Boating, Camping & Fishing NSW
As the home of the iconic, vibrant city of Sydney, the surfer’s paradise of Byron Bay, and spectacular natural wonders (including six World Heritage sites), it’s little wonder that New South Wales is the most visited state in all of Australia and an excellent place for boating, camping or fishing.
However, its appeal is not limited to the architectural wonders of its capital or its brilliant array of sandy beaches. There are ample opportunities for outdoor pursuits, and you may well be wondering where you can you buy genuine, quality gear that will last you adventure after adventure – and where the best spots are to test out your new kit. If you are just getting started with your boating, camping, or fishing journey, this article is the perfect place to find the answers to those questions.
Boating Stores in New South Wales
Boat Accessories Australia is at the top of our list for boating gear. They are an online-only retailer, but they deliver next day, to most parts of Australia, if you choose the express option at the checkout. They carry every piece of boating equipment that you could ever need, from an assortment of electrical and navigation equipment, to hydraulic and mechanical steering parts, to specialised cleaners, polishes, and waxes that will keep your vessel in top condition.
For in-store purchasing, Whitworths Marine and Leisure is your ideal destination. This discount store chain has locations along the length of New South Wales’s coast, including one in Drummoyne, just a 12-minute drive along the A40 from central Sydney. They are Australia’s largest retailer of marine accessories, offering competitive prices, convenience, and an excellent selection of high-quality boating products.
Special mention: The Boating, Camping, and Fishing Store
Eager to grab everything you need for your trip and go?
The aptly-named Boating, Camping and Fishing Store Australia is your one-stop shop for all your needs. With 10 stores in the vicinity of Sydney and the Blue Mountains National Park, as well as a cluster further up the coast around Newcastle, you know you’re never too far away should you need to snag a spare sleeping bag, stock up on bait, or purchase replacement motors and marine accessories.
Selling many popular brands across the three activities (Garmin, Minn Kota, Dometic, Weber, Berkley, and Shimano, to name but a few), as well as Columbia and Under Armour clothing; caravanning gear; and watersports gear, there really is no better place to go if you’re planning a longer trip away from the major cities.
BCF’s online store hosts exclusive discounts and offers, some of which are available only to members of their membership scheme, the BCF Club.
Boating Places to visit:
Boasting 2,000km of coastline, over 40 lakes, and six major river systems, the most difficult part of boating in New South Wales is deciding where to go.
Sydney Harbour. With over 300km of shoreline, boaters are spoilt for choice in this beautiful spot. Attractively situated, it enables stunning views of the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, and is plentiful when it comes to boat ramps, marinas, and yacht clubs. There are also a variety of restaurants on offer. Sailing events are frequently held here, often on a weekly basis, and always prove popular.
The Hawkesbury River System. The dramatic natural surroundings of these waterways, and the adjoining Cowan Creek river system, feature dense forests and national parks. Anchorages and marinas are in good supply, so you’ll never have to worry about finding a safe place to stop.
Clarence River. Also known as “the Big River”, the Clarence is easily accessible by just about any type of water-going vessel. Just over 100km from the ocean, its banks abound with historic towns, stunning rainforests, and acres of sugarcane fields.
Lake Glenbawn. A 2.5-hour drive from Newcastle, this spacious inland lake plays host to more than 120,000 water activities enthusiasts each year. Whether you’re here to soak in the scenery with a casual sail, take advantage of the ample camping facilities, or try your luck at one of the many fishing tournaments, it’s a guarantee that Glenbawn has something for everyone.
NB: If you plan to use a recreational, power-driven vessel at speeds exceeding 10 knots (18.5km/h) in New South Wales, you will need a general boat driving licence. For personal watercraft, you’ll need a PWC licence, regardless of its speed.
Find out more, and whether you will need to register your boat with the authorities, at https://roads-waterways.transport.nsw.gov.au/.
Champions in Camping
With a diverse range of natural environments, such as the ever-popular outback, breath-taking mountains, and intriguing rainforests, it’s good to be well-prepared for your New South Wales camping adventure.
Anaconda has a number of stores across New South Wales – perfect if you like to view and test out your gear before buying. Many of their locations also have bike workshops, as well as filling stations for your gas cylinders. As for Anaconda’s website, it features Buying Guides for every aspect of camping, including camp beds, portable chairs, and even roof racks. With sections focused on specialist summer, snow, and ski products, you can be ready for any season.
If you’re conscious of the impact you and your adventuring kit have on the environment, global B Corp-certified Kathmandu is the store for you. The B Corp movement strives to create a more inclusive, sustainable global economy, and it’s these values that lie at the heart of Kathmandu’s ethos.
Whilst they specialise in outdoor clothing, Kathmandu also stock bags, tents, general travelling gear, and care and repair accessories (which handy articles on their website will advise you on the use of). They have several stores in and around Sydney, as well as locations in Brookvale (north of Manly), Chatswood, and Macquarie Park.
http://www.bushwalkingnsw.org.au/suppliers/ provides a list of trusted camping gear suppliers across Australia. Particularly notable are the numerous bushwalking stores in Sydney’s Kent Street – so many, in fact, that it has gained the nickname “Adventure Alley”.
Top Camping Destinations
Lakesea Caravan Park Durras. Lakesea is the ideal choice if you have never taken a camping trip before. The site features full facilities (including amenities blocks, laundry rooms, and even a kitchen with a TV), and is bordered by Lake Durras, a popular spot for watersports. The Murramarang National Park is also close by, if you crave an authentic bushwalking experience.
Glenworth Valley. Most famous for its association with horseback riding, Glenworth is relatively close to Sydney. You can tailor your camping trip exactly to your wishes: Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures runs a series of sites in the region, and offers options of hiring a tent, or even “glamping”, if you don’t feel like bringing your own.
Honeymoon Bay. This secluded coastal spot in Jervis Bay is well-loved for its beach camping opportunities. The campsite itself is a 3-hour drive from Sydney. Be aware that you’ll need to reserve your space in advance; and, as the area is sometimes used as a military exercise ground by the Australian Defence Force, you should contact the Shoalhaven Visitor Centre to ensure it’s open before starting your journey.
Picnic Point. A prime spot for wilderness camping, Picnic Point is situated in the Mimosa Rocks National Park. The surrounding area is filled with spectacular natural features, such as lagoons, rainforests, and mighty rock formations. Whilst the journey there is significantly longer (double that of reaching Honeymoon Bay), the ample facilities and chances to explore more than compensate for it.
Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. A total of nine campgrounds lie within Oxley’s borders, which also contain the canoeing and wildlife-watching haven of Halls Peak and awe-inspiring Wollombi Falls. Situated in the North Tablelands region, this is remote camping at its finest.
Also browse the listings on Hipcamp, a website where you can search and book unique local campsites. There’s a wide selection available across New South Wales, including some exclusive, off-the-beaten-track places you may not find on more popular booking platforms.
NOTE: Be sure to familiarise yourself with the rules and recommendations for your chosen site before setting out. More remote locations may require you to bring your own equipment and essentials, and necessitate special permits or modes of transport.
Fantastic for Fishing
Whether game, fly, freshwater or saltwater, your choices for fishing in New South Wales are endless. Pack plenty of supplies, as you’re sure to want to spend the whole day in pursuit of the perfect catch.
Otto’s Tackle World in Drummoyne is a great choice if you will be arriving to, or are based, in Sydney. In addition, their Otto’s Combos – bundles of products designed particularly for one type of fishing, or even for catching a specific species – make buying the ideal rods, lures, and reels immensely affordable. Their most popular options range from $129.99 to $329.95, with cheaper options averaging between $70.00-90.00.
Dinga.com promises the best prices in Australia for fishing equipment. Committed to selling only reliable, genuine branded products and absolute customer satisfaction, they stock the most extensive range of fishing gear available through an online Australian store. There’s no fee to sign up for a Dinga account, and you’ll benefit from free shipping; but, depending on your location within the country, your order may take between 2-7 business days to arrive.
Dinga also carry boating and camping accessories, and feature helpful guides to these, fishing, and other outdoor activities on their associated site, OnDECK by Dinga.
Top Places for Fishing
Aside from the prime fishing locations of Sydney Harbour, Hawkesbury, Port Stephens, and Jervis Bay – all of which offer exciting fishing experiences in their own right – there are a number of other excellent sites:
Bermagui River. An amazing area on New South Wales’s South Coast for both deep-sea and game fishing, Bermagui boasts marlin, shark, and tuna alongside the more mundane mackerel and pilchards.
Eucumbene Lake, Snowy Mountains. A timeless favourite amongst local fishers, the “jewel in the crown” of the Snowy Mountain range is famed for its sheer size and year-round trout and fly fishing. The nearby Snowy and Thredbo rivers are great choices for the spring and summer seasons.
Port Macquarie and Pilcher’s Reserve. Whilst the port itself is a fantastic spot for deep-sea fishing, it’s the iconic Pilcher’s Reserve that truly stands out on the 500km Macquarie River trail.
Yamba. Beach fishing is a brilliant way to start off if you’re new to the hobby. Yamba has plenty of beaches, as well as chances for estuary and rock fishing if you’re feeling more adventurous. It’s a 7-hour drive from Sydney, or you can opt for the 90-minute flight from Coffs Bay Airport.
If the idea of landing a catch with like-minded individuals appeals to you, visitnsw.com, the state’s official tourism site, touts a variety of fishing tours suitable both for beginners and those with more experience.
You will also need a recreational fishing licence, which you can apply for through the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (DPI) website.
Finally, Enjoy your Boating, Camping and Fishing!
As you can see, there are an abundance of options when it comes to buying quality boating, camping, and fishing gear in New South Wales (and plenty of places to try it out). Whatever your adventuring wish, you’re sure to find a way to make it a reality.
We at Sydney Boating hope you have found this article both enjoyable and helpful. We look forward to welcoming you to New South Wales!