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Smythesdale Gardens

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Garden Street, Smythesdale VIC 3351

Explore other locations around this area using our interactive map


  • Undercover picnic areas
  • Free electric barbecue
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Powerpoints
  • Fireplace
  • Picnic tables
  • Water taps at camp sites
  • Playground
  • Ornamental wooden ship (no climbing)
  • Showers
  • Toilets
  • Rubbish bins
  • Caravan dump point
  • Huge camping area
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. 

Free camping at Smythesdale Gardens

Free camping is permitted at Smythesdale Gardens, a fantastic and spacious campground with excellent facilities and lots of room for caravans and RVs.

Smythesdale Gardens Campground is maintained by volunteers. Donations can be made at the Smythesdale Roadhouse or Post Office (do not leave donations at the Campground).

Camp kitchen and picnic facilities at Smythesdale Gardens

The huge picnic area contains multiple picnic tables and an excellent camp kitchen with a barbecue, kettle, microwave, electric frying pan, sandwich press, toaster, powerpoints, and a fireplace. 

There are a couple of other basic picnic shelters with tables around the campground as well. 

As there is only one electric barbecue here, and it is a large camping area, bringing your own cooking facilities is advised as the barbecue may be in use.

Playground at Smythesdale Gardens

A playground stands alongside the main picnic area and is well shaded by the surrounding trees. The playground features a small fort with wav slide, a swing set, and springs. 

The playground is well shaded for most of the day, and a picnic table is set alongside it.

A huge ornamental wooden ship stands alongside the picnic area. 

A sign by the ship states no climbing is permitted. Children may be tempted to climb, but please note that there are nails sticking out inside and lots of splinters, so be sure to have them playing in the playground area instead.

Other visitor facilities at Smythesdale Gardens

The toilet and shower blocks are located up alongside the undercover kitchen area. 

Rubbish bins are located at the entrance to the campsite.

Walking track at Smythesdale Gardens Campground

The 53km Ballarat Skipton Rail Trail runs right alongside this campground, making it a great spot to set up base while exploring the region by walking, cycling or horse riding. 

Other walks nearby include:
  • Rainbow Bird Trail
  • Woady Yaloak River Trail

More information about Smythesdale Gardens Campground

Signs at Smythesdale Gardens display the following text:

Camping conditions of use


Contact Bill on 0409 145 267 or Dennis on 0418 503 938 for shower code.

Donation envelopes are located at the main buildings.

Donations can be left at the Smythesdale Roadhouse or Post Office. Please do not leave money on site. 

Camping is not permitted in central fenced area. 

Vehicles must not be connected to water taps.

Dogs must be kept restrained at all times. 

Camping by persons under the age of 18 without direct adult supervision is not permitted. 

Bins are located at dump point. If full please do not leave rubbish on the ground. 

The Smythesdale Gardens are maintained by community volunteers from the Smythesdale Progress Association. Your donations help us look after the gardens and to undertake other projects in the Smythesdale Community. 

Please help us by providing a donation and looking after the grounds and facilities. 



Smythesdale offers a rich treasury of history, much of which can still be seen and enjoyed.

Gold was first discovered in Smythesdale's Woady Yaloak River in 1852. Miners soon flocked to the area for a piece of the prosperity and the region's population boomed. 

By 1859, the population in the Smythes Creek Goldfields area was 20,000 which is quite a contrast to its current population of 1,026 residents (ABS 2016)

Located just 18km south west of Ballarat, Smythesdale is also known for its legal history. In the late 1800s, this thriving diggers' town became the law administration centre for the Ballarat Goldfields. 

Today, remnants of this era are open for public view at the Smythesdale Historic Precinct, which features the original police lock-up, stables and Court House. 

The gallows from the old Ballarat Gaol have been re-located to this Precinct. 

Our lively little town is renowned for its fascinating and visible history as well as for its charming character, with many of the small shops and old buildings continuing to exude the look and feel of a time gone by.


Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail
Walk, cycle or ride a horse along this 53km trail, and experience nature and history in towns, forests and farmland along the way.

Flagstaff Hill Lookout Located just outside Linton, this lookout lets you see right across Golden Plains, with views that span the Otways, Grampians, Bass Strait and incredible broad acre farm lands. 

Brisbane Ranges National Park
Set in a low range of mountains, dissected by rocky gullies, the unusual geology of the Brisbane Ranges National Park has preserved plants that have long since vanished from other parts of the region. There are a number of options for bushwalking, ranging from short walks to three-day walks. The park is also popular for picnicking, scenic drives and camping. 

Rainbow Bird Trail
Traverse this 35km trail and experience amazing orchids, birds and native mammals, amidst some of Victoria's most interesting rural and goldfields history. 

Smythesdale Gardens
Set amongst a large treed area, local volunteers have resurrected the historic botanic gardens and created a peaceful open space which includes a playground and BBQ area for all to enjoy. 

Woady Yaloak River Trail
Stroll along the River Trail from the gardens to the township centre and enjoy the sights and sounds. 


Golden Plains Farmers' Market
This is a vibrant and authentic farmers' market that takes place on the first Saturday of every month, every season, from 8.30am to 12.30pm in the heart of Bannockburn, 20 minutes from Geelong. You can enjoy an array of farm-fresh, flavoursome and seasonal produce. 

Smythesdale Country Market
Held on the third Saturday of every month (except January) from 9am to 1pm, the market offers a variety of crafts and goods, fresh produce as well as food ready to go. This is a great day out for the family right in the heart of Smythesdale. 

Pubs, Bistros and Eateries
Country pub, organic cafe or hillside bistro, your options to rest, eat and drink are plentiful, memorable and delicious. 

Moorabool Valley Taste Trail
The Moorabool Valley Taste Trail encompasses the rolling hills and magical valleys of the region north-west of Geelong. It's a foodie haven, gourmet delight and wine lover's paradise. 


Golden Plains Arts Trail
Spread across the Shire, the Arts Trail provides a complete art experience, where you meet the artists in their studios and get hands-on with activities and workshops as you explore the wonders along the Arts Trail. 

Meredith and Golden Plains Music Festivals
These iconic festivals are now a permanent fixture in Australia's music festival scene. Held annually every December and March in the 'Supernatural Amphitheatre' on farmland just outside of Meredith, the festivals offer a culture and music that reflects the strength and diversity of the national and international music scene. 


Smythesdale Historic Town Walk
Discover the wonders of yesteryear with a stroll around Smythesdale and visit the historic buildings and historical points of interest. 

Nimons Bridge
Along the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail, you can see Golden Plains from atop this historic rail trestle bridge, with panoramic views that span the surrounding farm lands, forests and remnant gold tailings. 

Some of Victoria's earliest history can be found in the cemeteries across Golden Plains. These provide a fascinating historical and genealogical experience. 



  • Bushwalking is an excellent way to get outdoors and exploring nature.
  • Camping is a great way to explore the Victorian Goldfields. Many campgrounds are located close to interesting attractions and historic sites, and the Goldfields region is certainly not lacking in fascinating things to discover. 
  • There are hundreds of fantastic barbecue areas throughout the Victorian Goldfields. Some are in parks/playgrounds, others are scattered throughout the bush. Many barbecue areas are located alongside amazing attractions and walks, so go out for a barbecue and get exploring!


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