Contrary to popular belief, Melbourne is more than just sports, hipsters and a bustling business district. Victoria’s capital is also host to some amazing views, coffee hotspots and popular landmarks. If you’re making your way towards Melbourne via car or campervan, or are simply looking for a place to rest for the night, consider these alternatives located close to the city.
Let’s get right into it – here are 6 of Melbourne’s best campgrounds.
Located 90 minutes south of Melbourne’s CBD, BIG4 Phillip Island Caravan Park has something for everyone! With powered caravan sites, non-powered camping grounds, and large drive-thru campsite options, this spot also boasts a range of other accommodation options in case you’re travelling via car:
Three-bedroom and two-bedroom holiday villas
Bunk cabins for larger school or sporting groups.
If you’ve hired a campervan, on the other hand, we recommend parking right beside the dune-protected beachfront, to enjoy the saltwater and waves on your doorstep. Located right near Phillip Island Beach, this park also makes for a great central location to explore the Island’s other attractions, including the Penguin Parade (found at The Nobbies), Koala Conservation Centre, Chocolate Factory, and Grand Prix Circuit. Walk to restaurants or enjoy onsite camping facilities including a kitchen, buggy hire, and basketball ring.
Tidal River Campground
So this campground is ideal if you’re taking a coastal route; sure, it’s a 3.5 hour drive from Melbourne’s CBD, but Tidal River Campground cannot be underrated! This campground boasts award-winning Wilderness Retreats for a quiet getaway, and group lodges that can host up to 30 of you and your closest mates. With nearly 500 camping and caravan sites to choose from, you won’t be short on choice for your next adventure!
During your visit, also be sure to check out the nearby Wilsons Promontory National Park (one of Victoria’s best loved national parks), which is filled with a tonne of wallabies and wombats, and just down the shoreline, enjoy swimming, surfing and scenic walks at Norman Beach.
East of the campground, you’ll also find a track to reach Mount Oberon. Standing 558 meters high, we recommend a late-afternoon hike to the top, where panoramic views of the tidal river and an instagram-worthy sunset awaits.
Discovery Parks Melbourne
If you’re in need of something a little closer to the CBD, and something a little less scenic – Discovery Parks Melbourne is the ideal place to park!
With Wifi available, and a range of powered sites, this is probably a perfect spot to recharge your own batteries and make the most of the site’s facilities; a laundry, kitchen, swimming pool and barbeque included amongst several other features. As mentioned, this convenient location – a mere 10 kilometers from the city and renowned Queen Victoria Markets – means you’ll soon be in touch with some of Melbourne’s best attractions.
If you fancy some additional entertainment while you’re in the area, this park is also located 10 kilometers from Marvel Stadium, 11 kilometers from The Melbourne Aquarium and 9 kilometers from The Melbourne Zoo – all within a 20 minute drive (although we’d generally recommend public transport for easier access).
For accurate information on pricing, reservations and park information, see the park’s accommodation options.
With free campsites available, this is an ideal location if you’re on your way out of, or heading through to the city! Sitting 2 hours west of the Melbourne CBD and next to six hectares of Lake Colac shoreline, take yourself off-the-grid, and make use of the park’s inclusive fireplaces, picnic tables and toilet facilities.
Located just under two hours from Melbourne, it’s the perfect spot for a short adventure; fishing, swimming, canoeing and trail-walks all bound to be a part of your experience.
Mount Franklin Reserve
Okay, so this place is a little old school – but still a top location nonetheless. You’ll have access to some basic camping facilities like barbeques and picnic tables, but won’t be disappointed by the lookout at the top of the crater – did we mention this campsite sits within a volcanic crater?
Located 90 minutes from the Melbourne CBD, Mount Franklin Reserve is available free-of-charge and is a prime location to pitch a tent, park a campervan and of course, explore some unreal views. Be sure to check it out if you’re up for a traditional camping experience, or if you’re making your way towards the heart of Melbourne.
Baw Baw National Park Camping
If you love the snow, then Baw Baw National Park is one you don’t want to miss out on. Located between the Central Highlands and Gippsland regions of Victoria, head 120 kilometers east of Melbourne and prepare for adventure!
The National Park is popular for its cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and rafting, and in the warmer months, showcases vibrant wildflowers – perfect for picnics, scenic drives and bushwalking.
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.