General information on camping in national parks
It's a good idea to pack a gas or liquid fuel stove for camping trips in national parks. Wood and solid fuel fires are not permitted in some parks, and although you'll find open fireplaces in many campgrounds, firewood may not be supplied. In many parks it's forbidden to collect firewood from the bush
In parks where campfires are allowed, make sure you completely extinguish all fires before leaving an area or going to bed. A small amount of glowing embers can start a huge bushfire. Heavy fines may apply if campfires or other unshielded flames are left unattended
Please don't feed native animals - it can damage their health and make them dependent on campers for food. To avoid attracting scavengers, store food and garbage in a secure container. Find out more about the dangers of feeding native animals: how it can affect them, their behaviour and you. See other ways to tread softly when you camp.
Hungry Gate campground (20 sites)
Hungry Gate campground is located at the southern end of Hat Head National Park. The area has an open, spacious feel but is protected from the elements by sand dunes and surrounded by thick vegetation. You can bring your tent or camper trailer to Hungry Gate, which sits 30km north east of Kempsey and 32km south of Nambucca Heads.
Take time to admire the established fig trees and paperbarks behind the dunes and you’ll be rewarded – they’re home to a variety of birdlife. Brahimy kites often fly over the beach, just a 20-minute walk away. The park’s kangaroos are fond of the campground and graze there regularly. You’ll also see little bent winged bats and well-fed goannas.
Activities: camping, walking, swimming, fishing, birdwatching
shown on Hat Head map
Getting there: From Kempsey or Clybucca
- Take the South West Rocks Road to Kinchela
- Turn right and follow the signs to Hat Head
- Turn right just before the bridge and head towards The Gap
- Take the first right and then follow signs to Hungry Gate campground
Bookings: Bookings are not taken for Hungry Gate campground - camping is on a first come, first served basis. NPWS fee collectors visit campgrounds to collect camping and vehicle entry fees, and sell annual passes for extended visits.
Smoky Cape campground (20 sites)
Fire/closure alerts currently apply to this location. See details below.
Can you think of anything better than camping amongst lush rainforest?
Positioned on an isolated stretch of coast below Smoky Cape lighthouse near Kempsey, Smoky Cape campground is a secluded spot in a million-dollar location. Select your own private area from several pockets of campsites. Then set up your tent or camper trailer and relax in your own little piece of paradise.
You’ll need to be self-sufficient while staying here, but you’re just a short drive from South West Rocks.
Say hello to one of the giant goannas that live in the area. Walk to the beach and enjoy a swim, a spot of fishing or a diving trip out to Fish Rock, one of Australia’s best dive sites.
Activities: camping, fishing, snorkelling and scuba diving, swimming, birdwatching
shown on Smoky Cape map
Getting there: Smoky Cape campground is in the Smoky Cape precinct of Hat Head National Park. To get there:
- Take Arakoon Road from South West Rocks
- Turn into Lighthouse Road and follow the signs to Smoky Cape campground
Facilities: picnic tables, non-flush toilets, wood barbecues
Events, activities and alerts at this location
|Hazard reduction burn|
Hazard reduction burn
A hazard reduction burn is planned for the park during the first fortnight in May, weather permitting. Some delays may occur on Lighthouse Road.
See details on the Rural Fire Service website (Borefields burn) or call the park office on 6566 6621.