Stunning towns on the Gippsland Lakes

If you want to holiday in Victoria in any season it’s difficult to pick a perfect location. You might want one that has a village feel, is close to a larger town, has calm beaches, great cafes or even surf beaches. But where do you find all of this in Victoria?

Well, the perfect place that has most of these to easily tick off is the stunning towns on the Gippsland Lakes. They have it all, you just have to find the one that is perfect for you! While many are full to the brim during the summer months you will still find plenty to do in these towns over the winter months.

What is the Gippsland Lakes?

The Gippsland Lakes are a system of lakes, marshes and lagoons that are located adjacent to the Tasman Sea and the 90-Mile Beach on the Gippsland coast. The Latrobe River, Avon River, Nicholson River, Tambo River, Mitchell River, Macalister River and Thomson River all empty into the Gippsland Lakes.

The beautiful Mitchell River silt jetties are an easy side trip when you are visiting towns on the Gippsland Lakes. There are 2 sections of the jetties winding through the dark blue water. There is a dirt track making its way up one of the jetties and you can see the mainland in the background of the drone shot.
Gippsland Lakes Silt Jetties

The Gippsland Lakes is the largest inland lake system in Australia. To help protect this amazing lakes system the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park was established in 1979 and covers the area all the way from Seaspray in the south to Lakes Entrance in the north.

Visit Gippsland: 11 reasons you NEED to visit the Gippsland Lakes

What are the best towns on the Gippsland Lakes?

There are 5 major towns in the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park on the banks of the lakes and ocean. The towns of Lakes Entrance, Metung, Paynesville, Loch Sport and Seaspray are extremely popular summer destinations for things to do in Gippsland.

While there are some other towns on the Gippsland Lakes we have only included the ones that have services. We have also put them in order in distance from Melbourne.

Seaspray, Gippsland Australia – 3.5 hours or 236 km

Seaspray is a small coastal community on 90 Mile Beach. The town features the Seaspray Caravan Park, a general store and the Seaspray Surf Club. The rest of the town is a mix of local and holiday houses for people who come to enjoy one of the best beaches in Victoria.

While there are basic services available in Seaspray the larger town of Sale is located only 30 minutes away that has a hospital, numerous supermarkets, chemists, a laundromat and other facilities.

The Merriman Creek runs into the ocean at Seapray
Merrimans Creek at Seapray

The Seaspray Caravan Park is often packed out over the summer months, so getting in early for a booking is best. There are spots available at the caravan park for tents, motor homes, caravans and some cabins available as well as some annual vans.

The Seaspray Beach and Merrimans Creek are where most of the summer fun is had in the waters of the Gippsland coast. The Seaspray Beach is patrolled by lifeguards in the summer months due to the area being so popular with holidaymakers.

Not only a swimming beach the Seaspray Beach and creek is popular for surf fishing where salmon is regularly caught. For the more experienced fishermen, sharks are what they come to the Seaspray area for.

*It is worth noting that while the drive into Seaspray is beautiful you do have to watch out for native animals like kangaroos and wombats on the road especially if you are driving at night.

Places to eat in Seaspray

Your choice of places to eat in Seaspray is limited to the local corner store/fish n chip shop or the Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club.

Where to have a BBQ in Seaspray

There are plenty of places to enjoy a BBQ in Seaspray. The best place for a BBQ in Seaspray would be along the foreshore. There are plenty of BBQ areas and seating for everyone, and the BBQs are free to use.

Seaspray accommodation

Seaspray accommodation is limited to apartments. There is also a caravan park but places fill up quickly, especially in the summer months. To use the caravan park you will need your own caravan, tent or camper trailer. There are some limited cabins for hire at the Seaspray caravan park as well.

*In between Seaspray and Golden Beach, heading towards Loch Sport on Shoreline Drive, you will find access to the Trinculo Ship Wreck. The Trinculo was wrecked on the sands of the 90-Mile Beach in May 1879. Today, all that can still be seen are parts of the Hull sticking out of the sand.

See more of Victoria: 25 of the best places to visit in Victoria

Loch Sport, Gippsland Australia – 3 hours 50 minutes or 268 km

Loch Sport borders both the 90-Mile Beach and the Gippsland Lakes. Well, certainly the Gippsland Lakes with the 90-Mile Beach being 1.5 kilometres out of town.  

Loch Sport is an ever-growing town on the Gippsland Lakes. Loch Sport is popular for boating and the Loch Sport Mariner is a focal part of the town.

a jetty stretching out into the Gippsland Lakes
Fishing and boating jetty at Loch Sport

Recently, new jetties have been built on the Gippsland Lakes side for fishing and for mooring cruising vessels. Loch Sport has a handful of shops including a General Store, the Mariner bar and bistro and a fish ‘n’ chip shop.

There are plenty of BBQ areas and parks along the foreshore that are fantastic to bring your own lunch and have a picnic.

At the end of town, you will find the Lakes National Park, where you can continue onto more swimming and fishing spots. Sperm Whale Head is a good destination where you might also find a kangaroo or two. Don’t forget a trip to the local mini-golf with the kids. They will love it!

Places to eat in Loch Sport:

There are limited options in Loch Sport to eat. The best option for a full meal would be The Marina Hotel Bar and Bistro. On the foreshore, you will find Lodge coffee and takeaway, with FoodWorks next door. Loch Sport takeaway and the Mini Golf Cafe are also popular options.

kids play equipment near the water at Loch Sport
Play and bbq area on the Loch Sport Foreshore

Where to have a BBQ in Loch Sport

Another great place to have a BBQ on your day trip to Loch Sport is along the foreshore. Lion’s Park has a playground and a skate park if you are travelling in Gippsland with kids. The BBQ areas are shaded, and there is plenty of seating.

Loch Sport Accommodation

Search Stayz for all your Loch Sport accommodation.

Explore Victoria: Here are the best caravan parks in Victoria

Paynesville Gippsland Lakes Australia – 4 hours 15 minutes or 294 km

Paynesville is located on the Gippsland Lakes. The second-biggest town on the lakes with a population of 3480 people. Paynesville is closely located to Raymond Island, Eagle Point and Newlands Arms. 

These 3 other locations are located anywhere from a few hundred meters away to 5 kilometres away. Paynesville is home to the biggest yacht club on the Gippsland Lakes.

Gippsland Lakes Paynesville
The main street area at Paynesville is right on the water

Another amazing reason to visit Paynesville is to visit Raymond Island. A ferry arrives and departs from Raymond Island every 20 minutes during the daylight hours and it is free for foot traffic to use the ferry. We highly recommend you take the ferry to Raymond Island and do the Koala walk.

You will see Koalas in their native habitat and the walk is very easy for young kids. It is fantastic to see the looks on the kid’s faces when they spot the koalas. This has to be one of the best free things to do in Gippsland on your holiday on the Gippsland Lakes.

Where to eat in Paynesville:

There is a huge amount of options for places to eat in Paynesville. You have everything from fine dining to pubs, cafés and bakeries. Sardine Dining in Paynesville is one of the highest-rated places to eat in all of Gippsland. You can check TRIP ADVISOR for more information.

Where to have a BBQ in Paynesville:

You find multiple BBQ picnic areas along the foreshore. A sandy beach section is popular for families with kids for a paddle on a hot day. Swimming in the shallow sandy bottom calm waters is great fun for young ones.

small beach with park and bbq arfea
Picnic, bbq and swimming area at Paynesville

You will find plenty of BBQs and picnic tables along the foreshore area. If you catch the Raymond Island Ferry, you will find a BBQ area and playground just a few meters from where the ferry docks.

Paynesville accommodation

There are so many options of places to stay in Paynesville from hotels to retreats. There is something for every budget in Paynesville. Search Stayz for all the best places to stay in Paynesville.

Australian wildlife is amazing: Visit Raymond Island to see koalas!

Metung Gippsland Australia – 4 hours 40 minutes or 315 km

Metung is the boutique village of the Gippsland Lakes. Metung has a small town centre built around a grassy town square. The major focal point of Metung is the Metung Hotel.

Apartments on the water at metung
You can stay right on the water at Metung

The Metung Hotel is famous for its outdoor eating/drinking area that sits over the water on the Gippsland Lakes. It’s a great place to sit, eat and drink on a nice sunny day.

Metung has many 4 and 5-star accommodation options for the visitor that make the trip to the town. Metung has a Yacht Club and Lawn Bowls Club.

Metung is popular for boating, fishing and eating. There is a great boardwalk that runs along the water’s edge that is great for strolling or fishing.

Places to eat in Metung:

The Metung Pub has a vast and I would say pretty expensive menu to choose from. The Metung Pub is the most popular venue in town, with great waterfront views.

The metung pub on the edge of the Gippsland Lakes
The iconic Metung Pub

You will find Nautica Restaurant & Bar also has a takeaway fish n chips section serving the freshest fish from the Gippsland Lakes. The Metung bakery sells a range of pies, cakes and rolls, but its real treat is the Vietnamese food the owners make onsite such as Bahn Mi and rice paper rolls.

Where to have a BBQ in Metung

A great place to have a BBQ in Metung is Paterson Park. There you will find free BBQs and toilets. If you have kids with you, there is also a playground and a small water park the kids can cool down.

Metung Accommodation

While there are a lot of accommodation options in Metung many of the options are luxury. Bed and breakfast type places and luxury hotels are the most available.

Relax in Metung: Visit one of the best hot springs in Victoria on the Gippsland Lakes

Lakes Entrance, Gippsland Australia – 4 hours 50 minutes or 320 km

Lakes Entrance is the capital of the Gippsland Lakes, with a summer population swelling to around 40,000 people. Swimming and Fishing in Lakes Entrance are popular Gippsland summer activities.

The 90-Mile Beach Lakes Entrance is popular for surf fishing and swimming, while the jetties of the north arm are great for anglers.

the main beach at Lakes Entrance
The white sands of the 90 Mile Beach at Lakes Entrance

Eastern Beach is a great destination close to town but away from crowds for surf fishing. The NRMA Eastern Beach holiday park is only a few hundred meters from Eastern Beach on the Gippsland coast

Lakes Entrance has a variety of restaurants and accommodations from caravan parks to resorts. There is a mini-golf, cinema, skate park and paddle boats for families.

You can go on boat cruises on the Gippsland Lakes or hire a put-put boat. For any golfers out there Lakes Entrance Golf Course is one of the best in the region with Gippsland coast views.

There is an amazing boardwalk that stretches the length of the esplanade that is great for walking and bike riding. The path stretches from the North Arm to Eastern Beach.

Where to eat in Lakes Entrance

Lakes Entrance has a number of clubs and pubs to choose from. The local Lakes Entrance RSL on the Esplanade serves both Australian and Asian cuisine at a great price. The Bowls Club and Gold Club both have a big venue in the centre of town serving good food.

people walking along the sand in lakes Entrance
Doing the beach walk to the entrance

You will find the usual fast food outlets such as McDonald’s, KFC and Subway available. Miriam’s Seafood Restaurant is popular for trying the local fish from the Gippsland Lakes. Albert & Co is a highly rated restaurant on the main street. Open all day serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Where to have a BBQ in Lakes Entrance

The North Arm Park as you enter Lakes from the Melbourne side. The Park has a playground, picnic tables and BBQs (both undercover and exposed) The park features a basketball court and an in-ground trampoline along with favourites such as swings and climbing equipment. Eastern Beach bbq area has direct access to the beach, playground, seating, toilets and showers available.

Lakes Entrance accommodation

Whatever sort of accommodation you are looking for, Lakes Entrance has some of the best facilities in Gippsland for holidaymakers. You can find luxury accommodation in Lakes Entrance and you can find tent sites in Lakes Entrance. No matter what you are looking for on your travels, Gippsland Lakes is guaranteed to have it.

Explore Gippsland: Find all the very best things to do in Lakes Entrance

Gippsland Lakes Weather

The weather on the Gippsland Lakes at Lakes Entrance has an average high of 23.7 degrees in February and a low of 14,6 degrees in July. The weather in Lakes Entrance has a daily high temperature of 43.6 degrees in February and a low daily average of 5.6 degrees in July.

During the summer months, the towns on the Gippsland Lakes come alive. They are busy with holidaymakers and tourists from all over the world. If you prefer a quieter time you can always visit the towns on the Gippsland Lakes in the cooler months to enjoy them as well.

We hope this article from us here at Explore Victoria has inspired you to embark on your adventure in Victoria, Australia, from popular caravan parks and pristine beaches to drives along the Great Ocean Road. Enjoy weekends away on the Mornington Peninsula and discover the cosmopolitan charm of Melbourne, Victoria, with a range of experiences for every traveller who wants to visit Victoria.

Whether you’re drawn to the rugged beauty of the Grampians, the cultural richness of Ballarat, or the autumn colours of Bright and Northern Victoria, there’s no shortage of hidden gems waiting to be discovered in Victoria.

Even if you love exploring Gippsland or driving the Great Alpine Road, Victoria has something special for you, and there is so much more for you to discover. If you are looking for more incredible and best places to visit in Melbourne or more travel in Victoria destinations, Explore Victoria has some more articles below for you to check out. Expand your horizons and get out and about in Victoria, Australia, for an unforgettable experience. 

If you have an idea, attraction, or top spot in Victoria, please comment or email us at


Author Bio

Mark Wyld is a passionate writer and explorer, weaving tales inspired by a deep love for his home state of Victoria. With local knowledge, Mark seeks to share insights and experiences that captivate and inspire readers. When not immersed in writing, you can find him working in Disability Support or spending time with family and friends. Follow Mark for a journey through Victoria’s best sights, tastes and attractions.