Cathedral Range

Camping at Cathedral Range State Park

Cathedral Range State Park is a bit less than a two hour drive north-east of Melbourne (depending where you leave from), between the towns of Buxton and Taggerty. The drive from Melbourne is world-class and takes you through the Yarra Valley and Yarra Ranges with giant Eucalyptus Trees and huge soft tree ferns that are thousands of years old - it's worth going just for the drive!

There are two campgrounds accessible by car: Neds Gully and Cooks Mill, althoutgh Cooks Mill is more popular as you're able to park right up next to your campsite, unlike Neds Gully that requires a walk over a small pedestrian bridge.

Both camp grounds have drop toilets with plenty of room per campsite. You can begin multi and single day hikes from either campground. Neds Gully and Cooks Mill are connected by a small river which is great for cooling off, walking along and exploring the area or just taking it slow and doing some fishing.

It's a top pick by most Melbournians for a weekend camping trip or even are a close enough place to get out for some rock climbing, fishing and day hiking.

There are some great hikes to the summit which can be completed around three to four hours.

Cooks Mill Campground

 

People tend to set-up camp at Cooks Mill camp ground over Neds Gully as there is parking available right next to most of the individual campsites. There are loads of Eucalyptus Trees with spacious campsites weaving around them. 

Cooks Mill is a nice and easy place to go camping due to the accessibility, it being a short drive from Melbourne and the many hikes and walks leaving from the camp ground or close by.

Last time we were here, it was after getting home from work on a Friday evening and making a spontaneous decision to go camping – we only had our hiking tents with us a few items in the car. Upon arriving at Neds Gully, it was bucketing rain and pitch black. We tied some tarps up to the trees, built a small moat around the camping area and lit a fire under the tarp. It was a great night and there aren’t too many places this close and easy to visit and go camping. Take a look at some of the photos of that night, below.

 


Neds Gully Camping Area

 

Neds Gully is our preferred spot out of the two main campsites but it does have a footbridge at the entrance which requires you to carry all your gear from the carpark across the bridge to your campsite. There is a lot of space for each group and has a great layout, making it feel as though there is less people than how many might be there, as  most of the individual sites have two-three of the sides being native Australian trees and bush.

 

 

Neds Peak Hiking Trail

 

There is a steep hike to Neds Peak leaving Neds Gully camping area. The map says it’s less than an hour, although for us it was a fun two hour hike to the summit. Allow some tip to explore the cliff shelf once at the top, with incredible views of the great Australia plains.

It’s a thirty minute walk from Neds Gully campground to the other campsite, Cooks Mill. It’s a nice walk along the river, it’s completely flat and easy. It’s slightly faster walking along the dirt road and would take just a few minutes by car.

 

Cathedral Range State Park landscape

Booking a Campsite at Cathedral Range

 

To stay at either Neds Gully camp site or Cooks Mill camp ground, you’ll need to book through Parks Victoria. It’s inexpensive and a great idea, as the money you pay helps take care of the campgrounds and state park.

 

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