Gippsland Wilderness Escape
Escape to Gippsland's spectacular wilderness on this five-day road trip taking in Gipsy Point, Cape Conran, the Gippsland Lakes, Tarra Bulga National Park and Wilsons Promontory.
500km, 6 hours
The first day of this five day adventure involves a long drive, all the way to Gipsy Point near Mallacoota and the New South Wales border.
Start early and break your journey along the way. Rest assured, you'll take your time on the way back.
Mallacoota is a pretty coastal town blessed with Victoria's warmest winter temperatures and renowned for its beautiful sunsets. Spend two nights here at tranquil Gipsy Point Lakeside resort, located on the banks of the Mallacoota Inlet.
Count kangaroos grazing on the lawns and lorikeets frolicking around you. Take a boat or kayak to enjoy the inlet and surrounding lakes and keep an eye out for sea eagles.
The locals at Origami Coffee, Lucy's and Mallacoota Hotel will be happy to see you too. Hire a bike and take it for a spin, or swim and snorkel at nearby beaches.
Sit back, relax and listen to the sounds of the Australian bush.
200km, 2.5 hours
Heading west towards the Gippsland Lakes, Cape Conran Coastal Park is your first stop. Visit the East Cape day visitor area and Yeerung River where you can stroll on the beach and fossick in rockpools.
Make a coffee stop at the sleepy little township of Marlo, where the Snowy River meets the Pacific Ocean or try the local for a pub lunch of fresh seafood.
Spend a night (or two if you can) at Metung or the nearby hamlet of Nungurner, overlooking Gippsland's spectacular lakes system.
Hire a holiday home or cabin, or pitch your tent in one of the many camping grounds or holiday parks around Metung. Book ahead in summer or over public holidays.
Explore the lakes and rivers from here with boat hire or a cruise. Get close to native birds and kangaroos grazing by the water, or let down your anchor for a while and feed the local pelicans.
If you enjoy a spot of fishing, hire one of the small powered boats and take it for a spin. Cast a line in at Metung and try your luck hooking some of the local bream, tailor, flathead and King George whiting.
300km, 3 hours
Wake to birdsong in Metung or nearby Nungurner and hit the road, winding your way through the lakes to Paynesville. Here you can catch a 5-minute ferry to lovely Raymond Island.
Home to a large population of koalas, you're guaranteed to spot at least one in the trees on a visit to Raymond Island. You'll see koalas, kangaroos and echidnas as you walk the 20 minute Koala Trail.
From Paynesville, continue east along the coast, taking the turn off to Tarra Bulga National Park.
Wind your way through this stunning rainforest, taking time out to walk amongst mountain ash trees, tree ferns and myrtle beech. Visitors enjoy a walk over the suspension bridge, strung through the rainforest canopy, and spectacular views of the fern-filled gully. Forest walks here are easy and accessible, with the chance of spotting a lyrebird.
Next stop: Wilsons Promontory. Back down on the coast, your day ends in one of Victoria's most picturesque national parks. Check into luxury accommodation on park's edge, or settle into a pre-booked safari tent within the park. Pitch your own camping gear if you've come prepared. Cook up your own gourmet barbecue dinner in total tranquility and turn in for the night.
You'll spend the next day exploring this amazing national park. Wombats, kangaroos and emus abound.
240km, 3 hours
It's worth a two night stay at Wilsons Promontory if you can manage it. There's simply so much wilderness, wildlife and beauty to see here.
Begin your day with a walk beautiful Wilsons Promontory National Park, which covers 50 thousand hectares. Follow one of the many walking tracks through eucalypt forests to secluded coves, white sand beaches and granite outcrops.
Walk to Pillar Point for views of the offshore islands and then walk around to Squeaky Beach to experience the white quartz sand. Hear the sand squeak underfoot as you walk towards the maze of rock formations at the end of the beach.
Hike to the summit of Mt Oberon for views of the rugged coastline and distant hills or wander through the temperate rainforest of Lilly Pilly Gully.
From Tidal River, join Pennicott Wilderness Journeys on a 2.5 hour Wilsons Promontory Cruise to discover the beautiful granite coastline and unique wilderness of the park from another angle.
Homeward bound, take time to meander through villages, wine and dairy country as you drive back to Melbourne. The Gippsland Food and Wine Trail has some great suggestions for stops on your way.