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campgrounds in Mt Disappointment / Clonbinane region


  • these are free camp grounds with drop toilets ~1 hour drive from Melbourne in the hills NE of Melbourne so can get chilly and wet
  • the best is the Number One Camp as it is more spacious, more quiet, better for caravans and feels quite remote
  • Andersons Garden is popular with motor trail bikes which can make this small camp area noisy and busy on weekends as one of the gravel roads passes through the camp ground which is bollarded

Getting there

  • main access from Melbourne is via the Hume Fwy between Wallan and Broadford
  • each require brief driving on well made gravel roads
  • if taking a caravan, the Number One Camp will be the best as there are more spaces for caravans than Anderson's Gardens which is fully bollarded, while Blair's Hut access is not suited to caravans and is seasonally closed to vehicles
  • the area is very popular with trail bikers and shooters
  • the grey nomad cohort do not seem to use it in winter at least - perhaps it is the 7 minute of ravel road, too cold due to elevation, and there is no water available - but it is only 11 minutes from the Hume Freeway so would make a useful stop over for those coming from Canberra or Sydney

What is nearby?

  • near Number One Camp:
    • 7min drive to Strath Creek Falls
      • quartz kilns on Beaconsfield Track but this is a 4WD track and I couldn't find them
      • 17min to Murchison Gap Lookout then either:
    • going south on Allisons Rd ?4WD track only:
      • 14min to Comet Sawmill historic site - but need to hike in and the track if it still remains, is not evident
      • 19-20min to Flat Rock Lookout - last 1.5km uphill part of road is seasonally closed; I couldn't find the lookout as per Google map location - perhaps it is at the peak just east of Brand Rd?
      • 35min to Blairs Hut via Mt Disappointment - 4WD only track; seasonally closed;
    • back to Hume Freeway:
      • 23min from Andersons Garden via Clonbinane and Waterford Park (almost back to Hume Fway);
      • 20min to Wandong (public toilets, pub, bakery, fish and chips, IGA, petrol)
      • 23min to Broadford
        • further 6 minutes to stark, conical Mt Piper and its nature walk up the hill (436m elevation which is a 146m elevation gain if you take the main walk up), also a flat circuit walk around the base and a separate uphill walk to NE outlook at 384m elevation. All 3 walks are 6.4km in total with total 329m elevation gain and will take a bit over 3hrs. Despite its shape it is apparently not a volcano remnant but is made of Silurian/Devonian hardened sedimentary rocks, and riddled with quartz veins which come from the granites in the district. It is a small reserve set up to conserve, in particular, the Golden Sun Moth and the Ant Blue Butterfly.
      • 28min to Kilmore
      • 29min to Wallan
      • 37min to Whittlesea
      • 1hr to Heathcote
      • 41min to Freeman's camp, Tallarook which has toilets (and nearby bush camps - Flat Rock (Tallarook), Trawool Reservoir and Tassie camps)
      • 53min to Major Creek Reserve camp, Goulburn River, Mitchelltown via Seymour near the wineries
      • 1hr 20min to Maritz Bend on the Goulburn River near Shepparton
    • 30min to Flowerdale via Hazeldene;
  • other camp grounds “near” Anderson's Garden
    • 23min to Number One camp
    • 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

No 1 Camp (Number One Camp, Allisons Rd)

  • 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
  • 11 minutes from Hume Freeway (some nice views to NW en route including the conical Mt Piper which apparently wasn't a volcano but looks like one) including 7 minutes 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
  • picnic day area at entrance has its own drop toilets
  • enter main camping area from the east and road loops around the central grassed bollarded area which is suitable for ball sports (does have a very old cricket pitch) or tents
    • in early August, the sun hits the SW corner of this grassed area at around 11am then gradually extends over the whole area, however the west border goes into shade by mid afternoon, so it you prefer the afternoon sun, you should set up on the south east corner
  • there is one bollarded fire pit, picnic table area at the west end next to the toilets - this would be suitable for two groups with several tents or swags
  • there are 3 other main fire pit areas which do allow vehicle access and in total with a couple of other smaller sites, one could fit about a dozen caravans on relatively level sites
    • the NW corner fire pit site is the closest to Flowerdale Rd being only 30m or so away but is the most remote from the other camp sites
  • there are a number of trailbike tracks leading off from the camp ground - one I walked starting at the SW corner did a meandering loop back to Allison Rd - nice nature walk but nothing special to see
  • there is wood available for fires if you are prepared to walk along those tracks for a few hundred metres to find dry wood - but you will need a small chain saw
  • midweek in winter it is likely to be empty, but weekends it will have groups camping given its close proximity to Melbourne
  • shots from nearby shooters can be heard occasionally most nights even in winter
  • only occasional traffic going past in winter
  • this camp ground and local roads was created by Italian prisoner of war (POWs)

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 / trail bike 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

Blairs Hut, Mt Disappointment

  • 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;
australia/vic/mtdisappointment.txt · Last modified: 2023/08/08 09:10 by gary1

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