The Grampians National Park is a magic part of Victoria, and after staying at Smiths Mill, and Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park we decided to move onto something else, to see more of the amazing region. Plantation Campground is one of the Grampian National Parks most popular free camp, and for good reason.
Where is Plantation Campground?
You’ll find this place roughly 15 minutes drive from Halls Gap, heading north. It’s easy enough to find and get to, and that makes it a popular spot for overnighters, and even for extended stays whilst you explore the rest of the Grampians.
If you are heading there, know that the entry to this camp site is off the main gravel road; if you turn left or right onto a different road to go down, you’ve taken the wrong turn (as we found out!)
Do you need a 4WD to get there?
No, and we saw a number of people pull in here with 2WD vehicles. The road from Halls Gap starts off as bitumen and quickly changes to gravel, with about 10km of gravel road to drive on before you get to Plantation Campground.
The gravel road is reasonable, but it does have corrugations and if you haven’t driven on many rough gravel roads before it might be a bit of a shock. It’s certainly not too bad, and I’d take most 2WD vehicles along here without too much concern.
What does it cost to camp?
As mentioned above, this place is entirely free, which we thought was fascinating given its still run by Victoria Parks. In WA, if there’s a camp ground run by DBCA, its going to cost you something!
There’s actually 3 free camps in the Grampians that are run by Victoria Parks, which is awesome to see. The other two campgrounds are Wannon Crossing (quite small) and Kalymna Falls, as per the below.
What amenities are there at Plantation Campground?
On top of the fact that this place is free, there’s a number of fire pits around the place, a nice picnic area, two toilet blocks, untreated rainwater tanks and they also have the bucket shower arrangement like what we saw at Smiths Mill.
This is awesome, and such a great addition, except some drongo has pilfered the bucket in the lower shower, which just wrecks it for everyone else. Well done, you tosser.
What are the campgrounds like?
This is a fairly large campground, with plenty of room and choice. The centre picnic area is off limits for camping, with the rest of the area split into sections.
You are allowed to camp anywhere inside the fenced area, but we did see a number of ‘camp sites’ that people have used outside of the fenced area. Some of the camping areas are fairly private, but they are more like big areas that are separated, and if you set up in one of the bigger areas expect to have neighbours at some stage in the afternoon, or evening, as it always happens.
We had one of the bigger areas to ourselves for half a day, and then ended up with 3 others camped nearby, which was totally fine and expected.
There are a lot of gum trees in the area, and there are signs up about limbs falling, and I know its not a good idea to camp under them, so we positioned ourselves under the shade of 3 big pine trees instead.
It was lucky we did this as the second day hit 36 degrees, and we had a relatively comfortable afternoon at camp in the shade. Later that night the wind blew something shocking, and I was very glad not to be anywhere near any gum trees!
Is it worth a stay?
You can’t go wrong with this place. Its free, its got nice shade and trees, and has plenty of options for camping. If you go on the weekend expect to hear a bit of noise (like we had on Friday night), but for the most part it’s a quiet, nice camp that will keep the dollars in your pocket!
We’d absolutely stay again at Plantation Campground, but were seriously shocked at how good Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park was too, and didn’t mind Smiths Mill, or Boreang Campground too.