The High Country free camping along the Benambra-Corryong Road is impressive! The drive itself and lookouts are epic. Plus you’ll find a pub, farm stay and in season – swimming and blackberries!
Nariel Creek Rec Reserve
Just south of Colac Colac, this bargain priced camp is $5 per site per night. Use the honesty box.
Check out the beaut swimming hole on the southern end and a fishing habitat at northern end of the creek.
Run by Nariel Reserve Committee, who maintain a lovely communal fire pit area, male and female long drop toilets. Plus there are beautiful avenues of trees.
No wonder it is a popular spot!
Staceys Bridge (FREE camp)
Loved our stay here. Had fun swimming against the current in Nariel Creek. There is excellent river access on the eastern side, and near the bridge on the western side of road.
We camped on the western side. Make sure you don’t park under tree limbs! So many trees, beautiful grassy and level sites.
Toilet smelly and dirty, not because it was a long drop. Why do people leave dirty nappies in places like this? However, they did have separate male and female, plus wheelchair accessible facilities.
Only two other vans were there and a few locals popped in for a swim.
Lookout to Mt Bogong and Dartmouth Dam
The dirt road begins as you leave Staceys Bridge. And you climb, higher and higher. A highlight was the lookout! Watch out for logging trucks.
Turnback Creek Bridge
Driving through Gibbo State Forest, we stopped at Turnback Creek Bridge/Kings Creek Track.
Told this is where “Aussie” miners forced Asian miners to go back and not encroach their territory!
On a positive, we picked wild blackberries here – abundant and thorny! Heatley was delighted. (Do look out for signs in case poison is used in the area.)
NEW listing: Kings Flat Camping
Right on the Gibbo River, it is great for fishing! This pet friendly campsite has amenities – look for the sign.
Ah Syes (FREE camp)
A LOVELY spot, well off the road and a big open area. It is a little walk to the river (50m), other sites follow 4WD tracks through trees.
The couple and his brother we met, were camped in the smaller clearing. It has a sheltered area with a lovely rustic picnic table.
There is a pit toilet, closer to the entrance. This Parks Victoria site is kindly maintained by The Friends of Dartmouth.
More FREE camps
Check out the CAMPS App for Tin Chimney and Sluice Claims. Both of these sites are smaller with no facilities.
Gibbo River Bush Camping (FREE camp)
Firstly, pronounce it “Jibb- oh”. There is a water crossing, but not that steep.
This is a huge campground, also well away from the road. Visible from the road above – it had the best creek access and views along this route.
Taylors Crossing (FREE camp)
A secluded campground with a water crossing, suspension bridge and not too far off the Benambra Road.
Unfortunately, both times we stopped in here – Benambra Hotel was closed. It was a real shame, because after driving the beautiful Corryong – Benambra Road, we were thirsty!
However, we were pleased to hear that the pub allows free camping out in their big grassy area out the back.
It is for self contained vehicles (no tents) and patrons only, there is a shower fee. Pets are allowed. We admired the very friendly horse across the road.
The pub opens everyday, except Mondays from 2pm. Meals are from 6-8pm with Parma Wednesdays.
Hopefully next time we update this, we can advise on the brews and meals, too! There is also a servo/store in town.
The dam beside Benambra actually had water in it when we were there! It is known for being mostly dry.
Mount Millan Lookout
Drive up here for a great view over the dam and signage points out where everything is located.
Next stop: Omeo!
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