East Gippsland is a regional Victorian area that boasts a range of natural wonders and attractions that are some of Australia’s best. From the coast to the mountains, East Gippsland is known for its vast lakes, historic mountain terrain and gourmet dining. Enjoy the snowy slopes in winter or join holidaymakers in summer on the long stretch of sand. With a rich Indigenous heritage to be explored at every turn, it’s time to put it on your bucket-list. Here are our top picks:
Croajingolong National Park- Gales Hill Track
UNESCO listed and widely considered one of Australia’s most beautiful national parks, Croajingolong has an expansive landscape that features one of the most diverse eco-systems. Explore the 100km of coast and hinterland by hiking, walking or swimming. One of the most untouched natural beauties, you’ll want to bring your camera to capture this one!
Snowy River- Alpine National Park
‘The Man From Snowy River’ is a historic Australian poem turned box office hit that has made famous the Alpine National Park. The Snowy River is also home to a rich Indigenous history and tradition. The mountain is an ideal snow destination in winter and is home to Australia’s highest peak, Mt Kosciuszko. In summer, the lakes and streams come alive and appeal to hikers and explorers. The river is 325kms in length and known for canoeing and rafting. Whether your skiing the peaky ridges or horse riding like the Man from Snowy River, this mountain region is one of Australia’s best.
Ninety Mile Beach- Marine National Park
This stretch of untamed coastline separates Gippsland Lakes from the Bass Strait. Widely considered one of most natural and unspoilt beaches in the world, it’s a popular destination for fishing, swimming and walking. The beach is famed for the long sandy dunes that line the cliffs. Sit on the golden sand and you may be lucky enough to spot a whale!
Buchan Caves- Caves Road, Buchan
This ancient underground landscape features limestone formations that date back 400 million years. The maze of stalactites is a true testament to the natural history of the region. The rich limestone surfaces are fully lit with walkways and guided tours can further illuminate the history and science beyond the caves.
Lakes Entrance- East Gippsland
This coastal town is known for the man-made channel that links the Bass Strait with the Tasman Sea. The network of inland waterways is known as the Gippsland Lakes and attracts tourists and holidaymakers in abundance. Along with the natural beauty of the coast, Lakes Entrance is defined by the selection of restaurants, shops and accommodation. The view of colourful fishing boats is visible from every perch, with the boats often selling the catch of the day from the jetties. Take a guided boat tour, enjoy the surf or café hop along the waterfront. Lakes Entrance is the epitome of summer in Australia.
Mitchell River Silt Jetties- Gippsland Lakes Region
The Mitchell River Silt Jetties refers to a unusually long, thin landform banks that run for over 8km. They are the second largest silt jetties in the world and are accessible to explore. This geographic wonder was deposited millions of years ago when the Mitchell River entered Lake King. With fishing spots scattered all along the banks and native wildlife aplenty, this is a tranquil day out for the whole family.
Point Hicks Lighthouse- Croajingolong National Park
Embark on the 2.2 km walk from the carpark to the Point Hicks Lighthouse and you’ll be sure to be greeted by koalas perched up in the gum trees and wallabies that inhabit the cliffs. Climb the 162 stairs of this remote lighthouse for unmatched views of the Gippsland Lakes. Still functioning as a light warning for those at sea, this lighthouse has a historic significance like no other. Captain Cook first sighted the shores of Australia in 1770 and this point on the south east coast was named Point Hicks after a crewman on board. Have a more immersive experience with on-site cottage accommodation available for guests.
Sailors Grave Brewing- Orbost
This microbrewery is unique to the region and is set up in an old butter factory that dates back centuries. Known for its inventive and distinctive brews like a Gose made from locally sourced seaweed. Home to some iconic events throughout the year such as the Deep Winter Festival, you can also organise a tour of the brewery, just remember to call ahead.
Mallacoota Bunker Museum- Mallacoota
Just outside of Mallacoota, in the bush lies a RAAF military bunker that is now a museum. The high-security communication installation is from WWII and features interesting information on the Japanese submarines that patrolled the eastern coastline which sank 22 allied and cost 194 lives. Worth a trip if you’re a history buff or want to see something truly unique.
St Marys Church- Bairnsdale
St Marys cultural significance to Australia has been acknowledged with a National Trust Classification and the sacred murals which cover the walls, ceilings and windows are said to rival those in Spain and Italy. In 1931 Italian artist Francesco Floreani was looking for work in the Bairnsdale area and was tasked with decorating the interior of the church. The murals depict biblical stories and are famous around the world, attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year. The church doors are open every day for visitors to behold the beauty of the murals.