Melbourne, you made it! The big chill is over and another scorching hot summer is here. It’s time to load up the rig with supplies, gather a crew of your most valued camp-comrades, and get out of the city for a weekend of Aussie adventure. But where should you go? Victoria is teeming with beautiful bushland, clean coastlines and amazing alps. Here’s our best 5 campsites near Melbourne.
1. Tidal River, Wilsons Promontory National Park
Tidal River is in Victoria’s largest National Park, Wilsons Prom. With around about 500 campsites at Tidal Creek, you’d think you’d be packed in like sardines, but the seemingly never ending network of hiking trails and far reaching beaches help to distribute the masses more evenly, so there’s still plenty of solace to be found. There’s stacks of fun to be had for the whole family, with an outdoor cinema operating in the summer months, as well as an abundance of koalas, echidnas, wallabies and just about every other Australian icon you can name, frequenting the campsite regularly.
Tidal River is very popular in summer, so check the website for booking details.
2. Johanna Beach, Great Otway National Park
If surfing is your go, Johanna Beach is the spot for you. Used as the backup location for the annual WSL event at Bells Beach, Johanna Beach can offer one of the best beach breaks in the world, on its day. It’s a secluded, grassy site, with miles of classic Victorian bushland and coastline to explore. The Great Ocean hiking trail runs nearby, so there are some incredible views to take in if you’re willing to put in the work. Sun, sea and salt are what it’s all about at Johanna.
Johanna Beach is a smaller site, so you’ll need to book ahead. Check the website for details.
3. Murrundindi Reserve, Toolangi State Forest
Toolangi State Forest is a vast area, and you’ll find some great campsites within. We rate Murrundindi Reserve as the pick of the bunch, but at the end of the day it’s down to what you value the most in a site. Murrundindi offers close proximity to some beautiful waterfalls and swimming holes, making it a great option if you’re trying to escape the heat of summer. If you love riverside camping, this is the spot for you.
Book ahead via the website to guarantee you get a spot.
4. Mornington Peninsula Foreshore
The Mornington Peninsula is one of Australia’s gems. Crystal clear waters, wineries and friendly locals await you. There’s three main campsites along the Mornington Foreshore; Rosebud, Rye and Sorrento. They’re all well set up, and offer a similar experience for campers. With these spots, it’s less about the site and more about a cheap way to access some of our country’s best natural beauty. This isn’t your secluded, quiet camping experience, but it is a must visit for any sea loving Victorian.
You can find booking information here.
5. Cumberland River Holiday Park, Great Ocean Road
Cumberland River Holiday Park is a few clicks from Lorne, and sits on the edge of the river, in a valley surrounded by rugged cliffs. It’s an incredibly picturesque spot, and offers a wide array of summer activities. There’s around 50kms worth of hiking to be done around Cumberland River, with safe beach swimming right out front, and trout aplenty in the river itself. The holiday park is only about a 5km hike from Cumberland Falls, and is well equipped with a good range of site options.
It does get busy in summer, so check the website for booking information.
It doesn’t matter where you live in Australia, you’re never far from a great campsite. We’ve covered the best spots near Brisbane as well as the top 5 near Sydney , and now Melbourne’s had the treatment, too. Wherever you are, there’s no excuse not to get outdoors and embrace the spirit of adventure!