7 Top Spots for Dog Friendly Camping in Victoria


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While many national parks in Australia do not permit dogs, there are still plenty of dog friendly camping sites in Victoria to choose from (some of them are even in national parks too!)

If you’re based in Melbourne and looking for a nature escape, you’ll be surprised that you don’t even need to travel that far. The closest campsite is just an hour away!

What we love about the following campsites is that you can take dogs with you all year round, that is unlike many dog friendly caravan parks which do not permit dogs in peak seasons such as the Easter or Christmas holidays.

Johanna Beach Campground, Great Ocean Road

Distance from Melbourne: 3hrs | 220km

One of our favourite summer escapes is to head down the Great Ocean Road with our dogs and pitch a tent right by the beach. While many campgrounds along the Great Ocean Road are not dog friendly, Johanna Beach is one of the best kept secrets.

It is just a short walk from the campground down to the long beach which is well away from any roads. While you may see many dogs running off lead, there are signs around that ask you to kindly keep your dog on lead due to the nesting birds up the top of the sand dunes.

Campsites are paid and must be reserved in advance. During the summer Johanna Beach can get pretty busy, and therefore all dogs are required to remain on the lead.

Jerusalem Creek Campground, Lake Eildon

Distance from Melbourne: 2.5hrs | 150km

Taking the dogs camping along the calm waters of Lake Eildon is the perfect weekend escape all year round. During the winter you and your furry friend can keep warm by the campfire, while in the summer you can both cool off in the fresh lake water.

Being a national park, there is plenty of wildlife around including kangaroos and wild deer. Therefore it is requested to keep dogs on leads at all times. However, we’ve found that letting them off lead for a run down by the lake is generally fine.

While there are limited dog friendly walking trails around, you can easily go for a 1 hour walk in the bush along the unsealed roads which connect the campgrounds to town.

Jerusalem Creek campground is paid and must be reserved in advance. If you are visiting outside of peak times it is generally fairly quiet.

Banksia Bluff Campground, Cape Conran

Distance from Melbourne: 5hrs | 400km

You and your dog are pretty much camping right on the beach at Banskia Bluff. At a stone’s throw distance, this is as close as it gets.

Wake up to the sounds of the waves crashing to shore and go for a long walk on the beach in the morning. The beach right outside your tent stretches for about 13 km, so you can walk just about all day if you want but pack a bottle of water!

There are multiple campgrounds at Banksia Bluff. Some are dog friendly, some aren’t. Make sure you review on the national parks website carefully first and book the right campground!

Lake Elizabeth Campground, the Otways

Distance from Melbourne: 2.5hrs | 160km

The Otways are stunning all year round regardless of the weather. In the winter you can enjoy the moody vibes with low hanging clouds on the mountain, keeping warm by the campfire. While in the summer you can go for a short walk and cool off in the freshwater lake.

Lake Elizabeth campground is a secluded spot deep in the Great Otway National Park. The campground is a short 1 kilometer dog friendly walk to the lake where dogs can also cool off for a swim. With lots of wildlife around like the shy Platypus, dogs are required to stay on lead.

Lake Elizabeth campground is paid and must be reserved in advance. There are a total of 20 tent-only sites, without direct car access, so things don’t feel too crowded.

Stevensons Falls Campground, the Otways

Distance from Melbourne: 2.5hrs | 170km

Looking for free camping with your dog in Victoria? Look no further, Stevensons Falls is your go to spot for a cheap weekend away. There are over 50 campsites available here, and unless you’re visiting on a peak weekend it’s generally pretty quiet. That said, it is first come, first served.

A trail starts at the campground which takes you and your dog winding through the forest for a few kilometres. It passes some nice dog friendly picnic areas by the Gellibrand River and eventually ends at the beautiful Stevensons Falls where you and your dog can cool off in the summer.

Blue Pools Campground, Briagolong

Distance from Melbourne: 3hrs | 250km

Blue Pools is another great option for free camping with dogs in Victoria. This time, just north of Sale in Gippsland. There are 30 campsites available here. Over time this campsite has been growing in popularity. So remember, first come, first served.

The Blue Pool swimming hole is located just 500 meters from the campground and it is the perfect place for you and your dog to cool off in the summer. Get ready to bring that wet dog smell back to your tent!

If your dog enjoys a good walk, then you’re in luck as there are plenty of walking trails in the area such as the Peregrine walking track (3km return), the Granite Creek walking track (8km return) and the Lees Creek walking track (3km return).

Shoreline Drive Campground, Gippsland

Distance from Melbourne: 3hrs | 250km

A third FREE dog friendly campground in one article? We’re not kidding though. 

Shoreline Drive is yet another a free campground which runs on a first come, first served basis. While there are 65 campsites here in total, only sites 1-6 allow dogs, so try to get in early or you might just miss out.

For dogs that love swimming, this is the perfect spot. The campground has direct access to the beach where dogs can run off lead, well away from any main roads.

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