Lake Leake; great camping near Mount Gambier

After nearly 4 months exploring South Australia, we chose our final nights stay before heading over to Victoria, and it was a brilliant choice. Lake Leake was the destination we’d agreed on, for two nights to relax and say good bye to my folks, who’d been travelling with us for the better part of 3 months on and off (although mainly on!), before they headed back to Adelaide to return home to Perth by flight.

I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t expecting too much at Lake Leake based on the comments and photos that I’d seen, and from the moment we drove in I knew it was going to be a great campsite.

Lake Leake was a great surprise
I was pleasantly surprised at Lake Leake, which has beautiful camping
Camping at Lake Leake
We knew very quickly that this place is fantastic

Where is Lake Leake?

You’ll find this lake about 37 kilometres from Mount Gambier, and roughly 33 minutes by car. It’s a tiny bit too far to use as a base to explore the area if you are there for a long time, but its a magic spot nonetheless.

Blue Lake at Mount Gambier
It’s close, but not super close to Mount Gambier and the Blue Lake

Do you need a 4WD?

Not at all. The road in is bitumen for most of the way, and then good condition gravel for the rest. I’d suggest if you are towing a big van that you avoid the first part of Kangaroo Gully road, as its windy, narrow and really bouncy!

What amenities are there?

Lake Leake has toilets, a number of swings, a boat ramp, and some rubbish bins. The toilets are basic and old, but clean and to be honest we didn’t really use them much at all.

Lake Leake Toilets
The toilet block at Lake Leake

Watch the vlog

This place is magic, and you can see more on our vlog below:

YouTube video

Swimming and boating in Lake Leake

On the first day, I took our kids down for a ‘swim’. We entered at the boat ramp (as there’s no one around), and the first few metres are sandy and rocky, and not to bad. From there, it gets awfully muddy, and whilst I have no doubt it would be fine if you jumped in, its not a pristine, beautiful lake to swim in.

Lake Leake Boat ramp
The water looks inviting, but its not that nice

In the afternoon we did see someone come down and put their boat in, and apparently it was used for boat racing many years ago. The water level of Lake Leake has been much higher in the past, and we were told in 2016 it dried up to virtually nothing, so maybe its name lives up to the reputation!

Boat in the water at Lake Leake
It’s still used for boating today

Either way, it would be a brilliant place to kayak or stand up paddle board, if the wind was kind.

Lake Leake from above
It’s a great place to SUP or kayak, if its not too windy

What does it cost?

This is a donation camp, that is looked after by volunteers. That means you can leave nothing (which would be really rude), or what ever you feel its worth. We rated this as one of the best free camps that we’ve done in a long time, and left $20 for the two nights.

Lake Leake donation box
There’s a donation box on the building; make use of it

Would we stay at Lake Leake again?

Without a shadow of a doubt. This was our 6th night around the Mount Gambier region, and it was the best camp site that we visited in the area. Yes, its a bit further out of Mount Gambier, but its really picturesque and worth a stay.

Lake Leake Camping
We really enjoyed our stay at Lake Leake and would happily go back

If you are looking for a great free/low cost camp not too far from Mount Gambier, this is worth a look!

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  1. Hey Curtis,

    That’s awesome. I’m glad you found it useful, and enjoyed the stay. It’s a great spot!

    All the best

  2. Hi,
    We recently camped here based of nothing but this article. It was a really great place. Thanks for taking the time to write about it, otherwise we would have never discovered it!