So, you’re thinking of beach camping? Great, because you are in for a treat! The beautiful coast of Stockton Beach is the perfect beach camping location that is just north of Newcastle in New South Wales. Before you get too carried away with your thoughts about the sand between your toes, there are several important things you should know about staying on Stockton Beach.
Camping on Stockton Beach is permitted but you will need to book a designated site at the Ganyamalbaa Camp Area. Because access to the area is unsealed and via the beach, you will need a 4×4 and valid beach driving permit. There is no free-range camping allowed on the beach and no facilities, so you will need to be prepared with a full set up including a portable toilet.
Can I camp on Stockton beach?
Yes. Camping is permitted on the beach, but you must camp at designated campsites at the Ganyamalbaa Camping Area. There are 15 campsites available with an 8 person per site maximum. The camp area is located at the southern end of the beach with access only by unsealed roads and the beach.
There is strictly no free-range camping allowed on the beach and campers will need to book a campsite. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed on Stockton Beach (you can try Blacksmith’s if you are planning on bringing your furry friend.)
Each campsite has access to a firepit to help control the use of fires in the area, so do not forget to bring your own firewood.
To get to the camping area:
Access the beach via the Lavis Lane 4WD entrance at Williamtown. An alternative entrance is available at Fern Bay but is a one way only; trailers are not permitted via Fern Bay. Do not forget to air down and prepare thoroughly with safety equipment, shovels, and thongs.
The map below shows the areas where camping is available – campsites are south of where the Sygna wreck once was.
For more information about the Ganyamalbaa camping area, please visit https://worimiconservationlands.com/camping/
How much does it cost to camp on Stockton Beach?
The fees to camp are based on a per-site basis with a total of 8 maximum occupants. The fee prices are as follows:
- $33.00 two adults
- $16.50 extra adult
- $8.00 a child
- Free for infants aged 0 – 4
To help put the cost into perspective; the local NRMA Stockton Beach Holiday Park charges roughly $41 for two adults a night, with a two-night minimum and a Saturday night. You do have access to toilets and showers, BBQ’s and other facilities – so this option may be better suited towards families.
Campsite bookings can be made by calling the National Parks Contact Centre on 1300 072 757, seven days a week, from 9 am to 5 pm.
Do I need a permit to drive on Stockton Beach?
Yes. A permit is required to drive on Stockton Beach ($88 annual or $33 for three days). It is worth noting that the permit is required to reach the campsites, so it is important to add that cost into the stay’s overall costs.
Beach permits can be picked up at from a number of locations:
BP Service Station (Anna Bay) – 135 Gan Gan Road, ANNA BAY
Tackle Power (Mayfield West) – Shop 2/15 Murray Dwyer Circuit, MAYFIELD WEST
Out of Town 4WD (Barnsley) – 65 Northville Drive, BARNSLEY
BP Service Station (Salt Ash) – Corner Richardson and Nelson Bay Road, SALT ASH
ARB (Lambton) – 89 Griffiths Road, LAMBTON
Port Stephens Visitor Centre (Nelson Bay) – 60 Victoria Parade, NELSON BAY
Metro Service Station (Williamtown) – Corner Nelson Bay Road and Lavis Lane, WILLIAMTOWN
NPWS Hunter Coast Area Office (Nelson Bay) – 12B Teramby Road, NELSON BAY
For more information about driving on Stockton Beach, please visit https://worimiconservationlands.com/beach-driving/
Are there toilets and showers at Stockton Beach?
No. There are no toilets or showers available at Stockton Beach. You are expected to leave no trace when staying, so please be respectful to others. There is a designated dump site, so you will be able to easily empty your waste before heading home (dumpsite at Lavis Lane entry.)
If you or someone in your group might require some extra luxuries, you can always stay at one of the local caravan parks or consider just visiting for the day.
Stockton Beach is a great beachside location on the coast of New South Wales and If you are considering staying, I would highly recommend it.
If you are put off from the cost, you can always visit for the day or get a permit for the weekend and stay at a local caravan park or Air BnB. The money that you spend to camp at Stockton Beach goes back into campground maintenance and conservation projects for the area.
The limited number of campsites helps to reduce the total number of visitors, meaning you will likely get lots of peace and quiet during your stay. Enjoy the fishing, natural wildlife, and the beautiful scenic coastline but please remember to be respectful to others that share the beach, bring your rubbish home and leave it in a better condition than you found it.
For more information, please visit Worimi Conservation Lands and check out this video about the area.