Jo Hawtree

25 Best camping spots in Victoria | Man of Many

Our list of the best campsites in Victoria goes like this.

Best camping spots in Victoria at a glance

Tidal River is one of Victoria’s most popular spots for beach camping because of its modern amenities, which include hot showers, dish-washing stations, toilets and picnic spots with free gas barbecues. Eat hot chips and walk along the post-card-ready Norman Beach or watch the sunset from the peak of a Disney-like Mt Oberon.

1. Tidal River, Wilsons Promontory

It won’t matter if you’re a local or from interstate. This secluded and pristine beach offers a Victorian camping experience you will never forget. Located on the southern side of the cove, the Refuge Cove campsite is surrounded by nature and only a hop, skip and jump from the water. The camp includes all the expected basic facilities and requires advanced bookings. If you’re lucky, you’ll hear the sound of a clearing blowhole as whales, sharks, dolphins, albatrosses, seals and even penguins make cameo appearances at the cove.

2. Refuge Cove, Wilsons Promontory

Behind the dunes at Johanna Beach, this popular campsite is a beloved surfing spot along the Great Ocean Road. Johanna Beach is also one of the few spots for free camping in Victoria, which means the facilities are pretty rustic, so it’s perfect for those looking to get back to nature or focus on catching ‘gnarly’ waves.

3. Johanna Beach, Great Otway National Park

Killarney Beach provides some of Victoria’s best camping for anglers as it’s known to be the best fishing spot for whiting. Nestled in a small rural setting, known for its sprawling farmlands outside Melbourne, you can book powered and unpowered sites. There’s a playground for the kids and all the necessary amenities. It’s also pet-friendly!

4. Killarney Beach, Killarney

Phillip Island has become an eat, drink and adventure area. If you’re not all about sitting around a campfire and not doing much else, Phillip Island’s Newhaven Beach has plenty of walking trails, cafes like Cafen Lugano and restaurants like Salt Water, Phillip Island. There’s plenty of wildlife and historical landmarks to explore so be sure to catch the sunset penguin parade.

5. Newhaven Beach, Phillip Island

Blanket Bay is ideal for those who love hiking or bushwalking and is a popular campsite surrounded by nature with fantastic views. In addition, hikers can experience the Great Ocean Walk, which will take you past several other beaches in the area and provide some spectacular scenery.

6. Blanket Bay, Cape Otway

The Mornington Peninsula Foreshore contains some of Victoria’s most beautiful beaches, including Sorrento and Portsea. Scenic views of the ocean and excellent facilities make this one of the most popular areas for camping on the Mornington Peninsula. Activities include swimming, hiking and cycling, and local shops and cafes are just a stone’s throw away. Although this isn’t a rural or bush-type camping experience, you can expect floods of people camping along the foreshore and plenty of opportunities to eat and drink in a little more luxury than other towns and camping sites.

7. Mornington Peninsula Foreshore

A top spot for camping in Victoria, the Wye River Foreshore offers many things to see and do. Along the Great Ocean Road, this site provides a pleasant pit stop close to the 12 Apostles and Apollo Bay. Essential amenities include BBQ areas, a camp kitchen, hot showers and more. You’ll find sixty powered sites and four with no power, and you’ll have to book to camp at the Wye River Foreshore.

8. Wye River Foreshore

Bear Gully Campground, located near the shores of Waratah Bay, is a popular spot for fishing and rock pooling. Nestled next to the tall banksias, the campground features 33 sites and offers a few basic facilities. Unfortunately, the site is closed due to research conducted with First Peoples-State Relations to investigate the possible impacts on a cultural heritage site. However, you can check when or if the campsite will open again.

9. Bear Gully Campground, Cape Liptrap Coastal Park

Fairhaven is only accessible by passenger ferry, so tent camping is your only option. Activities are abundant, explore Clump Lagoon and the Wetlands. You’ll need to bring cooking supplies as the only amenities waiting for you are toilets and drinking water (you’ll need to boil before consuming). A note of caution, there’s a notice to beware of snakes, so ensure you’re always prepared, wear thick clothing, multiple layers, if you’re sleeping outside make sure you’re elevated off the ground, when walking make lots of noise, at night don’t walk without a torch and wear thick boots.

10. Fairhaven, French Island National Park

Marengo Holiday Park in Apollo Bay offers powered and non-powered sites with stunning ocean views. This pet-friendly park is also within walking distance of several local beaches where your furry friends can stretch their legs. All the essential facilities are taken care of and include bathrooms, laundry, camp kitchens and BBQ areas. The park is also adjacent to Marengo Reef Marine Sanctuary, where you might even catch a peek of the resident seal colony.

11. Marengo Holiday Park, Apollo Bay

Shoreline Drive Campground offers plenty of campsites, suited for both caravan camping and tent camping. The sandy dunes protect all areas from gusty winds and the campsite has easy access to the beach. Laze around on Golden Beach and take time to explore the surroundings. Only some sites are pet friendly, so if you’re bringing your four-legged friend, make sure before pitching a tent. This is a free beach camping spot, and you don’t have to book here but take note, it’s on a first-come, first-served basis.

12. Shoreline Drive, Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park

Unfortunately, due to an onsite issue, this campsite is currently closed. Before you plan your trip you should check when it will reopen. When it is open, three different camping grounds are available at Fraser Camping Area. Devil Cove, Lakeside and Candlebark are all within the Lake Eildon National Park. Just a two-hour drive from Melbourne, the park protects acres of natural woodlands and forest. All campsites have full amenities, and the lake offers loads of activities. In the evening, the shoreline is scattered with kangaroos, where they can be seen up close and personal.

13. Fraser Camping Area, Lake Eildon National Park

Just five minutes from entering Wilsons Promontory National Park, Yanakie Campgrounds offers an ideal spot for waterfront views. Loads of activities are provided with fishing, swimming, hiking and more. In addition, there’s a park kiosk for essential items.

14. Yanakie Campgrounds, Wilsons Promontory

Cape Conran campgrounds is metres from the beach, so explore your surroundings at one of the best Victorian camping spots due to whale migration and the amazing underwater ecosystem you can check out by snorkelling. Campers have reported dolphins catching waves and seals at the Beware Reef Marine Sanctuary.

15. Cape Conran, Gippsland

One for all seasons, Halls Gap camping park has something for everyone, no matter the weather. This fun-filled camping spot encompasses large outdoor areas, trampolines (available for adults, too), and even an eleven-metre-long-heated outdoor pool – which is open all year round! It also boasts a camp lounge fitted with a TV, bar, and a big cosy fireplace. Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park, offers endless fun for all the family; home to an extensive playground, complete with a rock-climbing wall and even a seasonal ice cream kart, this certainly is one of the best camping spots in Victoria!

16. Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park, Grampians National Park

Breathtaking, rugged ridges set the backdrop for this awe-inspiring region, which is the perfect destination for adventurous travellers. Neds Gully is set deep in the woodland clearing and provides a fantastic base camp for lovers of bushwalking and mountain hikes. Neds Gully campground offers quick and easy access to the rocky ridges of Neds Peak, boasting panoramic views across the entire Cathedral Range. Situated in open woodland, Ned’s Gully Campground has basic camping facilities. Still, it offers an overall pleasant experience as campers can pitch their tents on the grassy meadows of the banks of Little River. The sites here are unpowered and suitable for tents only, as they are close to the car park.

17. Neds Gully Campground, Cathedral Range State Park

Bunga Arm is accessible only by boat, with daily crafts leaving from nearby Paynesville. Boats make stops on the beach at designated campgrounds and day visitor areas along the length of the arm, and here you will find seven grounds along the water’s edge to choose from. The site provides kayaking tours and waterskiing adventures for all the family, or just relax with a gentle swim and take in the natural beauty of this unique lakeside location. There are many fish to be caught at the river’s edge or cast a line into the ocean to catch local salmon and snapper. You can even spot dolphins while taking a coastal walk along the banks! Non-flush toilets and covered picnic facilities are available. Fires may be lit in the firepits provided by Parks Victoria, but the collection of firewood from the site is not permitted, so make sure to plan!

18. Bunga Arm, Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park

Sheepyard Flat is one of the top campsites in Victoria and, best of all… it’s free! Camp under the stars in open woodland surrounded by Peppermint and Manna Gum trees. Sheepyard Flat is situated in a natural valley on the banks of the Howqua River. The site is primarily grassy, and has plenty of shade. It’s a perfect location for swimming, you can check out the deep swim holes by the bank, where you’ll also find fishing spots along the river. It’s important to note how popular this campsite is during peak season, as it’s a great starting point for 4wd adventures into the Victorian High Country. Many wildlife species can be spotted here, too—visitors often see koalas, wombats, and kangaroos. Wood barbeques are available, but you must bring your firewood and check on local fire bans.

19. Sheepyard Flat, Howqua Hills

In the heart of The Grampians, Smiths Mill campground is a perfect spot to explore the largest number of significant and ancient Aboriginal rock art paintings and shelters in southern Australia. Traditionally known as Gariwerd, based on the site of an old sawmill and surrounded by picturesque woodlands, this campground is also one of the best to explore Victoria’s native plant species and wildlife. Nestled in the valley of the Mackenzie River, the campsite provides you with the company of kangaroos and emus, which can be spotted close by while pitching your tent. In addition, Smiths Mill Campground is also a great base to explore the local attractions of Mackenzie Falls and Lake Wartook and a just a short drive to many majestic local lookouts. Camping permits are essential and can be purchased from The National Park & Cultural Centre.

20. Smiths Mill, Grampians National Park

Just south of Holland’s Landing, Spoon Bay campground is situated amongst the tranquil coastal lagoons of the Gippsland Lakes. Spoon Bay is unique because it offers two different camping experiences in one location. Shoreline Drive and Paradise Beach attract those who love the coast, complete with access to the beach. Further across, we have Red Bluff, which offers an inland bush camping experience and is only a short drive to Lake Victoria and Lake Wellington, two famous spots in the area. All sites have easy access to tents, camper trailers, and campervans, and there are even a few spots for caravans.

21. Spoon Bay, Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park

Cumberland River Holiday Park is the ultimate travel destination and certainly one of Victoria’s best camping spots. Right on the edge of the Great Ocean Road, this evergreen campsite has meticulously maintained plots and boasts the most spectacular views! Swim, snorkel, or surf at the park’s private beach (only a two-minute walk from the campsite) or take in the scenery on one of the famous coastal walks. Fed up of your tent? There are even glamping options here. Alongside the grassy site areas, the campsite is home to cedar cabins with full-length verandas and beautiful riverside units overlooking the cliffs. Each camp (or place) has its own campfire or BBQ, and no need to BYO, as Cumberland River Holiday Park has a highly well-stocked shop full of gas supplies, ice, and firewood.

22. Cumberland River Holiday Park, Lorne

Just over a two-hour drive from the Melbourne CBD, Cooks Mill is one of the best camping spots in Victoria for rock climbing, abseiling, and hiking. From here, you can explore all the delights the Cathedral Ranges offer. Set amongst the Stringy-barks, this campground allows you to get amongst the Australian native wildlife, including Kangaroos and wombats. There is also a fantastic spot for bird watching, where there are many species of native birds and plenty of Kookaburras. Cooks Mill Campground is equipped with non-flush toilets and communal fireplaces. It is suitable for camper vans and caravans, but as it is in a dense forest, there is very little light for tent campers…so be sure to remember your flashlight! Oh, and make sure you book ahead on the Parks Victoria website.

23. Cooks Mill, Cathedral Range State Park

The height of river camping in Victoria, Lake Elizabeth campground is deep in the Otways forest. It is abundant with local flora, including towering Eucalyptus trees that grow over 100m in height. The trees and bushes provide privacy to each site, but the park has a cosy and friendly feel. Take a 10-minute stroll through the tree ferns, over to the lake and continue to Lake Elizabeth Loop for a few more kilometres (4.7 to be exact) for one of the most picturesque walks in The Otways. A popular time to walk this trail is at night, as the sides of the course are covered in incredibly bright glow worms!

24. Lake Elizabeth, Great Otway National Park

Lake Catani is an incredibly picturesque area located on the Mount Buffalo Plateau. From Lake Catani campground, you will find a variety of walks suitable for all levels. The trails will take you to the many swimming spots on the pristine alpine waters and beautiful picnic spots. You can even get out onto the water for a sunrise paddle as the lake is just one minute walk from where you pitch your tents. Discover the natural beauty of the alpine landscapes and woodlands around the lake or adventure to the region’s top waterfalls just a short drive away. The site is easily accessed by road and boasts flushing toilets and hot showers. The campground is open from November to April, and bookings are essential.

25. Lake Catani, Mount Buffalo

With an editorial team full of adventures, Man of Many has had the unique opportunity to directly sample and experience campsites from the best spots in Victoria. As expert journalists who guide people between competing products and services, we have provided our independent opinion in formulating Man of Many’s selections. Our editors have taken into account location, safety and amenities while also making a concerted effort to highlight a few spots outside of the CBD. You can review our editorial policy here surrounding how we maintain our independence in our editorial reviews.

How Man of Many chose the best camping spots in Victoria

The camping spots above and selections have been chosen using three critical criteria that make a camping trip in Victoria memorable—the quality of the scenery or view, the opportunities to see landmarks or embark on adventures and access to facilities or amenities at campsites.

Key things to consider when camping in Victoria

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