Just in time for long-weekend season, there are now even more reasons to escape the city and get back to nature – without having to break the bank on exxy accommodation.

Thirteen new – and 28 upgraded – camping spots have recently opened across the state, taking in breathtaking coastlines, rugged mountain ranges and secluded bushland.

Among the new spots: Flat Spur Campground at Mount Buller, Thomson Bridge Campground in Gippsland and Stockman's Campground in Big Desert State Forest near the Nhill-Murrayville Track. Great Otway National Park also has three new campgrounds.

Plus, seven new hike-in camping destinations (including some with tent platforms and striking communal shelters by Aussie designers McGregor Coxall and Noxon Giffen) have opened along the Grampians Peaks Trail, which is finally fully open after more than a decade. It might just be Victoria’s most spectacular hike. (And, while not rudimentary, also find some impressive new hiker lodgings – the one at Lake Wartook has an incredible view.)

You can get as off-grid as you like – there’s everything from fully equipped drive-in campsites to those hidden away in the bush along some of the state’s best hikes.

The overhaul is part of the state government’s $105.6 million plan to help Victorians get around the great outdoors in more accessible and affordable ways. By mid-2023, 23 more new campgrounds are expected open and 55 others will be upgraded.

Download the More to Explore app to help you decide where to camp in Victoria. Most campgrounds in state forests don’t require bookings; those in national parks can be booked online.