Gippsland boasts jaw-dropping natural beauty, loads of outdoor activities and plenty of friendly villages in the hills and on the coast. Families can explore pristine beaches and rockpools, stroll beneath towering eucalypts and tree ferns, and unlock the secrets of days gone by in our historic villages. It can be hard to know where to start! So we’ve narrowed it down to a list of top 10 Gippsland things to do.
1. Marvel at the Gippsland Lakes, East Gippsland
Australia’s largest and most beautiful inland waterways, the Gippsland Lakes are a network of lakes, marshes and lagoons covering over 600 square kilometres. The Lakes are separated from the ocean by the dunes of the Ninety Mile Beach. Bird and marine life thrive here, with endangered Burrunan dolphins, seals and pelicans calling these waters home. There are so many ways to explore the lakes including by kayak, SUP, eco-cruise or charter yacht depending on the age of children.
2. Explore the wonder of Wilsons Promontory, South Gippsland
Sitting at the southernmost point of the mainland, Wilsons Promontory is Victoria’s largest coastal wilderness area and one of Australia’s best loved National Parks. This 50,000-hectare reserve is threaded with a labyrinth of walking tracks linking pristine beaches, epic views and abundant wildlife. A long-standing hikers paradise, now you can experience The Prom by air with Promhelis helicopter flights, and by sea with Wildlife Coast Cruises and the NEW Pennicott Wilderness Journeys. A week or so camping at ‘The Prom’ is the quintessential family nature escape.
3. Discover 400-million-year-old Buchan Caves, East Gippsland
Discover an underground wonderland of spectacular limestone formations at Gippsland’s ancient Buchan Caves. Take a professionally guided tour of the Royal Cave’s has calcite-rimmed pools, and the Fairy Cave’s elaborate stalactites and stalagmites. Tours to ‘wild’ unlit caves can also be arranged for small groups.
4. Stroll, fish, swim or ride a camel on the 90 Mile Beach, Central & East Gippsland
Believed to be the fourth longest uninterrupted beach in the world, the 90 Mile Beach stretches along on the edge of a long thin sand dune from the historic fishing village of Port Albert up to Lakes Entrance. Behind the dunes are a series of lakes and lagoons, including the three largest – Lake King, Lake Victoria and Lake Wellington. The 90 Mile Beach is a popular surf fishing, swimming and camping destination, with Camel Rides from Lakes Entrance proving very popular in the Summer.
5. Roam cool temperate rainforest at Tarra Bulga NP, Central Gippsland
Several of Gippsland’s forests are of world significance, with English botanist David Bellamy describing them as ‘the most diverse range of temperate forest ecosystems on Earth.’ One of only four major areas of cool temperate rainforest in Victoria, Tarra Bulga National Park boasts lush gullies, giant mountain ash trees and tree ferns, plus several family friendly walking trails and the insta-worthy Corrigan Suspension Bridge.
6. Ride the railway at historic Walhalla, West Gippsland
Historic Walhalla was once one of Australia’s richest towns and home to over 4000 gold seekers, this sleepy mountainside town has been lovingly restored and offers so much for families to see and do. Ride the steam train through Stringers Gorge, explore the underground Long Tunnel Extended Goldmine, the historic cemetery or ghost tours.
7. Melbourne’s closest ski resort, Mt Baw Baw, West Gippsland
Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort is Melbourne’s closest Alpine Resort, just 2.5 hours from the city centre. During winter Mt Baw Baw is a fantastic ski field for families, learn-to-ski and snow play activities. The resort plays host to a range of snow sports including downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing. The Resort is surrounded by the magnificent Baw Baw National Park and enjoys spectacular wildflower and bush-land displays during summer, plus some very impressive mountain biking and running trails.
8. Dinosaurs, rock pools and caves of the Bunurong Coastal Drive, Inverloch
The stunning Bunurong Coastal Drive offers scenic views of rugged sandstone cliffs, rocky headlands and sandy coves. Covering just 14km from Cape Paterson to Inverloch, this drive is rich in both beauty and history, The Caves and Flat Rocks area close to Inverloch is well known for the Dinosaur Dreaming Fossil Site. Stop to admire the view and learn about the fossils that have been discovered… or try your luck at finding the dinosaur footprint. Book a visit here.
9. Take the slow road – ride the Rail Trails
Gippsland boasts 7 stunning Rail Trails which follow the preserved tracts of former rail lines to link up Gippsland’s artistic villages, farm gates, restaurants and boutique accommodation. From the iconic East Gippsland Rail Trail which rolls through 94km of undulating farmland and tall trees, to the spectacular Bass Coast Rail Trail which is Victoria’s only coastal rail trail and follows the wild coastline from Kilcunda.
10. Underground expeditions at State Coal Mine, Wonthaggi
Journey back in time to discover what life working in the coal mine was like in the 1900s. Venture underground through the dark network of tunnels to get hands-on at the coal face to learn how hard-working men extracted black gold! This fantastic underground coal mine tour provides visitors an adventure experience as well as a unique opportunity to explore the only remaining example for 20th century coal mining open to public in the Southern Hemisphere.
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