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Best free campgrounds near Daylesford

Posted 12/03/2022 in Places

The Daylesford region hosts a huge collection of fantastic free campgrounds! I know I'm always on the lookout for free campgrounds near me, so I thought I'd put together this handy list. 

Whether you're looking for a scenic spot by the river, a peaceful bushland setting, or a place close to local waterfalls, you're sure to find the perfect destination for your next camping trip. 

This list covers all the best campgrounds within forty minutes of Daylesford and includes distance from town, visitor facilities, and things to do nearby!

Mount Franklin

Mount Franklin Campground, Mount Franklin VIC

  • Distance from Daylesford: 13 mins
  • Facilities: Toilets, wood fire barbecues, picnic tables.
  • Things to do: Bushwalking, photography.
Set up camp in the scenic crater of an extinct volcano at Mount Franklin! 

This gorgeous free campground is bordered by scenic forest, and the crater has been decorated with exotic ornamental trees. 

Balt Camp

Balt Camp, Blakeville VIC
  • Distance from Daylesford: 21 mins
  • Facilities: None, campers must be self-sufficient.
  • Things to do: Explore historic sites, bushwalking, photography.
Pitch a tent behind the historical remains of the Balt Camp, a 1940s work camp built by the Forestry Commission after World War Two. The Balt Camp provided employment for young Northern European immigrants who had been displaced. 

Built in 1946, today the site consists of two chimneys and the foundations/stone walls of multiple buildings including the cook house, managers hut and toilet block. 

The remains of the Able Mine lie across the other side of Camp Road. 

Free camping is permitted here, and there are several clearings behind the ruins where you can set up camp. There is a fire pit in the first clearing, but no other visitor facilities present - campers must be self sufficient. 

Vaughan Springs

Vaughan Springs, Vaughan VIC
  • Distance from Daylesford: 23 mins
  • Facilities: Toilets, picnic tables, barbecues, mineral spring taps, giant hillside slide, walking tracks (including Goldfields Track).
  • Things to do: Swimming, bushwalking, fishing, sample mineral spring water, visit the adjacent Chinese Burial Ground and check out the view over nearby Red Knob Mining Landscape
Spend an afternoon of relaxation at the beautiful Vaughan Springs, a scenic destination for swimming, bushwalking and picnics. 

Sample the mineral water and stroll along the Loddon River, all to the peaceful sound of birds singing in the trees. 

The scenic park features several free electric barbecues, picnic tables, a gazebo, a giant slide, mineral spring taps, swimming spots, a few great trees for kids to climb, scenic walks, a miniature railway track within a fenced area (great for little kids to check out, not functional though), toilets and plenty of educational signs.

Warburtons Bridge

Warburtons Bridge, Glenluce VIC
  • Distance from Daylesford: 27 mins
  • Facilities: Toilet, fire pits / barbecue plates.
  • Things to do: Swimming, fishing, gold prospecting.
Located within a bend of the scenic Loddon River, Warburtons Bridge in Glenluce is a spacious campground featuring multiple picnic tables, wood fire barbecues, fire pits and a toilet. 

Campsites sit right alongside the river with views of some beautiful rocky outcrops on the surrounding hillsides.


  • Distance from Daylesford: 27 mins
  • Facilities: Picnic table, fire pit / barbecue plate
  • Things to do: Bushwalking, four wheel driving.
  • Notes: Four wheel drive access.
This basic campground sits within the Upper Loddon State Forest and features a single picnic table and wood fire barbecue pit. 

A large clearing provides plenty of space for pitching tents and parking cars, and the riverside setting makes this a great scenic spot for a camping trip.
This is one of two bush camps in the vicinity. Upper Loddon Bush Camp 2 is located just a few moments further down the track from here. 

Colbrook Reservoir

Colbrook Reservoir, Colbrook VIC
  • Distance from Daylesford: 33 mins
  • Facilities: None, campers must be self-sufficient.
  • Things to do: Swimming, bushwalking, photography, four wheel driving, gold prospecting.
  • Notes: Four wheel drive access. Tracks not signed, use GPS to get in.
One of the most beautiful lakes in the Victorian Goldfields, Colbrook Reservoir is an amazing place for bushwalking, swimming, bush camping, and photography. 

Featuring a stunning dam wall complete with seasonal waterfall, this place is a must-see when exploring the beauty of the Wombat State Forest. 

Paradise Camp

Paradise Camp, Blakeville VIC
  • Distance from Daylesford: 33 mins
  • Facilities: None, campers must be self-sufficient.
  • Things to do: Bushwalking, four wheel driving.
  • Notes: Four wheel drives are recommended for reaching Paradise Camp, and are essential in wet conditions.
Paradise Camp is a basic bush campsite consisting of a cool, shady clearing enclosed beneath the leafy trees. 

Although there are no visitor facilities here, it's a beautiful spot and there's plenty of room to pitch tents and park cars. 

This is a great spot to set up camp while exploring the scenic beauty of the Wombat State Forest. 

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