Discover six unique ways to stay in National Parks, without owning a tent.

Monday 28 August, 2023

Did you know that camping isn’t the only way you can stay in Victoria’s National Parks? Victoria is also home to some unique accommodation options offering you an unparalleled immersion in nature, without having to own a tent. From historic cottages that echo with the stories of ages gone by to retreats seamlessly woven into the wilderness, or our new discovery tents, read on to enjoy a nature escape like no other.


1. 19th Century Lighthouse, Wilsons Promontory National Park


Hikers leaving lighthouse at Wilsons Prom National Park


If you're looking for something a little different, the Wilsons Promontory Lightstation constructed in 1859 from local granite, is a perfect place to take in the Prom’s ever-changing rugged and spectacular coastline. Visitors can experience a taste of what life was like for the families responsible for keeping the light alive for ships in the 1800s. 


These beautifully restored cottages next to the lightstation at The Prom will immerse you in a state of tranquility and calmness. Perched on a small peninsula that protrudes out into the choppy waters of Bass Strait, the cottages are only accessible on foot. Find yourself climbing through eucalypt forest and sandy, coastal tee tree scrub, or opt for the coastal route. Here you’ll traverse through the vast granite landscapes, before cutting inland towards the lightstation.


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2. Ready-to-go camping, beginner friendly, Point Nepean National Park


Father and children walking towards the opening of a Discovery Tent at Point Nepean National Park


Parks Victoria’s newest must-try experience is the Point Nepean Discovery Tents. Perfect for first-time campers who don’t have all the gear, these tents offer the perfect blend of comfort and adventure. Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of historic forts, serene beaches and coastal environments, these pre-pitched tents offer a one-of-a-kind accommodation option that allows you to connect with nature.

You don’t need to pack much before the visit as each tent is fitted with stretcher beds and mattresses and all guests have access to the camp kitchen. Other than your personal items, we recommend bringing your bike along. If you don’t have one, you can still explore the many historic sites by hiring a bike (including e-bikes) from the Quarantine Station Visitor Information Area.


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3. Eco-lodge in Victoria’s wildlife haven, Wilsons Promontory National Park


Inside view of bedroom with large window to the left of the room.


If waking up to the views of coastal bushlands or neighbouring farm animals in bordering estate inspires you to touch base with nature, come and spend some time relaxing and adventuring on the edge of Wilsons Prom.


At this self-catering eco-lodge accommodation, architectural luxury meets the wilderness at the very tip of Wilsons Promontory National Park. Each of these magnificent bathrooms in both of the wings have solar-heated water, and all of the bedrooms have spectacular views of the countryside, mountains, and inlets. The perfect place to experience The Prom, away from Tidal River.


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4. Outback shearers bush cottage for 4WD, Murray-Sunset National Park


Two people walking away from camera on pink lake in Murray Sunset National Park


Enjoy the serenity of the remote outback and nestle yourself in the heart of the Murray-Sunset National Park. The historic cottage, Shearers Quarters, is the perfect choice for a longer stay. With 10 bunk beds available and the basic comforts of home, experience outback history, staying in the past sleeping quarters of the local livestock herders.


This unspoilt corner of the state draws photographers from all over the world. Murray-Sunset National Park, as the name suggests, is home to some of the finest sunsets in the world, as well as the famous Pink Lakes. 


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5. Nature for all in an accessible cabin, Wilsons Promontory National Park


Four people sitting in a room together. Female sitting in wheelchair at the table with a male friend.


Tidal River is the hub for Wilsons Promontory National Park, and these cabins and units are perfect for many group, from those with low mobility to young families. With spacious living areas overlooking a timber deck, the views further afar make this a flawless spot for outdoor relaxation. There is also a one-bedroom unit that has been designed and constructed according to current DDA standards for accommodation.


TrailRider all-terrain wheelchairs and beach wheelchairs are available and free to hire, enabling visitors with low mobility to explore the great outdoors. The TrailRider allows visitors to access more rugged walking trails not otherwise accessible with conventional wheelchairs.


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6. Stay close to Victoria's most extensive cave network, Buchan Caves Reserve


Family in backyard of Caves House


Immerse yourself amongst rare and exotic trees, a pretty river and lyrebirds as you stay in the historic Caves House.


Take in the views over the Buchan River and explore all Buchan Caves Reserve has to offer. Here you’ll discover Victoria’s largest cave system. See it for yourself and join a guided caves tour.


And if you have a furry member of the family you’d like to travel with, the Caves House is the only site within the reserve where dogs can visit too.


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For more inspiration or exciting things to see and do in Victoria’s parks and reserves, subscribe to our monthly Outdoor Inspiration e-newsletter.

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