Surf at the beach in the morning and ski down the snowy slopes in the afternoon: from watersports to hiking, biking to skiing, fly-fishing to caving, East Gippsland has it all.
Whether you want to boat, sail, swim, kayak or fish, you can do it all on the many rivers and lakes. Head to secret fishing spots on board a charter from Metung or Lakes Entrance. Surf the waves at Red Bluff, go kite surfing off the beach or dive in a marine national park. Cruise through the estuarine Mallacoota Inlet or hire a canoe and paddle the Tambo River.
Nestled in Victoria’s eastern corner, the region covers more than 21,000 square kilometres from Bairnsdale to the NSW border. It boasts a mild climate and stunning natural environment with high-country grandeur, isolated beaches, rugged coastal outcrops and Australia’s largest inland water system, the Gippsland Lakes.
A popular destination along the Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive, East Gippsland attracts more than 1.2 million visitors a year drawn by the wide range of experiences, events and attractions. So it is well prepared for guests.
Join Sea Safari Eco Tours to learn about the history and ecological significance of the Gippsland Lakes or hire a boat from Riviera Nautic or Bulls Cruisers to explore on your own, sleeping on board for a truly relaxing experience. Spot seals and water birds, watch the recently discovered Burrunan dolphins hunt and frolic, or pull up at a jetty on Raymond Island and wander through the eucalypts to see koalas in their natural habitat.
Explore the labyrinth of the Buchan Caves, a honeycomb of caves formed by underground rivers that cut through limestone rock almost 400 million years ago. Admire majestic stands of coastal rainforest near Marlo and Cape Conran Coastal Park or hike through the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve of Croajingolong National Park and end up in Mallacoota, where you can reward yourself with a bowl of fresh, local abalone noodles. There are dozens of walks and trails ranging from easy to challenging in coastal, forest, riverside and high country areas, but for a true fitness challenge in spectacular surrounds, join the Australian Adventure Festival in October, for three days of competitive adventure sports.
Head along the Great Alpine Road Touring Route to discover the beautiful vistas, hospitality and rich gold-mining heritage of the high country or explore Australia’s famous Snowy River country, which spans from the mountains around McKillops Bridge to the sea at Marlo. Join Rafting Australia for a white-water adventure. Cycle or ride a horse through the mountains or watch the locals test their skills in camp drafts and rodeos.
The food bowl of Victoria, the region is renowned for its fresh local produce, including seafood, fruit and vegetables, cheeses and wine. Lakes Entrance has a thriving seafood industry and one of the largest fishing fleets in Australia. Buy delicious fresh fish and chips from the fishing co-operative shop Omega 3Seafood, and lick the salt from your fingers as you look out to sea on Ninety Mile Beach. Or choose your own fresh fish from the trawlers docked along the shore and cook it at home. There also is a variety of other wild-caught seafood, including crabs, scallops and abalone; Mallacoota is a major source of Australian abalone. Many of the region’s best food and wine offerings are available to sample all in one place at the Metung Food & Wine Festival in June.