About Phillip Island and Gippsland
Gippsland: Build Your Own Holiday
The region of Gippsland, which begins just east of Melbourne and stretches to Victoria’s border with New South Wales, is one of the most diverse holiday destinations in Australia. Here, you will find beaches, lakes, forests, mountain ranges, farmland and even snowfields.
Trek through Wilsons Prom, the southernmost point on the Australian mainland. Swim or stroll along Ninety Mile Beach, which truly does stretch on for as many miles as the name lets on. In the winter, hit the slopes at Mt. Baw Baw for an alpine escape.
Holiday rentals in Gippsland are as diverse as the region. Opt for apartments in bustling villages, beach houses hugging the coast or cottages tucked away in the bush.
Gippsland’s Beaches and Lakes
Gippsland visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to waterfront activities. Many coastal towns, such as Inverloch and Lakes Entrance, have patrolled beaches. Seaspray Beach in Central Gippsland is a hub for families. Surfers enjoy Venus Bay and fishermen tend to favour Golden Beach.
Then, of course, there’s Ninety Mile Beach, the planet’s third longest uninterrupted stretch of sand. When you visit, look out for dolphins, swim, do some fishing or stroll as far as your feet can carry you.
The largest network of lakes in Australia starts behind Ninety Mile Beach’s sand dunes. Take river cruises departing from the area’s towns, such as Sale, to find out more about this unique ecosystem.
Mountains and Snowfields in Gippsland
Some of Gippsland’s mountain ranges are cold enough for snow. Mt Baw Baw is the most well known ski resort in the region. There are slopes for skiers of all skill levels and 10 km of trails for cross country skiing.
Other activities include snowboarding and tobogganing. In the evenings, retreat to the ski village, emulating a traditional town in the Swiss Alps. The next peak over, Mt St. Gwinear, also offers cross country skiing and tobogganing.
Year-round, head to the Grand Strzelecki Hills to hike. Wander beneath giant flowering plants and trees or make your way through a cool temperate rainforest. The Grand Strzelecki Track connects several national parks over 142 km. Drive or hike along the winding road for scenic views of ever-changing landscapes.
Gippsland’s Farmland and Vineyards
Gippsland has long been a getaway of choice for foodies. Sample local cheeses directly from the dairy farms, taste local free range meat or savour freshly caught seafood. More recently, the area has become associated with wine culture, with over 100 vineyards and 40 cellar doors. Craft breweries are popping up in the countryside, too.
Throughout the year, events in many Gippsland towns allow visitors to try local fare. Some options include the Inverloch Food and Wine Festival in March and the Loch Food and Wine Festival in June.
To discover Gippsland’s farmland at your own pace, grab a bike and take on the Great Southern Rail Trail, a 70 km inland cycling route. The trail runs from Leongatha to Welshpool along the region’s first railway, past 19th century bridges, glistening pastures, bushland and creeks.
National Parks and Reserves in Gippsland
Gippsland is rife with green spaces. Wilsons Promontory National Park, often referred to simply as Wilsons Prom, is popular for camping, bushwalking, swimming and wildlife observation. Ambitious hikers can undertake the Great Prom Walk, a 40 km network of trails, showcasing deserted beaches, rainforests, headlands and mountaintops.
The World Biosphere Reserve, within Croajingolong National Park, offers endless trails leading through rainforests, eucalyptus forests and swamps, as well as stretches of white sandy beaches. The reserve is a wildlife enthusiast’s paradise, as 50+ bird and animal species live in the trees and along the coastline.
The Towns and Villages of Gippsland
Gippsland has a myriad of small towns, dotting the waterfront and tucked away in the bush. There are gold rush towns like Walhalla and coastal villages such Kilcunda, which faces Phillip Island. Stratford, on the banks of the River Avon, has Shakespeare-themed activities year round. There’s even an annual Shakespeare theatre festival.
Boating enthusiasts can head to Sale or Lakes Entrance. Meanwhile, Mallacoota is a longstanding holiday town but remains surrounded by wilderness, with plenty of aquatic activities and bushwalking options.
Getting to and around Gippsland
Gippsland is easy to navigate, with a direct train line departing Melbourne’s CBD and stopping at many hinterland towns on the way to Bairnsdale. Connecting regional buses bring visitors to the coast and all the way to Lakes Entrance.
Keep in mind that service may be infrequent, so plan your journey ahead of time. If you wish to holiday close to national parks and ski resorts, it is best to have a car at your disposal.