East Early lead is home to a wide variety of picturesque landscapes, from mountainous inland regions to vast stretches of undeveloped coastline and pristine lake systems. After the detrimental bushfires of 2019 and 2020, the area is ready to welcome back adventurous hikers and casual day-trekkers.
In the far eastern part of the state, several of the state's native forests and shrublands, such as red-gum wilderness, tea-tree scrub, fern-laden rainforest, and coastal heathland, are still thriving and provide habitat for native animals. Lakes provide year-round opportunities for fishing, diving, swimming, and kayaking, and a network of caves can be explored below ground. Snowy River National Park, Errinundra National Park, and Croajingolong National Park make up the bulk of the area's unspoilt national park, and within them are hundreds of miles of hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulties.
The favourable conditions, mild climate, and reliable rainfall of this area drew winegrowers and vegetable farmers. Professional cooks, baristas, and bartenders eventually followed. Then, there's the seafood, which is served right after it's been caught.
It takes about three and a half hours to reach East Gippsland from Melbourne, via the M1, before the A1 makes a sharp turn towards the New South Wales border. Here is our suggested itinerary for your time in the area, including recommendations for restaurants, bars, attractions, and hotels.
East Gippsland Things To Do
With a travel time of about three and a half to four hours from Melbourne, the large region of East Gippsland in Victoria offers visitors beautiful beaches, outdoor activities, cultural attractions, and more experiences and great food. Our hosts at East Gippsland Marketing Inc. have extended an invitation to spend a week exploring the Gippsland Lakes and other areas near Lakes Entrance and Bairnsdale in East Gippsland.
This will be our first time here, and after five days of exploring the area and enjoying its beautiful sights, fun activities, and delicious cuisine, we know we'll be back for more.
Chefs Tanya Bertino and Anton Eisenmenger, whose résumés include stops at Vue De Monde and Cumulus Inc., have brought big city flavours to the tiny, sleepy town of Lindenow with the opening of Long Paddock. With friendly service and tasty comfort food, this quaint café has perfected the art of casual sophistication.
The menu is short and seasonal, with plenty of hearty main courses and minimal side dishes. Some highlights include the China drunken pork belly with grilled eggplant and rice, and pan-fried gnocchi only with taleggio, local rocket, and sweet onion. Country classics like savoury pizzas and scones are always on the menu, and the cake case is stocked with treats like ultra-chocolatey brownies, dusted berry frangipanes, and flaky pies with thick crusts.
Lake Tyers Beach
Visitors with children will enjoy the long, sandy stretch of Lake Tyers Beach. To pass the time, we play frisbee, build sandcastles, read, and dip our toes into the water. Rent a kayak as from Lake Tyers General Store or make the hike up the Red Bluff cliff walk to the Red Headland lookout if you're in the mood for some exercise. Famous for its waves, Red Bluff in East Gippsland is also a good place to see whales between May and October.
Ninety Mile Beach
It could be mistaken for the Bahamas, but in reality it's just across the tower from Lakes Entrance's main drag. From Port Albert to Lakes Entrance, the 151-kilometer stretch of sand known as Ninety Mile Beach awaits. The beach looks out over Bass Strait and backs up to the Gippsland Lakes, and is known as one of longest in the world.
Even if the water isn't tropical, the beautiful beach and sea will put you in a vacation state of mind. Having such a stunningly gorgeous, pure, and empty beach so near to home is an incredible blessing.
If you're visiting Lakes Entrance, you must visit this beach. It is characterised by long, sun scorched that separate the Southern Lakes first from Bass Strait, and its location makes it ideal for swimming, long strolls, and even whale-spotting. It is just over 151 km far in length. If the summer crowds are too much to bear, however, you can escape to a quieter stretch of beach by taking the Princes Highway back and exiting at Cove Bunga Beach Road.
Croajingolong National Park
The word "croajingolong" comes from the Gunaikurnai people's Krauatungalung language; the words galung and kraua both mean "belonging to" and "east," respectively. The vast park was designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Fund in 1977 due to its abundance of natural resources. These included eucalyptus forest, lush, heathland, granite outcroppings, and pristine lakes and beaches.
Although some parts of Croajingolong National Forest are still closed due to the ongoing effects of the bushfires, the park still offers a wealth of opportunities for exploration. Paddle your canoe, kayak, or boat to the prime fishing spot of Tamboon Inlet, where you can spend the night at the Peachtree Creek Campground. On the following day, you can go on an excursion to the Point Hicks Lighthouse. The Gabo Archipelago Lighthouse Reserve is abode to seabirds, including penguins, for an even wilder and more isolated experience. You can explore the surrounding area, which includes creeks, ruins, an old burial site, a radar station, and the lighthouse itself.
Albert & Co
Once you reach Lakes Entrance in East Gippsland, be sure to stop by this bright cafe. Though Albert & Co. has been around for a while, it didn't settle into its current waterside location until December of 2017. From a tiny kitchen in neighbouring Kalimna, the cafe's proprietors ran their business. They can hardly contain their enthusiasm about moving into the new, larger office.
The coffee here is good. There's Five Senses Coffee beans, Drinking glasses of Gippsland Jersey full cream, Bonsoy, or Milk Lab almond and milk protein milk. The menu emphasises regional ingredients whenever possible, such as the pastured eggs from Forge Creek, the sardines from the lake visible through the glass conservatory, the beef, pork, lamb, cheese, and vegetables grown in the on-site kitchen garden.
The cafe is open from breakfast to dinner, so you can enjoy a Pop's Lunch of smoked meats, charcuterie, house-made dips, pickles, and sourdough with a local beer, cider, or wine.
Sardine Eatery And Bar
Mark Briggs was the head chef at Vue De Monde for four years, and you may have last seen him there. Briggs and his new wife, Melbourne Hollingsworth, have abandoned the city life for the slower pace of life in Paynesville, East Gippsland. A Michelin-starred chef seems out of place in a seemingly sleepy waterfront suburb. Lots and lots of fishing.
Expect the expected from Sardine, a team that steals some of Gippsland's freshest fresh fish and serves it to customers in a modest eatery. Whole sardines are charred and served with finger lime but rather coriander, but the octopus skewers with chorizo and a touch of lemon aioli may be the real treat.
Two tempura pearl morsels and a crisp roasted fish fillet with cassava flour and black garlic are among the main course offerings. The pork belly with apple cider and savoy cabbage is delicious if you need a break from the plethora of seafood.
Lightfoot And Sons
The Gippsland Lake superior district is Victoria's easternmost viticultural region, located directly between the Great Dividing Range and Bass Strait. Lightfoot and Sons Vineyard, which has been in operation since 1995, is one example of a winery that has consistently set the standard higher. All of its wines are crafted from fruit harvested from its Myrtle Point tasting room, and are supervised by winemakers Alastair Butt but instead Tom Lightfoot.
The cellar door at Lightfoot and Sons is open for tastings. Sit at one of the big wooden tables in the courtyard and a glass of renowned Myrtle Point sauvignon noir with a plate of charcuterie made in the area. The winery's tasting room looks out over the wine region and the surrounding Gippsland area because it is built on the crest of a hill.
Metung Beach (Lake)
Metung, a village in Australia, is a popular tourist destination because of its prime location on Bancroft Bay in the middle of Gippsland Lakes, the country's largest inland waterway. The beautiful waters of Elms Bay in the Southern Lakes are just feet away from the Metung Hotel, which sits on 4644 square metres of land. The Metung Hotel underwent a complete makeover in late 2005, and it shows.
Visit us at noon every day to see the Pelicans being fed and have a bite to eat. Have a drink mostly on seawall, right by the water, if the weather is nice. You could even bring the boat and moor it here. Renting a boat is an option for those without their own vessel.
The name Metung, formerly known as "Rosherville," means "bend in the lake" in the speech of the local Kurnai people. In 1870, Mr. G. Rosser built the "Rosherville Hotel" on the current site. The Hotel was purchased in 1875 by Germans based in Berlin and renamed the "Krecklow" Scarborough Hotel in honour of the new owner's hometown.
On the "Continent" now known as Europe, the Krecklows ran a successful hotel business. Located just a few feet from the water, the Rosherville and Sudbury Hotel featured a veranda with roof overhangs that wrapped around the entire building.
Raymond Island is more commonly referred to as Koala Island because of the island's well-protected koala population. With the koala population in Victoria having been nearly wiped out in the 1920s, a small group of male and female koalas were relocated from New South Wales to Victoria in 1953 Phillip Island to Raymond Island, where they can live (and have babies) without fear of predators like dogs or vehicles carrying harmful germs.
Free for pedestrians and cyclists, the ferry runs every 1 hour across the 200 ft of water separating Paynesville and the island. After getting off the boat, follow the signs to the best trail to see the dozing marsupials.
The 1.2-kilometer route can be completed in under 20 minutes, but you're free to take as many side streets and detours as you like. There are also echidnas, kangaroos, and more than 140 different kinds of birds in addition to koalas.
Lakes Explorer Sea Safari
When in Lakes Entrance, you must take to the water. If you're in Australia and don't have access to a boat, you can take a tour of the country's largest inland lake system with Skipper Pete. During our hour-long cruise, Pete educates us on the fascinating past of Lakes Entrance and its environs while we keep an eye out for seals, seabirds, and even dolphins.
Raymond Island Koala Trail
The koala trail can be reached by taking the ferry from Paynesville to the tiny island of Raymond. You can find a few dozen snoozing koalas nestled high in the tree forks as you take this leisurely 1.2 km stroll around the island through search of native wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled as you stroll; you never know what furry critters might be hovering above you.
The Riversleigh, a charming Victorian-era cottage, can be found in the quiet country town of Bairnsdale. It's close to the highway, and it features a flat-screen TV, deluxe queen beds, vintage furnishings, and warm hospitality typical of the American South.
The restaurant where breakfast is served has such large windows that you might as well be outside in the bright sunshine.
Off The Wharf
Small and large fishing boats alike dock at the two marinas at this major retailer for the Wetlands Entrance Diver's Co-operative every day to unload their catch onto conveyor belts. From the observation deck, you can see them being processed from beginning to end.
Daily catches of bream and college whiting from Gippsland Lake are supplemented by twice-weekly visits from deep-sea nett trawlers bearing the bounty of Bass Strait. Tiger screw driver, gummy shark, bird fish, ling, yellow-eye bowl cut, prawns, sardines, mussels, and whitebait are just some of the fish and seafood that can be found in the store on any given day, depending on the time of year. It's a great place to stock up on seafood from around Victoria.
Griffiths Sea Shell Museum
A place like the Griffiths Sea Shell Museum can be found in any small country town, and Lakes Entrance is no exception. The enormous squid perched atop the roof is impossible to miss. Although it's old and dated, the museum's few aquariums, numerous shell displays, giant clams, and even miniature railway in the back make for a fun kitsch outing with kids.
Playground equipment at Patterson Park includes a sandpit, a birds' nest swing, a cubby house, and a large data and rope climbing structure. It's not very big, but you can easily kill a minutes or so here. There is a large log and wire climbing structure, treehouse, picnic area, birds nest swing, and cubby houses at Patterson Park. Despite its diminutive size, there is sufficient entertainment to keep visitors occupied for at least an hour.
East Gippsland All Abilities Playground
A huge fenced playground on the main street 'From the Mountains to the Sea' is the theme of Bairnsdale's annual festival, which honours everything from the town's maritime history to its timber industry. You'll find a Liberty Swing and an accessible toilet among the many pieces of equipment for kids of all ages but instead abilities, in addition to picnic tables and public restrooms. Park Street Bairnsdale, East Gippsland All Abilities Playground, Davison Oval The parking lot for the playground is accessible from Macleod Street.
The English owner-chef stresses the importance of knowing where your food comes from. If you look at the menu at his cafe-bistro in Bairnsdale, you'll see that the vegetables come from the wetlands of Lindenow, the based on categories is pressed in Maffra, the sardines are caught in it in Lakes Entrance, and the fennel is grown along the Snowy River. It's a map of the unique terroir of East Gippsland and a tribute to the region's farmers and fishermen; much more than just a menu.
Turner has used his background in classical French and experience in rural Yorkshire to advocate for Gippsland's seasonal, locally sourced food. So pay attention on the specials board for items like Mallacoota mollusc with scrambled eggs and chocolate - covered fraîche on La Las de los sourdough for buffet or locally harvested pine and bumpy jack mushrooms with nordhaus brioche, whipped ricotta, and hazelnuts for lunch.
Bistro-brasserie dishes like braised Gippsland pork cheek with kale puree, local nettle gremolata, and a parmesan crumb, or Portarlington bivalves cooked with Luckes Steak house sausages, Sailors Tomb ale, Snowy River beach herbs, and a bacon-butter broth, are served on Friday and Saturday evenings.
In terms of liquids, you can round out your culinary education with offerings from local breweries like Sailors Grave, Bullant Brewery, and Winter storm Brewing Company, and wineries like Tambo Wine, Lightfoot & Sons, and Nicholson River Winery.
East Gippsland Art Gallery
The East Gippsland Art Gallery is the region's primary venue for visual arts, hosting a variety of changing exhibitions that pay homage to the area's rich cultural heritage. They offer kid-friendly art classes during the summer and winter breaks at affordable prices. Together with Julia, the artist, we put in a few hours planning and constructing a tiny treehouse.
The Grand Terminus Hotel
The Grand Terminus Hotel is one of the oldest bars in Bairnsdale, having first opened its doors in 1889. There's a reason why the restaurant is always packed on a weeknight: the food is delicious and there is something on the menu for everyone, from burgers to Bodhisattva bowls.
More than a thousand limestone caves form a maze beneath the bucolic countryside of Buchan. About 400 million years ago, rivers and rainwater carved through the rock, dissolving the limestone, creating these caves. As a result, stalactites hang from the ceiling, and stalagmites sprout from the floor, and pools with calcite edges form.
Everyday tours are available to a select number of caves, including Crown Cave and Fairy Cave. They are naturally heated to 17 degrees, have plenty of light, and are among the best in the world. You can go on both short and long walks through the nearby bushland, where you have the chance to see kangaroos, emus, echidnas, and over 60 different species of birds.
Nicholson River Winery
Twenty acres of vines were planted by Nicholson in 1978. This vineyard is now among the oldest in the area. It was a bold step to plant grapevines on previously uncharted land back then. They were driven, however, by an ambition to create wines on par with the best France has to offer. Former science teacher Ken studied wine at Lancaster University alongside other future stars of the Australian wine industry. In 1984, he helped found the Wine Gippsland organisation and eventually served as its president.
With nine different grape varieties in the tasting room, he had plenty of room to experiment with flavorful European-style wines. His wines, which he creates with a minimal touch, are striking in their purity. That means he doesn't use any additives and doesn't filter or fine the wine, and he uses a combination of cultivated and wild yeasts. The grapes' content and flavour are enhanced by keeping yields low on purpose.
Everything is produced right where you are, and if you look near, you might even spot a resident echidna, wallaby, rabbit, or wedge-tailed eagle. Try some samples on the inside, and then take your glass and a plate of good bread and antipasti outside to enjoy. Surroundings of idyllic Nicholson River scenery are tempting, but so are the table grapes dangling from the sky.
There are many beautiful natural features in East Gippsland. They include hilly inland regions, long stretches of untouched coastline, and numerous pristine lakes. Visitors, both serious hikers and those out for a leisurely day trip, are encouraged to return to the area after the devastating bushfires of 2019 and 2020. Much of the area's pristine national park is located in Snowy River National Park, Errinundra National Park, and Croajingolong National Park, and it features hundreds of miles of hiking paths of varied lengths and difficulty. There are also hotels, bars, restaurants, and tourist attractions nearby. Beaches, outdoor pursuits, cultural sites, and delicious local fare are just some of the delights that East Gippsland in Victoria has to offer.
Lindenow is home to Long Paddock, a cosy café with great service and delicious comfort food prepared by chefs Tanya Bertino and Anton Eisenmenger. Kids love spending time at Lake Tyers Beach playing frisbee, making sandcastles, reading, and splashing around in the lake. Port Albert to Lakes Entrance is separated by 151 kilometres of sandy beach known as Ninety Mile Beach. Between the months of May and October, whale-watchers flock to Red Bluff.
- East Early lead is home to several different types of beautiful scenery, including forested inland areas, unspoilt beaches, and crystal clear lakes.
- A year after the devastating bushfires of 2019 and 2020, the area is ready to welcome back explorative hikers and relaxed day-trekkers.
- Many of the state's original woods and shrublands, such as the red-gum wilderness, tea-tree scrub, fern-laden rainforest, and coastal heathland, are still flourishing in the state's far eastern region, providing essential habitat for local species.
- Fishing, scuba diving, swimming, and kayaking are all possible in the region's lakes, and the area's extensive cave system provides further underground adventure.
- There are hundreds of miles of hiking routes of varied lengths and difficulty within the area's pristine national parks, the majority of which are Snowy River National Park, Errinundra National Park, and Croajingolong National Park.
- Winemakers and farmers were drawn to the region because of its favourable weather, mild climate, and consistent rainfall.
- Driving time from Melbourne to East Gippsland on the M1 is around three and a half hours, after which the A1 makes a sudden bend towards the New South Wales border.
- Province of East Gippsland Actions to Take The wide region of East Gippsland in Victoria provides visitors stunning beaches, outdoor sports, cultural attractions, and more experiences and wonderful food, and can be reached by car in around three and a half to four hours from Melbourne.
- East Gippsland Marketing Co., our gracious hosts, have invited us to spend a week in the region, primarily in and around the Gippsland Lakes, Lakes Entrance, and Bairnsdale.
- Our five days here will be our first, and after seeing the area's stunning scenery, exciting attractions, and mouthwatering fare, we already know we'll be back for more.
- Bringing big city flavours to the little, tranquil village of Lindenow, Long Paddock was opened by chefs Tanya Bertino and Anton Eisenmenger, whose resumes include stints at Vue Du Monde and Cumulus Inc.
- This cosy café is an excellent example of effortless elegance, thanks to its warm service and delicious comfort cuisine.
- The menu is concise and changes with the seasons, yet there is no shortage of robust main dishes or few accompaniments.
- Pan-fried gnocchi just with taleggio, local rocket, and sweet onion are a standout, as is China drunken pig belly with grilled eggplant and rice.
- The cake case always has goodies like ultra-chocolatey brownies, powdered berry frangipanes, and flaky pies with thick crusts, in addition to country standards like savoury pizzas and scones.
- Beach at Lake Tyers Lake Tyers Beach has a wide, sandy area that is great for families.
- We kill time by playing Frisbee, constructing sandcastles, reading, and dipping our toes in the water.
- If you are in the mood for some activity, you can rent a kayak from the Lake Tyers General Store or go up the Red Bluff cliff walk to the Red Headland overlook.
- Red Bluff in East Gippsland is well-known for its surf, but it is also a great site to observe whales between May and October.
- Bay of Ninety Miles In actuality, it's just across the tower from Lakes Entrance's main street, yet it looks like the Bahamas.
FAQs About East Gippsland Melbourne
The East Gippsland area is Victoria's local government area (LGA). This area is home to 141 locations and suburbs, which you can explore in more detail by selecting from the list below. The East Gippsland area is located approximately 313kms from the capital Melbourne.
Gippsland is traditionally subdivided into four or five main sub-regions or districts: East Gippsland (Shires of Wellington and East Gippsland). Sometimes a fifth region, Central Gippsland (corresponding approximately to the Shire of Wellington), refers to the drier zone between the Gippsland Lakes and Yarram.
From the unique ecosystems found in Australia’s Coastal Wilderness to the spectacular majesty of rugged mountains threaded through by the Great Alpine Road and the vast array of waterways that make up the Gippsland Lakes, East Gippsland’s regions offer enough variety to meet your every desire.
East Gippsland is known for its icons! 90 miles of beach, limestone caves that are thousands of years old and our gorgeous koalas of Raymond Island
The East Gippsland Shire Estimated Resident Population for 2021 is 48,453, with a population density of 2.31 persons per square km.