The Andrews Labor Government is helping Victorians enjoy even more of the state’s great outdoors, with the first of hundreds of new riverside camping spots coming online.
The sites are part of a 2018 election promise by the Labor Government to make sure Victoria is the best place for exploring the great outdoors, increasing access for camping on Crown Land, with new sites open for camping from Friday, with more to be added progressively in the coming weeks.
Up to 50 more will come online by the end of April, with newly available sites to be listed on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) website once they are identified as suitable for camping.
The new sites can be accessed by foot from designated parking areas around the townships of Seymour, Tallarook, Murchison and Molesworth. Future sites may be able to be accessed by vehicles, depending on location.
The sites are coming online gradually as part of a staged approach, following a comprehensive consultation process where more than 1,100 submissions were received on draft regulations.
Rigorous public land value assessments were conducted by DELWP to ensure the sites are safe – and are followed by Traditional Owner assessments of each site to ensure they are culturally appropriate for camping.
Further sites along the Goulburn, Broken, Ovens, Campaspe, Loddon, Mitta Mitta and Murray Rivers are currently being assessed for inclusion in the program.
The public can already lawfully access licensed river frontages for recreation such as fishing, hiking, and picnicking.
The regulations governing camping on Crown Land sites are enforced by DELWP, the Victorian Fisheries Authority and Parks Victoria to ensure the protection of the environment, Aboriginal cultural heritage, farm businesses and recreational users. Licensees and adjoining landowners are also considered.
A 24-hour hotline (13FISH) is available for the public to report any illegal or antisocial behaviour.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne
“We promised to give Victorians and visitors to our state the opportunity to camp at some of Victoria's most picturesque spots - and that’s exactly what we’ve done, with careful work to get the first sites ready for campers.”
"We’ve set up a 24-hour hotline staffed by VFA Authorised Officers to report misconduct around river frontage camping, as well as continuing our work with Victoria Police to ensure everyone treats these sites with respect.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio
“Our public land is a wonderful asset for all Victorians to enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, with a wide range of recreational activities available.”
Quotes attributable to VRFish Chair Rob Loats
“Public land should be available for public use – and what better use for riverside Crown Land than camping and fishing, enabling families and friends to create memories together.”
Reviewed 30 March 2022