Best camping along the Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road, Roberto Seba

The Great Ocean Road has some of the best camping areas in Victoria stretched along its length: there are campsites next to rivers, behind beaches, hidden in forest gullies, near waterfalls … And we’ve done the hard work of finding the best five camping areas along this classic route. Even though you can drive the Great Ocean Road in four hours, these camping areas will make you want to spend a week.

 

Cumberland River Holiday Park

Cumberland River Holiday Park, cumberlandriver.com.au

Cumberland River Holiday Park, Cumberland River

Just south of Lorne you’ll find Cumberland River Holiday Park, where campsites, powered and unpowered caravan sites and cabins are casually strewn alongside the Cumberland River at the base of bushy hills. The park is literally just off the Great Ocean Road, tucked in a nook behind a hairpin corner bend, on the other side of the road from the beach. The park feels a bit old-school – everything moves at a slower pace here, and it’s all about swimming, fishing and relaxing. We can’t think of anything better.

 

Koala Bear

See Koalas at Kennett River

Kennett River Holiday Park, Kennett River

Stand outside your cabin, camping or caravan site and take a deep breath. Look around and spot the koalas, or feed the native birds with birdseed you’ve purchased from the park. Think to yourself: this is the life. Kennett River Holiday Park is located just off the Great Ocean Road between Lorne and Apollo Bay, with a patrolled beach across the road. Sheltering between the mountains of the Otways, the park is orderly, well-maintained and green, with camping and caravan sites spread underneath the trees, and a few lucky cabins facing the ocean view.

 

Cape Otway Lighthouse

Cape Otway Lighthouse

Blanket Bay camping area, Great Otway National Park

Let Blanket Bay camping area wrap you in the warmth of a seriously excellent camping area. This gem is hidden on the coast in Great Otway National Park, a short drive south of Apollo Bay near the famous Cape Otway Lighthouse. The sites at Blanket Bay are shaded and generous, and you’re also allowed open fires in the allocated fireplaces. It gets so popular here you have to enter a ballot to nab a spot over Easter and Christmas; make sure you plan in advance!

 

Great Otway National Park

Great Otway National Park

Aire River camping areas

The biggest decision you have to make at Aire River, located between Cape Otway and Glenaire, is whether you’re going to camp on the east or west side of the river. At Aire River West camping area, you have a large campground with little shade, a boat ramp, and heaps of space for large groups. And it’s closer to the beach. At Aire River East camping area, you’ll find a smaller, shaded camping area with a river beach. It’s charming and quieter. Both offer excellent kayaking. You choose!

 

Johanna Beach

Johanna Beach

Johanna Beach camping area

You’re not far from the Twelve Apostles at Johanna Beach camping area, a large and grassy campground spread comfortably behind the popular surfing beach. This rustic camping area doesn’t have any facilities apart from toilets, but it’s still very popular – particularly as you can bring your dog, even though you’re in a national park.