Suggestions for Day Parking a 6-Berth RV in Sydney

My family and I are taking an Apollo RV one-way from Brisbane to Melbourne.

To make a long story short, my wife has her heart set on showing the kids Sydney on a day-trip while we pass through there.

My idea is to park the RV somewhere close to public transportation for the whole day (I'd prefer the parking be close to a train station as opposed to a bus route as we don't have Opal cards and anyway, a train ride is nicer and takes you right to the docks).

We'd take the train in to Circular Quay, take a ferry to Manly, basically focus our time around the harbour, then return to our RV before sunset and drive to a powered site no more than an hour away from the city along the Hume.

The night before we get into Sydney we will be at a holiday park in Port Stevens, so at least 2.5 hours of the morning will already be spent driving by the time we get to Sydney. This doesn't leave me a lot of room for error about finding a parking spot. I want to be able to plan everything now so that I can put my anxieties to rest.

THE PARKING DOESN'T HAVE TO BE FREE but I don't want it to be exorbitantly expensive either.

But wherever it is needs to have plenty of vertical clearance (the RV is 3.3 meters tall, so many parking garages are ruled out) and accommodate wide and long vehicles. If it's street parking, it would need to be somewhere with wide streets and not crowded. The idea of parallel parking this rig makes me nauseous. Squeezing into a crowded mall-style parking lot with a tight spot between two cars would also be a recipe for disaster. This thing will stick out of most regular sized parking spots.

Can anyone help me be the hero to my family? I was literally losing sleep about this last night. I don't know Sydney well enough to know what to do.

P.S. I looked into staying at the Lane Cove Caravan Park, which everyone says is a great option for exploring the city, and they have no room. I'm open to other ideas.


  • +1

    This one is on the South side of Sydney and a short walk to Miranda train station: Sydney Tourist Park

    • Thanks, I'll look into that one.

  • +2

    Artarmon station on the northside has parking all day within about 10 minutes walk max.

    Alternatively since you are going from Brissie, to Melbourne, its probably better to go to one of the northern rail stations of Pennant hills road, which means you can bypass the city, less miles and less congestion when you restart your trip.

    Pick a smaller station where not all the trains stop eg Thornleigh Normanhurst. Your opportunity may vary depending on day and time you are planning on travelling.

    Trains go to Central via Strathfield

    • Thanks! But would an RV fit in the parking spaces at these stations?

      Let me ask you: Are you familiar with Campbellfield in the south? Is there adequate station parking near that terminus? There is a caravan park close to there called "Poplar Tourist Park" that would work really well and the train to Circular Quay is only an hour and six minutes away and under $5. Not bad.

      • +1

        Of course, although you maybe a few blocks from the station. See also Mskeggs points below. These are all stations about 40 minutes ride from Central.

        Plus you are close to the link between the M1 which ends at Wahroonga and the M7 which runs south on the outer part of Sydney (the Bypass, which you would be driving anyway to get to Melbourne) Or if you are wanting to avoid tolls, the Cumberland Highway. At the end of the M1 there is now the tunnel linking it to the M7 which you wouldnt travel on, saving you that toll.

        And as Mskeggs says these are more in general, family type suburbs with bigger blocks wider streets, where it would be safer/easier to park in. I am assuming at "worst" sizewise you are driving a Mercedes type camper van, which would be relatively easy to park there.

        You can drop the family off at the Station then go and park, so its a little more discrete.

        Sorry no info about Cambellfield, thats like another world to me.

  • +1

    I think your expecting a lot of Sydney and the traffic, relying on public tpt to be on time, and specially at the end of the day and drive to a powered site 1 hour away…

    Where do you expect to get to on the night out of Sydney?

    If you can go 2 days, Caravan Park out Penrith, have a relaxing day instead of National Lampoons Wally world trip and then your aimed south ready to go in the morning

    • We are going Bris ==> Coffs Harbour [2 nights] ==> Port Stephens [2 nights] ==> Caravan Park on the south side of Sydney [One night] ==> Wagga Wagga [One night, my wife wants to check it out instead of Albury/Wadonga where we've seen] ==> Apollo terminal Melbourne [by 2:30pm cutoff time].

      Because my wife does not want to drive over five hours in any given day, we figure we have to pick a caravan park on the southwest fringes of the Sydney region because it will shorten our drive the next day to Wagga.

      We are spending two nights at Coffs Harbour and Port Stevens because basically this time of year there is a two night minimum at all the better caravan parks in these areas. Anyway, they're gorgeous and worth the extra time.

      If it were up to me, I'd save showing the kids Sydney for a cheap Jetstar getaway and take the slower but scenic route from the Blue Mountains towards Wagga Wagga, staying somewhere in the Blue Mountains.

      But my wife really wants to show the kids Sydney Harbour/Bridge/Opera House. My kids are 11 (boy) and 6 (girl).

      We aren't expecting to go far out of Sydney that night but just the Poplar Tourist Park, which is in an area called Camden on the Nepean River. It's cheap and the sites are plentiful. It will do.

      We can't extend the trip. It's a relocation deal and we've maxed out the optional days.

      • Camden is quite a way out of the city…

        • Well, that's the idea, to get into a quiet area. Google Maps says it is only one hour drive from the northern suburbs so it is very doable.

          • +2

            @coolrunnings: If your at Camden then I would check out the one of the train stations on the Air Port line to see if there are any area where you can park the van.

            Sydney in peak hours will be a nightmare in the van, so if you could I would check out places like Leumeah or Minto or Ingleburn as they are close to Camdeb and you may find a park near the station and take just over an hour to get to Circular Quay.

  • +2

    my wife has her heart set on showing the kids Sydney

    How old are the kids?

    < 10 - they won't give a shite about Sydney

    • +1

      and if they are >10 they dont give a shite about Sydney

      • +8

        If they're exactly 10? That's the sweet spot - they'll adore Sydney

        • +1

          birthday trip….

    • +3

      I disagree. Seeing the Opera House and walking over the bridge are fun things to do as a kid.

    • 11 and 6. They are psyched.

      • Awesome. Have fun

  • +2

    Most of Sydney is quarter acre blocks if you move more than 500m from a train station. Any of the stations from Hornsby (42mins to city) to about Kilara would have plenty of free street parking not very many blocks from the station, choose a spot next to a park or similar and nobody will be fussed about your big vehicle.
    If it isnโ€™t a Saturday morning there will likely be asphalt parking next to the sports fields you can occupy without drama.
    These suburbs would be unlikely to have much crime to be concerned with in your regard either. I think Iโ€™d rather leave my van unattended for the day on the street in Turramurra than in a caravan park in the outer burbs.

    If you go further into town you will find more small blocks, more apartments and more competition for parking, but even pretty close to the city (3 or 4 Train stops out) you could probably find a park, but it would be stressful, and probably mean a longer walk and more hassles.

    • +2

      Agree although, since they are travelling to Melbourne, Thornleigh and Normanhurst saves them from doubling back or cutting across town. I think we are both correct that either strategies are suitable. Ease, safety and convenience apply with these northern suburbs

      • +2

        Running with Rocky raccoon's good suggestion, I can't imagine you'd have any problems somewhere like this:
        Dropped pin

        Or like this:
        Dropped pin

        Would be 10min or so walk from the station, and not bothering anybody.

        • +2

          Such sleuthing skills ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘ Poirot would be impressed.

        • THANK YOU. Looking at where you've pinned on the map, I can visualise places to park the RV for the day that, as you say, would not be full of parked cars and would be an easy stroll to the station. Two hours drive from Port Stevens in the morning and one hour drive in the evening from the campsite I was eyeing on the Nepean River at Camden. Perfection.

  • +1

    You could think about off street parking (bottom of Charles St?) or in the carpark (might be a bit tight in a long/high vehicle) near the ferry terminal at Kissing Point, Putney or off street near the ferry terminal at meadowbank.

    If the latter you would also have the choice of taking the train.

    Use google maps/street view to check it out.

    • Thanks, this would be a good option if we decide to avoid the train altogether and just stick to the ferries.

      • +1

        As someone who used to live in Meadowbank, I second this option. Should be able to find parking at or near Kissing Pt Ferry, on-street would be fine around there. Can see harbour bridge and opera house from on the ferry. Get off at Circular Quay, walk across bridge, have lunch at Kirribilli, catch ferry back from McMahons Pt (may have to change ferries from there though).
        Could be back on the road again in 3 or 4 hours. Too easy!

        • THANKS, this is really helpful and a great alternate option for shortening the excursion, especially if we are tiring or get a late start from Port Stevens. I would never have known about this.

  • Sorry for hijacking your post OP, but would these type of vehicles, being fully self contained, be suitable for free camping at night without having to bother about booking caravan parks and paying fees?
    Or would it be too risky?

    • I have free camped in one of these. They are designed to be able to go at least one night without being plugged in. The big power draw is the refrigerator. I camped in an RV like this in the Coorong region of South Australia, in a deserted parking lot near some fishing pier. Nobody cared.

      • You're better off using smaller camper van for free camping, in my opinion. You have to be smart about it. Some areas are posted no camping, others are really not a problem. Do your research on the internet before going or ask locals for advice if you want to be spontaneous.

        • Yes I think it is a great idea to hire one of these (or even better buy one) and not have to worry about booking the often full caravan parks (especially during school holidays).
          Some have a gas fridge that makes them even less reliant on power.
          And it looks quite comfortable!
          The only concern would be about the safety of sleeping in a vehicle in a public place. I suppose it would not be very different from leaving the vehicle parked on the road anyway.

  • If it's a week day, should be easy enough to find parking at centennial park ..somewhere along this will fit the van

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