Victoria’s second city offers access to beaches, wildlife reserves, and the Great Ocean Road.
Victoria’s second-largest city lies south-west of Melbourne, on the western side of Port Phillip, which it shares with the capital. It’s significantly smaller than nearby Melbourne so offers a more peaceful, less urban option for campers and nature lovers. As well as having its own beaches in the bay, a waterfront promenade, and an outdoor saltwater bath, Geelong is a great starting or ending point of the famous Great Ocean Road. This road trip is one of Australia’s finest, and campers are spoilt for choice in the Great Otway National Park and the small towns along the road. Campers can also find many holiday parks around Geelong and its neighbouring small towns.
South-west of Geelong, the Great Otway National Park is a worthwhile stop for travellers driving the Great Ocean Road. The park is divided into four main sections, and there are campsites and camping facilities available in each, as well as in the neighbouring Otway State Forest and the towns and villages adjacent to the park. Whether you’re looking for a beach, forest, river, or lakeside camp, you can find it in the Otways. Bookings are required for campsites in the park’s west.
Just south of Geelong, Torquay is located on Zeally Bay—keep going south across the Bass Strait from here and you’ll reach the western tip of Tasmania. The seaside town is a great destination for beach-loving campers, especially surfers and hikers. Torquay is on the eastern end of the Great Ocean Road, so is a good alternative starting/ending point to Geelong. Find caravan parks right beside the beach.
On the western tip of the Mornington Peninsula, the town of Sorrento and the Point Nepean National Park are separated from Geelong and the western towns of Port Phillip by a narrow channel. Ferries depart from Queenscliff, a half-hour drive south-east of Geelong, every hour, and take about 40 minutes. Bike or hike along the beautiful coastal landscape of the national park, or dine and shop in Sorrento. There’s a foreshore campsite in the town.
Geelong is a year-round destination, with hot summers and mild, often wet winters. Campers can enjoy driving the Great Ocean Road at any time of year, but camping will be most comfortable in the cooler spring or autumn. For beachside camping in Geelong or nearby Torquay, Sorrento, and other coastal towns, summer is the best time, but make sure to book your spot in holiday parks in advance.