Forests, history and adventure
435km, about 6.5 hours
Wind your way through the diverse landscapes of West Gippsland on this unique scenic drive. Discover historic villages, stop in at wineries and restaurants championing local produce, and unwind surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of this hinterland region. Spend a night or two in Walhalla or Neerim and explore the area.
Start your road trip in Melbourne and travel towards Gippsland via the Princes Highway. Take a pit stop at one of many excellent wineries at the gateway to the region. Have a leisurely lunch in Warragul then push on to Yarragon, taking time to browse through antiques and arty treasures.
Immerse yourself in gold rush history in Walhalla with a train ride into the past or head underground for a golden adventure. Revel in peaceful views from the slopes of spectacular Mt Baw Baw, or quicken your pulse with some whitewater action in Rawson. Explore art galleries in and around Neerim South and gather fresh local produce along the way.
Melbourne to Walhalla
196km, about 2.5 hours
As the suburbs of Melbourne give way to pleasant pastoral scenes, let the good times begin.
Take a quick trip off the highway to charming wineries in Tynong (Cannibal Creek Winery), Drouin (Brandy Creek Estate) or Ripplebrook (Ripplebrook Winery) or head straight for bustling Warragul. Admire the ornate, heritage buildings on a stroll through town before a quick drive south to Hogget Kitchen. Tuck into a stellar meal that pays homage to the very best local produce. Afterwards, ease your way into peaceful Yarragon, where an artistic community flourishes alongside a passion for regional produce.
Known for its specialty shops, Yarragon also features one of Gippsland's leading antique stores and galleries. Shopping for linen and lace, soaps and candles, dolls and bears, fabrics and patterns, blown-glass vases and sculptures can work up an appetite. Put some pep in your step with an espresso and gourmet coffee scroll at The Shot House, and stock up on regional wines, smoked meats and fresh local produce at the Gippsland Food and Wine Store.
With the car groaning under the weight of your edible purchases, it's time to set out for Walhalla on an hour-long drive around the Moe regional centre and green dairy farming country.
Take the time to experience the beautiful gold rush town of Walhalla, nestled in a deep valley and home to only 20 residents. Tour the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine, ride on the Walhalla Goldfields Railway, or explore the cemetery overlooking the village. The self-guided Walhalla Historic Township Walk offers insights into the town's rich past. Pause over a refreshing brew at the Walhalla Lodge Hotel.
HighlightsGold rush historyWalhalla Goldfields RailwayTake a captivating historical train ride along cliffs and over bridges, traversing gorges, rivers and landscapes that change with the seasons.Tour operatorWalhalla Long Tunnel Extended Gold MineExplore deep underground with a guided tour of the Walhalla Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine. Find out what life was like for the miners, and discover how...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.WineriesCannibal Creek VineyardJust one hour out from Melbourne, Cannibal Creek Vineyard is a boutique, award-winning, single estate Vineyard owned and operated by winemakers Pat and...
Walhalla to Neerim South, via Baw Baw
132km, about 2.5 hours
There's much adventure to be had between historic Walhalla, spectacular Mt Baw Baw Alpine Village and beautiful Noojee and Neerim. Stay two nights in an historic hotel in Walhalla, or rest overnight here and move on the next day to Neerim.
From Walhalla, discover the villages of Rawson and Erica and get back to nature with everything from 4WD tours and whitewater adventures, to fishing and bushwalking.
Take the turn off at Mt Erica Road and head to Mushroom Rocks, an impressive display of giant granite tors. Walk through the diverse and unspoilt landscapes of Baw Baw National Park to the rocks, a part of the 650-kilometre Australian Alps Walking Track that links Walhalla and Canberra.
There's something for everyone at Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort, winter or summer. Hit the slopes on a bushwalk, try toboganning or skiing during the snow season, or set out on a downhill biking adventure in the warmer months. Slow down with a soak in the outdoor spa at Baw Baw Alpine Resort.
Back on the road, make your way to Neerim South, one of the most picturesque towns in Gippsland. From Baw Baw, follow the tree-lined Mt Baw Baw Tourist Road through Icy Creek and Tanjil Bren, an old gold prospector's and logging village, until you reach Noojee. Continue on, eventually veering southward until you reach Neerim South.
Check in at Vivere Retreat at Neerim South or Vue at Jindivick for warm West Gippsland hospitality and more of those wonderfully verdant views.
HighlightsWalking & hikingMushroom Rocks WalkA section of the Australian Alps Walking Track that leads to a maze of giant granite tors rising from the forest.National parks & reservesBaw Baw National ParkCovering a substantial part of the Baw Baw Plateau and sections of the Thomson and Aberfeldy River valleys, Baw Baw National Park offers colourful wildflowers...Four-wheel driveAberfeldy Four Wheel Drive TrackUndoubtedly one of Victoria's great drives, the Aberfeldy Track combines rich history and the thrill of touring on rugged, unsealed terrain.SkiingMt Baw Baw Alpine ResortMt Baw Baw Alpine Resort is Melbourne's closest Alpine Resort. Located only two and a half hours from Melbourne's city centre, the Resort offers a host...
Neerim South, Noojee and Jindivick
135km, 3.5 hours
Wake in the green rolling hills of Neerim South, grab some bushwalking snacks from the village and head north on a scenic 30 minute drive to visit an ancient forest.
North of Neerim you'll find the giant Ada Tree – one of the largest trees in Victoria and believed to be nearly 300 years old. Park the car and take the easy 3.2km walk from the car park and picnic area to the Ada Tree, and back again via the same walking track (1.5 hours return).
Head south-east to Noojee and stop in at the Noojee Hotel for lunch. Take time out here to enjoy fishing, bird watching or bushwalking. Don't miss the beautiful Toorongo Falls (1 hour return loop walk). Visit historic locations including the Noojee Water Wheel, the Ralph Cornwall Loch Valley Tramway Walk and the famous Noojee Trestle Bridge.
Drink in the jaw-droppingly beautiful scenery at Neerim South, and drop in at galleries and sculpture gardens from here to Jindivick. There's easy access to the cycling and walking tracks which criss-cross the surrounding countryside. Pick up regional wine, fabulous cheese and fresh produce for the return trip to Melbourne or extend your stay to explore more of your surrounds.
From Jindivick, it's just an hour and a half drive back to Melbourne.
HighlightsFood & wineGippsland wine regionExperience Gippsland's diverse wine region, boasting over 100 vineyards and more than 40 wineries, easily accessed from Melbourne.Walking & hikingAda Tree Rainforest WalkLocation: Yarra State ForestDistance: 3.2km returnDuration: 1 hour 30 minutesGrade: Level 2 - No experience required. The track is hardened gravel or compacted...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...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.Bed & 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...