Free Campsites in Victoria

Written on
August 20, 2019
Free Campsites In Victoria

How to Find Free Campsites in Victoria

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Sharing free campsites feels like telling a secret. The people who know where to find them are usually hesitant to share because the more popular, the more crowded. 

Free campsites immerse you in nature, give you the freedom to park where you like and really enjoy the serenity. Phone reception and amenities may be sparse or sometimes non-existent, but that is what camping is all about, right? 

Australia is not the cheapest for travel; if it's a weekend away or a long road trip, free campsites are an excellent breather for your pocket and your mind. There may be some popular sites that attract young, loud individuals, but mostly, you will find some pretty beautiful spots that will feel like your own. 

Expectations of Free Campsites

We will cover all the basics on what a free campsite is, how to find one and expectations when you arrive. Heck, read long enough, and we will give you some of our favourite free campsite locations (but keep them to yourself). 

Contents of this article: 

  1. What is a free campsite?
  2. Who can stay there and for how long? 
  3. Campsite Safety
  4. Etiquette & Facilities 
  5. How to find a free camping spot- web links, apps and locations. 
  6. 5 free campsites in Victoria. 

1. What is a free campsite? 

A free campsite is a designated, public area for anyone to set up camp. They are usually located just off the beaten track in beautiful locations like small towns or National Parks. Enjoy the great outdoors with the freedom to pitch or park wherever you like. No booking, no fees. Free Campsites are a first-in, first-served basis.

2. Who can stay at a free campsite and for how long? 

Anyone can camp at a free campsite as long as they are within the designated zone. The only risk you run is if the spaces are full, you will have to move on. 

It is impossible to know if the camp will be full or completely empty; be mindful of school holidays or popular times of the year to avoid disappointment. 

If you're looking for a quiet time camping, mid-week and off-peak seasons are your best bet. 

If you are travelling with a dog or pet and are looking to camp in a National Park, you will need to check with the Parks Victoria website. As a general rule dogs are not permitted in national parks but some camping areas will allow it if they are on a lead. 

Some campsites are only suitable for tents, and others will accommodate room for vehicles such as campervans and caravans. 

When it comes to how long you can stay, that is up to you, as long as it is not permanent. Usually, the etiquette is 1-10 days. These are free campsites, available to everyone, you should be mindful that others would like the opportunity to camp there too. 

3.Campsite Safety

To ensure that you and your companions stay safe, always remember that the natural environment can be unpredictable. A bit of planning and foresight can make all the difference. Know more about safety here.

4.Etiquette and Facilities

Campfires- Check specific regulations for the campsite you are in. Most will have designated fire pits or signs informing you if it is acceptable. It is best not to build your own for the safety of everyone. Always be aware of total fire ban days in summer. Never leave a fire unattended. 

Noise and Generators- People go camping to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature. A respectful rule for camping is to minimise music and noise after 10PM.

Some campgrounds do not allow generators at all because they can be loud and disruptive to other campers. 

Other campgrounds may allow generators in designated areas or during a specific time of day. 

Some National Parks allow the use of generators if they do not exceed a noise level of 60 decibels at 50 feet. 

Rubbish- ALWAYS take your garbage with you. As a camper, you must leave a site the way it was found. Be respectful of nature and other campers at all times. No one likes a litterbug. 

Toilets- Depending on the location of the free campsite, there may be toilets available. Some will be drop loo's, flush or none at all. If you require a toilet facility at your campsite check ahead of time. 

Showers/water- Most free campsites do not have shower facilities or drinking water. There may be a tap on-site that is connected to bore water. The quality of bore water in Victoria varies, this should only be used for washing up unless signs say otherwise. Always BYO drinking water when camping. 

5.How to Find free campsites in Victoria

There are several ways to find Free camps in Victoria:

Google Maps link:


Parks Victoria: 


Camp Australia Wide:




Most towns will have a tourist information centre that can help you navigate your way around the area. It may be a building dedicated to tourism, or it can be the general store. Just look out for the big 'i' sign for information. 

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5 Free Campsites in Victoria

Reeves Beach- South Gippsland

Pets: Allowed

Drinking water: Not available

Toilets: Available

Fires: Allowed

Activities: Swimming and Fishing

More info:

Lake Elizabeth Campground- Forrest. 

Access via 15-minute trail from the parking/unloading areas. Tent campers only. 

Pets: On lead only

Drinking water: Not Available

Toilets: Non-flush available

Fires: Share fireplaces

Activities: Hiking, Mountain bike riding, canoeing 

More info:

Meredith Park- Lake Colac  

Pets: Allowed

Drinking water: Available

Toilets: Available

Fires: Allowed

Activities: Swimming and Boating

More info:

Manna Gum Camp- Licola

Pets: Not Allowed

Drinking water: Not available

Toilets: Available

Fires: Allowed

Activities: Hiking & fishing. 

More info:

Loch Valley Campground- North of Noojee.

Pets: Allowed

Drinking water: Not available

Toilets: Available

Fires: Allowed

Activities: Hiking & fishing. 

More info:

Free campsites are a great way to enjoy the great outdoors on a budget. Most free grounds are hidden gems and are much more enjoyable and relaxed than a caravan park. Though there is a lack of facilities for this type of camp, the experience ways out those luxuries. Getting back to basics with the family and friends is undoubtedly nourishing for the soul. 

If you require more facilities, pay for them, or buy a fancy caravan, but we can honestly say free campsites is what camping is genuinely about.

Ready for your next adventure. 

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