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The Murray River is one of the best places to go camping with dogs in Victoria. There is plenty of dog-friendly free camping as well as dog-friendly caravan park options. This post focuses on non-caravan park camping such as free camping or bush campgrounds.

Much of the camping on the Murray River is in reserves, regional, state forests and state parks, many of which allow dogs to spend time off the lead and some areas have gentle beach entries for dogs to swim. The expectation is that dogs will be on lead at visitor experiences and within 100 metres of facilities in state forests.

This is an ongoing post on dog friendly camping on the Murray River Victoria from West to East. I will add to it as I visit places. I may also include other areas researched for your information as I, unfortunately, cannot go everywhere (though like everyone that’s the goal ;))

Koondrook Region

Read my dog friendly travel guide to the Koondrook Region.

Gunbower Island | Gunbower State Park

The view of Gunbower Creek from near my dog friendly campsite

The Gunbower State Forest runs adjacent to the River Murray Reserve on Gunbower Island so its not on the actually Murray River but its nearby.

It has several designated camping areas most of which are on the very picturesque Gunbower Creek (though the camp areas are dispersed out over quite a distance…like the whole creek lol).

All of these campsites offer free dog friendly camping on the creekfront.

*This creek area is a duck hunting site in season. You can check dates here if you want to avoid visiting during this time.


Gunbower Island Canoe Launch Site Camping

Dog friendly camping on the edge of the stunning Gunbower creek wetland area, campsites have creek views.

  • FREE dog friendly camping
  • Canoe Launch Site

Twin Bridges Camping

This campground is dispersed dog friendly camping along Gunbower Creek. There is a toilet at this campground though it can be quite a distance depending on where you camp.

  • FREE dog friendly camping
  • Drop Toilet

There are several other dog-friendly campgrounds on the Island that I did not get a chance to visit including Goat Island, Spence Bridge, Reedy Lagoon and Horseshoe Lagoon.

These camps are all available on the More to Explore App as well as wiki camps.


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Echuca Region

There are many opportunities for camping near river beaches around Echuca and heading east.

Wills Bend | River Murray Reserve

Wills Bend is two campsites, Sandbar 1 and Sandbar 2 with a boat ramp on the road between them. Both campsites have a toilet and access to a river beach.

People also camp at the boat ramp in summer however this is a loud choice so not a good choice for non-boat ramp users (it also does not have a toilet).

This is also the entry point for the closest dispersed camping (which has no facilities) along the Murray River heading northeast towards Emu Bend.

  • FREE dog friendly camping
  • Telstra & Boost Reception (not sure about others)
  • Drop Toilet
  • River Beach (steep)
  • BYO drinking water, cooking, etc, (the toilet is only facility).

Check the Parks Vic Wills Bend Page for closures before visiting.

Tips for choosing Camping with reactive dogs on the Murray River

Keep in mind long weekends are very bush in some campsites.

If you have a reactive dog, I would highly recommend avoiding long weekends and school holidays and going during quieter times of the year. If this is not an option dispersed camping and areas without toilets and further away from the main road entrances to parks will generally be less busy during big long weekends and popular weekends in summer and school holidays.

Tips for finding free Camping Murray River with Dogs

It can be tricky to find the free campsites online as many of them don’t have official parks victoria or similar pages. Some are parks vic, some are local councils, etc. Wikicamps is one of the best ways to find them all in one spot.

Wikicamps

If you are new to finding dog friendly camping in Victoria, most travellers will recommend you download the Wikicamps app.

It has a filter you can turn on for dog friendly as well as other filters such as ’free’ or ’with toilets’ to find a campsite that meets your need. It’s a one-off-fee (although it doesn’t seem to transfer with you if you change between android and ios) and it definitely worth the investment if you camp regularly.

Another popular resource is the Facebook Group Travelling Australia with dogs and there is also a reactive dog facebook travel group for Australia if your dog needs a bit of space.

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