Things to do in Gippsland for a Memorable Getaway
A round-up of cool things to do while on holiday in the Gippsland region.
Covering a massive portion of southeast Victoria is Gippsland, a region that is as diverse as it is wide. Encompassing beaches, farmland, mountains and lakes, it’s home to more spectacular places to explore than you could cram into a year. To guide you we’ve assembled some of the best things to do across the region, from outdoor adventures and beachy weekends to gourmet delights and historical sights.
Dive into Walhalla’s gold mining history
Entering the lovingly-preserved town of Walhalla is like stepping into another era. Take a self guided tour around this historic gold mining hub to see heritage corner stores, fire stations and post offices, before stopping into the Wally Pub for some of the best parmas in the area. Whatever you do, make sure to book an underground tour at the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine, where you’ll venture deep into the hillside to learn about the history of mining from an experienced guide that’ll both inform and entertain.
At 2.5 hours drive from Melbourne, Mt Baw Baw is the closest downhill ski resort to the city and known for its intimate village feel and family-friendly ski fields. Catering for all ages and abilities, it’s the perfect place to fine tune your skills with both challenging downhill runs, cross country trails and terrain parks to practise in. Kids will love sliding down the mountain on toboggans and going on husky sled tours, while grownups can enjoy stunning night views and weekend DJs and bands at the Alpine Bistro.
Note: Due to recent storm damage, access to Mt Baw Baw is currently only via the unsealed South Face Road from Moe/ Erica.
Embark on a fishing, biking and bushwalking adventure in Erica
Surrounded by three National Parks – Moondarra, Tyers and Baw Baw – this tranquil alpine village is a great place to base yourself for outdoor adventures, with visitors spoiled for choice when it comes to 4WDing, camping, bushwalking and mountain biking. Embark on the Alpine Walking Track to see Mushroom Rocks, a maze of giant granite boulders rising from the forest, or head to Erica Mountain Bike Park for thrills and spills on Gippsland’s premier cross-country mountain bike trails. For lunch, stop by 1914 Cafe and Bar for rustic homemade meals and warm scones.
Known to many as simply ‘the Prom’, this 50,000-hectare national park is one of Gippsland's greatest natural assets, abundant with walking trails, sandy white beaches, eucalyptus forests and native wildlife. Much of the park is only accessible by hiking, with some of the most beautiful beaches reserved for those willing to put the effort in to visit them. Climb the granite boulders of Pillar Point to see awe-inspiring views of the Prom’s offshore islands, or complete the iconic Mt Oberon Summit track for panoramic vistas of the entire park. There’s every level of camping here too, from roughing it in nature to contemporary cabins and glamping.
Taste your way down the Central Gippsland Wine Trail
Gippsland is home to some of the most exciting wineries in the state, and going on a self-guided tour is a great way to experience them. Starting in cool temperate rainforests, passing through the Gippsland plains and eventuating in the foothills of High Country, the Central Gippsland Wine Trail will take you on a spectacularly scenic (and delicious) journey. The region’s climate lends itself well to Shiraz, Pinot noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, which you can sample at places like boutique winery Toms Cap Vineyard and premium producer Narkoojee.
Go boating in picturesque Metung
Among the hundreds of kilometres of shoreline that surround the Gippsland Lakes is Metung, a charming storybook town almost completely surrounded by Lake King and Bancroft Bay. That means 360 degree water views all day, every day with boat ramps, jetties and bait shops on every corner. Experience a slower pace of life as you charter a boat for the day, navigating calm waters while throwing out a few lines of your own. Back on land, you can work up a sweat via the Boxes Creek Walking Trail or enjoy fresh seafood by the water at Metung Hotel.
Learn about the region’s rich Aborignal history along the Bataluk Cultural Trail
Gippsland is home to 30,000 years of rich Gunaikurnai history and culture. Get a glimpse of it on the Bataluk Cultural Trail, where you’ll weave through sites of Aboriginal significance spanning from the Dreamtime to European settlement and present day. The full trail covers multiple days of hiking so for a shorter walk pick a section near your base, with landmarks in Metung, Bairnsdale, Buchan, Cape Conran, Stratford and more. Between them you can hear Dreamtime stories, see scarred trees, weapons, relics and sacred sites, and learn about the traditional lifestyles of Gippsland’s first inhabitants.
Surf, swim and sunbake at Venus Bay
This small town, tucked inside vegetated sand dunes, swells each summer as holidaymaking families, surfers and anglers descend. They’re all here for the pristine waters, golden sands and rugged clifftops that are synonymous with the bay. All are catered for, with surfers thrilled by the wild waves of its five surf beaches, while families will prefer the sheltered beaches and calm waters of Anderson Inlet. For more adventure follow clifftop trails and spot dolphins frolicking in the bay entrance, or head out to Cape Liptrap Coastal Park and explore rock pools, caves and historic lime kilns.
Entertain the kids on Phillip Island
At only two hours drive from Melbourne, Phillip Island is a long-favoured day trip for families of all ages. Animal lovers will jump at the chance to cuddle new friends at the Koala Conservation Centre, while older kids can drive around a replica grand prix track at Phillip Island Go-Karting. And of course, everyone will enjoy touring the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory and sampling sweet treats. Come evening it’s all about the island’s famed penguin parade, where you’ll get a closeup glimpse of the charming little creatures as they make their sunset journey.
Eat fresh seafood in Lakes Entrance
Lakes Entrance is one of the most popular holiday spots in Gippsland, best known for the vast stretch of untouched coastline that is Ninety Mile Beach. It’s also a great place to dig into fresh seafood – in fact, the place is known as Victoria’s ‘seafood capital’ due to the large number of fishing trawlers that operate in the area. So whether you’re reeling in your own supper, throwing back oysters at specialty restaurants like Sodafish, or buying the day’s catch direct from trawlers – if you love seafood, this is the place to indulge.
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