Move over, Melbourne. Sydney is Australia's most iconic city.
Thanks to a certain sail-shaped edifice, sparkling harbor, and landmark arched bridge, this widely recognizable 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 neighborhoods 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 campervan the most convenient (and cost-effective) way to explore.
Forget about forking out for car rental and pricey hotels. A decked-out campervan 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 cozy home on wheels is the best way to savor NSW's natural splendor, and Sydney serves as the perfect starting point.
Here's why you should rent a campervan to explore NSW:
Affordable: A campervan lets you roll your accommodation and transport expenses into one, saving you big bucks on car rental and hotels.
Self-catering: Eating out is pricey in NSW. A campervan 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 campground 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 America, 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 critters that waddle over to greet visitors each night.
Price: $6 per stay (up to seven days)
Amenities: restrooms, potable water, trash cans, dump point
Set amid lush 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: restrooms, non-potable water, fire pits, trash cans, BBQ
What does a day at Depot Beach entail? Camping among hopping marsupials and strolling over to the ocean for a swim. Popular with vacationing Canberrans and interstate road-trippers, this stunning spot frequently fills up. But with spacious sites, abundant greenery, and colorful birdlife, it won't feel crowded for a minute.
Price: from $44 per site per night
Amenities: restrooms, showers, potable water, powered sites, trash cans, fire pits, bbq
Deep within Crowdy Bay National Park, Diamond Head Campground has a small selection of sites just yards from the beach. Wondrous walking trails crisscross the lush coastal park, while nearby tide 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: restrooms, showers, non-potable water, trash cans, 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: restrooms, trash cans, 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: restrooms, showers, potable water, trash cans, 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: restrooms, showers, potable water, bbq
Just north of Kiama, this scenic state park is a top spot to escape the daily grind. 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, trash cans, BBQ, camp kitchen
Way down past Narooma, Mystery Bay is among the most spectacular beach camps on the South Coast. Lush national parks are scattered throughout the area, and the on-site beach is a beautiful place to surf, sunbathe, and swim. The popular spot operates on a first-come-first-served basis, so get there early to secure a waterfront site.
Price: from $12 per person per night
Amenities: restrooms, showers, drinking water, trash cans
Patonga is a small piece of paradise far removed from mass tourism, and this picturesque vacation park serves as the perfect base. While some facilities feel a tad outdated, the epic waterfront views more than make up for it. The town itself is completely laid back and makes relaxation all too easy.
Price: from $49 per site per night
Amenities: restrooms, showers, powered sites, trash cans, BBQ, laundry
Australia’s biggest city has enough attractions to keep an energetic traveler busy for days on end.
Snaking through the heart of the city is Sydney Harbor, 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 Harbor 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 Harbor 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 favorites 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 3.7-mile 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 Harbor’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 0.6-mile stints to remote multi-day forays.
For sun-seekers, Sydney’s Northern Beaches host 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 travelers 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 vacation 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 splendor 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 premier 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 vacation 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 barreling breaks further north at Old Bar. Hikers will love trudging the lush trails at Crowdy Head and Dooragan national parks.
Next up, Port Macquarie is a sizable coastal hub replete with panoramic lookouts, lively bars, and intriguing museums. Hit the Sea Acres Rainforest Center for natural splendor 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 savored the stunning estuary at Nambucca Heads, venture left onto Waterfall Way.
As one of NSW’s top road trips, the winding 105-mile 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 charming riverfront towns and breathtaking national parks. Explore New England for atmospheric 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 expansive 14,000-acre lake is a paradise for campers, with picturesque sites right on the water's edge. Hike wildlife-filled trails, paddle calm waters, or relax in your campervan and take in the scenery. The stunning town of Seal Rocks is a short drive away if you feel like a midday excursion.
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 catch some waves with the surfing crowd.
This rugged port city combines industrial toughness and historic magnificence with dramatic coastal cliffs interspersed throughout. Incredible swimming spots, booming surf breaks, and vibrant nightlife ensure that there is always plenty to do. Most importantly, it is the most free-camp-friendly city on the east coast.
Down by the Victorian border, this wooded area lives up to its biblical name. Stunning coastal stretches range from crashing surf beaches to rugged headlands and private bays. For non-aquatic adventures, head south to Beowa National Park.
Nestled between untouched forests and the shining ocean, two small towns are located on either side of the picturesque Durras Lake. Relax in these laid-back seaside towns and camp under spotted gums in Depot or Pebbly Beach.
Some say Jervis Bay’s Booderee National Park boasts the best beaches in New South Wales, 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 among 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 laid-back town oozes with rural charm.
Savor a slice of country life in this tranquil food-producing zone. But don't come expecting the wilderness—this fertile, high-altitude region comes blanketed in emerald green. World-class farm-to-table restaurants, technicolored 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 realize 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 that 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 center.
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 rental 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.