Gippsland, Victoria

The large, rural Gippsland region offers enormous variety to travellers searching for natural beauty and outdoor recreation. Among highlights too numerous to properly list, some of the major attractions are Wilsons Promontory National Park, Ninety Mile Beach, Gippsland Lakes, and the Great Alpine Road.

Gippsland is one of the oldest regions in Australia for food tourism, and its dairy farms produce a large portion of Melbourne’s milk. Its cheese makers, such as Berrys Creek Gourmet Cheese, Jindi Cheese and Maffra Cheese Company, win awards on the world stage. The Gourmet Deli Trail is strongly recommended for food lovers. As well as this, there are 40-plus cellar doors in the region and it has an enviable reputation for its cool climate wines.

Wilsons Promontory National Park offers granite mountains, rainforest and beaches to visitors, as well as bushwalks ranging from under an hour to three days in length. It includes excellent diving in its marine park, as well as Squeaky Beach, named for the noise its pristine sand makes when it is walked on. There is also an incredible amount of wildlife to observe, with common wombats, wallabies, koalas, yellow-tailed black cockatoos, crimson rosellas and many other species having homes in the National Park.

Ninety Mile Beach is one of the world’s longest uninterrupted beaches, covering 151 kilometres and, behind its majestic dunes, various lakes. It is unspoilt and wonderfully sandy, with a conspicuous absence of rocky outcrops.

The Gippsland Lakes are one of the largest inland waterway networks in Australia, and are separated from the Bass Strait by Ninety Mile Beach. They cover an area of greater than 350 kilometres squared, and bottlenose dolphins can sometimes be spotted in their waters.

For those wanting a scenic drive, the 308 kilometre-long Great Alpine Road passes numerous National Parks on the way from Wangaratta to Bairnsdale.

The climate in Gippsland varies between its four areas, depending on the distance from the coast and the elevation, though is generally temperate and humid. East Gippsland’s Bairnsdale has an average maximum of 25.8 degrees Celsius and average low of 15 in January, and in July the average high and average low are 13.7 and 3.8.

Melbourne Airport is the nearest airport to Gippsland, and is roughly 200 kilometres away. It is serviced domestically by the airlines Jetstar, Rex, Qantas and Virgin Australia.