Camping in the Valley

Camping, King Valley
Reclaim the good life.

What do you love about camping? Slowing life down, eating lots of great food, spending time with family, laughing and indulging in a drink or two? When you think about it, camping in Australia has a lot in common with the European way of living. It’s as though we head off for a camping trip in search of those priorities; to reclaim the good life for a little while.

The Italians are some of the best people in the world at enjoying life and turning indulgences into essentials. Luckily for us they’ve been bringing this touch of their culture to the great southern land for generations … and the best news is we can enjoy that experience without the long-haul flight. Welcome to the King Valley where the Italian spirit is well and truly alive.

This is the place you can go bush camping, getting dirty before washing off in a crystal clear river and heading to a pasta cooking class, bringing back a few bottles of wine to enjoy by the campfire. It’s the spot you can go four-wheel-driving through the mud or fly fishing with a local guide, then head off to taste some of the state’s best wines; the place where you sizzle a snag over the fire for dinner and then head into a world-class restaurant for lunch the next day.

Most of all, the King Valley is the place you visit to get the best of the merging of Australian and Italian lifestyles, where family matters and food is something to be savoured with a glass of sparkling Prosecco.

NOTE: We highly recommend that you take a specific topographical four wheel drive map with you when heading out camping. It's also a really good idea to let others know where you are going, just incase of unforeseen circumstances.

An Easy Adventure

Bennies Camping Area
Bennies is situated in the south-western branch of Alpine National Park, between the towns of Mt Buller and Whitfield – from the latter, follow the Rose River Rd (the Whitfield–Myrtleford Rd), then the Upper Rose River Rd, then turn down Lake Cobblers Rd; a total distance of 29 km. The campsites lie near the Rose River, and there’s a pleasant walk you can do here along the watercourse. If you have a 4WD, head down Little Cobbler Track and peer up at the bluffs of Mt Cobbler.

Lake Cobbler camping area
Lake Cobbler is around 47 km south of Whitfield along Lake Cobblers Rd, which is accessed from the Upper Rose River Rd; you’ll need a 4WD or high-clearance 2WD to negotiate the stretch of road south of Bennies, and an off-road camper trailer if you want to tow your accommodation in. On the way in you’ll see Dandongadale Falls, which have an impressive drop of over 200 m. There’s also a challenging walk from Lake Cobbler up to the summit of Mt Cobbler.

Camp by a Mountain Hut

Top Crossing Hut
Grassy camping spaces can be found beside the King River at Top Crossing Hut, built in 1951, which lies in a branch of the national park just south of Whitfield. From Whitfield, head towards Cheshunt and then detour south-west along Upper King River Rd and finally down Top Crossing Track. These tracks are suitable for 4WD only; note that several crossings of the King River are involved, which may be impassable after rain. If you like trout fishing, stop off at Lake William Hovell on the way in.

King Hut camping area
King Hut is perched on the western edge of the park, about 35 km east of Mt Stirling. The dramatic 4WD-access route follows the King River Track for 7 km from the junction with Speculation Rd, which is itself reached via a turn-off on Circuit Rd about 6 km east of the Craigs Hut turn-off. There are horse yards here for use by intrepid explorers. The hut itself is in excellent condition, having been recently rebuilt.

You'll need a 4WD

Sandy Flat camping area
Sandy Flat is another of the camping areas accessible only by 4WD in the section of the national park south of Whitfield. Off-road vehicles tend to make the most of the many tracks that wind around Mt Pleasant, Mt Cobbler and the pink sandstone of Mt Typo. To get to this dispersed camping area beside King River, take the Sandy Flat Track from Lake William Hovell, which is linked to Cheshunt by Upper King River Rd.

Pineapple Flat camping area
Pineapple Flat is 10 km north of Mt Stirling in the western reaches of the park. It is reached via Burnt Top Track, which branches off King Basin Rd, which in turn runs off Circuit Rd. This route is for 4WD only. Those with a taste for isolated mountain tracks usually do a circuit of the area that involves the Sandy Flat, Longspur, Stockyard and Burnt Top tracks, the latter providing some wonderful views of Buckland Spur.