Camping is not only heaps of fun, it's also a great way to save on your schoolies accommodation expenses.
Options for camping
Campground facilities vary from place to place. Some offer all the comforts of home including toilet and shower amenities, camp kitchens, barbecues, laundry services and electricity, while others don't even have running water. Make sure you research in advance so you'll know what to bring with you.
It's really important to book your campsite early, especially for a peak holiday time like schoolies.
Some camping grounds operated by Parks Victoria operate on a 'first come, first served' basis so it's important to arrive early to reserve your campsite.
Sleeping in cars and public places
It's illegal and dangerous to sleep in your car. It's also illegal and dangerous to sleep in public places. You'd be better off spending your hard-earned cash on accommodation rather than risking an on-the-spot fine, and your personal safety!
Camping at Victorian schoolies destinations
Surf Coast area
If you're intending to camp in the Surf Coast Shire, head to Good Times Great Breaks (new window) for more details or phone the Visitor Information Centres at Torquay (03) 5261 4219 and Lorne (03) 5289 1152.
Mornington Peninsula area
The Mornington Peninsula Shire manages camping at the Rosebud, Rye and Sorrento foreshores.
The foreshore camping grounds offer powered and non-powered sites, for both caravans and tents. Bookings can be made by contacting the foreshore ranger on (03) 5986 8286.
Visit the Mornington Peninsula Shire website for an overview of the camping rules, fees and conditions (PDF, new window) or check out Visit Victoria (new window) for information on campgrounds and facilities in this area.
Bass Coast area
Permits are required to camp on private and public land in Bass Coast Shire. It is an offence to camp without a permit. This includes sleeping in vehicles. For an application form or more information, please contact Council's Local Laws staff on (03) 5671 2211 or (03) 5951 3311.
Check out Visit Victoria (new window) to search for camping accommodation providers in the Phillip Island area or call the Phillip Island Visitor Centre (new window) on 1300 366 422 for their free Accommodation Booking Service.
Sleeping in your car risks an on-the-spot fine of $250 - so save your money and organise legitimate accommodation or a campsite.
Campfires, when properly managed, can be an awesome addition to a camping experience. There's nothing quite like chilling out around the fire with your friends or your sweetheart, toasting marshmallows and perhaps even singing a few songs accompanied by a guitar.
But fires can be dangerous, especially in an environment where alcohol is being consumed. A small trip or stumble in the wrong direction can result in serious or fatal burn injuries.
Keep these things in mind:
- Don't use accelerants such as petrol to light fires - serious burn injuries can result
- Only light fires in fireplaces provided, or as directed by signs (gas or fuel stoves have less environmental impact and are preferred) and fires aren't permitted in some parks
- Keep fires small
- Have a supply of water nearby
- Don't light a fire on hot windy days
- Use only fallen dead timber - and remember that this is habitat for insects and spiders, and a source of soil nutrients as it breaks down
- Chainsaws are usually not permitted in parks
- Make sure someone stays near the fire at all times, and make sure that it is completely out (cool to touch) before you leave
- No fires at all (including gas or fuel stoves in tents) may be lit on days of Total Fire Ban (new window) - these bans don't necessarily apply to the whole of Victoria - it's your responsibility to find out which Fire Ban district you're in, and whether a Total Fire Ban has been declared on a particular day
Parks Victoria - Camping
Visit the Parks Victoria website for information on locations of and facilities and services available in Victorian government run campgrounds.
Visit Victoria - Camping
Excellent information on camping in various areas within Victoria.
The Victorian Government's site for safety and emergency information.
Country Fire Authority - Fire restrictions
Information on what you can and can't do during fire danger periods and on total fire ban days. Check out their map of Victoria to see where fire restrictions are in place.