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Get Outdoors in Gippsland – Hike, Bike and Fish

June 15, 2020 Visit STH Pacific & Oceania No Comments Email Email

Get outdoors in Gippsland – hike, bike and fish

Located just East of Melbourne and stretching all the way to the NSW border, Gippsland is renowned for its amazing nature-based experiences. Here are some of the best ways you can get out amongst nature exploring the hiking trails, traversing the rail trails and mountain bike parks, and top locations to drop a fishing line.

If you weren’t a walker before isolation, odds are that you have become one! Wilsons Prom is now open visitors and the Park has some great hiking options. Hard roof accommodation at Tidal River is also open for bookings so you can stay overnight, go for a hike and relax amongst nature spotting a myriad of wildlife. For a hike with a view, try the Mount Oberon Summit (6.8km return, 2 hours) or the lesser known, but equally impressive Mount Bishop Walk (7.4km, 2.5 hours). Both have spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding coast and offshore islands. For a more challenging trek, the Sealers Cove walk is a spectacular 19km hike that will take you a full day (between 6.5-7hours). This picturesque, circular cove has turquoise waters, golden sand and a lovely area to sit and enjoy your lunch.

The George Bass Coastal Trail is 8km one way (approx. 2 hours) or 16km if you walk the return trail. The trail starts at the Punch Bowl near San Remo and traverses the coast and cliff tops to Kilcunda. This gorgeous walk offers panoramic coastal views from a narrow winding path, along cliff tops rising high above the pounding surf of Bass Strait. The George Bass Trail now links with the Bass Coast Rail Trail so it is possible to walk from Punch Bowl all the way into Wonthaggi.

Tarra Bulga is an incredible National Park with towering Mountain Ash forest and some lovely walks. The Corrigan suspension bridge is a short walk which begins at the visitors centre. This bridge stretches through the rainforest canopy, offering spectacular views of the fern gully on the forest floor below. To enjoy the lush gullies, tree ferns and giant trees try the 6.8 km Forest Track which begins via the Lyrebird Ridge Track and completes a circuit back to the visitors centre. It winds through Mountain Ash forest, a rainforest gully and an unusual thicket of Hazel Pomaderris.

The Toorongo and Ampitheatre Falls Walk is fantastic during the wetter months with the impressive tiered waterfall in full flow. Located just outside Noojee, the 2.2km loop walk takes just over an hour. You will pass through dense native bush complete with towering gums and lush ferns. While in the region check out the Noojee Trestle Bridge – the tallest surviving wooden trestle bridge in Victoria. Here you will also find the start of a 6km return trail which takes about two hours.

Bike riding
Whether you don the lycra, cruise with the family, or take on some serious mountain bike trails, there is a great variety of cycling options in Gippsland.

The Great Southern Rail Trail traverses Prom country all the while travelling through lush farmland, historic bridges and native forests. Take the full 72km trail from Leongatha to Port Welshpool or choose one of the seven shorter segments. The East Gippsland Rail Trail is 96km in total from Bairnsdale to Orbost. There are four distinct sections ranging in distance from 8k to 38km. The complete trail travels through forests, floodplains and the towns of Nicholson, Bruthen and Nowa Nowa. The Gippsland Plains Rail Trail offers a varied and leisurely ride through dairy country, over bridges and expansive views of the Gippsland plains and Great Dividing Ranges. The trail runs from Traralgon to Stratford and is 63km in total. There are V/Line train stations at both Traralgon and Stratford so you can pedal one way and return by train to your vehicle.

For mountain bike enthusiasts, look no further than Blores Hill Mountain Bike Park trails. Located just north of Heyfield, the park is set on 50 acres of land and offers 36km of trails from beginners to experienced, specifically designed for mountain bike riders. There are jumps, bridges, rocky outcrops and flowing trails through the bush. The Erica Mountain Bike Park is made up of two sets of trails carved out of either side of the highway at Erica. With more than 30km of rough dirt trails, the park is suitable for most ages, however some riding experience is recommended. A little further afield is the Nowa Nowa Mountain Bike Park. The dedicated mountain bike park is built on a hill and sculpted with 35km on trails including 20km of mountain bike trails and 15km of dual-purpose walking/ cycling paths.

Fishing and boating
Gippsland’s coast and waterways and the Gippsland Lakes are synonymous with fishing and boating. With eased restrictions Victorians are now able to get out amongst the waterways again and drop a fishing line. The Golden Tag fishing promotion was relaunched on 1 June offering recreational fishers the chance to catch a golden tagged fish in East Gippsland and claim $2000. There are 950 tagged fish swimming in East Gippsland and the High Country’s waterways. Catching one of these beauties could turn a good day into a great one!

Adults and kids alike will love to fish at the Port Welshpool long jetty. This iconic jetty seems to go on for miles as it extends into deeper waters. With rehabilitation works completed in 2018 the long jetty now boasts some new built in seating, water supply, handrails, lighting and fishing stations.

Fishing and boating is synonymous with the seaside town of Port Albert. There are many opportunities for anglers. Experienced boaties can head through the entrance for some good seasonal catches, while the inshore waterways are a safe option for those looking for a more relaxed day on the water. Land based anglers can cast off the jetties. Just 30 mins drive is the 90 Mile Beach where surf fishing is easy to access at locations such as Woodside Beach.

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