free/affordable camps from Mildura to Wodonga + safety/security tips please!

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 00:00
ThreadID: 91256 Views:5714 Replies:8 FollowUps:2
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Myself, hubby and 2 kids are towing our new Jayco Swan Outback from SA over to VIC in March. We have done plenty of caravan parks in the past but are now (finally!) set up to free camp. We have about 2 weeks to kill with 3 or 4 nights in the middle of that to spend in Wodonga for 'Chryslers on the Murray'. We are zooming straight to Mildura and want to start touring from there.

I have found a few free sites that look ok but what I am wondering is whether it is safe to leave our van unattended for hours at a time when we go exploring. We have an annexe that we may or may not put up and a generator and weber q that we would hate to lose. Is it appropriate to leave a van unattended all day? What safety/security measures do people tend to put in place? Also, we have found a free camp near Wodonga called Kookabura Point on Hume Weir. Is it usually ok to stay for a few nights in a free camp like this?

Also I would love any suggestions of campsites, free or affordable in the area, preferably close to larger towns. Some of the places that interest us are Beechworth, Echuca, Yarrawonga and Swan Hill. We are happy to pay up to 30 p/n for 2 adults and 4 children but would love to spend much less!

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Reply By: nowimnumberone - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 08:02

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 08:02
gday glampergirl
theres a great spot near myrtleford called nug nug reserve cost is $5 per night p/p $1 per child has toilets/bbq $5 p/n for power.
its between beechworth and bright 2 must see places.we left our van there unatended day after day over christmass no problems.
at yarawonga/mulwala we free camped at a place called gyfinns reserve nsw side not far out of town,not much there but its right on the lake if you like to fish.havnt found many free camps around echuca but theres a real nice spot at tocumwall its the nsw side beach.$5 per adult children free.showers/toilet if you get a spot near the river theres taps there.
AnswerID: 475171

Reply By: Notso - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 09:28

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 09:28
Certainly wouldn't be leaving anything portable outside the van. Personally I would get a wheel lock for the van and/or a decent tow ball lock as well. A swan isn't all that secure with it's vinyl sides either.
AnswerID: 475175

Reply By: rooster350 - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 10:31

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 10:31
Get a copy of Camps Australia Wide...any copy...there are lots and lots and lots of very good free camping spots along the Murray, a lot of the people that visit these places are just like you and I....people wanting to free camp in the bush....we have been doing it for some time now, solar panel out in the sun, chairs in view, awning out with Waeco or Engel hooked to van, us out fishing...touch wood...nothing has been touched in 20yrs or so.....most of us have the same or similar gear so why do we need yours ?...cheers
AnswerID: 475178

Reply By: glampergal - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 10:41

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 10:41
Thanks Notso, great ideas. I didn't know these items existed and they would certainly make me feel more confident that the van would be there when we get back.

nowimnumberone, I have heard about Nug Nug and it looks like a must do. I will check out Tocumwall and gyfinns reserve too. Both sound just like what we are after. Thanks!
AnswerID: 475181

Follow Up By: Macca44 - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 16:58

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 16:58
G day glampergal . There is nice spot on Murray called the police paddock , It about 10k out of Rutherglen towards Wodonga. It is free camping but no power or amenities and no fire wood left . Have good time . Regards Macca.
FollowupID: 750166

Reply By: Member - John and Lynne - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 11:09

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 11:09
At any reasonably organised (ie in the camping guides) camp spots in that area you are very unlikely to be alone! There will be others around and people generally keep an eye out for anyone trying to steal or burgle a van. As already said, most campers have all the stuff they can carry and the local hoons would find it difficult to sell. Just use common sense precautions like stopping early enough to suss out the place and keep valuables out of sight. After a while you will relax and realise how safe camping is. The only time we have ever had gear taken (shoes!) was when we were in a caravan park in town. We feel quite safe in the bush. We also have insurance and life is too short to get too anxious about what might go wrong! Enjoy your trip! Lynne
AnswerID: 475183

Reply By: FredA - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 18:49

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 18:49
murrabit, north of kerang and 50 km east of swan hill has a camping area, hot showers and toilets , for $10 per van per night
AnswerID: 475218

Reply By: Member - ken b (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 20:10

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 20:10
hi kelly. a "great" free camp is at nyah. at the harness racing,and football ground. its run by the local loins club,a couple come down to the free camp everyday,to welcome you and to give a bit of info about the area. there is good water,very clean toilets,and showers. we allways camp on the area on the left as you go in the gate,huge safe area for kids to run around. free for 7days. regards. ken brown.
AnswerID: 475228

Reply By: Member - ken b (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 20:23

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 20:23
hi kelly. beechworth is a rv friendly town. there are two areas for free camping, give the tourist officer at the indigo shire a ring, he is very good. when you leave beechworth to go to bright, go out thru a town called stanley, very good road that goes down to myrtleford-bright. "this is a very beautiful drive". regards ken brown
AnswerID: 475230

Follow Up By: glampergal - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2012 at 20:15

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2012 at 20:15
Beechworth is on our 'must see' list so that helps a lot. thanks!
FollowupID: 751034

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