6 camping adventures within 100km of Canberra
They call it the Bush Capital for a reason — the natural beauty that surrounds Canberra just can’t be beaten. And the best part is, when the moment comes to get away from the city, you don’t have to go far at all. Keep reading to find out about the the best camping spots within 100km of Canberra.
1. Namadgi National Park
Namadgi National Park offers plenty of fishing, horse riding, mountain biking and hiking trails. There’s also great camping.
A classic creekside camping spot and a family favourite is the Orroral Campground. It offers traditional tent sites, top-notch facilities and kids under the age of 15 are able to stay for free. While you’re there, don’t forget to do the Granite Tors, a walk definitely worth exploring, as well as the Orroral Valley Tracking Station.
Another campground worth checking out is the Honeysuckle. They are equally well-equipped when it comes to amenities, and feature a separate area for campervans.
2. Woods Reserve
Located in the south of Canberra on the banks of Gibraltar Creek, Woods Reserve is a popular place for camping and picnics. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out Gibraltar Falls — located upstream from Woods Reserve, just a few minutes drive south on Corin Road.
You can make a day trip out of it, as the Gibraltar Falls car park features a picnic shelter, gas BBQ and amenities block. Be sure to take the short gravel track to a lookout over the falls and Gibraltar Creek.
But there is no camping at Gibraltar Falls, only at Woods Reserve. Also note that camping fees apply and that you should make sure you bring water and your own firewood.
3. Cotter Campground, Casuarina Sands
Cotter Campground is the perfect last-minute escape from Canberra. If you ever feel like you need to get away ASAP, then just grab a swag, jump in you car and drive 20 minutes towards Cotter campground.
Located in the banks of the serene Cotter River, this campground is the most highly-serviced campsite in the ACT — think hot showers, flushing toilets, potable water, dishwashing facilities, wood, gas and electric barbecues. It’s the perfect summer retreat, where you’ll be able to do some fishing, swimming and canoeing.
Use Cotter Campground as a base to explore the nearby Cotter Dam, Cotter Avenue and Cotter Bend or to travel further afield to explore Stromlo Forest Park, Tidbinbilla Deep Space Communication Centre, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Tharwa Village.
4. Micalong Creek Reserve, Wee Jasper
Wee Jasper is located just across the border in NSW — a 90-minute drive from Canberra city. Micalong Creek Reserve is gorgeous, with its overhanging willow trees, swimming holes, and even a small island only accessible by bridge and a bubbling creek running beneath it.
The campsite offers basic unpowered sites, as well as flushing toilets and hot showers. And it’s dog-friendly, so don’t leave Fido at home! Micalong Creek Reserve is the perfect starting point for all Micalong Creek walks, such as the beautiful cascades of the Micalong Falls.
5. Nil Desperandum
Nil Desperandum actually means ‘do not despair’. Don’t worry, we definitely won’t, not when you get to camp on such a breathtaking spot! Nested amongst the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Nil Desperandum is a rural property, accessible only by 4WD.
The campground can be described as a hybrid between traditional camping and a bush homestead. The modest property is simple — think basic bedrooms with camping cots, rustic interiors, wood-fire stove, and outdoor pit dunny. Nil Desperandum is also a great starting point for some incredible bushwalks.
6. Brindabella National Park
Coree campground is nestled in the midst of a tall, open eucalypt forest, and it’s a great little spot not far from Canberra within Brindabella National Park. Coree campground is beautifully remote, and makes for a great weekend getaway and excellent base to explore the park. Just sit back and enjoy the peaceful nature of this campsite.
Keep and eye out to see passing wallabies, echidnas, local brush-tail possums and even black cockatoos if you’re lucky. Facilities include picnic tables, barbecue facilities, and toilets.
Embrace your surrounds
Getting out of the city for a couple of days to reconnect with nature is something everyone should do once in while. But, when you’re in the city — be sure to see what’s on at The Marketplace Gungahlin, located in the heart of Gungahlin town center, just a 19 minute drive from Canberra CBD.