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Free Camping Geelong & the Bellarine

You’ll thoroughly enjoy visiting the Geelong and Bellarine region. You can stroll through historic streets and play golf on lush, summer-time golf courses. Or you can discover the vibrant foodie scene in this area, which includes craft breweries and local wineries as well as farm gates, provedores, and other small businesses. You can surf, paddle, and swim on the bay and ocean beaches. You can get close to wildlife in Port Phillip Bay. There is just so much to see and do! But where to camp for free during this lovely trip? 

Is there any free camping around Geelong?

Unfortunately, free camping on the Bellarine Peninsula is non existing. In Geelong city centre you won’t find any free camping locations neither. But within a 1 hour radius inland from Geelong you can definitely find some spots to set up camp and drive to Geelong and the Bellarine during the day. 

To find even more free camping spots and things to do for free in Australia, I would highly recommend purchasing the Camps 10 Ultimate Guide for Budget Travel, and also the Australia Free 4 Travel Guide. Two very helpful books for budget travellers!

Free Camping Geelong

Inverleigh Road Side Stop

At this rest stop there is free camping available! It is a dog friendly location, accessible for cars, motorbikes, but also big rigs. Camping in tents is allowed too. This free rest stop is only 34min away from Geelong, so a great option if you want to visit Geelong and the Bellarine without paying for expensive accommodation. 

Cost: Free
Distance: 25 minutes from Geelong city centre
Address: 2766 Hamilton Hwy, Inverleigh, Victoria

Leigh River Inverleigh

Another free camping location in Inverleigh, located next to a small river. This location is also dog friendly and accessible for all vehicles. Camping in a tent is allowed. There is phone reception, you can fish your dinner, watch local birds and enjoy some time in nature.

Cost: Free
Distance: 35 minutes from Geelong city centre
Address: River Track, Inverleigh, Victoria

Barwon River Reserve

This beautiful river reserve is council approved and you can stop here for max. 48 hours. Camping in tents is not allowed, just self contained recreational vehicles. The campground is located on the Barwon riverbank between the railway bridge and Mercer Street. There is a toilet block near the Princess Highway turnof, past the pool. It is a dog friendly location, but just be aware that the area is in flood area. If the water levels are too high, this campground might be flooded. Just something to keep in mind. Otherwise a beautiful spot!

Cost: Free
Distance: 35 minutes from Geelong city centre
Address: 12 Barwon Terrace, Winchelsea, Victoria

Moreep Bushland Reserve

A beautifully located free campsite next to the Moorabool River, in the middle of the Moreep Bushland Reserve. This campground is located 4km east of Meredith. Dogs are welcome, and you can fish, make a fire, or go for a nice walk and spot local birds. No other facilities, but there is phone reception. You can camp in a tent, or come with a van, trailer, rv or caravan. No big rigs are allowed though. Some things to keep in mind is that the ground is not very leveled. Hard to find a good big flat spot! 

Cost: Free
Distance: 45 minutes from Geelong city centre
Address: Slate Quarry Rd, Meredith, Victoria

Coopers Bridge

This free camping is located very close to the Moreep Bushland Reserve mentioned above. It’s a nice spot to swim and it’s dog friendly. There are not many facilities and you can only camp with a tent. There is limited phone reception and no facilities. The river is absolutely beautiful though! 

Cost: Free
Distance: 45 minutes from Geelong city centre
Address: Meredith-Steiglitz Road, Golden Plains Shire, Victoria

Clarendon Off Road Layby 

Not a very cosy place to stay, but it’s free. From all campgrounds mentioned in this article, this is probably the least recommended. It’s basically just at the side of the road, and there is often laying a lot of rubbish around, which is very sad. All vehicles are allowed here, also big rigs, but no tents. There is phone reception and a picnic table, but not much more. 

Cost: Free
Distance: 55 minutes from Geelong city centre
Address: 6130 Midland Hwy, Clarendon, Victoria

Tanners Rd Bend Campground

This free campground has an ideal location for Geelong as well as the Bellarine. It’s located a bit closer to the coast than the campground mentioned above. It’s a free campground with toilets, a picnic table, fire place, and it has some nice walking tracks. Dogs are also allowed and there is phone reception. No big rigs, but tents, vans, caravans, and trailers are all allowed. 

Cost: Free
Distance: 45 minutes from Geelong city centre
Address: Tanners Road, Victoria

Tanners Road Gherang Campground

Another free campground at Tanners Road. This campground has nice and sandy spots, and lots of shade. It’s dog friendly, but doesn’t have many facilities. No toilets, no fireplace, and not much more. No caravans or big rigs are allowed, just tents and camper trailers and a 4WD vehicle is highly recommended. 

Cost: Free
Distance: 45 minutes from Geelong city centre
Address: 35 Tanners Road, Gherang, Victoria

Hammond Road North

This camping area is free and located in the middle of the Otway National Park. It’s very nice and shady and recently upgraded and has space for 12 campers. Camping is on first in, first served basis. There are now drop pit toilets, fire pits, and there is phone reception. Dogs are allowed and there are some very nice walking tracks. No big rigs, but tents, caravans, RVs and trailers are definitely allowed. 

Cost: Free
Distance: 50 minutes from Geelong city centre
Address: Hammond Rd, Wensleydale, Victoria

Meredith Park Campground

This park is located next to Lake Colac, and it’s a beautiful spot to camp for free. There is a picnic area, fire places, and toilets. It’s also a popular fishing spot! You can catch a fish and cook it on the fire. Red fin and carp are commonly caught. Dogs are allowed, there is lots of local birds to watch, there are bins, you can swim, and there is Telstra phone reception. You can camp in a tent or with a vehicle. Even big rigs are allowed.

Cost: Free
Distance: 1 hour from Geelong city centre
Address: 190 Meredith Park Road, Ondit, Victoria

For more free camping in Victoria, check out our complete Victoria Free Camping Guide.

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