Stretching from the far eastern corner of Victoria and along the coast to the southernmost tip of mainland Australia and beyond into the foothills of the Australian Alps, Gippsland might be big, but it’s boutique in nature. These are the experiences you will love in Gippsland.
Gippsland: you can’t miss it.
This one region covers more space on a map of Victoria than any other. Stretching from the far eastern corner of the state and along the coast to the southern\most tip of mainland Australia at Wilsons Promontory, and beyond into the green and golden hinterland to the foothills of the Australian alps, Gippsland is vast, and varied.
Where else can you go from sea to snow and back again in a day? Gippsland might be big, but it’s boutique in nature. Here’s a just a little taste of what you’ll find.
Boutique Gippsland Arts and Culture
Gippsland is the only place outside of NSW where you can see the Archibald Prize 2021, Australia’s most prestigious annual art show, on its regional tour. Celebrating 100 years of famous faces this year, the often controversial collections of portraits will be on show at the Gippsland Art Gallery in Sale from October 8 to November 21.
Gippsland’s wide open spaces and charming country towns have always punched above their weight when it comes to hosting world-class culture and art.
The sleepy little town of Meeniyan, not far from Wilsons Prom, regularly hosts some of the biggest names in music in its tiny wooden town hall – with room for 260 at a pinch is about as boutique as you can get.
Take a deep dive into the Gippsland art scene and follow the Phoenix Trail from alpine Omeo to seaside Mallacoota, visiting more than 30 artists studios and galleries along the way. Prefer your art outside?
You’ll love the public art on show in Yarram where 12 super-sized murals painted by world-renowned street and silo artist Heesco Khonaran have transformed the town into a huge outdoor gallery, winning gold at the 2020 Australian Street Art Awards.
For a richer understanding of the oldest living culture on earth, the Bataluk Cultural Trail in East Gippsland traces the pathways used by the Gunaikurnai people for more than 30,000 years will introduce you to the stories, history, life, lore and special sites of the traditional owners of the land.
Boutique Gippsland Food and Wine
There’s a very good reason why Gippsland is called the ‘food bowl of Victoria’ – just about everything that tastes good or is good to drink is grown or produced in Gippsland’s fertile fields – or pulled out of its fish-filled waterways.
You’ll also find amazing seafood served up in places like Sodafish in Lakes Entrance, Sardine Eatery & Bar in Paynesville and Wildfish in Port Albert, or buy your own fresh seafood at the fishermans co-op in Lakes Entrance to cook up at home.
Meat lovers need not feel left out because Hogget Kitchen on the edge of Warragul carves up meaty deliciousness that has all been prepared in house, along with the smoked, pickled and brined meats also produced on-site, and wine made from the vines covering the hills outside the window.
Pairing food and wine with next to no food miles is a thing in Gippsland, where collaboration between farmers, winemakers and chefs is the norm in restaurants like Narkoojee, 10 minutes from Traralgon, where dishes are designed to go with the winery’s five-star wines.
Tuck into a platter of Gippsland cheese at Dirty Three Wines in Inverloch and treat yourself to a terroir-testing of the three pinots, each grown in the three Gippsland vineyards that give the wine its name.
Fancy a cold one?
Gippsland brewers have been perfecting the perfect craft beer at places like Burra Brewing in Korumburra, Red Bluff Brewers near Lakes Entrance, Bandolier Brewery in Warragul, and Goodland Beer in Traralgon.
You’ll also find fabulous English-style cider served with a spectacular view at Gurneys Cider near Wilsons Prom and satsuma gin liqueur made with home-grown blood plums at Loch Brewery Distillery, which also makes vodka, whisky and beer, and is one of the few distilleries where you can still meet and chat with the maker.
Boutique Gippsland Accommodation
From rustic barns full of architectural wonders to waterside retreats, Gippsland rules the roost when it comes to boutique places to stay.
Ross Farm in Meeniyan offers three reimagined farm sheds with next-level wow factor – think lots of granite, burnished brass and handcrafted steel and a wooden Japanese bath so deep you’ll need to wear floaties.
Jetty Road Retreat near Metung and Lakes Entrance has stunning water views and free kayaks and, if you’re lucky, you may even find yourself paddling with the local Burrunan dolphins.
Silo House at Inverloch is luxury inside a converted wheat silo encircled by grape vines, complete with an underground speakeasy-style lounge, perfect for late-night conversations or a quiet escape.
The cabins at Toms Cap Vineyard in the foothills of the Strzelecki Ranges are embraced by grapevines and there’s a restaurant on-site, and the four-bedroom Ridge House near Yarragon is surrounded by 20 hectares of secluded bushland full of giant gums and shaded fern gullies and private walking trails.
The Church House (featured at the top of this post) at Fish Creek has sweeping views over Wilsons Prom and a wondrous eastern facing verandah from which to drink them in while feasting on farm fresh eggs and hand made sausages – all from the property’s animals.
Drop by Fish Creek and mosey through the boutiques to break up a lazy day relaxing and soaking up the country side ambience.
If you’re looking for boutique accommodation that’s kid-friendly, too the BIG4 Traralgon Park Lane Holiday Park has a three-level 36-obstacle ropes course, laser tag, go karts, mini golf, indoor play centre, a jumping pillow and a pool, and a range of cabins to suit all budgets, as well as drive-through en suite caravan sites.
Pets are welcome, and the team will even deliver coffee to your door – the perfect holiday wake-up call.