This is the backpacker’s daily nightmare, if you are travelling by car. You arrive in Sydney and you don’t know where to stay over night, where you can go for a shower or if the ranger is checking in that area. We are here to help!
Update: You can check out all the free camping places and travel tips in Sydney and around Australia in our free backpacking guide. Including map and Street View integration!
Things to know when sleeping in a car
If you are looking for a place to sleep over night in your car, always be aware of residents. Australians are very easy going indeed. Don’t disturb them and they won’t disturb you.
Always be aware of parking restrictions as well. If we have the information, we will let you know whether it’s likely to be checked by a traffic warden or not or any other relevant information. It might be necessary to move your car to avoid a parking ticket. Please let us know if something needs to be updated.
Barracluff Park is located on the corner of Warners Avenue and Old South Head Road. From here it’s only 1.5km to Bondi Beach.
So if you are planning to go to Bondi Beach, than this is the place where you want to park your car. You can can walk from your home to Bondi Beach, how amazing is that?
The location of Wentworth Park is very central. You can easily walk to the Sydney CBD in half an hour. The only thing you have to watch out, that you have to move your car every 24 hours. They are checking on that.
Check if you tires have been marked with chalk. That means that your car has been checked. At the park you find also public toilets.
Dee Why Beach
Dee Why Beach is located North of Manly Beach. To get to the CBD of Sydney, you need about 30 minutes (20km). To go to Manly Beach, it’s about 15 min. (less than 7km).
This beach is lesser known, yet very beautiful. Just like Bondi it has a natural pool. If you park there between 7am and 5pm you, the parking fee is $8. If you arrive after 5, there is no parking fee. There is showers and toilets available. Plus, you are right at a not too busy beach, what else can you ask for?
Long Reef Beach
This is another place a bit outside of the city. Long Reef Beach is near the Dee Why Beach (right next to it) and another hidden gem of Sydney. Not only is there a Golf Club right and the Dee Why Lagoon, but it’s also great for a coastal walk to the Long Reef Point.
The best of it: There is a nice parking area, showers and you can park there over night.
North Curl Curl Beach
The North Curl Curl Beach is also a bit out of the center. The beautiful beach is North of Manly Beach and South of Dee Why Beach. It’s about 20km from the Sydney CBD.
Moore Park is located in a residential area very close to the CBD. If you stay here, don’t disturb the neighbours, so other backpackers can stay here as well. For showers, you have to go to a beach, or sneak into a hostel.
In the park, there is toilets and the other side of the park and tap water. A great thing of this spot is, that there is a bus station literally right next to it. From here it’s easy to get to the city center (you can even walk) or to Bondi by bus.
You are actually not allowed to leave your car here longer than 4 hours, however, it is very unlikely that you will be checked (a Travelgott hasn’t been in 7 days). The name of the street is Robertson Road, leave your car at the end of it.
Bronte Beach & Tamarama Beach
The two beaches are just a bit South of Bondi Beach and great for BBQs. You can chill on the beach or lawn and treat yourself on one of the many BBQs there.
If you are staying in this area, we recommend to hide your car in the residential areas nearby. Don’t stay right next to the beach. Wake up right next to two beautiful Sydney beaches. You even have showers and toilets there as well (they will be closed at night).
To stay overnight near Bronte Beach you can check out this backpacker tip on our guide.
Tempe Recreation Reserve – near the airport
If for any reason you want to stay somewhere close to the airport, you can do so at the Tempe Recreation Reserve. For hot showers you can just take the 10 min. walk to the airport. There is a small bridge leading right into it.
Park your car somewhere in the Holbeach Avenue. There is a Woolworths, Bottle Shop, Wi-Fi – all you need.
Fox Ave – Harry Noble Reserve
At Fox Ave in Erskineville in Sydney, you can stay for several days as well. It’s not close to a beach, but you can reach the city center in less than an hour. You will spend the nights just nest to a sports center.
Federal Park Wetlands – Jubilee Park
From here you can get as well in about half an hour to the CBD. The place is next to a couple of warehouses and in front of the Federal Park Wetlands, which is part of the big Jubilee Park. Leave your car in the Chapman Road. You have toilets there as well.
This tip comes from a caring Travelgott reader. You can park free of charge in Clovelly Road directly at Clovelly Beach. The beach is less crowded especially during the week. You get showers there (unfortunately cold ones), toilets and of course a beach bar. It’s a nice place to ride big waves and as Margus says, you can find places in the shade until 14.00.
The beach is right by a hidden and off-the-path residential area and you should be fine to spend the night there. Just don’t bother the residents there (as usual).
LEARN MORE: Check out all free camping places in Sydney.