The Great Ocean Road is one of the most incredible parts of Australia, and to see it properly you need to stop in a few different places. We were keen on doing this, except that the prices being charged by many of the accommodation options are nothing short of ludicrous, until we stumbled across Princetown Recreation Camping, which was a breath of fresh air.
About the Princetown Recreation Grounds
This place is the local cricket and football grounds, and has been upgraded to allow people to camp. The money is returned to the local region, which is absolutely awesome. The actual grounds are pretty large, with camping all the way around the oval, and then some sections heading off in different directions. It’s grassy, clean, quiet and overall a magic place to stay.
Where is it?
The Princetown Recreation Grounds are the closest camping to the 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road, and will literally take you about 5 minutes by car to get to. It’s only a kilometre or so off the Great Ocean Road, located next to a beautiful river and wetlands that feeds out to the ocean.
It’s only 18km South East of Port Campbell, making it fairly easy and quick to get to. From Geelong, its roughly 2 hours drive to get here.
How much does it cost to camp?
Camping here is $20 per night for an unpowered site, with extra people costing $10 each. We paid $30 for a night (a 4 and 6 year old boy), which is more than some unpowered camping, but its really cheap compared to formal caravan parks along the Great Ocean Road (that are charging $50 – $85 per night).
The only cheaper camping is the national park campgrounds like Johanna Beach that are $15.70 per night, and are quite hard to get into.
What amenities are there?
This is basically a shire run caravan park. There’s flushing toilets, hot showers, a camp kitchen, and lots of room to spread out.
The Beach and River
On your way into Princetown Recreational Grounds you’ll cross a river, which is really picturesque. There’s a number of boardwalks that you can do in the area, or you can head down towards the beach where it eventually flows out into the ocean.
We drove to the car park, and then its a 550m walk to the beach, or about 300 to get to the river and sandbar part of the area. This is truly stunning, and completely worth a look. Swimming is not advised in the ocean (or near the river mouth), and that is pretty obvious when you get near it.
See more on our vlog
Want to see more? Watch our vlog on the Great Ocean Road:
Old Coach Road 4WD track
Right behind the Recreational Ground is Old Coach Road, which is a 4WD track that comes out at Moonlight Head. We read a number of comments saying this is a pretty serious 4WD track, and didn’t get a chance to do it, but it looks like it would cover some pretty good ground.
How do we rate the Princetown Recreational Grounds?
I really liked this place. I love the fact that the shire have something going on which helps the town, that people can camp for a reasonable fee along the Great Ocean Road and I loved the beach, river and scenery. It really is a magic part of the world, and we’d happily stay here again.
If you are looking for Great Ocean Road Camping that isn’t going to break the bank, this is a great option.