Best campgrounds in Victoria

We’re pretty spoilt with campgrounds in Victoria. From beachfront sites on the coast to secluded spots amongst the inland forest, there’s an endless variety of camping options to choose from.

After living out of my van for the past few years, I’ve spent plenty of time finding the best campgrounds in my home state. From exploring the High Country to driving along the Great Ocean Road, camping is one of the best ways to experience the beautiful nature that we have in Victoria.

If you’re looking for inspiration for where to go camping next, I’m rounding up the best campgrounds in Victoria (paid) in this blog post, from national parks to caravan parks. You’ll be able to explore some of the best parts of the state by camping at one of these spots for the weekend.

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Best (Paid) Camping Spots in Victoria

If you’re looking for a weekend escape into nature, here are my top picks for the best campgrounds in the state of Victoria. These are all paid campgrounds, from national park camping to caravan parks.

If you prefer free camping options, check out my guide on the 20 best free camps in Victoria.

Lake Catani Campground
Lake Catani Campground

1. Lake Catani Campground, Mount Buffalo National Park

  • Location: Mount Buffalo National Park, about 34km from Bright
  • Camping fees: From $27.80 per campsite
  • Facilities: Unpowered camping, showers, toilets, laundry sink, dishwashing sink, barbecues, picnic tables, and bins provided
  • Need to bring: Drinking water
  • Good to know: You can purchase firewood onsite at 11am or BYO. Phone reception is limited in the campground, so don’t rely on communication (Optus is non-existent and Telstra is weak)
  • Dog-friendly: No
  • Bookings: Parks Vic Website

The perfect base to explore Mount Buffalo National Park, Lake Catani Campground is the only vehicle accessible camping allowed inside the alpine park. It’s beautifully situated on the shores of the lake, where you can go canoeing or walk around the edge.

Plus, it’s a short drive from all the walks and lookouts, making it much easier to head off on a sunset mission to The Horn or an early morning hike to The Cathedral.

I’ve stayed here numerous times and while it’s not the best campground on this list, it’s definitely one of the most convenient when it comes to exploring Mount Buffalo (the alternative is to stay in Porepunkah or Bright down the mountain).

Just pick your spot wisely by using the map on the website, as not all sites are suitable for caravans and vans. The road through the campground can be skinny and tricky for reversing into sites as well. Book well ahead for weekends, summer holidays and other public holidays.

Read more: Best Hikes and Views at Mount Buffalo National Park

Johanna Beach surfers
Surfers at Johanna Beach

2. Johanna Beach Campground

  • Location: Red Johanna Road, off the Great Ocean Road about 44km from Apollo Bay
  • Camping fees: From $15.60 per campsite
  • Facilities: Unpowered camping, toilets, and picnic tables
  • Need to bring: Drinking water
  • Good to know: Phone reception is weak around the campground, but stronger near the beach, get up for sunrise!
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Bookings: Parks Vic Website

My favourite campground on the Great Ocean Road, Johanna Beach offers a secluded, beachfront spot tucked away on the rugged coastline just west of Cape Otway. The unpatrolled and experienced surf break at Johanna is a popular spot for locals to come in the morning. It’s also a great fishing location for mullet and salmon.

The campground has 25 sites just back from the beach in a sheltered and grassy area. Most of the sites are quite large, although there’s not a lot of privacy between sites. Some spots aren’t too flat either, so it’s best to check out the map online to pick a decent place.

I would highly recommend getting up for sunrise and heading to the lookout just 100m from the campground above the beach access footpath for stunning views. There’s also a walk-in only campground of the same name for those completing the Great Ocean Walk, which is located up the hill above the beach.


3. Harrietville Caravan Park

  • Located: Harrietville, about 24km from Bright
  • Camping fees: From $40 per night
  • Facilities: Powered and unpowered camping sites, toilet and shower blocks, coin-operated laundry, fire drums, barbecues, and picnic tables 
  • Good to know: A more laidback and casual caravan park compared to the bigger ones in Bright, so don’t expect the same as a flash Big4 or Discovery Park
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Bookings: Website

Perhaps a surprise addition to this list, but I actually highly rate the Harrietville Caravan Park. Located right on the Ovens River, it’s a very pretty spot to relax off the Great Alpine Road. With riverfront spots offering the ultimate peaceful escape, it’s ideal for those who prefer to steer clear of the busy towns of Bright and Myrtleford.

Harrietville is also a great base from which to explore the nearby hiking and skiing offered up the mountain at Mount Hotham. The caravan park is close to the trailhead for Bungalow Spur up to Mount Feathertop or you can easily head up to Hotham for a day trip.

It’s walking distance to some great local pubs and bakeries, but without all the hustle and bustle of Bright further down the road.

Apollo Bay
Apollo Bay

4. Marengo Caravan Park

  • Location: Great Ocean Road, about 3km outside of Apollo Bay
  • Camping fees: Varies depending on sites and season but ranges from $40 to $50 per camping site. Check availability and prices here.
  • Facilities: The caravan park is just 50m from the beach at the edge of Apollo Bay with shallow water and rock pools. It’s a beautiful place to be for sunset and sunrise
  • Good to know: Unpowered and powered camping sites, cabins, toilet and hot shower blocks, camp kitchen, laundry and Wi-Fi
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Bookings: Website

This is by far one of the best caravan parks on the Great Ocean Road. It’s located on the edge of Apollo Bay in Marengo right on the ocean. They have everything from unpowered and powered sites to comfortable cabins. A few of the camping sites have ocean views, which I’ve been lucky enough to score last minute. 

It’s usually heavily booked in advance for Christmas, New Year, Easter and weekends in summer. However, I found that mid-week virtually any other time of the year, they have plenty of availability. They don’t quite have all the fancy facilities that Big 4 caravan parks have, but the location right on the water is the real highlight here.

Plus, there’s a footpath that leads from the gate all the way into Apollo Bay for a quick cycle or long walk.

Read more: Ultimate Road Trip Guide to the Great Ocean Road

5. Bright Riverside Caravan Park

  • Location: On the north bank of the Ovens River in Bright
  • Camping fees: From $35 per night for unpowered or $50 for riverfront powered sites
  • Facilities: Unpowered and powered camping, cottages and cabins, riverfront villas, toilet and shower amenities block, camp kitchen and dining area, laundry, barbecues, riverfront seating and picnic areas , Wi-Fi
  • Good to know: Walk across the river via the bridge to access Howitt Park and the centre of town within minutes, or just sit by the river and go for a dip if it gets hot
  • Dog-friendly: No
  • Bookings: Website

If you prefer to be right in the middle of Bright for a weekend away, then this riverfront caravan park is my pick of the bunch. Run by a friendly family, it’s situated right along the Ovens River across from Howitt Park.

This provides a little sense of seclusion from the main town centre but within a few minutes walk away. You can go for a dip in the river, walk along the the Canyon Trail, or head over to the weekend market in the park.

With Bright being such a popular destination in Victoria, this is by far my favourite option for camping for the weekend. I’ve stayed at a few caravan parks in the area, and this was the friendliest experience I had. Plus, the amenities are quite new and modern, including a very well-equipped camp kitchen area.

Read more: 22 Best Things to Do in Bright in Victoria’s High Country

Mount Bogong Lookout, Mount Beauty
Mount Bogong Lookout, Mount Beauty

6. The Park Mount Beauty

  • Location: Mount Beauty town about 32km from Falls Creek
  • Camping fees: From $40 per night for unpowered and from $45 for powered sites
  • Facilities: Powered and unpowered camping, cabins, toilets and shower blocks, two camp kitchens and barbecue areas, fire pits, laundry, and WiFi
  • Good to know: There is generally a two night minimum stay for most of the year, with 3 or more night minimum stays during the popular holiday seasons
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Bookings: Website

Across the valley from Bright, you might be looking at staying in Mount Beauty, a pretty mountain village at the base of Falls Creek. The Park is a wonderful spot right on the river in town with a very tranquil setting.

With lush green grass and a laidback vibe, this caravan park has been a great base for me before and after hiking Mount Bogong or exploring Falls Creek. The owners are friendly and will try to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

Some of the powered sites are on the riverfront offering more privacy, otherwise, unpowered spots are still on soft grass perfect for tents or vans. You can also easily walk into town for dinner or the supermarket.

Camping at Tidal River
Camping at Tidal River

7. Tidal River Campground, Wilsons Prom National Park

  • Location: Tidal River in Wilsons Prom National Park, around 37km from Yanakie
  • Camping fees: About $33.80 per unpowered site or $37.60 for powered sites
  • Facilities: Powered and unpowered camping, toilets, showers, barbecues and picnic tables, drinking water, laundry, and bins provided
  • Good to know: No fires are permitted all year round, there is decent phone signal for Optus and Telstra throughout the campground, you’ll find a general store in front of the campground selling essentials and take away
  • Dogs: No
  • Bookings: Parks Vic Website

A classic Victorian holiday destination, Tidal River Campground has been an iconic summer camping spot for many generations. It’s easily one of the biggest campgrounds in Victoria with over 480 sites for all different camping setups.

Located in the main visitor hub of Wilsons Prom at Tidal River, it’s close to many of the best walks and beaches of the national park. Plus, you can even walk from the campground to Norman Beach or Pillar Point Lookout.

Of course, the popularity of this spot means some planning needs to be involved for high season. Advanced bookings are required for long weekends and Easter, with minimum stays. During summer, there is even a ballot held for bookings over Christmas and New Year, so check online regularly in the lead up to apply. Otherwise, I’ve visited on a whim during winter and got a site easily, so it depends when you plan on travelling to Wilsons Prom.

Read more: Complete Guide to Wilsons Prom National Park

Sugarloaf Peak
Sugarloaf Peak

8. Cooks Mill Campground, Cathedral Range State Park

  • Location: Little River Road inside Cathedral Range State Park just 30km north of Marysville
  • Camping fees: From $15.60 per site
  • Facilities: Unpowered camping, non-flushing toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, and shelters
  • Need to bring: Drinking water
  • Good to know: You can’t actually book a specific site here, so arrive early to pick a good spot after paying online, as there’s only a limited amount of spots for caravans and camper vans
  • Dog-friendly: No
  • Bookings: Parks Vic Website

For a weekend away amongst typical Aussie bush, it’s hard to beat the beauty of the Cathedral Range State Park. My pick from the camping spots is Cooks Mill. Located on the site of an old sawmill, it’s a shady spot amongst Peppermint, Blackwood and Red Stringybark gum trees.

From the campground, you can head off on a short walk along the Friends Nature Trail or Little River Walk where you might spot a koala. Otherwise, hikers can head up to North or South Jawbone or Sugarloaf Peak for unforgettable views over the Cathedral Ranges.

It’s essential to arrive early though, as weekends can get absolutely packed quickly, plus day trippers also crowd the carparks, so ensure you get a spot. Phone signal is limited around the campground (no Optus, weak Telstra) so switch off and enjoy the serenity.

Read more: Guide to Hiking in the Cathedral Ranges State Park

Kilcunda Trestle Bridge
Kilcunda Trestle Bridge

9. Powlett River Holiday Park

  • Location: Just 5km outside of Kilcunda
  • Camping fees: From $40 per site for unpowered and $55 for powered
  • Facilities: Powered and unpowered camping, toilet and shower blocks, coin operated laundry, dump point, town water, picnic tables, communal fire pit and bins provided
  • Need to bring: No camp kitchen, but a sink for dishes is available
  • Good to know: Decent phone signal for Optus and Telstra, and it’s just a short cycle into Kilcunda along the Wonthaggi Rail Trail
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Bookings: Website

A bit of a hidden gem on the camping front in Victoria, this secluded caravan park is on the banks of the Powlett River just before it reaches the sea. With sand dunes, beautiful green grass, and the water not too far away, it’s the perfect coastal escape. Wombats are even common around the camp, especially at night.

The park is an independent, family-run operation, so it has a laidback vibe with simple but clean amenities. You can easily follow the walking path for less than a kilometre to the beach along the river. You’ll be able to cross to the sand dunes at low tide. Otherwise, kayaking on the river is a popular pastime.

Jump on the Wonthaggi-Bass Coast Rail Trail nearby for a cycle or to head into Kilcunda to visit the surf beach, Kilcunda Trestle Bridge or the General Store for a coffee. If you’re looking for a good day out, the 8 km George Bass Coastal Walk starts in Kilcunda.

Sunset at Killarney Beach
Sunset at Killarney Beach

10. Killarney Beach Caravan Park

  • Location: Killarney Recreation Reserve just 10km outside of Port Fairy
  • Camping fees: From $30 per night for unpowered or $34 for powered camping
  • Facilities: Powered and unpowered camping, toilets and shower block, coin operated laundry, children’s playground, sports oval, barbecue and shelter, town water (not potable)
  • Need to bring: Drinking water
  • Good to know: A basic camping setup located around the edge of a local footy oval, don’t expect a fancy caravan park, but for those on a budget it offers an incredible beachfront spot
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Bookings: Website

Another hidden gem of a spot and a great budget find is Killarney Beach. A council-run caravan park just back from the beach and surrounding the local football oval, it’s a basic but lovely spot to stay not far from Port Fairy.

I stayed here for a few days in autumn and was one of the only ones there, making it a pretty quiet spot on the west coast of Victoria. There’s a short walk to the beach, where you can go for a long walk, fish for some whiting, and go snorkelling or swimming.

Most of the sites are unpowered and located around the oval on soft grass, but they do have a handful of powered sites too. When the oval is not in use for local sport, kids can use it along with the playground.

Read more: A Weekend Guide to Port Fairy

Cumberland River Caravan Park
Cumberland River Caravan Park

11. Cumberland River Holiday Park

  • Location: On the Great Ocean Road, just 7.5km outside of Lorne
  • Camping fees: From $30 per site for off-peak garden area, but up to $80 per site for high season riverfront sites
  • Facilities: Unpowered camping sites, cabins, laundry, fire drums, children’s playground, barbecues and shelters, dishwashing sinks, and kiosk onsite
  • Good to know: They only offer unpowered camping sites, so it’s ideal for those not reliant on power, plus with limited phone reception and no Wi-Fi, it’s time to unplug
  • Dog-friendly: No
  • Bookings: Website

For a nature reset outside of Lorne, this caravan park offers a more rustic setting on the Cumberland River inlet on the Great Ocean Road. They only offer unpowered sites, so it suits caravans and camping setups that don’t rely on plugging into power and want to switch off for a few days.

With beautiful views of the river and the escarpment behind, the beach is also a short walk in front. Being close enough to Lorne, you can easily head into town for the cafes and shops, or deeper into the Otways for walks and waterfalls a short drive away.

Read more: 9 Best Waterfalls on the Great Ocean Road

Tarra Valley Retreat
Tarra Valley Retreat

12. Tarra Valley Retreat

  • Location: On Tarra Valley Road just 20km north of Yarram
  • Camping fees: From $35 for unpowered sites or $45 for powered sites per night
  • Facilities: Powered and unpowered camping, cabins, camp kitchen, barbecue huts, toilet and shower block, coin operated laundry, fire rings, playground and WiFi access
  • Need to bring: Firewood
  • Good to know: There’s no phone signal, so you’ll have to rely on the high speed WiFi at reception, otherwise the staff are super helpful with plenty of information on the national park
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Bookings: Website

Perhaps one of the most underrated campgrounds in Victoria, the Tarra Valley Retreat is the ultimate forest getaway in the state. Located on the boundary of the Tarra-Bulga National Park, this small camping area is surrounded by some of the most beautiful rainforest found in Victoria.

The peaceful spot is located on the river, with huge gum trees and ferns separating each site, with both powered and unpowered spots available. It is a more rustic caravan park, with no phone signal and basic facilities, but I recommend switching your phone off and lighting a campfire instead.

It’s a bit of a remote place, accessed via a skinny drive up the Tarra Valley Road, but trust me when I say it’s worth it. Plus, the waterfalls and walks nearby make it a great weekend getaway.

Read more: Walks and Waterfalls in Tarra-Bulga National Park

Cape Conran
Cape Conran

13. Banksia Bluff Campground, Cape Conran

  • Location: Inside Cape Conran Coastal Park, about 36km from Orbost
  • Camping fees: From $21.60 per site per night
  • Facilities: Unpowered camping, flushing toilets, cold outdoor showers, campfire rings and bins provided
  • Need to bring: Drinking water and firewood
  • Good to know: Pick your site carefully, as only some are dog-friendly and several even offer sea views for the same price, but book before arriving as phone signal can be hard to reach inside the campground
  • Dog-friendly: Parts of the campground offer dog-friendly sites
  • Bookings: Parks Vic Website

Located amongst the coastal scrub on the east coast of Cape Conran, Banksia Bluff Campground is a little bit of a local secret in Gippsland. There are over 130 camping sites separated into sections referred to as loops.

Some loops offer dog-friendly sites while others are not dog-friendly, so ensure you pick the right part of the campground if you want to bring your pets. There’s plenty to do in and around the coast, including walking, fishing, and diving.

The Cape Conran Nature Trail takes in white sandy beaches, rock pools, boardwalks, banksia woodlands and Aboriginal history of the coast. While the west cape has fishing spots where you’ll catch salmon, flathead and gummy sharks.

Mallacoota Foreshore Caravan Park
Mallacoota Foreshore Caravan Park

14. Mallacoota Foreshore Caravan Park

  • Location: Right in the heart of town in Mallacoota
  • Camping fees: From $30 per night for unpowered or $40 per night for powered (more for waterfront sites)
  • Facilities: Powered and unpowered camping, camp kitchen, electric barbecues, dump point, playgrounds, and boat ramp
  • Good to know: The camping area is spread out along the front foreshore in Mallacoota, with areas divided into blocks with unpowered and powered sites scattered along the waterfront
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Bookings: Website

An old Victorian holiday favourite, Mallacoota is one of the most beautiful towns on the Gippsland coast. Way up near the NSW South Coast border (which equally has some great camping opportunities), Mallacoota is a great place to go camping for the weekend surrounded by clear blue water and plenty of native wildlife.

The best part about this campground is that it’s located right along the waterfront of Mallacoota Inlet in the heart of town. This means you’re close to virtually everything, including cafes, boat ramps, walking paths, and beaches.

It’s relatively affordable considering the location, but of course, you can expect prices to go up in summer and it’s often booked out in advance. But for the rest of the year, it remains a quiet place to escape the world.

Boronia Peak
View of Lake Bellfield from Boronia Peak

15. Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park

  • Location: On the shore of Lake Bellfield just 4km south of Halls Gap
  • Camping fees: From $40 for unpowered or $45 for powered sites
  • Facilities: Powered and unpowered camping, glamping, cabins, heated pools, communal fireplace, camp kitchen and dining area, dump point, toilet and shower blocks, Wi-Fi, playground, laundry, and onsite cafe
  • Good to know: While quite peaceful for most of the year, in school holidays you can expect it to be fully booked and quite noisy, but that will be the same with any caravan park in Halls Gap during the holidays
  • Dog-friendly: No
  • Bookings: Website

Just south of Halls Gap town on the shores of Lake Bellfield, this campground is the most picturesque of the caravan parks in the area. With powered and unpowered camping areas in amongst the bush, it feels much quieter away from town.

It does have all the bells and whistles of the fancier type caravan parks, so it’s perfect for kids with pools and a playground. But it’s also conveniently located close to some great walks in the Grampians too, if you want to head out exploring.

If you want something more rustic, there are also plenty of national park campgrounds around the region. My picks for the central Grampians would be Smiths Mill Campground or Borough Huts Campground.

Read more: Ultimate Travel Guide to the Grampians National Park


Camping Essentials to Pack

  • Head torch: As soon as the sun sets, you’ll be needing a good quality head torch to help find your way around the campground at night. Black Diamond is USB rechargeable too.
  • Camp chair: Kick back and relax at the end of the day with a comfortable chair. This Helinox camp chair is a lightweight option that packs away easily.
  • Gas cooker: Cooking up quality meals while camping makes the experience so much more enjoyable. I recommend a JetBoil stove which is super portable and boils water rapidly.
  • Portable solar panel: If you’re camping at an unpowered site, a small solar panel can come in handy when trying to charge your devices off the grid. This BioLite Panel is easily packable and powerful enough to charge phones and tablets.
  • Water filter: Many national park campgrounds only have rainwater which often requires filtration. I carry the Sawyer Squeeze Filter with me, as it’s easy to use and filters water instantly.
  • Sleeping bag: A good sleeping bag is essential to keep you warm, dry and comfortable while camping out. Sea to Summit make some incredible down options, with the Spark III a staple for many different adventures.

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