Tom Groggin Campground

After two truly magic nights at Behrs Flats on the Alpine Way, we moved about 20 minutes down the road to Tom Groggin Campground, and it didn’t take long for us to feel quite deflated about the move. This is a popular campground, but in our opinion its not nearly as nice at Geehi or Behrs Flats.

Tom Groggin Campground
Our camp at Tom Groggin Campground, which was OK, but a big drop from Behrs Flats

Where is Tom Groggin Campground?

You’ll find this rest area at the bottom of the big hill from Thredbo side, heading towards Khancoban. It’s not that far off the Alpine Way, on a gravel road that is used by a lot of people calling in to stop for lunch, use a toilet or pull in for a night or two.

The Alpine Way is beautiful, and well maintained
Tom Groggins is at the bottom of the Alpine Way, between Thredbo and Khancoban

Costs and Bookings

To stay here, you need to book, and pay the $6 booking fee. This is regardless of how many days you’re staying, and makes for a cheap stay. I’d say a lot of people don’t bother booking here, but you should, and you need to do it well in advance as there is zero phone reception anywhere around.

Tom Groggin River views
You need to book this well in advance as there is zero reception here

What’s there?

When you turn off the Alpine Way into Tom Groggins Campground, you get to a small rest area, before continuing along the track with a sign pointing towards the camping. This takes you to a fairly substantial open area, where you can camp anywhere you please.

On the edge of the campground a beautiful creek meanders its way along, but the access to the water is very limited, with only a handful of sites actually being able to see the water.

Tom Groggin Campground river
The Murray River is beautiful, but most camp sites can’t see it at Tom Groggin

There’s a lot of flat, semi grassy areas where you can pull up, and its well suited to larger groups. You’ll found a couple of toilets around the place, fire places in the different camp sites, and that’s it.

Tom Groggin Campground with big groups
Tom Groggin was a lot busier than Behrs and Geehi

The creek is beautiful, and if you walk down you can find some magic little spots that are quite deep, or shallow and full of rapids, depending on your preference.

Tom Groggin fishing
There’s some magic spots at Tom Groggin, but you’ve got to walk up and down the river

Tom Groggin vs Behr and Geehi Flats

If you went to Tom Groggin first, you’d probably think it is a pretty decent place to stay, and the truth is, its actually pretty good. However, once you’ve been through Geehi and Behrs Flats (only 20 minutes north), you’d skip Tom Groggins all together.

Behrs Flats camping is way better
We thought Behrs Flats was a lot better than Tom Groggins

We had two magic nights at Behrs Flats, and everything was better. It’s quieter, the water access is easier (it was literally metres from our camp), there’s a stunning swimming hole with water not flowing too quickly, and its just got a magic atmosphere.

I’ll reiterate; Tom Groggins is a nice campground, but its got nothing on Behr and Geehi.

Making damper at Tom Groggins
We made damper, met some great people and then moved on

4WD Tracks around Tom Groggins

The one area where Tom Groggins really excels is the 4WD tracks nearby. If you head 10 minutes away, you get to a stunning river crossing (the Murray River), and then there’s a heap of 4WD tracks that shoot off in different directions.

In the Murray River with the Dmax
Our Dmax in the Murray River just near Tom Groggins
Swimming in the Murray River
We spent a fair bit of time enjoying the crossing, which was much quieter than Tom Groggin

We did a couple of them, but some were also closed. However, if you wanted to explore, you could drive all day doing various 4WD tracks, and Newtracs shows no shortage of options.

Water crossing near Tom Groggins
There’s lots of 4WD tracks to explore in the area

Is it Caravan friendly?

Yep, and there were quite a few vans here. The track in off the Alpine Way is gravel and single lane in a couple of sections, but you’ll have no issues driving in with a caravan. However, you must have a read of hill descents with a caravan unless you’re very familiar with engine braking and how to do it properly!

Is it worth a stop?

If you’re only going to stop once along the Alpine Way, skip Tom Groggins and stay at Geehi or Behrs Flats. The only exception to this is if you want to do the 4WD tracks in the area, as there are a huge amount that leave from Tom Groggins Campground.

If you want to do two stops on the Alpine Way though, its worth a look, especially to let your vehicle and brakes cool down.

The road width on the Alpine Way is not great
Tom Groggin is a good place to pull in and let your vehicle cool down

We booked 2 nights here in advance without doing much research due to lack of reception, and whilst we didn’t regret it, we could have done one, or even none quite happily too.

It was however, nice to leave towards Thredbo Diggings early with a cold engine and transmission, because this Alpine Way Hill is a killer, and we saw 117 degrees on our Automatic Transmission, even with an aftermarket transmission cooler! On that note, have a read of this – Is towing a Caravan on the Alpine Way safe?

Dmax pulled over on the Alpine Way
117 degrees made us pull over to let it cool

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