Photo: Fishing on Ninety Mile Beach, Gippsland
No exploration of Victoria’s coastal wilderness is complete without a visit to the Gippsland Lakes Region. Gippsland has stunning coastline to explore - from the beautiful ocean beaches of Wilsons Promontory to the Gippsland Lakes, the country’s biggest inland waterway.
Known for great fishing, beautiful national parks, mountain streams, coastal wilderness, long unspoilt beaches as well as for its wining and dining experiences in local restaurants, supplied by local growers, Gippsland wineries and fishermen.
Occupying the eastern and south-eastern part of the state of Victoria, the area produces fresh famous regional delicacies, cheeses, fruit as well as fish, prawns and lobster caught locally.
It also produces a variety of wines, available from Gippsland wineries and their cellars while Grand Ridge Brewery in Mirboo North has a wonderful range of 100 per cent natural beers.
Rent a houseboat and cruise around the lakes, with no licence required. Relax and stroll along 90 Mile Beach, and yes, its that long. Explore the Croajingolong National Park, a World Biosphere Zone that extends for 100km along the wilderness coast of East Gippsland. This is a key attraction on the scenic Sydney Melbourne Coastal Drive. Diving the Marine Park and fishing are very popular.
There are snow and ski resorts in winter in the High Country, with trout fishing, camping areas and excellent hiking and bushwalking throughout the rest of the year. Numerous streams and creeks with towering forests and spectacular views make for great fishing and swimming.
The Alpine National Park, with scenic drives and bushwalking opportunities amongst the mountains, with waterfalls, Bryces Gorge and over 1,100 native species of plants. The park is Victoria’s largest.
Bairnsdale is situated on the east of Gippsland Lakes on the banks of the Mitchell River.and is a good place to begin to explore the Area.
Its also the gateway to the Gippsland Lakes, where boating, fishing and windswept ocean beaches complement the gourmet producers of the area. Try and take the time to sample the great seafood at the Entrance and Port Albert.
Travelling from Wangaratta in Victoria’s north-east to Bairnsdale in the heart of Gippsland, the Great Alpine Road peaks at 1,825 metres before descending through a spectacular array of local sights, to the wide open spaces of the Gippsland Lakes.
Three lakes, Lake Wellington, Lake Victoria and Lake King, fed by the rivers Latrobe, Thompson, Avon, Mitchell, Nicholson and Tambo form the Gippsland Lake region. This region is Australia’s largest inland lake system.
The place teems with native fauna and birds, making it a wonderful place to camp, while the Bass Strait between Victoria and Tasmania borders the south, with it’s coastal beaches. It makes for a great water retreat region, with spectacular touring routes.
Signature wine styles: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Vineyards are spread throughout the vast Gippsland area and their wines are making headlines with powerful Chardonnays and exceptional Pinot Noirs. As the centre of dairy production in Victoria, the area is renowned for its wonderful range of cheese and is home to more than 15 wineries.
Seafood here is fresh and good, including lobster. There are numerous restaurants in the area, as well as some great cafe’s. Many offer Australian as well as international fare.
During the warmer months there are plenty of opportunites to pick your own fruits and berries at various farms and co-ops.
An absolute waterfront resort in the picturesque village of Metung on the Gippsland Lakes, Moorings at Metung comprises 39 apartments, all with water views. Guests can choose from stylish motel rooms or one, two or three bedroom apartments, including 5 star ones.
Gipsy Point Lakeside is a five-star destination offering luxury and style amidst the beauty of untouched nature. Nestled on the banks of Mallacoota Inlet, Gipsy Point is in the Croajingolong World Biosphere Reserve and offers sweeping water views. An ideal stopover on the Sydney-Melbourne Coastal Drive, this boutique resort has 10 luxury apartments in an accessible, yet isolated location.
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Photo: Walhalla, The Gippsland - Photographer James Lauritz