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Top Camping Spot Review – Cumberland River

This is undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking spots to camp in Victoria, with shear cliffs framing a river upon which you can camp on it’s bank.  The perfect beach is only a minute walk away (although you need to cross the busy Great Ocean Road so take care with children!).

There are a number of walks starting from the campground, ranging from 30 minutes return to full day walks.  We loved the walk to Jebb’s pool which was close by and a great place for a cool, shady swim.

The campground – although the setting is world class, the campground leaves a little to be desired – showers are 20cents for 5 minutes, which we woudn’t mind, however without knowing this before arriving you have to be lucky to have enough 20 cent pieces with you for showers each night.  Worse still the reception was also ‘out’ of 20 cent pieces for the 3 days we camped here.   A problem as the closest place to change money is Lorne.

There is VERY limited power and running water at this campground, which didn’t bother us however it might if you are not ready for a self sufficient stay.  All in all, our biggest issue with the campground was the lack of shade/trees and that the camp spots were mostly just dirt and not grass covered – making it hard to keep things clean.

Location – Cumberland River is about 10 minutes drive past Lorne, and 2 hours and 10minutes from Melbourne.  The distance and amenities make it great for a long weekend.

Caravan Park Camping VS National Park/Free Camping

We love National Park camping, but that’s just us. We also have a lot of clients who will only stay in the comfort of Caravan Parks and I do have to admit, the lure of a hot shower and a camping kitchen close by to wash my dishes in is often very appealing. Here we detail the highs and lows of each option.

Caravan Parks

THE HIGHS…

  • The social aspect – you are more likely to meet people when you are camping close by and what better way to strike up a conversion then when washing dishes next to someone else in the camp kitchen!
  • The convenience – a hot shower whenever you want, an unlimited water supply and the ability to just carry all those dirty dishes over to the camp kitchen and wash them easily and quickly in hot water…priceless!

THE LOWS….

  • Lack of privacy – especially in busy parks and holiday periods. We hate being too close to comfort to that next group of campers.
  • Noise – backpackers and inconsiderate families blaring their music and drinking one too many beers in the wee hours of the morning. So annoying.

 National Parks

THE HIGHS…

  • Nature – nothing comes close to camping on the waters edge or on a cliff face with million dollar views. To top it off we love the up close and personal encounters with the wildlife; kangaroos, wallabies, possums, echidnas, birds. Just don’t feed them!
  • Privacy – call us crazy but when we go camping we want to get away…from everything! We want to be alone with no one else in sight so we can sing as loudly as we want and run around naked with nobody watching. It IS a holiday after all!

THE LOWS….

  • No dogs allowed.
  • Inconvenience – it can sometimes get a bit tiresome worrying about how you are going to store and then ferry all your rubbish out of a national park. Dito rationing out that fresh water from your tank if you plan on staying in the one spot for an extended amount of time.

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Free camping essentials

Folding camping bucket

This is our ultimate list of  necessities for those planning on doing some isolated bush camping:

  • Lighting: a good lamp for continuing your outside activities after dark is essential.
  • Torches: we seem to have an obsession with torches. We have x4 in our campervan; 2 tiny ones easily accessible from the bed for when you need to get up at night but don’t want to wake the other person, a head torch for night time toilet trips and the newest addition: an extremely big, heavy and powerful Maglite which is half for security and half for fun when busting nocturnal animals creeping around our campsite in the dark.
  • At least 2 buckets (preferably foldable!) for dirty dishes, clean dishes, carrying dishes, washing clothes, using your portable shower etc. The list goes on.
  • First aid kit.
  • Lots and lots of large garbage bags to take your rubbish home with you.
  • Cleaning products for dishes, surface spray, sponges etc.
  • Warm clothes.
  • A big citronella mozzie candle.
  • If you can, remember to buy some dry timber before you reach your destination if you plan on having a fire there. You may not be able to buy timber when you get there (or it may be grossly overpriced!).
  • Lots and lots of lighters/packs of matches.
  • A small dustpan (for sweeping dirt and sand out of your caravan or campervan).
  • A portable/retractable clothes line.
  • Tins of food and packets of pasta, rice etc.
  • A bag of marshmallows or preferably 3.

Do you have anything to add to this list?  Please let us know below!