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australia:vic:campgroundsnearmelbourne

non-commercial camp grounds for tents within 2 hours of Melbourne

see also:

  • there are no camp grounds in the Dandenong Ranges - closest is Kurth Kiln camp ground (not Kirth!)
  • there are almost no non-commercial camp grounds in west Gippsland, Phillip Island, or the south (beach) side of the Otways
    • can usually sleep in car in quieter beach car parks such as on Philip Island (Grossard Point Ventnor) although not legal unless if you are driving and tired and need to sleep - as long as you leave by dawn, however, there is a risk the council will fine you still, and public toilets are often hard to find
  • travel times are OFF-PEAK
  • CHECK before you go especially after severe weather events as many may be closed due to storm or flood damage, or the roads inaccessible
  • you are NOT permitted to drive onto beaches in Victoria (this is allowed in Sth Australia though but your insurance will probably not cover you!)
  • in general, you are NOT permitted to camp within 20m of a waterway in Victoria
  • in general, you cannot have solid fuel fires or BBQs in most commercial camp grounds, nor in some Nat Parks such as Wilsons Prom
  • most commercial camp grounds now require you bring a fire extinguisher (whether tent or van) and 15A tested power lead with earth leakage device if connecting to their power
  • you cannot take pets into National Parks and cats are banned in Halls Gap
  • BEFORE leaving for a free camp ground, decide on 3 camp ground options within 1 hour drive of each other and try to get to the 1st by 4pm to give you time to go to other options if that one is full or compromised
  • dogs are allowed at most non-commercial camp grounds in Victoria with some EXCEPTIONS:
    • National Parks generally do NOT allow dogs
    • in addition, dogs are NOT permitted at Murrindindi Scenic Reserve camping, Langi Ghiran State Park, Mount Buangor State Park
    • some other places require dogs on leashes

closest to NW suburbs under 1.5hrs excl. small bush camps

  • Longridge, Warrandyte
    • 45min from NW subs;
    • single group booking only for the whole campground for up to 40 people $182/n minimum 2 night booking
    • peaceful place to camp along the Yarra River, kayaking, fishing, camp fires
    • 49min from NW suburbs; 1hr 15min from CBD via Gisborne; including 22min 12.5km on gravel 2WD dry weather road; NOT for caravans;
    • toilets at bottom end, fireplaces; ~530m elevation; slow shallow stream; large loop camp area;
    • this new campground replaces O'Brien's Crossing camp area which is now only a day visitors area
  • Firth Park, Trentham
    • 50min from NW suburbs; 1hr 16min from CBD; not great site, very cold; elevation ~700m;
    • 60min from NW subs; OK if you just want to escape and enjoy the camping experience but not much to do around there unless you are into trailbiking or shooting;
    • 63min from NW subs just off the Calder Fway; 600m elevation, forest; <1km gravel loop within the grounds; flush toilets; easy walks to interesting rock formations and views;
    • very popular on weekends for young adults from north of Melbourne, or from Bendigo; check there is not a major trailbike competition on at Oak Forest!
    • 64min from NW subs; near Vaughan Springs; popular spot next to a stream; packed with caravans long weekends;
    • approx 300m elevation
  • Flat Rock camp site, Tallarook (large bush camp - Flat Rock Track past camp ? needs 4WD + winch?)
    • 68min from NW subs; 630m elevation
  • Freemans Camp Tallarook Ennis Rd
    • 70min from NW subs; near Flat Rock; densely forested small ground;
    • 70min from NW suburbs; online bookings; ~250m elevation in valley; historic gold mining relics;
  • Inverleigh town camp on river
    • free camping available on the other side of the bridge and also down along the Barwon river both easy walks into the town, it's got good facilities.
    • 70min from NW subs; 25min W of Geelong on Hamilton Hwy;
  • The Gums campground Kinglake NP - wet forest camp
    • 72min from NW subs; 18 campsites need booking; drop toilets; free communal gas barbeque; wood fireplaces; BYO water, firewood; ~330m elevation;
  • Slaty creek camp ground Creswick
    • 75min from NW suburbs; ~400m elevation; Mt Tarrengower hits 571m; historic gold mining relics;
  • Vaughan Springs camping area - currently closed for 2022 flood damage repairs
    • 75min from NW suburbs; only for few vans and 6 tents but its free although need to book? adjacent nice mineral springs, stream and bushwalk
    • 83min from NW suburbs; 180m elevation; one of the few free camps near the beach - ~21km, 22min drive to Anglesea or slightly more to Pt Addis;
    • lots of walk/horse/bike tracks; horse yards; dogs on leash;
    • 90min from NW subs; 2 grounds - booking Parks Vic one plus a free one a couple km to the nth; not much to do there but are overnight camps for those driving the GOR
    • 90min from NW subs; very large camp area along a stream, near Yea; need to pay online prior; very popular although not a lot to do there.
    • 86min off peak from NW subs; very large camp area near a stream near Gembrook; cool temperate rainforest;
    • 90min from NW suburbs, lots of sites along the Loddon River $15/n pay at hotel; on the banks of a nice river; hot showers (donation), walk to pub;
  • Major Creek Reserve camp Nagambie
    • 90min from NW suburbs; can be muddy; not much grass;
    • 90min from NW suburbs just off Hume fway; grassy open site alongside a creek;

those with toilets and hot showers

  • Longridge, Warrandyte
    • single group booking only for the whole campground for up to 40 people $182/n minimum 2 night booking
    • peaceful place to camp along the Yarra River, kayaking, fishing, camp fires
  • Mornington Peninsula Foreshore Camping
    • no wood fires allowed; no pets; nightly fees range from $28/n off peak unpowered to $71 peak powered
    • CLOSED over winter from end of April, re-opens late October;
    • need to book well in advance (bookings generally open start of August) for peak periods such as summer school holidays
  • Vaughan Springs camping area
    • 1hr 15min from NW suburbs; only for few vans and 6 tents but its free
  • Fryerstown community reserve
    • $10/n; wood fired pizza oven and campfire circle available; undercover verandah with power to charge phones;
    • 1.5hrs from NW suburbs, lots of sites along the Loddon River $15/n pay at hotel
    • 2hrs from NW suburbs; free camp up to 5 days
    • can get very dusty when windy
  • Greens Lake Recreation Reserve campground, Corop
    • 2hrs from NW suburbs; near Rochester and also near Aysons Reserve camp ground (but this has no showers)
    • hot showers but no temperature control so can be a bit too warm (new facility built in 2020)
    • large foreshore area mainly designed for boaters and fishers - may need to drive to get to the toilets it is that big
    • quite exposed to wind and sun
    • lake was officially decommissioned as a water storage / irrigation basin in 2019 with fish relocated in mid 2022 and with plans to turn it into wetlands so will probably only be full after flood events such as at end of 2022 when water was diverted into it
    • if you are not into boating, fishing or a hot shower perhaps give this one a miss - nearby Ayson's Reserve Camping Ground has a nicer ambience albeit no showers and less gravel roads/dust
    • NB. it is usually closed for New Years Eve!!
  • Smythesdale Gardens
    • huge camping area with water taps (not permitted in central fenced area); donation (at Smythesdale Roadhouse or Post Office); playground, camp kitchen, microwave, toaster, fireplace, one free electric BBQ, powerpoints; caravan dump point; lots of room for caravans and RVs; dogs on leash;
    • walk to shops, pub;
    • Contact Bill on 0409 145 267 or Dennis on 0418 503 938 for shower code
    • 53km Ballarat Skipton Rail Trail runs right alongside this campground
    • Rainbow Bird Trail walk; Woady Yaloak River Trail walk;
    • 21min drive from Ballarat; 1.5hrs from NW suburbs via Warrenheip, Mt Clear;
  • Fraser block at Lake Eildon
  • Molesworth recreation reserve
    • 1hr 45min from NW subs; just past Yea; on the Goulburn River; $25/n tents for 2p; caretaker on site; online bookings for unpowered sites; phone bookings for powered.
  • Loch Memorial Reserve near Korumburra
    • 1.5hrs from CBD; booking and fee required; drinking water, firepits; 95m elevation;
  • Bunyip recreation reserve near Drouin
    • closed winter; fee; bookings;
  • Heyfield Oval near Glenmaggie
    • 2hrs from Dandenong
    • coin showers
  • Lake Tooliorook, Lismore
    • 2hrs from NW suburbs ?$10/n
  • Chinese Gardens camp ground, Walhalla

those with toilets but NO showers

north-west of Melbourne

    • 53min from NW suburbs; 1hr 15min from CBD via Gisborne; including 22min 12.5km on gravel 2WD dry weather road;
    • toilets, fireplaces; ~530m elevation;
    • this new campground replaces O'Brien's Crossing camp area which is now only a day visitors area
  • Firth Park, Trentham
    • 50min from NW suburbs; 1hr 16min from CBD; not great site, very cold; elevation ~700m;
  • Ambler Lane campground Lerderderg
    • dry 4WD or hike in only; no wood fires; no potable water;
  • Redesdale Hotel
    • 3 night max; fire pits;
  • Glenlyon Rec Reserve
    • 1hr 20 from CBD; 570m elevation; toilets; donation;
  • Cork Oaks Mt Beckworth, Clunes
    • camp sites are ~400m elevation; Mt Beckworth hits 629m;
  • Slaty creek camp ground Creswick
    • 1.5hrs from CBD, good for panning for gold; ~520m elevation;
  • Campground One, Creswick Regional Park
    • nice creek but may be dry in summer
    • NB. campgrounds 2 and 3 no toilets, campground 3 have to cross a creek
    • 1hr from NW suburbs; 1.5hrs from CBD; ~650m elevation - similar temperatures as Woodend/Kyneton;
    • 1.5hrs from CBD near Vaughan Springs
    • approx 300m elevation
    • 1.5hrs from CBD, near Daylesford, inside a volcanic crater - very cold in winter!
    • 550m elevation in crater; Mt Franklin hits about 620m elevation;
    • 1hr 15min from NW suburbs; ~400m elevation; Mt Tarrengower hits 571m;
  • Happy Jack's Reserve, Lockwood
    • 14km SW of Bendigo
  • Laanecoorie River Reserve
    • 1.5hrs from NW suburbs; between Bendigo and Dunolly and NW of Maldon
    • ~160m elevation;
  • Waanyarra Camp ground
    • 1hr 50min from NW suburbs; 2hr 10min from CBD; via Laanecoorie; 203m elevation;
    • historic gold mining area, some buildings and old cemetery
    • between Tarnagulla and Dunolly
  • Eddington Park behind Community Centre
  • Paddy's Ranges Maryborough, rain water tank but not potable?
  • Moliagul campground
    • 2hrs from NW suburb Melb via Calder and 24min past Newbridge; 380m elevation;
    • nice massive boulder lookouts to explore plus 6km and 4.5km walks
    • great view from Mt Brenanah
  • Hard Hill Tourist Reserve, Wedderburn
    • 2hrs from NW suburbs; 205m elevation;
  • Notley camping area, Whipstick, north of Bendigo
    • 2hrs from CBD; 205m elevation;
  • Shadbolts picnic area, Whipstick, north of Bendigo
    • 17.5km N of Eaglehawk; unlike Notley it may have mobile phone reception but it is close to Eaglehawk-Neilborough Rd;
  • Flat Rock camp site, Tallarook
    • 1hr 20min from CBD; 630m elevation
  • Freemans Camp Tallarook Ennis Rd
    • near Flat Rock
  • Dargile camping ground, Heathcote-Graytown National Park
    • 1.5hrs from NW suburbs
    • 2hrs from CBD; 230m elevation; ~3km of good gravel road to access it;
    • has a nice ambience with some local short walks; dogs not allowed;
    • a few level caravan sites but most of the camping sites are sloping set amongst a fairly dense, dry eucalypt ironbark forest (presumably do not drop branches much)
    • brick shelter in the day picnic section which has some nice big old trees; unusually, has a flourishing grove of Sandalwood (NSW rainforest)
    • exposed to regular traffic on the gravel Plantation Tk
    • near Elmore, 1hr 50min from NW suburbs; 126m elevation; nice spot on a relatively deep slow flowing river which is good for kayaks, fishing or swimming;
    • flush toilets; large area, lots of flat sites, some shade spots - just don't camp directly under the river red gums!
    • very popular with grey nomads and those with small boats (boat ramp which doubles as a swimming area)
    • highly recommended for a weekend camp although you will get nearby traffic noise.
  • Lake Burrumbeet foreshore campground
    • free; 85min from NW suburbs; south end of the lake;
    • Smiths Bridge Camping Area, near Mt Buangor
      • 106min from NW suburbs;
      • next to road; tends to be popular with caravans and trailbikers
    • Richard's Campground, Mt Buangor near Raglan Falls
      • 108min from NW suburbs; 2km 2WD gravel road; short walk to waterfall;
      • free; lovely small grassed area next to a creek and amongst tall gums at the start of the overnight 20km Beeripmo Walk - so tends to be mainly used for hikers; car park is ~20-30m away;
    • Ditchfield's Campground, Mt Buangor
      • just under 2hrs from NW suburbs;
      • free; bollarded; best for campervans or motor homes; a few small tents could set up in the centre grassed area or risk being under tall gums;
      • 8km winding 2WD gravel road used by logging trucks
    • Ferntree Campground, Mt Buangor
    • Bailes Camping Area, Mt Buangor;
    • Middle Creek Camping Area, Mt Buangor
      • just under 2hrs from NW suburbs; nice large open campground where you can camp a long way from others in a woodland forest setting at the base of the mountain.
      • 30 non-numbered sites requiring Parks Vic booking; no pets; picnic shelter; short drive to Ferntree waterfalls (or hike)
    • Langi Ghiran Picnic And Camping Area, Warrak
      • 2hrs from NW suburbs; 400m elevation;
      • nice smallish free campground near Ararat; no dogs; some short day walks; lots of treed areas for shade;
      • Reservoir Walk ‒ 2.6km, 45 minutes return
      • Water-race Circuit – 5.1km, 1.5 hours return via the Reservoir Walk (included)
    • Chinaman's camp ground, Mount Cole
    • Bealiba Reservoir (there are water leeches)
      • just over 2hrs to NW via Dunolly or via Avoca

NE of Melbourne

  • Mt Disappointment / Clonbinane region (each of these you practically need to go back to the Hume Fwy to access)
    • Anderson’s garden in Wandong Regional Park
      • 55min from NW suburbs; 1hr 10min from CBD; near Wandong; ~350m elevation; next to creek, can be busy on wkends and not as much fun then, fairly flat but some motorbike noise; lots of space, picnic tables and firepits and 2 drop toilets; no caravan sites; 4WD track at end of camp site; vehicles must stay on road side of bollards so may not suit 4WD campers with awnings;
      • 4G Telstra reception in 2023;
      • 1.5hr 6km Sunday Creek loop walk - its OK for some exercise but nothing special
      • 55min to Longwood Recreational reserve; 1hr to The Gums camp ground Kinglake; 71min to Water Gauge camp Murrundindi; 1.25hrs to Dargile camp ground Heathcote; 1.5hr to Aysons Reserve; 1.5hrs to Rubicon camp grounds near Eildon; 1.5hrs to Leanganook camp ground Mount Alexander on the Calder fwy
    • Blairs Hut, Mt Disappointment, near Kinglake
      • 65min from NW suburbs via Wallan ignore Google, stay on Mt Disappointment Rd else need 4WD!; elevation ~700m; seasonally closed road access!
      • nice 1.5hr summit walk; toilets; tent camping only;
    • No 1 Camp just off Flowerdale Rd
      • nice fairly remote spot, able to camp with vans or tents, lots of space, picnic tables and firepits and 2 drop toilets (much better for vans than Andersons gardens)
      • there is also a separate horse camp over the road
      • a bit of gravel roads to get there and can feel a bit too remote and desolate for some while others will love this aspect
      • 1hr from NW suburbs via Wandong and Clonbinane; elevation ~560m; 7min drive to Strath Creek Falls; 33min to Flowerdale via Murchison Gap Lookout and Strath Creek; 30min to Flowerdale via Hazeldene; 1hr to Water Gauge campground Murrundindi via Flowerdale. 23min from Andersons Garden via Clonbinane; 35min to Blairs Hut via Mt Disappointment - 4WD only track;
  • Freeman's Camp, Tallarook
    • 1hr 15min from NW suburbs
    • grassed terraces on a steep hillside above the small Mill Creek but can't park next to tent; ~5 sites with space for 2 cars each; lovely forest but too much slope for kids;
    • Only a couple of the fenced, level parking areas are large enough for campervans; popular with motor bike campers so it could be crowded and noisy at weekends; no swimming or fishing;
    • several bush camps are also nearby - Flat Rock, Trawool Reservoir and Tassie camp - although these may need 4WD
    • 1.5hrs from NW suburbs just off Hume fway
  • Nagambie
    • Major Creek Reserve camp and adjacent Get on the Beers camp ground
      • large camp ground alongside a small lake formed by the Major Creek, suitable for canoes, swimming or fishing
      • 2WD accessible and plenty of room for a caravan. Can be a long walk to the toilet as only one area near it.
      • No firewood around camp, but plenty a short drive up the road. Busy at long weekends and fishing comp in late March.
      • very hard bare sandy silt soil may be very dusty when dry and windy, mushy when wet and can have deep ruts making parts not accessible for caravans
      • 15km SW of Nagambie and close to Mitcheltown Winery which is on the Goulburn River
      • under 1.5hrs from NW suburbs via Seymour
      • 1hr 45min from NW suburbs via Lancefield
      • 33min to Greens Reserve camp, Whroo gold mine
      • 41min from Heathcote
  • Maritz Bend on the Goulburn River nth of Murchison
    • just under 2hrs from NW subs; 2WD; nice sandy beach and swimming hole, so this site can be popular in warm weather; canoes;
    • 20 campsites are grassy with a choice of shaded or sunny spots; some interesting 4wd trails;
  • The Gums campground Kinglake NP
    • 1hr 20min from CBD; 18 campsites; drop toilets; free communal gas barbeque; wood fireplaces; BYO water, firewood; ~330m elevation;
    • small, damp, shaded campground amongst tall eucalypts
    • short, narrow two-way entry/exit road tends to have deep pot holes
    • Murrindindi Scenic Reserve camping may be a better option although at least at The Gums you can be guaranteed a site if you have booked it online
  • Cherry Lane, Toolangi recreation reserve
    • 48hr stays; 1hr 22min from NW suburbs; on the banks of Yea River (not suitable for swimming, kayaking or fishing); pleasant, shaded and well maintained area surrounded by tall Mountain Ash;
    • an area for small caravans/campervans to park (BUT Not great for camper trailers or vans as it’s small), or you can carry your gear through a gate to set up tents on the grass; ~15 sites;
    • non-potable tank ater; flush toilets; fireplace; electric BBQ;
    • Donations can be made via BSB and Acct no. on signage;
  • Two Hills campground, Toolangi State Forest, Glenburn
    • 3-4 sites on rock hard ground; dusty, gravelled forest clearing on a broad ridge; well shaded by Peppermint and Messmate ;
    • Popular with trail bikers so can be noisy and can be littered; resident black snake;
    • similar but smaller site 300m up Two Hills Rd just before the Marginal Rd junction
    • 1hr 40mins from NW subs via Yarra Glen and Glenburn; 1hr 50min from NW subs via Hume fwy, Broadford, Flowerdale;
    • 100 camp sites in 6 areas; 260m elevation; drop toilet; fireplace; stream but needs to be boiled for drinking; No dogs;
  • Anderson's Mill Marysville
    • 1hr 45min from CBD; 550m elevation;
    • long gravel road access; not many sites; leeches; horse stables; wild dogs can be an issue for your own dogs;
  • Cook's Mill Cathedral Ranges
    • 2hrs from CBD; 360m elevation bookings
    • no phone signal; campground split into two halves; sites have fire pits; nice stream at day area; shaded by Peppermint, Blackwood and Red Stringybark gum trees;
    • water tank; rocks and bollards limit areas where you can camp next to vehicle;
  • Ned's Gully Cathedral Ranges
  • King Parrot Rest Area
    • overnight only
  • Molesworth pub
    • small fee;
  • Yea pub
  • Yarck oval
    • toilets, bakery and pub within 100m
    • 2hrs from NW suburbs or CBD via Healesville or via Yea; 310m elevation;
    • adjacent to fast flowing small river, great for bathing in although water is generally cold, and nice walks along old waterways through forest
    • Kendall's campground closes Kings BDay to Cup Day
    • Boy's campground stays open all year round
  • Jerusalem Creek Lake Eildon
  • Trawool Wildlife Reserve Campground near the Gouldburn River and Horseshoe Lagoon Nature Reserve
    • walk in camp on the north bank of the Goulburn River; 100m walk from carpark; 7 sites; no firepits; swimming holes and kayaking;
    • Public access over private land but may be closed after flood events;
    • You open the gate. Drive in then close the gate. The farmer want to keep there stock out of there. Treat it with respect. Any gates that are shut when you get to them you close behind your self.
    • It does get a bit wet down there but said to be a good spot although may need to do short walk to camping area
  • Brooks river reserve camping
    • near Alexandria on the Goulburn River; popular campsite during trout season
    • 5 camp sites;
    • 1hr 52min from NW subs;

SE of Melbourne

  • Upper Yarra Reservoir camping area:
    • bookings - toilets at the reservoir
    • 2hrs+ from NW subs
    • 1hr 20min from CBD; near Gembrook; elevation 220m;
  • Nash Creek, Gembrook, Bunyip State Park
  • Mortimer picnic ground in Bunyip State park
    • tents but no vans; fire pits, drop toilets; pretty next to a creek
  • Forest Rd Unloading Area, Labertouche, north of Bunyip/Drouin
    • not for vans; very small for 1 group only, situated right next to a bike unloading area on the edge of Bunyip SP. Drop toilet is closer to the unloading area than the campground
  • Start of tramway, Smyth Ck Rd, Big Pats Creek south of East Warburton
    • fire pits;
    • 1hr 50min from NW suburbs; 1.5hrs from CBD; 200m elevation;
  • Latrobe River campground between Powelltown and Noojee
    • just under 2hrs from NW suburbs; forest site with bracken fern undergrowth; 320m elevation;
    • nice campground with 8 sites all with fire pits, one large site near the entrance, 5 up around the top toilet and 2 down near the second drop loo. Short drive to the river;
    • some bush sites as well;
  • Starlings Gap picnic and camping area, north of Powelltown
    • 1hr 40min from CBD; 760m elevation
  • Toorongo Falls campground, Noojee
    • large grassy campground adjacent the fast flowing fairly shallow river amongst forest and ferns, walk track to waterfalls; firepits;
    • 𝗖𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗡𝗼. 𝟮 𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗹𝗼𝘀𝗲𝗱 (𝗴𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱) 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗼𝗱, 𝗿𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗻 𝟮𝗻𝗱 𝗡𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿 however Campground 1 is open all year usually.
    • 2hrs from Melbourne
  • The Poplars, Noojee
    • just under 2hrs from Melb CBD via Drouin West and Neerim (15min longer via Lilydale, Yarra Junction and Powelltown)
    • 320m elevation, large grassy camp ground along the Loch River amongst tall gums
    • 2 sets drop toilets; shelter; bollarded grassy tent camping so can't camp next to car except on small gravel areas many of which would just fit a caravan but you would have have bollards alongside
  • Walhalla free camping
    • ~2hrs from CBD via Moe
    • Walhalla North Gardens Campground
    • Chinese Gardens camp ground, Walhalla
    • Coopers Creek
      • very popular camp ground but can be noisy on weekends
    • Aberfeldy Bridge on Walhalla Rd
      • not as well known as Coopers creek camp as it is 45min 26km to the north and near Thompson Reservoir, ie, 16km and 26min to north of Walhalla
  • Fairhaven campground on west side of French Island;
    • 6 sites, near ferry; must book, no charge;
  • Longwarry Nth recreation reserve near Drouin
    • toilets, water, bbqs, free; 1 night only;

SW of Melbourne

  • Steiglitz Brisbane Ranges
    • 70min from NW suburbs; online bookings; ~250m elevation in valley;
  • Inverleigh
    • free camping available on the other side of the bridge (but next to highway and not great ambience - best for RVs and campervans) and also down along the Barwon river both easy walks into the town, it's got good facilities.
    • 70min from NW subs; 25min W of Geelong on Hamilton Hwy;
  • Winchelsea RV camp
    • alongside the Barwon River near township but no tents allowed - RVs must be self-contained;
    • perhaps the BEST free option for caravans to access the eastern part of the Otways as Tanners Rd and Hammond Rd camps are not really suitable for caravans
    • 84min from NW suburbs;
    • 83min from NW suburbs; 180m elevation; one of the few free camps near the beach - ~21km, 22min drive to Anglesea or slightly more to Pt Addis;
    • lots of walk/horse/bike tracks; horse yards; dogs on leash;
    • drier and warmer than Hammonds but not as nice an ambience
    • ~7km gravel road from Anglesea direction;
  • Hammond Rd North, Wensleydale, Otways
    • 90min from NW subs; 280m elevation;
    • 12 separate vehicle sites; nice overnighter small free camp;
    • dogs allowed; 3min drive Nth of main camp ground; ~10km gravel road from Bambra, ~11km of gravel road to Aireys Inlet
    • NOT for caravans or large rigs
    • 18min to Airey's Inlet
  • main Hammond Rd camp ground, Wensleydale, Otways
    • nice overnighter quiet small camp for tents or campervans near Airey's Inlet
    • 90min from NW subs;
    • 16 sites which require booking online with Parks Vic; 360m elevation; 8km gravel road from Bambra, ~9km of gravel road to Aireys Inlet
    • nicer than Hammond Rd North or Tanners Rd due to some Telstra internet access, small dam, grassed areas and plenty of sunlit areas to dry out gear but requires booking online which you can do when you get there if you are with Telstra
    • nicer camp ground with a small non-potable water hole, main tent sites have raised wooden platforms to dry out tents and gear;
    • no dogs allowed
    • 16min, 13km from Aireys Inlet
    • NOT for caravans or large rigs
    • ~110min from NW suburbs; nice over-nighter;
    • 13 sites Parks Vic booking required; 430m elevation; near the Mt Sabine Rd intersection with Deans Marsh-Lorne Rd;
    • 14min (11km) from Lorne; 21min to Erskine Falls; 26min from Hammond Rd camp; 30min from Winchelsea;
  • Meredith Park, Lake Colac
    • flush toilets, long narrow camping along northern foreshore, gets very windy, close to Otways, thefts from cars is problematic so ensure all valuables are locked away and out of view.
    • 110min from NW subs; 10min by car to Colac
  • Lake Elizabeth Otways
    • 2hrs 6min from CBD; 200m elevation bookings
    • lots of mozzies and leaches as one might expect
  • Allenvale Mill near Lorne
    • need to walk 100-200m from carpark hence tents only
    • Parks Vic bookings
  • Cumberland River Holiday Park
    • commercial camp ground in lovely setting alongside river and beach
    • just over 2hrs from W suburbs
    • just over 2hrs from W suburbs
    • lovely overnighter Parks Vic campground with ocean views and near beach but requires online Parks Vic bookings
    • 2.5hrs from CBD via Colac; 111m elevation; nice river access (Gelibrand River)
    • very large campground, so can get noisy and busy;
    • 2.5hrs from CBD; 452m elevation; tends to be cold and often shrouded in cloud/fog;
    • camping area is on a level perch with a westerly outlook over plantations; Gravel sites for RVs and grassed areas for tents. Toilets and picnic shelter;

By elevation above sea level

  • every 100m elevation is generally 1degC colder

under 200m elevation

  • Mornington Peninsula Foreshore Camping
  • Loch Memorial Reserve near Korumburra
    • booking and fee required; hot showers, drinking water, firepits; 95m elevation;
  • Ayson's Reserve, Burnewang
    • 1hr 50min from NW suburbs; 126m elevation
  • Stevenson’s falls Otways
    • 2hrs from SW suburbs; 150m elevation;
    • 1.5hrs from NW suburbs; hot showers $15/n; ~155m elevation;
  • Laanecoorie River Reserve
    • 1.5hrs from NW suburbs; between Bendigo and Dunolly and NW of Maldon
    • ~160m elevation;
  • Tanners Road Bend campground Otways, NW of Anglesea
    • 1.5hrs from CBD; 180m elevation;
  • Lake Elizabeth Otways
    • 2hrs 6min from CBD; 200m elevation
  • Start of tramway, Smyth Ck Rd, Big Pats Creek south of East Warburton
    • fire pits;
    • 1hr 50min from NW suburbs; 1.5hrs from CBD; 200m elevation;

200-400m elevation

  • Waanyarra Camp ground
    • 1hr 50min from NW suburbs; 2hr 10min from CBD; via Laanecoorie; 203m elevation;
    • historic gold mining area, some buildings and old cemetery
    • between Tarnagulla and Dunolly
  • Notley camping area, Whipstick, north of Bendigo
    • 2hrs from CBD; 205m elevation;
  • Hard Hill Tourist Reserve, Wedderburn
    • 2hrs from NW suburbs; 205m elevation;
    • 1hr 20min from CBD; near Gembrook; elevation 220m;
  • Dargile camping ground, Heathcote
    • 2hrs from CBD; 230m elevation
  • Steiglitz Brisbane Ranges
    • 70min from NW suburbs; online bookings; ~250m elevation in valley;
    • 1.5hrs from CBD via Yarra Glen and Glenburn; 100 camp sites in 6 areas; 260m elevation; drop toilet; fireplace; stream but needs to be boiled for drinking; elevation ~340m;
  • Vaughan Springs near Castlemaine
    • 70min from NW suburbs; only 6 sites but has hot showers
    • ~280m elevation near a lovely mineral spring picnic area and nice walks
  • Warburton's crossing near GlenLuce
    • 1.5hrs from CBD near Vaughan Springs
    • approx 300m elevation
  • Jerusalem Creek Lake Eildon
  • Rubicon valley
    • 2hrs from CBD; 310m elevation;
  • The Gums campground Kinglake NP
    • 1hr 20min from CBD; 18 campsites; drop toilets; free communal gas barbeque; wood fireplaces; BYO water, firewood; ~330m elevation;
  • Anderson’s garden in Wandong Regional Park
    • 55min from NW suburbs; 1hr 10min from CBD; near Wandong; ~350m elevation;
  • Cook's Mill Cathedral Ranges
    • 2hrs from CBD; 360m elevation
  • Melville Caves camp ground, Kooyoora State Park
    • 2hrs from NW suburb Melb via Calder and 24min past Newbridge; 380m elevation;
    • nice massive boulder lookouts to explore plus 6km and 4.5km walks
    • great view from Mt Brenanah
  • Langi Ghiran Picnic And Camping Area, Warrak
    • 2hrs from NW suburbs; 400m elevation;

400-600m elevation

  • Mt Beckworth, Clunes
    • camp sites are ~400m elevation; Mt Beckworth hits 629m;
  • Maldon Mt Tarrengower Butt's Reserve
    • 1hr 15min from NW suburbs; ~400m elevation; Mt Tarrengower hits 571m;
    • the nearby bush camps on north side of Mt Tarrengower Rd overlooking Maldon to NE are elevation 480m
    • Otways; 430m elevation;
  • Slaty creek camp ground Creswick
    • 1.5hrs from CBD, good for panning for gold; ~520m elevation;
  • Lerderderg Campground
    • 53min from NW suburbs; 1hr 15min from CBD via Gisborne; including 22min 12.5km on gravel 2WD dry weather road;
    • toilets, fireplaces; ~530m elevation;
    • this new campground replaces O'Brien's Crossing camp area which is now only a day visitors area
  • Mt Franklin Reserve
    • 1.5hrs from CBD, near Daylesford, inside a volcanic crater - very cold in winter!
    • 550m elevation in crater; Mt Franklin hits about 620m elevation;
  • Anderson's Mill Marysville
    • 1hr 45min from CBD; 550m elevation;
  • Glenlyon Rec Reserve
    • 1hr 20 from CBD; 570m elevation; toilets; donation;
  • Werribee River camp ground, Spargo Creek, north of Ballan
    • 55min from NW suburbs; firepits but no toilets; ~590m elevation;

600-800m elevation

  • Flat Rock camp site, Tallarook
    • 1hr 20min from CBD; 630m elevation
    • 1hr from NW suburbs; 1.5hrs from CBD; ~650m elevation - similar temperatures as Woodend/Kyneton;
  • Firth Park, Trentham
    • 50min from NW suburbs; 1hr 16min from CBD; not great site, very cold; elevation ~700m;
  • Blairs Hut, Mt Disappointment, near Kinglake
    • 65min from NW suburbs via Wallan ignore Google, stay on Mt Disappointment Rd else need 4WD!; elevation ~700m;
    • nice 1.5hr summit walk; toilets; tent camping only;
  • Starlings Gap picnic and camping area, north of Powelltown
    • 1hr 40min from CBD; 760m elevation

other camp grounds "bush camps" no toilets, limited facilities

  • NW of Newstead area:
    • Hamilton's Crossing Baringhup West on the Loddon River
    • Dunolly free campsite - no signs head NW from Dunolly along main st, turn R into the dirt rd just before railway crossing then after 100m turn R at 2nd track into campground
    • Daisy Patch camping area Dunolly
    • Newbridge Loddon River free camp Newbridge-Bridgewater Rd
    • Arnold Town Hall picnic area near Newbridge on Bridgewater-Dunolly Rd
      • power available, BBQs;
    • Myrphy's Creek campground
    • Longbush State forest camp
  • Mount Alexander region:
    • Oak Forest, Harcourt - no facilities and minimal spaces
      • as of Oct 2023, closed for reconstruction
    • Powells Quarry, Mt Alexander
      • nice view of west horizon but no facilities (but Leanaganook is nearby) and minimal spaces and impossible to get pegs in more than 2-4“ due to granite rock
    • Oven Rock campground, Elphinstone
      • no facilities, but nice spot not for caravans though; 4km unsealed road (4WD if wet); sites are mostly unlevel ground;
      • 1hr from NW suburbs; 1hr 25min from CBD; 490m elevation;
    • Cobaw State Forest
    • Metcalfe camp ground
    • Chokem Flat Fryerstown
    • Fryers Range State Forest near Glenluce ?4WD only
      • Doug Stones Gold Map campsite in
      • Hunters Track- 3 camp areas - Hunters Lane Northside camp is lovely beside creek bed
    • Upper Loddon Bush camp 4WD
  • Heathcote region
    • Meadow Valley Dam, Mia Mia
      • 1hr 15min from NW subs; 19km west of Heathcote; on edge of a dam; can have rubbish around; not much level areas for vans;
  • Elmore region on the Campaspe River:
  • Goulburn River banks near Murchison
    • Lyons Bend, 1hr 45min from NW suburbs
    • Oval Bend Camping Area
      • 4WD access only; access is via Murchison Football oval, enter via the main gates, and drive straight until you cross the cattle grid
      • small area only for about 5 sites, no facilities
      • canoe, fishing and swimming but no facilities;
    • McMillan Beach Campground
      • 2 sites; 4WD access; near Murchison;
  • Reedy Lake Campground near Nagambie
    • 15 sites; can swim and fish in lake; accessible by caravans in good weather.
  • west of Melbourne:
    • Wombat state forest region mainly 4WD
      • Wombat trail camp
      • Countess track 4wd
      • Hayden Track site
      • Clear water creek
      • Rock creek
      • Margaret's Corner, Amblers Lane Track
      • Nolan's Creek Picnic Area - 3 camp sites opp. the picnic area 10.5km W of Blackwood - nice spot on Lerderderg River; may need to phone 136186 prior? ranger patrols the area.
      • Camp Rd area, W of Blackwood take Camp Rd southwards from Bullarto South towards Ballan:
        • Balt camp
        • Cabbs campground
    • Ambler Lane campground Lerderderg
      • dry 4WD or hike in only; no wood fires; no potable water;
    • Werribee River camp ground, Spargo Creek, north of Ballan
      • 55min from NW suburbs; firepits but no toilets; ~590m elevation; 15min from Ballan; ~7km gravel road 2WD;
      • ~1hr from Spirit of Tasmania in Geelong; very large open grassy area plus nice areas amongst trees; mineral spring but maybe contaminated;
    • Colbrook Reservoir just Nth of Ballan in Wombat State Forest
      • 56min from NW suburbs; 4WD or hike access by rough, uneven dirt tracks, which will be muddy in wet weather - no signs, you will need GPS!
      • stunning dam wall on SW side creating a great waterfall when overflowing; bushwalking, swimming, fishing, bush camping, and photography;
      • Free camping is permitted at Colbrook Reservoir and the surrounding bush - there are a couple of clear areas which are great for camping on the shore of the reservoir, on the opposite side to the dam wall.
    • Hunts Bridge Camping Area, Morrisons SW of Ballan via Mt Egerton
    • Dollys Creek campground, Morrisons SW of Ballan via Mt Egerton
  • East of Melbourne:
    • Bunyip Weir (Freemans Mill) near Powelltown/Gembrook
      • hike in only camp
    • Grimes camp, Narbethong
      • not a great spot, access may need 4WD, deep puddles, not much room, lots of wasps
    • Cliffview camp, Narbethong
      • spectacular cliff; near the road; small site for up to 10 people in 1 group; tends to be littered;
    • Lukas Camp East Warburton
      • next to Yarra River and road, nice;
  • NE of Melbourne:
    • Two Hills, Toolangi
      • 5.5k up the Two Hills Rd, on the left 200m inside the State Forest; 5 sites;
      • reasonably level and dusty, gravelled forest clearing on a broad ridge, well shaded by Peppermint and Messmate with a low understory of scrub and bracken fern.
      • Popular with trail bikers - can be crowded and noisy at peak periods - some rubbish spoils a bushy site.
      • similar but smaller site 300m up Two Hills Rd just before the Marginal Rd junction
    • Perts streamside reserve near Yea
    • ?Wyndham Streamside Reserve, Kerrisdale on Yea-Seymoyr Rd where King Parrot Creek joins Goulburn
    • Todd Rock Mt Hickey Rd, Tallarook
    • Kalatha Creek camps 1 & 2 and Aeroplane Track, Toolangi, near Glenburn
      • 4WD access only
    • Derek 1, Toolangi
      • 4WD access only
    • Trawool Reservoir camp
    • Feiglin Campground, Marysville
      • 2WD via Feiglin Rd; old sawmill site with many relics littering the area ;
      • scruffy site but nice forest;
    • Marysvile area:
      • Keppel Creek camp area
        • 2WD accessible old sawmill site; ground is generally uneven; well shaded small grassed clearing in lush, green forest near a clear mountain stream for 3 sites
        • note: wasps and jack jumper ants. Mosquitos at night, many leeches.
        • 4-wheel track at the back of the site can be very boggy and leads 200m to a very secluded, small level camp site by an attractive dam and the bubbling Keppel Creek
        • Cerberus Rd climbs steeply through wet sclerophyll forest to Sugarloaf Saddle and the Cathedral Range State Park
      • Acheron Way:
        • Grimes camp - 5 deg cooler than Melb and lots of shade
        • Cliffview - near the road adjacent a cliff cutting, nice log seat, 1 group of 10 could camp there. Can have lots of rubbish/graffiti.
  • Otways:
    • Goat track, Barwon Downs, Otways
      • 4WD; dangerous roads when wet; seasonal closure;

other road side one night spots mainly for vans, generally NOT tents

  • Sawpit Gully Reserve, Elphinstone
    • 24hr limit; power, sheltered electric BBQs, picnic tables, toilet block, town water taps, water fountain and playground.
  • Kyneton Mineral Springs Stopover - RVs and caravans only; limited spaces; 48hr limit; BBQ, toilets; noisy a next to main road.
  • Gisborne roadside rest area - toilets, drinking water.
  • George Bass Hotel in Bass near Phillip Island:
    • must book and expected you use the hotel
  • Korumburra Showground - toilets, water, power, donation.
  • Korumburra rest area - no toilets
  • Meeniyan recreation reserve - $10 donation
  • Bunyip River rest area near Drouin - no facilities
  • Gladysdale gravel pit - near Powelltown
  • Powelltown Hall 3 sites only can use tent
  • Old Glenburn pub site
  • Broadford bowling club
  • Trentham Sports ground (must have own toilet)
  • Pig and Whistle Hotel near Trentham (must have own toilet)
  • Newstead Racecourse hot showers and toilets $10 donation
  • Seymour Reserve, Northwood Rd on the Goulburn River - no tents; 3 day max
australia/vic/campgroundsnearmelbourne.txt · Last modified: 2024/05/15 20:59 by gary1

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