Occupying a massive patch of southeast Victoria, Gippsland is a region of incredible diversity and beauty.
Glorious beaches and lakes and much-loved national parks contrast with snow-capped mountains; old-gold towns sit side by side with thriving regional centres. And that’s just the beginning…
Navigate Gippsland’s huge boundaries with this handy cheat sheet.
With its humungous stretch of coastline, you can expect to find plenty of amazing beaches in the region. Here’s a helpful rundown:
Ninety Mile Beach
One of Victoria’s most pristine patches of golden sand lives up to its name and has various access points. Encompassed within this huge stretch of East Gippsland are pretty, smaller beaches that include Lakes Entrance Main Beach and nearby Lake Tyers Beach.
This town evokes an instantly relaxing vibe and its protected stretch that is Anderson Inlet enhances this feeling. It suits paddleboarding and windsurfing and is great for families. Nearby Inverloch Surf Beach attracts those with board in hand.
This far-east town has a series of beaches that demand attention. Betka Beach appeals to surfers, as well as families, and has several funky rock formations. Quarry Beach has its own spectacular colourful rocks and Tip Beach is another popular stretch for surfers, backed by sand dunes that keep kids entertained.
Wilsons Promontory National Park beaches
This popular park has several enticing strips of sand that include Waratah Bay, Norman Bay, and well-named Squeaky Beach. We’ll get to more of Wilsons Prom shortly.
Elsewhere, the South Gippsland beaches of Port Welshpool and Venus Bay are people magnets. The latter is renowned for its waves, although caution is required when surfing and swimming.
This region boasts Australia’s largest network of inland waterways, conveniently called Gippsland Lakes.
Predictably, aquatic leisure abounds, including boating, swimming, canoeing, paddleboarding, and fishing.
Aptly named Lakes Entrance is the key destination to enjoy it all. It has a prime position on the edge of Ninety Mile Beach where Gippsland Lakes meets the Southern Ocean.
Uncover more of Lakes Entrance here.
Considering Gippsland gobbles up so much terrain, it shouldn’t surprise that the region’s national parks are full of variety. Take note of this trio:
Wilsons Promontory National Park
Where: 105km southeast of Inverloch.
What: This much-loved park bursts with breathtaking landscapes. Sparkling, secluded beaches and dramatic coastline, rivers, rainforest, and rock formations can be viewed on ample walking tracks, along with wildflowers and wildlife like wombats and kangaroos.
Tarra-Bulga National Park
Where: 35km south of Traralgon.
What: Tarra-Bulga is an enchanting sea of green as fabulous fern gullies and ancient myrtle beeches dominate, coupled with towering mountain ash trees. Soak up sensational views on the Corrigan Suspension Bridge and spot abundant wildlife and bird species.
Croajingolong National Park
Where: 125km east of Orbost.
What: Enjoy a mix of extensive coastline and sprawling forest and rainforest. Witness prime views from Genoa Peak, spot a rich selection of bird life, or dabble in various water sports.
For more spectacular scenery, check out the various falls that flow freely in these parts. Top picks include:
There is plenty already mentioned that would give the phone or camera a good workout. For more, the following are highlights among much else:
Bunurong Coastal Drive: This 14km stretch leads from Cape Paterson to Inverloch and explodes with dramatic sandstone cliffs, sandy coves, sparkling Bass Strait views, and funky formations highlighted by Eagles Nest.
Buchan Caves: 55km north of Lakes Entrance, these crazy creations teem with stunning limestone formations that can be viewed on guided tours.
Morwell Centenary Rose Garden: Filled with colour, the gardens boast 3000-plus roses in sprawling surrounds.
Traralgon: The city is home to a cluster of beautiful heritage buildings, led by its post office, as well as attractive gardens.
The region is home to a few historical trestle bridges that make excellent photo subjects, too.
A couple of notable examples are the Noojee Trestle Bridge located about 35km north of Warragul and the Bourne Creek Trestle Bridge in Kilcunda.
In winter, Baw Baw National Park at the northern tip of the region is reliably cloaked in snow. While it doesn’t earn the attention afforded to other Victorian ski fields, the park suits skiing and snowboarding and even has tobogganing and sled dog tours.
Outside winter, the park is perfect for exploration with canoeing, rock climbing, and fishing among popular activities. And walking tracks reveal breathtaking views, with colourful wildflowers to spot in early summer.
From a rich Indigenous past to a profound mining heritage, Gippsland has an engrossing past to relive. Here are some highlights:
Soak up the rich indigenous history and culture of the Gunaikurnai people along the Bataluk Cultural Trail, which is dotted with sites of interest all the way from Sale to Cape Conran. Learn more at the Krowathunkooloong Keeping Place museum in Bairnsdale.
One of the world's largest coal deposits was discovered in the Latrobe Valley, leading to a sustained period of prosperity. The 'black gold' days can be retraced during a fascinating underground tour of the State Coal Mine Heritage Area in Wonthaggi.
Another great find is Coal Creek Community Park and Museum at Korumburra. Here, a recreated coal-mining village will transport you back a century ago and beyond.
Similarly, Old Gippstown in Moe retraces this past and more and teems with striking heritage buildings from yesteryear.
These parts have a strong association with the precious metal, most notably at the charm-soaked township of Walhalla. Once a bustling mountainside gold-mining town, today it's home to just a handful of residents. The evocative past is best retraced via mine tours or along the Walhalla Tramline Walk or the scenic Walhalla Goldfields Railway.
The small town of Omeo was once a hive of activity following the discovery of gold, too. This fascinating past is best absorbed at the Oriental Claims Historic Area or the local museum.
Just off the coast is a little gem called Raymond Island. Better yet, it’s a koala hotspot with a dedicated trail for gazing at these cute creatures. You can reach the island with ease via a regular ferry service that departs from Paynesville.
Whether it's too hot or too cold or you just want to embrace Gippsland’s cultural and artistic side, check out these first-rate attractions:
This turf-munching region boasts plenty of fertile land, and so dozens of wineries are dotted throughout. Find cellar doors within easy reach of Inverloch to the west and Lakes Entrance to the east, and everywhere in between. Pinot noir and chardonnay lead the way.
Among top picks are:
If you fancy a glass of liquid gold, you’re in luck. Check out one of the following: