Year-round pleasant weather, natural beauty and, of course, the Big Banana Fun Park make camping in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, a delight. Sleeping under the stars, guarded by Australia‘s Southern Cross, is the big draw – but you’ll also find comfy cabins and even a quirky Dutch-themed getaway.
An antidote to characterless concrete blocks, Clog Barn Caravan Park is the quirkiest campsite in Coffs Harbour. Home to the world’s only clog-shaped pool, a hand-built model Dutch village and working miniature railway, Clog Barn is “a little piece of Holland in the heart of Coffs Harbour.” The park has cabins, campsites and all the usual amenities. There’s also Big Oma’s Coffee House, which features an array of Dutch delicacies and treats.
For a budget, no-frills camping experience close to town, the Coffs Harbour Leagues Club is the place to go. There are eight powered and unpowered sites suitable for RVs, caravans, vans and tents. Comforts come in the form of a toilet, shower and a club serving dinner and drinks after 5pm. Bear in mind there might be light and noise from the sports field until late.
In northern NSW’s hinterland, this rural offering has farm animals to feed, a dam for swimming and spacious camping sites with fire pits. There’s also bush camping, but you’ll need to bring a portable toilet. The 93ha (230-acre) site also has direct access to Lower Bucca State Forest, where exploration is best done in a four-wheel drive vehicle. Alternatively, it’s a 30-minute drive to Coffs Harbour and 10 minutes to the beach.
Station Creek campground sits in the heart of Yuraygir National Park, 38km (24mi) north of Coffs Harbour. It has barbecues and drop toilets but no water or showers. Still, if you can go without for a night or two, you’ll be rewarded with bushwalking trails, a swimmable creek and lots of wildlife. A beach, accessed by a scribbly gum and corkwood tree-lined track, is just 600m (1,970ft) away. Note that the road to the site is unsealed and can get quite sketchy — especially after rain — so a four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended.
Great for those on a budget, Ulong Showground has several unpowered sites along a pretty creek. It’s a 40-minute drive to Coffs Harbour, but it’s peaceful, spacious and the camping fees support the local community. There are also hot showers, toilets and a barbecue. On arrival, head to the Ulong General Store on the main street to grab your key. Here, you’ll also find a popular café to sate your coffee and breakfast needs.
An hour west of Coffs Harbour, Dangar Falls Lodge & Camping is a secluded site in the small town of Dorrigo. For many, its main selling point is easy access to the 30m (100ft) waterfall after which the campsite is named. You can also enjoy views over the rural Dorrigo Plateau, and the site provides power, water and showers. If you don’t feel like roughing it, book the site’s namesake lodge, which sleeps 12.
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