I totally get it, camping divides people! You either love it or hate it. We love it, as do the kids. But I won’t lie, it can be hard work. The packing beforehand, set up, pack down, the unpacking and the cleaning once home. For us, it’s well worth the effort.
We feel like we have camped so many times over the years. Both before and after kids. I decided to pull together an overall list of where we have been. It’s been interesting to go back through our camping adventures over the years. There are plenty more camping destinations to explore but I think this is a pretty good starting point on lots of camping sites around Victoria. I’ll definitely update this list as we explore more.
I’ve listed them here with links where you can find the websites and also booking pages.
What you can find in this post
- 1 Boar Gully, Brisbane Ranges National Park
- 2 You Camp, Tallarook, read about it here
- 3 Doon Reserve Caravan Park
- 4 Glen Cromie Caravan Park
- 5 Anglesea Big 4
- 6 Balnarring Foreshore Reserve
- 7 Buchan Caves Reserve
- 8 Cathedral Ranges State Park
- 9 Marysville Caravan and Camping Park
- 10 Coopers Creek
- 11 Croajingolong National Park and Cape Conran Coastal Park
- 12 Mt Franklin Reserve
- 13 Lower Glenelg National Park
- 14 Kinglake National Park
- 15 Mt Buangor State Park
- 16 Lake Catani, Mt Buffalo – read all about it here
- 17 Taggerty Big 4
- 18 Tara Bulga National Park
- 19 Upper Yarra Reservoir
- 20 Warbuton Holiday Park
- 21 Wilson’s Promontory National Park
- 22 Bear Gully Campsite
- 23 Porepunkah Bridge Holiday Park
I won’t try and write blogs on all of these from memory but if you’d like any further information on any of these then please let me know and I’ll be happy to fill you in.
We’ve always enjoyed camping close to Melbourne so we are not spending too long driving (especially if we only have a 3 day weekend) and always try to book somewhere we can have a fire. A fire is what makes the camping experience for us, we wish that you could have a camp fire at Wilson’s Promontory as it’s one of our favourite places, but it’s early to bed instead!
Since the kids we have definitely broadened the site selection criteria (we never liked to be camping near anybody else – camping snobs!).
We are generally also camping with 3, 4 or 5 other families so we prefer places where you can book. This is a bit of a limitation, but we don’t think it’s a good idea to risk turning up to a camping area with 5 families, then miss out on a spot or risk not being able to all camp together. We don’t have 4 wheel drives either so everywhere on this list is accessible with a standard car.
Here are the places we have been camping. Only a couple of these are before the kids –
Boar Gully, Brisbane Ranges National Park
Location – Bacchus Marsh – 1 hour from Melbourne
Details – When we first went site scouting to the Brisbane Ranges we visited Fridays Campground first. The sites here were not what we were looking for so we nearly didn’t bother checking out Boar Gully. Luckily we did, as we have camped here numerous times!
Bush camping, drop toilets, take out all rubbish, fire places and picnic tables
You Camp, Tallarook, read about it here
Location– Tallarook – 1.15 hours from Melbourne
Details – Bush setting, fire places, take out all rubbish, BYO camping toilet or hire, goat feeding
Information and bookings direct through You Camp
Doon Reserve Caravan Park
Location– Yarra Junction – 1.15 hours from Melbourne
Details – Caravan Park, fire drums available for hire, swimming in the river, small playground
Information and bookings direct through the website
Glen Cromie Caravan Park
Location– Drouin – 1.15 hours from Melbourne
Details – Caravan park with various accommodation options, small playground, fire drums for hire, river swimming, small walks
Information and bookings direct through the website
Anglesea Big 4
Location– Anglesea – 1.15 hours from Melbourne
Details – Caravan park with various accommodation options, indoor swimming pool with water slide, games room, bbq, playground, not walking distance to the beach
Bookings and information directly through their Big 4 website
Balnarring Foreshore Reserve
Location– Balnarring – 1 hour from Melbourne
Details – Bush setting but no camp fires, next to the beach but you can’t see the beach from the camping area
Information and bookings directly
Buchan Caves Reserve
Location– Buchan – 4 hours from Melbourne
Details – Bush setting, toilets, caves to explore (cost), shared fireplaces
Cathedral Ranges State Park
Location– Cathedral Ranges – 2 hours from Melbourne
Details – Bush camping, drop toilets, shared fireplaces, walk in and drive in sites. Bookings are for numbers only i.e. sites are not allocated so it’s first in best dressed
Marysville Caravan and Camping Park
Location– 2 hours from Melbourne
Details – Caravan park setting with various accommodation options, jumping pillow, river frontage
Availability and information direct on their website
Location– Coopers Creek – 2.15 hours from Melbourne
Details – River frontage, picnic tables, fire places, NO bookings/free camp site therefore arrive early
Pretty tricky to find information on this camping site. It’s free camping, so get there early as no bookings.
Croajingolong National Park and Cape Conran Coastal Park
Location–Approx 6.5 hours from Melbourne (expansive area)
Details – Car based, boat based, caravan, wilderness camping sites, beach camping, hiking, fire places, drop toilets (check details for each individual site)
Mt Franklin Reserve
Location–Daylesford- 1.30 hours from Melbourne
Details – Car based camping suitable for tents and vans, fire places and picnic tables, free/no booking therefore arrive early
Parks Victoria has information on the reserve but no bookings are taken
Lower Glenelg National Park
Location –Approx 5 hours from Melbourne depending on camp site
Details – Various camping areas suitable for all camping types, drop toilets and fire places, river setting
Kinglake National Park
Location –Kinglake – 1.5 hours from Melbourne
Details – Sites available which are suitable for vans and tents (tent sites have a raised ‘border’ so check tent size before booking), picnic tables, fire places, bbq’s and drop toilets and small creek
Mt Buangor State Park
Location–Beaufort – 2 hours from Melbourne
Details – Car based camping across three camping areas (all various sizes), picnic tables, fire places and drop toilets
Lake Catani, Mt Buffalo – read all about it here
Location –Mt Buffalo – 4 hours from Melbourne
Details – Car based camping (a handful of walk in only sites) suitable for tents and vans (check map for suitable van sites), toilets, showers, shared fireplaces, lake, day visitors, picnic tables
Taggerty Big 4
Location –Taggerty – 2 hours from Melbourne
Details – Various accommodation options, river frontage, camp fires, jumping pillow, pool, playground
Bookings and information from the Big 4 website
Tara Bulga National Park
Location –Tara Valley, 2.5 hours from Melbourne
Details – Various accommodation options including simple cabins, rainforest, fire drums available
Upper Yarra Reservoir
Location –Reefton (Past Warburton) approx. 1 hour 45 from Melbourne
Details – Tent and car camping, fire places, flushing toilets and showers, washing up kitchen, ice available
Warbuton Holiday Park
Location –Warburton – 1.5 hours from Melbourne
Details – Various accommodation options, river frontage, play ground, fire drums available.
Please see their website for information and booking details.
Wilson’s Promontory National Park
Location –Wilsons Prom – 3 hours from Melbourne
Details – Various accommodation options, NO fires, toilets and showers, beach, overnight hikes, kiosk, ballot over peak periods, school holiday activities etc
Bear Gully Campsite
Location –Bear Gully/Waratah Bay – 2 hours from Melbourne
Details – Bush camping, drop toilets, no water, beach access but no swimming, fire places
Porepunkah Bridge Holiday Park
Location – Porepunkah/Bright
Details – Various camping and cabins options available, river access, pool, kiosk. Read all about our experience here.
See their website for information and bookings.
So there you have it, a list of all the different places we have camped over the years. I’ll add to the list as we explore more places. Please do let me know if you would like any further information on any of these places. Even if you would like to see some more photos as this can help you work out if the location might be suitable or not.
Worried about what to pack for a camping trip? Be sure to check out our camping packing list guide!
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