Move over, Melbourne. Sydney is Australia’s most iconic city.
Thanks to a certain sail-shaped edifice, sparkling harbour, and landmark arched bridge, this widely recognisable metropolis has become the poster child of Aussie urban life. Not to mention its sun-drenched beaches, which personify Australia’s obsession with the great outdoors.
World-famous sites aside, the cosmopolitan city boasts some of the best nightlife, gastronomy, and café culture in the country—Melbourne may have the leg-up here, though. From the skyscraper-strewn CBD to hip neighbourhoods like New Town and Surry Hills, Sydney hums with urban energy.
The sprawling state capital also serves as a handy starting point for nature lovers to explore New South Wales (NSW). Throughout the state, scenic surf beaches lie scattered along the sparkling coastline, straddled by magnificent national parks.
It’s no surprise NSW has become a hot-ticket destination for campervans. Superb RV infrastructure—campsites, water refills, dump points, and more—makes cruising in a camper the most convenient (and cost-effective) way to explore.
Forget about forking out for car hire and pricey hotels. A decked-out motorhome saves you time and money when meandering NSW.
Discover Australia your way by choosing a class of campervan that suits your travel needs.
Not all vehicles may be available. Use the search tool to check availability for your travel dates.
A cosy home on wheels is the best way to savour NSW’s natural splendour, and Sydney serves as the perfect starting point.
Here’s why you should hire a camper to explore NSW:
Affordable: A camper lets you roll your accommodation and transport expenses into one, saving you big bucks on car hire and hotels.
Self-catering: Eating out is pricey in NSW. A camper with an onboard kitchen lets you prepare inexpensive meals wherever you roam.
Convenience: Instead of returning to the traffic-choked streets of Sydney after a long day of adventuring, you can roll into the nearest campsite to rest.
Freedom: No need to pre-book hotels or plan rigid itineraries. A campervan gives you the freedom to explore NSW on a whim.
Amenities: Everything is right there when you need it, from fresh clothes to charging points and a fridge full of food.
Remember these helpful tips when driving around Sydney in a campervan rental:
Some of the major toll roads in the city include:
These toll roads are equipped with electronic tolling systems, such as the e-tag or e-toll, which automatically deduct the toll amount from a linked account as vehicles pass through. It is important to be aware of the tolls and associated payment methods when driving in Sydney.
Word of this legendary campsite permeates all corners of Australia, and it’s not hard to see why it’s so well-known. Luscious landscapes of grassy meadows, dramatic mountains, and gurgling rivers lure happy campers here in droves. Keep an eye out for cute, curious wombats that waddle over to greet visitors each night.
Price: $6 per stay (up to seven days)
Amenities: toilets, potable water, bins, dump point
Set amid luscious rainforest, this stunning free camp makes a great base for exploring the Blue Mountains. Spectacular hikes traverse this rugged undulating region, including a few adventurous multi-day options. Another fabulous nearby free camp is Blackheath Glen Reserve, which resides to the west near the town of the same name.
Amenities: toilets, non-potable water, fire pits, bins, bbq
What does a day at Depot Beach entail? Camping among bouncing marsupials and strolling over to the sea for a swim. Popular with holidaymaking Canberrans and interstate road-trippers, this stunning spot frequently fills up. But with spacious sites, abundant greenery, and colourful birdlife, it won’t feel crowded for a minute.
Price: from $44 per site per night
Amenities: toilets, showers, potable water, powered sites, bins, fire pits, bbq
Deep within Crowdy Bay National Park, Diamond Head Campground has a small selection of sites mere metres from the beach. Wondrous walking trails crisscross the verdant coastal park, while nearby rock pools offer thrills for young and old. If it’s full, there are two other excellent campsites nearby.
Price: from $24 per site per night
Amenities: toilets, showers, non-potable water, bins, fire pits, bbq, camp kitchen
Another outstanding oceanfront campground is Gillards Beach, which lies within the jaw-dropping Mimosa Rocks National Park. You won’t find any flashy amenities at this basic bush camp. But what you will get is uninterrupted views of the endless Pacific Ocean. What more could you want?
Price: from $24 per site per night
Amenities: toilets, bins, fire pits, bbq
This popular farm stay on the Central Coast boasts a tranquil creek, adorable barnyard animals, and easy-going walking trails. Horseback riding and climbing tours are on offer if you fancy getting active, but there’s no harm in kicking back and admiring the view. The location makes it a handy stopover when venturing to and from Sydney.
Price: from $30 per adult per night
Amenities: toilets, showers, potable water, bins, fire pits
Some say Jervis Bay has the best beaches in NSW—and who are we to disagree? While this widely-popular bush camp doesn’t have direct ocean views, the nearest sugary white stretch is just a stroll away. A few minutes up the road, you’ll find the breathtakingly beautiful Hyams Beach.
Price: from $36 per site per night
Amenities: toilets, showers, potable water, bbq
Just north of Kiama, this scenic state park is a top spot to escape the rat race. Gorgeous ocean views, abundant space, and excellent amenities—think hot showers and real flushing toilets—ensure everyone has a good time. You’ll find booming surf breaks nearby, plus the impressive salty explosions of the famous Kiama Blowhole.
Price: $35 per site per night
Amenities: toilets, showers, bins, bbq, camp kitchen
Way down past Narooma, Mystery Bay is among the most spectacular beach camps on the South Coast. Verdant national parks lie peppered around the region, and the on-site beach is a beautiful place to surf, sunbathe, and swim. The popular spot works on a first-in-first-served basis, so get in early to snag a waterfront site.
Price: from $12 per person per night
Amenities: toilets, showers, potable water, bins
Patonga is a petite slice of paradise far removed from mass tourism, and this picturesque holiday park serves as the perfect base. While some facilities feel a tad tired, the epic waterfront views more than compensate. The town itself is totally laid back and makes relaxation all too easy.
Price: from $49 per site per night
Amenities: toilets, showers, powered sites, bins, bbq, laundry
Australia’s biggest city has enough attractions to keep an energetic traveller busy for days on end.
Snaking through the heart of the city is Sydney Harbour, a glimmering natural port peppered with sailboats and commuter ferries. Starting from the bustling Circular Quay, take a return trip on the Manly Ferry to soak up the scenery for a nominal fee. Upon return, walk (or cycle) across the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and take a tour of the world-famous sail-shaped Opera House.
Stroll west to The Rocks for insight into Australia’s colonial past or east to wander around the luscious Royal Botanical Gardens.
Lined by swanky waterfront restaurants, Darling Harbour is a glamorous gastronomic and retail hub. In the thick of it all, leafy Hyde Park is among Sydney’s most-celebrated green spaces. Nearby, the Sydney Tower Eye has an elevated observatory with sweeping skyline views.
Sydney’s eclectic collection of world-class galleries and museums appeals to every conceivable interest. Crowd favourites include the Australian National Maritime Museum, the Art Gallery of NSW, the Powerhouse Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Australian Museum (to name a few).
The Romanesque revival-style Queen Victoria Building houses a slew of upscale shops, while nearby Chinatown is an atmospheric district for cheap Oriental eats.
Hit Bondi Beach to sunbathe on Australia’s most famous stretch of sand—don’t forget to snap a pic of the iconic Icebergs Club. If you’re feeling energetic, take the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk to admire sparkling shorelines on a scenic 6km hike.
Hankering to get acquainted with Australia’s iconic native animals?
Jump on a ferry to Taronga Zoo or venture west to Featherdale Wildlife Park. Alternatively, Darling Harbour’s Sea Life houses a stable of curious ocean-dwelling critters.
You don’t have to venture far from Sydney to find pristine wilderness.
Forty minutes north of the CBD, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is a vast protected peninsula perfect for paddling and forested hikes. One hour to the south, Royal National Park is home to dramatic cragged cliffs and stunning secluded coves.
A one-and-a-half-hour drive west takes you to Katoomba, a charming hilly town and launchpad for the Blue Mountains National Park. Super-accessible Scenic World lets you admire the landscape from lookouts and cable cars. Hikers can trudge a myriad of breathtaking trails, from short 1km stints to remote multi-day forays.
For sun-seekers, Sydney’s Northern Beaches hosts a string of scenic sandy stretches—try Palm Beach, Avalon, and Curl Curl Beach.
A road trip to Southern NSW brings a bounty of breathtaking sites.
Start by veering off the Princess Highway to cruise over the spell-binding Sea Cliff Bridge. Next, you’ll hit the port town of Wollongong, with its panoramic peninsulas, beautiful beaches, and easy-going vibe. Further south, Kiama is a laidback coastal hamlet with cragged cliffs and a mind-blowing blowhole.
Venturing inland, the Southern Highlands features fertile hills full of thickly forested wilderness and cute farming villages (try Bowral, Berrima, Robertson and Moss Vale). Proximity to Sydney and top-notch produce have made it a mecca for gourmands. Budget travellers can make do with a meat pie from the famous Robertson Bakery.
Nearby, Kangaroo Valley is a quaint country village within a jaw-dropping basin. Wildlife-rich rainforests and scenic lookouts (don’t miss Fitzroy Falls) abound.
Back on the coast, Jervis Bay is home to the state’s most scenic white-sand beaches. Sugary stretches like Hyams Beach mimic the paradise-like scenery of Australia’s Tropical North.
Further south, laidback coastal towns like Mollymook, Ulladulla, and Bawley Point brim with tranquil inlets and booming surf breaks.
Batemans Bay serves as the no-fuss hub for NSW’s laidback South Coast region. Swing by Durrass to camp at the spectacular Murramarang National Park—book a spot at Depot Beach or Pebbly Beach.
Several other scenic coastal villages lie scattered along the South Coast, from holiday hotspots like Broulee and Tuross to upmarket enclaves like Congo and Guerilla Bay.
Unhurried campers could explore the Sapphire Coast, a vast, sparsely-populated region stretching to the Victorian border. Laidback Narooma is its northernmost town—don’t miss the magnificent Mystery Bay. Other enchanting coastal hamlets span Bermagui to Tathra and Merimbula to Pambula.
The lovely little towns of Eden and Wonboyn sit within spitting distance of Beowa (Ben Boyd), the Sapphire Coast’s most celebrated national park.
The coastline north of Sydney entails bigger towns and thicker crowds. Yet there’s still plenty of natural splendour to be found.
Cruise through Central Coast hub of Gosford towards small seaside settlements like Patonga and Pearl Beach. For a livelier coastal vibe, Avoca Beach, Terrigal, and the Entrance have brilliant beaches and vibrant social scenes.
All beached out for now?
The Bouddi and Brisbane Waters national parks boast striking hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.
Take the coastal route north to admire Lake Macquarie on your way to Newcastle, an unpretentious port city blending history and industry. Hit the Bogey Hole or Ocean Baths for calm sheltered swims, Fort Scratchley for antiquity, and Nobby’s Lighthouse for sweeping panoramas.
Oenophiles can detour inland to the Hunter Valley, NSW’s premiere wine-growing region. Framed by verdant rolling hills, this fertile basin is awash with quaffable vino and gourmet eats.
North of Newcastle, Port Stephens is a heaving holiday hotspot famed for its swimmable (and surfable) beaches—try Nelson Bay, One Mile Beach, Fingal Bay, and Shoal Bay. In the middle of it all, Tomaree National Park offers hilly hikes with breathtaking views.
Further north, Myall Lake has wonderful waterfront campsites, while Seal Rocks is home to Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse and more picture-perfect beaches.
Surfers will find barrelling breaks further north at Old Bar. Bushwalkers will love trudging the lush trails at Crowdy Head and Dooragan national parks.
Next up, Port Macquarie is a sizeable coastal hub replete with panoramic lookouts, lively bars, and intriguing museums. Hit the Sea Acres Rainforest Centre for natural splendour or the Koala Hospital for cute rehabilitating marsupials.
Crescent Head has a legendary right-hand break, while Hat Head National Park brings you bush camping and verdant forest hikes. Nearby, Southwest Rocks is a must for the striking Horseshoe Bay Beach. Historical sites like Trial Bay Gaol and Smoky Cape Lighthouse afford more staggering views.
Once you’ve savoured the stunning estuary at Nambucca Heads, venture left onto Waterfall Way.
As one of NSW’s top road trips, the winding 170km route passes gushing falls, teeming rainforests, and charming rural towns. Worthwhile pit stops include Dorrigo, New England, and Cathedral Rock National Park.
Waterfall chasers should pencil in Crystal Shower Falls, Newell Falls, Ebor Falls, and Wollomombi.
The Northern Rivers region has abundant worthwhile spots, including perennially popular Byron Bay. But with such vast distances to cover, it’s best to rent your camper in the Gold Coast instead.
There’s nowhere better to go chasing waterfalls in NSW than this. Thundering cascades aside, the scenic inland drive passes quaint riverfront towns and jaw-dropping national parks. Venture into New England for moody tall tree forests or Dorrigo for waterfalls and dripping rainforest trails.
Tiny Southwest Rocks still retains those easy-going coastal village vibes. A string of beautiful beaches straddles the townsite, and you’ll find historic sites and towering lighthouses just outside town. Head south down Hat Head Road for a charming national park and village of the same name.
This sprawling 14,000-acre lake is a paradise for campers, with scenic sites right on the water’s edge. Trudge wildlife-rich trails, paddle glassy waters, or kick back in your van and admire the view. The spectacular town of Seal Rocks is a quick drive away should you fancy a midday adventure.
Dreamy Port Stephens is awash with turquoise-tinged beaches—little wonder Sydneysiders flock here in droves. Once you’ve lounged around on its soft white sands, you’ll find lofty national parks and cragged headlands to hike. Hit One Mile Beach to hang ten with the surfie set.
This rough-around-the-edges port city amalgamates industrial grit and historic grandeur with dramatic coastal cliffs sprinkled in between. Epic swimming spots, booming surf breaks, and thriving nightlife ensure there’s always plenty to do. Best of all, it’s the most free-camp-friendly city on the eastern seaboard.
Down by the Victorian border, this leafy region lives up to its biblical name. Breathtaking coastal stretches range from thundering surf beaches to rocky headlands and secluded coves. For non-aquatic adventures, head south to Beowa National Park.
Nestled between untouched woodlands and the glistening sea, two tiny villages reside on each side of the scenic Durras Lake. Kick back in these low-key coastal towns and camp beneath spotted gums in Depot or Pebbly Beach.
Some say Jervis Bay’s Booderee National Park boasts the best beaches in NSW, and who are we to disagree? The undisputed superstar is Hyams Beach, a blindingly white stretch lapped by calm turquoise waves. Less crowded yet equally pretty alternatives straddle the circumference of the bay.
Nestled amid dramatic tree-studded mountains, this sweeping river-cut valley unfurls in a lush carpet of green. Hiking, cycling, and paddling let you admire the splendid setting while its laidback townsite oozes with rural charm.
Savour a slice of country life in this tranquil food-producing zone. But don’t come expecting the outback—this fertile, high-altitude region comes blanketed in emerald green. World-class paddock-to-plate restaurants, technicoloured flower farms, and quaint rural towns abound.
With this 7-day itinerary, you’ll connect two of Australia’s most loved cities via the popular coastal road. From Sydney, an exciting cosmopolitan city home to 6 million people and the world-famous Opera House, you’ll travel 1000 km north to Brisbane, Queensland, where the state slogan is “beautiful one day, perfect the next”.MORE: Sydney to Brisbane Itinerary
To the uninitiated, Sydney is simply overpriced food and crowds of tourists—scratch below the surface, and you’ll realise this eastern metropolis has much more to offer. The “Emerald City” is a campers’ paradise, from jaw-dropping mountain views to smooth sand-swept beaches.MORE: 7-Day Sydney Itinerary
Launching north from the tourism capital of Australia to the heart of “The Sunshine State”, the journey from Sydney to Brisbane is picturesque. Host to some of the best beaches in the world, this route features various types of buzzing ecosystems.MORE: 14-Day Sydney to Brisbane Itinerary
This road trip will take you through ancient Aboriginal lands and immaculate rainforests to the southernmost tip of mainland Australia. A feast for birdwatchers and beach bums, the coastal path from Sydney to Melbourne is a fundamental Australian road trip for locals and visitors alike.MORE: 7-Day Sydney to Melbourne Itinerary
An Australian resident needs a valid class C (car) licence to hire a camper in Sydney. Rental companies generally won’t do business with drivers holding learners, provisional (Ps), or probationary licences.
If you’ve arrived from overseas, you’ll need an English translation of a comparable car license or an International Driver’s Permit (IDP).
Drivers must be 21 or older to rent a campervan or motorhome. Travellers under 25 can hire a vehicle but must pay a young driver surcharge.
It’s recommended you stay in a holiday park or designated campsite. Free camping is not allowed in the city itself and is only allowed at designated sites throughout Australia. Most caravan parks are located away from the city centre.
Some popular campsites include: NRMA Lakeside Holiday Park, Cattai National Park Campground and Patonga Camping Ground.
If you wish to explore Sydney CBD and other city attractions like Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Bondi Beach or the Opera House, plan ahead. It's best to avoid peak traffic hours and to plan where to park ahead of time, especially if you're in a large motorhome.
Currently, all the major motorhome rental brands have their Sydney branch close to Sydney Airport, on the southside.
When renting a vehicle, it is standard to be charged a bond (security deposit), also known as ‘excess’, which is the amount the renter is liable to cover in the event of an accident or damage to the vehicle.
The bond amount fluctuates based on the insurance package selected at the time of rental and is charged and debited on the renters’ credit or debit card.
Yes, a large number of rental companies allow for one-way rentals. Our comparison tool will show you availability on your preferred route and automatically factor in any one-way fees charged by the campervan hire company.
Popular one-way routes for a motorhome holiday along Australia's East Coast include:
For same-location returns, popular road trip destinations include the Blue Mountains, Royal National Park, the Central Coast and Byron Bay.