While ranging far and wide to field-check the High Country’s 4WD tracks, our Map Patrol team have stayed at the very best camping areas throughout alpine Victoria – here are their 10 most memorable places to stay.
1. Limestone Creek Camping Area
Tucked away in the spectacular climes of the Davies High Plains (near the New South Wales border), Limestone Creek Camping Area encapsulates much of what’s appealing about the High Country: elevated, green and surrounded by wilderness.
Better yet, Limestone Creek’s crystalline waters flow right past the campsite – with plenty of space to relax upon its banks in peace – to entice visitors to leave the swag rolled out for an extra night.
2. Jacksons Crossing Bush Camp
Thanks to its proximity to the Snowy River and its idyllic setting, Jacksons Crossing is one of the High Country’s most iconic campsites. Located off Varneys Track, the trip in is a classic High Country drive, and the reward for your efforts is a campsite that’s worth the price of admission.
From Jacksons Crossing Track a beach appears out of nowhere, next to a campsite nestled between rising alpine ranges on either side. Offering plenty of room in picturesque natural surrounds, Jacksons Crossing combines classic High Country themes in a family-friendly environment.
3. Orbost Caravan Park
The Orbost Caravan Park sits on a bend in the majestic Snowy River, its range of facilities and nearness to the Princes Highway (and a handful of natural highlights) making it the perfect place to jump into the wild from civilisation.
On longer trips where days of bush camping and travel take a toll, a night in comfort is sometimes needed for resupplying and recharging. Orbost’s caravan park makes catching up on cleaning, buying gear and groceries or having quick access to power easy, and it does so in pristine and picturesque alpine surrounds.
4. Wonnangatta Valley Camping Area
Between the rolling ranges of Alpine National Park’s northeast edge is Wonnangatta Valley Camping Area, a campground that’s appealing for both its immediate scenery and nearby attractions. Close to the imposing heights of the Zeka Spur Track and within walking distance of both the Wonnangatta Station Hut and an historic cemetery, there’s plenty of adventure and history around Wonnangatta Valley.
The campsite itself is also of the highest order, featuring ample shade and space, large fire pits and lush greenery around its fringes – a combination which invites adventurous travellers to quell their wanderlust and stay awhile.
5. Scotts Reserve Camping Area
The campground at Scotts Reserve is replete with plenty of sites, open flat spaces and tall forest pressing in on every side, yet this camper’s haven is only 2km northwest of Woods Point.
Its location makes it an ideal resupply point on an extended adventure, but it doesn’t detract from the wilderness that permeates the High Country. The campground features a large and sturdy shelter with table and chairs to create a communal zone, while there’s plenty of mining history around the area within which you can immerse yourself.
6. Tunnel Bend Flat Camping Area
Southwest of Mt Buller is the Howqua Hills Historic Area, a small region steeped in Aboriginal, settlement and natural history that’s dominated by river flats and dotted with campgrounds. While other campgrounds in the area receive more fanfare – most notably Sheepyard Flat Camping Area – Tunnel Bend’s charms lie in its intimate setting and low-key seclusion.
This free campground sits next to the Howqua River, which itself was used extensively during the Victorian gold rush of the 1860’s. A 100-metre tunnel diversion was created in 1884, which was cut through the mountainside to aid in the working of the river bed for alluvial gold (the entry point to which is a short distance from the campground).
7. Deptford Camping Area
In the middle of a labyrinth of tracks north of Bairnsdale is Deptford, an old town site that’s now a secluded free camp. The only camp in an area overflowing with four-wheel drive opportunities, Deptford is the ideal jumping-off point for any number of off-road adventures.
The campground sits next to one of the Nicholson River’s languid bends, while remnants of the old town dot the landscape; each example is slowly falling into ruin as nature inevitably engulfs it, serving as a visceral reminder of time and the wildness of High Country Victoria.
8. Mount Freezeout Bush Camp
Elevated, exposed and in the heart of Victoria’s four-wheel driving country, Mount Freezeout is not a place for the fair-weather camping fan.
While its positioning departs from the usual logic of what makes a good campsite, braving the elements around Mount Freezeout rewards travellers with some of the most stunning views the High Country has to offer - directly from your tent or swag.
9. Lake Cobbler Camping Area
Quaint Lake Cobbler is an idyllic scene for camping, its waters feeding flora and fauna that crowd around its edge to create a flourishing environ. The drive in to the campsite is entertaining from any direction, while the lake is not too far away from the main road, making camper trailer access more feasible than most High Country camps.
The lake’s campsites are spacious, well-shaded and on the waterfront, making them ideal for larger groups, families or expansive set ups. Close by to the campground is the multi-tiered Dandongadale Falls, which is the longest falls in Victoria at 255 metres and is easily accessible to walkers from multiple vantage points.
10. Omeo Caravan Park
Omeo Caravan Park is well-equipped and perfectly situated, offering visitors a charming place to stay close to the small town of Omeo. With acres of space for rigs of all size and accommodation options for every kind of traveller, Omeo Caravan Park is the perfect stopover or holiday destination for those who want to experience the High Country with on-site facilities and supplies nearby.