Mystery Bay; great value camping on the NSW coastline

The NSW coastline is jam packed full of places that you can camp, which are quite frankly, very expensive for a family. Caravan parks start off at $60 odd dollars a night, and even the national parks are nearly $40 a night. That is however, until we stumbled across Mystery Bay, which is a ripper place to visit for a few days. Add it to your Lap of Australia itinerary for low cost camping!

Our camp site at Mystery Bay
Mystery Bay is a brilliant, economical camping option on the NSW coastline

Where is Mystery Bay?

You’ll find this tiny community about 20 minutes south of Dalmeny camping ground, or around 4 hours and 45 minutes drive south of Sydney. The camping ground literally opens up onto the beach, or the coastline further along (where its mainly cliffs).

The main camping area at Mystery Bay
The main camping area at Mystery Bay, with good beach access
Mystery Bay coastline is magic
The coastline down this way is spectacular

Do you need a 4WD?

No, although the tracks around the camp sites are gravel, and could do with a bit of love. Unless you had a very low clearance vehicle you’d be just fine, but pick where you drive as there were some pot holes and tree roots that would do damage if you picked a bad line.

You can take caravans in here too, but again, pick where you go as some of the tracks are tight and have corners with big trees on them that will not move if your van clips them!

Mystery Bay trees
The trees here are stunning, but some are quite close in spots if you have a bigger van

What does it cost to camp?

For two adults, its $24 a night to camp here. Kids are an extra $, but if you have the TAWK card (which is $40 for life) you get them free for two days, which is pretty awesome. Our stay for two nights then, was just $48, which is almost half of the price of what we pay to stay in the National Parks in NSW along the coastline, and about a third/quarter of the price of caravan parks around the place!

Mystery Bay Camping rates
We thought the rates were very reasonable

What amenities are there?

This place has drop toilets, cold showers and rubbish bins, and that’s about it. You can have fires here in the fire places (or bring your own) in season, and its basically find yourself a spot that you are happy with. There is patchy Telstra reception that improves as you go up the hill.

Cold showers at Mystery Bay
You’ll find cold showers, and drop toilets, which are very basic, but work

What’s the Mystery Bay Camping Ground really like?

This camp ground is incredibly big, and has a huge variety of camp sites. Some are bushy and tucked a long way away from the beach, in an almost rabbit warren arrangement of tracks, and others are big, open spots near the beach.

Camping areas at Mystery Bay
There’s an insane number of spots to camp at Mystery Bay

We jagged one of the better sites (we thought anyway), which had uninterrupted views overlooking the beach, with only a couple of campers behind and to the side of us. It had a short access track to the beach, where the kids had an absolute ball.

Magic views from our camp at Mystery Bay
We had a private, beautiful camp spot
Amazing views from our camper window
We even had incredible views from our Reconn R2

The beach is beautiful, but rough and only has a few spots that are suitable for beginner swimmers to use. Our kids had a ball snorkeling in the little rock pools at the point, which you can access at low tide across a sand bar.

Mystery Bay beach
The beach is beautiful, but certainly not calm in most places
Mystery Bay snorkeling options
There’s a couple of small sections you can snorkel in, which is great

Overall, I was really impressed with Mystery Bay, and was glad to have called in. It’s a different part of the NSW coastline again, and a really spectacular place to be. For $24 a night, you can’t go wrong!

Mystery Bay Beach
We’d happily return to Mystery Bay

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