It is no secret that we love camping, but it seems so do a lot of other families! There are many awesome camping sites around Victoria, many of which we have camped at, but we get over the crowds! We are always looking for a bush camping experience without the crowds!
What you can find in this post
In comes You Camp.
The best way to describe this is to say it’s like Air B&B for camping.
You Camp in a nut shell is camping on private land. Whether you prefer to camp, kayak, glamp or stay in a cabin there are options to suit everyone with new properties listed on the site daily. As the You Camp site states – “We are committed to opening up unique frontiers of the Australian outdoors, providing people with access to the best and most exciting, interesting places to stay. We are the first and biggest land-sharing website in Australia, with hundreds of properties to discover… and hosts to meet. Every day more and more local hosts open up their properties to provide incredible outdoor experiences, many of which have never before been accessible to the public”.
Seven Hills Tallarook
Our first You Camp property we visited was Seven Hills Tallarook. A property of over 600 bushy acres perfect for private camping. Seven Hills is a working goat farm suppling farmed goat meat to Melbourne restaurants.
We found the owners of Seven Hills, Taylan and Rebecca to be super helpful, welcoming and they answered all our questions very quickly and were more than happy to assist.
Before arrival Taylan sent through an email, which included a property map, CFA do’s and don’t’s and a welcome pack.
I think one of the biggest pluses in choosing this property is that it is only just over an hours drive from Melbourne, making it a super easy destination. Seven Hills is located just 5 minutes off the Hume Hwy.
Seven Hills Tallarook sits on seven hills! There are various camping areas you are able to book and you will have exclusive use of your private ‘area’. We booked next to dam 1, a large area with plenty of space for four families. Unfortunately, camping at the end of summer meant the property was extremely dusty and dirty and the dam only had a shallow layer of very brown water in the bottom.
There is also a homestead available for rent. It was fully booked so we didn’t have a look inside, but peaking through the front door there was a beautiful looking pool overlooking the hills.
A creek called Sunday Creek, runs through the property. It was approximately a 10 minute walk from our campsite, again, at this time of year it was quite low and didn’t look overly appealing.
The one thing we did find interesting was the lack of any flat ground to pitch a tent and set up a caravan. When we arrived we spent nearly a whole hour trying to work out where to put three tents and a caravan. We consider ourselves seasoned campers and have camped at many different places and this was the first time we have ever encounted such sloping ground! At the end of the day it wasn’t a big deal – we slept with our heads at the top of the hill!
There are no actual facilities at all whilst camping at Seven Hills. If you are not self sufficient with a toilet in your camping set up then you are able to high a port a loo. I was a bit worried how one port a loo would survive four families but it was surprising not smelly!! You’ll need to bring your own toilet paper supply though.
Stone/rock fire pits are available at every campsite and we had a huge pile of timber stacked next to our fire (we had also brought our own along and you can purchase a load from Taylan if required). Camp fire rules are as per any camping site, make sure it is fully extinguished before leaving etc. Also, as per any camping you should leave the camp site in a better condition that you found it, not only will other guests be camping in the same area but at Seven Hills there will be animals grazing.
There are no bins on the property and all rubbish must be taken out. We always find cans are a much better option when camping as a) they fit into the esky better and b) they can be crushed and create less rubbish. You can read our ultimate camping packing list here.
As soon as you arrive you are faced with a really steep hill! Taylan will let you know but a heads up – the left drive way is for those towing anything and the drive way on your right is for those who are not!
Most of the property is 2WD accessible (when not towing), however there were roads we drove on when exploring that I would not have wanted to be in a 2WD car – it was very steep and rocky (and fun!).
Taylan is happy to tow your van into your site if you request this in advance.
The kids loved the animals on the farm.
We kept all our food scraps (no meat though) and fed the pigs and bread was left out for us to feed the goats.
There are activities to explore in the area but to be honest when bush camping we like to just chill. We headed into town for the local Tallarook Easter market, where we tasted some yummy food and bought some local honey. We also we went off hunting for a water hole. It was a bit late in the day before we researched and ended up about 20 minutes away at Trawool. The river was huge but absolutely freezing!
It was a great location to let the kids roam free and explore. They loved hunting for yabbies (we found a yabby net in the dam on our last morning), swinging on the rope swing, walking, climbing over rocky outcrops, toasting marshmallows and playing with glow sticks once it got dark.
One thing we didn’t experience which was on offer was purchasing a ‘goat sampler pack’. I’ve really only had goat in curries before so it would have been interesting to try it prepared differently and fresh straight from the farm.
Would we return to Seven Hills? No, I think it would be a different experience after some rain if it wasn’t so dirty and dusty but we don’t think it was different enough of an experience that we would choose it again. Would we choose another You Camp property? A big yes. Can’t wait to explore more of these properties over the next few years.
Have you experienced a You Camp experience yet? Where did you go and what did you think?