Camping on private land
The information on this page will help landowners to navigate the approval pathways for different styles of camping on private property.
Camping includes tents, caravans, and other similar portable and lightweight temporary shelters that you can install, erect, or place on land for short-term use.
You will not need planning approval (because the development will be exempt) for camping on private property, if you meet certain criteria under either:
- Subdivision 16E - Farm Stay Accommodation: State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP). You will need to meet several development standards.
- Clause 77: Local Government (Manufactured Home Estates, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Moveable Dwellings) Regulation 2021.
Farm stay accommodation
Farm stay accommodation allows different types of accommodation as 'exempt development'. You will need to meet the exempt criteria in the Codes SEPP to apply this type of development.
Accommodation options include camping in tents, campervans, and caravans on private property. Some of the key requirements are:
- You must have a primary production business for tax purposes or rated as ‘farmland’ by Council.
- Your land must be zoned RU1 Primary Production or RU4 Primary Production Small Lots.
- Your land is 15 hectares or more.
Tents, campervans and caravans
Under Clause 77 of the Local Government (Manufactured Home Estates, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Moveable Dwellings) Regulation 2021, you can camp in tents, campervans, and caravans on private property if you meet either of these two criteria (in full):
- No more than two caravans, campervans, or tents if you plan for someone to stay in them for a short-term (no more than two consecutive days), for no more than 60 days a year.
- One caravan on land occupied by the owner of the caravan in connection with the owner’s dwelling house, if the caravan is both:
- (i) used for habitation only by the owner or members of the owner’s household
- (ii) maintained in a safe and healthy condition.
Clause 77 includes further exemptions. We recommend you review this clause often to keep updated on current standards.
If you do not meet the exempt development criteria, you may still be able to provide camping accommodation on your land. You could get approval through a Development Application (DA) for:
- farm stay accommodation
- primitive camping ground
- caravan park or camping ground
- eco tourist facility.
You may also have to provide Council with more detailed information when you lodge your DA. The level of information will depend on the restrictions that apply to the site.
If you would like to lodge a DA, Council recommends that you engage a qualified planning consultant to help navigate the approval process.
Council's planning documents that apply are:
You will also need to consider NSW Government legislation:
- NSW Department of Planning and Environment: State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) Amendment (Agritourism) 2022
- NSW Legislation: Clause 77 of the Local Government (Manufactured Home Estates, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Moveable Dwellings) Regulation 2021
- NSW Legislation: Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979
- NSW Legislation: Local Government (Manufactured Home Estates, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Moveable Dwellings) Regulations 2021
- NSW Legislation: Local Government Act 1993 No 30
- Caravan: a moveable dwelling designed to be capable of being registered (within the meaning of the Road Transport Act 2013) as a trailer but does not include a camper trailer.
- Campervan: a moveable dwelling (other than a caravan) designed to be capable of being registered (within the meaning of the Road Transport Act 2013) as a motor vehicle and includes a camper trailer.
We can help you
If you have any queries about camping on private property or the approval process, contact our Development Help Desk:
- T: 02 4474 1231
- E: Development Help Desk