Toolangi Recreational Reserve Camping Spot

This campground is one of the closest free camping grounds to Melbourne, Australia, yet it is still about 80km from the CBD district. It is listed as 230 in the Camps 6 Australia Wide Book.

Where is it?

Located just south of Yea, about 5km east off the Melba Highway, it is tucked away inside a little pocket of land, surrounded by magnificent, tall gum trees and has a delightful little creek alongside. It is actually the car park for the recreational reserve and next to a creek.

Facilities & Amenities

There are toilets and a covered picnic area with one large table with 2 free electric barbeques next door. (The BBQs were quite slow and inefficient as is common with electric BBQs).

You will wake to the happy chattering of the birds fluttering around in the trees.

Your solar panels will not be able to charge up your panels very much whilst here except right on midday in summer due all the wonderful straight gum trees. Sometimes you just have to trade off one thing to gain in another area.

Watching the cricket

Any down sides?

If you wanted a quiet Saturday sitting amongst the gum trees, you will not find it here when the car park is full of sportsmen and women’s cars as they participate in their chosen sport. Cricket was 'it' on the Saturday in February we visited. I hear the adjourning sports field is well supported by various sporting clubs throughout the year.

My sweet husband brought me this flower after wandering around the reserve after the cricket had finished.

One of the local native flowers

Miscellaneous info or advice

You will need to arrive on the Friday to be set up or else wait outside the car park until about 6.30pm (when summer cricket concludes) on a Saturday for the car park to clear before setting up camp. You can always while away the time by watching a game or 2 with the friendly neighbours. It wasn’t busy at all on the Saturday we turned up, with just one camper alongside of us, though we heard from the locals that possible 3 caravans came in the morning and turn away rather than wait to late to set up.

On the Sunday, we just happened to be there when the local Country Fire Association had their maintenance and practice run and needed access to the creek for their practice. There are signs stating not to park due to emergency access. Now we know what for. We were warned about an hour before they turned up and we could have 'escaped' if we wanted to. We decided to stay and watch as they were only going to take less than a hour!

Attractions nearby 

It is worth stopping at Yea Wetlands for a cuppa at least and longer particularly if you are a bird lover. I have only only been able to hear birds since my cochlear implant three years ago, so it is a real joy to me. I also have the advantage over most of you is that I can turn it off if I want peace and quiet! LOL

Yea Wetlands

We noticed that there were other places that might be worth a visit if you have more time. These include the Whistling Gardens,  the Kiwi Fruit Winery which is right next door to the  camp grounds and a pottery place I didn't catch the name of. Also we are just on the northern end of the wine district of Yarra Glen.


  1. I have remember visiting the Whistling Gardens, (for a private party)though I don't recall why it was called Whistling didn't whistle as I expected. I would have been interested in visiting the kiwi fruit winery. Sounds intriguing. I will just have to stay at the free camp here and sample the winery soon myself. Thanks for the info. PS I like what I have read so far, but I have only gone back as far as November... I've got to come back for more!

    1. Hello Susan, Next time we are in the area, I would love to investigate more. This time our trip was more work related and Rob was anxious to get to Melbourne to sort out some issues we have regarding the chain for the bus conversion.
      Thank you so much for your positive comments re my blog. I hope you continue to visit and enjoy our stories about travelling.

  2. I would like to hear more about free camping though we call it boondocking. Excellent blog with lots of info.

    1. Thank you Justin. I ma just getting a handle on that I have an international audience. It does seem like our free camping is similar to the American Boondocking. We have quite a few free camping areas scattered right across Australia in every state. There is a guide that most of us use, called Camps Australia Wide. Do come over and try our free camps, you will love Australia - it is SO VERY DIFFERENT to American (at least the America we have seen which was just California and Arizona) Send me a email and maybe we can meet!

  3. Sounds like an ideal spot to stop while camping for free! And the Fireman is an added bonus :)
    I like to hear of places where you can camp while travelling Australia that are suitable for (travelling) families, its good to hear there is still spots out there. Love the pictures :)

    1. I can't guarantee the firemen part, that was just a lucky bonus! :) Toolangi was a lovely place and is most certainly family friendly. Search on Free Camping tab near the top of each blog post page and it will take you to other free camping spots we have been to.
      Thank you for your compliments re the pictures.

  4. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful camping paradise experience to your readers. Anyone can just go for a campervan hire service then head to that spot. Also, the Yea Wetlands sounds like a must-see bird sanctuary.

    1. yes, it seems so and most certainly if you are an international traveller or have not been blessed with your own RV then hiring a camper would be a great way to go. I have heard you offer great service too!

  5. Aww thank-you so much Shoko means a lot to me, especially from such a creative soul as yourself :) :)
    camper Hire melbourne


Thank you so much for popping by, I appreciate your comments!