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Killalea Campground: 23 Essential Things to Know (2024)

Killalea Campground: 23 Essential Things to Know (2024)

Killalea Campground is the one and only campsite in the breathtaking Killalea Regional Park (AKA the Killalea State Park and Killalea Reserve). Positioned between Wollongong and Kiama, and not far from Sydney, the Killalea Campground is a popular campsite, that sees plenty of visitors over the summer. So, is camping at the Killalea Regional Park all that it’s cracked up to be?

In this guide, we’ll run through all of the essential things to know about camping at the Killalea Campground. Sure, most people will hit up the NSW National Parks website for all of the basic details about camping at Killalea. That’s fair enough. But, this guide will provide some extra details about camping at Killalea and deliver the verdict about whether it’s worth it!

We’ll start with all of the basic details about camping at the Killalea Campground. Then, we’ll knuckle down into a nitty-gritty lowdown regarding why or why not this campsite will be right for you and your family and friends. We’ve also made sure to include plenty of Killalea Campground photos, so you know what to expect camping there.

Read more about the Killalea Regional Park

1. Where Is Killalea Campground?

Killalea Campground is located in the Killalea Regional Park on the South Coast of New South Wales. Feel free to use the interactive map below to help get your bearings.

Address: 236 Killalea Drive, Shell Cove, NSW, 2529

A screenshot of a map showing the location of Killalea Campground – a camping area in the Killalea Regional Park

2. How to Get to Killalea Campground?

There is no public transport that goes to Killalea Regional Park. So, in reality, the only way to get to the Killalea Campground is to drive there. Additionally, for ease of access around the regional park and to visit nearby places of interest, it’s certainly best to have your own vehicle. If you don’t have one, we recommend hiring something for your camping trip to Killalea Regional Park.

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3. How Many Sites Are There?

The Killalea Campground has 53 marked sites and it also has a bunkhouse! Out of the sites, 41 sites are 7×7 metres and 12 sites are 12×18 metres. The smaller sites are for a maximum of six people, and only one vehicle can park on the site. The larger sites are known as group sites and they can accommodate a maximum of eight people and two vehicles on the site. The dormitory-style bunkhouse is available for a maximum of 40 people.

Compared with other campgrounds managed by NSW National Park and Wildlife Services (NPWS), Killalea Campground has a lot more sites. Although the size of the sites are quite large, the overall size of the campground is fairly small compared with other campsites managed by NPWS. This means there is less space between the sites. Indeed, the sites are grouped fairly close together with most of them being positioned side by side in rows.

So, if the campsite is full, you may feel packed in like sardines, owing to the lack of space between the sites.

A tent at at a camping site at a campground called Killalea Campground in the Killalea Regional Park

4. Types of Camping at Killalea Campground

The campsite offers varied types of camping. All sites are unpowered and can accommodate trailers, campervans, caravans, motorhomes and tents. Camping beside your vehicle is allowed at all sites. Three of the campsites (17–19) have a concrete slab, which is ideal for campervans, caravans and motorhomes. Otherwise, all sites are exclusively grass sites. It’s possible to specifically choose your site of preference when you make a booking.

Looking For Things to Do Nearby?

Three people skydiving

Why not skydive over Wollongong? For an unforgettable experience, do a 15,000 foot tandem beach dive!

5. What Are the Killalea Campground Facilities?

Killalea Campground has fairly comprehensive facilities considering it’s a NSW National Parks campsite, which are often quite basic. Below, we’ll list the main facilities at this campground.

  • Amenities block with hot showers and flush toilets
  • Camp kitchen with picnic tables, gas/electric BBQ facilities (coin-operated) and electric power
  • Parking area outside of the campground’s boom gates for extra vehicles
  • Drinking water available
  • Camp office (used exclusively by the NPWS staff)

There is also a nearby cafe in the regional park called The Farm Kiosk. The cafe is about 2km away from the campground. You can walk there via walking tracks or simply drive. Around the cafe, you’ll find outdoor seating in the form of picnic tables.

A toilets block at a camping area called Killalea Campground at Killalea Regional Park
Amenities block
Stairs leading to a camp kitchen in a camping area called Killalea Campground in Killalea Regional Park
Camp kitchen
A cafe called The Farm Kiosk in the Killalea Regional Park
The Farm Kiosk

Nearby Camping in Kiama

A sheltered pool

Want a campsite with more facilities? Check out the awesome camping areas in these nearby holiday parks in Kiama.

6. What Will I Need to Bring to Killalea Campground?

Despite the campground having decent facilities, you’ll still want to bring certain things for the optimal camping experience at Killalea Regional Park. Given the BBQs are coin-operated, bringing a fuel stove may be a good idea to save money. Also, the BBQs may be unavailable to use during busy periods, so having own your stove means you can avoid the queue.

You’ll want to bring your ice to keep your drinks cool and food fresh, especially during summer. On that note, you’ll want to bring plenty of food supplies. Of course, if you’re desperate, you’ll find nearby shops in Shell Cove and Shellharbour and there is even the nearby Farm Kiosk.

There isn’t much in the way of lighting around the campground, so you’ll want to bring your own head torch. Like with all campgrounds in Australia, you’ll want to bring insect repellent and sunscreen too.

If you’re staying in the bunkhouse, please be aware that you’ll need to take your own linen. By staying in the bunkhouse, you’ll have access to all of the facilities in the campground.

Of course, if you’re camping in the Killalea Regional Park, in a tent, you’ll need the basics such as a sleeping bag. Below, you’ll find some of our recommendations for basic camping gear.

7. Are the Sites Powered?

No, all sites are unpowered. There is electric power in the camp kitchen. But, there aren’t loads of sockets. So, it may be best to take a portable battery pack, just in case.

Benches insides camp kitchen at Killalea Campground in Killalea Regional Park

8. Are Campfires Allowed?

No, Killalea Campground fires aren’t allowed. Campfires are forbidden at most campsites managed by NPWS.

9. Are Dogs Allowed at Killalea Campground?

No, pets aren’t allowed in NSW National Parks or Regional Parks. If you want to go camping with your pet in the area, you may need to consider a holiday park in Kiama with camping sites that are pet-friendly.

10. Are the Sites Wheelchair Accessible?

According to the NSW National Parks website, the disability access level is rated ”hard”. They go on to say that people in ”wheelchairs can access this area with assistance”. There is a sealed road, with minimal elevation gain, that goes around most of the campground, leading to the camp office, amenities block and camp kitchen. So, this road and these paths are considered wheelchair-friendly.

But, access to most sites is via an unseal gravel road and the sites are grass sites. So, that’s when the ”hard” rating comes into play as you’ll have to move across rough surfaces with obstacles such as potholes, tree roots and rocks.

A Killalea Regional Park sign reads, 'Camp Office' and a road leads to the campground

11. Can I Park My Car at Killalea Campground?

Yes, camping by your vehicle is allowed at all sites. But, most sites only allow one vehicle. While group sites allow two vehicles. There are parking spaces outside of the campground’s boom gates if you travel with extra vehicles.

12. Is the Killalea Campground Quiet and Relaxing?

This depends on how busy the campsite is when you visit. If you camp during the cooler months, avoid school holidays and camp during the week, you’ll likely have a quiet and peaceful campground. But, if you can camp on the weekend, especially during school holidays and summer, the campsite will be much busier. Given how small the campsite is all together – if it’s booked out or near full capacity, we expect it to be quite crowded, noisy and perhaps unsettling.

Indeed, the poor Killalea Campground reviews, are mostly about experiencing noisy neighbours and rowdy crowds during peak times.

13. Is There Wildlife at Killalea Campground?

Yes, by camping in the Killalea Campground, you’re just about guaranteed to see classic natives such as kookaburras and wallabies. But, there are other unique wildlife at the campground and in the Killalea Regional Park. At the campground at night, you may see upwards of 10 species of bats amongst the trees.

While at the regional park’s water sources, keep an eye out for rare and endangered birds such as the Australasian Bittern and Australian Pied Oystercatcher. Additionally, during the whale migratory season (May to November), it’s possible to see whales from several vantage points near the campground.

14. What’s Near the Killalea Campground?

The main attractions near the Killalea Campground in the Killalea Regional Park are The Farm (Killalea Beach), Mystics Beach (Minnamurra Beach), Killalea Lagoon, Minnamurra River and The Farm Kiosk. Beck and I enjoyed visiting all of these places, especially Minnamurra Beach, which is one of the most underrated beaches on the South Coast of New South Wales.

Read more: Minnamurra Beach – 10 Best Things to Do During Your Visit

Read more: The Farm (Killalea Beach) – The Complete Visitor’s Guide

An aerial shot of a beach called Minnamurra Beach and a river called Minnamurra River, separated by bushland.
Minnamurra Beach and River

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​​​​​​​15. Things to Do at Killalea Regional Park

The most popular activities at Killalea Regional Park include surfing, swimming, fishing, kayaking, walking and birdwatching. For sure, both Killalea Beach and Minnamurra Beach are great places for surfing, swimming and fishing. While Minnamurra River is an excellent spot for swimming, fishing, kayaking and birdwatching.

Dan on a wooden steps leading to a beach called The Farm, which is officially known as Killalea Beach
The Farm (AKA Killalea Beach)

The regional park also includes walking tracks linking natural attractions. This includes a walking track that links Killalea Beach and Minnamurra Beach. Also, there is the Federation Track, which starts at Killalea Beach and loops around Killalea Lagoon.

A walking track near the ocean

16. Things to Do Near Killalea Regional Park

Other than exploring Killalea Regional Park itself, there are plenty of beautiful places to visit nearby. Just a stone’s throw away from camping in the Killalea Regional Park, you can visit Wollongong or Kiama. There are plenty of great walks and lookouts in Wollongong and loads of great things to do in Kiama.

If you want to explore more beaches near the Killalea Regional Park, there are many spectacular beaches along the Kiama Coast. South of Minnamurra Beach, the next beach along the coast is Jones Beach, which features the impressive Cathedral Rocks. From there, it’s one glorious beach after another. If you want to see all of the beaches in one action-packed day, you can do the Kiama Coastal Walk. Otherwise, you can simply visit the beaches at a more leisurely pace.

Below, we’ve listed all of the best beaches from Kiama to Gerroa worth exploring near the Killalea Regional Park.

Read more: 10 Epic Kiama Beaches (With Parking, Surfing & Patrol Details)

Dan walks on a beach called Jones Beach
Jones Beach

17. Do I Need to Book Killalea Campground in Advance?

Yes, booking in advance is required. If you book online, you’ll have to make the booking at least 24 hours in advance. Whereas, if you call to make a booking, you can book on the day, up until 7pm.

Head to Contact Details For Killalea Campground for the number.

18. How Do I Make A Booking at Killalea Campground?

To make a booking at Killalea Campground, either head to the NSW National Parks website and book online or give them a call. Once you make a booking, you’ll be given an access code to insert at the boom gate for entry.

As mentioned, there is a camp office, but it’s often unstaffed. Indeed, there is no check-in or check-out required. Albeit, the earliest time you can arrive on the day of your booking is 2pm. And, you’ll need to leave the campground by 10am on your departure day.

For further information about the campsite and for details about finding your site, the NPWS staff recommend using a Killalea Campground map that you can download from their website.

A screenshot of the checking availability at the Killalea Campground
Online booking process

19. What Is the Group Booking Policy?

According to the NSW National Parks website, ”Bookings for up to 9 sites and 40 people can be made online.”

If you want to book for more sites and people, it may be best to give NPWS a call. Otherwise, if you’re a school, TAFE, college, university or licenced tour operator with an NPWS Parks Eco Pass, we recommend submitting a group booking enquiry form.

20. Can I Book the Bunkhouse?

Yes, it’s possible to book the hostel-style dorm room bunkhouse (AKA the Killalea cabins). You won’t find much information about the bunkhouse online. But, the bunkhouse can accommodate around 35–40 people, so it’s great for larger groups. If you want to book the bunkhouse, you’ll have to give NPWS a call as you can’t book the bunkhouse online.

A long cabin known as the bunkhouse at a camping area called Killalea Campground
Bunkhouse

21. How Much Does it Cost to Camp?

At the time of writing, a small site costs around $35 per night and a group site costs around $70 per night. Certainly, compared with other NPWS-run campgrounds, the Killalea Campground is quite expensive. Yet, the facilities at this campground are much more extensive than most other campgrounds in NSW National Parks. This probably explains the higher price.

FYI – there is no Killalea Regional Park entry fee.

22. Contact Details For Killalea Campground

The phone number for the campground is 1300 072 757. If you have any enquiries, feel free to call the number. As mentioned, it’s also possible to make a booking over the phone.

23. Is Killalea Campground Worth Staying At?

Of course, this ultimately boils down to personal preference. When you visit will definitely determine the type of camping trip you experience. Hopefully, by booking at a certain time of the year, you can increase your chances of having a camping experience to your liking.

If you want a quiet and relaxing camping trip, we recommend avoiding school holidays, especially the summer school holidays. To further guarantee a less crowded and more chilled stay, it’s best to camp mid-week and during the cooler months. Personally speaking, Beck and I enjoy a quiet campground with the only noises coming from nature. So, this would be the ideal time we’d be camping at Killalea Regional Park.

Alternatively, if you like a rowdier atmosphere with lots of people to meet and socialise with, you’ll want to camp on the weekend and during summer. Given it’s a small camping area, you shouldn’t have a hard time getting acquainted with your neighbours.

Other reasons to camp here: given the decent facilities, this is a good campground for beginner campers. For those new to camping in a more remote area, Killalea Campground offers a natural setting but with many great amenities for a comfortable camping experience. A sheltered camp kitchen, hot showers, flush toilets – this is luxury compared with most campgrounds in NSW National Parks. So, camping here is a nice way to ease into camping in more basic NSW National Parks campgrounds.

Other reasons not to camp here: the relatively expensive price might put you off! While its closeness to big towns may be a convenience for some but a deterrent to others.

Dan walks down to Minnamurra Beach
Minnamurra Beach

Other Camping Options Nearby

If camping in the Killalea Regional Park doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, but you still want to camp in the area, don’t worry as there are many other options. We don’t recommend camping in Wollongong as you’ll be close to the hustle and bustle of a big town. Instead, we recommend camping in Kiama, where it’s less populated and generally quieter.

You’ll find many excellent Kiama campsites located within beachfront holiday parks. Indeed, all of the holiday parks listed below, include caravan sites and camping sites with many more facilities and amenities. Or, if you want to forgo camping altogether and still enjoy staying in a wonderfully natural setting, you can live life large in a beach cabin or villa!

Below, we’ve listed your best options for alternate camping areas in Kiama, near the Killalea Regional Park.

Kiama Surf Beach Holiday Park

A sheltered pool
  • Modern cabins, villas, bungalows and cabanas
  • Beachfront accommodation
  • Sheltered outdoor swimming pool

Kendalls on the Beach Holiday Park

A kitchen
  • Air-conditioned beachfront cabins
  • Spa bath facilities
  • Accommodation for people with mobility impairments

BIG4 Easts Beach Holiday Park

Views of a beach from cabins
  • Spacious beachfront villas, cottages and suites
  • Spa baths available
  • Swimming pools, water park and on-site cafe

Werri Beach Holiday Park

A balcony outside a beach cabin
  • Luxurious beachfront cabins
  • Spa baths
  • Swimming pool and tennis court

Seven Mile Beach Holiday Park

A beach cabin
  • Beachfront location
  • Luxury cabins, surf shacks and safari tents
  • Peddle karts, surfboards and kayaks to hire

Other Accommodation Nearby

Other than camping in the Killalea Regional Park at the Killalea Campground, there aren’t any other Killalea accommodation options. Truth be told, the most popular accommodation in this area of the South Coast is in Kiama and Gerringong. We recommend searching on Booking.com, to find accommodation to your liking. Otherwise, you can read our guides, where we have summarised the best accommodation in these areas.

If you have any questions about camping in the Killalea Regional Park, please leave us a comment below.

We acknowledge and respect the First Nations people as the Traditional Custodians of the land/water that we visited and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Daniel Piggott

Physiotherapist turned travel blogger, Dan is a keen hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

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