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Top 7 campsites near Canberra

Shannon Barker

Our nation's capital has so much on offer: a vibrant and interesting city centre, thriving art scene, trendy cafes and restaurants. With all this at our fingertips we sometimes need to remember that Canberra is also surrounded by stunning natural beauty, including several national parks, rolling fields and parkland. We’ve put together a list of the best places to go camping to experience these locations, both in and around Canberra.

Micalong Creek Reserve - Wee Jasper

Located just past the border into NSW, this stunning camp spot is only a 90 minute drive from Canberra. This dog-friendly campsite is located by a babbling brook, weeping willow trees and swimming holes. It even has a little island only accessible by a foot bridge. There are several walks to do from here for those wishing to explore. Or if setting up next to the campfire and relaxing to the sights and sounds of nature is more your style, Micalong Creek will not disappoint.

Cotter River - Photo by Daniel Morton via Unsplash

Cotter Campground - Casuarina Sands

With some of the best serviced campgrounds in the ACT, you can’t go past a trip to Cotter Campgrounds in Casuarina Sands. Only a 20 minute drive from the city, come and relax by the banks of the Cotter river and feel the stress of the daily grind melt away. This is a first-come-first-served situation so come early to secure a good spot. After putting up your tent, head down to the river for a dip in the cool clear water or take a stroll by the riverbank and admire the stunning scenery. The campsite even has hot showers – talk about luxury!

Namadgi National Park via Visit Canberra

Mt Clear and Honeysuckle Campground - Namadgi National Park

With multiple campsites, fishing, hiking, bike riding and even horse riding on offer, this area ticks all the boxes. Namadgi National Park is a dream for those wanting to escape from the city. During the 2020 bushfires much of the Namadgi National Park was burnt, but due to the resilience of the Australian bush, new growth and thousands of green shoots can be seen emerging from the ashes. Mt Clear campground is the most remote campsite in the Namadgi and offers an unparalleled camping experience. For something more family friendly try Honeysuckle campground. It’s situated next to a former space tracking station so history buffs will appreciate the importance of this location in the 1969 moon landing.  

Woods Reserve - Tidbinbilla

The Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is one of the ACT’s natural treasures. With a large wetland ecosystem surrounded by bushland, some say that your chances of spotting a platypus here are sky high! Woods Reserve is located on the banks of the Gibraltar Creek and offers great camping opportunities next door to the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Explore the nearby Gibraltar Falls, where you can find BBQs and picnic shelters, or simply enjoy your time spotting animals within the reserve. This is a truly wonderful experience and is not to be missed.

Morton National Park by Kramer Photography via Destination NSW

Long Gully Campground - Morton National Park

Another location in New South Wales but close enough to Canberra for a camping excursion, Morton National Park is full of sweeping valleys and thunderous waterfalls, with many walks allowing you to explore both. Along the Bundawang Ranges you will find Long Gully campground. The location of this site more than makes up for its more basic facilities. Wake up early to see sunrise over the valley, or cosy up to and watch the wide open sky streak with red and pink at sunset. A magical location and a highly recommended camping experience.

Coree Campground - Brindabella National Park

Situated in the midst of a tall eucalypt forest in the Brindabella National Park, not far from Canberra, you will find the sweet Coree campground. This is remote camping at its finest, a place to reconnect with nature (and possibly a good opportunity for a digital detox!). Get to know the local wildlife, set your body clock to the rhythm of the outdoors and recharge your batteries in this magic spot. Coree campsite is also a great base to explore the Brindabella National Park.

Snowy Mountains via Visit Canberra

Blue Waterhole Campground - Kosciuszko National Park

This is one of those spots you’ll never forget about. A three hour drive from Canberra into the Kosciuszko National Park, the Blue Waterhole campground is located next to Clarke Gorge which acts as a scenic backdrop to your camping experience. The pools are located a short walk from the campsite and gain their name from their high mineral content which gives them their brilliant blue hues. This is a great spot to take a dip or an impromptu picnic. You will need to bring everything you need with you, as this site does not have running water or other facilities.

Header image by Laura Pluth via Unsplash