Blanket Bay - Cape Otway National Park

Blanket Bay - Cape Otway National Park

Postby Young Camping Family » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:04 pm

Blanket Bay is about 20 mins drive the Adelaide side of Apollo Bay, and entrance is via the Otway Lighthouse Rd. If you aren't looking for Blanket Bay you could easily go sailing by - it is just after a sharp corner and is only a dirt road with minimal signage to the left (it is not far past the turn off for Bimbi Park). The dirt road is Blanket Bay Rd and is probably 7kms long with some rough patches. The campground and day visitor area is at the very end of the road.
It is managed by Parks Victoria, and has 22 sites that are gravel/dirt fenced off from the vegetation. Some are large enough for a camper trailer, others are small and suit a 2-3 man tent. The whole campground is a series of sites along 3 tracks parallel to the beach nestled into the east side of the hill, with most sites separated by vegetation. It is fairly sheltered between the hill and the tall gums and only found one day when it came up a bit windy and showered rain. As it is within the National Park, no dogs, cats or firearms are permitted, and fires are only permitted within the fireplaces - there are 2 fire/picnic areas that we found in the campground - one was central, the other overlooking the beach. Being a National Park you are not allowed to collect firewood so you would need to bring your own. I think there was also a fireplace and tables/chairs in the day visitor area, which is back up the track a bit. The sites are free and are on a first come basis all year with the exception of the Summer school holidays when a ballot is held (closes October) and sites cost $13.50 per night between Christmas and Australia Day. There is one tap with limited untreated water available - it is rainwater (not suitable to drink) and if there has been no rain and a lot of visitors you won't get much, so best bet is to take all the water you will need. There are a few pit toilets scattered about and while we were there the ranger came and cleaned them each day (although with no lids on them they still stank and attracted flies).
There was an abundance of wildlife - we had koalas in the trees out the front of our tent the whole time we were there, we had an echidna walking through the undergrowth beside one of the sites near us, hundreds of little blue wrens, and we even came across a small brown snake on one of the tracks leading to the beach, but after backing up and making a bit of noise it wriggled away. Perhaps the most annoying were the horse/March flies that persistently flew around and landed on you - especially at the beach where we were bitten a few times. Definitely take some Bushman's. There were signs everywhere about European Wasps being a problem but in the 6 days we were there I probably saw no more than 5 or 6 - usually on a scrap of food that had been dropped. There were quite a few mozzies in the toilets, and if sitting out at dusk, but we had a mozzie coil burning at the front of our tent and didn't get bitten sitting out there.
The beach was quite rocky, but there was a lovely sandy stretch that was sheltered for swimming (if you are brave - it's very cold!). There are no showers so be mindful that if you are getting sandy you will need to bring your own shower or use a bucket to rinse off.
While we were there we had some Parks surveyers come around and ask a series of questions about the campgrounds - facilities, access, etc. So it will be interesting to see if any upgrades are carried out in the next few years.

Overall a lovely bush camping experience :)

Our site:

Koala climbing the tree outside our camp:

Beach towards the East:

Beach towards the South/West:

Looking towards the campground:
Young Camping Family
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Location: Western Melbourne, VIC

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