Mount Elephant, Tourism Victoria

Population 3164

Located at the foot of Mount Leura, a volcanic cone, Camperdown is more famous for its natural attractions than for the town itself, being situated on the world's third largest volcanic plain. But that should not detract from Camperdown: National Trust–listed Finlay Avenue features 2 kilometres of regal elm trees, while in the town centre the Gothic-style Manifold Clock Tower proudly stands as a tribute to the region's first European pioneers.

Visitor Information

Old Courthouse, Manifold St; (03) 5593 3390;

Nearby national parks

  • Brisbane Ranges National Park

    In Brisbane Ranges National Park low mountains are dissected by rugged gorges and hidden gullies with basalt grasslands and woodlands. An...more

  • Mount Eccles National Park

    Mount Eccles National Park is Victoria’s first co-managed national park, being managed by the traditional owners,...more

  • Kinglake National Park

    Surrounding the township of Kinglake, this bush retreat close to Melbourne offers views of the Yarra Valley, the city skyline and Port...more

Nearby towns

  • Terang

    Terang is in a fertile dairy-farming district. It is a well-laid-out town with grand avenues of deciduous trees, and is known throughout the...more

  • Colac

    Colac was built by the shores of Lake Colac on the volcanic plain that covers much of Victoria's Western District. The lake, once the...more

  • Port Campbell

    This peaceful seaside resort – the base of a small crayfishing industry – is in the centre of Port Campbell National Park on the...more

In Town

Manifold Clock Tower: an imposing structure built in 1896; open 1st Sun each month; Cnr Manifold and Pike sts.

Historical Society Museum: displays Aboriginal artefacts, local historical photographs, and household and farming implements; Manifold St.

Courthouse: built in 1886–87, described as one of the most distinctive courthouses in Australia; Manifold St.

Buggy Museum: collection of 30 restored horse-drawn buggies; Ower St.


Crater lakes Surrounding Camperdown are spectacular crater lakes that provide an interesting history of volcanic activity over the past 20 000 years, as well as opportunities for watersports and excellent fishing. Travelling west of town, take the scenic drive around the rims of lakes Bullen Merri and Gnotuk, and join in the watersports and swimming at South Beach. The lakes are regularly stocked with Chinook salmon and redfin. For a scenic picnic spot, and some of the best fishing, visit Lake Purrumbete; 15 km SE. By far one of the most impressive lakes is Lake Corangamite, the Southern Hemisphere's largest permanent salt lake. This lake lies 25 km E, but the best viewing spot is Red Rock Lookout; see Colac.

Derrinallum and Mt Elephant Mt Elephant rises to almost 200 m behind the small township of Derrinallum – it doesn't sound like a lot, but across the plains of the Western District you can see it from up to 60 km away. A gash in the elephant's western side is the result of decades of quarrying. The mountain is actually the scoria cone of an extinct volcano, and inside is a 90 m deep crater. Now owned by the community, there is a walking trail to the top, and the Music on the Mount festival is held here in Nov. Lake Tooliorook on the other side of town offers good fishing for trout and redfin, and watersports. 40 km N.

Camperdown–Timboon Rail Trail: walking or riding track through bush, following historic railway line.

Mt Leura: extinct volcano close to the perfect cone of Mt Sugarloaf. A lookout offers excellent views over crater lakes and volcanoes, and north across the plains to the Grampians; 1 km S.

Botanic Gardens: feature rare examples of Himalayan oak and a lookout over lakes Bullen Merri and Gnotuk; 3 km W.

Cobden Miniature Trains: operates 3rd Sun each month; Cobden; 13 km S.

Fishing spots near town

Lake Bullen Merri 4 km

Lake Bullen Merri at Camperdown is less than 20 mins drive from Lake Purrumbete. A deep, volcanic lake with saline water, it is stocked with brown and rainbow trout, Atlantic and Chinook salmon, and Australian bass.... Find out more

Lake Purrumbete 8 km

The bulk of the serious trout-fishing action in Victoria is in the Western District crater lakes. Of these, Lake Purrumbete near Camperdown ranks in the top half a dozen trout lakes in the state in terms quality,... Find out more

Peterborough 46 km

Peterborough has beach and estuary fishing. The estuary system is Curdies River, a noted bream river with fish to 1.5 kg common. The best place to access the river is upstream at a place called Boggy Creek – a name... Find out more

Gellibrand River 52 km

A little further west from Aire River are Castle Cove and Johanna Beach; both produce fishing similar to the beach at Aire River. There is also good beach fishing at Princetown, at the mouth of the Gellibrand River. ... Find out more

Warrnambool 61 km

Warrnambool is a big, tidy city. It’s a great place to take the family for a holiday, particularly if you have fishing on your mind. All forms of angling are available, but the most popular water is the Hopkins... Find out more

Lake Bolac 61 km

One of my favourite fishing activities after a hot summer day is to wander along the banks of the Barwon River in Geelong, casting lures for redfin. Redfin are feisty, competitive fish that bite readily and taste great.... Find out more

Aire River 69 km

This area comprises estuary, surf and freshwater on the west side of Cape Otway. Aire River nestles in a valley along the foothills of the Otways. To get there, follow the Great Ocean Road past the Cape Otway turn-off,... Find out more

Apollo Bay 74 km

Apollo Bay has a diversity of angling options, including river, estuary, surf and offshore. You can also fish from the rocks or in the sheltered harbour. Anglers who come here seek everything from brown trout and bream... Find out more

Lorne 80 km

On the way into Lorne is a popular ledge known as Jump Rock. It consistently produces salmon, silver trevally, barracouta, pinkies and mullet. The drive into Lorne will also take you across the Erskine River, a small... Find out more

Port Fairy 81 km

Port Fairy is an unimposing historic seaport between Warrnambool and Portland. While it might come across as a sleepy, seaside resort, Port Fairy always seems to attract exciting piscatorial headlines. During the 1960s... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Diving and snorkelling - Port Campbell, Peterborough and Warrnambool 45 km

Best known in diving circles for its multitude of shipwrecks, most of which are reached by boat dives, this area also has some great snorkelling and shore dives. Recommended spots include the Port Campbell jetty, Wild... Find out more

Picnicking at Lake Pertobe Reserve 61 km

Lake Pertobe Reserve on Warrnambool’s foreshore is known as one of the best adventure playgrounds around, with plenty for kids of all ages. There are paddleboats and canoes, a maze and flying fox, free barbecues... Find out more

Canoeing on Lake Elizabeth 63 km

For a fantastic dawn or dusk paddle in which you have a 95 per cent chance of seeing a platypus, join Otway Eco Tours on Lake Elizabeth. Half-day trips to this remote lake in the ranges depart from the small hamlet of... Find out more

Sea-kayaking in Marengo Marine Sanctuary 75 km

In an exciting two-hour guided paddle, head out from Apollo Bay to Marengo Marine Sanctuary to get a close-up view of an Australian fur-seal colony. The seals often come out to swim around the kayaks.... Find out more

Golf courses around town

Port Fairy Golf Club 77 km

An endearing quality of the great links layouts of Britain and Ireland is their natural setting. Wild, windswept holes rolling between sand dunes that have stood tall for centuries are the norm. The links of Port... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Purrumbete Brewing Company (Red Duck) 8 km

Scott and Vanessa Wilson-Browne are another couple of ‘ale changers’ who swapped busy Melbourne careers to move to the country, bring up their young family, and brew and market craft ales. Along the way, they... Find out more

Otway Estate Brewery 43 km

Located 12 kilometres from Colac, Otway Estate Winery was established in 1983, specialising in cool-climate wines; a microbrewery was added in 2007. Head brewer Luke Scott oversees the production of up to 15 different... Find out more

Flying Horse Brewery 56 km

Whales and ales are now the twin attractions for the pretty seaside Victorian city of Warrnambool, following the development of the sprawling Flying Horse Bar & Brewery complex by joint owners Matt Monk, Matt Stewart... Find out more

Campsites around town

Camperdown Lakes and Craters Holiday Park 3 km

This scenic park is wedged between a pair of extinct volcano craters. Part of one crater has been flooded by Lake Bullen Merri, which is perfect for watersports such as sailing, waterskiing and swimming. The scenery is... Find out more

Lake Purrumbete Caravan Park 10 km

Lake Purrumbete is a prime destination for anglers chasing chinook salmon and rainbow and brown trout, as attested to by the heavy-duty boat ramps and jetties at the caravan park. The park is on the foreshore at the... Find out more

Lake Colac Caravan Park 40 km

When its water levels are high, the namesake body of water next to the town of Colac, 73 km west of Geelong on the Princes Hwy, is used for all manner of watersports: from swimming and sailing to waterskiing. The caravan... Find out more

Meredith Park camping area 41 km

On the northern shore of Lake Colac, this simple camping area attracts hordes of anglers when the water level is good. From Colac, head north on the road to Ballarat for 10 km and turn onto Meredith Park Rd.... Find out more

Central Caravan Park 41 km

True to its name, this caravan park is located close to the centre of Colac, at the township’s showgrounds. It’s also close to the largest botanic gardens in country Victoria, and at the end of the street are... Find out more

Port Campbell Holiday Park 45 km

It’s only a short drive from Port Campbell east down the Great Ocean Rd to the landmark Twelve Apostles, a spectacular but slowly diminishing offshore grouping of limestone towers sculpted over countless centuries... Find out more

Great Ocean Road Tourist Park 47 km

Situated at Peterborough on the Great Ocean Rd, 12 km west of Port Campbell and within easy reach of the Twelve Apostles, is the Great Ocean Road Tourist Park. It’s next to the tranquil Curdies Inlet, which offers... Find out more

Princetown Recreation Reserve 51 km

This campground has its fair share of peace and quiet, but the main reason for staying near Princetown is the fact that the beautiful Twelve Apostles are only a few minutes to the west of the tiny settlement by car.... Find out more

Dandos camping area 54 km

This sizeable bush-camping area has several dozen campsites scattered among a cluster of pines and silver birch trees. Close to the Gellibrand River, it’s a good location for anglers who just want to sit and fish... Find out more

Stevenson Falls camping area 57 km

The drawcard here is the walking track that shadows the Gellibrand River and negotiates groves of Douglas firs before arriving at the viewing platform at lovely Stevenson Falls, where you can take a plunge in the rock... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Camperdown Lakes and Craters Holiday Park 3 km

Perched on the rim of a crater lake high above Camperdown and adjoining the botanical gardens, this park has a fabulous outlook. It offers basic facilities at a budget price. Bookings are required at Christmas and... Find out more

Port Campbell Holiday Park 45 km

This park is in a scenic location close to the centre of town and adjoining the beach. It is privately managed but forms part of the national park. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies... Find out more

Great Ocean Road Tourist Park 47 km

Situated just off the Great Ocean Road at the mouth of the Curdies River, this park is popular with those keen on fishing. It is just a short walk from the centre of town and the beach and has good facilities. Bookings... Find out more

Fig Tree Holiday Village 60 km

Centrally located about 600 metres from main shopping precinct, this is a very good quality and good value park in a quiet off-highway position. It has a heated indoor pool and a tennis court but cannot fit big rigs.... Find out more

Surfside Holiday Park – Warrnambool 61 km

This is a large, very good-quality council-owned park right on the beachfront. Great for a family beachside holiday, the park has good facilities and is just 1 km from the city centre and close to Flagstaff Hill.... Find out more

Discovery Holiday Parks – Warrnambool 62 km

Across the road from the beach, this well kept park is ideal for a holiday or just a few days away. With its excellent facilities, including a popular undercover camp kitchen and a movie room, the park can be busy.... Find out more

Pisces Holiday Park 72 km

With a range of accommodation and a great outlook, this quality park is on a rise overlooking the sea. It is 1.5 km to the town centre and only a short stroll to the beach. Bookings are required in peak periods, with a... Find out more

Marengo Holiday Park 75 km

This park is situated on an absolute beachfront property, 1.5 km south of the Apollo Bay township, off the Great Ocean Road. It is budget-priced, especially considering the location. Bookings are required in peak... Find out more

BIG4 Wye River Holiday Park 78 km

This is a very neatly maintained beachside park on this fabulous and popular coastline. Bookings are required in peak periods, with a minimum-length stay at Christmas, Easter and long weekends.... Find out more

Kennett River Holiday Park 79 km

Located midway between Lorne and Apollo Bay, this park has good basic facilities. It is squeezed between the Otway Ranges and a safe surf beach. Bookings are required in peak periods, with a minimum-stay period at... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Purrumbete Homestead

For an insight into the Western District’s wealth in the 1800s, head to Purrumbete Homestead, built in 1842 for the pioneering Manifold family (they lent their name to Camperdown’s main street). Art Nouveau... Find out more

Timboon House & Stables B&B

This historic bluestone property circa 1855 is a former coaching inn. There are three rooms within the house available to guests – all with private bathrooms and antique furnishings. Breakfast is served in a dining... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Cape Otway Centre for Conservation Ecology 73 km

There are not many better-thought-out ecotourism ventures than this superb multi-award-winning facility on Cape Otway. It has its own 66-hectare wildlife refuge and doubles as a shelter for injured and orphaned wildlife,... Find out more

Apollo Bay Youth Hostel 74 km

This relatively new hostel was built with an eco-friendly design, including thermal storage banks and other passive solar heating and cooling. It also has solar hot water, rainwater tanks, a worm farm, drought-tolerant... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Lake Tooliorook camping area 31 km

T/O at Lismore

Large grassed area among trees on the edge of the lake 5km south of Lismore.

Derrinallum park area 32 km

At Derrinallum

Adjacent to the highway, in the middle of town.

Deep Lake camping area 34 km

T/O at Derrinallum

Large grassed area among trees on the edge of the lake. Located 4km north of the highway via Chatsworth Rd.

Mortlake park area 34 km

At Mortlake

Adjacent to the highway, in the middle of town.

Lismore park area 35 km

At Lismore

Just off the highway next to the swimming pool. On the east side of town.

Colac park area 41 km

At Colac

Just off the highway under shady trees in the middle of town.

Twelve Apostles park area 48 km

86km W of Apollo Bay (R) or 10km E of Port Campbell (L)

Just off the highway at the interpretive centre near the lookout.

Peterborough park area 48 km

At Peterborough

On the foreshore, just off the highway.

Winchelsea park area 59 km

At Winchelsea

On the riverbank via Barton Tce.

East Beach camping area 62 km

T/O 3km E of Lake Bolac (R) or 48km W of Skipton (L)

On the shores of the lake 3km south of the highway.

Johanna Beach camping area 62 km

T/O 38km W of Apollo Bay (L) or 57km E of Port Campbell (R)

Near the beach 5km south of the highway via Red Johanna Rd in Otway National Park.

Picnic Point camping area 63 km

T/O at Lake Bolac

Under shady trees on the shores of the lake 2km south-east of the highway via Mortlake and Frontage rds.

Fishermans Point camping area 64 km

T/O 3km E of Lake Bolac (R) or 48km W of Skipton (L)

On the shores of the lake 500m south of the highway.

Lake Bolac rest area 64 km

2km E of Lake Bolac (R) or 49km W of Skipton (L)

Just off the highway under trees on the shores of the lake.

Aire River East camping area 69 km

T/O 24km W of Apollo Bay (L) or 71km E of Port Campbell (R)

Among trees 5.5km south of the highway via Hordern Vale Rd in Otway National Park. 

Aire River West camping area 69 km

T/O 24km W of Apollo Bay (L) or 71km E of Port Campbell (R)

In Otway National Park. Open area located over a bridge 1km past Aire River East camping area.

Wickliffe park area 71 km

At Wickliffe

Adjacent to the highway. In the middle of town.

Apollo Bay park area 74 km

At Apollo Bay

At the information centre on the foreshore.

Killarney Beach camping area 75 km

T/O at Killarney

Near the foreshore 2km east of the highway.

Woady Yaloak Creek rest area 75 km

26km E of Skipton (L) or 6km W of Smythesdale (R)

Surrounded by scrub just off the highway.

Lorne park area 80 km

At Lorne

On the foreshore, just off the highway. On the east side of town.

Smythesdale camping area 81 km

At Smythesdale

Secluded and shady setting 500m north of the highway via Gardens St.

Leigh River rest area 82 km

At Inverleigh

Large grassed area just off the highway under shady trees. On the east side of town.

Penshurst park area 85 km

At Penshurst

Just off the highway and adjacent to the caravan park.

What's on around town

Craft market: Finlay Ave or Theatre Royal; 1st Sun each month.

Heritage Festival: Nov.

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