Lake Mountain Camping; free camping at a Ski Resort

We’ve camped in some pretty random places over the years, and when Sarah suggested we spend a night at the top of a mountain, right next to an Alpine Resort, I wasn’t sure how to react. We decided to check it out anyway, and spent the night in a car park at Lake Mountain, after stocking up in Marysville.

Camped at Lake Mountain Resort
Camped in the car park at Lake Mountain Resort

Where is Lake Mountain?

From Melbourne CBD, its 118km to Lake Mountain, and around 2 hours driving. It’s touted as the closest Alpine Resort to Melbourne, and is quite the scenic drive to get here. The actual mountain is 1433m above sea level, and I’m sure would look absolutely stunning with some snow on it.

Driving up to Lake Mountain
Driving up the beautiful, big mountain

What’s there?

We were going to head past this resort anyway, and decided for the 10km drive up to check it out, it’d be worth doing. If it wasn’t any good we’d have lunch and continue onto another campground in the Victorian High Country.

When you arrive, you’ll see two massive car parks, and two big buildings. One is the Cafe, toilets, showers and a couple of different stores. There’s a heap of different walks that you can do, along with a huge number of mountain bike trails. They have a flying fox, a couple of tours and of course in winter, lots of cross country skiing, tobogganing, tubes and more.

Lake Mountain Resort
It’s a big place, with lots of things to do
Lake Mountain Attractions
There’s a long list of things you can do here

As we visited in Summer there was no snow, and it was fairly pleasant weather, but it’d look very different in Winter.

Lake Mountain views
I kept imagining what it would look like with snow everywhere
Ski slope in summer
The slopes look a lot different in Summer and Autumn!

What’s it like for camping?

Honestly, we weren’t expecting much when we arrived, but its a pretty scenic place. Looking at the different trees in the Alpine region, and imagining what it would look like with some snow was a lot of fun, and there’s a lot of room to pull up.

Lake Mountain Resort
The Cafe was great, and the staff on duty was super kind

We were all pretty hungry, and headed into the Café to have a look, and see what it was all like. We were greeted by a super friendly lady, who happily invited us to camp the night, before we’d even asked. We ordered a few bowls of wedges (which were really, really good), and with the kids bugging us to stay decided that a night would be perfectly fine.

The Cafe has an area next to it with a heap of kids toys, the toilets are big, brand new and have nice hot showers. They’re left open 24/7 and we were invited to use them, with the rest of the buildings closing up and shutting down for the day.

Car Park Camping at Lake Mountain
We had the entire, massive car park to ourselves

After about 4PM the car park emptied out, and the fans and other noises we could hear earlier in the day all faded away. We did have some visitors at about 8PM who were talking about drifting on the road up and down (and there’s quite a bit of evidence of rubber going missing around here), but its a nice enough spot to pull up.

We had the entire car park to ourselves, which was awesome. The views are only better closer to the resort, but its not a bad place at all, and when you’re paying nothing for it, you can’t say a bad word.

Watch our vlog

Want to see more? Here’s our vlog of the area:

YouTube video

Would we stay here again?

Yep, certainly. The actions of one staff member cemented the fact that its a great place, and with the views, amenities and no cost its a no brainer. 

It did even get the conversation going between Sarah and I to do a snow trip in winter time, but I’ll keep working on her (she’s not keen on snow in our Reconn R2 Hypercamper).

Alpine trees at Lake Mountain
I’d love to do a Snow trip in the Reconn R2

You probably can’t camp in winter

I don’t know for sure, but there’s an entry fee in winter time and I’m going to suggest camping might not be allowed. Who knows, it might be fine, and if you have a setup suitable for camping in the snow it could be amazing.

Overall, another random, but lovely place that we’ve camped at, and if you are in the area we recommend you check it out. We might even be back in winter one day; who knows!

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