Metung, Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
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The Great Alpine Road

Leg 3: Omeo to Metung
153 km/95 miles, about 2 hours

Depart Omeo, the service centre for the local cattle, sheep and timber industries, getting one last glimpse at the original gold rush buildings lining the main street. Follow the Great Alpine Road south past Bairnsdale, East Gippsland's only city, and on to Metung, a starting point for exploring the spectacular Gippsland Lakes.

Travel temptations
You then come to Swifts Creek and Ensay, small towns with a long history of mining, grazing and timber milling and a modern day passion for freshly baked goods, just-picked fruit, and local wines. Next is Bruthen, a small rustic village overlooking the Tambo River with its very own brewery. Be tempted by a small refreshing ale before you explore the township's many heritage buildings.

Bustling Bairnsdale
Your last stop before Metung and the seemingly endless expanses of the Gippsland Lakes is Bairnsdale, on the banks of the Mitchell River and originally settled as an inland port. Bairnsdale is now a major gateway to Victoria's east, with everything you need and all the cafes and restaurants to sustain you for some time.

In Bairnsdale visit St Mary's Roman Catholic Church, the interior of which was painted in the 1930s by Francesco Floreani, attend an annual musical and sporting event, or explore the Mitchell River silt jetties that extend eight kilometres into nearby Lake King, whetting your appetite for an exploration of the impressive Gippsland Lakes network.

Life on the Lakes
With five main lakes, fed by the waters of four major rivers, and fringed by the Ninety Mile Beach, the Gippsland Lakes system is the biggest expanse of inland waterways in the southern hemisphere, with over 400 square kilometres of lakes, rivers and lagoons that have made this region an ideal location for all forms of water based fun and sport, and exceptional fishing.

With that you're off to Metung, where the Great Alpine Road touring route ends. Life assumes a relaxed pace in Metung, a picture-book village on the shores of Bancroft Bay and Lake King. Follow your nose to the harbourside restaurants to indulge in quality local seafood and wine, spend a day floating around in a boat and stroll along the water's edge at sunset, cooking up your next adventure.

Side trips

Wine and Gold Drive
An alternative route from Omeo to Bairnsdale is through Cassillis, a small town that was once a thriving mining community. Explore the picturesque valley on foot and see relics of the gold-mining era, including the unmissable Oriental Claims walking trails, the Cassilis Cemetery and the old goldmine. Call into a local winery and stock up some of the area's fruit and berry wines and mead, as well as the renowned baked goods in the township of Swifts Creek.

Gippsland Lakes Drive
Departing from Bruthen, which overlooks the Tambo River and features immaculate heritage buildings, take the C620 to Nowa Nowa and the A1 to Lakes Entrance to watch the daily catch being unloaded or to cast a line yourself. Continue along the A1 and Nungurner Road to Metung and stop for a stroll along the shores of the lake. Then take the C606 to Swan Reach, the A1 to Bairnsdale and the C604 to Paynesville, a great place to base yourself to explore the Gippsland Lakes and walk the Ninety Mile Beach.

Highlights

East Gippsland Rail Trail, Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

East Gippsland Rail Trail

Experience the diversity of East Gippsland as this trail weaves through farmland, forests, creeks, rivers and flood plains towards the Snowy River.

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expansive deck

Bullant Brewery

Bullant Brewery Bruthen is located on the Great Alpine Road in Bruthen only 15 minutes from Bairnsdale in East Gippsland. Neil and Lois Triggs are...

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Kayaking on Gippsland Lakes, Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

Gippsland Lakes

Experience the largest inland network of waterways in Australia, the Gippsland Lakes. Go on board a cruiser or enjoy a range of water-based activities.

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Ninety Mile Beach, Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

Ninety Mile Beach

One of Gippsland's highlights, Ninety Mile Beach is one of the longest and most beautiful stretches of sand in the world offering a wealth of activities.

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Interior

Krowathunkoolong Keeping Place

Krowathunkooloong Keeping Place is a museum housing a vast collection of artifacts, art and information where visitors can learn about the history,...

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David and Jenny Coy

Ensay Winery

Ensay Winery and Vineyard is a family owned small business nestled in the picturesque hills of the Tambo River Valley in East Gippsland, uniquely...

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