The ideal way to see the lakes is by boat: road travel can involve some long and circuitous routes, just to reach a point visible a short distance away! Fortunately, although the lakes are relatively shallow with depths typically several metres, they are ideal for pleasure boating. We hired a yacht called a "Cavalier 30" from a company named...more
Lakes Entrance is a popular fishing and holiday village at the eastern end of the Lakes. It faces the narrow Cunninghame Arm of the lakes and is just to the east of the ocean entrance to the lake system (sorry, there are no points for guessing how the town gets its name). One of Australia’s largest fishing fleets is based here, providing much of...more
It’s fortunate the place names didn’t change when Australia went metric some years ago – 144km beach just doesn’t sound right: besides, I’ve heard that it really is a bit under 90 miles long anyway! If you’re untroubled by details about the length of the beach, a visit is well merited, if only to see it disappearing into the mist of salty surf...more
A number of small pleasant rivers (eg the Nicholson, Tambo and Avon) flow into the lake system. They can be navigated by yachts for some distance, usually until a lowset bridge. Their banks are typically steep and well-forested, so they provide excellent and sheltered anchorages for overnight stays in your own boat or a rented yacht. Reputedly the...more
If you end up staying at the Coopracambra Cottages...there are plenty of 4wd tracks right there in the national park. You can also venture on to Genoa Peak...which a great hike.Eden is also a great place to go and check out the waterfront. There is even whale watching if you get there at the right time of year. One tourist trap we got into was the...more
One of the best treks we've done in Australia was Tongue's Crossing in Wilsons Prom. It was a 3 hr return hike which took us through rainforests up to the top of the hill where we overlooked the Tongues Crossing where Tasmania used to be connected to Australia.There is white beaches and blue waters from above...it's quite a sight to see.more
The Marina Hotel at Loch Sport sits right on the shores of picturesque Lake Victoria and is only a stones throw from the majestic Ninety Mile Beach. Outdoor tables are basked in sunlight and make a fabulous place to stop for a feed on a nice day while taking in the views. The indoor area is a little noisy when crowded, but with its floor to ceiling windows and fireplace it makes a great escape form the wind and cold on those not so nice days. The hotel serves everything from takeaways to full three course meals for both lunch and dinner. We tried the battered flake fillets served with fat chips and salad and were certainly not disappointed. The meal had to rate as the best pub served fish'n'chips I've had anywhere and it only cost AU $15.90. Give it a try you won't be disappointed!
The waters of the Ninety Mile Beach are pristine and inviting and offer paradise to the local fishermen, but swimmers should take great care because of strong undercurrents and rips.
We were hiking and 4WD through the area...and decided to stop and eat in Malacoota. We ended up going to the local grocery store b/c there was not a restaurant open in the entire city. Make sure to eat breakfast or lunch before 2...b/c there's nothing open until 5:30pm. There was a grocery store where we stopped and got deli meats and fruit...not...more
This is one of the most popular places for families to come and camp...especially during the holidays. You will be camping right next to someone else on both sides...unless you do overnight campsites. It's still a great park...with nice facilities for a good barbque...but don't expect wide, open spaces unless you do overnight camping.... There...more
The railway formerly ran as far as the little town of Orbost, somewhat to the east of the Gippsland Lakes. Although it now has been closed for some years, the old route still remains.Back in the 1800s as the country developed, small armies of men worked in all Australian states, building bridges for roads and railways. These bridges had to be built...more
The area encompassing East Gippsland in Victoria and the Far South Coast of New South Wales has some of the largest and most extensive forests in Australia. Almost entirely these are within either various National Parks or State Forests: the difference is that State Forests may be used for logging. The two designations are not invariably seen as...more
I haven't tried this, so have no photos. Maybe when we get around to that short holiday we have promised ourselves I will be able to remedy that!
I was pleased to read though that the old railway line from Bairnsdale to Lakes Entrance has now been transformed into a cycle track, rather grandly called the "Gippsland Lakes Discovery Trail". The Trail covers a distance of 66km, apparently through an interesting mixture of scenery, much of which is the Colquhoun State Forest, and including tunnels. So yes, you too can make noises like an old steam engine as you puff along the route of the old railway (I know I would!).
Actually, it appears that this is a new link into a larger cycle trail, on old rail lines, now running from Bairnsdale to Orbost (see the map in "general" tips).
Long ago, ocean levels rose after the last ice age, forming Bass Strait. Prevailing winds and ocean currents then deposited sand which formed sand spits, islands and dunes along low-lying areas of the eastern coast of Victoria. Eventually these joined to form the 90 mile beach as a barrier to Bass Strait. Meanwhile, the rivers bringing water, sand and silt from the inland ranges divided the area into lakes and swamps. The lakes now cover an area of about 350 sq km.
White settlement of the area began after 1840, followed in the 1850s by gold discoveries. With development the need for a port increased – roads were nearly non-existent. Work began in 1869 on a permanent entrance to the lakes, continuing for twenty years until a large storm completed the task in 1889, scouring out the half-completed entrance near the village of Lakes Entrance. Commercial shipping then operated through the lakes to towns in the area until 1935, when roads were adequately developed, but the entrance still is maintained by a dredge and is used by the fishing fleet.