiful and slightly eerie on winter mornings.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 6:35 am 21 Oct 10

I too like Honeysuckle, but it is a bit too close to the Tuggy Thuggies, who make the trip throughout the night for cruising and boombox sessions. Avoid weekends?

Lin Lin 10:08 pm 20 Oct 10

I love Wee Jasper when it’s not busy (ie. anytime outside of school hols) but unfortunately they don’t allow fires at all during the bushfire season (ie. half of the year). And what is camping without a campfire? Great from 1 April till 1 November though. My favourite spot is Swinging Bridge. Camp right next to the river and go “fark it’s beautiful” every mornning when you walk out of your tent.

Mystery Bay is a fave of mine too. Gets VERY busy over Xmas and Easter, but is quiet any other time. I went there in July and there were 3 other campers there and it’s big.

Mimosa is beautiful. But is getting quite popular. The last two times I went there Gillards beach had been taken over by grey nomads or raving teenagers.

If I can now tag my own question onto this one: I’m looking for nice weekend camping spots where you can have a campfire and I’d like to throw a dog in the mix. Also, I don’t like bogans but do very much like some privacy. Don’t care about showers or running water though some sort of toilet is nice to have nearby. And I love being near water.

So anyone know spots like that that are easy to drive to after work on Friday just for the weekend?

Does Woods reserve get quite packed when it gets warmer?

Davo111 Davo111 10:46 pm 19 Oct 10

Pommy bastard said :

The Cube Nightclub has a camping night, doesn’t it?

I wonder if the manager will stab for free?

funkfaerie funkfaerie 12:47 pm 17 Oct 10

Pommy bastard said :

The Cube Nightclub has a camping night, doesn’t it?

Hehe… i’d be a happy with that but my boyfriend might be a little afraid. Don’t think he’s up for that sort of camping.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions! Good to know there are so many spots out there.

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 1:56 pm 15 Oct 10

The Cube Nightclub has a camping night, doesn’t it?

KB1971 KB1971 1:05 pm 15 Oct 10

jimbocool said :

There are heaps and heaps of awesome camping spots on the south coast, especially south of Moruya. Araganu in Mimosa Rocks national park is one, and the uninspiringly named (but pants-wettingly beasutiful) picnic point just south of Mimosa is another.

Ohh, yeah I forgot (how could I when I grew up on the Sapphire Coast), Brogo Dam, Saltwater Creek, Bittangabee (both in Ben Boyd NP), Fisheries Beach on the southern side of Twofold bay, Wonboyn Lake.

If you go down the Cann Valley Hwy to Cann River you have Croagingalong NP, about 3.5 hours drive but a beautiful spot.

johnny_the_knife johnny_the_knife 1:01 pm 15 Oct 10

Try Sasafrass in the Budawangs. Accessible by car in dry weather, 4×4 needed in the wet.

jimbocool jimbocool 12:30 pm 15 Oct 10

There are heaps and heaps of awesome camping spots on the south coast, especially south of Moruya. Araganu in Mimosa Rocks national park is one, and the uninspiringly named (but pants-wettingly beasutiful) picnic point just south of Mimosa is another.

rosscoact rosscoact 12:30 pm 15 Oct 10

there’s a couple of books which are the ducks nuts

4wd Touring – South East New South Wales and east Gippsland and

camping guide to NSW

jessieduck jessieduck 12:14 pm 15 Oct 10

Tom Groggin campground up in the Snowies is gorgeous. Last year we were camping with 4 wild brumbies and about 4,000 roos. The river is a great place to cool off in summer.

There are great drop toilet facilities and the campsites generally have a good stash of firewood to use as well. It’s about a three hour drive from Canberra and totally worth it.

Amanda Hugankis Amanda Hugankis 12:05 pm 15 Oct 10

Depends what kind of camping you want to do – but for an overnighter or two and a tent … can sometimes be peppered or unfortunately over-run with the great australian bogan, replete with ute, stock to rival a small to medium BWS, car stereo, and children, so be choosey when you go … otherwise its free and fantastic).
Mystery Bay (down south of Moruya)
Mimosa Rocks – south coast, just off beach – Gillards campground –

Love, The Happy Camper

p1 p1 11:40 am 15 Oct 10

My votes:

Beach Campsite: North Head
End of the beaten track: Blue Water Holes
Close by: Honeysuckle Creek (ex-tracking station)

akpv akpv 11:10 am 15 Oct 10

Are you looking for car camping? Here are some spots:

Flea Creek – Brindabellas **** (4wd required to get back up)
Meroo – South coast *****
Woods Reserve – Corin ***
Cotter **
Tent embassy (great location) ***
Bournda – South coast ****
Shoalhaven – Warri Bridge **
Honeysuckle Creek – Namadgi ***
Island bend – Snowy mountains ****
Bendeela – Kangaroo River ****
Mt Clear – Namadgi ***
Honeymoon Bay – Jervis Bay ****
Mystery Bay – South Coast ****

chris820 chris820 10:58 am 15 Oct 10

Billy Grace at Wee Jasper
Blue Waterholes in Kosciusko NP
Bendethera valley in Deua NP (4wd only)
Along the Goodradigbee river near Brindabella
Or anywhere in Namadgi: Honeysuckle Creek, Mount Clear, Boboyan Valley

Would you prefer camping out of a car, or don’t mind a bit of walking?

KB1971 KB1971 10:55 am 15 Oct 10

Ok, where do I start,

In the ACT:
Honeysuckle Creek
Orroral Valley
Mt Clear

In Kosi:
Blue Waterholes (any hut on Long Plain actually)
Emu flat
Dubbo Flat
Gungarlin River
Island Bend
Have a look at the KNP website, it list all the campsites.

Also, have a look here:

You can camp at all the huts in Kosi & this website gives all the locations.

Bentethera is a great spot but you need a 4WD with clearance & low range to get there (not a Honda CRV).

The list is endless, maybe have a look at this book:

Captain RAAF Captain RAAF 10:47 am 15 Oct 10

Oh Purlease, are you that gullible?

Your boyfriend wants to go camping so he can….oh never mind!

eyeLikeCarrots eyeLikeCarrots 10:43 am 15 Oct 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Wee Jasper Reserves.

A most excellent place, unfortunatley the Stales Tavern in Wee Jasper recently closed its doors which is a real pity.

Deckard Deckard 10:32 am 15 Oct 10

The snowy mountains have plenty of camping. Although this weekend they might be a bit snowy.

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