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.

Diamond Head Campground (image by Cristina Fernandez @ifitsnotnow.when)
Diamond Head Campground (image by Cristina Fernandez @ifitsnotnow.when)

1. Diamond Head Campground, Crowdy Bay National Park

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: This is the gold standard for watching kangaroos right at your tent or caravan! They'll be enjoying the beach during sunrise and sunset or catching a shady spot under one of the trees or caravans. You'll also encounter 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.
Broughton Island in Myall Lakes National Park
Broughton Island in Myall Lakes National Park

2. Broughton Island, Myall Lakes National Park

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.
The Steps Barrington Campground
The Steps Barrington Campground

3. The Steps Barrington Campground, Bindera

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 onsite 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 Barrington Tops.

  • 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, onsite mountain bike park
  • Dogs are not allowed at this campsite.
Mungo Brush Campground (image by Dan McAreavey)
Mungo Brush Campground (image by Dan McAreavey)

4. Mungo Brush Campground, Myall Lakes National Park

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.

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