Camping in Victoria is a real treat. With some of the best scenery and natural landscapes in Australia, Dan reckons it’s time for a tent-based nature escape away from the bright lights of Melbourne.

 

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Countries on which these adventures take place who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

 

14 Idyllic Sites to Camp This Weekend:

1. Johanna Beach Campground
2. Wye River Foreshore
3. Stockyard Campground
4. Refuge Cove
5. Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park
6. Neds Gully Camping Area
7. Fraser Camping Area
8. Paradise Beach
9. Pritchards Campground
10. Shipwreck Creek Campground
11. Fairhaven Campground
12. Ellimatta
13. Granite Springs Farm Camping
14. Hampton Park

Featuring some of the most popular national parks in Australia, Victoria is blessed with many stunning camping areas. Magnificent mountains, sublime coastline, tranquil countryside and serene lakes are literally right on your doorstep at many of Victoria’s best camping grounds.

Here are our favourite camping spots in Victoria, including some well-known gems and a few that you probably have no idea about.

Wait a sec, I want to camp in NSW! Read on my friend.

Also Read:

 

1. Johanna Beach Campground

Location: Great Otway National Park
Distance from Melbourne: 224 km (approx. 3 hours)
Camping type: tents, campervans, camper trailers, camping beside vehicle, pet friendly
Facilities: non flush toilets, no fires permitted

Johanna Beach Campground is an all-time classic camping spot in the Great Otway National Park. With 25 unpowered sites just a stone’s throw away from Johanna Beach, you can start the day with a rejuvenating swim or surf. There isn’t much in the way of facilities, so you’ll feel one with nature in no time.

Johanna Beach is the ideal place to set up camp if you’re road trippin’ the Great Ocean Road or doing the Great Ocean Walk. Even our very own featured explorer Pat Corden reckons Johanna Beach is one of the best camping spots near Melbourne, and he’s pretty much on the mark, 100%, every time!

Read more: The Best Camping Near Melbourne

FYI – unfortunately, free camping here is a thing of the past. You’ll have to book and pay on Parks Victoria.

 

 

2. Wye River Foreshore

Location: Great Ocean Road
Distance from Melbourne: 158 km (approx. 3 hours)
Camping type: tents, campervans, camper trailers, caravans, motorhomes, camping beside vehicle, not pet-friendly
Facilities: BBQs, amenities block (hot showers), laundry, general store

Whilst we’re on the topic of the Great Ocean Road, we must include the outstanding beachfront Wye River Foreshore Campground. With top-notch facilities, Wye River Foreshore has more glamping vibes compared with Johanna Beach Campground.

Its creature comforts and stunning location overlooking Wye Beach makes it both a convenient and tranquil place to camp. Popping your feet up to relax is a great way to soak in the ocean spray, or there’s swimming, fishing, surfing, diving, cycling and bushwalking to enjoy. There’s so much room for activities. No wonder it seems to always book out. That, and it’s only open from October to April.

 

Hidden in Plain Sight – Exploring Deeper Into the Great Ocean Road, photo supplied by GOR Tourism, Wye River, sunrise, surfers, beach

Photo thanks to GOR Tourism

 

3. Stockyard Campground

Location: Wilsons Promontory National Park
Distance from Melbourne: 206km (approx. 2.75 hours)
Camping type: tents, campervans, camper trailers, caravans, motorhomes, camping beside vehicle
Facilities: toilets, showers, picnic tables, shelter

Of course, there’s more to camping in Victoria than just sites along the Great Ocean Road. Set amongst dense eucalypt and banksia woodland, Stockyard Campground is a cosy site positioned near the entrance to one of the best national parks in Victoria – Wilsons Prom.

The campground is literally the trailhead for the amazing Big Drift, which means you’ve got prime real estate for a sunset or sunrise at the sand dunes. Better yet, Stockyard Campground is a great base for exploring other areas in Wilsons Prom.

Now, you might be thinking, ‘what about Tidal River Campground?’ Sure, this campsite is usually the go-to campsite at Wilsons Prom. But, it’s much busier and pricier. So, for a more secluded and affordable site, it’s Stockyard Campground all the way. Although, our outdoor reporter, Jack Brookes, might disagree!

Read more: Tidal River Campground Is Your New Favourite Campsite

 

 

4. Refuge Cove

Location: Wilsons Prom
Distance from Melbourne: 253km (approx. 4 hours)
Camping type: tents, hike-in site
Facilities: self-composting toilets (bring your own toilet paper), no fires permitted

If you’re looking for secluded camping in Victoria, you can’t beat Refuge Cove. It’s only accessible by hiking, which usually forms part of the three day Southern Circuit.

Surrounded by bush and mind-blowing coast, this campground is the perfect hidden getaway for anyone seeking serenity. Laze by the water, or take in the many great views of the national park.

Similar to Johanna Beach Campground, free camping is no longer a thing here. You’ll have to obtain an overnight hiking permit and pay on the Victoria Parks booking system.

 

 

5. Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park

Location: Grampians National Park
Distance from Melbourne: 258km (approx. 3 hours)
Camping type: tents, campervans, camper trailers, caravans, motorhomes, camping beside vehicle, not pet-friendly
Facilities: camp kitchen, laundry, BBQs with shelter, amenities block (hot showers), playground, pools, shop

Given its upmarket facilities, Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park has some of the best camping in Victoria. Whether it be camping, glamping, a cabin stay or a safari tent, there’s something for everyone.

At Halls Gap, you’re perched in the central hub of the Grampians National Park, which makes it a great base to explore from. You could hike to the Pinnacle or Mount Rosea, kayak on the nearby Lake Bellfield, chase Mackenzie Falls or explore nearby culinary delights.

Ditching those plans and just hanging out at camp is another brilliant option. You’ll have sweeping mountain views, screeching cockatoos, playful kangaroos and there’s even a wifi-hub and heated pool. Yeah, it’s activities galore at this camp site.

 

 

6. Neds Gully Camping Area

Location: Cathedral Range State Park
Distance from Melbourne: 118 km (approx. 2 hours)
Camping type: tents, walk-in site a short walk from car
Facilities: non flush toilets, fireplaces

If you’re keen for some good old-fashioned bush camping with minimal facilities, head to Neds Gully Camping Area in the Cathedral Range State Park. Not too far from Melbourne, this is a great spot to reacquaint yourself with the Aussie bush.

Best of all, camping at Neds Gully provides the ideal base for exploring the picturesque Cathedral Ranges. You’ve probably heard of the immense hike to Sugarloaf Peak. Well, why not give it a crack during your stay? Or, if that hike’s a bit full-on, there are many other trails to conquer.

Maybe hiking isn’t your thing! Don’t worry, you can just sit back and watch the lyrebirds strut their stuff or koalas sleepily graze as Little River rhythmic flows in the distance.

 

 

 

7. Fraser Camping Area

Location: Lake Eildon National Park
Distance from Melbourne: 160km (approx. 2.25 hours)
Camping type/Facilities: depends on the site (Candlebark, Devil Cove and Lakeside Campground)

If you’re after a tranquil lakeside pitch in Victoria, add the Fraser Camping Area to your camping to-do list. Located in the serene Lake Eildon National Park, the area is an absolute feast of water sports and outdoor activities. Go swimming, boating, fishing, canoeing, water skiing or sailing, or, go on a bushwalk, birdwatch or chill out with the resident wombats and kangaroos.

The question remains, will it be Candlebark, Devil Cove or Lakeside Campground? Well, that depends. The Lakeside Campground is the only campsite of the three with a boat ramp. If your plan is to float on your boat, then Lakeside Campground might float your boat! Otherwise, Devil Cove has more hiking trails, so that’s a better option if you’re keen for a stroll or three.

 

Photo thanks to Caroline Ramsden

 

8. Paradise Beach

Location: Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park
Distance from Melbourne: 245km (approx. 3 hours)
Camping type: tents, campervans, camper trailers, caravans, camping beside vehicle, pet-friendly
Facilities: toilets, picnic tables, fireplaces

Paradise Beach is one of many superb coastal camping areas in Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park. Wedged in between Ninety Mile Beach and Lake Reeves, the setup at Paradise Beach is dreamy. With a huge stretch of coast and lake to explore, you should mix it up with some swimming, coastal walking and kayaking to take it all in.

Out of the 12 unpowered sites, most are car based camping, but there are also pitches for tents. Either way, Paradise Beach is guaranteed to have you feeling refreshed and relaxed. You can even take your woofer along for the trip – how good!

 

Photo thanks to Visit Victoria

 

9. Pritchards Campground

Location: Lower Glenelg National Park
Distance from Melbourne: 390km (approx. 4.5 hours)
Camping type: tents, campervans, camper trailers, caravans, motorhomes, camping by vehicle, not pet-friendly
Facilities: toilets, picnic tables, fireplaces, boat ramp,

Set in Lower Glenelg National Park, Pritchards Campground is hands-down one of the best riverside camping spots in Victoria. We know this camping area is a bit of a drive from Melbourne, but it’s totally worth the trip to set up camp and chill out by the serene Glenelg River. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more relaxed atmosphere to canoe, boat or kayak.

For a change-up from the water-based activities, you could also hike some of the Great South West Walk. The trail winds through the underrated hinterland of Lower Glenelg National Park. We’ve even heard Pritchards is a great place for birdwatching.

 

10. Shipwreck Creek Campground

Location: Croajingolong National Park
Distance from Melbourne: 526km (approx. 7 hours)
Camping type: tents, campervans, camper trailers
Facilities: toilets, picnic tables, fireplaces

If you’re really wanting to get away from it all and experience a remote camping area, Shipwreck Creek Campground will do the trick. Located in Croajingolong National Park, near the NSW border, this camp site is snug, simple and serene.

If you can pull yourself away from the camp site, you should check out the nearby Seal Creek where you’ll find rock pools swarming with marine life. What’s really cool is the nearby secluded Shipwreck Beach, named after one of Victoria’s oldest shipwrecks. There’s even a designated overnight hiker site for those doing the multi-day Nadgee Wilderness Walk.

 

 

11. Fairhaven Campground

Location: French Island National Park
Distance from Melbourne: 89km (approx. 1.5 hours)
Camping type: tents
Facilities: toilets, picnic tables, shelter, gas BBQs, no fires permitted

Looking for a quiet escape not too far from the city? Fairhaven Campground in French Island National Park is the perfect getaway from the big smoke. To access this picturesque campground, catch the Western Port Ferries passenger ferry from Stony Point to French Island.

A hiker’s paradise, there are plenty of walking trails starting from Fairhaven Campground. The West Coast Wetlands Walking Track is just one of the many amazing trails to take in the natural beauty and wildlife on French Island.

In the evenings, cook your dinner on one of the free gas barbeques and soak in the spectacular scenery from the picnic shelter.

 

Bonus Victorian Camp Sites You Didn’t Know Exist

We’re all about a good camping trip, but sometimes you want a spot that’s guaranteed to give you peace and quiet. Sometimes, all you need is a campsite that’s a bit off the beaten track and guaranteed to give you the R&R you’re craving.

We’ve pulled together three lesser-known camping spots in Victoria to get your relaxation fix.

 

12. Ellimatta

Location: King Valley
Distance from Melbourne: 281 km (approx. 3 hours)
Camping type/Facilities: depends on the site

Deep in the heart of the King Valley wine region lies Ellimatta, a gorgeous campground that a whole menagerie of farm animals call home.

This pooch-friendly property is the perfect home base for day trips to the Victorian snowfields or nearby wineries. The campgrounds are also a short walking distance to the King River, which is a great swimming hole to visit on a warm day.

Some of the camp sites at Ellimatta, like Stonor, are a tent-only site, whereas, Millsite 1 and 2, can accommodate tents, campervans, camper trailers and motorhomes.

 

Ellimatta Camping, King Valley, Victoria

 

13. Granite Springs Farm Camping

Location: Nulla Vale
Distance from Melbourne: 89km (approx. 1.5 hours)
Camping type: tents, campervans, camper trailers, caravans, motorhomes, camping beside vehicle
Facilities: fires permitted

Granite Springs is a 300 acre property north of Melbourne, where farm animals and stock horses roam. It’s the perfect camping area for a weekend escape from the city lights. Spend some time with Mother Nature’s lights instead.

With 12 dams and a creek on the property, you’ll never be far from a place to dip your toes. Bring your four-legged friend along (if they promise to be on their best behaviour) and snuggle in around the campfire at your new favourite secret camping spot.

Just a heads up that 4WDs are recommended as the access road is unsealed.

 

Granite Springs Farm Camping, Victoria

 

14. Hampton Park

Location: Warrnambool
Distance from Melbourne: 256 km (approx. 3.25 hours)
Camping type: campervans, camper trailers, caravans, motorhomes, RVs, camping beside vehicle, pet-friendly
Facilities: fires permitted

A weekend at Hampton Park will have you feeling worlds away. This lush and grassy campground is teeming with koalas and birdlife and is surrounded by gorgeous countryside. You’ll also be super close to Tower Hill Reserve and Port Fairy.

There’s cycling, boating, fishing, hiking, horse riding, surfing and swimming opportunities aplenty. Just don’t forget your doggy – they’re welcome too!

 

Hampton Park camping Warrnambool, Victoria

 

Get Camping Victoria!

What are you waiting for? Load up the car, stock up on water and hit the road – Victoria has so many great campsites and until you’ve camped at all of them you can’t come crying to me that your weekend’s looking boring. (If you do tick off this whole list of campgrounds get in touch, we’d love to hear about it!)

Frequently Asked Questions About Camping in Victoria

Is camping permitted in Victoria?

Yes! Covid restrictions still apply in some areas but many campgrounds are back open.

Where can you legally camp in Victoria?

National park campgrounds, State Forest campgrounds, caravan parks and other free campsites. In Australia you’re not legally allowed to camp outside of designated campgrounds, with the exception of some wilderness areas.

Can you camp for free in Victoria?

Yes! Here are six free campgrounds near Melbourne.

Can you camp anywhere in a state forest Victoria?

While Victorian State Forests would prefer you use designated campsites, then they’re not you’re allowed to camp as long as you follow these rules:

  • Camp at least 20 metres from any stream, lake or reservoir.
  • Use toilets where they are provided. In areas without toilets, bury toilet waste at least 100 metres away from campsites and watercourses.
  • All native plants and animals are protected. Do not cut down or damage standing trees or vegetation.
  • Take your rubbish home.
  • Where possible, use a lightweight stove for cooking. If you must build a fire, please follow the fire regulations, be conservative in your use of fuel, and ensure your fire is completely out before you leave.

Source: Forest Fire Management Victoria