1. Wye River Foreshore, Great Ocean Road
Absolute beach frontage and abundant wildlife make this a top pick for camping Victoria. Around 2.5 hours' drive from Melbourne, you'll find the quiet spot where mountains meet the sea. There are 60 powered sites and four unpowered on offer, with the latter nestled in a sectioned-off beach access area where vehicles aren't permitted – for ultimate relaxation.
Facilities include an amenities block with a disabled shower/toilet/baby change room (cleaned daily); a laundry with three washing machines and a double-stack dryer; camp kitchen with gas burners and rangehoods; fridge, freezer, microwave and prep/wash-up area; four- and six-burner hooded barbecues; and a sitting area with table and chairs.
There is also a pub and a general store nearby for supplies and sunset beers.
Prices start from $32/night for an unpowered site for two people. This popular campground fills up, so it's essential to book in advance.
2. Neds Gully, Cathedral Range
Take a short walk along Little River, cross a swing bridge, and you'll find this sweet camping spot nestled in a woodland clearing in the Cathedral Range. It's a two-hour drive from Melbourne, but with its stunning scenery, abundant wildlife and secluded location, it's worlds away from the bustling city.
The family-friendly camping area features unmarked sites; pitch your tent in the grassy meadow and take a walk along the Little River Trail for your chance to spot koalas, tackle the rocky ridge of Neds Peak for unbelievable panoramas across the Cathedral Range.
Basic facilities include pit toilets and communal fire pits. Pets are prohibited. Prices begin from $13.70 per night, and bookings are essential to secure a site.
3. Big4 Phillip Island Caravan Park, Phillip Island
Phillip Island is famous for the local fairy penguins who visit their beaches each night, charming visitors from around Australia and the world as they waddle up the sane. But it's also a beautiful spot for walking trails, beach days, wildlife cruises and more. Situated on a nature reserve right next to Newhaven Beach, and just a 500m walk away from shops and restaurants, this campground offers everything from deluxe and budget cabins to powered, drive-thru and non-powered camping sites.
There's a modern camp kitchen, kiosk, clean amenities block with disabled facilities and laundry (washing machines and dryers) – not to mention plenty to occupy the kids. Think: an outdoor cinema, buggy hire, an adventure playground, giant jumping pillow, basketball ring, volleyball net, TV room and games room with electronic games!
Unpowered sites start from $31. For more info and to book, click here.
4. Lake Catani Campground, Mount Buffalo
Lovers of adventure and nature cannot go past a stay on the beautiful banks of Lake Catani. Around four hours out of the Melbourne CBD, this family-friendly camping spot offers 49 sites all set high in the alps in the beautiful Mount Buffalo National Park. Go for a walk to take in wildlife and waterfalls, swim or kayak in the peaceful waters, or just hang out with the local wombats.
The campground is basic but has everything visitors need for a comfortable stay. Toilets and hot showers (including accessible options), dishwashing facilities, a basic laundry, along with a mess hall with shared-use tables and fireplaces all feature. At the nearby day visitor centre, a picnic shelter overlooking the lake, free gas barbecues and tables provide a serene setting to watch the world go by. There are 49 sites, some suitable for camper vans and caravans and others only suite to car and tent camping. Several walk-in sites offer a more private experience.
Book a site online, starting from $25.90 per night.
5. Marengo Holiday Park, Great Ocean Road
This is one for the whole family – literally – with pets welcome at the holiday spot. There are even plenty of dog-friendly beaches around the area so your fur baby can take in all the best bits of your camping holiday, too.
It's around an hour and a half's drive from Melbourne if you take the inland route – but for a scenic drive along the Great Ocean Road, add an hour's travel time and take in the natural beauty of the area.
Accommodation options include both unpowered and powered sites, some with ocean views, as well as cosy cabins if you don't feel like roughing it. Plus you'll find all the usual creature comforts you'd want from a campground: an amenities block with laundry, family and accessible bathrooms, enclosed kitchen, adventure playground, an outdoor BBQ area, and WIFI internet access (free for cabin guests).
Unpowered sites are available from $36 a night, and bookings can be made online.
6. Candlebark Campground, Lake Eildon
This is one of three top camping spots around picturesque Coller Bay, on the shores of popular Lake Eildon, that make up the Fraser Camping Area. While nearby Lakeside Campground is best for motorised water sports, Candlebark (along with Devil Cove to the north) is perfect for families and groups wanting a low-key camping adventure.
Canoe, kayak, paddle-board or swim in the sheltered waters of Devil Cove or Coller Bay, take a stroll through nature on one of the area's many walking trails, or just relax on the shores of Lake Eildon.
The amenities – hot showers, flushing toilets and gas barbecues – are all you need to up-level your stay at Candlebark's unpowered sites, and you can stock up on supplies at local towns Alexandra or Eildon (both 15 minutes away).
Camp sites start from $24.50, and can be booked online.
7. Tidal River Campground, Wilsons Promontory National Park
If you're looking for a seriously picturesque setting for your next camping trip, you've found it: this is one of the best-known campgrounds in The Prom, and for good reason. With the beautiful Tidal River to one side offering a safe, calm swimming spot for families, and surf-heavy Norman Beach (one of the best in the national park) on the other, it's a camping fan's dream.
With 484 camping and caravan sites (both powered and unpowered available), this is perhaps the most popular camping spot in the area, and is the perfect home base from which to enjoy scenic walks, surfing or simply soaking in the serenity at your campsite. Gas barbecues, hot showers and dishwashing stations and a pop-up cinema complete the package, just a 3.5-hour drive south-east of Melbourne.
We did mention this place is popular, and even with all those spaces, you'll definitely want to book well in advance. Unpowered sites begin at $29.80.
8. Killarney Beach Caravan Park, Killarney
Just past Warrnambool, around 280km out of Melbourne, is the sleepy town of Killarney. With a population of just 800, this tiny village on the coast has everything you need for a relaxing beachside getaway against a backdrop of rolling green pastures – and incredible local produce to satisfy your inner foodie, too.
Just a short stroll across the sand dunes you'll find beautiful calm waters that are protected by an offshore reef, making them perfect for swimming. The fishing at Killarney Beach isn't to be missed, either.
The caravan park features 20 powered and 50 unpowered sites, and is pet-friendly, so your fur babies can take a time out, too. There are barbecue and laundry facilities, a sports oval and kids' playground for the littlies – and no wifi, so you can really switch off.
Powered sites are $30 per night, and unpowered are $25 per night. Additional adults are $10 per person, and children over five are $5. It's a good idea to book your site ahead to avoid missing out.
9. Johanna Beach Campground, Great Ocean Road
With rainforest walking trails and world-class surfing close at hand, migrating whales swimming by in winter and spring, and attractions like Melba Gully, the Twelve Apostles, Cape Otway Lightstation and Triplet Falls within an hour's drive, a diverse and action-packed camping trip awaits on this part of the Great Ocean Road.
This small 25-site campground is dog-friendly (on lead) and has only the bare essentials – ie. non-flushing toilets – so be ready to forego showers for the duration of your stay! Not that you'll need them with Johanna Beach just steps away. It's the perfect spot for experienced surfers (Johanna is the go-to beach if the waves at Belles Beach aren't up to scratch for the World Surf League championships) but be aware the beach is unpatrolled.
Sites here get nabbed up fast in summer, but those in the know book for weekdays to avoid the crowds – we suggest you do the same if you're planning some time by the sea here.
10. Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park, The Grampians
If an upmarket slice of paradise tucked away at the foot of an impressive mountain range is what you're looking for, you can call off the search. From a wood-fire heated pool complex to 60-seat camp lounge around an open fire on cooler nights, visitors can settle back and take in all nature has to offer... with a few little comfortable extras on the side.
Whether you're planning to catch your zzz's in a caravan, camper trailer, small tent or a motor home, this campground has large powered and unpowered sites for every kind of camper. Glamping more your style? You can even book one of their luxe safari tents! Kayak on nearby Lake Bellfield, fish for brown trout, go horse-riding, or simply sit back and watch local kangaroos and the occasional echidna meander by.
With facilities including private bathrooms, a wifi hub, camp kitchen, playground and trampoline, a spot to grab espresso coffee (yes, really – and did we mention the heated pool?), this is about as lush as roughing it can get. Unpowered sites start at $31; head online to book.
You may also like