Top Dog-Friendly Campsites in Victoria: Best Spots with Your Pup

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Heading out camping in Victoria with your dog? Finding the perfect spot where your furry friend is welcome isn’t just about a place to stay, it’s about creating unforgettable experiences together.

As dog lover who loves to travel, I’ve researched some of the best dog-friendly campsites across Victoria. From beachfront retreats to forest hideaways, my guide offers you top picks that ensure both you and your pet have a fantastic time outdoors.

Discover campsites with the right mix of amenities and nearby attractions, making every camping trip with your dog as enjoyable as it is memorable.

Let’s dive into the best spots where tails wag and campfires crackle!

For more detailed guides and tips on camping with pets, check out our guide dog-friendly camping adventures.

Travelling to Victoria with a pet? Have any questions? Join our FREE Pet Adventures Australia Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

Dog-Friendly Campsites

Why Camp with Your Dog?

Camping with your dog isn’t just a way to avoid the hassle of finding a pet sitter; it’s an opportunity to deepen the bond between you and your furry friend. The great outdoors offers a unique setting for adventures and experiences that can enhance your dog’s life and bring joy to both of you.

Here’s why taking your dog camping can be one of the best decisions for pet owners looking for a memorable and enriching experience with their pets.

Benefits of Camping with Your Dog

BenefitDescription

Bonding Time

Camping offers uninterrupted time to bond with your dog. Away from daily distractions, you can focus on strengthening your relationship through shared experiences.

Exercise & Exploration

Both you and your dog will enjoy the physical exercise from hiking and exploring new terrains, which is beneficial for your health and your dog’s well-being.

Mental Stimulation

New sights, sounds, and smells in the great outdoors provide valuable mental stimulation for your dog, keeping them engaged and happy.

Stress Reduction

Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress levels in humans and pets alike. Camping can be a peaceful retreat for you and your dog.

Socialisation

Dog-friendly campsites offer opportunities for your dog to meet and interact with other dogs and people, which is great for their social skills.

Cost-Effective Vacation

Camping is a budget-friendly way to vacation with your pet, avoiding the high costs of pet boarding or pet-friendly hotels.

Unforgettable Memories

The adventures and experiences you share while camping will create lasting memories that you’ll cherish long after the trip is over.

Taking your dog camping is more than just a change of scenery; it’s an investment in your relationship and your pet’s well-being.

The benefits of camping with your dog range from physical exercise and mental stimulation to stress reduction and socialisation. Each camping trip offers a chance to create unforgettable memories with your furry companion.

So, pack up your tent, grab the leash, and set off on an adventure that will bring a world of good to both you and your dog. For a step-by-step guide to camping with dogs, read my tips here.

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Top Dog-Friendly Campsites in Victoria

View the map for each dog-friendly campground featured and read below for more details including features, benefits, what’s nearby, and how to book.

Lerderderg Campground

1. Lerderderg Campground

Address: O’Briens Crossing, Lerderderg State Park, VIC, Australia
Need to Know:

  • Booking Required: No, first-come, first-served.
  • Dog Policy: Dogs on leash allowed.
  • Facilities: Basic – picnic tables, fire pits, and toilets.

Dog-Friendly Features: Lerderderg Campground, nestled within the Lerderderg State Park, offers a rugged natural setting perfect for dogs that love to explore. The park’s extensive network of trails provides numerous walking opportunities for you and your leashed dog to enjoy the great outdoors together.

Camping Benefits: This campground is ideal for those seeking a more ‘back to nature’ experience. Its remote location ensures peace and tranquility, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Campsite Features: The campground is equipped with essential amenities to ensure a comfortable stay, including picnic tables for a family meal and fire pits for cozy evenings under the stars.

What’s Nearby: The Lerderderg River and gorge are highlights, offering scenic views and challenging hikes. The nearby town of Bacchus Marsh provides supplies and additional recreational activities.

Why Visit: For adventurers and their canine companions, Lerderderg Campground offers a true bush camping experience. It’s a place where you can disconnect and immerse yourself in the beauty of Victoria’s natural landscape, making it perfect for those who enjoy hiking and exploring with their dogs.

2. Johanna Beach Campground

Address: Red Johanna Rd, Johanna VIC 3238, Australia
Need to Know:

  • Booking Required: Yes, to secure a spot.
  • Dog Policy: Dogs on leash are allowed in certain areas.
  • How to book: For more information or to book, visit the Parks Victoria website here.
  • Facilities: Toilets, non-flush; bring your own water.

Dog-Friendly Features: Johanna Beach Campground is known for its breathtaking coastal views and dog-friendly policies, allowing pets on leashes to enjoy the vast expanses of sand and surf alongside their owners.

Camping Benefits: The campground offers a serene setting for campers who appreciate the rugged beauty of the Great Ocean Road coastline. It’s a fantastic spot for surfing enthusiasts and beach lovers.

Campsite Features: With its open, grassy sites, Johanna Beach provides a comfortable camping experience. The proximity to the beach means you’re never far from a refreshing swim or a leisurely walk along the shore.

What’s Nearby: The campground is a great base for exploring the Great Ocean Road, including the Twelve Apostles, Otway National Park, and the historic Cape Otway Lightstation.

Why Visit: Johanna Beach Campground is ideal for families, friends, and their furry companions looking for a beachside escape. It offers a unique opportunity to camp within earshot of the ocean’s roar, providing a tranquil backdrop for your outdoor adventure.

To Book: For more information or to book, visit the Parks Victoria website here.

3. Lake Elizabeth Campground

Address: Great Otway National Park, Forrest VIC 3236, Australia
Need to Know:

  • Booking Required: No, first-come, first-served basis.
  • Dog Policy: Dogs on leash are welcome in the camping area.
  • How to Book: For more information or to book, visit the Parks Victoria website here.
  • Facilities: Toilets, picnic tables, and BBQ facilities available.

Dog-Friendly Features: Lake Elizabeth Campground is nestled in the heart of the Great Otway National Park, offering a serene environment where dogs on leashes can enjoy nature alongside their owners. The surrounding forest provides a cool, shaded area for pets to explore, with numerous trails for leisurely walks.

Camping Benefits: This campsite is perfect for those seeking a tranquil retreat in nature. Its location within a national park offers unparalleled access to pristine natural landscapes, including the mysterious Lake Elizabeth known for its platypus inhabitants.

Campsite Features: The campground is equipped with essential amenities to ensure a comfortable stay, set within a picturesque forested area. It’s ideal for tent camping, with spacious sites that blend into the natural surroundings.

What’s Nearby: The campsite serves as a gateway to the many walking trails of the Great Otway National Park, including a path to the elusive Lake Elizabeth. The charming town of Forrest, nearby, offers cafes and a local brewery.

Why Visit: Lake Elizabeth Campground offers a unique opportunity to camp in a lush, ancient rainforest setting. It’s a haven for nature lovers and those seeking peace and quiet. The dog-friendly policy ensures your four-legged friend can join in on the adventure, making it a perfect choice for pet owners looking to explore the natural beauty of the Otways.

To Book: For more information or to book, visit the Parks Victoria website here.

Sheepyard Flat Campsite

4. Sheepyard Flat Campsite

Address: Brocks Rd, Howqua Hills VIC 3723, Australia
Need to Know:

  • Booking Required: No, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Dog Policy: Dogs on leash are welcome.
  • Facilities: Basic facilities including toilets and picnic tables.

Dog-Friendly Features: Set in a serene landscape within the Howqua Hills Historic Area, Sheepyard Flat Campsite offers a peaceful retreat where pets on leashes can roam and explore the natural surroundings. The nearby Howqua River provides a refreshing spot for dogs to play under close supervision.

Camping Benefits: This campsite is ideal for those seeking a rustic, back-to-nature camping experience. Its location in the Howqua Hills offers campers a chance to disconnect and immerse themselves in the tranquility of the bush.

Campsite Features: Sheepyard Flat provides campers with essential amenities to ensure a comfortable stay in the wilderness. The large, grassy areas are perfect for setting up tents, and fire pits are available for that authentic camping experience.

What’s Nearby: The campsite is a gateway to exploring the Victorian High Country, with numerous trails for hiking and horse riding. The historic Howqua Hills area, rich in gold mining history, offers fascinating sites to discover.

Why Visit: For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy a camping trip with their furry friend, Sheepyard Flat Campsite offers the perfect setting. Its dog-friendly policy, combined with the beauty of the High Country and the simplicity of bush camping, makes it an ideal destination for nature lovers and their pets.

Paradise Valley Camping Ground

5. Paradise Valley Camping Ground

Address: 51 Gells Rd, Glenmaggie VIC 3858, Australia
Need to Know:

  • Booking Required: No, sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • How to Book: Visit the Paradise Valley Camping Ground website here.
  • Dog Policy: Dogs on leash are welcome, ensuring they can enjoy the camping experience alongside their owners.
  • Facilities: Toilets, showers, BBQ areas, and access to the river for swimming and fishing.

Dog-Friendly Features: Paradise Valley Camping Ground offers a dog-friendly environment with vast open spaces and private bushlands for exploring. The Macalister River provides a refreshing spot for dogs to play under close supervision.

Camping Benefits: Set on 60 acres with 1.5 kilometres of river frontage, this campsite offers a serene escape in the foothills of Glenmaggie. It caters to all camping preferences, from tents to caravans, with both powered and unpowered sites available.

Campsite Features: The campground is equipped with modern amenities, ensuring a comfortable stay. The grassed sites are spacious, allowing for privacy and relaxation. Campfires are permitted in designated areas, adding to the authentic camping experience.

What’s Nearby: The campground is a short drive from Lake Glenmaggie, ideal for boating and water sports. The surrounding High Country offers opportunities for hiking and exploring Victoria’s natural beauty. Local wineries and country pubs are within easy reach for a taste of the region’s produce.

Why Visit: Paradise Valley Camping Ground is the perfect destination for those seeking a pet-friendly camping experience in a picturesque setting. Its proximity to natural attractions and the welcoming environment for dogs make it an ideal choice for families, friends, and their furry companions looking to explore the beauty of Victoria’s High Country.

To Book: Visit the Paradise Valley Camping Ground website here.

6. Bimbi Park – Camping Under Koalas

Address: 90 Manna Gum Drive, Cape Otway, Victoria 3233, Australia
Need to Know:

  • Booking Required: Yes, to ensure availability, especially during peak seasons.
  • How to Book: Check availability and prices via Booking.com website here
  • Dog Policy: Dogs on leash are welcome, allowing them to join in on the camping adventure.
  • Facilities: Showers, toilets, BBQ areas, and a variety of accommodation options from campsites to cabins.

Dog-Friendly Features: Bimbi Park is renowned for its unique setting where camping under the watchful eyes of koalas becomes a reality. The park offers ample space for dogs to explore the natural environment, with designated areas where they can enjoy walks with their owners amidst the beautiful manna gums.

Camping Benefits: Situated in the heart of Cape Otway, Bimbi Park provides a diverse range of camping and accommodation options to suit all preferences, from basic tent sites to comfortable cabins. Its location offers easy access to the Great Ocean Walk and the stunning beaches of the Great Ocean Road.

Campsite Features: The park is equipped with modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay, including a camp kitchen, laundry facilities, and a children’s playground. The unique outdoor cinema adds to the entertainment options available on-site.

What’s Nearby: Bimbi Park’s location makes it an ideal base for exploring the attractions of the Great Ocean Road, including the historic Cape Otway Lightstation, the Otway Fly Treetop Walk, and the many secluded beaches along the coastline.

Why Visit: Bimbi Park – Camping Under Koalas offers a one-of-a-kind camping experience that combines the thrill of wildlife spotting with the joys of outdoor living. It’s a perfect destination for pet owners looking for an adventure that both they and their furry friends can enjoy, surrounded by the natural beauty of Cape Otway.

To Book: Check availability and prices via Booking.com website here

7. Blue Pools Campground, Briagolong

Address: Freestone Creek Rd, Briagolong VIC 3860, Australia
Need to Know:

  • Booking Required: No, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Dog Policy: Dogs on leash are welcome, making it a great spot for pet owners to explore the outdoors.
  • Facilities: Toilets, picnic tables, and access to the Blue Pool for swimming.

Dog-Friendly Features: Blue Pools Campground offers a refreshing natural swimming hole where dogs on leashes can cool off under their owners’ supervision. The surrounding area is perfect for exploring, with plenty of trails and open spaces for pets to enjoy.

Camping Benefits: This free camping site is set in a picturesque location near the Blue Pool, one of Victoria’s hidden gems. It’s an ideal spot for those seeking a tranquil escape in nature without the cost of traditional campgrounds.

Campsite Features: Basic amenities such as toilets and picnic tables are available to ensure a comfortable stay. The campground’s proximity to the Blue Pool allows for easy access to swimming and relaxation by the water.

What’s Nearby: Located in the vicinity of Briagolong State Forest, campers have the opportunity to explore the lush forests and scenic walking trails. The historic town of Briagolong is nearby, offering cafes, galleries, and a glimpse into the region’s heritage.

Why Visit: Blue Pools Campground is perfect for campers and their furry friends looking for a natural retreat with the added bonus of a stunning swimming hole. Its dog-friendly policy and the beauty of the surrounding area make it a must-visit for anyone wanting to experience the great outdoors of Victoria with their pet.

8. Taylors Lake Camping Ground

Address: St Helens Plains VIC 3401
Need to Know:

  • Booking Required: No, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Dog Policy: Dogs on leash are welcome, ensuring they can join in the camping fun.
  • Facilities: Basic amenities including toilets and areas suitable for campfires.

Dog-Friendly Features: Taylors Lake Camping Ground provides a peaceful retreat where dogs on leashes can enjoy the great outdoors alongside their owners. The expansive area around the lake is perfect for long walks and exploring the natural environment.

Camping Benefits: This campsite offers a serene lakeside setting ideal for those seeking a quiet getaway. Its simplicity appeals to campers who prefer a more traditional camping experience, close to nature and away from the hustle and bustle.

Campsite Features: The campground is equipped with essential facilities to ensure a comfortable stay. The open spaces and proximity to Taylors Lake make it an excellent choice for fishing, bird watching, and enjoying sunset views over the water.

What’s Nearby: The campground’s location near Horsham provides easy access to local amenities and attractions. The Grampians National Park, a short drive away, offers hiking trails, stunning vistas, and additional opportunities for wildlife observation.

Why Visit: Taylors Lake Camping Ground is perfect for campers looking to enjoy a tranquil lakeside escape with their pets. Its dog-friendly policy and the natural beauty of the surrounding area make it an ideal spot for relaxing and reconnecting with nature.

Please note, that some nearby locations mentioned may not be pet-friendly. Always plan and check with the location before visiting. 

Favourite activities in Victoria

Enhance your experience with some of the region’s famous activities. Please note, some may not be pet-friendly so plan ahead and check with the activity prior to booking.

Leave your pup behind with a pet sitter, pet border, or dog walker, and enjoy some of the amazing experiences the region has to offer.

Ready to create unforgettable memories with your pet? Grab your copy of the ‘Pets on Holidays’ Guidebook today and start exploring Australia’s best pet-friendly destinations!

What to Bring: Essentials for Camping with Dogs

When planning a camping trip with your furry friend, packing the right essentials can make the experience enjoyable and stress-free for both of you.

Here’s a list of what to bring when camping with dogs. Review our recommended products and essentials here.

For Your Dog

  • Leash and Collar: Most campsites require dogs to be on a leash at all times. Bring a sturdy leash and collar with ID tags.
  • Food and Water: Pack enough dog food for the trip and extra in case of delays. Don’t forget a portable water bowl and plenty of fresh water to keep your dog hydrated.
  • Bedding: Bring a comfortable bed or blanket for your dog to sleep on. This helps them feel secure in a new environment.
  • Toys and Chewables: Keep your dog entertained with their favorite toys and some chewable treats.
  • Waste Bags: Always clean up after your dog. Bring plenty of waste bags to dispose of their poop properly.
  • First Aid Kit: Prepare a pet-specific first aid kit with items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, dog cleaning wipes, tick remover, and any medications your dog may need.
  • Towels: Handy for drying your dog off after swimming or if it rains. Microfiber towels are lightweight and dry quickly.
  • Protective Gear: Depending on the season and location, consider protective gear like booties for hot/cold ground, a life jacket for swimming, and a warm coat for chilly nights.
  • Updated Vaccination Records: Some campsites may require proof of vaccinations. Bring your dog’s health records just in case.

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For the Campsite

  • Tent: If you’re tent camping, ensure your tent has enough space for you and your dog. A durable tent is recommended to withstand excited paws and claws.
  • Portable Fence or Tie-Out: For added security at the campsite, a portable fence or a tie-out stake can give your dog some freedom while keeping them safe.
  • Flashlight or Headlamp: Essential for nighttime bathroom breaks or navigating the campsite after dark. Consider a light-up collar or tag for your dog as well.
  • Food Storage: Store your dog’s food in airtight containers to keep it fresh and to prevent attracting wildlife to your campsite.

General Tips

  • Familiarise Your Dog with Camping Gear: Let your dog explore and get comfortable with the camping gear at home before your trip.
  • Plan for the Weather: Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly to keep your dog comfortable in any conditions.
  • Research the Campsite: Ensure the campsite is truly dog-friendly and understand their specific rules regarding pets.

Dog Gear Product Guides

Here’s a rundown of essential dog gear, complete with reviews, to help you pack for your next adventure. For more of our recommended and tested pet products, make sure to visit Pet Hub! 

Checklist

By packing these pet essentials, you’ll be prepared for a memorable camping adventure. The key to a successful trip is keeping your pet safe, comfortable, and happy.

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Keeping Your Dog Safe and Happy While Camping

Camping with your dog can be an enriching experience for both of you, offering a chance to bond and explore the great outdoors together. Ensuring your dog’s safety and happiness is paramount to a successful trip. For more tips on dog-friendly camping in Australia, Click here.

Here are essential tips to keep your furry friend safe and content while camping;

Before You Go:

  • Visit the Vet: Ensure your dog is healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations before heading out. Discuss preventive medications for fleas, ticks, and heartworm.
  • Research the Campsite: Confirm that the campsite is dog-friendly and familiarise yourself with any specific rules or restrictions for pets.
  • ID Tags and Microchips: Make sure your dog’s ID tags are up-to-date, and consider microchipping if you haven’t already. This can be crucial if your dog wanders off.

At the Campsite:

  • Secure Your Dog: Always keep your dog on a leash or within a secure area, even if they are well-behaved. Unknown wildlife, other dogs, or campsite hazards can pose unexpected risks.
  • Provide Shade and Water: Ensure your dog has access to shade and plenty of fresh water to avoid overheating, especially on hot days.
  • Check for Hazards: Upon arrival, check the campsite for hazards such as sharp objects, poisonous plants, or dangerous terrain that could harm your dog.
  • Keep a Routine: Try to stick to your dog’s regular feeding and walking schedule to minimize stress from the new environment.

During Activities:

  • Supervise Swimming: Not all dogs are natural swimmers. Always supervise your dog around water, and consider a doggy life jacket for extra safety.
  • Be Mindful of Wildlife: Keep your dog away from wildlife to protect both parties. Even small animals can carry diseases or become aggressive if threatened.
  • Respect Other Campers: Be mindful of your neighbours. Not everyone is comfortable around dogs, and excessive barking can disrupt the peace of the campsite.

Health and Comfort:

  • Protect Their Paws: Rough terrain can damage your dog’s paws. Inspect their pads regularly for cuts or soreness and consider protective booties for harsh conditions.
  • Beware of Ticks and Fleas: Check your dog daily for ticks, especially after walks in grassy or wooded areas. Use vet-recommended tick prevention before your trip.
  • Bring Familiar Items: A favorite toy, blanket, or bed can help your dog feel at home in the tent or caravan, easing their anxiety in the new setting.

Emergency Preparedness:

  • First Aid Kit: Carry a pet-specific first aid kit for minor injuries. Know the symptoms of common issues like heatstroke and dehydration.
  • Local Vet Information: Have the contact information for the nearest veterinarian or animal hospital in case of an emergency.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience for you and your dog.

Create happy memories exploring nature together and prioritise your dog’s well-being and comfort throughout the trip.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Are all campsites in Victoria dog-friendly?

A: No, not all campsites in Victoria are dog-friendly. It’s important to research and confirm the pet policy of each campsite before planning your trip. Many national parks have strict regulations regarding pets to protect wildlife.

Q2: What should I do if my dog gets lost while camping?

A: If your dog gets lost, immediately notify the campsite management and begin searching the nearby area. Having a recent photo and ensuring your dog has up-to-date ID tags and a microchip can significantly help in finding them. Consider carrying a whistle or a familiar sound-making device that your dog may respond to.

Q3: Can I leave my dog unattended at the campsite?

A: It’s not advisable to leave your dog unattended at a campsite. Dogs can become anxious in unfamiliar environments, leading to barking, escaping, or destructive behavior.

If you must leave your site, ensure your dog is securely contained within your vehicle or a pet crate, provided the weather conditions are safe.

Q: How can I prepare my dog for their first camping trip?

A: Gradually acclimate your dog to camping gear and sleeping arrangements at home before your trip. Short, local trips can also help them adjust to the idea of camping.

Ensure they’re comfortable with being on a leash for extended periods and practice good recall in controlled environments.

Q: Are there any specific health concerns I should be aware of when camping with my dog in Victoria?

A: Yes, depending on the time of year and location, your dog may be at risk for heatstroke, dehydration, or encounters with wildlife.

Ticks and fleas can also pose a risk, so ensure your dog is treated with preventative medication. Always have fresh water available and monitor your dog for signs of distress.

Q: What are the rules for disposing of dog waste at campsites?

A: You are responsible for collecting and disposing of your dog’s waste properly. Most dog-friendly campsites will have designated waste disposal areas or bins. Always carry waste bags with you during walks and hikes.

Q: Can my dog swim in lakes and rivers at the campsite?

A: This depends on the specific campsite’s rules and the safety of the water body. Some campsites allow dogs to swim under the owner’s supervision, while others may have restrictions to protect local wildlife or due to water safety concerns.

Always check the campsite’s policy and assess the water conditions before allowing your dog to swim.

By addressing these frequently asked questions, you can ensure a safe, enjoyable, and responsible camping experience with your dog in Victoria’s beautiful outdoors.

Exploring the great outdoors of Victoria with your furry friend can be one of the most rewarding experiences. From the serene landscapes of Lake Elizabeth Campground to the unique wildlife encounters at Bimbi Park, Victoria offers dog-friendly campsites tailored to suit the needs of every camping enthusiast and their four-legged companions.

By preparing adequately, you can ensure a memorable and harmonious camping adventure for you, your family, friends, and, of course, your beloved pet.

Have you visited any of these dog-friendly campsites in Victoria?

I’d love to hear about your experiences! Share your stories, tips, and photos in the comments below to help inspire fellow dog lovers looking for their next camping destination. Don’t forget to share this guide with friends and family planning their adventure with their pets.

For more tips, guides, and information on pet-friendly outdoor activities, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media. Let’s make every camping trip a joyous and inclusive adventure for our furry friends!

Happy camping, and remember, the best memories are made with a wagging tail by your side!

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