Browse by Tag
Free camping
Gold history
Gold prospecting
Walking track

Best campgrounds in the Victorian Goldfields

Posted 10/04/2018 in Places

With many fantastic campgrounds located close to historical sites, natural treasures and scenic walks, camping is a great way to explore the Victorian Goldfields. I know I'm always on the lookout for free campgrounds near me, so I thought I'd put together this handy list. 

Take a look through the following list to discover some of the best campgrounds throughout the region!

You may also be interested to check out our in-depth lists of free campgrounds for the areas around BallaratBendigo, Maryborough and Castlemaine.

Leanganook Campground, Harcourt North VIC

Leanganook Campground, Harcourt North VIC

Leanganook Campground is located within the Mount Alexander Regional Park. 

Multiple campsites are spread around the central picnic area, and facilities include picnic tables, wood fire barbecues, fire pits, toilets and water taps. 

Visitors can enjoy the Mount Alexander Regional Park through picnicking, bushwalking and birdwatching.

Beautiful views can be appreciated from multiple nearby lookout points including Dog Rocks and Shepherd's Flat.

Vaughan Springs, Vaughan VIC

Vaughan Springs, Vaughan VIC

This beautiful riverside park features a giant slide, mineral spring taps, swimming spots, a few great trees for climbing, scenic walks, a miniature railway track within a fenced area (great for little kids), several free electric barbecues, picnic tables, a gazebo, toilets and plenty of educational signs. 

Camping is available at the Upper Terrace Campground, which is a short walk up the hill from the day visitor area. No booking is required, there is no charge, and caravans can access the campground easily. 

Melville Caves, Brenanah VIC

Within Kooyoora State Park in Brenanah, Victoria lie the spectacular Melville Caves, named after notorious bushranger, Captain Melville who supposedly used the caves as a hiding place in the mid 1800s. 

The Melville Caves Campground is located just a moments drive from the caves themselves and features multiple separate campsites with picnic tables, fire pits with wood fire barbecue plates, a toilet block and a large undercover area. 

There are several great walks from the Melville Caves Campground. 

Cork Oaks Campground, Mount Beckworth VIC

Cork Oaks Campground, Mount Beckworth VIC

Surrounded by rocky peaks, bushland and beautiful views, Cork Oaks is a fantastic free campground and picnic area in the Mount Beckworth Scenic Reserve

This is the perfect place to set up camp and explore the natural and historical features of Mount Beckworth. 

The campground features picnic tables, wood fire barbecues, fire pits, toilets and plenty of room for tents, caravans and RVs. 

Dogs are permitted here on a lead. 

Bealiba Reservoir Recreation Area, Bealiba VIC

Bealiba Reservoir, Bealiba VIC

The Bealiba Reservoir Recreation area is a fantastic spot for camping, picnics, fishing, swimming and bushwalking. 

There are three picnic sites around the small reservoir, two of which are well equipped with tables, chairs and fire pits. 

Two non-flush toilets are close to the picnic areas. 

The dirt tracks around the reservoir make great walking/cycling tracks, and there are several great trees for kids to climb. 

Teddington Hut Camping Area, Redbank VIC

Teddington Hut, Redbank VIC

The Teddington Hut Camping Area features an interesting two room wooden hut, constructed around 1955, open for campers to use respectfully. 

The hut is surrounded by the beautiful bushland of the Kara Kara National Park. 

Alongside the hut there is a single picnic table, a wood fire barbecue, and a small toilet block. 

Advanced bookings are required - phone 131 963. 

Warburtons Bridge, Glenluce VIC

Warburtons Bridge, Glenluce VIC

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. 

Dogs are permitted here on a lead. 

Mount Franklin Campground, Mount Franklin VIC

Mount Franklin Campground, Mount Franklin VIC

A gorgeous and peaceful campground rests within the scenic crater of an extinct volcano at Mount Franklin. 

Bordered by conifer forest, the crater has been decorated with ornamental trees such as Silver Birch, White Poplar, Sycamore and Californian Redwoods. 

A large, central lawn area is surrounded by a ring of campsites with picnic tables and wood fire barbecues. 

A toilet block and water tank/tap is located close to the entrance of the campground. 

Green Hill Lake, Ararat VIC

Green Hill Lake, Ararat VIC

Green Hill Lake is a fantastic free area for recreation, camping, fishing, boating, swimming, barbecues and bushwalking. 
There is plenty of room for camping and RVs, no booking is required and camping is free of charge (please leave a donation in the donation box at the campground). 

A large central toilet block offers free hot showers as well as power points.

 Picnic tables, fire pits, wood fire barbecues, and rubbish bins are scattered throughout the camping area. 

Dogs are permitted here. 

Laanecoorie River Recreation Reserve, Laanecoorie VIC

The Laanecoorie River Recreation Reserve is a fantastic campground along the Loddon River in the quiet town of Laanecoorie. 

The campground has plenty of space, a designated tent area, and lots of room for caravans/motorhomes. 

The campground contains multiple picnic tables, wood fire barbecues, water taps, rubbish bins and toilets. 

A great walking track travels off along the Loddon River, beginning at the Janevale Bridge and travelling an easy 1.2km to the Laanecoorie Reservoir Weir - a lovely spot overlooking the Laanecoorie Reservoir and weir with spectacular views. 

Dogs are permitted here on a lead. 

Lions Club Park, Avoca VIC

Lions Club Park, Avoca VIC

The Lions Club Park in Avoca is located on the bank of the Avoca River, and is a great spot for camping, barbecues and picnics. 

Beside the playground is a large gazebo with an electric barbecue, two picnic tables, and a water tap on the side. 

There is another picnic table located a short distance away in the camping area, surrounded by a cluster of beautiful trees. 

The camping area is a large, clear, flat area between the barbecue/playground and the creek, and offers easy access for caravans. 

Iron Mine and Blast Furnace, Lal Lal VIC

Explore the fascinating ruins of Lal Lal's iron mine and blast furnace, where a circuit walk begins at the picnic area and takes you on a short scenic walk along the hillside to the impressive historic blast furnace. 

You can view the blast furnace from a wooden platform with a railing, and there are several interesting information signs about the Lal Lal Iron Company, the blast furnace itself, the former blacksmith's shop, and the men who lived and worked there. 

The picnic and camping area features picnic tables, fire pits and crude wood fire barbecue, a large toilet block, and plenty of room for camping. 

Waterfalls Campground, Percydale VIC

Waterfalls Campground, Percydale VIC

This peaceful, spacious campground is located about 20 minutes drive from the goldfields town of Avoca. 

The area is very popular for trail bike riding and bushwalking, and the beautiful (but seasonal) Pyrenees Ranges Waterfall is located an easy 0.5 km walk away. 

The campsite offers several large areas of flat, clear, grassy ground. There are picnic tables, wood fire barbecues, fire pits and toilets. 

Dogs are permitted here on a lead. 

Ditchfield Camp, Raglan VIC

Ditchfield Camp, Raglan VIC

Ditchfield Camp is a fantastic free camping area within the Mount Cole State Forest - a beautiful scenic area with amazing views, popular for camping, horse riding, four wheel driving, walking and picnicking. 

Located about an hour from both Ballarat and Maryborough, the campsite features a large wooden hut with concrete floor, bench table (no seating) and an open fireplace. 

This hut is available to camp in. No fees or bookings are required, it is recommended to arrive early if you are seeking to use the hut as it is used on a 'first in first served' basis. 

Dogs are permitted here on a lead. 

Slaty Creek Campground No. 1, Cabbage Tree VIC

Slaty Creek Campground Number 1 is the first of three campsites along Slaty Creek within the Creswick Regional Park. 

This area is fantastic for bushwalking, birdwatching and gold prospecting. 

Take a stroll through the beautiful forest or bring along a gold pan and try your luck panning in the creek. 

A picnic area lies alongside the campsites and features the gazebo, toilet block (non flushing), and multiple wood fire barbecues and picnic tables. 

Camping areas here are located on both sides of Petticoat Link Track, with Slaty Creek running alongside both. 

No booking is required, camping is free. 

Dogs are permitted here on a lead. 

Ferntree Falls Campground, Raglan VIC

Ferntree Falls, Raglan VIC

Ferntree Falls is a stunning waterfall nestled among the huge ferns and moss covered rocks within the spectacular Mount Buangor State Park. 

Experience the beauty of upper Middle Creek, a tributary which meanders through the park among the forest of tree ferns and water ferns. 

Just around the corner from the walking trail and picnic area you will find five secluded campsites in a bushland setting, each with a picnic table, fire pit and wood fire barbecue. 

Bookings and payment must be made to camp here, you can book online with Parks Victoria. 

Chinamans Campground, Mt Cole VIC

Relax undercover by the open fireplace at this fantastic free, dog-friendly campground within the scenic Mount Cole State Forest. 

A large central shelter contains sturdy wood-slab picnic tables and an open fireplace, and is a great spot for a picnic. 

The shelter is surrounded by a large clear area with multiple campsites. 

Picnic tables, fire pits and wood fire barbecues are scattered throughout the campground, and a toilet block provides non-flush toilets. 

There is even a horse pen available for visitor use! 

Click for more information, images and location...

Richards Campground, Raglan VIC

Richards Campground, Raglan VIC

Richards Campground is a fantastic free campsite in the Mt Cole State Forest, Raglan. 

Richards features excellent visitor facilities including a large undercover picnic area, wood fire barbecues and toilets, with several stunning walks starting out from the picnic area. 

Click for more information, images and location...

Hard Hill Tourist Reserve, Wedderburn VIC

Hard Hill Tourist Reserve, Wedderburn VIC

Explore gold rush history as you stroll through the reserve and discover a reconstructed gold puddler, a stamp battery by the entrance, and a mine adit atop the hill. 

Visitor facilities at Hard Hill include wood fire barbecues, undercover picnic area, large separate undercover area, toilets and showers (for campers' use only), walking tracks and lots of information signs. 

There is plenty of space to set up camp in the peaceful bushland setting, which is also RV friendly. 

Click for more information, images and location...

Skinners Flat Reservoir, Wedderburn VIC

Skinners Flat Reservoir, Wedderburn VIC

Skinners Flat Reservoir is a scenic lake located about 6 km from Wedderburn. 

Featuring an island at its centre and surrounded by bushland, the reservoir is a great spot for swimming, fishing, boating, camping and bushwalking. 

Click for more information, images and location...

Lake Burrumbeet Foreshore Camping Area, Burrumbeet VIC

Lake Burrumbeet Foreshore Camping Area, Burrumbeet VIC

Pitch a tent along the shore of the beautiful Lake Burrumbeet, just twenty minutes from Ballarat, and settle in for a weekend of swimming, fishing or boating! 

Free camping is permitted along the lake's foreshore, and long drop toilets are available for visitor use. 

You'll find plenty of shady spots beneath the large trees to set up your camp chair and relax.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the Lake's many resident pelicans. 

Click for more information, images and location...

Aysons Campground, Burnewang VIC

Aysons Campground, Burnewang VIC

Aysons is a fantastic free camping area along the Campaspe River, 40 minutes from Bendigo. 

The campground has all the benefits of being situated beside a large river including plenty of swimming spots, fish, a boat ramp, beautiful views and an opportunity for birdwatching. 

Notley Campground, Whipstick VIC

Notley Campground, Whipstick VIC

Explore the natural and historical treasures of the Whipstick area from Notleys, a fantastic free camping area within the Greater Bendigo National Park. 

This area is popular for bushwalking and gold prospecting. Visitor facilities include picnic tables, a large picnic shelter, wood fire barbecues, toilets and walking tracks. 

Happy Jacks Reserve, Lockwood VIC

Happy Jacks Reserve, Lockwood VIC

This excellent reserve stretches along the bank of Bullock Creek in Lockwood and features a free camping area, picnic area, playground and sports oval. 

The picnic area is over to the left and provides great visitor facilities including an undercover electric barbecue, an undercover picnic table, more unshaded tables, a small playground with a slide and swings, rubbish bins and toilets. 

The campground consists of a large, lightly treed area along the creek, located to the right when you enter the reserve. There is plenty of room to set up tents and park caravans/RVs. 

Hunts Bridge Camping Area, Morrisons VIC

A local favourite for swimming and picnics, the Hunts Bridge Camping Area is sprawled along the bank of the gorgeous Moorabool River in Morrisons, half an hour from Ballarat. 

With plenty of space for tents, RVs and caravans, there are many great spots to set up camp in the huge clearing along the roadside, and a few more campsites down along the water. 

Greens Lake, Corop VIC

Greens Lake, Corop VIC

Set up camp along the shore of Greens Lake and settle in for a relaxing weekend of swimming, fishing or boating. 

Free camping is permitted along a huge area of the foreshore at this popular lake-side campground, where picnic tables and toilets are available for visitor use. 

Smythesdale Gardens, Smythesdale VIC

Smythesdale Gardens, Smythesdale VIC

Easily one of the best campgrounds in the Ballarat region, Smythesdale Gardens provides outstanding visitor facilities and a massive camping area, popular for caravans and RVs. 

Features include a large undercover picnic shelter complete with electric barbecue, kitchen appliances, fireplaces and powerpoints, as well as a shady playground, toilets and showers.

Looking for more? You can view a more extensive list of campgrounds in the Victorian Goldfields here. What's your favourite campground in the region? Let us know in the comments below!





Leave a comment

Darryl Rowley
WEDDERBURN is awesome. stayed there a few times. Close to the street.