Camping Royal National Park style is accommodated at three different campgrounds across the park. Bonnie Vale campground is located to the north between Bundeena and Maianbar, and accessible by car or ferry from Cronulla. North Era campground is located to the east between Garie and Werrong, and accessible only by foot. Uloola Falls campground is in the parks northwest, and also accessible only by foot.
These are the only three places where camping is permitted in the Royal National Park NSW. Trying to camp in non-permitted areas will most likely result in being found by park rangers and issued with a compliance notice (monetary fine) which must be paid in accordance with provided instructions, or else will result in further prosecution.
Pre-bookings and permits are essential for Royal National Park camping, with bookings available up to 6 months in advance. Fees for North Era and Uloola Falls are $5 per adult and $3 per child (plus booking fees) for a maximum of 3 people limited to 1 night stay only. Bonnie Vale camping will cost $28 per night, per couple, plus $14 per additional adult or $7 per additional child over 4 years (plus booking fees) for a maximum of 4 – 8 people, depending on your site location. Bookings can be made by phone, on 13000 PARKS (13000 72757), or online via the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service website (www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au) or the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage website (www.environment.nsw.gov.au/nationalparks).
Bonnie Vale campground is the most popular location for Royal National Park camping, as it is by far the largest and the most easily accessible. It is a 74 site campground, with medium wheelchair access, suited to car-based camping and caravan camping. Sites are located both on the beach and in the bush. There are hot showers and flush toilet facilities available, accessible drinking water, as well as picnic tables and gas/electric barbeques. Campfires are not permitted.
Bonnie Vale’s riverside location provides a safe, sheltered swimming spot on its large sand spit, access to walking trails and fishing spots, and is within walking distance of Bundeena’s local shops and RSL club. On weekends, kayak hire is also available for exploring the river. Bonnie Vale is open year round, barring natural disasters, but the gates are locked to vehicles between 8:00pm and 7:00am. The site tends to be extremely busy during school holiday periods, so check availability when making your booking.
North Era campground is a 12 site spot, located on the Coast Track behind North Era beach. It is suited only to fully self-sufficient backpack camping, as the only facilities available are non-flush toilets. Campers need to bring their own fuel stoves for cooking as any kind of wood fire is prohibited. The campground’s location means that it is most often used as an overnight stop for hikers walking the 26 kilometre Coast Track from Otford to Bundeena. The site provides amazing coastal views, but is quite remote, with the nearest carpark being roughly 2 kilometres away at Garie Beach.
Uloola Falls campground is the smallest and most remote in the Royal National Park. With only 6 sites and suitable only for self-sufficient backpack camping, this campground is rarely used though it is available year round (but the site does become boggy when it rains). Non-flush toilets are the only available facilities, and there is no access to drinking water, so campers need to bring their own, along with cooking equipment as campfires are strictly prohibited. Uloola Falls requires a hike to get to, with access points only via the long Uloola track, starting behind Waterfall train station, or the shorter, but more difficult Karloo track, starting near Heathcote on the Princes Highway. The campground is mainly there to be utilised as a one-night pit-stop on a multi-day hiking trip.