The snow sports at Mount Baw Baw, or the serenity of ‘The Prom’, Gippsland has something on offer for every kind of tourist—active, passive, and pensive
Unspoilt beaches, unparalleled beauty, an escape to Gippsland, in the eastern corner of Victoria, is possibly the quaintest and quietest of holidays you will experience. Named after New South Wales Governor, George Gipps, the vast expanse of Gippsland, dotted with its rivers and ranges, is just a few hours away from Melbourne. Time to back out of that driveway.
Just three hours from Melbourne, Wilsons Promontory or simply ‘The Prom’, is not just known for its bush and coastal landscape and celebrated walking trails, but also as a gourmet delight—dotted with wineries, farmers’ markets, and fruit and berry farms. It’s little wonder that this 50,000 hectare reserve is one of the state’s best loved parks.
The Prom is a refuge for native wildlife including kangaroos, emus, wombats, echidnas and vividly plumed birds like rosellas.
Nestled between Waratah Bay and the majestic peaks of Wilsons Promontory, the sheltered waters of Shallow Inlet provide a secluded and peaceful setting for a range of water based activities such as fishing, boating and sailboarding.
All-terrain wheelchairs, a TrailRider and beach wheelchairs are available for park visitors with significant physical disabilities at the Wilsons Promontory National Park.
Mt Baw Baw
With over 30 hectares of skiing terrain, there’s plenty of space to explore and get up to all kinds of snowy adventures at Mt Baw Baw, the closest downhill ski area to Melbourne, where you can find accommodation from cosy cabins to luxury lodges, as well as find ski hire, and food outlets.
Croajingolong National Park
Croajingolong National Park encompasses 100 kilometres of coast and hinterland and features an extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna, with more than 1000 native plants and over 300 bird species. A popular spot for hiking and walking, water sports such as surfing and snorkelling, for the photographer too it is paradise.
At over 600 square kilometres, the Gippsland Lakes, a labyrinth of lakes, marshes and lagoons, are Australia’s largest and most beautiful inland waterways. The Lakes are separated from the ocean by coastal dunes known as Ninety Mile Beach.
There are three main lakes: Lake King, Lake Victoria and Lake Wellington and they are all joined and fed by rivers that originate in the high country. The lakes include many small islands, which are reached easily by ferry or water taxi.
Before you go
~ Conditions can change in parks for many reasons. For the latest information on changes to local conditions, please visit the relevant park page on the Parks Victoria website.
~ Be bushfire ready.
South Gippsland is dotted with beautiful bays and beaches that are not to be missed. Here are some of the highlights of the area.
Patrolled by lifesavers throughout the summer months, the strong tides entice surfers throughout the year, but the bay is not for the faint hearted.
For those who may not want to venture to Venus Bay, Sandy Point beach offers visitors a safe surf beach framed by the majestic mountains of the Prom. It also offers ideal conditions for windsurfers and is patrolled by lifesavers throughout the summer months.
Famous for its historic lime kilns, one of the region’s secret delights, Walkerville has a host of sandy coves to explore.
The shallow waters and sandy beach make Port Welshpool an ideal spot for young children though surf lifesavers do not operate here.
Named because the rounded grains of quartz make a squeaking sound when you walk in the dry sand, the rock formations at the north end create a labyrinth of just waiting to be explored.
The seaside hamlet of Aireys Inlet on the Great Ocean Road offers both natural attractions and maritime history
Approximately 120 kilometres south west of Melbourne, on the world famous Great Ocean Road, although the hamlet of Aireys Inlet is half way between the tourist towns of Torquay and Lorne, it offers a quiet alternative to the bustle of the rest of the pit-stops along the coast.
Apart from its historical landmarks and natural attractions, Aireys Inlet is recognised for its music, arts and culture and its flourishing literary hub.
Split Point Lighthouse: Built in 1891 on the cliffs 70 metres above sea level, this lighthouse is the subject of local ghost stories and maritime legends.
Fairhaven beach: From snorkelling to surfing this beach is a popular water spot among tourists. It is patrolled through the summer months. Inlet beach, with its grassy slopes and picnic area is perfect for those with little kids, although the beach is not patrolled.
Walking trails: There are several different themed walks that one can take in the area, from the cliff top walk to the surf coast walk, depending on what stunning view you’re looking to take in for the day. Also, keep your eye out for whales in season.
Events at Gippsland
~ Renascence Gippsland
Biring Biring Farm, 685 Fish Creek-Foster Road, Foster, Victoria
Pastuso Executive Chef Alejandro Saravia will host Renascence Gippsland in conjunction with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2017. This unique dining experience, overlooking Wilsons Promontory at the farm, which is part of Gippsland Natural Beef – Australia’s only carbon-neutral beef producer, is an opportunity to dine al fresco at Biring Biring Farm in South East Gippsland, feasting on produce sourced only from the South East Gippsland area. Saravia’s regional lunch celebrates this motif by bringing guests back to basics and close to the source of food for an outdoor feast.
~ Opera By The Lakes
Nyerimilang Heritage Park , 20 Cliff Road, Nyerimilang, Victoria, 3909
Gippsland Opera will present Opera By The Lakes, at Nyerimilang Heritage Park on Sunday, 19 March, featuring international music theatre star Silvie Paladino, with Opera Australia and Opera Victoria star Jeremy Kleeman, plus Coloratura Soprano Georgia Wilkinson and award winning Il Davo Opera five tenors. Guests can pre-order a boxed picnic, or bring your own picnic, chairs provided. Wine can be purchased at the venue, afternoon tea available from Red Cross.
Tickets are on sale now by contacting booking office by telephone.
~ Grantville Pirate Festival
Maru Koala and Animal Park, 1650 Bass Highway, Grantville, Victoria
22 April (Please note that the exact date for 2017 has yet to be confirmed)
Enjoy a great day out at the award winning Maru Koala and Animal Park at the annual Grantville Pirate Festival with games and roving entertainers, jumping castles, face painting, dress-up competitions, mini-golf and more, all for the one low entry fee.