Over the March long weekend we enjoyed our third visit to Glen Cromie. Being only an hour from Melbourne along the Monash Freeway it is a very easy long weekend or weekend getaway. The park itself is only 10 minutes from both Warragul and Drouin.
The park is set on 35 acres in a secluded, quiet valley with the Tarago River running through the park. The valley is surrounded by large gum trees and tree ferns with plenty of wildlife.
The park was once owned by a local Warragul business owner named Joseph Cromie. He used the park to hold picnics and outings for his family and employees.
Later, the park became a picnic park for the locals. Since then, the park has become a holiday park and has been enjoyed by locals, holiday makers and day visitors ever since.
We have camped on unpowered sites on all three occasions we have visited. Once on the grass near the vehicle entry gates and the smaller playground and twice over near the beach entry to the river.
There are powered and non powered camping sites available plus ensuite cabins. Sites are dispersed throughout the holiday park with river frontage and non river frontage sites available. The first year we were worried about the younger children being close to the river but as they have grown we enjoyed being closer to the river.
The sites we had I think are the pick of the bunch, they were next to the beach entry on the map. The sites are along the river (but there is tall grass etc along the edge so you can’t fall in), close to the beach entry (which does get extremely busy over the sunny long weekends) and there is ample grassy space for the kids (and adults) to run around, kick a footy, play cricket or aerobie right in front of the tent sites.
There are designated sites so we found that we were all lined up within the ‘borders’ of our site. So with 5 families it was quite hard to have a ‘central’ area as it was actually a really ‘long’ area that we took up. Other camping trips we have found it better to be able to camp more as a group closer to each other and have a central ‘hub’ we could all mingle around (we did manage to do this on this trip but I just felt like everyone was spread out with cooking and shelter tents at both ends of our set up).
The camping sites are all on beautiful flat, grassy areas making it easy to set up the tent.
There are not too many dog friendly camping sites in Victoria and Glen Cromie Holiday Park is a pet friendly caravan park. I was a little worried about dogs with the kids but all the dogs we saw were kept under control. You are not allowed dogs if you are visiting for the day.
There is a small toilet block not far from these grassy sites. There are also two toilet and shower blocks at either end of the park. You are given keys upon checking in to use for these blocks (both the female and male keys are on the same key ring so you can’t use both shower blocks at the same time).
The toilet and shower blocks in the middle of the park we found to be filthy and were due for a really good clean. You definitely needed thongs inside here. The showers were also tiny, with limited water pressure so it was hard to shower with kids. This makes me think back to our week up in Porepunkah and how terrific the showers were in that park. If you are staying in a holiday or camping park which has showers I would always recommend wearing thongs in the showers no matter how clean they seem. You can read all about what else we take camping here.
As well as the toilet blocks and the shower blocks there is also a laundry with deep sinks, plenty of hot water for washing up and washing machines. There is also a couple of shelves with books which you are welcome to take and swap.
There are electric BBQ’s placed around the park and shelters which are available for hire.
There are a couple of playgrounds on the large grassy area. Surprisingly this trip we didn’t even make it to the playgrounds! The kids were happy running around the playing on the grass.
The beach entry and swimming hole is fantastic. It does get busy over the summer weekends though with people setting up chairs and esky’s under the trees. The water is shallow so is safe for the little kids to splash around in and although the river itself is not big enough for the massive floating devices you can get these days, smaller lilo’s and boats are great for floating down the river. You can start at the beach entry point or further up towards the other end of the park and have a longer adventure.
There is also approximately 2km of walking tracks throughout the park. There is a suspension bridge (great fun!) which leads to a track along the banks of the river and pops out over another bridge close to our camping area. The other walking tracks are more hilly through the bush, which are great for a morning power walk.
Camp fires are allowed in pre approved drums. Drums are available for hire or you can bring your own but the set up will need to be checked by the owners.
There is a small shop at reception selling supplies and coffee in the morning.
There seem to be very strict rules for the park including –
Arrival and departure time – there is NO checking in early unless you pay the day rate. Last year we stayed for one night for my grand fathers birthday and we were not allowed to take our car in before lunch to unpack the celebration lunch! We had to park our car near reception and walk the esky to the site (we were not going to pay a day rate for one extra hour!).
Camp fires – must be pre-approved. Any pre approved fires may also be subject to further checks. After our fire was approved we had to pack it down for the 2nd night as it was about 2 centre metres short!
You must back your caravan into the sites, no going sideways etc.
No noise after 10pm. We thought this rule was no ‘loud’ noise after 10pm but we were told spot on 10pm that we needed to be quiet (We are a group of families with children asleep all around us so we were not being loud!).
You must use the swipe for entry and exit.
Only one tent and car per site. Luckily one family in our group were allowed to set up a smaller 2nd tent for their teenager on the same site (after confirming with the owners).
Glen Cromie is a fantastic little holiday park and the main bonus being it is only just over an hour from home!
It does tick a lot of boxes for us including a river, beautiful grassy sites, shade, close to attractions, toilets and camp fires are allowed. If you can work within some of the strict guidelines (they might not sound all that strict but if you break them you’ll be blacklisted!) I think it is a great camping destination and although it is not a bush camping setting and there are lots of people around (number of people and how secluded a site was used to be at the top of our check list) and given we have been three times already I imagine we will return.