Camping at Putty Beach Campground: Everything You Need to Know

January 15, 2024 | By

Putty Beach Campground in Bouddi National Park is one of the best places to go camping along the Central Coast. Just a short 90-minute drive from Sydney, it makes for the perfect weekend escape.

Falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves and waking up to birds chirping in the background is my kind of getaway, and that’s exactly what to expect when camping here.

I recently spent a weekend camping at Putty Beach Campground and created this guide with everything you need to know in preparation for your trip.

Camping at Putty Beach Campground
Camping at Putty Beach, Central Coast

Where is Putty Beach campground

Putty Beach is located in Killcare in the Bouddi National Park along the Central Coast. It’s an easy 100km drive from Sydney. There is no off-road driving required, and you can drive right up to the campground.

With 20 camping sites surrounded by small shrubs and lush trees, Putty Beach camping area is only a stone’s throw away from Putty Beach and Killcare Beach. It also marks the start of the Bouddi Coastal Walk, which is a popular day trip for many travellers.

Entrance to Putty Beach
The entrance to Putty Beach is a short walk from the campground

What to expect when camping at Putty Beach

If you’re planning your Putty Beach camping holiday, you’ll need to get your bookings in early. There are 20 campsites available, but they are always in high demand, and book out months in advance, even in winter!

The layout of the campgrounds is ideal for families and big groups. There are a few sites that are very close to each other, but more secluded ones are also available.

Things to note about Putty Beach camping

  • There are no hot showers at Putty Beach Campground. Cold outdoor showers are available so you can rinse off after your ocean swim.
  • There’s one ablution block. Here, you’ll find running water and flushing toilets, which are cleaned daily.
  • No power at any of the campsites.
  • No open fires permitted.
  • Dogs are not allowed.
  • Putty Beach Campground is for tent camping only. It’s not suitable for camper vans and camper trailers.
  • Keep an eye out for the Bin chickens. They are pests and run around the camping area, eyeing out all your food and leftovers. Make sure you pack everything away and disperse your trash before going to bed, as they will destroy any food left open overnight.
Best camping grounds central coast
We had to book our camp site 6 months in advance

Putty Beach Camping Sites: Which one to book

If you’re planning your trip to Putty Beach Campground, you might have no choice when It comes to campsite options. Most of the time, you pretty much have to take what you can get.

But who knows, you might get lucky and there may be a few sites to choose from.

After spending a weekend wandering around the campgrounds, here are my thoughts on the best Putty Beach camping sites, and some things to look out for.

Putty Beach Campground Map

Putty Beach Campground Map
The layout of the campsites. Image credit: NSW National Parks

Sites 8, 9, 10 and 11

The toilets and beach entry are located closest to campsites 8, 9, 10 and 11, so if you’ve booked one of these sites, expect quite a bit of foot traffic as people make their way to the beach and the bathrooms.

These four sites are very close to each other so it’s better for groups or families travelling together.

There is also a communal BBQ area here, so you’ll have BBQ facilities and picnic tables right by your sites.

These sites are great if you’re travelling with kids as there is quite a big grass area in front of them.

Bouddi National Park Camping
Sites 8, 9, 10 and 11 are great for groups with kids

Sites 16, 18, 19 and 20

Campsites 16, 18, 19 and 20 are further from the toilets on the opposite side of Putty Beach Campground. This means you won’t have many people walking between your campsites.

If you’re camping in a big group, this area would be my top choice as there are BBQ facilities and picnic tables in the centre of the sites.

There is a short path next to site 18 which leads directly to the beach.

Of these four sites, 19 was the biggest.

Camping in NSW National Park
Sites 19 and 20 are to the right of the BBQ area

Putty Beach campsite 13 and 14

I booked campsites 13 and 14.

Site 14 was more private as it was almost fully surrounded by tall trees, but this also meant there was little sunlight on the site.

Site 13 had the perfect balance of shade and sun, but it looked on to site 6, so privacy was limited. (But I still preferred these sites 8, 9, 10 and 11.)

Putty Beach Campground
Site 13 at Putty Beach

Sites 2, 6 and 7

Sites 2, 6, and 7 are right next to the parking area. If you want to park next to your site, these are a good option. But personally, I prefer to be away from the road and amongst the trees.

Camp site 7
Site 6 is next to the parking area

Sites 17 and 12

Sites 17 and 12 are nestled amongst the trees and offer a lot more privacy than the other sites. (site 17 is probably the biggest campsite in Putty Beach Campground.)

Not much sunlight enters the two sites as they’re completely surrounded by trees. So, if you’re visiting during winter, like I did, you may want to go for a site that isn’t as shaded. But the opposite could be said for summer where you’ll be wishing you had picked the shaded sites!

Central coast campgrounds
Site 17 is probably one of the biggest sites at Putty Beach

Sites 1, 3, 4 and 5

Site 1, 3, 4 and 5 are also close to one another, but of these, I liked site 3 the most as it looks onto bushes.

Best campsite Putty Beach Campground
Site 1 is next to the BBQ area

What to do near Putty Beach Campground

During the summer season, Putty Beach is a local favourite thanks to the long stretch of sandy beach that offers calm waters and great swimming conditions for kids. Bring your snorkelling and fishing gear along if you have.

Bouddi Coastal Walk

At the far end of Putty Beach, you’ll find the starting point of the Bouddi Coastal Walk. This is a great walk for the whole family and continues for 8.5 km to Macmasters Beach.

If you’re looking for a shorter option, do the first section from Putty Beach to Gerrin Lookout. This 1 km stretch is suitable for kids and offers some spectacular scenery and viewpoints.

If the little ones have more energy and you want to go further, continue for another 1.6 km until you reach Maitland Bay. But remember, you’re going to either have to walk the same distance back to Putty Beach Campground or have someone pick you up at Maitland Bay.

Things to do near Putty Beach
Bouddi Coastal Walk

Visitors information

  • Putty Beach camping costs: $17 per person per night.
  • A National Parks parking pass is required. This is a cost you’ll incur over and above your camping fees. This pass can be purchased for $8 from the parking machine at the entrance of the campground
  • Check-in after 12:00, Check-out before 12:00.
  • Visit the National Parks website to make your booking.

Have you been camping at Putty Beach Campground? Or are you planning your trip? Drop me a message below and let me know your thoughts.

Looking to go camping in NSW? Check out my other posts!

Carryn Beard Author Bio

About Me

Hi, I'm Carryn. Travel junkie. Nature enthusiast. Adventurer. I'm a South African expat living in Gold Coast, Australia. Join me as I explore the land down under and share stories of the best that Australia has to offer. Find out more about me here.

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