Sydney to the Hunter Valley

Ku ring gai Chase National Park | Brisbane Water & Bouddi National Parks | Central Coast

235 km | 3.5 hr drive time

On the coastal drive between Sydney and the Hunter Valley wine region three national parks offer great walks, swimming, and Aboriginal culture. The Central Coast is a mecca for surfers with lots of fun for families too.

Secluded beaches, bushland, sandstone cliffs, coastal walks, lakes, beach towns, seafood and fun for the kids best describe this route. 

Jump straight to:

Ku Ring Gai Chase | Brisbane Waters & Bouddi National Parks | Camping | Central Coast

America Bay, Ku ring gai Chase National Park, Australia
America Bay, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Photo: Gemma_h_1 via IG

The drive from Sydney to Ku ring gai Chase National Park, Brisbane Water National Park, the Central Coast and Hunter Valley combined is 235 km. There is a lot to do and plenty of places to stay so we recommend taking three days to make the journey, although you could skim through it in a day if time was short. 

All recommended campgrounds and points of interest are marked on the map below.

Ku ring gai Chase National Park, Australia.
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Australia. Photo: Stumac1990 via IG

Day One: Ku ring gai Chase National Park

Day one of our Sydney to Gold Coast Drive will focus on the Ku Ring Gai Chase National Park, moving on to Brisbane Water National Park where the camping begins. We've compiled a list of key things to do in the same order that you will reach them if driving from Sydney

7 Things to do in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park

  • Rose Seidler House Museum: for a trip back in history.
  • Bobbin Head picnic ground and Mangrove Boardwalk: for a waterfront lunch in gorgeous surrounds.
  • Upper Gledhill falls: A great swimming hole and waterfall with a little sandy beach and a rope swing into the pool.
  • America Bay walking track: Passes Aboriginal engravings and a waterfall and ends at a beach with some lovely places along the way to sit and enjoy the views. 1.8 km return or 1.5 – 2 hrs.
  • Elvina walking track has many Aboriginal engraving sites and meanders through rainforest and passed water holes. At Elvina Bay there is a picnic area and a rope swing into the water. 4.8 km return, 2 hrs.
  • Westhead Lookout: for stunning views.
  • Westhead Beach: for a secluded swim.

Sydney - Blue Mountains - Hunter Valley

There are six free campsites on the mountain route to the Hunter Valley through the Blue Mountain and Wollemi National Parks.

Camping and Caravan Parks

All campgrounds and caravan parks are all marked on the map below with orange dots.

Brisbane Water National Park Camping

  • Patonga Camping Ground – Is in the secluded bayside village of Patonga right on the beach and inlet of the Hawkesbury River. It has electric BBQs, a ferry service to Palm Beach, laundry and dryers, a children’s playground, hot showers and toilets. There’s a tavern and a fish and chip shop nearby. Fires are allowed in winter.
    RATES: Unpowered sites $20 - $43 for two. Additional adults $10, kids $7.50
  • NRMA Ocean Beach Resort and Holiday Park – Set on the beachfront at pretty Umina Beach (see picture below). It has resort facilities – heated pool with spa and waterslide, toddlers wading pool, waterpark, kids playground, Go Karts, tennis courts, camp kitchen, hot showers and toilets, laundry room, BBQs, Basketball, Café, WiFi.
    RATES: From $33 per site (great value for families and groups).
  • Glenworth Campground – 200 acres of family-friendly riverfront camping in a grassy meadow surrounded by natural bush setting. This is not a coastal campground. There’s a 10 pm noise curfew. Activities include laser skirmishes, survival courses, kayaking, horse riding, bush walking, abseiling, quad biking. Facilities include hot showers, toilets and wood fired BBQs.
    RATES: From $25 per adult. $12.50 if you combine camping with activities.    
Umina Beach, Brisbane Water National Park, Australia
Umina Beach, Australia. Photo: Viv__ via Instagram

For our Central Coast recommendations, see Day Three: Camping and Caravan Parks Central Coast

<< Sydney to Gold Coast Drive | Day 2 >>