Is this the best campground in NSW? Diamond Head campground

All too often we hear the words best campground, best campsite bucket list-worthy campground. And often we have to wonder if is it true. OR are they just being paid to say these things? But what if I were to tell you, that this Crowdy Bay National Park is one of the best campgrounds NSW has to offer, and has also held this title for many years now. Diamond Head Campground holds this title, and after visiting in Nov 2024, we can easily say it deserves to keep it.

Diamond Head Campground is run by the NSWNP and is one of the more popular campgrounds in the national parks system on the Barrington Coast. There are a few pros and cons to this, one pro is that there are flushing toilets and everything is clean. A con is, during the summer holidays this campground books out. Nearby campgrounds do not see the same level of traffic, so those wanting to escape into Crowdey Bay National Park can find a quieter escape at Kylies Beach Campground and Indian Head Campground.

The Diamond Head Campground facts

Diamond Head campground map

One of the reasons Diamond Head Campground is so popular is due to the resident kangaroos who will make themself comfortable in your campsite. It is not uncommon to catch the kangaroos sitting under your awning and checking out your tent. If you visit during the spring you’ll also see joeys learning how to hop around the campsite. It is an incredible experience to witness kangaroos in their natural element, and allowing you to witness their life. It is important to remember that whilst these kangaroos are docile and friendly, they are wild animals. Do not feed them, touch them and keep your distance from them at all times. If a kangaroo approaches you, stay calm and avoid sudden movements. There have unfortunately been instances where tourists forget that kangaroos are wild animals and do not respect their space, this can result in very serious injuries.

Another reason that Diamond Head is popular is its beachside camping. The campground at Diamond Head has 75 unpowered sites. More than half of these are suitable for caravans and campervans. There is also the option for walk-in campsites adjacent to the main campground for hikers passing through, or those with tents for a little more privacy. All of the campsites at Diamond Head are a 2-minute max walk to the beach, making it the ideal spot for those looking for an oceanic getaway.

camping diamond head nsw

The nitty gritty

  • Sites $25 per night + NSW National Parks Pass ($8 a day)
  • The amenities block includes cold showers and flushing toilets (cleaned daily)
  • On-site office
  • Fires are allowed in fire pits which can be hired from the office $12
  • Firewood is available at the office for $12 a bag
  • Communal gas BBQ available
  • No drinking water
  • Lots of wild animals on the site
  • Access to 4×4 beach
  • The hiking area attached to the campground

What to do around Diamond Head


Diamond Head Campground is attached to a large hiking area in Crowdy Bay National Park. The area is great for hikers of all fitness levels and you can catch sites of the impressive rock structures and jagged cliffs which the area is well known for.

Mermaid lookout

  • 1.4kms return
  • 30 minutes
  • easy

The Mermaid Lookout is a fantastic track attached to the southern side of Dunbogan Beach. This walk is perfect for families looking for an easy walk. Along this walk, you’ll catch glimpses of Dunbogan Beach, and North Brother Mountain in the distance. Once you reach the lookout you’ll have the perfect vantage point to spot whales during their migration.

view from mermaid lookout, crowdy national park
View from Mermaid lookout

Forest walking track

  • 1.5kms one way
  • Moderate
  • 45 minutes- 1hr

On the forest walk you’ll transverse through the lush rainforest on the western side of Indian Head. This hike is great for all ages to explore. Here you’ll spot kangaroos, and listen to native birds as you head towards Indian Head Campground. Once you reach the campground, you can head back the way you came towards Diamond Head campground or join the Diamond Head Loop to catch some ocean views on the way back to camp

Diamond Head Loop

diamond head nsw hiking
  • 4.3kms
  • 1.5-2 hours
  • moderate

This is one of the more challenging hikes in the region, but also the more memorable. The Diamond Head Loop offers sweeping views of Crowdy Bay National Park, you’ll see how Diamond Head got its name as the quartz headlands glisten in the sun and spot the famous natural archway.

This hike shows the best of the forest walk on the way back, but the star of the show is on top of the cliffs where you’ll be met with incredible views of North Brother Mountain. This mountain towers over Dunbogan Beach and truly is a sight to see. It is an iconic part of Crowdy Bay National Park.

4×4 on Dungbogan Beach

One of the little-known facts of this area is that right off of Diamon Head Campground is a 4×4 beach. This is one of the best beach driving areas Port Macquarie has to offer, due to the scenic views of North Brother Mountain. During the summer this beach is riddled with fishermen, but for the rest of the year, it is a quiet 4×4 beach where you can take in the iconic sights of the national park. This 4wd beach is part of the  Port Macquarie-Hastings Council region and requires their permit. This can be obtained at the Laurieton Convenience Store or at the Laurieton Council office. A 30-day pass for this area of NSW is $36.

The driving area of this beach is a solid 8km each way with access at Diamond Head Campground and at Dunbogan. The final 1km of beach on either side is not accessible to vehicles. But this great stretch of beach driving is a hit.

beach driving port Macquarie

Kattang Nature Reseve

Located in Dunbogan you’ll find the Kattang Nature Reserve. This area offers breathtaking views. There are countless viewpoints in this reserve however the most popular point is Perpendicular Point. This is an ideal spot to spot whales as it is the most eastern point for countless kilometres. Perpendicular Point is only a 4km return hike from either car park, and along this hike, you’ll transverse along the cliff tops, and through lush forest. There are numerous rest areas and designated lookouts, many of these are off the main trail. They are definitely worth the extra steps as they offer some great perspective.

Perpendicular Point Walk

In all honesty. The view from Perpendicular Point was rather disappointing and unless it’s whale season, don’t worry about making it all the way. The best views are along the track to Perpendicular Point, so there is no need to fret if you don’t do the entire hike. During whale season, however, hiking to the point is a must!

For those not interested in a hike make sure you check out Charles Hamey Lookout. Only a 500m bushwalk from the car you’ll be met with one of the most impressive lookouts you’ll see. Looking south along the NSW coast you’ll have dramatic views of North Brother Mountain overlooking Dunbogan Beach and Gogleys Lagoon. From this lookout there will be a good chance of spotting dolphins and whales in the blue waters directly below the cliff you’re standing on.

On our visit, it was, unfortunately, raining so we couldn’t see the view properly, however on a clear day, we definitely believe this is one of the best lookouts in NSW.

Chalse hamley lookout on a cloud day

North Brother Mountain

North Brother Lookout

A short, but steep drive from Laurieton will take you to the top of North Brother Mountain. This viewpoint offers some of the best views of the Camden Haven area. You’ll have unobstructed views of the area and can see Lake Cathie and all the way to Port Macquarie.

The top of this mountain is popular with paragliders, you’ll be able to watch them take off as you eat your lunch at this lookout, making it truly a unique experience.

Access to the top of the mountain is via walking tracks or a step-sealed road. This road however will not be accessible to caravans.

Visit North Haven

For those looking for some food, North Haven is perfect! Find countless cafes and restaurants here dotted along the Camden Haven River. Once you’ve had a cuppa, head along the cycleway towards the beach and you’ll walk along the breakwalls. Here if you’re lucky you’ll catch dolphins catching waves at the mouth of the river, stingrays and grey nurse sharks.

Looking for a more secluded campground?

Check out Olney State Forest on the Central Coast!

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