5 Great Camping Spots not far from Melbourne
There's nothing quite like the sense of liberation that comes with camping. It can be pure joy to load up the car with tents, sleeping bags, fold-up chairs, and an esky or two in search of some serenity to counterbalance the craziness of modern life.
If you want to pitch your tent in the middle of a remote forest, at the base of an impressive mountain range, along the shores of a tranquil lake, or near enough to hear the waves crashing at night. Victoria has a variety of environments to fit any form of campers, making it a truly unique place to pitch a tent.
Victoria is renowned for having some of the best camping sites in the country. These campgrounds are easy to find by car, aren't too far from Melbourne, and, most importantly, will have everything you need for a fantastic weekend in the country.
In 25 of the state's 35 national parks, camping is allowed, and although some sites are free, the majority are very reasonably priced. From isolated spots in secluded national reserves to the luxurious surroundings of holiday parks, there's something for everyone.
The 5 Best Camping Spots Near Melbourne
1. Cumberland River Holiday Park
Distance from Melbourne: 148 KM, 3 hours
When a caravan park advertises itself as a wedding picture venue, you know it must have something to give in terms of scenery. There are no fake sunset backdrops here, only the real thing: a breathtaking natural setting near the Cumberland River's mouth. The campground, which is backed by great walking tracks and fronted by the Great Ocean Road, is surrounded by craggy cliffs. For a prime riverfront location, make a reservation well in advance.
2. Stevenson Falls
Distance from Melbourne: 102 KM, 1 hr 45 min
Location: Upper Gellibrand Road, Barramunga
Stevenson Falls, a family-friendly, free camping spot along the Great Ocean Road, is the ideal sheltered spot within the Great Otway Forest. Picnic tables, fireplaces, toilets, and caravan access are all available at this campground. If you want to chill in the great outdoors, Stevensons Falls is a great place to go.
Distance from Melbourne: 257.6 KM, 3 hours
Location: The Grampians
Park your tent at Plantation if you want to spend your weekend amid the Grampians' dramatic sandstone formations. It's open, despite being the largest campground in the Grampians National Park. Visit well-known attractions such as The Balconies, Mackenzie Falls, and Mount William in your car, or go on a hiking trail or two. Meanwhile, Halls Gap is just nine kilometers south, so decent coffee, welcoming pubs, and cozy restaurants are all within easy reach.
Plantation, in The Grampians' northern portion, about three hours' drive northwest of Melbourne, has room for 30 pitches. Non-flush toilets, bush baths, picnic tables, and fireplaces are among the amenities.
4. Tidal River Campground
Distance from Melbourne: 224.8 KM, 3 Hours
Location: Gippsland Shire
So, if you're taking the coastal road, this campground is ideal; it's a 3.5-hour drive from Melbourne's CBD, but Tidal River Campground is not to be overlooked! This campground has award-winning Wilderness Retreats for a relaxing getaway, as well as party lodges that can accommodate up to 30 of your closest friends. You won't be short on options for your next trip with nearly 500 camping and caravan sites to choose from!
During your stay, don't miss the nearby Wilsons Promontory National Park (one of Victoria's most famous national parks), which is home to a slew of wallabies and wombats, and Norman Beach, which offers swimming, surfing, and scenic walks.
A trail leading to Mount Oberon can be found east of the campground. We suggest a late-afternoon climb to the top, where you'll be rewarded with panoramic views of the tidal river and an Instagram-worthy sunset.
5. Johanna Beach
Distance from Melbourne:3 Hours, 221.5 KM
Location: Great Ocean Rd
Another iconic location on the Great Ocean Road. If the waves at Belles Beach are too rough, Johanna Beach is used as a backup location for the World Surf League championships (which happens about once every billion years). It's a peaceful little spot nestled among the sand dunes, ideal for a spot of surfing with your camp.
It's also open, which is a plus, but it does mean you'll be without fuel. Just a heads up: the land is a little rocky, and there's a small slope down to the shore. To compensate for the angle, you might want to carry some squishy bedding.
Given the fact that we listed both free and paid sites, not all of them have a garbage disposal, so you'll probably need to take out anything you carry in to ensure you leave no trace. Make sure you have some rubbish bags with you!
Drinking water is also not guaranteed at the campsites, so carry enough to last you for however long you expect to stay. However, you won't be leaving any time soon after seeing these places. Finally, not all of these campgrounds allow caravans or camper trailers, and some might only allow tents, so if you're traveling in style, double-check before you go.
The only way you can make this blog useful is to get out there and fully appreciate Melbourne's beauty. So pick a spot, go outside, and jump right in. We can hear the call of nature calling for you.