East Gippsland acknowledges the Gunaikurnai, Monero and the Bidawel people as the Traditional Custodians of the land that encompasses East Gippsland Shire. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in East Gippsland, their Elders past and present.

Hop from beach to lake to river 



178km | 2.5 hours

This journey takes in Gippsland’s front cover splash, the Gippsland Lakes, and stretches of rave-worthy coastline. Revel in show-stopping waterside views over glistening lakes and infamous East Gippsland beaches, bristled with waterfront villages with lashings of Indigenous heritage.

GETTING STARTED: The journey starts in Bairnsdale, 281km (3 hour) drive east of Melbourne. Take the M1 out of Melbourne, turning into the A1, and keep rolling until you reach Bairnsdale. The road trip ends at Marlo, a 4.5 hour drive from Melbourne.



16km | 16 mins

Bairnsdale is the gateway to the shimmering Gippsland Lakes, set alongside the tranquil Mitchell River. While the vibe of this regional hub is laidback, the town hums with a cafe and dining scene and a strong artistic community. There is an abundance of walks and cycling tracks around town, including the East Gippsland Rail Trail which will get you almost 100km away to Newmerella.

Get your culture fix by stepping into the East Gippsland Art Gallery or Krowathunkoolong Keeping Place, then continue your discovery of the area’s deep Indigenous significance at Howitt Park, a lovely leafy place to stretch your legs.

Treat your inner foodie with a quick dash out of town to The Long Paddock at Lindenow or a sample of the region’s fine wines at nearby wineries along the East Gippsland Drink Trail.

A short dash south on the C604 will get you to Paynesville, set on the shores of mesmerising Gippsland Lakes. Discover waterside accommodation and eateries along a leisurely system of canals that has given Paynesville top billing for lovers of boating and fishing.

Set off to discover the lakes with places only accessible by boat like Bunga Arm, Duck Point, Sperm Whale Head or Ocean Grange. Enjoy waterside views by foot walking around Raymond Island or the Sunset Cove Walking Track.

Tuck into a seafood feast plucked from the waters surrounding you from one of the many eateries enviably positioned lakeside. The hatted SARDINE eatery + bar is a standout.



43km | 36 mins

Head back to Bairnsdale then take the A1 east dropping south on the C606 until you reach the peninsula where Metung is set. Fishing-primed and sailing-perfect, this waterside village is pretty as a picture, showing off some of the most beautiful angles of the Gippsland Lakes.

The town is home to many artists who showcase their wares in studios and galleries worthy of a potter. Time your visit to coincide with the monthly Farmers Market, stock up on gourmet deli treats from the Metung Village Store then get yourself front row seats to lakeside vistas from the Metung Hotel.

Boats and kayaks are available for hire from Riviera Nautic (even if you’re a novice) to explore the easy-to-navigate and usually calm waters.

If you prefer not to use your sea legs, wander the boardwalk taking in Legend Rock, or go for a scenic romp along Boxes Creek Walking Trail.


20km | 20 mins

Take Nungerner Rd north until it intersects with the A1, which will drop you back down on the coast along the Esplanade which buzzes with Lakes Entrance action.

The secret’s been out about this family-friendly water-loving town for decades. Positioned at the meeting point of glistening lakes and a world-class swimming beach, Lakes Entrance offers bustling waterfront cafes overlooking busy fishing fleets docked along the Esplanade.

There are camels to ride along the beach, fresh seafood to indulge in, and stand-up paddle boards or kayaks to hire. Take your pick of cruises to see the stunning lake system from a different point of view: eco-cruises, water taxi, fishing charter or winery cruise.

See the meeting of the lakes and Southern Ocean on the Entrance to the Lakes Walk or drink up the maritime vibe along the Lakes Entrance Foreshore Cycling Track.

Round out your visit with a cleansing ale from Red Bluff Brewers, or include a side trip to the many nearby wineries along the East Gippsland Drink Trail.



30km | 25 mins

Slow the pace down a notch in Lake Tyers Beach. This more secluded stretch of Ninety Mile Beach attracts boating and fishing enthusiasts thanks to the handsome Lake Tyers, at times breaking through to the ocean. Make sure you have a pub meal at Water Wheel Tavern for the show-stopping views from the generous deck.

Lake Tyers is best explored by boat or with fishing rod. You can pitch a tent under the canopy of tall eucalypt forests that fringe the lake in Lake Tyers State Park.

Lake Tyers has a deeply significant Aboriginal history and was the site of one of Victoria’s Mission Settlements during the late 1800s. There are many sites of Indigenous history in the area, including Burnt Bridge Reserve which was considered a “bush pantry” with food, medicines and supplies to make tools and weapons.



65km | 47 mins

Reconnect with your old friend the A1 to pass through Nowa Nowa, an artsy town where you can check out the sculpture trail or pop into welcoming Mingling Waters, a three-in-one cafe, accommodation and gallery joint. Hold your course until you reach Orbost.

Sample local brewer Sailors Grave’s inventive ales from The Orbost Club Hotel. Orbost is also the unofficial end-point of the East Gippsland Rail Trail. You can hire bikes from Snowy River Cycling to tackle it at your own pace, or organise a tour with all the trimmings: bikes, accommodation, guide and transfers. The section between Nowa Nowa and Orbost is a cool shady section that takes in remarkable trestle bridges including the seductive Stony Creek Trestle Bridge.

From Orbost, follow the Snowy River along the C107 to the relaxed coastal town of Marlo. Explore surrounding estuaries or wild ocean beaches. Take the gentle amble from the centre of town to the dramatic coast of Mots Beach along the Snowy River Estuary Walk.

The heart of the town (not to mention one of the best sunset viewing points in the region) is the Marlo Pub. The cheerful bistro service extends onto the generous umbrella-clad verandah with views towards the estuaries.

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