See your footprints in the sand of endless Ninety Mile Beach. Or cruise Gippsland Lakes, Australia’s biggest expanse of inland waterways. Four wheel drive in the Australian Alps and trek the unspoilt coastline of Wilsons Promontory National Park. Trace Aboriginal history more than 18,000 years old. Then connect the vineyards, restaurants, farms and market stalls on a food and wine trail. Welcome to Gippsland, the wilderness coast where tall forests, lakes and beaches connect with Aboriginal history and gourmet delights.
Surround Yourself with Bature
Explore the white quartz beaches, granite cliffs, forests and fern gullies in Wilsons Promontory National Park. Or slip on a mask and flippers and discover the brilliant-coloured marine life just off the shore. Dont miss Croajingolong National Park, where the white beaches, towering eucalypts, lush rainforests and granite peaks are protected by a World Biosphere Reserve. Go underground in the 400 million-year-old Buchan Caves or white water rafting in Snowy River National Park. See the wildflowers of Mt Baw Baw and the ferns and towering ash trees of Tarra-Bulga National Park. You can picnic next to Agnes Falls, Victorias tallest single drop waterfall. Or relax in the low woodland and heath fringing Gippsland Lakes.
Get Active in the Great Outdoors
Test your stamina in Gippsland, where a plethora of hiking trails connect the coastline to the Alps through wilderness and national parks. In Gippslands high country you can ski or snowboard down Mount St Gwinear and Dinner Plains in winter. Or walk amongst wildflowers on the Bogong High Plains in spring. In summer, you can soak up the views of the Victorian Alps on a bush walk, horse ride and riding your mountain bike. Fish on the Mitchell Lakes or canoe or kayak on the Snowy River. Go water skiing at Bunga Arm, Newlands Arm or North Arm on the Gippsland Lakes. Or surf the world-class breaks at Cape Paterson, Venus Bay and Waratah Bay.
Dampier Peninsula: Beach Beauty and Aboriginal History
Four wheel drive the red-dirt road from Broome to Cape Leveque, where you can stay in the Aboriginal wilderness camp of Kooljaman. Sleep in safari-style or paper bark cabins, then snorkel, reef walk and explore old mission ruins with a local Aboriginal family as your guide. Camp at Middle Lagoon and charter a boat or go mud crabbing with a local guide from Lombadina. Stay in the remote communities of Mudnunn, Chile Creek and La Djardarr Ba and visit Beagle Bay. The Sacred Heart Church here was built by Pallotine monks and Aboriginal people in 1917, all the way down to its mother-of-pearl shell altar.
Eat, drink and be Merry
Treat your taste buds with Gippslands delectable food, the product of lush pastures, rich volcanic soil and clean lakes and oceans. Wind your way past farms, vineyards, cheese factories and outlets selling delicacies on the 40-kilometre Gourmet Deli Trail. Or stick to exploring the regions many cool-climate wine regions, including Phillip Island, Wilsons Promontory, Lakes Entrance and Ninety Mile Beach. Buy organic fruit and vegetables from the farmers markets at Koonwarra, Drouin, Sale, Tyers and Bairnsdale. Pick your own berries from orchards in Warragul or catch your own lunch on a trout farm at Lakes Entrance.
Seek Sandy Seduction
Ride the powerful waves at Venus Bay or Sandy Point. Or surf, swim, snorkel and scuba dive on the tranquil, family friendly beaches of Cape Paterson. Stay in the scenic seaside resort town of Inverloch, the perfect spot for boating, bird spotting, wind surfing and walking. Nearby youll find dinosaur diggings and Eagles Nest, a rock structure shaped like the top of Australia. Explore the historic lime kilns, shallow rock pools and sandy coves at Walkerville Beach. From Seaspray and Lakes Entrance you can walk Ninety Mile Beach a long stretch of sand which separates the Gippsland Lakes from Bass Strait.
Follow an Aboriginal Heritage Trail
Visit the Den of Nargun and learn about Dreamtime stories, traditional lifestyles, Aboriginal keeping places and the impact of European settlement on the Batatuk Cultural Trail. It follows some of the routes Gunai and Monaro people followed for over 18,000 years. See archaeological sites such as scarred trees and shell middens more than 10,000 years old and explore the cultural heritage of the Gunai people at the Krowathunkoolong Keeping Place in Bairnsdale.