Enjoy some of the best camping and walking trails in Eastern Victoria
Friday 15 October, 2021
The sunny days and brighter evenings of springtime are here, so it's time to cast off your winter coats and scarves and get some sun on that skin as you get back out into the great outdoors.
For those in regional Victoria who can travel, we've asked our very own Ranger Bridget and Ranger Gerard to tell us about some of the best camping and walking trails in Victoria's spectacular east. Remember to be COVIDSafe and check the latest travel advice before you leave home.
Ranger Bridget tells us this region is at its most gorgeous in spring. "If you look carefully among the wildflowers in bloom you might spot some of the rare plant species that thrive here, including the gorgeous Ribbed Thryptomene," she says.
Did you know Cape Liptrap Coastal Park is the home of the fabled Magic Beach from the children's classic? Ranger Gerard tells us, "The half-moon beach at Walkerville South was the inspiration for the beach in the book. It truly is magic and the perfect place for kids to spot critters and creatures in the tidal rockpools."
Soon there'll be even more camping and walking options to enjoy as we deliver Victoria's Great Outdoors program – a $105.6 million investment in better campgrounds, tracks and outdoor facilities across the state.
Buchan Caves Reserve
Buchan Caves Reserve Campground
Buchan Caves Reserve is a jointly managed park with the Gunaikurnai people on Krauatungalung Country and is highly significant for its Aboriginal cultural values.. This campground is a family favourite due in no small part to the local lyrebirds who will keep the kids entertained as they mimic the sounds coming from the campground. Advance bookings are required year-round. Book your campsite here.
Moon Hill Walk – 500m, 30 minutes return
Keep your eyes peeled for bunyips! This short walk takes you past the spookily named Moon Cave and Devil's Punchbowl making it the perfect trail for the Halloween weekend. Don't forget to bring a torch to explore the entrance of Moon Cave. If you're up for a little longer walk, you can join up with the Northern Arm Track, which leads back to the campground and adds 30 minutes to the walk.
Little River Gorge walk, 800m, 30 minutes return
Just 30 minutes' drive from Buchan, this is a short, steep walk that is totally worth getting your heart pumping for. Drink in the sight of Victoria's deepest gorge and the spectacular view of the not-so-little river. If you take a moment to pause quietly on the trail you might spot a brushtail rock wallaby curiously staring back at you from one the rocky outcrops.
The Lakes National Park
Emu Bight Campground
Nestled on the edge of Lake Victoria on Tatungalung Country, Emu Bight Campground is part of The Lakes National Park, also jointly managed with the Gunaikurnai people. Prepare to be amazed, as it is home to one of Victoria's most Insta-perfect sunsets. It's a great spot to pitch a tent or park a caravan or campervan with a picnic shelter, tables, BBQs and fireplaces scattered across the campground. If the weather is warm, there's nothing better than a dip in Lake Victoria or hop in a kayak or canoe to explore the inland waterways. Bookings for the campground are required year-round. Remember to bring your own firewood. Book your campsite here.
Lake Reeve Nature Trail and Lookout Tower – 1km, 30 minutes return
With its gorgeous still waters, Lake Reeve hosts masses of birdlife and is part of the lakes system that is culturally significant to Gunaikurnai people as a traditional place to camp, fish and hunt. Take a walk along the Nature Trail and along the way you'll see Native Cherry trees that are bursting with red berries in the springtime.
Rotamah Loop – 7.6km, 3 hours return
Rotamah Island is a nature-lover's paradise and is accessible by boat via Paynesville. From the jetty and picnic area, follow East Track over the footbridge on to Little Rotamah Island. You can make the return journey via Ocean Grange Track or take in the dunes of world-famous 90 Mile Beach to Causeway Track.
Cape Liptrap Coastal Park
Bear Gully Campground
Bear Gully Campground is the only campsite in Cape Liptrap Coastal Park and is set right on the shore of gorgeous Waratah Bay. Campsites are suitable for tents, campervans or caravans. Don't forget to bring your own firewood and drinking water as there's none available onsite. Book your campsite here.
Walkerville Overlook Walk – 1.2 km, 45 minutes one way
Spectacular Cape Liptrap Coastal Park hugs the coast from Point Smythe to Waratah Bay. This walk talks you through coastal woodlands with side tracks leading to viewing areas where you can spot the crests of Wilsons Promontory glimmering beyond the waves.
Point Smythe Walk – 6km, 2 hours return
This walk is ideal for a windy spring day given the trail is sheltered by 'tunnels' of Banksia and Tea Tree. Starting at Point Smythe picnic area, you'll enjoy an easy peaceful walk through gorgeous coastal vegetation to the beach at Point Smythe.
Follow these safety tips to stay safe when enjoying these parks.Want to have a campfire? It's important to check the park regulations before collecting firewood as it's different at various parks and campgrounds. We always recommend you bring your own firewood.