Can You Camp Anywhere In A State Forest In NSW?

NSW Forests

It’s almost summertime, which means it’s the perfect time to go camping. State forests are beautiful, and you may be wondering if you can camp anywhere in the forest.

You cannot camp anywhere in a state forest in NSW. There are designated camping areas that you must stay at when camping. However, a majority of the available campsites are free to visit.

In this article, I will discuss the guidelines for camping in the state forest in New South Wales and go into detail about the different campgrounds available. 

Guidelines For Camping In A State Forest In New South Wales

When camping in the state forest, there are specific guidelines you’ll need to follow. You’re only allowed to set up camp at a campground in the state park, as I’ve already stated. 

Anywhere else is not allowed, and you can receive a citation. 

You usually have a limit of four weeks to stay in a designated camping area, and most of them have restrooms and picnic areas. There used to be a rule that you couldn’t pre-book a spot in one of the free campgrounds.

However, with COVID-19 guidelines, it is now required you book your stay at any campsite whether it’s free to stay or not. 

Before camping, you must fill out a state forest camping notification formOpens in a new tab., which tracks the number of people coming in and out in case of a covid-19 breakout. 

state forest trees

Campgrounds In The Chichester State Forest

According to Visit New South Wales, several campgrounds are located in the Chichester State ForestOpens in a new tab. that are free to stay at. The camping sites located in the Chichester State Park in New South Wales include:

  • Telegherry
  • Frying Pan
  • White Rock
  • Coachwood

Telegherry Park 

Telegherry ParkOpens in a new tab. is located near the Upper Karuah river, and it gives you some incredible scenery while you camp. On the route to Telegherry, you will see a museum dedicated to old logging machinery. 

The campground has drop toilets and fire pits, and you’re allowed to bring your dogs. There are also several walking tracks you can use to see the state forest. 

Frying Pan

The Frying PanOpens in a new tab. is also located near the Upper Karuah river. The campground is known for its bike trails. They have pit toilets, lots of shade, campfires are allowed, and you can bring your dogs, but you need to keep them on a leash. 


The CoachwoodOpens in a new tab. camping area is right next to the creek. There are drop toilets and fire pits, and you can get firewood from the bush. You can participate in several water-based activities while staying next to the creek, including fishing, at the very least.

White Rock

White RockOpens in a new tab. campgrounds are located on the Allyn River, which is a very flat campground. There are several options for things you can do while there. The Allyn River is known for its very clear waters, and you’re allowed to paddle a boat in it. 

Nearby is also the Allyn River rainforest, perfect for an afternoon walk in a beautiful setting. White Rock has toilet facilities as well.

Other State Park Campgrounds

So far, we’ve talked about the free campgrounds in the New South Wales state forest. However, there are several campgrounds that do charge for camping and other activities. They include:

  • Uloola Falls
  • Long Gully
  • Emu Lake
  • Kingfisher Pool Campground

Uloola Falls

The Uloola FallsOpens in a new tab. campground is located in the Royal National Park, next to the Uloola waterfall, making it a beautiful and unique campsite. You can only reach this campground location on foot or by mountain bicycle. 

There are toilet facilities available, but other than that, you’ll need to bring drinking water and firewood with you. This campground does charge an entry free.

Long Gully

The Long Gully campground sits beside the Yadboro River in the Budawang National Forest and is for more experienced campers. There are only pit toilets and picnic tables, and they charge a small booking fee. You can, however, collect water from the river and boil it for drinking water. 

Wallabies are known to frequent this area so you might have an unexpected encounter with one.

Emu Lake 

Emu Lake is a campground located in the Kinchega National Forest, complete with hot showers and bore water that you can use while staying there. Also, as suggested in the name, you might have a high chance of seeing Emus around this campsite. This campground does have a fee for your vehicle per day. 

Kingfisher Pool Campground

Kingfisher Pool campground is located in Heathcote National Park and sits about 50 m (164 ft) above the Kingfisher pool. So while you’re camping, you can spend some time fishing. 

You can only reach this campground on foot. There are bathroom facilities, but you’ll need to bring your water for drinking. While the website doesn’t mention an entry fee, you still might want to call and ask before going there.

However, it might be free since it is reached by foot. Still, it’s best to ask first.

Helpful Camping Apps

There are many camping apps available out there, but specific camping apps were made for particular areas, such as the New South Wales area. 

My VisitOpens in a new tab. is an app specifically for the New South Wales area and is the State Forest app. The app can tell you about campgrounds and walking tracks and give directions to get there. It will also let you know what time of facilities, such as bathrooms, a specific campground maintains.


When camping in a state forest in New South Wales, you can only stay at designated campgrounds within the forest. You may receive a citation for camping in a non-camping area. 

Many excellent free campgrounds are available in Chichester State Forest, such as: 

  • Telegherry Park
  • Frying Pan
  • Coachwood
  • White Rock 

Other campgrounds such as Uloola Falls, Long Gully, and Emu Lake charge small fees for vehicles or camp entry. A helpful state forest app can tell you all you need to know about camping in New South Wales. Don’t forget the necessities like food, water, and camping gear.

For other places to stay in Queensland try here.

Daniel Clarke

The website is run by myself Daniel Clarke, I’m lucky enough to have been living in Hervey Bay, for 31 years so I’m classed as a local I have seen many changes over this time. Read more about us here

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