The Ruins campground and picnic area

Booti Booti National Park

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Overview

Located just 15km south of Forster, The Ruins campground is well equipped and a convenient base to explore nearby beaches, swimming, walking and whale watching activities. 

Accommodation Details
Number of campsites 98
Camping type Tent, Camper trailer site, Caravan site, Camping beside my vehicle
Where 4374 The Lakes Way, Booti Booti , NSW, 2428 - in Booti Booti National Park
Facilities Picnic tables, barbecue facilities, carpark, drinking water, showers, toilets
Price
  • Rates and availability are displayed when making an online booking
  • A minimum nightly rate applies which includes the first 2 occupants
  • Peak season: NSW school holidays, long weekends and from 1st December to 31st January.
  • Off peak season: all other times.
  • Peak rate: $34 per night (includes 2 people). Additional adult (16+years) $17 per night, additional child (5-15years) $8.50 per night, infants (0-4years) free.
  • Off peak rate: $24 per night (includes 2 people). Additional adult (16+years) $12 per night, additional child (5-15years) $6 per night, infants (0-4years) free.
Entry fees

Park entry fees apply and are not included in your camping fees.

Bookings Bookings are required. Book online or call the National Parks Contact Centre on 1300 072 757.
Please note
  • Check in after 12pm, check out by 11am.
  • There's a maximum of 2 campsites per customer name. Requests for educational groups can be sent to npws.manninggreatlakes@environment.nsw.gov.au
  • There are shopping facilities nearby at Forster and Blueys Beach
  • All campsites are unpowered. Power points are available in the amenities.
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From rugged campers to casual caravaners, The Ruins campground is the perfect spot for nearly anyone. A beautiful area fringed by cabbage tree palms and paperbarks, it has everything you need, from picnic tables and barbecues to hot showers and drinking water.

But the real charm lies in what’s nearby. Don’t forget your swimmers–whether you prefer the beach or a sheltered lake, both are just a stone’s throw away. Seven Mile Beach offers gorgeous sand and whale watching in the winter. Wallis Lake is perfect for relaxing beneath a tree or launching the kayak for a cool afternoon paddle.

You can even hike along the Booti Hill and Wallis Lake walking track, which includes scenic lookouts and a direct link to Elizabeth Beach - perfect for surfing and seasonally patrolled. Keep your eyes open for graceful shore birds along the challenging walk.

But if all else fails and you just feel like taking time out relaxing with a coffee and a newspaper, The Ruins campground is also an easy drive from cafes in Pacific Palms.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/camping-and-accommodation/campgrounds/the-ruins-campground-and-picnic-area/local-alerts

Bookings

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about the The Ruins campground and picnic area.

Getting there and parking

The Ruins campground and picnic area is located in Booti Booti National Park.

To get there from Forster:

  • Follow The Lakes Way for 15km towards Pacific Palms
  • Turn left into the campground

To get there from the Pacific Highway near Bulahdelah:

  • Follow The Lakes Way for 45km
  • Turn right into the campground

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Tent and drive-on campsites allow for 1 vehicle to park directly on the site. Tent only campsites provide parking for a maximum of 2 vehicles next to the site. There's limited additional parking within this campground.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Booti Booti National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

Spring

See the park's magnificent wildflower displays as they bloom across the heathlands.

Summer

Swim at the seasonally patrolled Elizabeth Beach or kayak in Wallis Lake while staying at the nearby The Ruins campground.

Winter

Visit Cape Hawke lookout to watch whales migrating off the coast.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

15°C and 30°C

Highest recorded

45.2°C

Winter temperature

Average

5°C and 20°C

Lowest recorded

-5°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

March

Driest month

September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

280.2mm

Facilities

  • Campsites are marked, unpowered and suitable for motorhomes, caravans, camper trailers, campervans and tents.
  • Rubbish and recycling bins are available at the campground.

Toilets

  • Flush toilets

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

  • Gas/electric barbecues (free)

Carpark

Drinking water

Showers

  • Hot showers

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Beach safety

Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents. These beach safety tips will help you and your family stay safe in the water.

Camping safety

Whether you're pitching your tent on the coast or up on the mountains, there are many things to consider when camping in NSW national parks. Find out how to stay safe when camping.

Fishing safety

Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing safety tips.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Accessibility

Disability access level - medium

You might need help to access this area. A wheelchair accessible toilet and shower is available.

Prohibited

  • Amplified music is not permitted
  • Possession or use of fireworks is not permitted
  • Please don't tie ropes to trees. It can cause damage which may lead to tree removal and the loss of shade
  • Please be considerate of other campers and keep noise low—noise must stop from 10pm.
  • This is a family friendly campground. Visitors displaying anti-social, offensive or dangerous behaviour will be asked to leave the campground.

Camp fires and solid fuel burners

Generators

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Bulahdelah (41 km)

Buladelah is the gateway to Myall Lakes National Park. It's situated on the Myall River, with a backdrop of soaring, forested hills.

www.visitnsw.com

Forster (35 km)

Dominated by water sports Forster is the centre of the Great Lakes area.

www.visitnsw.com

Taree (66 km)

Taree is a major mid North Coast city, ringed by superb beaches. It's situated on the Manning River and set against rolling hills.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

The Ruins campground and picnic area is in Booti Booti National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A haven for birds and birdwatchers alike

Elizabeth Beach picnic area, Booti Booti National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Booti Booti National Park features a substantial number of amphibians and reptiles, including red-bellied black snakes, brown snakes, rose-crowned snakes and blue-bellied swamp snakes. Goannas are regular visitors to The Ruins campground and picnic areas, and you may even be lucky enough to see a land mullet or water dragon. The unusual peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and Wallis Lake also provides an outstanding habitat for over 210 species of birds, including rainbow and scaly-breasted lorikeets, yellow-faced honeyeaters and silvereyes, as well as a number of waterbirds, including pelicans and the endangered little tern.

  • Cape Hawke lookout Just five minutes from Forster, the Cape Hawke lookout offers spectacular 360-degree views along the coast from the top of a dedicated tower, perfect for whale watching.
  • Elizabeth Beach picnic area A short drive from Forster, Elizabeth Beach picnic area offers a great spot to relax near a beach popular for swimming, surfing, and whale watching in winter.
  • Sailing Club picnic area An alternative to the ocean-front options of Booti Booti National Park, Sailing Club picnic area offers a shady rest spot on the shore of Wallis Lake.

Aye, Captain

Cape Hawke lookout, Booti Booti National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Captain Cook first sighted Cape Hawke on May 12, 1770, and named it in honour of the First Lord of the Admiralty, Edward Hawke. The famous explorer and surveyor John Oxley later passed through the area in 1818. The first European inhabitant was Captain J. Gogerly, who sailed between Forster and Sydney ferrying timber, oyster shells, and sandstone. Today you can pay respects to Captain Gogerly and some of his relatives at their gravemarkers, across the road from the Ruins campground.

Spirituality, identity and lifestyle

Boomerang Beach, Booti Booti National Park. Photo: Ian Charles

Booti Booti National Park holds important cultural significance for the Worimi Aboriginal people, who have lived on and used the land and waters for many thousands of years. Dozens of Aboringal sites exist within the park, including artefact scatters, stone quarries, tool sites, and shell middens. These are important markers of Aboriginal history in the region, demonstrating how land, water, plants and animals contributed to and continue to have significance for Aboriginal identity, spirituality, and lifestyle.

Education resources (1)

School excursions (1)