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Gippsland

Wild ocean beaches, long stretches of sand, forests populated by native species of flora and fauna, and charming country towns, Gippsland has it all. Visit wineries, eat fresh produce straight from a farm, have adventures, fish for your dinner, ride your bike along old train lines, stay in luxury accommodation or camp by a river and bush walk till you can’t take another step. Explore the natural beauty of Gippsland from south eastern Victoria all the way up the coast to the NSW border.

Getting There

Gippsland is easily accessible by car via the freeways from Melbourne (284kms) or Sydney (735kms). You can take the scenic route and visit some fabulous wineries, farms, and country towns on the way.

 

From Melbourne, drive out of town on the Monash Freeway and keep an eye on the signs that will direct you to the Princes Highway and your Gippsland destination.

Trains and buses (public transport options) are available.

Top Things To Do

Wilsons Promontory

Wilson’s Prom is one of Victoria’s most beautiful national parks. One of its most appealing factors is that much of the area is only accessible by foot, hence the native flora and fauna of the forest are protected for generations to come. Hikers and campers can enjoy day walks or overnight hikes that follow the coastline giving glimpses of the ocean through the bush. The beaches are pristine, and the water is chilly but refreshing. Visit Squeaky Beach for a fun experience. The sand, as the name suggests, squeaks as you walk. The kids will love it, almost as much as you do. Check out our story on 10 memorable things to do while you’re there.

Buchan Caves Reserve

At Buchan Caves, guides will take you on a comprehensive tour of the underground cave system and you can learn about the limestone rock formations and the specifics of stalagmites and stalactites. Open since 1908, the caves and tunnels contain a world of natural wonders. You can see the fossilised bones of Australian native animals (wombats and kangaroos) on the cave floors.

 

The picnic and campground at the Buchan Caves Reserve is a great base for hikers. There are lots of short walks suitable for walkers of all fitness levels. There is also an abundance of wildlife in the region, with koalas and kangaroos easy to spot. Buchan is also a bird watcher’s paradise. Over 40 different species live amongst this natural bush reserve.

Croajingolong National Park

Victoria’s easternmost national park is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, home to over 1000 native plants and over 300 bird species. Croajingalong has 100 km of coastline and features white sandy beaches, rocky coastal headlands and verdant rainforests. Whether you are into camping, hiking or water pursuits, you will find it here. Paddle the Wallagaraugh River in a kayak, spend the whole day fishing the Mallacoota Lakes or head out to Gabo Island to visit the lighthouse. Keep your eyes open for the long-nosed potoroo, a small marsupial about the size of a rabbit that forages at night. The township of Mallacoota has a campground, accomodation, shops and a pub to service the visitors who flock here every year.

Best Way to See Gippsland

Unforgettable Lakes

The seemingly endless Gippsland Lakes network contains 600 square kilometres of lakes, marshes and lagoons that provide a safe haven for avian and marine life in an environment which supports a diversity of flora. The Lakes National Park and Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park both offer peaceful camping spots and a multitude of bush walking tracks. The area is inhabited by kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and many species of birds and is a wonderland for nature lovers.

 

The Lakes are perfect for watersports; recreational fishing and boating activities. All around the Lakes there are tranquil camping sites from which you can launch your own canoe, paddle board or kayak.

 

If being in the water is not your thing, try your hand at fishing from the long stretch of sand Ninety Mile Beach where the Gippsland Lakes meet the Southern Ocean. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a pod of whales or dolphins frolicking as you relax on the beach.

Must-See Wineries & Markets

Sip delicious wine on the deck overlooking the expanse of vines at Gippsland Avon Ridge Vineyard. Indulge in a French inspired meal created by a Michelin trained chef at Cannibal Creek Winery or check out the pinot noir at a more urban type of cellar door at Dirty Three Wines in Inverloch. In central Gippsland, try Tom’s Cap Vineyard Retreat for fresh modern food, delicious wine and stay the night in the award winning Tom’s Cap Cottages.

 

The diversity in environments across Gippsland ensures a wide selection of wines at the cellar doors of its wineries. Gippsland offers connoisseurs cool climate pinot noirs, shiraz, pinot gris and chardonnay.

 

Farmers markets in Gippsland are the epitome of country living. Gather fresh foods and produce and enjoy meeting the farmers who plant, tend and harvest the food, then sell it to you with a smile. Every community in this stunning part of the world showcases its delicious produce at weekend markets.

Camping & Bush Adventures

Gippsland has hundreds of bush and beach camping locations. Pitch your tent at picturesque Paradise Valley, in the Lake Glenmaggie area, or go bush and roll out your swag in any of Gippsland’s national parks.

 

If roughing it doesn’t appeal, there are some brilliant glamping options. Try the Wilderness Retreats safari style tents at Buchan and Cape Conran for a touch of luxury.

Mountain Top Experience have a range of 4WD adventures that enable visitors to explore the bush either as tag-a-longs or as passengers with an experienced guide.Whether you want a day adventure or an overnight trip, this is an exciting way to explore some of Gippsland’s ‘off the beaten track’ environments.

Choosing Where to Stay

Families love the facilities at the many caravan parks in the region which have self contained cottages, swimming pools and, usually, other kids to play with. Inverloch Holiday Park, Park Lane Holiday Parks and Whiters are three in particular that are very popular.

Gippsland is also packed with accommodation for those who prefer a little more luxury. Try the Riversleigh Boutique Hotel in Bairnsdale for a luxurious option with old world touches. The Rivere Retreat has sweeping views of bushland and valleys. Close to Mt Baw Baw, spectacular wineries and restaurants, this self-contained option is perfect for summer or winter.

 

If you’re after an eco option, the Venus Bay Eco Retreat is a small cottage nestled within 5.6 hectares of bushland. It is a sustainable property which utilises renewable energy sources and aims to help maintain the biodiversity of the environment and promote healthy birdlife.

 

For something a bit quirky and unique, book a stay at the Assistant Lightkeeper’s Residence on Gabo Island.

Tours and Packages

A really fun way to see Gippsland is to join an adventure tour.

 

Venture Out in Lakes Entrance offers half and full day mountain biking and kayaking tours, which can even incorporate a winery lunch. Tourists can breathe in the fresh air of Gippsland and have an awesome experience.

 

Lonsdale Eco cruises, also out of Lakes Entrance, offer small group nature tours and guided bushwalks. On the cruises, local guides share their extensive knowledge of the bird life, and the habits of the seals and dolphins that are often spotted during the journey. The eco cruise also comes with fabulous scones!

 

Gippsland High Country Tours are led by local guides who are dedicated to “slow travel”. Take the time to appreciate the environment through which you walk. Offering small group tours of 4-10 people, this group is perfect for solo travellers or groups of friends who want to design their own trip. Marvel at the flora and fauna of the high country, learn about the history of the area, or even participate in wildlife conservation and monitoring practices.