Spend the weekend camping in Bonny Hills and you get to enjoy ocean views from the campsite, whilst having the option to explore nearby Port Macquarie.
Read on for more about where to stay and what to do in the Bonny Hills and Port Macquarie area.
Where: Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia
Getting there: 4 hrs 15 mins drive North of Sydney.
Camping in Bonny Hills is the perfect camping weekend getaway. Come here if you want to camp right next to the beach with ocean views and the convenience of walking to a cafe for your morning coffee. Don’t come here if you want lots of cafe and restaurant options within walking distance. Or are looking to camp off the beaten track, close to a National Park.
Where to camp
Reflections Holiday Parks Bonny Hills is a recently refurbished campsite with some of the best views I’ve seen from a campsite. Making it the perfect spot for a weekend of beach camping. It’s a holiday park but feels less like a commercial resort (complete with swimming pool and children’s playground), and more like a luxury campsite. The modern amenities, camp kitchen and covered BBQs, plus the range of accommodation on offer; make this a great place for camping, glamping (in safari tents), or holidaying in a stylish-looking cabin.
The camping spots themselves are high up on a hill with a boardwalk running all the way around the campground, so you get magnificent views of the ocean and bay beyond from most places.
If you don’t get a direct view with your spot, there are plenty of communal areas and benches to still take in the view. I booked last minute and was in spot no. 46. This had no direct views of the ocean but it was right next to the access path to Spooney’s beach and was sheltered. There are also plenty of communal areas and benches to still take in the view if you can’t secure a beach-front spot.
From $44/night (powered site), 936 Ocean Dr, Bonny Hills NSW 2445, (02) 6585 5276.
Bonny Hills in a weekend
I explored a lot of the local area when I visited Bonny Hills over the long weekend in June. For a couple of days though, you have everything you need within walking distance.
Here’s what you can do in the area.
- Grab a takeaway coffee from The Fat Fish cafe and head to Rainbow Beach.
- Swim or surf at Rainbow Beach. There is plenty of parking by the beach, as well as shaded benches, public BBQs and toilets at Rainbow Beach Reserve.
- Pick up beers from Bonny View Store Take Away & Bottleshop before heading to Rainbow Beach for sunset.
- Spooney’s Beach is also a great spot for sunset, which you can access from the campsite (marked as “Boat Ramp Beach” on Google Maps).
- Crave @Bonny’s cafe is another place to go for coffee. It’s a 10-minute walk away from the beach but a nice locals spot in a residential area.
- Visit Bonny Hill’s Beach Hotel, a great place for dinner and drinks with a real local feel. Call up to get their free courtesy bus there and back from the campsite (it’s less a bus and more the owners picking you up!).
- Port Macquarie is a 25-minute drive away from Bonny Hills so you can head there for a day. Look out for the Coffee Injection coffee cart on the way and pick up a coffee and a muffin ($8 coffee & muffin deal).
- Hire SUP boards from Port Macquarie Sup Fun (from $20/hour) for a tour of the harbour and mangroves beyond it.
Places to stop on the way to and from Bonny Hills
After driving up and down this stretch of the coast a few times, I’ve discovered New Haven is a great place to stop. This is especially true when needing to make the journey up late after work on a Friday. It’s not too far from the highway and it means you can enjoy a morning at New Haven beach. I’ve also spotted dolphins here every time!
- Camp at Reflections New Haven campsite or if you’re looking for an easier stopover, stay at Woongarra Motel (from $110 p/night) which is a good spot right by the North Haven inlet.
- Head to New Haven breakwall to either surf or it’s also a great place to watch the surfers and grab breakfast at the Beach Break Cafe which overlooks the beach.
- If staying at the motel, head to BrewHaven cafe for breakfast (get 10% off when you show your room key) which is a nice little local spot across the road from the inlet, which you can walk around.
- There are also several beaches you can drive to in the area. I visited Pilot Beach (a sheltered beach) and Dunbogan Beach (a sweeping, rugged-looking beach).
- On the way home, stop at Diamond Head campground in Crowdy Bay National Park for a swim and some lunch (take your own because there are no cafes in the area). This National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) campground looks incredible! It’s definitely on my bucket list.
Don’t miss: Grabbing a cold beer from the local store each evening and walking down to either Rainbow Beach or Spooney’s Beach. True to its name, Rainbow Beach gave some of the most colourful sunrises and sunsets I’ve seen.
Booked last-minute, Bonny Hills was a lovely surprise and I found myself leaving much more relaxed and calmer than when I arrived. So if you’re looking for an easy last-minute trip away, I recommend visiting Bonny Hills as a place to base yourself by a beach for the weekend and enjoy some epic views from the campsite itself.