Great Ocean Road Camping Guide: Unveilling The Best Spots!

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By Audrey Chalmers

Looking For Great Ocean Road Camping Tips?

Then you’re in the right place!

In this article, we share the top tips for camping on Great Ocean Road and everything you need to know for choosing a campsite.

We also point you in the right direction when it comes to finding the best campgrounds on Great Ocean Road.

Some of the best campsites are situated in the Otways just off the Great Ocean Road and you’ll find those here as well.

We live close to the Great Ocean Road and have explored the region inside and out, staying in all kinds of places.

This means we’ve gathered all the best insider tips which we can’t wait to share with you here.

If you’re thinking of camping on the Great Ocean Road there are some fantastic options when it comes to finding places to stay.

From nature-based free sites to holiday parks that have modern facilities and activities for children, there’s something to suit every traveller and budget.

So if you’re planning a trip camping on the Great Ocean Road, read our tips and advice below, and uncover our picks for the top campsites on the Great Ocean Road.

Plan Your Trip With These Self-Drive Itineraries:

Great Ocean Road camping beside a river at sunset. Two people are relaxing on camping chairs while admiring the view. There is a yellow tent and a white 4 wheel drive vehicle nearby.
Great Ocean Road camping is a fun way to save money on your trip.

Best Time To Go Camping Along The Great Ocean Road

The best time for camping along the Great Ocean Road is in the warmer months from November to May when there’s much less chance of rain.

With that said summer can get very hot when you’re camping, so spring and autumn are good options if you’re staying in a tent.

After May the weather becomes much colder (by Australian standards). The worst thing in winter though isn’t the low temperatures, but the rain, which can cause muddy campsites.

Those with caravans and RVs will find it much more comfortable year-round, especially on windy and stormy winter days – just be careful not to get bogged!

👉 Planning a trip to the Great Ocean Road? Have any questions? Join our Great Ocean Road Travel Planning and Tips Facebook Group! It’s the perfect place to ask your questions and find inspiration for your trip!

Great Ocean Road Camping Essentials

  • Head Torch: Useful for finding your way around at night, find one with good battery life and a bright LED beam.
  • Gas Cooker: Boil water and cook warm meals with a reliable gas cooker.
  • Portable Solar Panel: Useful for when there is no power at a site; charge your devices like phones and cameras.
  • Water Filter: As many campsites only have rainwater, it’s important to have a filter to make clean drinking water.
  • Ground Cover
  • Camping Chair
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Tent
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Rain Jacket
  • Umbrella
  • First Aid Kit

Things To Know

It’s important to follow the GOR camping rules and implement key safety precautions.

Due to potential limitations in mobile reception at campsites, make sure you inform someone of your whereabouts. And keep them updated when your plans change or you move to the next destination.

Stay informed about bushfires, learn to identify and avoid hazardous wildlife, and pack an adequate supply of food and water to ensure you’re prepared for emergencies. Don’t forget to bring a first aid kit.

The emergency number in Australia is 000.

Whether camping in a tent or caravan, make sure that doors and other openings are sealed to prevent entry by snakes and other creatures.

Additionally, don’t leave your shoes outside to stop insects from crawling inside them.

When camping the Great Ocean Road, always practice the ‘Leave No Trace’ principle. Many sites lack waste disposal facilities, so it is your responsibility to properly manage and dispose of your own rubbish.

Top Tip although there are some free campsites (see below), it’s important to pay attention to signage where no overnight parking is allowed. The local police are quite strict with this and will enforce these rules.

A small green tent surrounded by gum trees in a Great Ocean Road campground. Free Great Ocean Road camping is a great way to save money when travelling in the area.
‘Leave No Trace’ at Great Ocean Road campsites

Dog-Friendly Camping

Several campgrounds and caravan parks accommodate dogs, although they may not permit them during peak times. It’s best to ask about pet policies before booking a caravan or campsite.

Please respect other campers and park owners by following the rules. That way everyone gets to enjoy the beautiful surroundings including your beloved pet.

Types Of Campsites

Some of the best camping on Great Ocean Road takes place on campsites run by the Victoria Parks service, while others are privately owned or free to camp at.

Choose between off-the-beaten-track sites in the small clearings of great forests, large family-friendly sites right on the beach, and strategically placed sites that make them a perfect overnight stop along the Great Ocean Walk.

Victoria Parks Campsites

Victoria Parks campsites are campgrounds managed by the park authorities.

They generally cost around $15 per site per night and are usually quite basic with no power and only essential facilities.

Private Campsites

Private campsites are another option that usually offers more amenities like powered sites and hot showers.

For something a little more comfortable, caravan parks are generally more expensive but they offer cabins, modern amenities, and things to do for the kids.

Free Campsites

Free camping on Great Ocean Road is also possible, but it’s less widely accepted than in other parts of Australia.

Only use designated free campsites – Great Ocean Road car parks and other public areas do not allow overnight parking.

Free camps don’t always have basic facilities, and they can be more difficult to get to as they are often located further inland.

Best Campsites On Great Ocean Road

Bimbi Park- Camping Under Koalas

Koala sleeping in a tree along the Great Ocean Road. You can often see koalas when camping the Great Ocean Road.
Sleep under koalas at Bimbi Park!

Address: 90 Manna Gum Drive, Cape Otway 3233

Just off Lighthouse Road on Cape Otway, Bimbi Park is one of the best campsites on the Great Ocean Road.

Known as the place to ‘camp under koalas’, it’s a beautiful site surrounded by nature and wildlife.

There are play areas for the children, toilets and hot shower blocks, a camp kitchen, a laundry, and an onsite shop.

The tourist information point at the site is really helpful and offers track notes and shuttle services for the Great Ocean Walk.

As well as the choice between unpowered and powered camping sites, you can also opt to stay in a cabin.

Bimbi Park camping is fun for the whole family and a stay here won’t disappoint.

👉 Check Rates and Availability Here!

Port Campbell Recreation Reserve

Address: Desaily Street, Port Campbell 3269

Port Campbell Recreation Reserve is one of the best campsites Great Ocean Road has to offer due to its great location.

Located just off of Desailly Street in Port Campbell, it’s a great spot to explore the best sights of the national park, including the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge.

There are both unpowered and powered sites, toilets, a hot shower block, and a sheltered kitchen area.

You also have all the Port Campbell attractions, restaurants, and shops right on your doorstep. Camping prices start at $15, with an additional $10 for powered sites.

Bookings are only accepted for powered sites. Unpowered sites are taken on a “first in” basis.

Click here for more information.

Hammonds Road Campground

Hammonds Road Campground with grass campsites, firepits, picnic tables and a caravan parked amongst the trees. This is a popular spot for camping the Great Ocean Road.

Address: Hammonds Road, Wensleydale 3241

Hammonds Road Campground is a small Victoria Parks campsite that offers peace and quiet away from the crowds.

It is located 12 km inland from Aireys Inlet on a small dirt road that can be accessed by car, it’s also close to Wensleydale and Anglesea Heath.

There are 16 sites mainly for tents, with four pitches that can accommodate campervans and caravans.

Kangaroos can often be spotted hopping around the site and the surrounding bushland.

Click here for more information

Allenvale Campground

Allenvale Campground amongst the gum trees with a covered picnic table and a small green tent. A Victoria Parks campground near the Great Ocean Road.

Address: Allenvale Road, Lorne 3232

Allenvale Campground is just a 6-minute drive from the attractions in Lorne and it’s close to the St. George River Walk. Making it the ideal spot to set up camp for the night.

Allenvale Mill Campground offers drop toilets and 16 numbered pitches. It’s basic but the sites are well spaced out, and there’s a handy undercover area in the centre of the campground.

It only allows tents, and cars have to park a short distance away – so you will need to be able to carry all of your gear in.

Click here for more information.

Big Hill Track Campground

Campervan parked amongst huge gum trees at Big Hill Campground in the Otways, Great Ocean Road region of Victoria.

Address: Big Hill Track, Benwerrin 3235

Set in a small clearing in the forest, Big Hill is one of the most scenic camping sites on Great Ocean Road.

It’s a popular base for mountain biking, hiking, and relaxing in nature. There are non-flush toilets, fireplaces (bring your own firewood), and some tables and seats.

It’s not large with just 13 sites available for camping. Half are tents-only and the other half are available for campervans, caravans, and other vehicles.

It’s now run by the Victoria Parks Authority (it used to be one of the popular free camp grounds Great Ocean Road had on offer).

Click here for more information.

Caravan Parks On Great Ocean Road

For something a bit more upmarket, Great Ocean Road caravan parks offer many amenities, accessible locations, and friendly staff with helpful tips and advice about the local area.

There are plenty of caravan parks on Great Ocean Road to choose from, but here are some of the best.

Anglesea Family Caravan Park

Family relaxing on their deck at Anglesea Family Caravan Park one of the top-rated Great Ocean Road Caravan Parks.
Anglesea Family Caravan Park is terrific for families camping on the Great Ocean Road

Address: 35 Cameron Road, Anglesea 3230

Anglesea Family Caravan Park offers a beachside location, convenient access to Anglesea town, and a solar-heated swimming pool.

The location and facilities make this one of the best places to take the kids on a Great Ocean Road camping holiday.

Make use of the kitchen, mini golf course, giant jumping pillow, the basketball court, and multiple playgrounds.

They offer a variety of cabins and cottages, ranging from budget dog-friendly cabins to luxury cottages that include their very own spa.

As a Great Ocean Road Coast Caravan Park (managed by the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority), all of your camping fees are directly reinvested back into the caravan parks, surrounding coastal reserves, and communities of the local area.

👉 Check Rates and Availability Here!

NRMA Port Campbell Caravan Park

Balcony with an outdoor setting and nature views at NRMA Holiday Park Port Campbell Victoria.
Enjoy outdoor dining with a view at Port Campbell Holiday Park.

Address: 30 Morris Street, Port Campbell 3269

The NRMA Port Campbell Holiday Park is in a great spot right next to Port Campbell Beach and town.

With plenty of restaurants and cafes within easy walking distance and top sights like the Twelve Apostles just a short drive away, you could easily spend your whole holiday at this caravan park.

The Port Campbell Caravan Park offers a range of accommodation options, including cabins, villas, powered caravan sites, and campsites.

They also offer school holiday activities to keep the kids entertained while you take time out to relax.

👉 Check Rates and Availability Here!

Marengo Holiday Park

Marengo Caravan Park cabin with a verandah and a small garden. There is a pink car parked in the allocated space beside the cabin.
Our grandson had a ball at Marengo Holiday Park (and so did we!).

Address: 15 Marengo Crescent, Marengo 3233

Marengo Holiday Park is another great option for families. Close to Apollo Bay, it’s well-maintained with modern facilities and has easy access to the beach.

One of its major selling points is that it’s close to the shops in Apollo Bay, which is great for last minute supplies or finding things to keep the kids busy.

There are unpowered and powered sites, as well as comfortable cabins with sea views.

Another bonus is that Marengo Family Caravan Park offers dog-friendly camping; Great Ocean Road holidays are the best when the whole family can come along!

👉 Check Rates and Availability Here!

Private Campsites On The Great Ocean Road

Private campsites usually have hot showers and better facilities, but still offer affordable overnight prices starting from as little as $15 per night.

Cumberland River Holiday Park

A tent and car sitting beside the river surrounded by nature at Cumberland River Campsite. A beautiful Great Ocean Road campsite.
Camp by the river at Cumberland River Holiday Park on the Great Ocean Road

Address: 2680 Great Ocean Road, Lorne 3232

Cumberland River Holiday Park is one of the best options for bushwalking, with paths that lead right into the Great Otway National Park.

There is a lovely river that runs right through the campground that’s great for cooling off and a beach opposite.

The grassed campsite is terrific for tents, but there are also cabins available.

👉 Check Rates and Availability Here!

Princetown Recreation Reserve

Address: 93 Old Coach Road, Princetown 3269

The Princetown Recreation Reserve is a quiet spot that has sites available at most times of the year. Even so, booking ahead is requested and it does get busy at Easter and Christmas.

There are both powered and unpowered sites, toilet facilities, a shower block with hot water, laundry facilities, and a children’s playground.

While the sheltered kitchen and barbecue area are handy if you’re travelling with limited cooking facilities. Firepits are available from reception outside the fire danger period and dogs are welcome too.

Just a 5-minute drive from the Twelve Apostles the reserve is well-located for exploring the Great Ocean Road area.

The Princetown Recreation Reserve charges $15 for an unpowered site for one person or $20 for two people, powered sites cost $20 for one person or $25 for two.

Bookings can only be made by phone.

Call Rebecca on 0457 198 662 to make a booking.

Timboon Recreation Reserve

Address: Curdies River Road, Timboon 3268

Timboon Recreation Reserve is a good option if you’re looking for an easy place to stop for the night, especially when other spots fill up in summer.

Located on the oval at the local football club, there’s ample space and flat ground for camping.

There are spaces for caravans, trailers, and tents and no booking is required – simply check in upon arrival and pay by card.

The amenities are clean and modern with hot showers. Payment can be taken 24/7 and it costs $20 per night per car or caravan.

Click here for more information.

Victoria Parks Great Ocean Road Campsites

Some of the very best Great Ocean Road campsites are run by the National Park Authority.

The Victoria Parks campsites on Great Ocean Road usually have prices of around $15.00 per site. It’s best to pre-book a pitch via the Parks Victoria website.

Note that many of these sites do not offer pet-friendly camping, Great Ocean Road dog-friendly sites like Marengo Holiday Park or some of the free camping spots are a better option for four-legged friends.

Blanket Bay Campground

Address: Blanket Bay Road, Cape Otway 3233

Blanket Bay Campground sits on the eastern side of Cape Otway, it’s another one of the most family-friendly Great Ocean Road camping sites.

The sheltered beach makes it a great spot for swimming and snorkelling along the intertidal reef.

Facilities are basic with 22 unpowered campsites, drop toilets, rainwater tanks, and picnic tables. Visitors are asked to bring their own drinking water and firewood.

Campsites are available for tents, camper trailers, campervans, and small vehicles but are unsuitable for caravans.

It gets very busy here so booking ahead is required, especially if you plan to visit the Great Ocean Road during December and January and on holiday weekends.

Click here for more information.

Parker Hill Campground

Address: Parker Hill Track, Cape Otway 3233

Parker Hill Campground is located on the southern edge of the Cape Otway peninsula, its hilltop location overlooks the beach and the Parker River estuary.

It’s a small and quiet site with 20 unpowered campsites, suitable for up to six people per site, with stringybarks providing shade for the pitches.

Take the 300 steps down into the sheltered cove below to find a secluded beach that’s ideal for fishing and rock pooling.

From the Parker Hill Camping Ground, Great Ocean Road, you can hike the Stringybark Track, a 3km loop walk that takes in some highlights of the area.

Click here for more information.

Aire River West Campground

Address: Sand Road, Glenaire 3238

Aire River Camping covers two camping grounds, Great Ocean Road visitors can expect basic facilities at both like rain-fed water tanks and drop toilets.

There are plenty of grassy picnic spots, and the river that separates the two can be followed all the way down to the beach.

There’s a good chance you’ll spot koalas, echidnas, and kangaroos in the area too.

Aire River West Campground is the larger of the two with more campsites and it’s better for caravans and groups.

Click here for more information.

Aire River East Campground

Address: Great Ocean Road, Horden Vale 3238

Aire River East Campground is more sheltered, making it the better option for tents.

The sites are unpowered like at the west site, and there is no phone reception at either campground.

It’s best to book these two sites online in advance as there is no reception and they are unmanned.

Click here for more information.

Free Camping Great Ocean Road

You can’t book free sites, just turn up and find a pitch when you arrive. When visiting a free campsite, Great Ocean Road travellers will need to bring all of their own supplies like fresh drinking water, toiletries, and firewood.

Stevensons Falls Campground

Campsite with tents at Stevensons Falls campground a popular spot for free camping on the Great Ocean Road at Otways region in Victoria.

Address: Roadknight Creek Road, Barramunga 3249

Stevensons Falls Campground is near the Upper Gellibrand Road off the Forrest-Apollo Bay Road in Barramunga.

The site is first come first served, but there’s plenty of space as there are around 50 unnumbered pitches available. There are drop toilets and fire pits available for use.

There’s lots to do in the area, making it one of the more popular camping spots Great Ocean Road has to offer, even though it is quite out of the way.

Take the walking trail for 1.5 km to Stevensons Falls, an easily accessible Otways waterfall, that begins from the far end of the camping area.

The town of Forrest is a short drive away and features a cafe and a local craft brewery.

Click here for more information.

Beauchamp Falls Campground

Grassed reserve at Beauchamp Falls Campground. There is a small red tent, a firepit and picnic table, and tall gum trees in the background. This is a popular spot for free camping in the Great Ocean Road area.

Address: Beauchamp Falls Road, Beech Forest 3237

Beauchamp Falls Campground has lovely views that overlook the pine plantations due to its elevation, and there’s also a good 4G phone reception (rare on free campgrounds).

It’s also quite exposed with little shade – something to keep in mind in hot weather.

It’s close to Otway sights like the Redwoods Forest, Hopetoun, and Beauchamp Falls.

The campground is located just opposite the visitor car park for the falls, so it can get busy with visitors during the day.

Click here for more information.

Aire Crossing Campsite

Address: Aire River Crossing Track, Johanna 3238

Aire Crossing Campsite is a peaceful and secluded campsite in the heart of the forest.

Just off of Halls Ridge Road in the Aire Valley, it’s close to popular sights like Triplet Falls and Otway Fly Treetop Adventures.

The site has untreated water as well as drop toilets. It’s only small with room for around five vehicles, so get here early to make sure to get a spot.

Click here for more information.

Panmure Campground

Address: 8830 Princes Hwy, Panmure 3265

Panmure Campground, Great Ocean Road, is another free place to camp, located northeast of Warrnambool.

Like a lot of the free campsites on the Great Ocean Road, you will need to bring your own drinking water.

You will find unallocated campsites, electrical stoves, a kitchen sink and wash area, a shelter, a children’s playground, and toilet facilities.

As an added bonus the Panmure Pub is within easy walking distance.

Dogs are allowed and there is good mobile phone service, but the site is located next to a main road so expect some traffic noise.

Click here for more information.

People cooking a meal on a camp fire beside a parked motorhome. Camping in a motorhome is a popular way to travel on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.
Motorhomes and campervans are a popular way of camping on the Great Ocean Road.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you camp along Great Ocean Road?

Yes, you can camp along Great Ocean Road. There are privately owned campgrounds and caravan parks, free camps, and campsites run by the state park authority where you can pitch your tent or park your van or motorhome.

Can you camp for free at Great Ocean Road?

Yes, you can camp for free at Great Ocean Road. There are many free campsites in the Great Ocean Road area and the Otway National Park. Facilities are often limited at these camping sites but they’re often located in the most beautiful spots with walking tracks nearby. Booking is not necessary at free camps as they work on a first come first serve basis.

Do you need to book campsites on the Great Ocean Road?

Yes, you do need to book campsites on the Great Ocean Road if you are travelling during the peak season. Some campsites fill up a year in advance as camping is very popular with local families and tourists alike. The winter months are much less busy so booking in advance is not necessary at that time. You do not need to book free camps as they operate on a first come first served basis.

Is Great Ocean Road safe for caravans?

Yes, the Great Ocean Road is safe for caravans if the driver takes care and follows the road rules. Every day caravans, motorhomes, and huge tour buses travel this stretch of road without incident. Although there is just one lane going in each direction, there are plenty of bays big enough for a car towing a van to pull over and let others pass. Always remember to drive on the left in Australia.

Like Some More Great Ocean Road Inspiration?

Final Word

We hope you’ve found these Great Ocean Road camping tips useful in selecting a suitable campsite for your trip.

Whether you prefer nature-based free sites or well-equipped holiday parks, there are excellent options for every type of camper.


By Audrey Chalmers

Audrey grew up in Victoria and travelled the world but she always called Victoria home. She loves nothing more than exploring her home state and sharing it here.