Changes to camping and accommodation fees
Revised fees for camping and accommodation in Victoria’s parks
- From 1 July 2014, a revised fee structure will apply for camping in 197 of the state’s 680 campsites in national, state and other parks and reserves. New fees will apply at some sites where there are already fees for camping in the park and some other areas where fees will be introduced.
- This is to ensure that Victorians continue to have access to these beautiful places while making sure that the costs of providing safe, visitor-friendly facilities and services are sustainable and affordable.
- Fees vary according to the facilities provided at the site. For example, Basic/Very Basic permit fees are $13 per site per night; and a site classed as 'High' is $48.70 per night.
- Fees will vary according to peak, shoulder or off peak periods.
Why the changes?
- There are 680 campgrounds in Victoria’s parks and reserves, some of which also have roofed accommodation, costing significant public funds to maintain and operate each year. These costs need to be recovered so that Victorians can continue to enjoy great experiences in nature, with safe, modern campgrounds and facilities.
- The previous funding model has been insufficient to ensure the Victoria’s campsites in national parks are well maintained and safe. The standard of facilities and maintenance across these sites will begin to suffer unless we make changes.
- The intention is to recover costs, so camping opportunities and enjoyable visitor experiences can continue to be provided in Victoria’s parks and reserves.
- Currently, only 18 per cent of campgrounds in Victorian parks and reserves operate on a fee-for-service basis.
- The new fees provide a fairer system for camping in Victoria’s parks and reserves. The system provides affordable, convenient and certain site bookings and ensures safe, visitor friendly-services and facilities.
What are the benefits for the community?
- Visitors will be able to book in advance, guaranteeing a site in the parks where fees apply.
- The new prices will mean that campsites and roofed accommodation in parks and reserves can be maintained and serviced to the standards visitors expect, and retained for future generations to enjoy.
- Parks Victoria will invest fees into maintaining camping and roofed accommodation facilities and services across the state. Additional income will mean that the facilities and services can be maintained at an appropriate level.
What are the new fee categories?
- Fees have been standardised across the state according to the level of facilities provided at each site. There will be four permit fee categories, plus some special fees for special products such as overnight hikes and roofed accommodation.
- Even basic campgrounds with minimal or no facilities require ongoing maintenance by rangers to ensure a safe environment for campers and to minimise impacts on the environment. This includes providing and maintaining access roads and tracks, i.e. grading, drainage works, repair and resurfacing.
Permit fee category
Description of typical services
Fees from 1 July 2014 per site (Peak)
Hot showers, fully serviced, full time
Unpowered site –
Some showers, partially serviced, regular ranger patrols, mostly septic/sewer toilets, mostly designated sites, booking service, some drinking water, unique location
Mt Buffalo NP, Lake Eildon NP, Mt Eccles
$48.70 up 6 people
No showers, partially serviced, infrequent
$37.80 up to
Basic and very basic permit
Unserviced, minimal ranger patrols,
$13 (up to 6
At which parks are fees being introduced for the first time?
- The new fees will be introduced at 98 campgrounds. This includes 11 parks where there has previously been no charge to camp, as listed below.
- The majority of these sites are in the ‘Basic/very basic’ fee category – at a cost of $13 per night for up to 6 people.
From 1 July 2014 fees will apply to camp in the following parks:
- Cobboboonee National Park
- French Island National Park
- Baw Baw National Park
- Lerderderg State Park
- Broken Boosey State Park
- Mornington Peninsula National Park
- Bunyip State Park
- Mount Buangor State Park
- Cape Liptrap Coastal Park
- Mount Samaria State Park
- Kurth Kiln Regional Park
If I want to camp in a park, how do I book?
All of the sites where fees apply can be booked online at www.parks.vic.gov.au/stay, or by calling Parks Victoria’s Information Centre on 13 1963. A camping permit is issued as booking confirmation.
What are the peak/off peak and shoulder periods for camping?
- Peak period fees apply for all weekends (Fri/Sat) commencing Melbourne Cup weekend to the end of February, Melbourne Cup long weekend, December/January school holidays, Labour Day weekend, Easter school holidays, and Anzac Day long weekend (when applicable).
- Shoulder period fees apply on weekdays November to the end of April, weekdays and weekends from 1 March to the end of April (except for Easter school holidays), and September school holidays.
- Off-peak period fees apply from 1 May to the start of the Melbourne Cup weekend (except for September school holidays).
Are there any discounts?
There is a 5% discount for the shoulder period and a 10% discount for the off peak period for camping.
What are the peak/off peak and shoulder periods for accommodation?
- Peak period rates apply for the December/January school holiday period, Labour Day weekend and Easter public holiday weekend.
- Shoulder period rates apply from 1 September to 30 April, except for December/January school holidays, Labour Day and Easter school holiday period (except for the 4 day Easter public holiday weekend), Queen’s Birthday weekend and July school holidays.
- Off-peak rates apply from 1 May to 31 August, (except for Queens Birthday weekend and July school holidays).
Is there a discount for school groups?Camping fees include special pricing for school groups which applies to primary and secondary school group bookings.
What other concessions apply?
- A 10% per cent discount off the seasonal price for campsites is available to holders of eligible means-tested concession cards. Eligible cards are as follows:
- Centrelink Health Care Card
- Centrelink Pensioner Concession card
- Veterans Affairs Gold Card for All Conditions
- Veterans Affairs Gold Card War Widow
- Veterans Affairs Gold Card TPI
- Veterans Affairs Gold card POW & EDA
- To claim the concession discount the concession card holder must be the permit holder of the campsite. For group bookings the concession discount only applies to the campsite occupied by the concession card holder.
- Customers requesting concession rates must be able to produce a valid concession card upon request.
Can I book by phone?
- Bookings for camping and accommodation can be made by calling the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963. The Information Centre is staffed 7 days a week between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm on Monday to Friday, and from 9 am – 5 pm on weekends.
- When booking special camping sites and overnight hikes by phone, a $10 phone booking fee will apply for each booking up to 8 people, and $15 for a group booking of more than 8 people.
- There is no phone booking fee for means tested concession card holders and Victorian Seniors card holders.
- There is no charge for phone bookings for standard camping or roofed accommodation.
What if I need to change my booking?
- Parks Victoria will honour all confirmed bookings at the rate quoted at the time of booking. Any changes or amendments to bookings made after 1 July 2014 will be charged at the new rates.
- A $10 administration fee applies for phone assisted amendments for roofed accommodation only.
- Means tested concession card holders and Victorian Seniors card holders are exempt from this additional administration charge.
- Please refer to the terms and conditions for further information about booking changes.
Are there any changes to the current ballot systems?
Ballots for the popular Tidal River at Wilsons Promontory National Park and Cape Conran Coastal Park will continue unchanged.
For a number of small sites where there is lower demand, changes to ballots for peak summer holidays and other peak periods will commence from 1 July 2014. These sites will move to online bookings on a first in, first served basis. These changes will mean that visitors will know instantly whether they have successfully secured a camping site, rather than having to wait for their ballot application to be processed, which takes between 4-8 weeks.
The following parks will change to a first in first served online and phone booking system:
- Croajingolong National Park: Wingan Inlet, Shipwreck Creek
- Great Otway National Park: Blanket Bay
- Corringle Foreshore Reserve
- Peachtree Creek Reserve
- Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park
Bookings for these sites at peak periods will open on specific dates. Advance bookings for these sites will be opened to the public on the same date as ballots opened in previous years. These dates will be communicated via the Parks Victoria website, and visitors will be able to book online or by phone on the release date.
The maximum stay at Croajingalong National park, Corringle Foreshore Reserve and Peachtree Creek Reserve will be reduced from 5 weeks to three weeks.
A maximum stay of 3 weeks will be introduced at Bunga Arm campground in the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park.
How do these changes apply to Traditional Owners?
Traditional owners who have recognised native title rights or traditional owner rights which include the right to camp are exempt from paying camping fees in national and state parks within their agreement areas. In these areas, Traditional Owners will still need to book to reserve their campsite.