Your Guide to visiting East Gippsland in Victoria

East Gippsland, in the southeastern corner of Victoria, is full of natural beauty, offering a variety of experiences for you to discover.

Pristine lakes, ancient caves, a beautiful coastline and lush national parks are just some things you can see – making it a perfect destination for nature lovers, adventure junkies, and those who want to relax.

This article will guide you to the top 10 things to do in East Gippsland. So, if you plan a trip to the area, we’ll help you make the most of your time!

Where is East Gippsland?

East Gippsland is a region located in the southeastern corner of Victoria.

More specifically, it resides in the eastern part of the Gippsland region – bordered by the state of New South Wales to the north and the Tasman Sea to the east, making it a picturesque and nature-rich area of Victoria.

The region includes towns and localities such as Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance and Orbost, each offering unique attractions and natural beauty.

How to get to East Gippsland

How to get to East Gippsland

Getting to East Gippsland is relatively straightforward, whether from within Victoria or other parts of Australia.

You can reach East Gippsland by road if you’re travelling from Melbourne. The most common route is via the Princes Highway (A1), which extends to Bairnsdale, one of the major towns in the region. The drive from Melbourne to East Gippsland takes approximately three to four hours, depending on your exact destination within the area.

Alternatively, you can take a V/Line train from Melbourne to Bairnsdale, which offers a comfortable and scenic rail journey. For those coming from interstate or other regions of Australia, consider flying into Melbourne and then connecting to East Gippsland by road or rail or booking a regional flight to the East Gippsland Airport near Bairnsdale.

Once you arrive in East Gippsland, the region’s picturesque landscapes and attractions are within easy reach, making it an ideal destination for a memorable getaway.

Best time to visit East Gippsland

The most popular time for tourists to visit East Gippsland is during the summer months, from December to February. During this period, they enjoy warm and pleasant weather, ideal for outdoor activities like swimming, boating, hiking, and wildlife spotting. The region’s lakes and coastal areas come alive, and it’s an excellent time to explore its natural beauty.

However, many travellers prefer to beat the crowds, so they visit during the shoulder seasons of spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May). These months offer milder temperatures, fewer crowds, and the opportunity to witness the stunning autumn foliage or spring wildflowers.

Winters (June to August) are cooler still. Yet they provide a viable option for indoor activities, cosying up by the fireplace or exploring the region’s more rugged landscapes. Ultimately, the best time to visit East Gippsland depends on your interests and the experience you’re looking for.

Things to do in East Gippsland

Planning a visit to the region? Here are 10 of the best things you can see and do in East Gippsland.

1. Gippsland Lakes

Gippsland Lakes

Visiting the Gippsland Lakes is an enchanting experience that promises relaxation and adventure.

These lakes, Australia’s largest inland waterway system, are a natural wonder in East Gippsland. The Gippsland Lakes are a haven for water enthusiasts with their sparkling waters and serene surroundings. You can indulge in boating, fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding, unwind on the sandy shores, and soak in the breathtaking views.

Birdwatchers will be delighted by the diverse avian life that calls these wetlands home, including pelicans, swans, and numerous other bird species. Lakes Entrance, the gateway to the Gippsland Lakes, offers a vibrant atmosphere with its seafood restaurants, and a stroll along the Ninety Mile Beach is a must.

2. Mitchell River National Park

Mitchell River National Park

Mitchell River National Park is one of the more extraordinary places you can visit during your time in the East Gippsland region.

The pristine park, located in Cobbannah, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Its claim to fame lies in its stunning limestone gorges, lush rainforests and the awe-inspiring Den of Nargun which will take your breath away.

For hikers, there are many trails to explore, including the challenging Billy Goat Bluff Track and the serene Gippsland Lakes Wilderness Coast. Along the way, you can marvel at the ancient vegetation and spot some of the park’s diverse wildlife, from kangaroos to elusive platypuses in the river.

Overall, Mitchell River National Park offers an unforgettable experience in the heart of East Gippsland’s natural beauty. Plan to spend a whole day here to make the most of what it offers.

3. Cape Conran Coastal Park

Cape Conran Coastal Park

Nestled along the southeastern coastline of East Gippsland, Cape Conran Coastal Park is nothing short of a coastal paradise.

Renowned for its rugged beauty, the park offers diverse activities for visitors. For instance, if you’re a

fan of water sports, you can try surfing or snorkelling in the clear waters, while kayakers will find sheltered estuaries to explore. Should you prefer to keep your feet on dry land, Cape Conran offers picturesque bushwalking trails through coastal forests, revealing stunning ocean vistas. Additionally, birdwatchers will be delighted by the park’s rich avian life, including majestic sea eagles.

With its pristine beaches, dramatic cliffs, and abundant natural beauty, Cape Conran Coastal Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the coastal splendour of East Gippsland.

4. Buchan Caves

Buchan Caves

Buchan Caves are a set of limestone caves that showcase nature’s forces over millions of years.

Guided tours take you deep into the heart of these caves, where you can marvel at the intricate formations of stalactites and stalagmites, some of which resemble delicate crystalline chandeliers. The sheer scale and beauty of the caverns are awe-inspiring, and the knowledgeable guides provide fascinating insights into the geology and history of these subterranean wonders.

Visiting Buchan Caves offers opportunities for those seeking adventure to explore their depths and discover the mysteries beneath the Earth’s surface. It is a fascinating attraction you should not miss while in East Gippsland.

5. Bairnsdale


Bairnsdale, a charming town in the heart of East Gippsland, offers a delightful blend of culture, history and natural beauty that is well worth checking out.

Located along the Mitchell River, the town boasts a rich heritage that you can best explore at the Bairnsdale Historical Museum. Visitors can delve into the town’s past through its exhibits.

Strolling through the town’s streets, you’ll encounter elegant Victorian-era architecture, giving Bairnsdale a unique and timeless charm. The tranquil gardens along the riverbanks are perfect for a leisurely walk or a relaxing picnic. Additionally, the town serves as a gateway to the stunning Gippsland Lakes, making it an excellent base for exploring the region’s aquatic wonders.

6. Snowy River Country

Snowy River Country

Snowy River Country is an untamed wilderness in East Gippsland that appeals to those with a sense of adventure.

Named after the iconic Snowy River, this region is a paradise for outdoor and nature lovers. With its rugged terrain, pristine forests and the meandering Snowy River, it offers many activities, from white-water rafting and four-wheel driving to horse riding and bushwalking.

The landscape’s breathtaking beauty is a constant companion on your journey, whether exploring the dense eucalyptus forests, chasing the thrill of the rapids, or taking in the serene vistas.

Overall, Snowy River Country is a place where you can reconnect with nature, challenge your spirit of adventure and create lasting memories in the heart of East Gippsland’s wilderness.

7. Marlo and Orbost

Marlo and Orbost

Marlo and Orbost are fascinating destinations in East Gippsland – tucked away along the Snowy River and the coast.

Marlo, a tranquil fishing village, is nestled at the junction of the Snowy River and the Southern Ocean. It’s a perfect destination for those seeking serenity and the simple pleasures of coastal living. Here, you can enjoy fishing, birdwatching, or unwinding on the sandy shores.

A short drive inland takes you to Orbost, a town surrounded by lush forests and rolling countryside. Orbost serves as a gateway to the Snowy River National Park, offering opportunities for bushwalking, camping and exploring pristine wilderness. The Snowy River, with its scenic beauty and recreational potential, is a highlight of the area.

Both Marlo and Orbost provide diverse experiences, from boating and fishing to exploring pristine forests and riverbanks. Whether you want outdoor adventures or a peaceful retreat, these East Gippsland destinations offer a taste of the region’s natural beauty and tranquillity, making them must-visit stops on your East Gippsland itinerary.

8. Croajingolong National Park

Croajingolong National Park

Situated along the southeastern coast of Victoria, Croajingolong National Park is a delightful UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve full of natural wonders.

The park is renowned for its untouched beaches, ancient rainforests, and a rich array of wildlife. Exploring its diverse ecosystems is a dream for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. Croajingolong offers an extensive network of hiking trails, ranging from strolls to challenging multi-day treks. These trails lead you through lush rainforests, along serene rivers, and onto secluded beaches where you can relax and soak in the breathtaking coastal scenery.

Wildlife enthusiasts will be thrilled by the park’s incredible biodiversity. It’s home to diverse bird species, including the iconic lyrebird, kangaroos, wallabies, and numerous other native animals. Birdwatching and wildlife spotting are popular activities, and the park’s pristine environment makes it an ideal location for these pursuits.

Camping is a fantastic way to experience the park entirely. Several campgrounds are scattered throughout Croajingolong, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy starry nights by the campfire.

9. Lindenow


A visit to Lindenow in East Gippsland offers a charming and immersive experience in rural Australian life. This picturesque farming town is nestled amidst lush landscapes and agricultural heritage, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a taste of country life and fresh, locally sourced produce.

One of the highlights of visiting Lindenow is the opportunity to explore its thriving agricultural community. The town is surrounded by fertile farmland where you can find a variety of crops, including vegetables, fruit orchards, and dairy farms. Depending on the season, you can purchase

fresh, farm-to-table produce directly from local farmers or roadside stalls. Doing this presents a unique chance to savour the region’s flavours and support the local agricultural economy.

Lindenow’s peaceful ambience and scenic countryside are excellent for gentle strolls and outdoor activities. You can take a tranquil walk through the town, appreciating its country charm and perhaps even stopping by a local café for a coffee and a chat with friendly locals.

10. Paynesville


Located on the picturesque Gippsland Lakes, Paynesville is a charming town that offers a range of attractions and experiences for visitors of all interests.

One of the primary draws of Paynesville is its stunning waterfront setting. The town is surrounded by water, making it a paradise for boating, fishing, and water sports enthusiasts. You can hire a boat or kayak and explore the intricate network of waterways, visit nearby islands, or cruise along the pristine lakes. Paynesville is also a gateway to the renowned Mitchell River National Park, perfect for hiking and nature exploration.

For those who prefer to stay on land, Paynesville boasts a charming village atmosphere with boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants. You can amble along the scenic esplanade, browse local galleries, or enjoy fresh seafood and other regional delights at waterfront dining establishments.

Families and wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy Raymond Island, just a short ferry ride from Paynesville. This island is famous for its resident koala population, and you can easily spot these iconic Australian marsupials in their natural habitat as you explore the island’s walking trails.

Final Thought

East Gippsland, with its natural beauty and diverse attractions, offers an unforgettable experience for travellers.

If you’re keen on exploring the great outdoors or enjoying the region’s rich cultural heritage, this corner of Victoria has something to offer every type of adventurer.

So, why not plan your trip to East Gippsland today and discover the magic of this remarkable Australian region?