Princetown Recreation Camping; great value on the Great Ocean Road

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.

Princetown Recreation Grounds
We spent a night at Princetown Recreation Grounds to check it out

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.

Cricket at Princetown
The local sporting ground has been upgraded to allow camping, and bring some money into the town
Oval and powered camping at Princetown
There’s a massive oval with camping all around it (including powered above)
Lots of room at Princetown
There’s plenty of room to spread out
Rules at Princetown Recreation Grounds
There’s a basic set of rules to follow

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.

Twelve apostles with the boardwalk
Its super close to the twelve apostles
Princetown wetlands
The wetlands right next door are pretty stunning

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).

Great value camping at Princetown
The prices here are much better than the caravan parks nearby

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.

Johanna Beach Camping
Johanna Beach and other national park camps are only $15.70 per night but harder 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.

Toilet and showers at Princetown
The amenities here are basic, but in decent condition
Playground at Princetown
Our kids loved the playground here
Camp Kitchen at Princetown Recreation Grounds
The camp kitchen is decent too

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.

Gellibrand River sign
The Gellibrand River flows out to the ocean nearby, and is stunning
River flowing out to sea
We really enjoyed a walk out to the beach
Views looking out to sea
The views here are really beautiful

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.

4WD track only to Old Coach Road
The 4WD track along Old Coach Road looks like a lot of fun

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.

Views from Princetown Recreation Ground
We’d come back to Princetown Recreation Ground for sure

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