Aren’t you tired of the same old holidays? Between work, volunteering, kids (or grandkids), hobbies, keeping fit and maintaining some version of a social life, you don’t get a lot of time to try new things. While we’re not here to tell you what to order on your burger (some things are sacred after all), you know deep down it’s time - time to step outside your getaway comfort zone. Leave the bustle of the CBD behind and put your overseas plans on hold - you don’t need to leave the state to experience an exciting, stunning and often mesmerising world beyond your current postcode… the New England region of NSW is bursting with secrets waiting to be discovered by your wanderlust. You don’t even have to pack a passport.
What to Do Before You Leave…
Book Your Wheels: Get onto Camplify and pin down a caravan or motorhome that suits your NSW rural camping needs. There’s a home on wheels for everyone, from large families to quiet couples, even solo travellers always find what they need for an easy holiday on wheels.
Pack Smart: Along with essential documents, like insurance policies, licences and an operator's manual, make sure you stow a first aid kit somewhere safe and accessible in a pinch. You’ll need enough clothes per person for the trip, plus snacks, drinks and food (depending on where you intend to eat your meals). Some VanLifers take what they need to eat and drink for the first leg, stocking up at each stop to minimise clutter and maximise fridge space.
Communicate: Get your co-travellers excited! This is going to be an amazing experience, full of stories, sights and stops that will tickle every fancy.
Your Sydney to New England Roadtrip
Day 1: Sydney to Coonabarabran
Good morning! Your well-deserved road trip is about to roll and boy, do we have an awesome first day in store. Grab a quick starting snack and save your appetite for a packed picnic breakfast overlooking the Blue Mountains, as Govetts Leap Lookout grants you a birds eye view of the Grose Valley and several walking trails beg you to stay an hour or two longer. After taking your first pictures of the trip, it’s time to wind your way toward the Gardens of Stone National Park, a world heritage listed collection of cliffs, pagodas, canyons and heart-stopping views. A little further up the road lies Mudgee, a small town with a big reputation, attracting travellers from all over the world to its vineyards, restaurants and wilderness walks. Why not buy a bottle of wine (or four) and sample local flavours after you settle in for a night of star-gazing under the deep, dark skies of Warrumbungle National Park?
Fast Facts Drive Time: 6.5 hours Terrain: Sealed highways and roads Stay: Camp Blackman (70 unpowered and 32 powered sites, no bookings in advance - first come, first served)
Day 2: Warrumbungle National Park
Officially recognised as Australia’s only dark sky park (locations recognised for their clear skies and exceptional stargazing), Warrumbungle National Park feels like it belongs in the Jurassic period, with its craggy peaks, volcanic mountains and yellow/green valleys. Teeming with hundreds of animal, bird and plant species, this vibrant and ancient national park will soon have you spellbound. For a truly striking sight, we recommend the Breadknife and Grand High Tops walk, widely reviewed as one of the loveliest scenic trails in Australia. Put aside 6 hours for this 14.5km loop and make sure to slip, slop, slap and carry plenty of water. Not quite up to a steep walk? The Burbie Canyon walking trail is just the ticket, offering hikers the opportunity to explore a sandstone gorge up close. As the day comes to an end, share a meal with your loved ones, new friends or guard it from the local wildlife as the stars come out for another show, lighting up the sky with their far-away beauty.
Fast Facts Drive Time: 0 hours Terrain: Hills, rocks and sand, grass, defined and undefined walking trails Stay: Camp Blackman (70 unpowered and 32 powered sites, no bookings in advance - first come, first served)
Day 3: Coonabarabran to Kaputar National Park
Bid a fond farewell to the Warrumbungle region and head toward Narrabi, parking at the entrance to Pilliga National Park and gateway into one of Australia’s most pristine bush forests, bordered by stunning sandstone gorges. Make sure your caravan hire is fitted out with 2WD or 4WD capabilities before venturing down these sandy roads. No luck? That’s okay. The historic salt caves are an easy 50m walk from the carpark! Call into Narrabri for a bite to eat before exploring Kaputar National Park for the rest of the day. Settle in, settle down and listen to the cicadas chirp, as the sun sets over Nandewar Ranges.
Fast Facts Drive Time: 0 hours Terrain: Sealed road and highways. Stay: Dawsons Spring Campground (Sites are not marked or powered. 25 sites in total - no bookings)
Day 4&5: New England Region
Your options are limited by your travel style. Keen on more natural sights and scenic areas? Try the
Bundabulla Circuit walking track or the Dawsons Spring nature trail in Kaputar National Park on for size, before heading over to Boonalla Cave, a culturally significant stop on the Indigenous Australia trail. Oxley Wild Rivers National Park is always a must see - walk its gondwana forests and capture grandiosity of Gara Gorge. What about town? Brush off, dress up and go out, the Country Capital of Australia promises balmy nights of great food, good company and cold, cold drinks. Take your picture with Tamworth’s Big Golden Guitar or dash from cellar door to cellar door in Uralla, a diverse agricultural region packed with flavour, produce and a gorgeous climate.
Fast Facts Drive Time: As little or as much as you like. Terrain: Dependent on your plans! Stay: Apsley Falls Campground (Sites are not marked or powered. 25 sites in total - no bookings. This is a remote campground - come prepared to rough it)
Dangars Gorge Campground (Sites are not marked or powered. 10 sites in total - no bookings. This is a remote campground - come prepared to rough it)
Day 6: Tamworth to Muswellbrook
Two hours separates you and Muswellbrook.You’ll soon be on the doorstep of one of Australia’s favourite wine-making and food-loving regions outside of the Barossa Valley, as the jewel of the Hunter Valley spoils your senses with cheeses, fresh foods, hearty wines and indulgent treats. Why not stop in for an olive oil tasting session at Pukara Estate or pick up a few treats at Denman Farmers Market? If you’re not much for the food trail, Wollemi National Park should hold your attention, ideal for an afternoon swim, a morning walk or overnight camping, surrounded by skyscraping cliffs and a secret glow worm tunnel.
Fast Facts Drive Time: 2.10 hours Terrain: Sealed and marked highways Stay: Lake Liddell Recreation Camp Area (4 powered sites and numerous unpowered sites. Amenities aplenty, including showers, toilets and BBQs
Day 7: Muswellbrook to Sydney
It’s your last day, so let’s make it a good one! Enjoy a late start and leave Muswellbrook in the distance, stopping over at Singleton for brunch or lunch before diving into the wondrous wilderness of Yengo National Park. Steeped in Aboriginal tradition, the Finchley Cultural Walk imbues visitors with a reverence for the world’s oldest stories, including preserved rock art and engravings. The colours of the landscape make for pretty pictures, as the reds, golds and greens play off each other, making yellow geebungs shine in the sunlight. The Finchley Lookout is the perfect place to conclude your New England National Park adventure, boasting views of a remote but beautiful wilderness, crowned by craggy crops of volcanic rock.
Fast Facts Drive Time: 3 hours Terrain: Sealed and marked highways Stay: In your own bed!
Embrace adventure and reframe the family holiday. The best discoveries are made from cars, not planes and where better than your very own backyard for your next getaway? Join the VanLife movement with Camplify.
Camplify can help you find the perfect RV so that you can experience the joys of caravanning without having to own one yourself. Interested? Learn more about Camplify for hirers here.
So what is Camplify?
We are Australia’s largest caravan and motorhome sharing community, helping connect holidaymakers with thousands of local van owners.
What does that mean?
Essentially, we provide a unique sharing platform where local owners of caravans, camper trailers, motorhomes, and campervans list their van for hire while not in use. As a van owner, this enables you to earn up to $10,000 - $20,000 a year by sharing with others
As a holidaymaker, Camplify helps you find a van that’s perfect for your next adventure, so you can experience the freedom & joys of caravanning - without having to own one yourself.