Kurth Kiln Free Campground, Gembrook, Dandenong Ranges
Kurth Kiln Regional Park is in the Eastern Dandenong Ranges near Gembrook. The Scout Loop campground has about 30 numbered sites, it is basic with one ‘long-drop’ toilet, fire pits and tables. It is a lovely, mostly level, camping area with plenty of shade – do be aware of the reality that tree limbs may fall at any time.
It’s a large area with most of the sites on a loop road where horse yards and float parking plus tie up rails are also available for people to bring horses to camp or as a day trip to ride on the trails. It is also dog-friendly, they are required to be on lead at all times.
- Melbourne to Kurth Kiln Campground – It is approximately 1.5 hours / 75-85 km depending on the route taken to drive from Melbourne CBD
- Campground to Olinda – If you are visiting the Dandenong Ranges National Park, it is about 40 mins /3 5km to Olinda which is one of the central villages
- 2-wheel drive accessible on well maintained, unsealed, roads
- There is a maximum stay of 28 days
- Bring your own firewood and use only the fire pits provided which are to share
- Plenty of twigs can be collected for starting a camp-fire
- Pay attention to fire ban warnings that will be easily seen on days of a total fire ban
- Personally, we would not camp here on days of high winds or extreme fire warning days
Where else can you camp at Kurth Kiln Regional Park?
Two further camping areas are available very near the historic buildings and outdoor museum. They are on Soldiers Road and easily visible when driving in.
- Heritage Fence tent camping area, 4 un-numbered spots available and a toilet. Campers do need to carry gear in from the car park nearby.
- Magazine Track camping area has 6 numbered spots, the nearest toilet is shared with the Heritage Fence camp site.
Driving Tip: Approach via Gembrook-Launching Place Road and enter the park via Soldiers Road, preferably, as it is the shortest distance to travel on the unsealed road in.
We have stayed in the park a few times and enjoyed the tranquility. The one concern to mention is that it’s almost impossible not to be camped beneath trees. There is always the danger of falling limbs and it is not an ideal location in windy or extreme weather.
The Kurth Kiln historic area is well worth a visit even if you are not camping. A number of historic buildings and artifacts are on display as well as information on the use of coal to power cars.
What to see and do:
- Explore the historic buildings and outdoor museum.
- Take a hike! Numerous walking tracks lead off from the area, one of the shorter ones is the pretty Thornton Track walk that leads off from the Scout Loop camping area and loops around to where the buildings are located. Water Channel Track is also a worthy addition to your hiking list. Zoom in on the map below to see the tracks marked.
- Ship Rock Falls and the giant rock! It is approximately an hour each way to walk from the camping area along Beenak Road to Gembrook-Launching Place Road, or a 5 minute drive. Map Directions to Ship Rock Picnic Ground.
- Four Brothers Rocks in the nearby Bunyip State Park – Another great spot for a hike amongst boulders (no dogs allowed).
More camping and caravan park options near the Dandenong Ranges
For those folk looking for a camping or caravan park with all the mod cons, a few other options are not too far away from the Dandenongs.