The mountains and alpine valleys of Victoria’s North East corner are spectacular to visit all year round. With fresh mountain air, crisp clean water, beautiful vistas in every direction, it’s an ideal RV destination in every season.
And it’s the ideal destination for RVers, with no less than five ‘RV Friendly Towns’ dotted around the place.
WHAT IS AN RV-FRIENDLY TOWN?
The ‘RV Friendly Town’ program is an initiative of the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA), Australia’s largest RV member club which has more than 70000 members. The program is aimed at enriching RVers’ journeys throughout Australia by guiding them towards towns which are both welcoming towards, and well set up for, RVers.
All designated RV Friendly Towns must meet a set of guidelines to ensure they provide a certain level of amenities and service for travellers. This includes:
Provision of appropriate parking within the town centre, with access to a general shopping area for groceries and fresh produce
Provision of short term, low cost overnight parking (24/48 hours) for self-contained recreational vehicles, as close as possible to the CBD.
Access to potable water.
Access to a free dump point at an appropriate location.
In addition, RV Friendly Towns may (or may not) also have:
Provision of long term parking for self-contained recreational vehicles.
Access to medical facilities or an appropriate emergency service.
Access to a pharmacy or a procedure to obtain pharmaceutical products.
Visitor Information Centre (VIC) with appropriate parking facilities.
VIC to provide a town map showing essential facilities, such as short and long term parking areas, dump point and potable water.
RV Friendly Town signs to be erected within the town precinct.
When approving RV Friendly Towns, the CMCA also looks at the general attitude of the local council and businesses towards RVers, to ensure travellers receive a warm welcome and good service.
HOW TO FIND AN RV FRIENDLY TOWN
All official RV Friendly Towns are listed on the CMCA’s website and in the club’s monthly member magazine, The Wanderer. Towns are provided signage to indicate to RVers that they are an RV Friendly Town, and these are usually (but not always) displayed at the entrance to towns.
There are five RV Friendly Towns scattered throughout the North-East and, while this may not be enough to ensure you’re stopping in an RV Friendly Town every night, it’ll certainly ensure you get a warm welcome throughout your trip. Benalla, Yarrawonga, Beechworth, Tallangatta, and Corryong all hang out the welcome signs for RVers and, while there is also plenty to see in between, each of these towns is worth a visit in its own right.
Located two hours’ north of Melbourne and one hour south of Albury, Benalla is a regional town that sits on the Broken River. RV travellers passing through town will find short-term parking at Jaycee Island and Benalla Showground. Jaycee Island offers parking for self-contained vehicles for up to 48 hours at no cost and Benalla Showground offers parking for up to 48 hours at $12 per vehicle per night. A dump point along with potable water can be sourced at Benalla Airport.
Benalla is home to many immaculate parks and gardens, plus contemporary Australian art. Annual events such as Wall to Wall Street Art, Winton Raceway Motorsport and the Benalla Festival are huge drawcards for visitors.
Benalla Visitor Information Centre: 14 Mair Street, 03 5762 1749, www.enjoybenalla.com.au
Jaycee Island, Fawckner Drive - 48 hours, self-contained vehicles only, no charge, pets on lead, bins on site.
Benalla Showground, Cecil Street - 48 hours, self-contained vehicles only, $12 per van per night, pets on lead, bins and toilets on site.
Dump Point: Benalla Airport, Hanger Lane
The RV Friendly Town of Yarrawonga is three hours’ north of Melbourne, and 45 minutes’ further north of Benalla on the edge of the Murray River, on the Vic/NSW border.
It is a haven for water-lovers, due to its proximity to the river, its climate and its relatively constant water levels. Whether you enjoy the lake, the river, or the beach, Yarrawonga has it all.RVers will find free, short-term parking at Yarrawonga West Rest Area for up to 24 hours, and a dump point and potable water can be found at Yarrawonga Showground.
Yarrawonga-Mulwala Visitor Information Centre: 1 Irvine Parade, 1800 062 260, 03 5744 1989, email@example.com or www.yarrawongamulwala.com.au
Yarrawonga West Rest Area, Murray Valley Highway - no cost, 24 hours only.
Greenbank Reserve, follow Cullens Rd to Murray River - long-term parking.
Dump point: Yarrawonga Showground, entry via Dunlop Street.
Beautiful Beechworth, located an hour north-east of Benalla, is one of Australia’s best-preserved gold-rush era towns. It has a strong focus on history and culture but is also home to a thriving local food, wine and beer scene with many successful local producers.
Visitors to Beechworth can find short and long term parking at Lake Sambell Caravan Park, Peach Drive. Sites are $5 per person per night and stays are unlimited. Vehicles must be fully self-contained and displaying a CMCA self-contained sticker.
Lake Sambell Caravan Park also offers a free dump point to CMCA members or a small fee of $5 applies for use by non-members. Potable water can also be obtained at the park for a small fee.
Beechworth Visitor Information Centre: 103 Ford Street, 03 5728 8065, 1300 366321, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.explorebeechworth.com.au
Lake Sambell Caravan Park, Peach Drive - $5 per person per night, unlimited stays, vehicles must be fully self-contained and displaying a CMCA sticker.
Dump Point: Lake Sambell Caravan Park - free for CMCA members, $5 charge for non-members.
The small town on Tallangatta is situated just 40 minutes’ south of Albury, on the Vic/NSW border, and a further 50 minutes’ north-east of Beechworth.
Located on the banks of Lake Hume, Tallangatta is a former gold and tin mining town, which now operates as a service town for the surrounding agricultural communities.
There are plenty of facilities for RVers here, including a dump point and potable water. Tallangatta Showground offers camping for $20 per vehicle per night, limited to 48 hours.
Tallangatta Visitor Information Centre: Towong Street, 02 6071 2611, email@example.com or www.towong.vic.gov.au
Tallangatta Showgrounds, Yamba Street - $20 per van per night, limited to 48 hours.
Pigs Point Reserve, Mitta Mitta Road (8km from Murray Valley Hwy, east of Tallangatta) - 96 hours.
Dump Point: Tallangatta Showgrounds, Yamba Street.
This is real Man From Snowy River country! Iconic Australian poet Banjo Patterson visited the town of Corryong, in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, before writing his now-famous poem. The town rejoices in that reputation, hosting an annual Man From Snowy River festival, and through the popular Man from Snowy River Museum, which houses a unique collection of ski memorabilia and other local history. The town is renowned for its spectacular natural scenery and attractions like the Snowy Mountains and Mount Kosciuszko National Park. Corryong is 120km east of Albury and a further 80km east of Tallangatta.
There is short-term parking, of up to 48 hours, for RVers at the Corryong Recreation Reserve. The $10 per vehicle per night cost is payable through an ‘Honesty Box’ and vehicles must be self-contained. A dump point and potable water can be found at the Saleyards situated in Donaldson Street.
Corryong Visitor Information Centre: 50 Hanson Street, 02 6076 2277, firstname.lastname@example.org
Corryong Recreation Reserve - $10 per vehicle per night, self-contained vehicles only, limited to 48 hours, parking is unavailable in the two weeks leading up to and during the week of the Corryong Man From Snowy River Festival.
Dump Point: Donaldson Street Saleyards