These are our top 5 picks for camping under the stars.

A night under the stars, isn't it what we all want? Uninterrupted views of galaxies and planets twinkling above. Here's our favourite campgrounds with clear open skies to dream into by the campfire.

Image by @michaelgilchristphoto
Image by @michaelgilchristphoto

1. Sandbar & Bushland Holiday Park

You know as soon as you hit Sandbar Road that you’re on an adventure. Meandering through the sub-tropical rain forest abundant with palm trees to reach the holiday haven of Sandbar and Bushland Holiday Park and Golf Course. Sandbar holiday park has absolute frontage to Smiths Lake with a 500m walk to Cellito Beach. Its sister next door is Bushland holiday park, a camper's paradise in a natural bush setting with majestic eucalypts. This remote location with no light pollution and being close to the ocean, makes for exceptionally clear conditions for stargazing.

  • Camping type: powered and non-powered sites available; Tent, camper trailer, caravan, camping beside vehicle.
  • Amenities: showers, toilets, laundry facilities, small kiosk, barbecue facilities, drinking water, golf course.
  • Dogs are not allowed at this campground
Farquhar Park Camping Ground, Mitchells Island, river views from camp grounds
Farquhar Park Campground (Image by Paul Todd @frontier_lines)

2. Farquhar Park Campground

Located at the southern entrance to the Manning River, Farquhar Inlet offers far more than just a top fishing spot. You can camp at Crown Land's Farquhar Park Campground, bring your gear for canoeing, swimming, wakeboarding, skiing, surfing, snorkelling, or simply floating around on a li-lo. Or why not do some off shore exploring? If you have a boat, you can motor to one of the surrounding islands for a picnic or try some bushwalking in one of the nearby littoral rainforests. Access to the park is by 4WD along the Manning Point beach (only on low tide) or by boat. Access via Old Bar is only possible when the entrance is closed. All vehicles require a beach permit issued from MidCoast Council.

  • Camping type: non-powered sites only; Tent, camper trailer, camp beside your vehicle
  • Amenities: barbecue facilities, toilets
  • Dogs are not allowed at this campsite

For more information see Farquhar Park Campground and for bookings see Crown Lands

Dingo Tops Campground, Tapin Tops National Park, camping under the stars
Dingo Tops Campground (image by Nell Newey)

3. Dingo Tops, Tapin Tops National Park

Surrounded by ancient rainforests and eucalypt forests, Dingo Tops campground makes for a quiet, yet interesting place to base yourself for explorations within Tapin Tops National Park. Wander through the rainforest along Mountain Brush circuit or, pack a picnic and head out to Potoroo Falls, walk along the creek to the waterfall and its pretty swimming hole. Around the camp, you’re bound to spot interesting wildlife and birds, including parma wallabies, red-legged pademelons, greater gliders (at night), and koalas. This campgrounds location deep into Tapin Tops National Park makes it perfect for a light show through the high eucalypt silhouettes.

  • Camping type: non-powered sites only. tent
  • Amenities: Picnic tables, barbecue facilities, carpark, toilets
  • Dogs are not allowed

For more information and to book: NSW National Parks Website

4. Violet Hill Campground, Myall Lake

If you like getting out onto the water for a spot of fishing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming or boating, then Violet Hill Campground and picnic area is a great spot to base yourself. The campground and picnic area sits between Boolambayte Lake and Myall Lake. It’s equipped with a boat ramp, a wharf and temporary boat moorings for easy access. With open skies over the lake, clear nights bring a dazzling sight, brightened by the reflections off the lake.

  • Camping type: non-powered sites only; Tent, camper trailer, caravan
  • Amenities: picnic tables, barbecue facilities, boat ramp, toilets
  • Dogs are not allowed in this campsite.

For more information and to book: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

The clear night skies from Polblue Campground, Barrington Tops
Polblue Campground (image by @heldoorn)

5. Polblue Campground, Barrington Tops National Park

Polblue is the highest campground in New South Wales that you can drive to, making stargazing especially breathtaking here, giving you a feeling that you could reach out and grab the stars themselves! It’s a spacious campground centred around a grassy picnic area, and set away from the main road so it’s perfect for camping with children. A great place for a weekend getaway, there’s easy access to some of the attractions in Barrington Tops, including the easy Polblue Swamp walking track. If you do walk the Polblue Swamp track, you’re likely to see a kangaroos or wombat hanging out along the track. During snowfall events, staying overnight at Polblue is one of the unique camping experiences in the Barrington Coast: waking up to fresh snow outside your campervan door is rarely experienced by Australians!

  • Camping type: non-powered sites only; Tent, camper trailer, caravan, camping beside vehicle
  • Amenities: picnic tables, barbecue facilities, toilets
  • Dogs are not allowed in this campsite.

For more information and to book: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

If you're heading to Barrington Tops the best approach is via Gloucester on the eastern side, stop for fuel, provisions, a coffee or a meal on your way through.

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