Local Escapes

Your 2023 Guide To Victoria’s Best Free Camping Sites

By Ben Tyers
7th Mar 2023


No matter the season, it's always a good time to get outdoors and camp in Victoria's wilderness. Victoria has a ton of both paid and free campsites around the state, most of them fairly accessible from the city.

Here are 15 of the best free camping spots in Victoria for 2023:

Plantation Campground


You'll find Plantation Campground on Mount Zero Road.

The campground has 30 campsites that work on a first-come, first-served basis. So if you're heading up that way, you might want to set up camp before setting out on an adventure.

There is no drinking water available at Plantation Campground, so you'll have to bring your own. There are toilets available on site.

Where: Mount Zero Road, Halls Gap
More information here.

Stevensons Falls


Stevensons Falls Campground can be found by the Gellibrand River.

Touted as one of the best camping spots in Victoria, around half of the campsites available sit in shade provided by the Douglas Fir trees. You'll find the grass in the campground is well kept due to the resident kangaroos.

Where: Roadknight Creek Road, Barramunga
More information here.

Andersons Garden

Mount Disappointment

Inside the Mount Disappointment State forest, you'll find a free campground called Andersons Garden.

Named for an old gold mining family, the campground is doggo-friendly and is surrounded by excellent trails for both motorbikes and 4WDs making it popular all year round.

It's suggested you bring your own water or at least equipment to make water potable.

Where: Boundary Road, Clonbinane
More information here.

Meredith Park

Lake Colac

Set on the edge of Lake Colac, Meredith Park is a great spot to get away from it all.

Walking distance to the lake will depend on the season, and recent rains—regardless it's not a massive hike. There's a boat ramp available as well if you're planning on a bit of a water adventure.

There are plenty of shady sites, and wood-fired BBQs are available. Just bring your own wood.

Where: Meredith Park Road, Ondit
More information here.

Mount Franklin

Macedon Ranges

Fancy camping inside a volcano crater? Then Mount Franklin is the best campsite for you.

You can't miss Mount Franklin, sticking out among cleared farmland, the mountain is covered in pine trees, which create one of the best free camping spots in Victoria with an excellent windless environment in the campground.

There are BBQs available, and plenty of sites, all with shade.

Where: Mount Franklin Road, Mount Franklin
More information here.

Gunbower National Park

Murray River

Time for some camping on the mighty Murray River.

Find some higher ground on the banks of the vier and set up camp among the river red gums and black box.

Given the region, it might be dry and dusty, but you won't be thinking about that much as you catch the local bird life, and cattle grazing nearby.

The stretch of island has 114 river, and 25 creek campsites making it some of the best free camping you'll find in Victoria. 

Where: Along the Murray River
More information here.

Aberfeldy River


The Aberfeldy River camping area has eight sites on offer, so during peak periods you're going to want to get there early.

You'll need a 4WD to access the campground, and it's not suitable for caravans, so you're going to need to bring all your gear with you.

There are fireplaces on site, and a non-flush toilet.

Where: Plane Track, Baw Baw
More information here.

Blue Pool Campground


Blue Pool is in the Briagolong State Forest and is a wonderfully peaceful spot and one of the best free camping spots in Victoria.

Set up camp in the shady campground where you'll find a drop toilet, fire pits, and picnic tables. The campground is just a short walk to Blue Pool, an ideal spot to cool off over summer.

Where: Freestone Creek Road, Briagolong
More information here.

Reeves Beach


Camping right on the beach? Yes, it can happen at South Gippsland's Reeves Beach.

Part of the 90-mile beach, Reeves has absolutely no electricity, no phone reception—but toilets are available.

Keep an eye out for dolphins or whales offshore.

Where: Reeves Beach Road, Woodside
More information here.

Butts Reserve


Set at the foot of Mount Tarrengower, Butts Reserve has a range of sites in a rocky outcrop.

The site is close to the historic town of Maldon, so is a good spot to base yourself for a day of exploring. The campground has picnic tables, wood-fired BBQs, a toilet block, and water taps.

Butts Reserve is suitable for 2WD cars and caravans.

Where: Mount Tarrengower Road, Maldon
More information here.

The Poplars Campground

West Gippsland

You'll find The Poplars campground in west Gippsland's Loch Valley.

The campground is surrounded by European poplar trees as well as Manna Gums.

A range of activities can be accessed from the campground, including trout fishing, horse riding, and four-wheel driving.

There are 20 sites at the campground, a toilet, shelter, and picnic tables.

Where: Loch Valley Road, Loch Valley
More information here.

Toolangi Recreation Reserve 

Yarra Ranges

Head up into the hills and relax on the banks of the Yea River at the Toolangi Recreation Reserve.

This one's high on the best free camping in Victoria, set upon the cricket oval it's also surrounded by towering Mountain Ash trees.

There is tank water available at the campground as well as flushing toilets, electric BBQs, and a covered picnic area with tables.

Where: Cherrys Lane, Toolangi
More information here.

Lerderderg Campground


A free campground that is surrounded by a ton of things to do, is the Lerderderg Campground, set in the Lerderderg State Park.

Bushwalking, 4WD trails, and more are all at your fingertips. Keep an eye out for koalas, kangaroos and wallabies. The campground features picnic tables, toilets, and fireplaces.

Where: Lererderg State Park
More information here.

For more weekend getaway inspiration, check out our Local Escapes section.

Image credit: David Kirkland

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