The Great Ocean Road is the most popular scenic coastal drive in Australia, offering 243 kilometres of iconic sites that are unique only to the country, stretching all the way from Geelong to Port Fairy. Various natural rock formations, stunning coastlines, and limestone cliffs that have formed over millions of years await you on your journey on the Great Ocean Road. World-famous attractions can be explored, such as the Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Walk, Port Campbell, Loch Ard Gorge, and more.
But that’s not all there is to this amazing destination because it is also a place where you can find tons of camping spots for a restful stop, spread along the Great Ocean Road.
If you’re excited to know where you can set up camp on the Great Ocean Road, get your camping gear ready and read on.
Great Ocean Road Camping Spots
Whether you want to go free camping or pay for a camp spot, read on. Check out these powered and unpowered campsites for an exciting Great Ocean Road camping experience. Consider following my Great Ocean Road itinerary to plan your journey.
Holiday Park Camping Sites
A holiday park usually includes caravan parks, cabins, and campsites for people who are on holiday. Check out this list.
Big4 Anglesea Holiday Park
If you’re looking for a holiday park by the beach, then the Big4 Anglesea Holiday Park is what you need. Its rich premises and beautiful surroundings will make you want to stay for days, as it is complete with amenities that will make you feel truly at home away from home.
Get refreshed at the park’s heated indoor water complex that is complete with slides, or get soaked in the wet play area and waterfall. Test the jumping pillows and the giant chessboard in the playground, which will definitely tickle the child in you.
There is also a cinema with Foxtel and a free games room, internet connection, DVD/movie hire, and a camp kitchen. Plus, the beautiful gardens are complemented by the sight of grazing kangaroos and wildlife viewing–an experience you wouldn’t want to miss.
Cumberland River Holiday Park
For a unique river camping experience, try the Cumberland River Holiday Park, which runs along the mighty Cumberland River. Many of its accommodations overlook the river, such as the 3-bedroom Riverview cabin and the 2-bedroom cedar cabin–both of which are conveniently located between mountains and cliffs right in the middle of the lush valley. Of course, you can still pitch your tent if you want to live the outdoor kind of way.
With the facilities and supplies of the Cumberland River Holiday Park, including ice, LPG gas, and firewood, you can enjoy convenience while living the basic way of life.
And since the park is close to the Great Ocean Road, it serves as a perfect base from where you can explore the great surrounds through numerous walking tracks. You can also take your adventure a notch higher by bushwalking, surfing, snorkelling, and river fishing on the Cumberland River.
Big4 Wye River Holiday Park
The parks Victoria offers are truly amazing, and one of them is the Big4 Wye River Holiday Park.
Another river holiday park along the Great Ocean Road, you can enjoy an eventful camp next to the lovely river, with the koalas in the trees and the mountains as your backdrop. That’s not all because you also have the surf beach right at your doorstep and a cafe at the entrance that welcomes you with delectable treats to start your camping right.
This camping holiday park offers excellent amenities, including a camp kitchen, BBQ facilities, and tons of riding and walking trails. You can also bring out the kid in you when you try the pedal go-karts and the giant jumping pillow.
If you are riding your campervan, you won’t have to worry about parking since there is a caravan park with a concrete slab to help you maintain your vehicle’s interior. However, should you wish to leave your campervan, you can choose from the park’s different accommodation types, such as its beach house and hill house with stunning views.
Kennett River Holiday Park
Do you like glamping? Then, the Kennett River Holiday Park waits for you. Its relaxing and peaceful atmosphere is just one of its great offerings; but more than that, you’ll be treated to a wonderful experience of seeing the unique native wildlife in the area between Lorne and Apollo Bay. Think kookaburras, parrots, koalas, and many more that thrive in the gum trees in the area.
It has all the facilities you need for a comfortable camp, including powered sites, non-potable water, restaurants, a camp kitchen, pit toilets, and a designated space for tents. Plus, the park also has BBQ facilities, washing machines, and wifi connections, making it the perfect place for travellers who work remotely. However, there is no Telstra phone coverage in the area, allowing you to really imbibe the beauty of nature.
And while you’re here, make sure to check out the Kafe Koala and be amongst the international travellers who come and sit down to experience this part of the Great Ocean Road.
BIG4 Apollo Bay Pisces Holiday Park
Breathe in the calming ocean views from the Big4 Apollo Bay Pisces Holiday Park, which sits directly across the main beach of Apollo Bay. It has various accommodation options and self-contained accommodations such as ocean view beach houses and cabins, allowing you to feel comfortable and relaxed.
You can also choose from their powered and unpowered sites, some of which overlook the beach and have access to modern amenities that include a laundry room, undercover BBQ areas, family bathrooms, a camp kitchen, and a games room.
Free Camp Spots on the Great Ocean Road
There are tons of free campgrounds along this scenic drive if you’re looking for an inexpensive place to rest, wanting to take a break from driving, or just imbibing the glorious views of the Great Ocean Road. Here’s a roundup of these sites.
Sharps Camping Area
This free camping site is accessible by a 12-minute drive inland of Lorne. Though far from the beach and without any toilet facilities, Sharps Camping Area compensates with its lovely natural surroundings and proximity to the Won Wondah Waterfall, Henderson Falls, and Phantom Falls.
You can choose from two sections of the camping site–one that’s exclusively for tents and the other for caravans and vans only.
From here, you can also proceed to check out the Sheoak Picnic Area, which is widely known as Victoria’s waterfall capital thanks to its walking trails that lead you to more or less six different stunning waterfalls. More than just a break from the Great Ocean Road trip, the Sheoak Picnic Area is perfect for a day out in the Great Otway National Park area.
Stevensons Falls Campground
Located off Forrest-Apollo Bay Road some 43 minutes from Apollo Bay, near the Gellibrand River, is the relaxing valley camp of Stevensons Falls Campground.
This free camping spot is a mere 25-minute walk to the magnificent Stevensons Falls. It takes pride in being one of the Otway’s largest free campgrounds, complete with drop toilets and features 50 pitches. This means that there are also 50 fire pits (one for each pitch), but you are required to provide your own firewood.
Remember though that the campsite follows the first-come-first-served policy, so do arrive early to secure a great spot, especially when it’s the weekend or a camping holiday.
Aire Crossing Campsite
As you travel along the Great Ocean Road, it’s worth stopping at the Aire Crossing Campsite, which is situated in the pristine rainforest of the Great Otway National Park. As it is located right in the heart of this national park and sits next to the Aire River, you will fall in love with its environment, surrounded by ancient tree ferns and eucalyptus trees.
What makes the Aire Crossing Campsite a perfect free camping spot is that there is a small spot near the Aire River bank where you can pitch your tent and relax to the soothing sound of the calm waters. And, if you feel like fishing, just throw in the hook and wait to catch some brown trout fish that weigh up to 2 kilograms!
For the amenities, the Aire Crossing Campsite has drop toilets with tap (non-potable) water for campers’ use.
Paid Camping Spots
If you’re looking for more modern amenities and accommodations such as hot showers and cabins for your Great Ocean Road camping, then you’ll surely love these paid campsites along this scenic drive.
Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park
Situated right at the gateway to the Great Ocean Road, the Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park lets you explore the lovely surroundings and relax with many fun activities.
This caravan park covers 30 acres of Crown Land reserve, making it Surf Coast’s largest campground. Offering numerous powered campsites, it can accommodate tents, vans, mobile homes, and caravans. It also has a large camp kitchen, BBQ facilities, a TV room, and a large recreational space in addition to a giant jumper cushion.
Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park
Whether you’re looking at staying for a number of days or just overnight, the Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park is a great choice. With access to pristine beaches and coastlines, proximity to Lorne’s shopping promenade, plus Lorne’s thriving arts scene and great fishing opportunities, this campsite truly offers you an experience like no other.
It’s one of the caravan parks that let you walk to the magnificent Erksine Falls and admire the fern gully of the Great Otway National Park.
The Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park is composed of 5 parks, namely Erskine River, Kia Ora, Ocean Road, Queens Park, and Top Bank. All of these parks have amenities that include a BBQ, laundry, a camp kitchen, playground, and a dump point.
Big Hill Track Campground, Lorne
Ready to get on your mountain bike and explore the grassy area that’s surrounded by tall forests in the Big Hill Track Campground in Lorne?
This paid camping spot is in the Great Otway National Park and is a great stop on the Great Ocean Road tour thanks to its relaxing environment. You can choose from a total of 13 campsites; all of which are unpowered and can accommodate up to six people. The first seven campsites are for tents only, while the rest are for caravans and camper trailers.
For the amenities, it has basic toilet facilities like non-flush toilets, shared tables and seats, and shared fireplaces. And if you want to have a campfire, do make sure to bring your own firewood.
Jamieson Creek Campground
Just a short drive from Big Hill Track Campground is the lovely and ambient Jamieson Creek Campground, beautifully resting in the midst of Eucalyptus trees in a coastal woodland.
It has 24 camping sites, with each campsite accommodating up to six people and 10-19 of these being suitable only for tents. Those driving a caravan can go to sites 4 and 7, while those with a campervan or camper trailer can choose from the rest of the camping sites. Get ready to enjoy comfort and convenience since these are all powered sites.
After getting settled in your camping area, make sure to explore the surroundings through the Jamieson Creek Walking Track, which features creek crossings and staircases that allow you to enjoy views of tall eucalypts against the magnificent Southern Ocean.
How to Find Camping Spots on the Great Ocean Road
Finding a good campsite is the first thing to do to get on with your camping plans. Aside from this guide, here are some more sources to help you find the best camping sites along the Great Ocean Road.
If you want a travel companion that’s handy and easily accessible, try using WikiCamps on your tablet, smartphone, or PC. It offers you information on where you can go and stay, including recommendations of hostels, parks, and camps. You can easily filter your search to get more targeted options based on the criteria you’re using.
Currently, WikiCamps is available in five countries, namely New Zealand, Canada, Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Everybody knows that Facebook isn’t just for networking with friends. It is as much a great tool for searching for recommendations and suggestions on a wide range of subjects, including camping and securing your camping permit.
Aside from asking your friends, you can also join communities that are into camping or #vanlife who can give ideas on the best campsites and best campgrounds along the Great Ocean Road and anywhere else in Australia.
Campermate is a great tool for making your camping plans. It’s a free travel app that lets you find all information in one place to help you while you’re on the road in New Zealand and Australia. There are tons of tips from travellers from around the globe as well as specific details on caravan and RV camping.
Never get lost as it provides you with information on petrol stations, ATMs, dump stations, campgrounds, accommodations, and even public showers.
Who knows a place better than its locals? When it comes to finding the best surfside holiday park, powered and unpowered sites, caravan parks, paid and free camping areas, national parks, off-the-beaten track sites, and campsites on the rugged coastline, the locals know best.
Keeping Safe While Camping on the Great Ocean Road
Just like camping elsewhere, you need to keep certain things in mind to stay safe during your Great Ocean Road camping.
Consider the following:
Don’t always rely on technology
Without a doubt, technology has made our life easier, including navigating to our favourite campsites. However, because of the Great Ocean Road’s natural beauty, it may not have strong internet connection. So, it is best for you not to rely solely on technology and bring your good ol’ map and compass as well as a radio and flashlights.
Secure Your Water and Food
This scenic drive may be popular, but that doesn’t mean it can provide you with food and drinking water. Though some campsites have drinking water, just be on the safe side and bring enough for you and your companions.
Some supermarkets may be within a walking distance from your campsite, but why spend time buying things you need when you can bring them along?
Be Careful with Fires
Campfires complete camping activities. But more than that, we use fire for cooking food, whether it’s on a fire pit or fuel stove. However you cook your food, always be wary with fire. Fortunately, fire problems are just seasonal on the Great Ocean Road, so make sure to help keep it that way by always being aware of fire restrictions through government websites.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Before anything else, be aware that wild camping is sometimes illegal on the Great Ocean Road. Check the signs! However, when you camp at paid and free camping areas, you can get close to the wildlife, which means you may encounter snakes, spiders, koalas, and even kangaroos. So, it’s best to always be ready for such circumstances by knowing what to do should it happen to you.
Do Your Research Before Leaving for Your Camp
It’s important to know where you want to go and what you want to do there. Read up on the activities you can do on the Great Ocean Road as well as the places and destinations that you can visit. This way, you save time and get to plan your itinerary, so you can see as many sights as possible.
The Great Ocean Road should be at the top of your bucket list whenever you’re in Australia. With all its can’t-miss stops and attractions, this scenic drive will not remain just scenic but memorable as well.
If you’re on your way to SA, check out this post on more great camping spots in South Australia.