Johanna Beach Camping Guide | Everything You Need To Know

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Want to go surfing on your next camping trip? Explore Johanna Beach Campground, a campsite which is between coastal dunes and a lush hinterland. Have a memorable seaside camping experience here at Johanna Beach Campground.

Johanna Beach is famous for experienced surfers due to the westerly facing breaks of the beach. It’s also an ideal place to try your hand at fishing or surf fishing on the beach, and this beach is also close to other attractions. These include the Melba Gully, the Twelve Apostles, Cape Otway Lighthouse and Triplet Falls. All of which are all within an hour’s drive.

If you’re interested in the beauty of Johanna Beach Campground, then this article is for you!

How Do I Get To Johanna Beach?

The Johanna Beach Campgrounds is a three-hour drive from Melbourne via the direct inland route through Colac. If you’d go through via the world-famous and scenic Great Ocean Road from Melbourne, it’s a four-hour drive. Although it takes longer, the route via the Great Ocean Road is worth it for its scenic view. Follow this route to get to Johanna Beach Campgrounds :

  • South of Melbourne, go through via Geelong or Colac.
  • From the East, go through Apollo Bay and Cape Otway along the Great Ocean Road (B100) by taking either Surf Coast Highway from Geelong or Anglesea Road.
  • From Colac, go through Lavers Hill (inland route C155)
  • From the West, go through the Great Ocean Road by going via Port Campbell (inland route C164)
  • Note: There is a daily bus service between Geelong, Apollo Bay and Lorne which connects with the train services to Melbourne.

Johanna Beach Campground and its day tour visitor area are on the route of the eight-day long-distance walk, the Great Ocean Walk. The hikers can either stay in roofed accommodation nearby the beach or stay at the nearby hike-in campsites.

What Should I Know About Johanna Beach?

The beach is fittingly named after the schooner ‘Johanna’ that was wrecked at Johanna River on 22nd September 1843.

Also, the area is rich in history, from the discovery of dinosaur fossils in the Glenaire Valley. You can also head to the Cape Otway Lightstation, one of the oldest of its type in all of Australia.

This region is home to magnificent sections of the Great Ocean Walk which can be done as an independent walk or with the assistance of tour operators or guides, based on your needs.  There is also an extensive range of accommodation along the trail from camping at designated campsites to villas and luxury homes.

The surf beach at Johanna is a series of beach breaks or beach and reef that is notable for its power and reputation for rapid variations in size. The Bells Beach Surf Classic contest has been moved to Johanna from Bells Beach on some occasions as the westward-facing position of Johanna Beach picks up swell that misses the Bells and Surf Coast.

Johanna Beach is also a very famous fishing spot, especially for schools of salmon.

How Are the Campgrounds at Johanna Beach?

The Johanna Beach, the drive-in camping area, is located close to the Johanna Beach which has a range of campsites. The sites are located on grasslands with some limited shelter from the coastal vegetation.

There are campsites on slopes which make them unsuitable for wheelchair access. The parking area is also on the grass next to the campsite. There are no designated paths which lead to the toilets. Two standard unisex toilets are serving the camping area.

To go to the toilets you need to go the gravel service road, then up a short compacted gravel path which leads to the bathrooms. As there are no designated paths to the toilets leading from the campsite, people on wheelchairs need to go over the grassy surfaces and parts of the service road which poses the challenge of people who go there on wheelchairs.

If you want to know more about the campgrounds in the area, you can visit their website.

Where Can I Take A Bushwalk in Johanna Beach?

The hike that goes to Aire River to Johanna Beach is an impressively thrilling hike through diverse terrain to the stunning Johanna Beach. Walk through heathland scattered with spring wildflowers and experience impressive views of the sea.

From Aire River the track goes inland for a while, ascending and going around the next headland through forests of spinifex, and then continues along the coastal path with sweeping views of the rocky coastline. So, expect some ascents and descents with a little climbing before you reach Castle Cove. Located on a spectacular curve of the Great Ocean Road at Glenaire, Castle Cove is a stunning beach encircled by tall cliffs which have high archaeological value, as dinosaur fossils have dug up here.

From Castle Cove the track goes along the cliff tops, through heathlands and forests, occasionally emerging to give breathtaking and sweeping views along the coast. The forest here is an exciting mixture of manna gums, spring wildflowers and magnificent expanses of grass trees. Make sure you keep an eye out above for Peregrine Falcons.

Eventually, you will emerge onto the broad expanse of Johanna Beach. This beautiful beach is one of the best in Australia with superb views and huge crashing surf.

What Are The Other Things That I Can Do At Johanna Beach?

There are a bunch of things that you can do at Johanna Beach Campground here are some of the things you can do at the area:

  • Melba Gully – Is one of the wettest places in the state and is known as the Jewel of Otways. You could enjoy a picnic here at this temperate rainforest at day and wait around after dark to see Melba Gully’s most famous residents, the glow worms. You should bring a torch if you plan to hang around after dark.
  • Surfing – Catch the waves at this popular surfing spot for experienced surfers. The area is famous for its wildlife so always be careful and be mindful of your surroundings to avoid danger since this is an unpatrolled beach.

What Is The Best Time To Go To Johanna Beach?

The scenic view and the crowds at Johanna Beach Campgrounds vary with each season so here are some tips for every season:

  • Summer – Since it’s the summer season where mostly all the people come, it is advisable to book ahead and try to book for weekdays to avoid the crowds and public holidays.
  • Autumn – It is a perfect time to enjoy and have fun in the sun, to explore and relax during day time. And rest at the cooler nights of autumn.
  • Winter – During this season, from May to October, you’d see the annual migration of Humpback Whales and Southern Right between Antarctica and Australia. You’d want to see this picture!
  • Spring – Enjoy the lovely wildflowers of spring and the joy of whale watching. The hikers of the Great Ocean Walk would often stay at this campground to walk nearby areas coming up from        Cape Otway, or going forward to Milanesia Beach and Wreck Beach and to the end which is the Twelve Apostles.

What Do Other Tourists Say About Johanna Beach Campground?

Many people appreciate the peacefulness you’d get when you’re at Johanna Beach Campground because you can relax by the beach, feel the ocean breeze and bond with your family and friends. Also, you can bring your dog here. Here’s what other people who have gone there already say about Johanna Beach Campground:

“What a find! It wasn’t a planned stop on our Great Ocean Roadtrip, but it was one of my favourites! The waves are huge, so it’s not somewhere I would go swimming. However, they have these amazing rock pools which are great for exploring, and it’s just lovely. I saw that you could stay here too – if I ever make this road trip again with a lot more time than three days, Johanna Beach is somewhere I’d love to spend more time.” – CamillyVanilly (via TripAdvisor)

Related Questions

Is Johanna Beach Dog-Friendly?

Dogs are permitted but on-lead at all times to ensure the safety of other people.

How Hard is the Great Ocean Walk?

The walk ranges in difficulty from easy to hard. However, the track is well maintained and has excellent infrastructure, which makes it doable for people who have a reasonable fitness level and a bit of walking experience.

Can You Swim At Apollo Bay?

Apollo Bay has a magnificent beach. It has soft, white sand and is safe for swimming. It is patrolled in the summer, and they allow dogs at specific locations.

What Are the Twelve Apostles in Australia?

The Twelve Apostles is a group of limestone outcrops off the shore of Port Campbell National Park near the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.

Why Are the Twelve Apostles Important to Australia?

The Twelve Apostles is part of the major attractions at the Great Ocean Road; it is a must-see area when you go to visit Victoria. These are the result of constant erosion of the mainland limestone cliffs by the water and wind of the Southern Ocean resulting in the creation of the Twelve Apostles you see now.

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