Refresh, relax, and re-energise with a Gippsland getaway. From rail trails to rural pubs, and SUPs to sunset bevvies, there’s so much to do you might stick around forever…

We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Gunaikurnai people who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.



  • The delicious Coastal Wilderness Walk
  • Gob smacking variety of forests, vegetation, and wildlife
  • Local food, local wine, and local produce – the trifecta!


Mountains, lakes, and beaches. Farmland, Aussie bush, and rainforests. East Gippsland has it all. The secret’s out about this rural retreat and there’s good reason why.

Only a few hours from Melbourne, Gippsland is full to the brim with adventures while leading the way with some stunning places to eat, drink, and stay. From the minute you arrive, you’ll know the hardest thing about East Gippsland will be going home.


Raymond Creek Falls

40km north of Orbost, the Raymond Creek Falls walk takes you through some lush forest before you get to… surprise, surprise… Raymond Creek Falls. The 1km track hits a viewpoint over the top of the falls before following another 300m down to the pools at the bottom. The sooner you see this bad boy after winter, the better chance you’ll have of seeing it in full force.


Coastal Wilderness Walk

This one’s a whopper! Stretching along the East Gippsland coastline for 100km, the Coastal Wilderness Walk is about as remote as you can get in this part of the country! 

Kicking off in Bemm River, the multi-day trail traverses the exquisitely wild and empty coast, crossing inlets and rivers, scrambling over rocky headlands, and hiking through coastal forests, before finishing up in Mallacoota

You’ll have to book your spots in advance and come prepared – there aren’t any shops to resupply at along the way!

Buchan Caves

Channel your inner Batman and explore the Buchan Caves. They were formed 400 million years ago by underground rivers, and are now sitting there just begging for you to get down and dirty in them. Parks Victoria offers some ripper tours through the caves daily if you want to learn a bit more about how this epic underground playground came to be.

Little River Gorge Walk

This short but sweet walk has some stunning views. The 800m return walk gives you some cracker views over Little River Gorge, Victoria’s deepest gorge at over 600m deep. While the walk is short, the path’s a bit steep so come ready to hike! 


The best spots to get your toes wet are Bastion Point, Pearl Point, and Red Bluff in Lakes Entrance.

Bastion Point is perfect if you’re new to the whole surfing thing, with some beginner-friendly waves that’ll get you up and going in no time. Lakes Entrance is another good spot for learning, and they’ve got a Surf Lifesaving Club at the beach too. If you want to step things up a little Pearl Point is rougher with stronger currents, but perfect if you’re an experienced surfer and just want to let loose.

Rafting, SUPing, and Sailing

Rafting the Mitta Mitta

Surfing isn’t the only water activity on offer in East Gippsland. Rafting Australia will take you down the mighty Mitta Mitta River for a paddle you won’t forget in a hurry. They offer one and two day adventures, with more than 60 rapids from grade 2 to grade 4. With rapids called the ‘Grave Yard’ and the ‘Gobler’, you know you’re in for a wild ride. 

For your best chance at some good rapids, hit the Mitta Mitta in spring when the water is flowing nice and strong.

Sail The Gippsland Lakes

Take it to the high seas (or low lakes) and head out on a sailing boat for a few days to really soak up the Gippsland Lakes

Riviera Nautic in Metung has a bunch of cruising sailboats for anywhere from 2-9 people. The crew there have itineraries on hand for you to follow or you can make your own path. And no boat licence or previous experience is required, just a briefing from their team and you’re let loose on the world.


Photo thanks to Visit Vic

SUP Lakes Entrance

If getting bounced along an alpine river with a rubber raft in 4mm of neoprene isn’t really your idea of a holiday, then Venture Out might have something more your speed. They offer a bunch of tours through the lakes and rivers on either SUPs or kayaks, so you can coast along the water’s surface.

Bike Riding

Mountain Biking Parks

Keen mountain biker? That’s what I like to hear! You’re gonna be right at home in East Gippsland, with three different MTB parks and trails in the region. 

Just 20 minutes down the road from Lakes Entrance, you’ll find the town of Nowa Nowa and Nowa Nowa Mountain Bike Park. With 20km of cross-country, downhill, and single track trails, this is a great park for newbies and dirt-munchers alike. 



After something a bit more challenging? Mount Taylor Mountain Bike Park has a righteous combo of intermediate, extreme, and cross country tracks, including a 5km ascent that takes you to the top of Mount Taylor itself. But maybe you’d prefer the slightly less vertical 8.3km XC loop instead!

But if it’s a longer and more scenic ride you’re looking for, the Gippsland Lakes Discovery Mountain Biking Trail is a series of bush trails – the longest 65km one way! – that links between the East Gippsland Rail Trail and Lakes Entrance itself. The trails meander along the Mississippi Creek.

East Gippsland Rail Trail

The 100km East Gippsland Rail Trail is a doozy. It winds all the way from Bairnsdale to Orbost and you can tackle it all at once, or section by section. It goes via a bunch of great towns in the region so you won’t be short on a good meal or a place to stay.

If you didn’t bring any wheels with you, Snowy River Cycling has you covered. You can pick up bikes from them and make your own plans, but they also offer self-guided tours so all you have to do is show up and start riding.


4WDing & Road Tripping

East Gippsland isn’t small and there’s so much to do that sometimes the only way to see it is a good old-fashioned road trip.

Snowy River 4WD Route

If you’ve got a few days and want to get a bit deeper into East Gippsland, the 286km Snowy River 4WD Route will do just that. The track starts and finishes in Orbost, climbing through Mountain Ash forest and then into wetter and biggest forests further in the park. There’s plenty of bush camping along the way as well as walking tracks, swimming spots, and places to canoe.

Worth noting that the track is rated as difficult and you’ll need experience 4WDing over rocky ground in low range. Safer (and more fun!) to do in a group.

Coopracambra Link

If you’ve only got time for a quick jaunt, the Coopracamba Link track is the way to go. It’ll take a half to a full day to complete, depending on how many stops you make along the way. Take your pick between Beehive Falls, Yambulla Walking Track down to the Genoa River, and a mossy walk at Drummer Rainforest Picnic Area to Thurra River.

This track’s also suitable for AWDs, and you don’t need to have prior 4WDing experience. Best to head out in a group if you’re unsure though!


Ok, I couldn’t resist throwing a wild card in here… Lakes Entrance Helicopters offer a bunch of epic experiences over and above the usual, including a heli-picnic, or a heli-pub trip. They’re also partnered with Venture Out to offer Heli-SUP, where you fly over the stunning lakes of East Gippsland before being dropped into them to explore in a SUP. That gets a big yes from me!

Where to Refuel & Stay

Where to eat?

More and more great places to eat are popping up in the regions, and East Gippsland is no different.

Sardine Dining in Paynesville offers an ever-changing menu of local, seasonal produce. Being by the ocean, this naturally means a lot of fresh seafood on offer. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, try the Sardine Cantina, the cheese and wine bar next door.

After you’ve finished exploring the Buchan Caves, dive into the Buchan Caves Hotel for one hell of a feed. It reopened in 2016 after being destroyed by fire but is back better than ever, and ready to offer a classic pub feed.



Over in Lakes Entrance, Sodafish and Albert and Co will keep you well fed. Sodafish is a floating seafood restaurant that serves up the latest daily catch. It’s a laid-back affair, but don’t let that fool you, the food is an absolute delight. Albert and Co has you sorted for breakfast, lunch or dinner overlooking Cunninghame Arm and the Southern Hemisphere’s largest fishing fleet.

But if there’s one thing to take from these superb options, it’s that wherever you eat in East Gippsland, you’ll be treated to the freshest local feed going around.


Where to drink?

Beers lovers rejoice cause East Gippsland has a couple of deliciously local options on the menu. Head to Red Bluff Brewers in Lakes Entrance to pair their beers with some hearty meals from the onsite wood-fired smoker. 

15 minutes from Bairnsdale on the Great Alpine Road, Bullant Brewery is another local delight. Run by two brothers, you can watch the copper brewhouse at work through large windows while enjoying a feed and a drink in their taproom.

If wine is more your speed, you can’t go past Lightfoot Wines. They’ve got red, white, and sparkling. on offer, so no matter what your poison, you’ll find a drop that suits. Over at the cellar door, they’ve also partnered with a handful of their favourite local eateries to create two tasting platters. If you’re a beer lover through and through, they also stock drops from Sailors Grave and Bullant Breweries.

Where to stay?

East Gippsland isn’t something that you can knock over in just one day. Here are some of our favourite places to stay while you explore the area.

Starting with the bush options, Thurra River Campground is perfect if you want something low-key and close to nature. Sitting amongst the eucalypt trees and with views over Croajingalong National Park, it’s a great spot for a nature reset. (Thurra Campground is currently closed due to safety works, but should be reopened by summer 2023/23.)

The Stockmans Camp near Buchan Caves is another great camping option. The farm stay has powered and non-powered sites, as well as cabin accommodation for a little more comfort.

Eight Acres has glamping tents and cabins sitting in the bushland just out of Lakes Entrance. With a big games garden, relaxing pool, and daily animal feeding, you won’t be running short on activities.

Jetty Road Retreat, also in Lakes Entrance, is a hidden oasis. The four secluded cabins are on the hillside with views down onto the lake. They’ve also got lake access via a small path if you want to throw in a line, get out on a kayak or even take a dunk if you’re brave enough.

Lakeview Retreat Metung is a great getaway from the crowds. The cabins are great for up to five people, have their own deck, and walking tracks right on the doorstep. They’ve also got a cosy fire pit to sit around while you stargaze, so don’t forget the marshmallows. 

If you’re really searching for some luxury, you can’t go past Metung Hot Springs. They’ve got lagoon and hillside glamping, as well as spa and massage packages to work out all the kinks after a long day adventuring. If you need some soaking time but don’t want to stay the night, they also take day visits. And let’s be honest, you deserve it.

Metung Hot Springs is opening later this year – please check the website for the latest updates.

Essential Gear

  • Surfboards, kayaks or SUPs (or hire some out there)
  • Camera
  • Hiking shoes 
  • First aid kit
  • Warm clothes in winter and sun protection in summer

How To Get There

Going direct, East Gippsland is about 300km and 4 hours out of Melbourne along the Princes Highway.

For a low carbon option, take the V-Line out to Bairnsdale and attack the rest of your adventure on bikes.


Your Adventure Guide to an East Gippsland Getaway, Ben Savage, Lakes Entrance, aerial shot, coastline

Leave No Trace

East Gippsland is an absolute gob-smacker. At We Are Explorers, we reckon it’s a good idea to keep it that way, so make sure to take all of your rubbish with you, minimise your plastic use as much as possible, stick to the paths and try not to disturb the area or animals. Mother Nature will thank you for it!

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!