Camp just behind the stunning Blanket Bay Beach, not far from the Great Ocean Road in the Otways, a little to the east of Cape Otway.
Blanket Bay Campground is one of the most stunning and most interesting places to go camping along this whole part of the coast, with plenty of day hikes and places to explore nearby.
Each of the 22 individual campsites are surrounded by small patches of thick bush, which gives you a bit of privacy at a campground that can get very busy. There are decent and well maintained facilities and the campground is just behind the beautiful shell covered beach.
Blanket Bay Campground Facilities
The facilities at Blanket Bay Campground are quite good and well maintained. The toilet block has four cubicles, plus one larger, accessible cubicle. All of the toilets are non-flushing drop toilets, so on a hot day, you’ll need to hold your breath, but it still beats digging a hole.
There’s a rainwater tank with a tap for washing up, but don’t drink from it as it’s unfiltered – you’ll need to bring along your own drinking water. There’s another tap that has been placed there to make it a bit easier for those with accessibility issues.
Booking your camp site
Booking a campsite at Blanket Bay is required and it’s a very popular place, so you’ll want to get in early and book well in advance.
Campsites 12, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 & 21 are the most accessible, close to the toilets and on flat, compacted gravel. The rest are a little bit more difficult for those with accessibility issues.
You can check the availability and book a campsite at Blanket Bay Campground by heading to this page on the Park Vic Website.
Getting to Blanket Bay from the Great Ocean Road
When you’re heading along the Great Ocean Road, you’ll need to take Lighthouse Road, which is the main road to Cape Otway.
If you’re coming from the east, the turn off to Cape Otway is about 20-30 minutes from Apollo Bay, you’ll see the large ‘Cape Otway’ sign about 5-10 minutes after you pass Maites Rest. When travelling along the Great Ocean Road from the west, the turn off is around 30 minutes from Lavers Hill.
Once you’ve turned off the Great Ocean Road and are heading to the Cape Otway Lighthouse, you’ll drive through a small settlement (which you can’t really see from the road) where you’ll see a sign for the Shearwater Cottages and turns offs for Bimbi Park and the Cape Otway Koala Estate – keep driving for a few minutes as the turn-off to Blanket Bay is the next road (to the left). Eventually, you’ll come across a heap of dead gum trees, the road has a sharp bend to the right and you’ll see a dirt/gravel road going to the left (after the bend) and there are some timber signs, the top one says “Blanket Bay 6.2 KM”.
Follow the dirt road and signs to Blanket Bay and you’ll find the camp ground behind the beach.
Surfing and Swimming at Blanket Bay Beach
Blanket Bay stretches for about 200 metres and is protected by a reef and rocks. Most of the time, it’s a pretty safe and calm place to head in for a swim, just be sure not to go past the reefs, rocks or heads at either end of the beach as the conditions out there can get wild.
Unfortunately, it’s not the best place for surfing and there’s only the occasional wave that breaks, on the right day. You’re better off heading back to Apollo Bay (if you’re more of a beginner), otherwise for some bigger waves on a stunning remote beach, head to Johanna Beach, but be warned, the swell can be huge with powerful waves and there are around 20 rips (about every 300 metres) along the beach, so it’s best to only head there for a surf if you’re experienced and a strong swimmer.
Fishing at Blanket Bay
With Blanket Bay Beach being protected by a reef and quite calm a lot of the time, fisherman will launch their boats from here. The best fishing at Blanket Bay is done from a boat where you’ll find plenty of Snapper and Gummy Sharks.
If you’re fishing from the beach, you’ll need a surf rod and there are some holes along the reef with a decent amount of fish, but it can be pretty tricky to find them and cast out that far. Some people fish from the rocks at the south-west end of the Blanket Bay Beach, but you’ll only want to do this if the conditions are calm and you’re a strong swimmer as it’s known that the occasional rogue wave can break over the rocks.
Other nearby campgrounds
Due to Blanket Bay Campground being super popular, you might need to head to another campground if you can’t book in here.
Parker Hill Campground would be one of the best closest campgrounds, it’s just next to Parker Inlet and you could walk there from Blanket Bay. Aire Crossing Campground is a great option and it can’t be booked, so it’s whoever gets there first that gets to set up on one of the few campsites.
Heading towards the 12 Apostles, Aire River Campground is large and just near the beach (few kilometre walk), right on the river. Otherwise Johanna Beach Campground is a massive and pristine place to go camping and it’s just behind the incredible Johanna Surf Beach.
If you want to camp close to the 12 Apostles, try heading to Princetown and set up your tent at either the Apostles Camping Park or the Princetown Recreation Reserve. The Apostles Camping Park has better facilities, the Rec Reserve is a more affordable option and they’re both a short walk from each other.