Do you like epic views of the Milky Way? Pristine beaches with no one around? More lakes than you could paddle in a lifetime? Sunsets? Or even sunrises? If you answered yes to any of these, then get your butt on down to Loch Sport and the Gippsland Lakes District.
- A chance at snagging a view of the Aurora Australis, otherwise you’ll just have to settle for a gobsmacking view of the Milky Way
- Miles and miles of waves, all to yourself
- Countless lakes, rivers and beaches to explore
Having spent a fair bit of time on the Mornington Peninsula over the past few months, we decided it was time to spread our wings and fly. So we packed up the car and sent it on down to Loch Sport. Boy oh boy was it worth it.
Heading off in the afternoon, we hit the Lake Reeve just as the sun was setting. The tide was up as the sun put on one last show for the evening, reflecting off the lake and leaving a hint of orange on the horizon as the stars came out. There are a whole bunch of campsites around Loch Sport, but just as we reached ours was when disaster struck…
Lachie: Can you chuck me the matches and I’ll get dinner started.
Me: Thought you had them?
Lachie: You used them to burn the ends of the rope we bought from Bunnings to tie on the surfboards
Me: Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit
Turns out the matches never made it back to the car. Also turns out that a small town such as Loch Sport doesn’t have much open at 8pm on a Saturday night. We frantically drove around looking for somewhere to snag some matches. Just as we were seriously considering knocking on homes asking to buy a lighter off them, a bottle shop that was just about to close saved us. Continuing to amaze ourselves with our lack of foresight and planning, both of us had left our money back at the camp and so we hunted around the car for loose change.
However, our (my) lack of organisation no longer mattered once we settled back down at out campsite for a hearty meal. The rest of the night was spent alternating between getting lost in the Milky Way, being mesmerised by the campfire, or excited by the bioluminescence in the water. Not that we knew it at the time, but a local told us the next day that the strange colour in the sky was also a hint of the Aurora Australis.
We woke up the next morning to the best sound you can possibly hear when you drive three hours along the coast, camp by the beach and don’t check the surf report: epic waves. Unzipping the tent, still curled up in our sleeping bags, we were treated to views of the sun slowly peaking over the horizon, perfect 3-4ft waves pealing along the beach and even the occasional baby barrel. Time to get tuuuuuuuuuuuubed.
Unfortunately, our surfing ability wasn’t even close to our excitement levels, so most of the time was spent nose-diving, getting dumped and struggling to paddle out through the sets that kept crashing down upon us. Not that any of that matters when you have the beach all to yourself. After a few hours, we were realised that the packet of Oreos we hurriedly scoffed before paddling out don’t provide lasting energy when flailing around in the surf. Upon returning to dry land, we gained some information from a few fishermen that might have reined in our excitement…
Local fisherman 1: Thought that was pretty brave of you boys to head out there given all the sharks that’ve been around recently.
Us: Ahhh what?
Local fisherman 2: Been a few bull sharks and even a couple of hammerheads spotted last week
Deciding that we’d probably had enough ocean for one day after that conversation, we headed over to Loch Sport Marina. The rest of the afternoon was spent slacklining between Loch Sport pier over Lake Victoria. After a few hours of getting funny looks from the locals as we repeatedly climbed up onto the line only to fall into the water, it was time to wrap up this epic weekend and mosey on home.
Driving back on the Princess Highway with the sun throwing some hardcore shades of pink at the clouds, I think we could both agree on one thing – We’ve gotta do this more often. More adventures (and maybe some more organisation) here we come.
- Warm clothes for nights spent stargazing
- Firewood and marshmallows (Shoreline Drive and Paradise Beach allow fires)
- WATER (most of the campground don’t have fresh water so you need to bring everything for the day/weekend)
How To Get There
There are a bunch of campsites around Loch Sport, with a handful of them right on the beach.
Loch Sport is just under three hours from Melbourne. Zip down the Princess Highway towards Sale. Jump off the A1 just before Sale at Rosedale onto the Rosedale-Longford Rd (C485), which then becomes the Longford-Loch Sport Rd (still C485) and you’ll hit Loch Sport in no time.
- Swimming, surfing and fishing (if you’re swimming on the ocean side, beware of the currents, rips and waves – the beach can be quite rough)
- Stargazing and checking out the bioluminescence on the beach at night
- Kayaking (we didn’t get a chance this time, but that’s all the more reason to go back again!)
- 250 km by car to Loch Sport
- A few kms of beaches walked, and waves paddled