After 4 amazing months exploring a huge number of great places in South Australia, it was finally time to cross the border and head into Victoria. Sarah had found a free camp that looked really good, which we decided to check out called Fort O’hare, in Dartmoor.
The photos looked like it was beautiful, and still really green, which had me a bit sceptical, but it really was as beautiful as what we’d seen, and it was a stunning start to our Victoria camping and 4WD experience!
Where is Fort O’hare?
This great campsite is located in Dartmoor, not too far away from the South Australia and Victoria Border. It’s 40 minutes from Mount Gambier, and 45 minutes from Portland, right on the main road on your way through.
The actual campground location is in a big grassy area, split into two levels that butts up against the river. There’s big, beautiful gums with lots of shade, plenty of places to walk around and its not far from the playground.
What does it cost to camp?
Camping here is completely free. There’s not even a donation box, which I thought was interesting, as its absolutely worth some money. If you’re looking for more Free Camping in Victoria, we’ve got a comprehensive post for that too.
When we stayed, there were at least 20 other rigs setup and enjoying the area, and there was still plenty of room for more to come in.
What amenities are there?
Fort O’hare has a really clean and good condition drop toilet, and that’s it. There’s a dump point in town that you can make use of, and a flowing spring that you can fill water tanks from, but nothing else at the camp ground.
There are a couple of fire pits scattered around the place, and you can walk about 500 metres to a decent playground for the kids.
If you are going to use the spring to fill your water tanks (its supposed to be beautiful water), you should know that this has limited head pressure, and if you run a long hose, or are trying to pump it into the bottom of your tanks, it won’t work very well.
It’s fairly slow, and you can stop the flow with your fingers. The spring runs all the time, and I tried to use it to hose some dust off our solar panels, but by the time you lift it up that high its lost almost all of its flow. We filled up a couple of our tanks, and left the rest for another spot.
What can you do in Dartmoor?
We had a great walk along the river here, and checked out the very picturesque railway bridge and little rapids. There were a heap of Blackberries that would be weeks away from being ripe, which you’d have a good feed from (if they are all OK!).
Dartmoor is well known for a heap of wooden sculptures that are scattered throughout town, which are pretty incredible to check out.
There’s a general store where you can get basics, and fuel, but not much else in the way of shops.
Overall, this was a brilliant start to our Victoria Camping adventures, and if you are looking for somewhere to rest your head you can’t go wrong!