After a fairly expensive night at Paradise Valley (for us) south of Licola, we were keen to see if we could find any camp sites not too far away that would be of a similar calibre.
If you don’t know, Licola is a tiny location in the middle of the Victorian High Country, that is hugely popular for people 4WDing. As it turns out, the Licola Camping is fantastic, too.
Where is Licola?
It’s about 24km north of Paradise Valley, along a hilly and windy road. You can stay at the caravan park in Licola too, which is supposed to be really good. You can get to Licola from the south on a number of locations, or you can come down the Jamieson-Licola Road, which is really average around Mt Skene.
Where is the free camping?
Most of the free camping around Licola is to the North East. There is a couple of spots south, and some to the North West, but the large majority are to the North East, and you’ll find a huge number of locations.
These start off at Tamboritha, then Long Toms, and work their way along the river for miles, with the harder to access ones further along on the 4WD tracks.
You’ve got Cherry Creek Camp, Currawong, Blackfish, Pardalote, Treefrog, Manna Gum, Muttonwood, Riverbed, Cockatoo, Red Bluff Campsite, Breakfast Creek, Wellington River Campgrounds, Platypus Camp and so on.
If you are prepared to do the 4WD tracks there are a myriad of other campgrounds too, but Wikicamps does a pretty good job covering them all.
We stayed at Pardalote, after spending a good hour and a half looking around at all of the other camp grounds. We didn’t feel any of them were particularly bad, but on a Friday morning we were keen to find somewhere that couldn’t get too crowded or busy over the weekend.
We also wanted something that allowed the kids to splash around without drowning in deep water, and by the end of looking around I was pretty over trying to find the perfect site. We found a couple that were really good, but they were in big open areas, which I knew would fill up.
In the end, Pardalote got the vote of confidence out of all of the Licola camping options, with a group already set up up one end, and only one other camp site left, at least a hundred metres away, which limited our chances of getting a noisy neighbour.
Sure enough, the later it got on Friday, the more vehicles we had pull into camp, and almost all of them turned around and went back out. Our camp site was a decent size, had great access onto a big rocky area near a small creek that the kids had a ball playing on, and really there wasn’t much to complain about.
Scenery wise, it doesn’t compare with Paradise Valley Camgpround, but then neither does the pricing!
Licola Free Camping amenities
A number of these camp sites have toilets, and whilst they are just basic drop toilets its better than nothing. We generally use our own chemical toilet, but its awesome to see these provided, especially when you are paying nothing for it.
See the vlog
Want to see more, from a different perspective? Here’s our vlog from the area:
4WD Tracks nearby
These campgrounds are the perfect place to base yourself to do the 4WD tracks. There’s a huge number of them not too far away, including Billy Goats Bluff, Mt Margaret (opposite Pardalote), Dingo Hill Track, Mount Wellington Track, Moroka Range Track, Castle Hill Track and then all of the 4WD tracks around Dargo, like Crooked River track and so forth. It would be a big day to do any of those from camp though.
If you didn’t need to return to a campground here, you could just keep driving (providing your vehicle, and driver skills were up to the task) through to Dargo, which would be epic.
Caravan and 2WD access
A lot of the camp sites are caravan friendly, although you are wise to walk the tracks before you drive in, as turning space is limited (or non existent) in some sites. We did see a couple of vans set up when we were driving around, and even a full size, dual axle off-road van had just set up in one of the sites.
Overall, its amazing that these Camp sites in Victoria are available, and you should look after them!