Top spots for Easter camping

Camping at Gunbower Island on the Murray

Camping at Gunbower Island on the Murray

An Easter camping trip into Victoria’s stunning regional areas is an Aussie tradition. Camping is one of the best ways to experience the great outdoors. Pitch a tent, put a billy on the boil and lay a swag under the stars (or book a private luxury cabin glamping style!). Bookings are recommended – particularly during holiday periods.

The Grampians

The Grampians National Park and surrounding state parks boast some of Victoria’s best free camping spots. The Park, three hours west of Melbourne, offers a great base for day trips to waterfalls or challenging hikes to renowned rocky escarpments.

Jimmy Creek Campground, located in the Southern Grampians, offers a bush camping experience with the tranquility of the Jimmy Creek flowing alongside its campsites. The campground has 21 individual sites, suitable for caravans, camper trailers and tents with adjacent car parking. Sites are unpowered and sleep up to six people. Advance booking essential. Access via the Grampians Tourist Road.

For those who like a few more creature comforts, Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park offers camp sites and cabins with new amenities, individual bathrooms, modern facilities and a heated outdoor pool. The park is only three kilometres from the Halls Gap township and there are plenty of family-friendly attractions nearby including the Halls Gap Zoo and Grampians Adventure Golf.  27 Tymna Drive, Halls Gap +61 3 5356 4281

Wimmera Lakes Caravan Resort is ideally located on the Western Highway at the eastern end of Horsham, with the Grampians National Park a distant breathtaking backdrop. The Resort is complete with a camp kitchen, barbecues, a solar heated pool and an outdoor playground. 161 Western Highway, Horsham, +61 3 5382 4481

The Murray

The temperate climate and spectacular wilderness makes this an ideal spot for bush and riverbank camping along the mighty Murray River, four hours north-west of Melbourne.

Gunbower Island on the banks of the Murray River is located five minutes from the town of Koondrook and is well suited to the adventurous camper. There are three camping sites set among bushland with access to the river for boating, water skiing, swimming and fishing. Gunbower National Park

The Murray River is lined with nine BIG4 holiday parks offering cabin, caravan and camping accommodation. Big 4 Riverside Swan Hill offers riverside camping and deluxe cabins surrounded by breathtaking scenery, as well as a swimming pool and golf packages for the award-winning Murray Downs Golf Course which is located nearby. 1 Monash Drive, Swan Hill +61 3 5032 1494

Just a short drive from Swan Hill, Lake Boga Caravan Park offers magnificent lake views and easy access to the pristine Lake Boga, a great place for all water sports. The caravan park has its own boat ramp for ease of access, and facilities including laundry, camp kitchen and a barbarque area. 153 Murray Valley Hwy, Lake Boga +61 3 5037 2386

Gippsland

Located two hours east of Melbourne, Gippsland is the perfect destination for a combined bush and coastal camping experience.

Nestled between the river and the ocean beach, Thurra River has 46 campsites making it the largest camp ground in Croajingolong National Park. The Thurra River is shallow and a popular spot for families to relax on hot days. Toilets and barbecues are available. Bookings essential. Croajingalong National Park.

Cape Conran Coastal Park has 135 camping sites spread over one kilometre. There are other accommodation options available, including cabins and a large lodge which sleeps up to 17 people. The park fronts on to 60 kilometres of isolated sandy beach facing the rugged Bass Strait. Cape Conran Road, Cape Conran, +61 3 5154 8438

For those who cannot do without their creature comforts but want to experience a nature based getaway, ‘glamping’ is the way to go. For this, Parks Victoria Wilderness Retreats, located at Wilsons Promontory National Park, Cape Conran Coastal Park and Buchan Caves, are ideal. The comfortable safari-style tents deliver the experience of bush camping with all the amenities of modern caravan park cabins. Ideal for a couple or a family, they feature a queen-size bed and two pull out singles.

Great Ocean Road

Visitors will find a range of camping options from the official start of the Great Ocean Road in Torquay, 70 minutes from Melbourne, all the way to Port Campbell.

A popular free camp ground in the region is Johanna Beach, located in the Otway National Park among sand dunes, excellent for camping with dogs, caravanning and catching the surf. There are 25 grassy sites and bookings are essential. Johanna Beach, Great Otway National Park

Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park boasts beach and river frontage and plenty of activities to keep kids entertained including mini golf, a jumping pillow, indoor playroom, lagoon style pool, heated spa and is only a short walk to the town centre’s shops and cafes. Visitors can choose from powered sites, bush camping sites or self contained cabins. 35 Cameron Rd, Anglesea, +61 3 5263 1583

For a bush camping experience surrounded by tall manna gums and resident koalas, Bimbi Park in Cape Otway is an excellent option. The park offers a range of accommodation including tent sites and four star deluxe cabins, including the new Camping Pods. These are designed specifically for guests who want a camping experience but don’t want to sleep in a tent and will comfortably sleep two adults and two children. 90 Manna Gum Drive, Cape Otway, +61 3 5237 9246

High Country

A camping trip to the High Country, four hours’ drive north of Melbourne, offers outdoor adventure, a pristine natural environment and access to lots of fabulous local produce.

Porepunkah Pines Caravan Park is an award winning park conveniently situated on the Great Alpine Road, just minutes from the beautiful township of Bright. The park features two solar heated pools with a shaded water park for the little ones, a large camp kitchen, barbecues, games room and kids playground. Accommodation ranges from powered sites to well-maintained cabins and two houses that sleep up to 12 people. 7065 Great Alpine Road, Porepunkah, +61 3 5756 2282

Campers can enjoy sweet seclusion in Victoria’s far north east at Colac Colac (Clack Clack) Caravan Park, near Corryong. Located in a beautiful valley, Colac Colac Park boasts tall trees, sprawling lawns and a great swimming hole for the kids. 1994 Murray Valley Highway +61 2 6076 1520

An hour’s drive from Mansfield, Sheepyard Flat in the old gold-mining Howqua Hills Historic Area, is one of several flats along the Howqua River, with open, grassy campsites arrayed on either side of the Howqua Track. A popular spot for picnics, horse riding, bushwalking, fishing and 4WD driving. Howqua Hills Historic Area

Goldfields

The Goldfields region is rich with things to see and do. Holiday parks on the outskirts of town provide natural surrounds and easy access to shops, cafes and attractions.

The multi-award winning BIG4 Ballarat Goldfields Holiday Park is situated in Ballarat, just 80 minutes from Melbourne. Caravan and camping sites, budget cabins, spa cottages and villas are available, along with a solar heated swimming pool, giant jumping pillow, giant checkers, indoor heated spa, tennis, go-karts and more. A great base to explore the nearby family friendly attractions including Sovereign Hill and Kryal Castle Adventure Park. 108 Clayton Street, Ballarat, +61 3 5330 8000

Bendigo Park Lane Holiday Park is located close to Bendigo’s city centre, less than two hours from Melbourne. There are powered sites, cabins and luxury villas. Families will be entertained at Parky’s Wonderland, Bendigo’s largest indoor play centre spread over four levels. 61 McIvor Highway, Junortoun +61 3 5449 3335

Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges

Travel one hour from Melbourne for the scenic beauty of lush forest, bush settings and clear mountain streams. Visitors can stay in a forest park or choose a holiday site with full facilities.

Big 4 Badger Creek Holiday Park is surrounded by 24 hectares of tranquil bushland in the Yarra Valley. The park offers quality caravanning, camping or self-contained accommodation. Hillside Cabins are nestled amongst the native trees and the Park Cabins overlook the creek. This is a great base to explore the nearby Healesville Sanctuary with the kids. 419 Don Road, Healesville, +61 3 5962 4328

The Warburton Caravan Park is located on the banks of the Yarra River, ideal for canoeing and fishing. The park includes a tennis court, laundry, shower facilities, children’s playground, electric barbecue and shelter areas. There are many scenic campsites as well as cabins along the kilometre of river frontage. 30 Woods Point Road, Warburton, +61 3 5966 2277

Mornington Peninsula

Mornington Peninsula’s beautiful coastline is home to 13 kilometres of foreshore camping and is just over an hours’ drive from Melbourne.

The Rosebud Foreshore Reserve stretches approximately 7 kilometres from Anthony’s nose in McCrae down to Chinaman’s Creek in Rosebud West. There are 665 camping sites available, both powered and non-powered, all with easy access to the beach, amenities and various shops.

Camping at the Rye and Sorrento foreshores is available from the last weekend of October to April. There are 315 camping sites available with both powered and non-powered sites for caravans and tents.

The Mornington Peninsula Shire manages camping along the natural foreshore reserves with all bookings to be made via the Foreshore Camping Team.

Daylesford and Macedon Ranges

Drive 80 minutes from Melbourne and visitors will find natural mineral springs, lush parks, rugged river gorges, dramatic rock formations and many scenic walking tracks.

The extinct volcanic crater of Mount Franklin in Hepburn Regional Park provides ideal surroundings for short term camping, which is also suitable for caravans and motorhomes on a first come first served basis. Toilets, fireplaces and washing water are provided. Hepburn Regional Park.

Phillip Island

Phillip Island, less than two hours from Melbourne, has all the ingredients for a memorable seaside holiday with family attractions like the Penguin Parade, Koala Park and sheltered bays which are perfect for a spot of beach cricket.

BIG4 Phillip Island Caravan Park is nestled amongst the sand dunes of the Newhaven Beach in a natural landscape setting of trees and gardens, and is conveniently located within 500 metres of restaurants, cafes and shops. There is a wide variety of accommodation, ranging from shady camp sites to three bedroom deluxe villas as well as entertainment rooms, a children’s play area and washing facilities. 24 Old Bridge Drive, Newhaven, +61 35956 7227

Cowes Caravan Park offers beach front sites, only one kilometre from the Cowes township. The park offers a full range of accommodation with cabins and powered and unpowered camp sites. It is well equipped with a camp kitchen, recreation hall with open fire, playground and full amenities. 164 Church Street, Cowes, +61 3 5952 2211

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