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Kurth Kiln camp ground (not Kirth!)


  • 3 basic average camp areas within the Kurth Kiln Regional Park
  • this is the closest free camp east of Melbourne (there are none in the Dandenongs!)
    • hence there is a high risk of the boys from the hood dropping in for a noisy night of drinking late on a Friday night and leaving their rubbish!
  • has a sandy bottomed creek to play in
  • nearby mill pond with frogs
  • drop toilets
  • easy trails
  • possible phone reception depending upon carrier
  • dogs on a leash only


  • lies in a forested valley at ~220m elevation near Tomahawk Creek which flows westward, dropping a further 30m elevation or so before joining Shepherds Creek 1km to the west
  • Bunyip State Park lies nearby to the south-east and these hills rise to 400m elevation 3km away
  • hills to the north east are generally 500m but there is a 600m peak 2km away in the Powelltown direction
  • a low ridge of 280m elevation runs in a N-S line 1km to the west
  • further away are the Dandenongs which lie to the NW and are generally 400-500m but Mt Dandenong is a 600m peak and is 20km away as the crow flies


  • 10min drive from Gembrook;
  • just over an hour drive from Melbourne CBD via SE Freeway to Mulgrave then south of Dandenongs and past Cardinia Reservoir
  • ~1hr 15min drive from Brunswick via Eastern Fway and East Link to Ringwood then north of Dandenongs
  • easy road in and is close to Melbourne hence it can get busy/loud on weekends or public holidays


  • 30 numbered camp sites at Scout Loop and 6 at Magazine camping areas; PLUS 4 unnumbered communal camping at Heritage Fence camping area which shares the Magazine camp drop toilet;
  • sites are close to each other and can be busy and noisy on weekends and only 1 drop toilet can be challenging.
  • no bookings (govt scrapped fees for basic camp grounds in 2015), hence first in first served - AVOID weekends!
  • No rubbish bins or collection - unfortunately some people seem to often leave rubbish behind.
  • dogs on leash;
  • horses at Scout Loop;
  • a few fire places but BYO firewood
  • no potable water - need to treat the creek water!
  • not suitable for big rigs
  • BEWARE falling tree branches - there are lots of tall timber than can kill you!


  • historic huts and caretaker residence
  • rare example of a relatively intact charcoal burning kiln and the only one of its type in Australia - charcoal was used in gas producer units attached to motor vehicles to produce combustible gas as an alternative to petrol during the Second World War.
  • rare plants including Long Pink-bells, Tall Astelia and Brickmakers Saw-sedge along with stunning Mountain Ash, stringybark and riparian forests.
  • Shiprock Falls near Shiprock picnic area (40min 3.5km one-way walk, or 6min drive)
  • 25min drive to Emerald and the Puffing Billy train and ~5 minutes further is Aura Vale at Cardinia Reservoir
  • 40 min drive to Olinda attractions via Yellingbo or via Gembrook
  • Warburton or Powelltown are just over half an hour drive via Yarra Junction - Noojee is a further half an hour east from Powelltown
  • Healesville Sanctuary is just over half an hour drive via Launching Place or Yellingbo and Yarra Glen is ~10 minutes further
  • if you decide next camp is Tidal River, Wilsons Prom then that is just under 3hrs drive


maps courtesy of

Nearest alternate camp grounds


  • Doon Reserve Caravan Park Yarra Junction
  • also commercial parks at Lilydale, Healesville, Warburton
  • Gladysdale gravel pit
    • dogs allowed but no water, no toilets.
    • 24 min drive
  • Powelltown Hall:
    • only space for 3 vans; toilets; dogs allowed but no water;

Bunyip State Park

  • Mortimer Picnic Ground
    • tents only on a grassed camp ground on the other side of bollards
    • 17min drive via Gembrook; within Bunyip State Park;
    • toilets; no mobile phone coverage; no dogs;
    • Four Brothers Mortimer Circuit Walk
  • Nash Creek camp ground
    • 30min drive via Gembrook; within Bunyip State Park;
    • toilets; no mobile phone coverage; no dogs;
    • caravans and tents;
  • Bunyip Weir (Freemans Mill) hike in only camping area
    • 23km and under 1hr via Shiprock Picnic Ground - windy road!!
    • hike in only - 6km walk from car park on Bunyip River Rd


Nearby town services / food

  • Swallowfield Vineyards 5km drive from Kurth Kiln


  • Gembrook Puffing Billy Railway Station
  • Motorist Museum
  • Gembrook Market 4th Sunday of each month except December
  • petrol station at west end of town
  • Gembrook IGA supermarket
  • Maple Ridge local produce market - west of Gembrook
  • The Station House Restaurant
  • The Independent Restaurant
  • Hairy Dog Cafe
  • Spencers Store cafe
  • Mains Street fish and chips
  • The Local hotel bar


  • Cockatoo bakery
  • Cockatoo IGA
  • Cockatoo country market
  • The Golden Spoon Restaurant


  • Puffing billy
  • Emerald Lake picnic area
  • Lakeside Tea Rooms
  • General Food Store cafe
  • Emerald Village bakery and cafe
  • Bam Bam Italian restaurant
  • Elevation@Emerald Restaurant
  • WoksnDumplings - Menulog delivery
  • Bohemian Kitchen mobile caterer
australia/vic/kurthkiln.txt · Last modified: 2023/12/10 17:30 by gary1

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