Northern NSW has some stunning camping, and on our trip from Queensland down towards Sydney, we were determined to find a handful of amazing places. Our first NSW coastal camp was Illaroo Campground, and its a brilliant place to be with amazing coastline, great walks and a very laid back atmosphere.
Where is Illaroo Campground?
You’ll find this spectacular part of the world literally a couple of kilometres from Minnie Waters, and roughly 30 minutes from Grafton. It’s right on the coastline, with many camp sites having decent views of the ocean, and all camp sites close enough to hear the rumbling of the waves as they crash onshore.
What does it cost to camp?
Camping here is the standard NSW national park price for campgrounds that seem to have a fair bit of work done to them. For us, that’s $30.60 a night, and whilst I was saying to Sarah it is expensive compared to other national park camping in the country, its a lot cheaper than the $80 a night for caravan parks in the area!
Book online, in advance
This campground requires you to book online. The booking system is pretty average, but it works. You do get decent reception at camp with Telstra, so if its quiet you can arrive and book the site you prefer most (like we did), but make sure you book before you set up.
You’ll get the caretaker call in and check you in as well, which is a nice touch.
Amenities at Illaroo Campground
Every camp site has a fire pit and picnic table, with exception of the walk in tent ones. There’s a couple of brand new toilet blocks, and there’s even a tap with town water that you can use, which is pretty unique for most national park camping options.
What can you do near Illaroo Campground?
Minnie Waters is well worth a look, and you can either walk in from Illaroo Campground, or you can drive in. This is a small, but beautiful town with more amazing coastline.
Alternatively, you can drive down to Wooli, which is a very unique, coastal town with a beautiful river on one side and the ocean on the other. At the river mouth is a brilliant place for fishing and for kids to splash around in a lagoon.
4WD tracks nearby
If you have a 4WD, you can head north of Illaroo Campground along the beach to the river mouth, and Sandon. We drove onto the beach to have a look, and it was really hard, but you’d want to watch the tides, know when to let your tyres down and have a compressor before proceeding.
That said, I did see a Mazda 2WD heading north along the beach, so its clearly not your average beach driving in Australia.
Is it worth a stay?
We really enjoyed our time at Illaroo Campground. It’s a nice part of the world, with plenty to do, and if you get good weather it would be unreal to kick back on the beach. I’d go again, no questions asked.