The Ruins campground and picnic area
Booti Booti National Park
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.
|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|
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.|
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 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
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in Booti Booti National Park in the North Coast region
Booti Booti National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
Park entry fees:
$8 per vehicle per day. Day passes are available from the Manning Great Lakes Area Office, Tea Gardens Visitor Information Centre, Bulahdelah Visitor Information Centre and the Hawks Nest Newsagency.Buy annual pass.
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
- Sealed roads
- 2WD vehicles
- All weather
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.
See the park's magnificent wildflower displays as they bloom across the heathlands.
Swim at the seasonally patrolled Elizabeth Beach or kayak in Wallis Lake while staying at the nearby The Ruins campground.
Visit Cape Hawke lookout to watch whales migrating off the coast.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
15°C and 30°C
5°C and 20°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
- Campsites are marked, unpowered and suitable for motorhomes, caravans, camper trailers, campervans and tents.
- Rubbish and recycling bins are available at the campground.
- Flush toilets
- Gas/electric barbecues (free)
- Hot showers
Maps and downloads
Disability access level - medium
You might need help to access this area. A wheelchair accessible toilet and shower is available.
- 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
NSW national parks are no smoking areas.
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
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.
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.
- Booti Hill and Wallis Lake walking track Just 20km from Forster, this thrilling track offers a scenic day walk including beaches, Wallis Lake, and plenty of opportunities for swimming and whale watching.
Spirituality, identity and lifestyle
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.