The best camping near Lorne, Victoria.
A rugged coastline. Sheltered beach. Incredible waterfalls. The Otway Ranges. Australian animals. Lorne has it all.
Lorne and Around
Lorne’s main campground, Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park comprises five sub-parks. All, but one (near the iconic pier) are set on the pretty Erskine River and conveniently located to town. For those who prefer nature, tranquility and bush walking to waterfalls, the rudimentary Allenvale Mill Campground is nestled in the bush behind Lorne. South of Lorne, along the Great Ocean Road, Cumberland River Holiday Park some of the best grassy camp sites in Australia, plus two types of cabins. Great coastal walks and birds are a boon here. Big Hill and Sharps Campgrounds are lovely wilderness camping grounds.
Half an hour from Lorne, is Wye River, one of the Great Ocean's Road's smallest hamlets. Yet it offers big things thanks to its location between the Great Otway National Park and the ocean: birdwatching, surfing, mountain biking and fishing. The grassy sites at the well-serviced Big4 Wye River campground line the Cumberland River, and has a massive camp kitchen and BBQs.
The tiny hamlet, and popular surfing mecca, Kennett River is the guaranteed place for spotting koalas (plus king parrots and rosellas and glow worms). Why? The Kennett River Holiday Park has trees full of resident koalas. Another bonus? The beach has a life-saving patrol.
Tiny rural village of Forrest is the mountain bike hub, although its main highlight is Lake Elizabeth, which is home to the elusive platypus (excellent tours give you the best opportunity to see them). This is the place to revel in nature. There’s beautiful trees, from mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans, or Tasmanian oak), to manna gums.
When to Go
While you can camp year-round at some (not all) campsites in and around Lorne, it’s packed from 26 December to end January, the Australian summer holiday season, and Victorian school holidays. The rainiest and coldest months are June through August. Be aware of bushfire threats; these are real, especially in January to March.
Know Before You Go
- While it’s only 142 kilometres from Melbourne to Lorne, allow at least three hours. The road is good but winding and strict speed limits apply.
- Use the slow vehicle pull-ins on the road between Eastern View at Lorne. This enables other cars to pass, so that you can enjoy the drive.
- If you don’t have your own wheels, V-Line offers daily bus services from Melbourne to Apollo Bay that stop at points along the Great Ocean Road.
- Lorne has a supermarket, plus bakeries and a swathe of cafes.
- Campfires are generally prohibited, especially over summer (heed the bushfire warnings).