It’s clear that the Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most stunning coastal locations, but most of the tourist locations charge you a lot for their campgrounds and accommodations. Luckily, you can save money on food and supplies by camping free of charge. There are many options for camping along the Great Ocean Road so you won’t have any trouble deciding where to camp.
What is the Best Place to Stay on The Great Ocean Road?
Different people have different meanings of camping. Some campers only feel comfortable in a caravan with a roof that covers their heads. They can also tow a camper behind a vehicle. Some camp in the great outdoors, and prefer to sleep on the beaches or in the woods. There are many great free (or very cheap) camping options along the Great Ocean Road.
1. Allenvale Mill Bush Campground
This campground is a great choice for camping that’s also great for children. Not completely free, but only $13.90 per night. It’s possible to hike to Lorne Falls and enjoy a day in the water, returning to your campsite in time to have dinner around the fire. It is not far from the Great Ocean Road but it feels different because of the large trees that surround the sites. They block out traffic noises and make the place feel like another world. The St. Georges River Walking Track can be reached in just over an hour. This trail is recommended for people who can hike long distances and are fit. You can also hike on some of the nearby trails if you have less experience.
2. Sharps Camping Area
Although it is a long drive to the Great Ocean Road campground, camping at this free campsite lets you escape the noise and crowds of the city. There are six sites, but each site can accommodate six people. This is a great campground for hosting a stag or hen party with close friends. It is a great choice for people who just want to live simple. You can park your caravan or tent at the campground. Dogs are not allowed at this campground.
3. Jamieson Creek Campground
Jamieson Creek Campground, a little more remote than the main road, is the place to go if your goal is to enjoy nature and escape from the crowds. You can camp in your caravan or camper trailer and sleep under the stars. To get comfortable, all you need is a mattress and a pillow. After you have set up your campsite, you can explore the campground near the Great Ocean Road. There are spots for nature lovers and hikers. This campground is not completely free, but only $13.90 per night.
4. Big Hill Track Camping
This campground is another free spot that allows you to stay near the Great Ocean Road. It’s located near the junction of Big Hill Track and Lorne Dean Marsh Road. You can find it from all directions. To make them feel at home, King parrots welcome visitors to their territory. Camping is allowed, even though there are only 12 spots. You can either stay in the area for caravans or tents. This campground is not completely free, but only $13.90 per night.
5. Track for Goats Campground
Goat Track is a great place to camp free of charge near the Great Ocean Road. It is recommended that you use a four-wheel drive vehicle to access this campground. You won’t be able to get there if you don’t have a powerful vehicle. The campground can be slippery in the rainy season, but it offers plenty of peace and quiet. Tent campers can use the free sites, which are large enough to accommodate their group of dogs and tent campers.
6. Stevensons Falls Campground
Stevensons Falls, part of the Colac water Pipeline Track is a great spot to camp free. It has clean, fresh water and trails. There are also spots where you and your dog can camp together. There are many places to explore in the state forest. Even better, you can sit by the fire with your friends at night. You might want to visit the waterfall before you go.
7. Dando’s Campground
This campground is near the Great Ocean Road, and offers camping options for campers. Campers can rent trailers or caravans. This campground allows you to have fires and your pet can stay free of charge. You can also use the clean toilets and fish in the many spots that offer great fishing opportunities. There are so many things to do in the state forest.
8. Beauchamp Falls Reserve
This reserve is completely free and allows you to get back to basics. You can camp here in a caravan, tent or RV and bring your pet. There are designated areas where you can grill delicious food, and there are walking trails that allow you to enjoy the great outdoors. You should make your reservation as soon as possible as the campground is often full on weekends.
9. Aire Crossing Campsite
Great Otway National Park doesn’t charge an entry fee. It also allows guests to set up campsites in the Aire Crossing Campsite for no cost. The park is located close to Apollo Bay and other attractions, but it has a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. Bush camping is an option for those who wish to camp close to the river. However, you need to ensure that you have enough food and supplies to last you until you go to bed. There are many wild animals near you.
10. Timboon Recreation Reserve
Although the reserve does not offer free camping, but only charges $20 per night. You can stay as long or as you like! It is located approximately 30 minutes from the 12 Apostles, and offers more amenities than many free campgrounds along The Great Ocean Road. It has a dump station to store caravans and a playground. There are also hot showers, cold water, and mobile phone reception for those who need to check in back home. It even allows you to bring your motorbike, as there are no restrictions on accessing bike trails.
How do you choose the best Great Ocean Road Campgrounds?
There are so many options, it is easy to find a spot to camp near the Great Ocean Road. It is the hardest part of choosing which option is right for you. Consider how much money you are willing to spend on the entire trip. Apollo Bay is close to many towns so you can stock up before you go and enjoy the town’s attractions. For a complete local tasting experience, even if you don’t have the budget to visit the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse or Tastes of the Region in Apollo Bay. Tastes of Region also has a full-stocked bottle shop where you can stock up on the finest local craft beers before heading to your campground. They offer a 10% discount to RV’ers, campers, and backpackers. To redeem the discount, simply show your camper club membership card and Work & Holiday Visa evidence.
What do you need to camp?
Free camping doesn’t have to cost a lot. You can bring the supplies you need from home. You should ensure that you have enough water and food for your trip, as many campgrounds don’t have running water. Comfortable clothes and bedding are also good to have with you.
Can You Camp along the Great Ocean Road?
Choose one of these campgrounds to camp along the Great Ocean Road. You can camp free of charge and have access to clean toilets and water. You can pick up bug spray and marshmallows from the Great Ocean Road nearby. These campgrounds are close to many fun activities that your entire family will enjoy.
Is the Great Ocean Road suitable for caravans?
Although you may think the Great Ocean Road campgrounds are only for people who bring tents and sleeping bags home, many campgrounds are suitable for caravan owners, particularly in the larger towns like Apollo Bay. You can set up your caravan with your truck or motorized RV in minutes. Check with the campground to see if there are any restrictions. Some campgrounds prohibit generators being used at night. Others have quiet time rules that guests should follow. The campground may ask you to leave if you cause disturbances to other campers.
Alternative and Affordable Accommodation
Sometimes camping in the bush is too much. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay on the Great Ocean Road that is affordable and good, we’ve written an article about cheap hostels along the Great Ocean Road. With costs as low as $30 per night.
There are also some other campgrounds around and along the Great Ocean Road that are a bit more centrally located. The campgrounds in Lorne and Apollo Bay are very good, but if you are after something affordable and very beautiful, then we would highly recommend Princetown Reserve. It’s located very close to the 12 Apostles.
Are there any free activities near the Great Ocean Road?
You can save some money by not having to pay for activities in Apollo Bay. A campground with walking trails is available for free. You can see the native wildlife from these tracks and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The Great Ocean Road’s scenic drive is undoubtedly the most popular attraction for visitors. The surf is right below your feet, and you can follow the twisting and turning turns. Visitors also love the Great Ocean Walk, which puts them right next to the water. Mariners Lookout offers the best view of the bay. You might also enjoy the Great Ocean Road’s free camping trip.
- Twelve Apostles
- Mait’s Rest
- All the stunning waterfalls
- Great Otway National Park
You don’t have to spend any money to visit the galleries along the Great Ocean Road or window shop in the boutiques. You can enjoy swimming, fishing, and hiking at many of the Great Ocean Road’s free campsites. There might be campgrounds where you can see koala bears or other wild animals. Trust us… You won’t get bored!
For more free camping in Victoria, check out our complete Victoria Free Camping Guide.