Naturally Vic aims to promote responsible recreation and educate recreational users, such as campers, fishers and hikers, on best-practice guidelines to leave our outdoors how they found it.
VRFish, the peak body for Victorian recreational fishers, have developed the Naturally Vic Code of Conduct for camping to provide guidance on how to do the right thing by the environment, our rich cultural heritage and the valued farming community.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Crown water frontage?
In Victoria, there is approximately 30,000 kilometres of Crown water frontage for recreational users to enjoy. Crown water frontages are a public asset and recreational use by the public is permitted.
Crown water frontages are the narrow parcels of public land that runs along our riverbanks. They’re found along both sides of our rivers, and many were surveyed as Crown land over 100 years ago. These parcels of land vary in size, in some cases they are only a few metres wide, whilst others can be hundreds of meters wide. In some places the river has moved and is no longer found within the public land at all. New regulations have been developed to manage camping in these areas to ensure that both campers and landowners are doing the right thing by each other and the environment.
Licensed vs Unlicensed Crown water frontage
Some Crown water frontages are licensed for riparian management purposes or to allow adjacent landholders to graze livestock on the frontage. Other Crown water frontage is unlicensed.
The Land Act 1958 was recently amended by the Victorian Government to allow camping on certain Victorian river frontages. These changes apply to Crown land where a grazing licence has been granted to the adjoining landowner for grazing. Designated camping sites on licensed areas will be assessed as suitable for camping and opened up by the Victorian Government.
An unlicensed Crown river frontage is Crown land which has a frontage to a waterway and is not licensed under the Land Act 1958. It may, however, be licensed under the Forests Act 1958.
There are different regulations for camping on licensed and unlicensed Crown water frontage. You can find out if you’re on Crown water frontage by using the Mapshare website and learn the regulations on our Know the Regulations page.
Planning your trip to Crown water frontage
Crown water frontages exist on almost all of Victoria’s rivers, streams, and creeks, however, it can be hard to tell where the public land starts and the private land ends.
Designated camping sites on licensed areas will be assessed as suitable for camping and opened by by the Victorian Government. Currently, no sites have been released. As suitable sites are released, they will be listed on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s website here.
You should plan your destination before you go and ensure the area you wish to access or camp on is Crown land. You can do this by using the Mapshare website or by downloading the Vic Fishing App. In the App, under the ‘inland’ tab you will find the ‘land access’ area which allows you to see in real time where you are in relation to Crown land and whether or not you can camp there.
How to access Crown water frontage
Crown water frontage is mostly found between a river and private land. This can make access difficult. Many of the best spots have good vehicle access via a road or bridge crossing the river, a public reserve or an unused road.
For those looking for more adventure, travelling by boat to areas that have no clear land side public access point is an exciting way to find a new campsite. Before setting up camp, make sure you assess the area for hazards.