Our camping road trip through New South Wales (NSW) was our most memorable family adventure yet. We had recently returned to Australia after five years of living in the UK and travelling through Europe, so we were determined to explore more of our own ‘outback yard’. And, with baby in tow, that’s exactly what we did.
We stocked up on camping supplies in Brisbane, packed all our belongings into our new car and headed outback. Or at least as far outback as we were willing to go with an 8-week-old baby!
Watch the video below and read on to find out about our family adventures beyond the black stump, why ‘Dubbo Zoo’ was one of our top highlights, and where it all could have gone horribly wrong on our 4,456km NSW road trip!
Planning our NSW road trip
The NSW road trip route
We didn’t really have a final destination in mind. But we knew that we wanted to:
- see as much as we could in four weeks
- do activities that were unique to where we were going
- find ‘big things’
- visit friends and family
- have fun.
We decided to explore a small section of Australia’s famous east coast and also see some of our enchanting outback. So, we chose to take an inland route on our way south and the coastal road on our way north.
One of my favourite things about this adventure is the fact that we didn’t plan ahead. Instead, each night we discussed where we wanted to get to the following day. Travelling with a baby meant we had to be flexible and consider distance and time spent in the car each day. So, our goal was to drive two to four hours (or around 300km) per day.
With Google Maps in the palm of our hands (our smart phones), we were able to easily find the best route and predict the time it would take to drive it (with breastfeeding and nappy change stops along the way).
The NSW road trip budget
In true Never Ending Honeymoon style, our NSW road trip had a strict budget. Which is why we wanted to camp as much as we could. If you already have a tent and basic camping supplies, camping is a great, budget-friendly family activity.
We didn’t want to miss out on anything, but we did limit the number of activities we did and the number of times we ate out. And, when we splurged on a big activity we balanced it by spending less on food. It was easy to spend less on food by eating at our campsite or having a picnic lunch at a rest stop on the highway.
The NSW camping road trip
Our new Camps 9 book (Camps Australia Wide 9th edition) was our best tool for finding accommodation at budget-friendly campsites each night. Camps 9 is full of detailed road maps and features a list of more than 4,000 campsites throughout Australia. It costs about $60 new, but I think recent older editions can be picked up second-hand for cheaper.
“Camps 9 was the perfect companion on our NSW road trip…”
We spent two weeks reading Camps 9, researching and buying our camping supplies and purchased items that could be used for this trip and future camping trips. Check out our review of our new Coleman Instant Up 6 person tent.
So, where did we go on our NSW road trip?
Inland route: Home > Ebor (1 night) > Armidale (lunch) > Bendemeer (1 night) > Tamworth (lunch) > Dubbo (2 nights) > Parkes (lunch) > Cowra (1 night) > Carcoar Dam (2 nights) > Bathurst > Wentworth Falls (lunch) > Sydney (4 nights) > Leura, Blue Mountains (2 nights) > Bowral (2 nights) > Goulbourn > Canberra (2 nights)
Coast route: Jervis Bay (3 nights) > Kiama > Sydney (1 night) > Cessnock and Hunter Valley (2 nights) > Newcastle (lunch) > Forster and Tuncurry (2 nights) > Trail Bay Gaol (1 night) > Ballina > Home
See our most Instagram-able photos and read about our month-long, epic NSW road trip in our next few posts for inspiration!
Where next on our NSW road trip?
- Read about our NSW road trip outback adventure to Dubbo Zoo, the Dish, Bathurst, Tamworth, Cowra and some beautiful NSW national parks.
- Read about our NSW road trip in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Bowral and Canberra.
- Check out our Australia east coast drive from Jervis Bay to Brisbane, via the Hunter Valley, Forster and Tuncurry and Trial Bay.
- Find out about visiting Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo (with video).