Vic Parks have recently made some big changes to the camping options along the Murray River, consolidating many state forest, wildlife reserves, conservation areas and town commons under the umbrella of the National Parks system. This has cleared up a lot of confusion about who controls what, where to book and where to find the info you need to plan your trip.
With roughly 2000km of river frontage in Victoria, you can only imagine the scale of the task placed upon Parks to achieve this outcome and we thank them for their hard work. This process has formalised many sites that were once “grey areas”, officially sanctioning them for use, as well as removed a few beloved sites that were over used, allowing for their rehabilitation.
If anyone from the Camps family has stayed in these areas recently it would be great to see some reviews and photos come through! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any photos, queries or feedback on these updates.
Here’s our first update from around Yarrawonga, at Lower Ovens Wildlife Reserve and Yarrawonga Regional Park:
Lower Ovens Wildlife Reserve Update
Branching south from the Murray River, between Yarrawonga and Corowa, the Ovens River flows through the Lower Ovens Wildlife Reserve. This area has recently had some updates as part of the Murray River National Parks changes. Although this area was not consolidated into the Murray River Reserve, there have been some extensions to, and formalisation of the previously “dispersed camping” into separate camping areas.
All sites are bush camping with no facilities available, no bookings required.
Parolas Bend can be found in your Camps printed guide as well as App, but there are now extra formalised camping areas detailed below. Parolas Bend, is now called Parolas Bend 1 in the Camps App, and is still the most accessible site in the reserve and is the only site suited to Big Rigs.
Parolas and Williams Camp areas are in the eastern section of the reserve.
Parolas Bend Camp 2 – only 500 m further along the track from Camp 1, still suitable for caravans and motorhomes, but not recommended for Big Rigs.
Parolas Bend Camp 3 – 750 m further along from Camp 2, access can get a little boggy in wet weather and this site is not recommended for motorhomes or Big Rigs, it is still suitable for caravans in dry weather.
Parolas Bend Camp 4 – another 1 km further from Camp 3, with the same recommendations as Camp 3.
Williams Camp – This site can be accessed via Williams track on the eastern edge of the reserve but is not recommended for Big Rigs as the track can be quite rough if not recently graded. An offroad caravan or motorhome is recommended in wet weather conditions.
The following camps are in the western part of the reserve and are not suitable for Big Rigs or Caravans with low clearance, during wet weather the tracks in this section can be quite boggy and camping in the eastern sections would be advised.
North Track Camp – Right in the heart of the western section of the reserve, this site is only suitable for tent and camper trailers, and requires a 4WD.
Big Naughtons Camp 1 – Located opposite North Track Camp, on the bank of the next branch of the Oven River, this site is only suitable for tent and camper trailers, and requires a 4WD.
Big Naughtons Camp 2 – Approx 500 m before Camp 1, this site is only suitable for tent and camper trailers, and requires a 4WD.
Big Naughtons Camp 3 – Approx 1 km before Camp 2, access is slightly better and the site is also suitable for high clearance caravans, 4WD only in wet weather.
Naughtons South Camp – Branching south from the track to Big Naughtons Camps 1- 3, this site has better access than the northern sections and is suitable for motorhomes and caravans with high clearance. 4WD only in wet weather.
Little Naughtons Camp – just 500 m off the Highway, between the eastern and western sections, this small camp is only suitable for tent and camper trailers with 4WD access.
Yarrawonga Regional Park Update
Just to the west of the Yarrawonga township, lies the Yarrawonga Regional Park. This area has recently had the formalisation of several river camps, as well as the separation of several dispersed camp areas into separate camp zones. No bookings required. All sites are now live in the Camps App.
Yarrawonga Common – Previously listed as Yarrawonga River Camp in Camps 11, this dispersed camping area is close to town and incorporates the previously listed Green Bank site from the Murray River Reserve into the now expanded Yarrawonga Regional Park. This is one of two sites in the park with a toilet as well as Big Rig access, though caution is advised for bigger vehicles in wet weather. This is also the only site in the park that is pet friendly.
Brownings Bend – Newly added at the entrance to the Chinamans Bend section, just west of the common, this area is a newly formalised extension of this existing camp area. Bush camping, no facilities, riverside.
Little Bruces Bend – Another newly formalised extension, this site is approx 2 km north west of the existing Forges Beach 1 & 2 sites from your Camps 11 guide. The area is bush camping, with no facilities, riverside. This is the only other site suitable for Big Rig access, though caution is advised in wet weather conditions.
Zanettis No 1 & 2 – Another newly formalised camp area, approximately 7 km north west of the existing Forges Beach camps. These 2 areas are bush camping, with no facilities, riverside.
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