The camping spots near Melbourne perfect for a weekend getaway
11.06.2020

The camping spots near Melbourne perfect for a weekend getaway

Wilsons Promontory
WORDS BY EMILY-LAYNE KAPETANOVIC and James Di Fabrizio

Who’s feeling adventurous?

To some, there is nothing better than setting up camp and relaxing next to a fire under a clear night sky. But if you’re not well versed in the way of camping, it can be a daunting task to work out where to start. So if you need a little help finding somewhere to pitch your tent, this list of some of Victoria’s best camping sites is sure to help you peg it down.

Wombat State Forest

Barely an hour out of the city, Wombat State Forest is perfect for a quick and easy getaway. Skirted by The Great Dividing Range, the area is surrounded by extinct volcanoes hidden within the forest. And if the weather heats up and you’re keen to cool off, it’s not too far from Lederderg Gorge to take a dip. On top of all that, if you’re an avid mountain bike rider, the forest offers more than 100kms of tracks.

Find out more about the camping spot here.

Toolangi State Forest

In the vast forest of Toolangi, you’ll find several main camping areas scattered around to set up for the weekend. To the north, check out Murrindindi Reserve for its proximity to waterfalls and riverside camping. For a small car entry fee, you can play witness to untouched paradise and walk one of the reserve’s five popular walking trails. For more seclusion, cross the old suspension bridge and head to Two Hills for a levelled campground surrounded by lush rain forest and reaching trees.

Check out the camping spots at Toolangi State Forest here.

Tidal River at Wilson’s Promontory

Camping at Tidal River offers the whole package of outdoor experiences. Looking to hang with a wombat or two? Chances are you’ll bump into some there. Perhaps you’re keen on going on a hike? You’re in luck because the camping grounds at Tidal River edge towards the starting point of the Great Prom Walk, an overnight trek arriving at the most southerly point on the Australian mainland by sunrise. To cap it off, Fairy Cove – one of Melbourne’s best secret beaches – is just a short walk away.

Find out more about this popular spot here.

Gentle Annie Reserve at Labertouche

Situated in the luscious high country, Gentle Annie is a lesser-known camping ground amongst the often busier areas surrounding Labertouche. Expect ice-cold rivers and easy half-a-day hikes through the expansive rainforest.

Explore more of Gentle Annie here.

Mount Buffalo National Park in Bright

Mount Buffalo sounds like the location of a shootout between Clint Eastwood and some hapless outlaw, which as far as I’m concerned only makes this hidden gem more attractive. A dependable campsite for all seasons, the park really shines when it blooms with countless wildflowers in the summer months. Camp down near Lake Catani for easy access swimming and hike up into the mountainside for some incredible vistas.

Find out more about the camping spots at Mount Buffalo National Park here.

Johanna Beach

If camping near a beach is more your vibe then head along the Great Ocean Road to Johanna Beach. If you’re a keen surfer, this spot is especially perfect because it’s used as the back-up beach for the World Surf League Championships if Bells isn’t panning out. This spot means that you’ll be going without power so might be worth getting your hands on a solar-powered battery.

Explore more of Johanna Beach here.

Cathedral Ranges

Two hours out of Melbourne lies the magnificent Cathedral Ranges. One of Victoria’s most popular weekend camping destinations, there are three camping spots to choose from here depending on weather, activities and overall experience. If getting active is on the agenda, the rugged mountains offer many options to get your heart pumping from bushwalking to abseiling and rock climbing.

Find out more about camping in Cathedral Ranges here.

O’Briens Crossing at Werribee Gorge State Park

For the best of both worlds, set up camp at O’Briens Crossing – one of the more quiet and secluded spots around summer hotspot Werribee Gorge. During the day, you can spend a sunny afternoon trekking down to Meikles Point, or try your hand at rock climbing over at Falcons Lookout.

Get the full lowdown on O’Briens Crossing here

Halls Gap at The Grampians

If you’re a first-timer and you’re not keen on getting too down and dirty with your camping then perhaps head out to Halls Gap Lakeside. It offers the best of both worlds, with camping sites and galloping safari tents for purchase. Once you get your sleeping quarters organised you can settle in and experience the abundance of wildlife, walking trails and breathtaking views of the mountains.

Find out more about this popular camping spot here.

Cumberland River

Another gem nestled in front of the Great Ocean Road, head to Cumberland River for pristine campgrounds situated alongside the river opening. Surrounded by rugged cliff faces and countless walking tracks, a solid hike will also lead you to a windswept surf beach where the river opens up into the Bass Strait.

Book yourself a camping spot at Cumberland River here.

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