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Kurth Kiln Campgrounds, Gembrook

Home > Melbourne > Camping | Escape the City | Free | Outdoor | Weekend Escapes
by Emma Woodward (subscribe)
From her garret somewhere on the Bass Coast, Emma writes for WeekendNotes, travel publications, and plumbing websites of note. Read more at, or follow me on Instagram, @wordsfromawoodward
Published December 25th 2020
Get all fired up for camping
Kurth Kiln

Just over an hour's drive from the Melbourne CBD, this camping spot is pretty close, as bush getaways go.

You will find Kurth Kiln Regional Park in Gembrook, with a collection of picnic spots, camping sites, and the historic attraction of the kiln itself. Camping is free, so spots tend to fill up fast, especially in good weather, or on long weekends.

Kurth Kiln Campgrounds Gembrook
Have fun exploring the local area around Kurth Kiln.

The area provides a range of attractions for visitors. Nearby trails are popular for walking and horse riding, and there are some fun 4WD tracks in this hilly region as well.

Located in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Ranges, you are close enough to have breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper at a different cafe, teahouse, or winery, before returning to your campsite at night.

Scout Loop Track Campsites, Kurth Kiln
Campsites on the Scout Loop Track are flat and easily accessible.

The facilities are shared between a large number of campsites, so (just like securing a site) securing a BBQ, or even one of the drop toilets, at your chosen time could be a bit of a gamble.

As with any popular site where limited facilities are shared, cleanliness will be variable.

Some campsites have makeshift fire pits left by previous occupants, however, you will need to take your own firewood. You will also need to bring your own water, although being so close to town means that supply runs for all the essentials (like your morning latte) won't be too arduous.

Fire pit at Kurth Kiln campgrounds
Depending on the weather and restrictions, you can gather around the campfire at night.

There's plenty to explore in the area, and you might as well start with Kurth's kiln.

During WW2, a shortage of fuel led to the development of charcoal producing sites across Victoria. Dr. Ernest Edgar Kurth was commissioned to design a kiln, and selected the site in Gembrook thanks to the ready access to water, timber, and the sloping ground that made loading the kiln easier.

You can walk around the kiln and surrounding structures today, and read more about their history.

Kurth Kiln Gembrook
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Why? Fun, free, almost suburban camping.
When: Any time you would go camping.
Where: Kurth Kiln Regional Park, Gembrook.
Cost: Free.
Your Comment
I like the idea of all eats at a different café. That's my kind of camping.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|1425) 27 days ago
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