One of the biggest reasons many of us pitch a tent and get back to nature is to hopefully see some native animals. We've picked our favourite campsites near wildlife where you may see a furry, scaly or feathered local.

1. Diamond Head Campground, Crowdy Bay National Park

Photo: Cristina Fernandez @ifitsnotnow.when
Photo: Cristina Fernandez @ifitsnotnow.when

With its excellent camping and picnic facilities, the beachside campground at Diamond Head is one of the most popular places to stay in Crowdy Bay National Park. It includes campsites for motorhomes, caravans, campervans, camper trailers and tents. Once you’ve ogled the ocean and the blackened pillars of Split Rock from the beach, there is lots more to explore. Take your choice from several hiking tracks, including the 4.8 km Diamond Head loop walk via Indian Head with its panoramic views of coast, mountains and forest.

Animals to look out for: Kangaroos enjoying the beach during sunrise and sunset or catching a shady spot under one of the trees or caravans, birds, dolphins, whales, lizards and possums.

  • Bookings essential.
  • Camping type: Only non-powered sites. Tent, camper trailer, caravan, camping beside your vehicle.
  • Amenities: picnic tables, barbecue facilities, carpark, showers, toilets.
  • Dogs are not allowed at this campsite.

For more information and to book: National Barks & Wildlife Service

2. Broughton Island, Myall Lakes National Park

Rsz east coast photography broughton island myall lakes national park camping

Camping on Broughton Island is a truly special experience. Located in Myall Lakes National Park, you'll be camping amongst an active seabird colony. The island is a key breeding site for wedge-tailed shearwaters. There are plenty of opportunities for water activities, including swimming, fishing, boating, snorkeling and scuba diving. You’ll find sandy beaches within Esmeralda Cove. With only five campsites, you’ll feel like you own the island. The campground is fairly basic, so you’ll have to bring all your equipment and supplies with you, including water.

Animals to look out for: Dolphins, whales, birds and incredible array of fish amongst the reefs. At different times of the year you will also spot grey nurse sharks congregating around the rocks.

  • Bookings essential.
  • Camping type: Only non-powered sites. Tent only.
  • Amenities: Toilets
  • Dogs are not allowed at this campsite.

For more information and to book: National Barks & Wildlife Service

3. Mungo Brush Campground, Myall Lakes National Park

Photo: Dan McAreavey
Photo: Dan McAreavey

Mungo Brush campground is a popular campground near Hawks Nest in Myall Lakes National Park. There are plenty of campsites to choose from – so you’re bound to find one that suits your setup. From the campground there's easy access the popular walks of Mungo Rainforest, Tamboi and Mungo Beach. Being right on the lake means there are great opportunities to go kayaking or canoeing along the lower Myall River to Hawks Nest. A short walk from the campground leads to the beach, where you can go swimming, fishing and surfing.

Animals to look out for: Plenty of dingoes call this area home. Never feed them and maintain your distance to enjoy an incredible experience with these creatures. Lizards, birds, possums and dolphins and whales at nearby Mungo Beach.

  • Bookings essential
  • Camping type: Tent, Camper trailer, Caravan, Camping beside vehicle
  • Amenities: Picnic tables, barbecue facilities, boat ramp, toilets
  • Dogs are not allowed at this campsite.

For more information and to book: National Barks & Wildlife Service

4. Riverwood Downs

Photo: Vanessa Kind
Photo: Vanessa Kind

Hidden in a valley on a beautiful mountain river where the platypus play, Riverwood Downs is a magnificent, multi award-winning 300 hectare property on the banks of the Karuah River in the foothills of Barrington Tops. Situated in the Monkerai valley between Stroud and Gloucester, you can enjoy 5 km of river frontage and explore the property's shady walking trails, tall mountains and cool fresh mountain pools. Experience this peaceful setting with fresh air, bright stars, abundant wildlife, crackling log fires, friendly staff and relaxed country hospitality.

Animals to look out for: Platypus, kangaroos, wallabies, birds, lizards, possums, wombats and koalas

  • Bookings essential
  • Camping type: Powered and non-powered sites available. Tent, camper trailer, caravan, camping beside vehicle
  • Amenities: hot showers, toilets, restaurant, small kiosk, laundry facilities.
  • Dogs are allowed at this campsite but please call to confirm before booking.

For more information and to book: Riverwood Downs Resort

5. The Steps Barrington Campground, Bindera

The steps barrington

Camping like it used to be... The Steps Barrington is a boutique campground with a limit on campers so there's plenty of space. On the river you'll find stretches of slow moving water that make perfect swimming holes for family fun; try paddling the rapids in a kayak, canoe or surf mat; or take to the trails of our cross-country mountain bike park. The surrounding mountain ranges offer many different walks, hikes or mountain bike adventures depending on your age and skill level. Or you can just sit back and listen to the sounds of the Barrington River cascading its way over the famous Steps Rapids while you watch the wallabies graze. It's a little piece of camping paradise at Gloucester, in the scenic foothills of the World Heritage Listed Barrington Tops.

Animals to look out for: The resident red-necked wallabies with their joeys are just adorable, platypus in the upstream ponds, kangaroos, birds, lizards, possums and koalas.

  • Bookings essential
  • Camping type: Only non-powered sites; Tent, camper trailer, caravan, camping beside my vehicle
  • Amenities: hot showers, flushing toilets, drinking water, shelter huts for hire, mountain bike park
  • Dogs are not allowed at this campsite.

For more information and to book: The Steps Barrington

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