The best things in life are ‘free’, right? Nature’s beauty, outdoor adventures, and explorations of the wild — in Australia, these are everywhere and within easy access. All you have to do is make a plan, build an itinerary, hire a campervan and get going.
We can help you do just that, planning an itinerary that spans free camping sites across Victoria. Our team at Travellers Autobarn Australia can help you put rubber to the road, and get your tour started with these four mind-blowing, free campsites in Victoria.
1) Ada River Campground, Errinundra National Park Free Camping
One great free camping spot in Victoria is the Ada River Campground, located in Errinundra National Park — which is way easier to get to than to say!
Granted, it’s a 7-hour drive from Melbourne, but when you hire a campervan for the road towards the Ada River, you’ll watch as the mostly-arid terrain of Victoria’s landscape transforms into old-growth, temperate rainforest. Its 40,000 hectares of forest is enough to convince you that the wilderness still abounds in Victoria.
From its eucalyptus canopies, hundreds of years old, to its warm rainforest climate, courtesy of the nearby ocean clouds rising over the Errinundra Plateau, the national park is a remote marvel of nature.
One of the best tracks to explore at Errinundra is The Rainforest Walk, which guides you through an ancient forest absolutely covered with tall tree ferns and lichen and adorned with overhanging branches. Meanwhile, you’ll encounter scenic lookouts and picnic areas that are unspoiled and, given the long drive that dissuades many visitors, probably empty.
When you get to this free campsite in Victoria, you’ll be met by quiet, serene and grassy camping areas nestled beside the Ada River, completely surrounded by waving ferns and tall gum trees.
The river itself, at the point of the campgrounds, trickles down into a creek, rather than a full-on river. However, this makes it the perfect complement to your campsite since you can take a quick, cooling dip on an otherwise hot day.
The best part about Ada River campgrounds is the solitude — it’s the perfect place to sit back, relax and maybe pull out your binoculars for a spot of bird-watching.
If you’re more of the outdoor thrill seeker and adventurer, Andersons Campground, located in Mount Disappointment State Park, is for you. And don’t be fooled by the name, either: This is one of the best free camping sites in Victoria.
Like the Ada river Campgrounds, the well-equipped Andersons Campground is the perfect point from which to explore the rest of the park. This site itself offers plenty of activities close by, including hiking trails, mountain biking, horse riding, and 4WD-driving.
Besides this, travellers should make sure to visit the Goulburn River, which offers you the opportunity to swim, water-ski, canoe, kayak, and even fish. There are a few shops offering local produce, including olives, trout, dairy, cheese, and wines. However, you’ll want to bring your own firewood and water.
The site itself offers plenty of amenities — though you should be warned: Thanks to its dirt track, and its short, hour-and-a-half driving distance from Melbourne, you may encounter loud fellow campers who do wheelies into the night.
Besides this, however, Andersons is a spectacular spot offering everything you could want, including:
Picnic tables and fixed BBQs
No bookings required
3) Blue Pool Campground, Briagolong State Forest Free Camping
Tucked away in Briagolong State Forest is the incredibly popular and beautiful Blue Pool Campground. It’s a fantastic place from which to set up your proverbial “basecamp” so you can explore all the trails, activities and natural sanctuaries Briaolong State Forest has to offer.
If you’re coming from Melbourne, Briagolong is about a 3-hour drive and the site itself is 25 minutes north of Sale, so it’s a popular option for those looking for free camping in Melbourne and the surrounding area. The best part? You won’t need any bookings and there is no limit on the number of days you can stay.
Now, this is perfect if you plan to take advantage of Blue Pool’s freshwater swimming and the park’s multiple activities. Blue Pool is named for its sparkling blue, deep water swimming hole on the grounds.
This freshwater pool is located a short walk away from where you’ll park your campervan rental for the duration of your stay. Take care when you’re driving to the site, however, because Briagolong has a few sloping areas.
Besides the lush terrain offering short and long hikes with multiple levels of difficulty and access, you can also undertake swimming, kayaking, and BBQ-ing. You might be surprised to learn that, despite being ‘free’, the site includes the following amenities:
Access to swimming at Freestone Creek
Good for caravans and campervans/2WD access
Campfires allowed in designated fire pits, with some restrictions
Drop toilets and picnic tables available
Wood-fired BBQ available
No rubbish bins
4) Sheepyard Flat, Howqua Hills Historic Area Free Camping
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The Howqua Hills Historic Area is an absolute must-see for its interesting activities, rich, local history, and diverse landscape.
There’s so much to do that, once you park your campervan rental at the Sheepyard Flat free campsite in Victoria, you may not actually have a spare moment to relax. This site spans a 3-hour and 20-minute drive from Melbourne. It is known as ‘Sheepyard’ because, once the valley was settled, shepherds yarded sheep at night in order to keep the dingoes away.
Start your bush walking, fishing and hiking activities from Sheepyard Flat. From here, you can start the Howqua Hills Historic Walk, a self-guided 1.5-hour return walk that will circle you back to your campervan hire vehicle.
The site permits your furry friends as well, but they must be on a leash. There are no bookings required, of course, and there are a number of guidelines for occupying the sites.
As for activities, Howqua Hills is located between Lake Eildon, Baw Baw, and Alpine National parks. For a history lesson and adventure, visit Noonans Flats, west of Mount Buller, to walk through desert gold mines. Here, you can fish or swim in the streams, hike or even ‘pan’ for gold dust.
The Howqua Hills Historic Area offers visitors the chance to go horseback riding from November to 31 May. These horse yards are located at Fry’s Flat, which is best for larger groups, and Tunnel Bend Flat, which is suited for smaller groups.
If you’re interested in this, you’ll need to plan ahead, pack your own portable yarding, and make your booking in the Western Alps of the Alpine National Park prior to arrival. And while the entirety of the Howqua Valley is open to you, you won’t be allowed to ride on the Heritage Walking Tack.
Sheepyard Flat offers plenty of amenities, including:
Non-flush toilets; wheelchair accessible
Access for 2WD vehicles
Allowances for campfires, as long as you bring your own firewood; fuel stoves are preferred for cooking (summer and autumn are ‘Total Fire Bans’ period, meaning no open fires can be lit
Picnic tables and fixed BBQs
No rubbish collection
No bookings required
That’s it, our top 4 free camping spots in Victoria. Whether you’re looking for adventure or to relax, we’ve covered it all. Do these free campsites in Victoria intrigue you? Contact the friendly team at Travellers Autobarn Australia and begin to plan your own unique itinerary in a fully-functional, self-contained campervan rental today!
Remember, Travellers Autobarn also provides you with several options to reduce your spending when it comes to selecting campgrounds during your trip. All customers will receive on pick-up a booklet that will highlight free campgrounds all around Australia – meaning instead savings for you. You will also get a discount on specific holiday parks we partner with! The benefits are endless.
Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.