Beat the price rise & place your booking deposit on a new Trayon Camper before Nov 5th, 2021! Reserve Your Trayon Here!   –  
blue mountains scenery

7 Best Blue Mountains Camping Sites – [That Aren’t Caravan Parks]

blue mountains scenery

In this Blue Mountains camping guide, we’ll highlight some of the best-unpowered campsites (not caravan parks), what to do before you go and what to bring.

The Blue Mountains, located at a short 2-hour long drive from Sydney, hides unending hidden treasures that aren’t overrun with tourists.

The amazing thing about the Blue Mountains (other than the breathtaking scenery) is the plethora of activities such as bushwalking, 4 wheel driving, hiking, mountain bike rides, abseiling tours, swimming and so much more!

Just make sure you at least stop at Echo Point near Katoomba, which provides the full view of the famous Three Sisters. It’s a must if you are in the area.

So, why did we compile this list of camping sites? Well, at Trayon Campers we’ve been camping for over 20 years! We absolutely love it! And we want to show people how many great opportunities there are to camp around this amazing country we live in.

But you don’t have to go too remote to find great camping spots! In this Blue Mountains camping guide we will cover the top 7 Unpowered Campsites in the Blue Mountains ideal for tent, camper trailers or slide-on campers/rooftop tents.

Note About Weather

These mountains are notorious for getting quite a chilli, especially if you are camping in the valleys. So be sure to rug up. Here is the latest weather forecast for Katoomba and its surroundings:

+13
°
C
+14°
+
Katoomba
Friday, 06
Saturday
+12° -1°
Sunday
+ +
Monday
+12° +
Tuesday
+16° +
Wednesday
+16° +
Thursday
+11° +
See 7-Day Forecast

7 Unpowered Campgrounds in the Blue Mountains National Park [Which Aren't Caravan Parks]

Here are seven remote campgrounds that can be accessed 4WD or 2WD vehicles (see description for specific details).

This article is about the most popular and not so popular camping sites, so keep reading if you want to find the hidden gems. We will discuss what to do before you get there, what to bring, and the highlights of each site.

Old Ford Reserve:  

Old Ford Reserve is perhaps one of the most accessible campgrounds on the list. Only 8.5 km from Katoomba, it's the perfect spot for first-time campers as it is free and not far from civilization.

Located on the grassy bank of Megalong Creek in the Megalong Valley, it is a remote camping site with sealed roads and plenty of space, so it can only be accessed by 2WD vehicles; however, 4WD driving is available down the road in the Blue Mountains National Park.

It is right beside the road and the well known Six Foot walking track snakes past to Jenolan Caves one way and back to Katoomba (about 8.3kms) the other. If you feel like exploring Six Foot track, you can expect to see birds, bridges, waterfalls, running creeks, and a myriad of picturesque views.

Megalong Creek often has trickling water, but it isn't recommended for swimming or drinking.

There are firepits provided, as open fires are prohibited. So don't forget to bring firewood.

Getting There:

From Blackheath, take Shipley Road off Station Street and turn left down Megalong Valley Road. The campground will be well-signed 20km out from Blackheath on your left-hand side.

Pet Friendly: No

Amenities:

  • Drop toilets
  • Picnic tables
  • Waste facilities
  • Trailer sites
  • Firepit. 

Cost: Free

Booking Required: No, but it can get busy around public holidays.

Murphys Glen campground:  

If you want something a bit more remote, Murphy's Glen campground is right in the heart of the Blue Mountains near Woodford. It is ONLY accessible by 4WD vehicles and can get quite boggy in wet weather.

You will be absolutely amazed at how remote you feel from civilization! This place is well shaded all day long. It's a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of a busy life. It's also the gateway to geat walking trails like the Bedford Creek track.

There are no camping fees at this campground but a $6 booking fee applies.

How to get to Murphy's

Murphy's Glen is in the Glenbrook area of Blue Mountains National Park. And bookings are required.

From Sydney by car:

  • Go west by taking the M4 and Great Western Highway.
  • Take the Appian Way just before Woodford and cross over the railway bridge
  • Turn right on to Railway Parade and then go left at the crossroads.
  • Continue around 2km to the gate at the national park boundary (this could be locked in wet weather, so make sure you check online first)
  • After which you’ll drive 7 kilometres to reach Murphy’s Glen campground.

Pet Friendly: No

Amenities:

  • Drop toilets
  • Firepits

Cost: Free, $6 booking fee

Booking Required: Yes

Access to Ingar campground from Murphys Glen

If you are also an experienced hiker and have a tent, you could hike to Ingar campground from the Murphys Glen via the Bedford Creek Trail (about 6.4km). Ingar Campground is one of the most remote camping spots, there are 8 unmarked camping spots, picnic tables, drop toilets. But you need to be prepared, as there is no road access or freshwater, trails might be inaccessible in wet weather.

Perrys Lookdown campground:  

Located on the western edge of the National Park, Perrys Lookdown offers awe-inspiring views over Grose Valley, Mount Banks, and Blue Gum Forest. It is located in the Blackheath area in the Blue Mountains National Park at the end of Hat Hill road.

From the lookout, you'll come across the massive sandstone cliffs of Mount Banks. Look for yellow-tailed cockatoos and wedge-tailed eagles in the skies above as you enjoy the beautiful vistas.

Surrounded by a lush and densely populated forest, it is accessible by 2WD via a bumpy unsealed road. There are only 5 camping sites only steps away from stunning views. The campsite provides the unique opportunity to watch the native birds, gaze at the arresting sight of the Grose Valley and the cliffs of Mount Banks and relish the breathtaking view.

It also has access to the iconic & challenging walking track down to the Blue Gum Forest.

Keep in mind, this site is not suitable for camper trailers or caravans. It's mostly suited for Tent camping a few steps away from the car, but you could also use a Vehicle that is set up as a camper.

Pet Friendly: No

Amenities:

  • Drop toilets
  • Barbeque facilities
  • 5 Campsites

Cost: Free, $6 booking fee online

Booking Required: Yes

Dunphys campground

Dunphys Campground is 2WD accessible sit with lots of space between the 15 camping spots. Great for tents, camper trailers and vehicle campers

Located at the end of Megalong Valley, there are stacks of activities nearby for everyone, including 4WD touring, rock climbing, birdwatching, canoeing, swimming, mountain biking, fishing along the Cox’s River, extended hikes to Kanangra Walls.

There is a great short walk up to Bellbird Point suitable for the whole family.

Pet Friendly: No

Amenities:

  • Toilets
  • Gas Barbeque facilities
  • 15 Campsites
  • Picnic tables

Cost: Free, $6 booking fee online

Booking Required: Yes

Burralow Creek campground and picnic area

Burralow Creek campground is in the Lower Grose Valley, about 96km from the heart of the City. This secluded site is 4WD access only and is very popular with locals, all the sites are unmarked in an open flattish space in the middle of the bush. Great for camper trailers, vehicle campers & tents.

Getting There from Sydney

  • Turn left off "Bells Line of Road" onto Warks Hill Road.
  • Turn left on Burralow Road and continue to Tabaraga Ridge Fire Trail.
  • Follow this 4WD-only track for approximately 8km.

Bring your own firewood, fire rings provided

Pet Friendly: No

Amenities:

  • Toilets
  • Barbeque facilities
  • Fire rings

Cost: Free, $6 booking fee online

Booking Required: Yes

Cathedral Reserve - Secret Blue Mountains Camping Spot

This is actually an unofficial camping spot, there is water, toilets & BBQ facilities but not showers. You don't have to book this location, it is free to use. Dogs are allowed in Mt Willson Village, but not in the adjacent national park. This site is great for caravans, camper trailers and tent campers, lots of open flat spaces to enjoy the stars at night.

The Cathedral Reserve camping area is in the Mt Wilson and Mt Irvine area. the place is packed with things to do and explore including the town, scenic wilderness walks to check out the Cathedral Ferns or visit the lookout.

Cathedral Reserve Campground is located in Blue Mountains National Park. This campsite has all the facilities that campervans and caravans need like hot showers, toilets and BBQ's. The camping area itself is situated beside a very peaceful creek with lots of spots to sit down and relax as well as having its own

Pet Friendly: Yes (but not in the neighbouring national park)

Amenities:

  • Toilets
  • Barbeque facilities

Cost: Free

Booking Required: No

The Diggings campground:   

Okay, technically this one is not in the Blue Mountains national park, just a little further west ( About three hours on the Great Western Highway M4). We thought we would include it has 20 campsites that are great for camper trailers, vehicle campers and tent campers. It's suitable for groups of people, so bring the whole family.

The Diggings campsite is positioned at the mouth of the Turon River. It is the perfect secluded place to relax your overworked mind while replacing the noise of the city with the rustling sounds of the treetops. Its prime location allows for a variety of activities, like mountain biking, hiking, trout fishing, canoeing and 4WD touring at the nearby Ben Bullen trail.

There is plenty of wildlife you will no doubt encounters such as birds, Kangaroos and perhaps the odd wombat waddling through the bush.

Keep in mind, that in wet weather the unsealed road to access the Diggings Campground can become boggy.

Pet Friendly: No

  • Toilets
  • Barbeque facilities

Amenities:

Cost: Free, $6 booking fee online / phone

Booking Required: Yes

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you camp anywhere in the Blue Mountains?

No, you can't camp anywhere in the Blue Mountains national park, it does require some forward planning. As of June 1st 2020, you have to book online or by phone at least 2 days in advance for most of the campsites run by the National Park.

Is the Blue Mountains open?

COVID-19 closures may be in effect at various campgrounds, so be sure to check the National Parks website before leaving.

Other than that the campgrounds may close on certain public holidays and or due to weather events, so make sure you plan ahead and do your research.

Can you camp at Jenolan Caves? 

No, currently there are no campsites directly at Jenolan Caves. There are some Walkin Campsites like the Black Range Campgrounds which provide hikers with some R & R along the Six Foot Track to Jenolan Caves. But you could also camp at the Old Ford Reserve or the Jenolan Holiday Park

Things to do before going camping in NSW:

Before leaving for your next Blue Mountains camping trip, consult this list of must-have items to make sure you have everything you need:

Things to do:

  1. Plan your destination (is it open? Have I booked?)
  2. Check the Weather (is it 4x4 only? Will the tracks be boggy)
  3. Pack and be prepared

Things to bring:

  1. Food
  2. Toilet paper
  3. Gas cooker, crockery & cutlery
  4. Plenty of Drinking and washing water
  5. Be sure to use eco-friendly detergents/soaps (stay well away from rivers & streams when using these)
  6. Rubbish bags so you leave no trace and take your rubbish with you
  7. Warm clothes
  8. First aid kit
  9. Torch
  10. Phone
  11. Insect repellent
  12. Shelter (Tent, camper trailer, vehicle camper)
  13. Sleeping bag, pillow
  14. Hiking Shoes
  15. Backpack

Other necessary equipment depending on the activities you intend to be doing (mountain biking, canoeing, fishing etc).

Leave No Trace

So we can all enjoy the outdoors, make sure you follow the leave no trace guidelines so our friendly wildlife and environment won't be impacted by your visit.

Camping near Katoomba:  

There are many camping sites near Katoomba, the above-mentioned Old Ford Reserve being one of the rougher ones. However, if you are looking for a few more amenities than just drop toilets, here are a couple of places you could camp:

Katoomba Falls Tourist Park:

Three Sisters rock formation, Blue Mountains

This park is 2 kilometres south of Katoomba station and one of the closest camping areas near it. The park not only allows space for camping but also provides suites for people who prefer to stay in solid walls. 

Katoomba Falls Tourist Park is within walking distance to a number of Blue Mountain's most wondrous sites, like the Three Sisters. The clifftop allows for a close-up experience of the three famous sandstone peaks, other tourist destinations such as cable car ride, railway, the Katoomba Falls, and much more are very close.

Amenities: The camp itself provides toilets, showers, barbecue facilities, a kitchen, and laundry. 

You will have to call and book ahead of time.

Surrounding Areas

There is so much on offer in this region. You should also check out neighbouring shires of Oberon and Lithgow for more great campsites and activities for the whole family.

Conclusion 

We hope that you can have a good experience exploring the natural beauty of the Blue Mountains, getting some much needed time away from city life.

Be sure to abide by the rules set by the governing bodies, clean up after yourself to keep the locations clean so other people can enjoy getting out into nature and be mindful of the needs of other campers during your stay.

If you want to explore other parts of NSW, check out all our other NSW 4WD touring guides written by Trayon Owners and Camping Enthusiasts. 

Happy camping!

Disclaimer: Although we try to ensure that the information on this website is correct, it should not be relied upon as an authoritative or exhaustive source of information and alternative options should be researched before making decisions based on this Blue Mountains camping guide. Your safety is your responsibility - please use common sense when exploring the Blue Mountains!

Share This Post
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Other Posts

Categories

Categories

Like us on Facebook

Get our Newsletter

More Posts by Trayon