Are you looking for a place to free camp in a historical gold mining area, a place to relax close to the popular old gold mining town of Walhalla? Whether you are heading to explore this beautiful historical gold mining area for a day trip or longer Coopers Creek Campground is a lovely place to stop. The campgrounds and picnic area are situated along the Thomson River Valley where you are surrounded by bush land. You can stroll down to the scenic Thomas River and enjoy the beauty.
7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Coopers Creek Campground/Day Visitor Area
- You’re looking for a free campground
- A place to fish
- Somewhere to put in the kayak/canoe
- Haven for 4wds due to the four wheel tracks in the area
- A place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life
- Historical gold mining area
- Nearby the popular old gold mining town of Walhalla
About Coopers Creek Campground
The Coopers Creek Campground is broken up into two campgrounds and a Day Visitor Area. The campgrounds and Day Visitor Area are situated within walking distance of each other. Campground 1 looks down onto the Thomson River where lots of 4 wds cross. Due to us being in the camper van we were unable to explore the river in this manner. The river was a lovely place to walk to and in the hot weather certainly a lovely place to cool down. Some people were panning for gold here.
The first campground is mainly suitable for tents. There is a designated parking bay with walk in access to set up your tent. Sites are supplied with fire pits. There are a couple of sites suitable for camper vans or caravans, two of which have fire pits.
The campground 2 area was under refurbishment when we visited. They were in the process of leveling the area for tents and making more sites suitable for camper vans and caravans. The sites were set up with fire pits.
Day Visitor Area
The Day Area has a designated parking area for day trippers close by to picnic tables which overlook the Thomson River. Here you can sit chatting to family and friends whilst enjoying your picnic. Watch others panning for gold in the river, 4wds crossing the river and others just enjoying the beauty of the area.
Coopers Creek Campground 1 & 2 Facilities
- Drop toilets
- Marked camping sites
- Fire pits.
- Fires allowed, check local fire restrictions
- Picnic Tables
- BYO firewood
- BYO water for drinking, cooking and extinguishing fires (water can be obtained from the nearby river. Remember to boil it if using for drinking purposes)
- Take your rubbish home
Whilst staying at Coopers Creek we recommend you visit the lovely old gold mining town of Walhalla. The town is small with a population of about 20 permanent residents. It is a popular tourist destination which takes you back in time. The town was founded in 1862. Here you can go on a gold mining tour. On this trip we opted not to explore the mines, however on our next trip we will definitely take the opportunity to. Throughout the town you will find signage explaining the history of the buildings and the town itself.
We also enjoyed going on the Walhalla Goldfields Railway which is a 20 min journey to Thomson Station with a 20 minute stopover at Thomson. You can take a return ticket from either station. If you choose not to go on the train trip the second best option would be to view the train going over the bridge near Thomson Station.
The railway was opened in 1910 and was used to carry both freight and passengers when gold mining was as its peak in the area. The railway line originally went from Moe to Walhalla. The main mines closed in 1914 which resulted in many people leaving the area and then the railway line being reduced to run once a week by the 1930’s. Eventually some of the lines closed in 1944 and 1954. In 1994 the Walhalla Goldfields Railway commenced rebuilding the railway line and reopened to Walhalla in March 2002.
The Bruntons Bridge which is listed on Victoria’s Heritage Register was originally constructed in 1886. The bridge was originally 211 feet long and 21 feet wide and made of iron and timber. Due to bush fires there is no longer any timber on the bridge. The walkway was constructed in 2009.
On long weekends or busy periods ensure you arrive early to avoid disappointment as you cannot book sites due to it being free camping. Remember to bring your own firewood and drinking water. Ensure you have plenty of food, water and petrol. Take your rubbish home.
Coopers Creek Campground Location
- Coopers Creek, Victoria 3825
- Approximately 183 km, 2h 15min from Melbourne CBD
- Approximately 9.2 km, 17min to Walhalla Victoria 3825
Have you visited this gold mining area or explored other areas that you would like to share your adventures with us? If you have we would love to hear from you.