There are so many reasons to visit the Gippsland Lakes and while many of them are obvious, there are some that may surprise you. This magnificent area is home to unique Australian animals, the pristine Ninety Mile Beach, calm swimming areas and quaint villages with delightful country hospitality.
- Where are the Gippsland Lakes?
- Best activities when you visit the Gippsland Lakes
- Unique wildlife
- The best Lakes in Victoria for Boating – The Gippsland Lakes
- Water sports
- Gippsland food and wine
- Country hospitality
- Family fun
- Where the mountains meet the sea
- Pristine beaches
- Relax, recharge, rekindle
- Stay local
- Walks, talks and scenery
- When is the best time to visit the Gippsland Lakes?
Many people make Lakes Entrance their base for a trip to the Gippsland Lakes region. Lakes Entrance is the biggest town on the East Gippsland Coast and has the majority of facilities holidaymakers to the area require. Although the largest town it is not the only place you can hold today on the Gippsland Lakes.
This post will give you all the very best things to do on the Gippsland Lakes to help plan your trip to Gippsland.
Where are the Gippsland Lakes?
Located approximately 3 hours from Melbourne via the M1 you will find some of the best lakes in Victoria at the Gippsland Lakes system. There are a few main towns to stay in like Paynesville, Loch Sport, Metung and Lakes Entrance.
Most of these towns are fully equipped to host holidaymakers in the Gippsland area. Gippsland Lakes is an area that covers more than 350 square kilometres and is mainly made up of lakes, marshes and lagoons. Some of the area makes up part of the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park
The three main lakes that run into the lakes system are Lake Wellington, Lake King and Lake Victoria, which are all fed by rivers starting in the Victorian High Country.
Lake King is the largest of the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria, Australia. Covering about 75 square kilometers, it offers boating, fishing, and birdwatching opportunities. The lake is interconnected with other lakes in the region, providing scenic views and recreational activities in Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park.
Lake Wellington, in Victoria’s Gippsland Lakes region, spans about 150 square kilometres. It’s ideal for boating, fishing, and birdwatching, with diverse birdlife and interconnectivity to nearby lakes. Visitors can appreciate its scenic beauty for photography, picnics, and leisurely walks within the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park.
Lake Victoria, in Victoria’s Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, covers 45 square kilometres and is perfect for boating, fishing, and birdwatching. Interconnected with neighbouring lakes, it offers serene waters for various activities, making it a picturesque destination for photography, picnics, and leisurely walks.
Ninety Mile Beach entrance is a man-made entrance to the Gippsland Lakes. The lakes system is in most places separated by Bass Strait by sand dunes and you will find them teaming with wildlife.
Best activities when you visit the Gippsland Lakes
There are so many reasons to visit the Gippsland Lakes and planning a trip to Gippsland is easy. While The Gippsland Lakes are full to the brim during the summer months you will find that Gippsland is the perfect destination in any season.
There is nothing better than seeing some amazing Australian animals up close and personal. When you visit the Gippsland Lakes there are so many to see in their natural habitat.
You can see the Koala colony on Raymond Island as well as wallabies and kangaroos there. While on the Lakes you may be able to see the endangered Burranan dolphin as well as the always hungry pelicans.
Raymond Island Koala Walk is a renowned Australian wildlife experience, located on Raymond Island in Victoria’s Gippsland Lakes region. Visitors can stroll through eucalyptus forests and observe wild koalas in their natural habitat, making it an excellent opportunity to witness these iconic marsupials up close and in their native environment.
The best Lakes in Victoria for Boating – The Gippsland Lakes
There are many beautiful lakes in Victoria and some of the best are in the Gippsland Lakes. Boating on the Lakes is extremely popular, both in the lakes system and offshore. You will find many people enjoying the water during the summer months, with holidaymakers loving the warm weather.
You can bring your own equipment, and you will find plenty of boat ramps in the region. You will find more than 40 boat ramps available across the lakes’ region. There are places you can hire boats on the Gippsland Lakes. For a more relaxing experience, you can go on one of the Thunderbird cruises at Lakes Entrance.
These Gippsland Lakes cruises take you from Lakes Entrance through the lakes’ system to Metung and back, spotting wildlife while you relax.
There are permits and licenses that you must hold to enjoy the Gippsland Lakes boating, and you must make sure you have these before you plan your boating trip to avoid disappointment. A day on the water makes the perfect Gippsland day trip.
There are so many places to fish in the Gippsland Lakes area. You can cast a line from some of the many jetties that are dotted around them, you can surf fish from the 90-mile beach, or you can go out in fishing boats to see if you get lucky! Because the Gippsland Lakes system opens into the ocean, there is a variety of fish waiting to be caught.
The Gippsland Lakes in Victoria, Australia, offer excellent fishing opportunities, with some of the best spots including:
- Lake Victoria: Known for its diverse fish species, including bream, flathead, and tailor.
- Lake King: Offers fantastic bream fishing, especially around the Reeves Channel and the Silt Jetties.
- Lake Wellington: A popular spot for catching dusky flathead, mullet, and tailor.
- Mitchell River: Known for its estuary perch and bream, particularly around the silt jetties.
- Tambo River: Offers opportunities for catching bream and estuary perch.
- Nicholson River: Known for its scenic beauty and bream fishing.
- Holland’s Landing: A favorite spot for land-based anglers targeting bream and flathead.
- Paynesville: Offers easy access to several prime fishing locations in the lakes.
Surf fishing for fishing enthusiasts is popular on the 90 Mile Beach with Seaspray being renowned for its shark fishing. Gippsland boasts great fishing all along the coast from Loch Sport to Eastern Beach.
Please remember that there are catch limits and sizing as well as licensing restrictions that you must have to be able to fish on the Lakes.
Is Gippsland Lakes on our list of all the best summer destinations in Victoria?
Skiing, kneeboarding, paddle boarding and surfing are some of the most popular water sports that you can do on the Gippsland Lakes in summer. The Red Bluff beach on Lake Tyers Road is the best place to find a good wave near Lakes Entrance.
Lakes Entrance Main Beach, Seaspray Beach, Loch Sport Beach and Lake Tyres beach are popular for surf swimming. There are some great spots for swimming between Loch Sport and Lakes Entrance.
Gippsland food and wine
Delight your taste buds and make sure you have a delicious meal at one of the many top restaurants around the Gippsland Lakes. Many local places try to source much of their produce from local growers which makes the experience so much better.
In the area, you will also find that the local wineries and craft beer producers have their wares on sale at the local restaurants as well. Many of them will also have a cellar door that you can visit and purchase some of their wines or beers to enjoy back at your accommodation.
The best thing about food and wine, when you visit the Gippsland Lakes, is that you can buy fresh from the trawlers and cook it yourself, pick up some from a local chippy, enjoy a great meal at a local place that doesn’t cost the earth or you can really treat your self and go for fine dining.
The choices are endless when you visit the Gippsland Lakes from enjoying picnic facilities in the Lakes National Park to enjoying the dining deck in the summer months at the Metung Hotel.
There is just nothing like it and so many people after leaving the Gippsland area will say that it is one of the friendliest places in Victoria. Once you find a place that you love you will easily return to visit the Gippsland Lakes and become just like a local. There really is nothing like country hospitality and the Gippsland Lakes area is well known for it.
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If you are travelling to Gippsland as a family, there are so many wonderful things to do in Gippsland with kids. While Lakes Entrance holds the lion’s share of activities for families, there are skate parks, pump tracks and bike tracks as well in some smaller towns.
In Lakes Entrance, you will find Segways, mini-golf, trampolines, indoor water centres, go-karts and playgrounds that are magnificent for families visiting the lakes area. Just recently opened for the summer of 2021/2022 is the new Aqua Park in Lakes Entrance, soon.
In Loch Sport, you will find a park with play equipment, a skateboard park and half-court basketball along the foreshore. Tuckers Mini Golf and Café offers some fun things to do in Gippsland.
In Paynesville, you will find a park behind the main street featuring a skate park and play equipment. There is a small playground with BBQ equipment at Sunset Cove with shallow water swimming for kids.
In Metung you will find Patersons Park which offers both water and non-water play for children. You will find Picnic tables, electric BBQs, a drinking fountain, a sand pit, climbing structures, a lawn, a basketball ring, and a deck with bench seating.
Where the mountains meet the sea
Are you a person that loves a bit of both worlds? Do you love to wander the bush and feel one with nature then sit on the beach for an epic sunset? Then the Gippsland Lakes is for you.
Just out of Lakes Entrance is the Coulquorn State Forest which has some amazing bushwalking tracks and the Stony Creek Trestle Bridge, You can spend the day in the bush and then find yourself back down by the water in minutes.
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Australia is known for its amazing beaches the world over and the 90-mile beach is right on your doorstep if you live in Victoria! This pristine beach is magnificent and at times you may be the only one on it.
The 90-mile beach is a great swimming beach and is easily accessed from Lakes Entrance over the footbridge. This section of the Ninety Mile Beach is also patrolled in the summer months by the Lakes Entrance Surf Life Saving Club for your safety. If you are not a strong or confident swimmer we suggest you swim here.
Relax, recharge, rekindle
There is nothing better than some time to relax, recharge or rekindle that relationship and a visit to the Gippsland Lakes is absolutely perfect for that.
You can choose to stay in top Gippsland Lakes accommodation all the way to a farm stay in the mountains. Whatever you need to relax, recharge or rekindle the Gippsland Lakes and the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park has it all.
The Gippsland Lakes are located in the East Gippsland Shire and they were heavily impacted by bushfires in 2019. This decimated the area in terms of tourism with so many holidaymakers being evacuated from the area for safety. Holidaying in the Gippsland Lakes is helping Victorian locals stay in the place they love and supports local jobs within the area.
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Walks, talks and scenery
There are so many walks you can do in the Gippsland Lakes area. You can do the Entrance Walk on the Ninety Mile Beach which is located at the Footbridge in Lakes Entrance.
This easy walk takes you either along the Cunningham Arm or the Ninety Mile Beach to the Entrance of the Gippsland Lakes.
Note that there are no shops along this walk, and you must take some supplies with you as fresh water is not available along the route.
You can also do some bushwalking tracks out near the Stony Creek Trestle Bridge. This is a great area for people looking at native wildlife, especially bird watching. Newlands Arm near has a great path that leads along the water all the way to Paynesville, while the Painesville to Eagle Point walking tracks suit all levels of fitness.
Some people like to walk from Lakes Entrance’s main beach all the way to the Lakes Tyers Waterwheel Tavern along the pristine 90-mile beach. There are walking tracks everywhere with many kilometres that can be access year round.
Please call ahead to the tavern and see if they are open and if they have a shuttle bus timeslot so you can walk, enjoy a drink and be dropped back off at your accommodation.
You will also find many bike paths and footpaths around Lakes Entrance that are mainly in loops. Some will take you along the Esplanade and even all the way out to Kalimna.
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When is the best time to visit the Gippsland Lakes?
Many people visit the Gippsland Lakes in the summer months. You will find the towns and accommodation in the area booked out months in advance normally from November all the way through to the end of February.
School holidays are a busy time to visit the Gippsland Lakes for families so if you are able a mid-week trip to Gippsland may be good.
You really can’t go wrong in any season to visit the Gippsland Lakes and surrounds. You will find some places may have shorter opening hours and you may possibly have to rethink a swim on a winter’s day for your Gippsland Lakes escapes.
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