In partnership with Tourism Australia
Stretching into the northeast corner of Victoria, East Gippsland is a region of natural splendour that is once again welcoming visitors as it recovers and renews after the bushfires.
A journey here will uncover bushland reserves, sprawling mountain forests, myriad lakes and waterways, and native animals of all shapes and sizes.
There’s even an underground cave system, and a rich cultural history of the land, too.
There’s plenty of fishing to be done at Mallacoota, whether it be at the inlet, on the rivers or in the surf. Picture: Garry MooreSource:The Weekly Times
STAY (AND PLAY) ON THE WATER
Enclosed by the UNESCO-protected Croajingolong National Park Biosphere Reserve, Gipsy Point Lodge is an idyllic base for all your East Gippsland adventures and activities.
The lodge has its own jetties and a boat ramp providing direct access to explore the waterways in Mallacoota Inlet and local rivers known for excellent bream and flathead fishing.
Or, hire a canoe or kayak and spend a leisurely day relaxing on the water.
As for accommodation, there’s a variety of options on offer from guestrooms to self-contained cottages that are perfect for families and groups of friends.
MORE INFORMATION: gipsypointlodge.com.au
Inside Buchan Limestone Caves in East Gippsland. A must see attraction. Picture: SuppliedSource:Getty Images
EXPLORE AWE-INSPIRING CAVES
Sitting on Krauatungalung Country, Buchan Caves Reserve is highly significant to Gunaikurnai people, the traditional owners of Gippsland.
Buchan Caves is a snaking system of limestone formations carved by an underground river almost 400 million years ago.
There are guided tours of Fairy and Royal Caves, where you’ll see stalactites and stalagmites and more.
Explore the surrounding Buchan Caves Reserve, which has access to bushland walks or set up camp in the nearby Snowy River National Park.
You may even see kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and a variety of native birds.
Check the Parks Victoria website to see if the caves are open and tours are operating before visiting.
MORE INFORMATION: parks.vic.gov.au/places-to-see/parks/buchan-caves-reserve
A smooth dirt track provides the perfect cycling train, from Bairnsdale to the Snowy River. Picture: SuppliedSource:News Regional Media
CYCLE THROUGH NATURAL TERRAIN
Following the route of the old Orbost railway line, the East Gippsland Rail Trail cycling track traverses nearly 100 kilometres of smooth dirt and packed gravel with sealed sections.
The trail starts at Howitt Park in Bairnsdale and finishes in Orbost, on the Snowy River.
You’ll enjoy lake and bushland views, pass the historic bridge at Nicholson and the Stony Creek Trestle Bridge in Nowa Nowa, then steadily climb through the incredible Colquhoun Forest.
There are also plenty of opportunities for pit stops, a picnic, or for visiting any of the small towns along the way.
MORE INFORMATION: eastgippslandrailtrail.com.au
Orbost Hotel is one of the main stops in the Victorian heritage town. The town was established in 1842. Picture: Supplied / Visit OrbostSource:NCA NewsWire
BE CHARMED BY SMALL TOWN DELIGHTS
Idyllically situated on the banks of the Snowy River, with mountain woodlands, sweeping hills, farming plains and striking coastlines, the heritage town of Orbost is brimming with visitor appeal.
Established in 1842, Orbost’s history is one of farming, riverboats, gold and timber mills.
While serving as a great base from which to explore the Snowy River region, the town is an innovative hub with its own attractions.
The fertile land is renowned for top-notch beef and dairy farming. Sailors Grave Brewery, housed in
a 100-year-old butter factory, produces craft beers that are distributed nationwide, while that fertile land, cool climate, and clean air and water make ideal growing conditions for the award-winning Snowy River Black Garlic.
MORE INFORMATION: visitgippsland.com.au/destinations/east-gippsland/orbost
Cape Conran is just one place of cultural significance in Gippsland. It’s part of a trail made up of 11 Aboriginal sites of importance. Picture: Alex Coppel.Source:News Corp Australia
LEARN ABOUT THE REGION’S CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE
Follow in the footsteps of a 30,000-year-old journey by the Gunaikurnai people on the Bataluk Cultural Trail.
The trail is made up of traditional routes to 11 sites of Aboriginal importance, from White Woman’s Waterhole in the Won Wron State Reserve to Salmon Rock and Gunai Boardwalk in Cape Conran.
Each site is significant in the history of the Gunaikurnai people, whether it’s through Dreamtime stories, or everyday life.
Follow the trail and visit all the sites, or create a route of your own.
MORE INFORMATION: batalukculturaltrail.com.au
White Water Rafting on the Mitta Mitta River. A section of rapids down the Mitta Mitta River named ‘Dislocations’. Picture: Jason SammonSource:News Corp Australia
DISCOVER A WATER WONDERLAND
With more than 400 square kilometres of pristine water across Lake Victoria, Lake King and Lake Wellington, as well as Lake Tyers, the Gippsland Lakes are ideal for a variety of water-based activities.
You could take a guided kayak tour of the lakes or hire your own for a trek of your choosing.
Perhaps whitewater rafting is more your speed – the rapids of the Mitta Mitta River in the Alpine National Park are sure to get your adrenaline levels up.
Maybe a canoe paddle to Lonely Bay on Lake Tyers sounds perfect, with a side of fishing.
Or, for a leisurely day on the water, hire a boat and cruise this stretch of water to Mallacoota and Marlo.
MORE INFORMATION: visiteastgippsland.com.au/things-to-see-a-do/water-based-activities
Marlo Hotel and pub is now open after being a victim of the bushfires. Picture: Alex Coppel.Source:News Corp Australia
TO MALLACOOTA AND MARLO
These two towns are the brightest fishing jewels in the East Gippsland crown.
A popular fishing town bordering Croajingolong National Park, Mallacoota draws keen fishing enthusiasts, anglers, abalone divers and boating fans alike.
There are also walking and cycling trails, including tracks suitable for mountain biking.
Meanwhile, over in Marlo, thanks to the expansive Snowy River estuary, walkers can take a five kilometre stroll to Mots Beach, or stop by the Marlo Hotel for a great meal on the sunny deck (estuary views included).
Aerial shot of the Gippsland Lakes region and Ninety Mile Beach. Picture: Visit VictoriaSource:Supplied
SPEND A DAY (OR TWO) ON THE BEACH
With 100 kilometres of coastline, East Gippsland has plenty of beaches at which to relax and take a dip, go for a surf or go fishing.
Have a swim and a picnic at East Cape beach on the eastern side of Cape Conran, play among the sand dunes of Ninety Mile Beach, one of the longest stretches of continuous coastline in Australia, set up camp at Red Bluff, or cast a line at Pearl Point East or Quarry Beach.
The possibilities to get some sun and surf are endless.
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