This article was produce in collaboration with our Great Vic Bike Ride partner, Destination Gippsland.
This year’s Great Vic Bike Ride took in a just a small slice of Gippsland, but given this region is the size of Switzerland and sits right on Melbourne’s doorstep, we reckon it’s a top contender for your 2024 travel wish list! Gippsland boasts abundant cycling trails, untouched beaches and world-class National Parks, linked together with a network of food and drink loving villages to welcome you with open arms.
East Gippsland’s twinkling jewel, the Gippsland Lakes are Australia’s largest inland waterway, covering more than 400 square kilometres! With hundreds of kilometres of shoreline, a laidback boating vibe and an abundance of fresh seafood, there’s so much to see and do. Whether you’re chasing the bustle of Lakes Entrance, Paynesville’s fine dining and easy access to Raymond Island koala spotting, or effortlessly cool Metung, home to the new Metung Hot Springs – you can take your pick of charming lakeside towns in which to base yourself.
Just 45 minutes’ drive from Lakes Entrance, you can explore the underground wonderland of the Buchan Caves - a spectacular network of limestone caves, underground pools, stalagmites and stalactites. There are two caves open for guided tours: Royal Cave is known for its glassy calcite-rimmed pools and Fairy Cave is laced with intricate stalactites and stalagmites. Guided tours of both caves run daily and are best booked ahead of time via the Parks Victoria Buchan Caves website.
Tarra Bulga National Park is cool temperate rainforest of towering Mountain Ash, giant tree ferns and elusive Lyrebirds, the park is a stone’s throw from the historic fishing village of Port Albert and the mural town of Yarram. There are several short walks to enjoy, with favourites including the stunning Tarra and Cyathea Falls, or The Corrigan Suspension Bridge which stretches across the rainforest canopy, offering spectacular views of the fern gully on the forest floor below.
Did you know Gippsland boasts one of the longest uninterrupted sandy beaches in the world? The 90 Mile Beach stretches as far as the eye can see in all its wild, golden glory. This largely untouched beach is popular for camping, swimming, fishing or just endless strolling around the tiny coastal hamlets of Woodside Beach, Seaspray, Golden Beach and Loch Sport.
Gippsland is renowned for its amazing nature-based experiences. Wilsons Promontory National Park, or ‘The Prom’ as it’s affectionately known, offers some of the best ways you can get out amongst nature exploring the hiking trails, cruising to ancient rock formations, getting close to the wildlife or just soaking up some time on the beautiful beaches.
Gippsland is a cyclist’s dream – it has more rail trails than any other region in Australia! The Great Southern Rail Trail runs for an epic 109km (one way) from Nyora to Port Welshpool. Passing through lush farmland, over bridges and taking in views of Wilsons Promontory. This trail is best broken into a multi-day ride allowing plenty of time to explore some of Gippsland’s best food, drink and arts villages along the way such as Loch, Korumburra, Leongatha, Koonwarra, Meeniyan, Fish Creek, Foster, and Toora. Be sure to plan a side-trip to Agnes Falls, which cascades 59 metres over rocks into a deep gorge below.
Pearl of the Bass Coast, Inverloch is a thriving holiday destination, just perfect water activities such as swimming, boating, fishing and surfing. The charms of this hamlet stretch well beyond its dashing coastline, with its laid-back vibe, welcoming community, a cornucopia of eateries and two of Gippsland’s most popular wineries for wiling away an afternoon.
Leave your bike at home and take on the incredible George Bass Coastal Walk, which stretches 7km from San Remo to Kilcunda (2 hours, one-way). This dramatic cliff top walk offers breathtaking scenery across Bass Strait, taking in rugged coastline, woodland gullies, pristine beaches and iridescent green hills peppered with happy cows. The walk finishes in Kilcunda, where you can reward yourself with lunch from the locals’ favourite Kilcunda General Store café, or settle in for a rewarding ale at the Kilcunda Ocean View Hotel.
There are endless adventures to be had in Gippsland, it really is all kinds of wonder.