Pack your bag for an unforgettable roadie through West Gippsland, where fern forests, vineyards and rolling farmlands cocoon picturesque and historic townships. Bring your walking shoes for national park adventures, your phone to immortalise those idyllic landscapes, and your appetite to fill up on the region's bountiful offerings.
Experience all this on the way to the ballet at Lardner Park, just 75 minutes from Melbourne. Linger longer to uncover the many delights awaiting you in this captivating corner of Victoria.
Make your trip to the ballet unforgettable by getting out into West Gippsland's stunning natural landscapes and historic attractions, all within easy distance of Lardner Park.
Falls and ferns
Head north of Warragul through rolling green countryside towards the foothills of Mt Baw Baw. Stretch your legs 21m above ground on the wooden Noojee Trestle Bridge, the oldest of its kind still standing in Victoria. Further on, ferns, towering gums and an impressive tumbling waterfall await your gaze in Toorongo Falls Reserve. For a longer dance with nature, walk the 2.2km loop track to admire Amphitheatre Falls as well.
Set a course northeast for Walhalla, a picturesque old gold mining town nestled deep within a quiet alpine valley. Discover the town's gold rush history, wander among heritage architecture, and let someone else take the wheel aboard the vintage narrow-gauge Walhalla Goldfields Railway for a tour of the pretty spring landscape.
A step to the southeast
Explore spectacular cool temperate rainforest in Tarra Bulga National Park. Get your heart-rate going on the iconic suspension bridge high in the canopy above ferns and giant ash where you're graced with magnificent views. On your way back, quaint country town Yarragon is an art lover's haven. Stop in to browse for souvenirs in antiques shops and local art galleries.
Regional discoveriesLakes & waterwaysToorongo FallsTake the 750-metre, mostly uphill, track to the wooden viewing platform to watch the impressive, tiered Toorongo Falls tumble into the valley below.Walking & hikingToorongo and Amphitheatre Falls Loop WalkA circular track through the Toorongo Falls Reserve that goes to the spectacular viewing platforms for Toorongo and Amphitheatre Falls.Heritage buildingsNoojee Trestle BridgeSet in beautiful tall forest, the majestic Noojee Trestle Bridge is the tallest surviving wooden trestle bridge in Victoria.The bridge is a legacy of the...DestinationsWalhallaDiscover Walhalla, once a busy gold mining centre and one of Australia's richest towns, and today an historic township in Gippsland's alpine wilderness.DestinationsYarragonNestled in the foothills of the Strzelecki Ranges, Yarragon is a charming country town with an abundance of shops and accommodation options.National parks & reservesTarra Bulga National ParkWith its lush gullies and beautiful tree ferns, Tarra Bulga National Park is one of only four major areas of cool temperate rainforest in the state.
Take a seat in Warragul for cafe eats and deli treats, or venture north, east or south to find destination restaurants and food stores celebrating exceptional Gippsland produce in picture-perfect surrounds.
Savour seasonal cafe fare served with a creative eye at Warragul's Main St Cafe. The ever-changing menu has plenty for discerning meat-lovers and vegans alike, along with top-notch coffee.
For a special experience, drive 10 minutes south to Hogget Kitchen and dine in a bucolic vineyard setting. Let chef Trevor Perkins lead you through a paddock-to-plate inspired menu using the best local, seasonal produce, paired with exceptional wine by William Downie and Patrick Sullivan. Graze inside or on the deck with dreamy views of the Strzelecki Ranges.
Venture 30 minutes south from Lardner Park over rolling hills to the quaint Prom Country village of Loch. Make a beeline for Gippsland favourite Olive at Loch for freshly baked cakes and pies, cracking pours of coffee and delish local jams and chutneys to take home as gifts. Follow up with a cheeky tipple at Loch Brewery & Distillery, which produces ales and spirits using natural brewing techniques.
Save some stomach space for nearby Korumburra's champion foodie The Borough Dept. Store, where you'll find an abundance of exceptional Gippsland comestibles. Enjoy your fill of fresh, local fare, from cheese to wine, sweets to meats.
A little further afield
Travel east into the Latrobe Valley to buzzing Traralgon. Stroll down tree-lined heritage avenues to Neilsons Kitchen, where fresh regional eats are exquisitely presented in unique flavour combinations, from all-day breakfasts to elegant dinners championing supreme produce.
Dedicate your travels to the region's wide world of culinary and quaffing delights on the Gippsland Food and Wine Trail.
Grab a biteCafesOlive at LochNamed after the combi van which the owners drove into town in, Olive at Loch is now a favourite for locals and visitors alike. The café’s atmosphere is...DistilleriesLoch Brewery and DistilleryLoch Brewery and Distillery is a producer of traditional ales, single malt whisky, gin and fine spirits, using natural brewing methods and bespoke Alembic...Local produceThe Borough Dept. StoreSet in Korumburra, The Borough Dept. Store is a shopping and food hub showcasing local produce and offering a variety of goods. The Borough is a collaborative...RestaurantsHogget KitchenTake a trip out to West Gippsland and discover Hogget Kitchen, a place where seasonal is not just a buzzword but a way of life. Hatted by Good Food Guide 2020.RestaurantsNeilsons KitchenShare a table with friends and feast on innovative flavour combinations and fresh Gippsland produce from the all-day breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.Food & wineGippsland Food and Wine TrailGet a taste for Gippsland's best at cafes, restaurants, cellar doors and breweries on a food and wine trail across the region's west, south and east.
Take your pick of stylish and romantic sleeps in nearby Warragul or in the most charming of Gippsland towns, winding down after the exhilaration of the ballet among the sounds of nature.
Wake in Warragul
Zip back to Warragul from Lardner Park to find an assortment of accommodation options. Book early to avoid disappointment.
Stay in the heart of Warragul at the award-winning hotel Mercure Warragul, conveniently located in the city centre. Contemporary room design, free wi-fi and spots for parking make things easy post-show for a quality night's sleep.
Or in peaceful villages
If you're happy to travel a little further after the performance, head for a laid-back experience in one of the many idyllic towns surrounding Warragul. Wake up to birdsong and enjoy slow breakfasts.
Less than 20 minutes north, Vue at Jindivick Eco Bed and Breakfast spoils with its unbeatable Mt Baw Baw views and top marks for sustainability. Bed down in queen ensuite comfort for a quiet country sleep. Nearby Vivere Retreat can't be beat for mesmerising countryside views from its elevated perch on 18 acres. Sleep in blissful comfort and enjoy back-to-nature respite over a gourmet breakfast hamper.
Just 40 minutes away from Warragul, your very own country cottage awaits at Loch Paper Scissors. Set on a half-acre of land, this sweet stay comes replete with kitchen garden and orchard for fresher-than-fresh self-catered breakfasts.
Rest your headBed & breakfastsVivere RetreatVivere Retreat offers private and contemporary self-contained accommodation in West Gippsland. Located on 18 acres near the town of Neerim South with spectacular...DestinationsWarragulExperience Warragul and enjoy gourmet Gippsland produce, the surrounding rolling green hills, and close proximity to Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort.DestinationsTiny townsVenture beyond the highways and discover Gippsland's tiniest towns; small in size but larger than life when it comes to things to see and do.DestinationsNeerim SouthVisit this picturesque town set in the hills at the base of Mt Baw Baw and one of West Gippsland's popular destinations for food lovers.DestinationsKorumburraWander the rolling green hills of Korumburra, situated at the edge of the Strzelecki Ranges and close to South Gippsland's major tourist attractions.
Lardner Park is located at 155 Burnt Store Road, Lardner – 14 minutes from Warragul and only 75 minutes from Melbourne.
Take the first exit to Warragul and within 1km of the exit turn right onto Lardner's Track. Follow Lardner's Track for approximately 11km and then turn right onto Burnt Store Road.
Coming from Traralgon, take the first exit to Warragul (Hospital Exit). At the end of the exit ramp there is a roundabout, proceed straight through, passing the hospital on your left. Follow Warragul-Lardner Road until you reach a T-intersection. Turn left onto Lardner's Track. Follow Lardner's Track along and then turn right onto Burnt Store Road.