7 of the most awesome things to do in Gippsland you might not know about (but really should).
Offering an alluring combination of a seaside, mountain and countryside escape rolled into one, Gippsland is a destination you’ll want to keep returning to. Because once you know, you know.
Here are seven of Gippsland’s spots to help you become better acquainted with this scenic expanse and the best places to stay while you’re in the region.
1. Skull Rock
3. Big Drift
7. Buchan Caves
1. Skull Rock
Most commonly known as Skull Rock – owing to its interesting shape – Cleft Island is a mysterious formation that sits just off the coast from Wilson’s Promontory (the southernmost point of Australian mainland, before you hit Tasmania).
Nature-lovers can visit the island and say ‘hello’ to its large fur seal colonies on a 2.5-hour tour of the island with Wilsons Promontory Cruises – Pennicott Wilderness Journeys.
Better yet, round out your visit to the Promontory with a stay at The Church House – a luxe accommodation option that’s a 20-minute drive from Wilsons Promontory National Park. At The Church House, striking views, gourmet experiences and luxurious boutique suites await those seeking a special getaway.
2. Tarra-Bulga National Park
Cameras at the ready, holidaymakers. This naturally gorgeous landscape will soon fill your camera roll.
With its rich cultural heritage, its emerald forest, its selection of walking tracks and its hair-raising Corrigan Suspension Bridge, Tarra-Bulga National Park on Brataualung Country is a natural site worth saving time to explore. You can then refuel and enjoy a barbecue at one of the park’s dedicated picnicking areas.
Of course, time spent bushwalking merits a well-earned rest and nearby Toms Cap Vineyard is the ideal place to take that rest.
Sleep among the vines at one of the winery’s superior lodges or cottages, reserve a spot the restaurant, and pick up some souvenirs of your stay at the cellar door.
3. Big Drift
Explore a landscape like no other, where rippling sand dunes provide a tranquil walking oasis away from the bustle of life. Though they may form part of Wilsons Promontory, the dunes feel like another world.
For those making a night of it, nearby there’s campsites, The Church House and one of the most chic, design-savvy stays you’ll lay your eyes on: Ross Farm.
A sophisticated, architecturally striking property that boasts a choice of cabin, barn and dairy (or all three) on its sprawling land, Ross Farm is a delight for the discerning eye. From furniture pieces to light fittings, every detail is a visual treat at this not-so-rustic farm.
4. Gippsland Lakes
A dream destination for the nature admirers among us, Gippsland Lakes are home to about 400 Indigenous plant species, 300 native wildlife species and the largest lake system in the southern hemisphere. There is no shortage of beautiful stays in the region either.
In this neck of the woods, visitors can lay their weary heads in a secluded cabin at the tranquil Jetty Road Retreat.
More options include sleeping peacefully at the photogenic Eight Acres Lakes Entrance in a glamping tent or farmhouse cottage (and greet farmyard animals by day); relax in a centrally located waterfront apartment at Captains Cove; or, wander the thin strip of land between the ocean and the lakes, at Ocean Grange Homestead. where you stay in one of three houses on site.
A taste of old-world charm and country hospitality await at historic Walhalla, a former gold rush town that functions as a well-preserved time capsule of its bygone age.
Today, the town is a setting brimming with restored heritage structures, from hotels to schools, and from shopfronts to churches, dating back to the 19th century. A lovingly restored stay that offers a glimpse into the town’s (literal) golden age is Windsor House Walhalla.
This longstanding, three-level house – which has survived floods and fires – is now a postcard-perfect bed and breakfast. Guests arrive at the grand house via a footbridge over a running creek to a retreat where they can lounge by the fireplace, wine in hand, before retiring to their enchanting rooms.
6. Great Southern Rail Trail
There are few ways to see countryside up close that are quite as energising as taking a leisurely voyage by bicycle.
Following along the Great Southern Rail Trail, visitors can cycle, walk or even ride a horse along the track through the villages of South Gippsland, retracing the country’s former southernmost rail line. With trips ranging from five to 72 kilometres, there’s routes to suit various ages and fitness levels.
Stroll through local gift shops and providores at one of the 10 townships, sample local food and wine, view the artworks of local artists, explore national parks, and meander through museums along the way.
Then, it’s time to rest and recoup at a calm-inducing stay at Ross Farm or The Church House.
7. Buchan Caves Reserve
On Krauatungalung Country lies Buchan Caves Reserve – Victoria’s largest cave system formed by an underground river about 400 million years ago. Today, visitors can take guided tours of the maze-like, heritage-listed phenomenon, spot wildlife at play – platypuses, kangaroos, lyrebirds and echidnas are known to frequent the caves – and picnic among this unique landcape.
Following a day of exploring stalactite- and stalagmite-filled caves, travellers can rest at The Stockmans Camp. On the camp’s verdant patchwork of Gippsland farmland, guests can choose to stay in a private Alpine Cabin, the family-friendly cabin, Brumbies Run, or sleep under the stars at a reserved campsite. Not only an accommodation offering, The Stockmans Camp runs High Country & Brumby Tours and hosts its Bush Heritage Shows.