LAKESCOAST.COM.AU LAKES COAST 2023/24 Summer FREE VISITOR GUIDE FROM PHILLIP ISLAND, VICTORIA TO BERMAGUI, NSW AND EVERYWHERE IN BETWEEN
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LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE | PAGE 3 and the living is easy Summertime Summer is the season for exploring the seemingly endless array of sights, tastes and experiences of the beautiful Lakes Coast. From feature-packed Phillip Island, through to the sparkling NSW Sapphire Coast, the Lakes Coast region is endowed with majestic mountains, rolling green hills, quaint coastal towns, pristine stretches of surf and sand, and the largest inland waterway in the country – the Gippsland Lakes. The fabulous waterways are at their best in summer, and anglers come from all over to try their luck in boats, or from the shores of the region’s lakes, rivers and beaches. In this edition of the Lakes Coast Visitor Guide, we’ll help you discover the surprising array of sights, attractions and activities available in this stunning region. The Lakes Coast has much to offer, from camping and hiking in wilderness bushland, or bike riding on the region’s extensive network of rail trails and mountain bike tracks, to discovering historic townships and ancient indigenous heritage, or visiting the area’s many wonderful galleries, wineries, cafes, farm gates, markets, restaurants and so much more. The wildlife also abounds, from kangaroos to koalas, eagles to egrets, penguins to pelicans, emus to echidnas... the list goes on. In this Visitor Guide, we give you a concise and easyto-read snapshot of what’s available, and key contacts to get you started. In the centre pages, you’ll find a large map showing the extent of the territory you can explore, and the major roads and towns. A bit of guidance will make all the difference as you plan your holiday experience, so along with using this Visitor Guide, be sure to pop by the Visitor Information centre in each area you’re visiting for the full picture. We hope you enjoy exploring the beautiful Lakes Coast this summer. Couple enjoying summer on the Gippsland Lakes. Photo: Visit Victoria
PAGE 4 | LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE Regions & towns 5-10 Phillip Island 11 San Remo 12 Wonthaggi 13 Inverloch 14-15 Wilsons Promontory 16-17 Foster 18-19 Toora/Port Welshpool 20-22 Port Albert 23-24 Tarra Territory 25-27 Yarram 30 Woodside Beach 31-33 Loch Sport 34 Ninety Mile Beach 35-38 Sale 39 Heyfield 40-41 Maffra 42-44 Stratford 45 Lindenow 46-52 Bairnsdale 56-65, 68-69 Paynesville, Raymond Is, Wattle Point 70-71 Bruthen 72-74 Omeo 75-77 Twin Rivers 78-81 Metung 84-92 Lakes Entrance 93 Nowa Nowa 94-95 Buchan 98 Orbost/Marlo/Cape Conran 99-100 Orbost 101-102 Marlo 103 Cape Conran 104 Bemm River 105 Cann River 106-107 Mallacoota 108-110 Eden 111 Pambula 112-117 Merimbula 118 Bega 119-121 Tathra 122-123 Bermagui Features 10, 69, 117 Competitions 28-29 Tastes of Central Gippsland - Food Guide 53 Cruises on the Gippsland Lakes 54-55 Tastes of Bairnsdale & Surrounds - Food Guide 66-67 Southeast Australia Map 82-83 Tastes of the Lakes & Surrounds - Food Guide 96 Adventure 97 Tastes of Far East Gippsland - Food Guide 124-127 Information 125 Markets 128 Accommodation Directory 129-130 Eateries Directory Acknowledgement of Country We acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the lands on which we work, and pay our respects to indigenous elders past, present and emerging. Cover: Kids enjoying their summer at Fishpen Beach, Merimbula. Photo this page: Summer kayaking at Paynesville, Gippsland Lakes. CONTENTs
LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE | PAGE 5 PHILLIP ISLAND Located only 90 minutes from Melbourne, Phillip Island Nature Parks is a conservation organisation that offers a range of quality ecotourism experiences across four major attractions: the Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Reserve, Churchill Island and the Antarctic Journey at the Nobbies Centre, as well as other protected natural areas, including beaches, wetlands and woodlands. At the Penguin Parade, you can witness the natural wonder of Little Penguins dashing across the beach at sunset any night of the week. Visitors can choose from a number of different viewing options and tours. The treetop boardwalks at the Koala Conservation Reserve at Phillip Island provide the opportunity to come faceto-face with koalas in their natural habitat. Here you can wander extensive bushland trails, abundant with birdlife and other animals including wallabies, echidnas and bats. On a visit to the historic Churchill Island homestead, you can step back in time and explore tranquil scenery, extensive farm grounds and beautiful gardens. You can get involved in daily farm activities, including blacksmithing, cow milking and whip cracking. Antarctic Journey At the Nobbies Centre, on the western tip of Phillip Island, you can take a fun and interactive virtual journey into the wonderful world of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica at the Antarctic Journey, proudly supported by the WWFAustralia. Here you can also explore the rugged coastline and often mountainous seas via clifftop boardwalks. Phillip Island Nature Parks manages 25 per cent of Phillip Island, including wetlands, coastlines, bushland and beaches. Every visit helps to protect this natural coastal haven for the diverse and wondrous wildlife that reside here, as well as for residents and visitors to Phillip Island (Millowl). To find out more about Phillip Island Nature Parks, visit penguins.org.au The clifftop boardwalks of the Nobbies provide a safe and easy way to explore the rugged coastline. All photos: Phillip Island Nature Parks. Some participants of the nightly Penguin Parade. An island of natural wonders Come face-to-face with koalas at the Koala Conservation Reserve.
PAGE 6 | LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE PHILLIP ISLAND Island options abound in summer At Phillip Island, you’ll discover an area rich in wildlife, stunning coastal vistas and a vast variety of summer outdoor activities, from scenic walks and cycling, to swimming, surfing, boating, fishing, and even golf. Accessible by car, via a bridge from the ‘mainland’, at Phillip Island you can see koalas, kangaroos and penguins up close, stroll along rugged coastal clifftops, visit an historic island farm, and much more. There are many amazing coastal trails to explore, as well as magnificent bay and surf beaches for swimming and surfing. Relaxing Rhyll If you’re after something more relaxed, head to the charming waterside village of Rhyll, where you’ll also find a general store, takeaway shops and lovely nature walks. Everything you need At Cowes Beach and the Esplanade on the northern side of Phillip Island, you will find some of the island’s best, shops, restaurants, cafés and takeaway outlets. To make the most of your visit, go to visitphillipisland.com.au Summer is a great time to explore Phillip Island’s vast array of natural wonders, beachside walks and activities. Photo: Visit Victoria BASS STRAIT BACK BEACH ROAD VENTOR ROAD PHILLIP ISLAND ROAD PHILLIP IS RD VENTOR ROAD Police TO SAN REMO CHURCHILL ISLAND MARINE NATIONAL PARK PHILLIP ISLAND NATURE PARK phillip island3922 Welcome to Scan here for full detailed map Distance from Melbourne: 142km Population: 9900 approx. Amenities: Plenty of nature parks and reserves, hotels, shopping, cafés and restaurants. Accommodation includes camping, caravanning, B&Bs, holiday houses and motels. Excellent for water play including swimming and sur ng.
LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE | PAGE 7 PHILLIP ISLAND Phillip Island’s rugged and spectacular Cape Woolamai, as viewed from a scenic flight with Phillip Island Helicopters. To get a true sense of the natural wonders that abound on Phillip Island and its surrounds, it’s definitely worth taking to the air. So, while you’re on the Island, you should definitely consider the once-in-a-lifetime experience of a scenic flight with Phillip Island Helicopters. Stunning coastline Phillip Island Helicopters offers a range of affordable scenic flights, taking in key sights, such as the rugged headlands of Cape Woolamai and Summerland Bay (home of the Penguin Parade), the small offshore island of Seal Rocks (home to Australia’s largest fur seal colony), the Australian Grand Prix track (location of the MotoGP) and miles of stunning coastline. Comfort and safety The company has been conducting scenic flights, charters and adventures over and around Phillip Island since 2006, and is a multiaward-winning local tourist operator, renowned for its friendly and experienced flight crew, and the comfort and safety of its aircraft. A scenic flight with Phillip Island Helicopters is a fun and exciting way to get a fabulous view of the Island. To find out more, visit pih.com.au Get an amazing perspective on Phillip Island A scenic flight with Phillip Island Helicopters offers an unforgettable view of Phillip Island and surrounds. PB16805
PAGE 8 | LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE PHILLIP ISLAND Being located on the northern side of Phillip Island, on the relatively calm shores of Westernport Bay, the seaside township of Cowes is an ideal family holiday destination, with its own fishing jetty, sheltered sandy beaches, relaxing waterside walkways, and lots of facilities. It's also just a short drive from the Island's many remarkable natural attractions, including the Penguin Parade, the Nobbies, Pyramid Rock, Rhyll Inlet and Cape Woolamai, to name just a few. Arthur Phillip Motor Inn Fabulously located in the heart of Cowes, within walking distance of shops, cafés, restaurants and the beach, Arthur Phillip Motor Inn is an ideal place to stay while you're on Phillip Island. Family owned and operated, the Motor Inn offers 12 clean, spacious and well-appointed ground-floor units, and is set in a relatively quiet location, making it popular with those seeking a peaceful night's sleep. Accommodation at the family-friendly Arthur Phillip includes free Wi-Fi, daily housekeeping (on request), air-conditioning, refrigerator, microwave, electric kettle, sofa, wardrobe, flat-screen TV, desk, car parking directly in front of your room, with on-site boat parking also available. Other special touches for guests include a private bathroom with walk-in shower, complimentary toiletries, hair dryer and and iron. With a reputation for providing excellent facilities and service, the Arthur Phillip has a total customer-review rating of 8.9/10 (from more than 500 reviews on booking.com), placing it at the upper-end of this style of accommodation on Phillip Island. To book or find out more about the Arthur Phillip Motor Inn, visit arthurphillipmotorinn.com.au Stay close to everything the Island has to offer The foreshore at Cowes is a perfect place to enjoy fish and chips with the family. Photo: Visit Victoria Arthur Phillip Motor Inn Ph: (03) 595 23788 | Address: 2/12 Redwood Drive Cowes Vic 3922 Email: email@example.com | www.arthurphillipmotorinn.com.au PB11987
LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE | PAGE 9 PHILLIP ISLAND It’s a great time to take an island wildlife cruise Phillip Island is a fantastic summer destination, where you'll find yourself surrounded by beautiful beaches, rugged coastal scenery, and wildlife in abundance. One of the best ways to discover the island is from the water on a guided wildlife cruise. Wildlife Coast Cruises offers a variety of ocean journeys around this fantastic area. Seal cruise If you'd love to see some cute marine life, jump on a Phillip Island Seal Cruise. This amazing tour gets you 'up-close and personal' with thousands of Australian Fur Seals at Australia's largest breeding colony, Seal Rocks. Summer at the rocks is an interesting time, as pups born between October and December can be spotted finding their feet, exploring their habitat in small rock pools, and bleating at their mothers. The Phillip Island Seal Cruise, run by Wildlife Coast Cruises, takes you along the north-west side of the Island, past the Nobbies and Round Island. It's a 'must-do' when visiting the Island. Cape cruise As well as Seal Rocks, there are lots of other stunning areas of Phillip Island to visit, including the rugged rocky cliffs of Cape Woolamai. The cape is iconic for its towering granite cliffs, caves, and remnants of an historic granite quarry, all surrounded by impressive turquoise waters. The Cape Cruise is a one-hour tour that takes you to view this scenic area. It departs from the historic San Remo fishing village (on the mainland side of the island bridge). After you return from your cruise, be sure to try the delicious fish n' chips at the local Fishermen's Co-Op in San Remo, made using fresh flake straight off the boats. Sunset cruise In the evening, you might like to take the opportunity to kick back with a local wine and some delicious appetisers aboard a Wildlife Coast Cruises' Sunset Cruise. The cruise travels across the bay, taking in local birdlife, while the sun sets along this alluring coastline. To book or find out more about these Phillip Island cruise options, visit wildlifecoastcruises.com.au A cruise to Phillip Island’s Seal Rocks gets you up close and personal with Australian Fur seals. A short cruise will give you a different perspective on the towering cliffs of Cape Woolamai. The summer Seal Rocks cruise gives you a chance to view seal pups finding their feet (or should that be flippers?).
PAGE 10 | LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE & & & P: 03 5951 2800 www.penguins.org.au A family 4 Parks Pass is for 2 adults and 2 children (aged 4 to 14), includes the Penguin Parade, Antarctic Journey, Koala Conservation Centre, Churchill Island Heritage Farm and is valid for 6 months. PB8321 Spring Edition Winner Navy Ellmers of Manns Beach, Vic ABN 88 940 950 118 Simply colour in Phillip Island Nature Parks famous animals for a chance to WIN a family 4 Parks Pass and send to: Lakes Coast Visitor Guide Phillip Island Nature Parks Competition PO Box 465, Bairnsdale, VIC 3875 Entries close: January 31, 2024 Name:............................................................................................................ Address:........................................................................................................ Email:............................................................................................................. Phone:.......................................................... Date:..................................... Your age:......................................................................................................
LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE | PAGE 11 SAN REMO Feeding time for the local pelicans has become a daily spectacle for visitors to San Remo. A seaside village that’s full of surprises Before you head over the bridge to Phillip Island, be sure to stop in at San Remo – a surprising seaside village that has plenty to see and do, from pubs and pelicans, to picnics and piers. If you are keen on some serious fishing, book your trip on a charter boat from San Remo out to the pristine deep waters of Bass Strait. Or simply head out on the historic San Remo Jetty to ‘drop in a line’. Pelican feeding, on the foreshore at noon each day, is a treat for all the family, providing plenty of opportunities to get some photos of these big, eye-catching birds. The main street of San Remo has a variety of shops and galleries, as well as cafes and takeaway stores, many offering delicious freshly caught local seafood. The colourful array of boats tied-up by the water’s edge includes the largest fleet of shark fishing boats in Australia. This village also provides access to some wonderful walking and cycling trails. The popular George Bass Coastal Walk is a scenic seven-kilometre cliff-top trail that stretches from the outskirts of San Remo to Kilcunda. It takes an average of two hours to walk one way and offers spectacular views of the coastline. The walk follows the route of explorer, George Bass, on his voyage of discovery along the southern edge of the Anderson Peninsula, more than 200 years ago. As some climbing of stiles over farm fences is required, a reasonable level of fitness is recommended for the walk. With the George Bass Coastal Walk linking into the Bass Coast Rail Trail, it is possible to walk from the Punch Bowl in San Remo all the way to the centre of Wonthaggi. Another trail to consider is the San Remo to Cowes Cycling Track, which is popular with cyclists and families as it is mostly flat. Enjoying fresh fish and chips at San Remo, with the bridge to Phillip Island in the background. Photo: Visit Victoria Wherever you are, you can always find us at lakescoast.com.au ALWAYS ONLINE PB16781 LAKESCOAST.COM.AU LAKES COAST 2023/24 Summer FREE VISITOR GUIDE FROM PHILLIP ISLAND, VICTORIA TO BERMAGUI, NSW AND EVERYWHERE IN BETWEEN
PAGE 12 | LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE WONTHAGGI A gateway to pristine coastal wilderness A town with a deep mining history, Wonthaggi is a large regional centre with lots of facilities, and it's also the gateway to the wonderful coastal wilderness regions of Cape Paterson (just an 11-minute drive south) and Wilsons Promontory (just under an hour's drive south-east). Known originally for its coal mining, it is now the largest town in South Gippsland, a regional area with extensive tourism, beef and dairy industries. The name 'Wonthaggi' is derived from a Boonwurrung (south-central Kulin) word meaning 'home'. Bass Coast Rail Trail The old railway line here has been transformed into the very popular Bass Coast Rail Trail, which starts opposite the modern Centennial Visitor Information Centre in Bent Street. The relatively flat, 23-kilometre-long rail trail winds all the way to Woolamai (a small township in south-east-Gippsland, best known for its picnic racecourse, and not to be confused with a surf beach on Phillip Island with the same name). The trail rewards riders with wonderful farm and ocean views, as it crosses historic timber trestle bridges, passing the site of a former coal mine, and travels through Kilcunda – a coastal village with a café/general store, hotel and a large foreshore reserve. Local knowledge The friendly staff at the Wonthaggi Visitor Information Centre can guide you to wonderful walks in the Wonthaggi Bushland Reserve and the Wetlands Conservation Park, both of which are abundant in native flora and birdlife. It's also worth taking an invigorating walk on the pristine sands of the nearby Bass Coast surf beaches, including The Oaks, just east of Cape Paterson's main beach. State Coal Mine The historic State Coal Mine site in Garden Street is free to visit, and provides a fascinating, self-guided heritage walk among gardens and historic buildings. There's also a museum, an old steam locomotive for the kids to climb on and a picnic area. It's also worth stopping by the historic Wonthaggi Hotel, which was opened in 1915, and at its entrance features the giant jawbones from a 74' Sperm Whale that washed up on Wreck Beach in 1923. This pristine surf beach, known as the The Oaks, is only a short drive from the town of Wonthaggi. Photo: Visit Victoria GRAHAM STREET BILLSON STREET MCKENZIE STREET KORUMBURRA ROAD BASS HIGHWAY Police WONTHAGGI RAILWAY HISTORIC AREA STATE COAL MINE HISTORIC AREA HISTORIC RAILWAY LINE BUSHLAND AREA WONTHAGGI BUSHLAND RESERVE TOLEONGATHA & INVERLOCH TO SAN REMO & PHILLIP ISLAND WONTHAGGI RECREATION RESERVE wonthaggi Welcome to 3995 Scan here for full detailed map Distance from Melbourne: 135km Population: 4400 approx. Amenities: Great walks and trails including the Bass Coast Rail Trail. Accommodation options include caravan and camping, hotels, motels and holiday rentals. Close to the beach for coastal fun.
LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE | PAGE 13 INVERLOCH A charming seaside village with a funky side Inverloch is a charming, bustling holiday town that – along with its many natural, coastal attractions – is fast growing a reputation for its growing array of funky and modern cafés, restaurants, a gelateria, boutique accommodation, giftware stores, plant nurseries and art galleries. The restaurant styles in Inverloch range from Japanese and Mexican, through to Australian pub-style classics and pizza, and many are focussed on using and serving only highquality, locally-sourced produce and wines. There's also an Italian-inspired, hole-in-thewall-style gelateria, gourmet delicatessens and butchers, organic fruit and vegetable stores, a cocktail lounge and more. The café scene is strong too, with numerous Melbourne-style cafes popping up – including an art café – all serving fantastic, barista-made coffee and excellent food. Shells and bones Located at the corner of Ramsay Boulevard and The Esplanade in Inverloch is the Bunurong Environment Centre, a voluntary organisation which has one of Australia's most impressive collections of shells (more than 6,000 in fact) as well as a display of dinosaur bones. Outside the Centre is an interesting display of eight small mosaics depicting aspects of Inverloch's history. The Centre is open Friday to Monday from 10am-4pm. Numerous cool eateries and cafés have popped-up in Inverloch. Photo: Visit Victoria INVERLOCH-VENUS BAY ROAD BASS HWY RAMSEY BLVD VENUS STREET TOORAK ROAD BASS HWY WONTHAGGI ROAD POWLETT STREET INV.-KONGWAK RD TOORAK ROAD TOLEONGATHA TOWONTHAGGI INVERLOCH COASTAL RESERVE Police inverloch 3996 Welcome to Scan here for full detailed map Distance from Melbourne: 144km Population: 5000 approx. Amenities: Surf beaches, great shing, cafés, restaurants and accommodation including resort, motels, caravan, camping and holiday rentals.
PAGE 14 | LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE WILSONS PROMONTORY There’s something extra special about‘The Prom’ The Prom offers spectacular scenery of huge granite mountains, open forest, rainforest, sweeping beaches and coastlines. Photo: Visit Victoria Wilsons Promontory (aka ‘The Prom’) is one of Victoria’s most-loved places. Located at the southernmost tip of mainland Australia, The Prom offers spectacular scenery of huge granite mountains, open forest, rainforest, sweeping beaches and coastlines. The fact that Wilsons Promontory National Park was first reserved in 1898, means that much of the natural beauty of this very special place has been preserved, and will remain so for generations to come. Now covering more than 505 square kilometres, Wilsons Promontory National Park includes a historic light station, built in 1859, perched on a small peninsula jutting into the wild seas of Bass Strait. The National Park also takes in a number of small offshore islands. A diver’s paradise Wilsons Promontory is a diver’s paradise with spectacular underwater scenery. Divers will experience fascinating sponge gardens, a technicolour assemblage of sponges, sea tulips, sea whips, lace corals and sea fans, and brilliant coloured fish at home swimming through them. Abundant wildlife Explore the park and you’ll find fantastic beaches, cool fern gullies, great views, spectacular rock formations and abundant wildlife. It is home to more than 700 native plant species, 30 kinds of mammal, from tiny antechinuses (a tiny, mouse-like marsupial) to kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, koalas, seals and bats, and around 180 species of birds (including emus). Reptiles, amphibians, insects and other invertebrates are also numerous and diverse. The small islands within the national park are home to colonies of penguins, seabirds and seals, with granite cliffs plunging below the surface to the deep reefs. Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park is Victoria’s largest marine protected area at 15,550ha, extending along 17km of mainland coastline. Walk and stay Back on dry land, wonderful bushwalks can extend from under an hour to more than three days, with accommodation options including camping and caravanning, huts, cabins, wilderness retreats or lodges. Several walking tracks start/end at Tidal River, making it an ideal base for exploring The Prom. A popular walk to the top of nearby Mount Oberon offers magnificent views of Bass Strait and the Prom’s dramatic offshore islands. Home base As the only township within Wilsons Promontory National Park, Tidal River is where visitors will find a general store and take-away food shop, as well as camping and cabin accommodation. All the accommodation types at The Prom generally book out well in advance, so it’s best to check availability if you’re planning a stay. To make an enquiry, call the Park Office on 13 19 63 or visit the Parks Victoria website at parks.vic.gov.au and search for Wilsons Promontory. Be prepared Even in summer, the weather at The Prom can be unpredictable, so always be well prepared with waterproof jackets and good comfy shoes on any walks, as well as plenty of drinking water, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellant and snacks. Check the fire ratings before you depart on a long hike, and always let someone know where you’re heading and when you’ll be back.
LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE | PAGE 15 WILSONS PROMONTORY Get a front-row view of breathtaking scenery Affectionately known as 'The Prom', Wilson's Promontory is one of the most beautiful, natural and remote areas in the world. This 50,500-hectare national park, located approximately 160 kilometres southeast of Melbourne, is known for its beautiful rainforests, unspoiled beaches, and abundant wildlife. It's home to a wide range of native mammals, including populations of potoroos, gliders, echidnas and possums, as well as the more familiar kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and wombats. Numerous species of birds can be found here, with the most prominent being the rosellas, plus large numbers of emus, migratory wading birds, and predatory birds. The offshore islands provide roosting and breeding sites for seabirds, including an enormous number of Shorttailed Shearwaters. One of the best ways to experience Wilson's Promontory is on a coastal sightseeing cruise with Wildlife Coast Cruises. The operator's full-day Wilsons Promontory cruise departs from nearby Port Welshpool, travelling along the eastern coast and southern tip of the marine national park. Natural seclusion The cruise stops over at 'The Prom's' secluded Refuge Cove, where you can enjoy a walk or swim in this hidden cove, which is surrounded by forest, and usually only accessible by overnight hikers and boaties. Alternatively, you can take the opportunity to simply relax on the cove's pristine beach, surrounded by some of the world's most stunning scenery. When the cruise continues, you'll get to see the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland, which is also home to the historic Wilsons Promontory lighthouse, perched above rocky cliffs, and commanding almost 360-degree views of Bass Strait. Playful seals If you came to see marine-life, you will have the opportunity at the Kanowna Island Seal Colony – which is home to thousands of Australian Fur seals. Here you'll be able to watch these playful mammals slide down the steep inclines and dive into the water. Skull rock You'll also visit the monolithic Skull Rock (Clef Island), a towering rock formation shaped like a hollowed skull. An impressive 60 metres tall and 130 metres wide, this island is a sight to behold, and on a calm day, you might even get the opportunity to touch the rock. Limited dates The really is an experience of a lifetime, visiting untouched islands, rugged coastlines, amazing rock formations and spectacular wildlife. These cruises are limited to specific dates during February, March and April, so it's best to book ahead. To book or find out more, visit wildlifecoastcruises.com.au (Pictured clockwise from left): The beautiful, pristine seclusion of Refuge Cove. The amazing Skull Rock is a wonder to behold, especially by boat. The historic Wilsons Promontory lighthouse, perched above rocky cliffs at the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland. PB13957
PAGE 16 | LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE FOSTER A fascinating place and an ideal base Foster is a bustling little town that's ideal for a short or longer stay. It has a delightful selection of stores to browse, relaxed cafes, excellent bakeries, a popular 'old school' pub and a range of local food suppliers. In town, you'll also find restful parks, a civic swimming pool, a leafy 18-hole golf course, and a lovely art gallery. One unmissable highlight is an extensive museum, packed with fascinating memorabilia and stories of local characters such as Lassiter of the famed Lassiter's Reef. Here you can see how the district developed, from the discovery of gold in 1870, through to the growth of the dairy and fishing industries and the establishment of Wilsons Promontory National Park in 1906. Centrally placed in what is known as Prom Country, Foster is perfect as a base for exploring the wonders of 'The Prom'. This part of Gippsland is a treasure of stunning beaches and ancient temperate forests, rich soil, abundant rainfall and a friendly rural community. Foster is a short drive from other popular attractions including Shallow and Corner inlets, the spectacular beaches of Sandy Point and Waratah Bay, and the striking Agnes Falls. With all this at the town's doorstep, it's worth stopping overnight – or for a few days – to fully explore this lovely region. The Historical Society Museum in Foster is packed with fascinating memorabilia and stories of local characters such as Lassiter of the famed Lassiter’s Reef. SOUTH GIPPSLAND HIGHWAY HODDLE ROAD SOUTH GIPPSLAND HIGHWAY HODDLE ROAD MAIN STREET MAIN STREET FISH CREEKFOSTER ROAD Police WHIPSTICK GULLY NATURAL FEATURES RESERVE FOSTER RECREATION RESERVE TO LEONGATHA & INVERLOCH NEW ZEALAND HILL NATURE CONSERVATION RESERVE TOWILSON’S PROMONTORY TO PORT ALBERT foster3960 Welcome to Scan here for full detailed map Distance from Melbourne: 174km Population: 1670 approx. Amenities: One hotel and several dining options, regional hospital, bank and postal facilities, fuel, supermarkets, rail trail and fauna reserve.
LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE | PAGE 17 FOSTER These days it's hard to find the perfect gift. Whether it's a birthday present, or any other significant celebration, we always seem to struggle to think of something special. What better gift than an amazing and unique experience brought to you by South Gippsland Tank Adventures? A unique experience South Gippsland Tank Adventures is nestled in the Strzelecki Ranges, about a 25-minute drive from Foster, and offers an experience like no other. Up in these hills, approximately 500 metres above sea level, the views are pretty spectacular – and even more so, when they're seen while riding around in army tanks and armoured vehicles! The aim of South Gippsland Tank Adventures is to "restore and preserve armour from any era or origin to within as complete original and running condition as possible". Host, Cameron Stone, has had several years' experience as a leopard tank crewman with the Australian Defence Force, serving in the 1st Armoured Regiment. With 11 vehicles in its collection and a restoration workshop, there is a lot of choice. Lots of thrills There is something for every type of adrenaline seeker, from relaxing hill rides to a fully-fledged burl around the dedicated course, which features lots of thrilling mud pits and knife-edges. Experiences include climb-through tours of the entire fleet, family rides, or total thrillseeker full-day packages. It's also ideal for group gatherings and parties. There are also free barbecue facilities, so you and the family can refuel and make a full day of it. Whichever adventure you decide on, you can be certain to leave with a smile from ear to ear and memories that will last a lifetime. Only a 30-minute scenic drive from Welshpool or Toora on the South Gippsland Highway, this is an experience you don't want to miss. Tanks for the memories A tank ride at South Gippsland Tank Adventures is sure to leave you and your family with memories that will last a lifetime. REPAIRS, TECHNICAL ADVICE, RESTORATIONS, AND DRIVER TRAINING ALSO AVAILABLE. PB5667
PAGE 18 | LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE TOORA Mini-golf is one of the many fun family activities on offer. The owners of Toora Tourist Park, Marshall and Jenny Johnston, are committed to making the park a special place to stay. The excellent facilities here include spacious fully-self-contained family cabins, ensuite caravan sites, and powered sites. The park offers a year-round indoor heated swimming pool and spa. There is a well-equipped camp kitchen with BBQs, and a games room with table tennis and more. The kids will also love the playground, which features a jumping pillow, giant chess and mini golf! If you have visited before, but haven’t been back for a while, Marshall and Jenny would love to tell you more about the area and show you their progress as they continually improve this lovely park. It’s just a short walk to the town main street, with its eateries and some quirky shops to browse. The park welcomes pets all year round, and has two dog-friendly cabins available. Another reason to choose this holiday park is its location - just a 30-minute drive from The Prom and a 15-minute drive to Agnes Falls. This is indeed a perfect place to base yourself for fishing, exploring beaches and enjoying the stunning nature walks of this region. A fun family park close to natural wonders Facilities at Toora Tourist Park include fully-self-contained cabins and ensuite caravan sites, as well as powered sites. Toora Tourist Park • Indoor pool and spa heated all year round • Fully self contained cabins • Ensuite powered sites and powered sites • Playgrounds, trampoline, mini golf, tennis court, jumping pillow, • Modern amenities with camp kitchens and recreation/tv room • Free bbqs • Only 30 min drive to Wilsons Promontory National Park • 15 min drive to Agnes Falls • Great location for shing, beaches and nature walks • Situated close to the Great Southern Rail Trail bike riding PB12485 Toora Tourist Park South Gippsland Highway, (9 Weschpool Rd) Toora E: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.tooratouristpark.com.au P: 5686 2257
LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE | PAGE 19 TOORA / PORT WELSHPOOL The lovely garden at Toora Lodge Motel. Nestled between the Strzelecki foothills and Corner Inlet Marine and Coastal Reserve – and overlooking the magnificent Wilsons Promontory National Park – Toora is surrounded by natural beauty. Meaning 'woman, look after fire' in the local First Nations language, it is believed Toora was occupied by the indigenous women, when the men in the group departed for religious ceremonies at what we now know as Wilsons Promontory. Natural beauty The natural beauty and rolling green hills of the Toora region make it a popular location for scenic bushwalking and cycling. Two mountains north of Toora – Mount Best and Mount Fatigue – offer spectacular views of the hills, and across to Corner Inlet and Wilsons Promontory. Closer to town the view from Centenary Lookout – accessed via Silcocks Hill Road – is particularly impressive. The Toora Bird Hide, located at the end of Toora Jetty Road, overlooks an expansive wetland area and is easily accessible via a wellmaintained boardwalk. The Great Southern Rail Trail also passes through Toora, and is perfect for a peaceful and scenic bike ride or walk. Agnes Falls A short drive from Toora is the beautiful Agnes Falls, which – at a height of 59 metres – is Victoria's highest single-span waterfall. The deep ravine at the waterfall is quite spectacular. Relatively new dining shelters and a toilet block also make it a lovely picnic spot. Port Welshpool, Tarra Bulga and Yarram The fishing village of Port Welshpool is a 15-minute drive from Toora, while to the north is the spectacular Tarra Bulga National Park – where you can walk through ancient rainforest, walk over an original swing bridge, and perhaps even hear the call of a lyrebird. The nearby town of Yarram has been transformed by the artist Heesco's stunning wall art, and should definitely be part of your sightseeing itinerary. Boating and fishing Fresh and saltwater fishing opportunities abound around Toora. If you're saltwater boating, it's a good idea to grab a detailed map of the area's expansive system of channels, so you navigate your way around safely. Some maps even include a fishing guide, pointing out the best spots to target specific species. Surround yourself in natural beauty Toora Lodge Motel Located close to all the region's best sightseeing and bushwalking, and just a 35-minute drive from Wilson’s Promontory, Toora Lodge Motel is an ideal place to base yourself while you're in the area. New owner, Rohan Barnes, welcomes guests with a friendly smile that matches his great service, and he and his team have already been busy refurbishing the motel, imbuing it with a fresh, clean and modern feel. The motel uses a professional laundering service, for crisp, clean sheets and towels, and offers well-appointed, garden-view rooms for singles and families. And if you're looking for a romantic couple's getaway, there's a spa suite that is sure to make your stay extra special. Toora Lodge Motel's location – close to boat ramps, fuel, bait and tackle services – makes it a good spot to stay for those looking to go boating or fishing, and the motel even has on-site boat and trailer parking. The motel also offers a senior discount, and savings for those who book directly. To book, or find out more, contact Toora Lodge Motel on 03 5686 2104, email email@example.com or visit tooralodge.com.au A short drive from Toora is the beautiful Agnes Falls, which – at a height of 59 metres – is Victoria’s highest single-span waterfall. Photo: Visit Victoria TOORA LODGE MOTEL BOOK DIRECT AND SAVE ASK ABOUT OUR SENIORS DISCOUNT (03) 5686 2104 4930 South Gippsland Hwy, Toora Vic 3962 www.tooralodgemotel.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org PB12582
PAGE 20 | LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE PORT ALBERT Historic seaport is still a boating mecca Port Albert is one of Victoria's oldest seaports, established in 1841 by explorer Angus McMillan. From this time, it became the major supply port for pioneers until completion of the railway in 1878 which connected Melbourne to Sale. Many migrants from Europe, America and China berthed from Port Albert on their way to the goldfields. As a result, the town's historical buildings boast Georgian and Victorian style heritage, with a number of the old buildings lovingly restored. Some have a National Trust classification or are on the Historic Buildings Register. Many of these buildings, dating right back to the 1840s and 1850s, are now private residences, or house interesting shops and attractions, such as a fascinating maritime museum, a waterside maritime art and antique store, excellent cafés (including one on a wharf overlooking the water), a wine bar, interesting second-hand stores and take-away food shops. The 'Rocket Shed' building, constructed in 1876 to house life-saving equipment, is now the town's visitor information centre, and it's certainly worth dropping-in there to see the historic building, and gather useful information and advice about the area. A boating paradise The vast sheltered waterways out from Port Albert and around Corner Inlet make the area a paradise for anglers, birdwatchers and divers. Over summer, the waters typically provide fine catches of rock flathead, pike, Australian salmon and whiting. Drop by local bait suppliers for tips on the best local baits and fishing spots. If you're planning on boating, it's prudent to track down one of the detailed nautical maps available for these waterways, as they will guide you safely into areas that suit your vessel. Lots to explore With a number of magnificent marine and coastal parks nearby, it's a good idea to take a few days to fully explore this wonderful town and its surrounding coastal regions. To find out more about Port Albert, visit portalbert.vic.au One of Victoria’s oldest seaports, Port Albert is still a popular destination for seaside holiday makers and boaters. Photo: Visit Victoria OLD MANS BEACH RD STAWELL ST OLD SALE RD TANNERY RD TANNERY RD PORT ALBERT TARRAVILLE RD YARRAM PORT ALBERT RD SOUTH GIPPSLAND HWY TARRAVILLE RD WHARF ST OLD PORT FORESHORE RD SOUTH ST VICTORIA ST OLD PORT RD MCMILLAN BAY BLACKBERRY BIGHT STOCKYARD POINT ROBERTSONS BEACH TARRAVILLE SEABANK SUNDAY ISLAND NOORAMUNGA MARINE & COASTAL PARK NOORAMUNGA MARINE & COASTAL PARK SUNDAY ISLAND CLONMET ISLAND port albert 3971 Welcome to Distance from Melbourne: 232km Population: 250 approx. Amenities: Accommodation options include bed and breakfasts and self-contained cottages. RV facilities are located close to the township and boat ramp for a convenient overnight stopover point for caravans and campers. Scan here for full detailed map
LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE | PAGE 21 PORT ALBERT Discover Gippsland’s fascinating maritime history Port Albert’s historic 1861 Bank of Victoria building now houses the Port Albert Maritime Museum – an award-winning museum with a significant collection that recounts the maritime, local and indigenous history of Gippsland. The moment you enter the museum and see the restored 1.3-metrehigh lens from the Cape Liptrap lighthouse and a cannon used at the Cliffy Island Light Station to sound fog warnings to shipping, you know you could easily spend lots of time here! One of the key museum exhibits tells the story of the loss of the Clonmel, a timber paddle steamer wrecked near the entrance to Port Albert, along with details of some of the other 23 ships lost nearby. There’s also an extensive navigation and communications display, an exhibition on the life of Christopher Robinson, and an array of fascinating outdoor exhibits. The museum also stocks a wide range of retro toys, gifts, souvenirs and regional maritime books, which are all available for purchase. To find out more about the the Port Albert Maritime Museum, visit portalbertmarintimemuseum.com.au Port Albert Maritime Museum is located in Port Albert’s historic 1861 Bank of Victoria building. Photo: Visit Victoria Historic shipwreck artifacts on display inside the museum. Photo: Visit Victoria A maritime-themed sign at the entrance of the museum. Photo: Visit Victoria Maritime Museum Port Albert, Victoria Phone: (03) 5183 2520 Award Winning Retro Toys, Gifts & Souvenirs WIDE RANGE OF Thursday through to Monday, 10am - 4pm Normal Admission - Adults: $10 Concession: $6 Students & Children: $2 Families: $10 (2 adults, 2 children) Coaches by appointment Good selection of regional books for sale PB8325
PAGE 22 | LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE PORT ALBERT Dine and stay in beautiful Port Albert Port Albert Motel An ideal place to base yourself while in Port Albert is the Port Albert Motel, which is right opposite the historic Port Albert jetty, on the location of the original 1842 Port Albert Hotel. With sweeping views over the beautiful waters of the harbour, here you’ll find comfortable, affordable accommodation for couples, families and small groups. Keen boaters and anglers will enjoy the motel’s free onsite boat and trailer parking, easy access to nearby boat ramp facilities, and the availability of a short-term mooring, right across the road from your room. The motel’s seven fully equipped rooms can be configured to various bedding arrangements, making them suitable for group bookings, particularly for special occasions such as weddings. It is an ideal base for travellers keen to explore the region’s beauty, and comes with a bonus: staying at Port Albert gives you a front-row seat to spectacular sunsets and sea views, right across to the Prom coast. To book or find out more, visit portalbertmotel.com.au Ver Sicilia Ristorante A little slice of southern Italy has come to Port Albert, thanks to the recent arrival of the Italian-inspired family eatery Ver Sicilia Ristorante. Featuring the rustic charm of a Sicilian village eatery, right down to the open fireplace, gingham tablecloths, cane lobster pots, and natural timber and stone finishes, the fully-licensed Ver Sicilia Ristorante features traditional Italian pizza, pasta and other specially prepared dishes. Hosts, Caterina Assuero and Jonathan Tandy, provide guests with a warm welcome and friendly service. Indoor and outdoor dining is available, and outdoor diners can even bring their leashed and well-behaved four-legged friends. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Sunday. Bookings are preferred, and group/bus tour bookings are welcome. Ver Sicilia Ristorante is located at 71 Tarraville Road, Port Albert. To make a booking, call (03) 4102 8984. The family-friendly Port Albert Motel is opposite the historic Port Albert jetty, on the site of the original 1842 Port Albert Hotel. The friendly team at Ver Sicilia Ristorante in Port Albert. outdoor dining The outdoor courtyard at Ver Sicilia Ristorante has a distinct European flavour. • Pasta & pizzeria • Pasta made in-house daily • Fully licenced Ristorante in Port Albert Open Wednesday to Sunday Lunch & Dinner Inside & outside dining (03) 4102 8984 71 Tarraville Road, Port Albert New PB15328 PB13954
LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE | PAGE 23 TARRA TERRITORY Tarra-Bulga National Park in South Gippsland is well known for its giant Mountain Ash trees, beautiful fern gullies, rambling creeks, waterfalls and ancient myrtle beeches. The park covers 2015 hectares of some of the best examples of original, cool-temperate rainforests in the Strzelecki Ranges. The park is popular for picnics, walks, scenic drives and nature study. Roads throughout the area are narrow and winding but offer marvellous scenery, with wide views from several points, including Mount Tassie, off the Traralgon-Balook Road, the Blackwarry fire tower and the Grand Ridge Road. The Tarra Bulga Visitor Centre, located at 1885 Grand Ridge Road, Balook, is well worth dropping into for local advice and information. It is open at specified times, and displays the history of the local people and natural environment. You can contact the Visitor Centre on 131 963. There are numerous walks from the Visitor Centre for varied abilities, leading to superb lookouts, waterfalls and a rainforest canopy experience on the impressive Corrigan's Suspension Bridge. Fireplaces, picnic shelters, tables and toilets are provided at both the Visitor Centre and Tarra Valley picnic area. Camping is not permitted within the park, however there are several caravan/camping parks nearby, and in Yarram and Traralgon. Other accommodation, including guesthouses and B&Bs, are scattered throughout the Strzelecki Ranges. For the latest information on park access and any track closures, see the Parks Victoria website at parks.vic.gov.au On the National Park’s impressive Corrigan’s Suspension Bridge, you can immerse yourself in the lush rainforest canopy. Photos: Visit Victoria Walk among towering trees and tranquil fern gullies Walk through lush fern gullies and ancient rainforests. A soothing waterfall in the Tarra-Bulga National Park.
PAGE 24 | LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE TARRA TERRITORY AUSTRALIA’S PURPOSE-BUILT DOG FRIENDLY HOLIDAY PARK Winner of over 20 Tourism Awards of Excellence BEST FRIEND HOLIDAY RETREAT Tarra Valley Ph: 03 5186 1216 www.BestFriend.net.au Budget and Luxury Cabins TRULY DOG FRIENDLY (dogs sleep inside) Fenced Sites Dog Playgrounds Huge Fenced Off-Leash Areas MUCH MORE – see website PB8320 Winner2017 PRIME7 Wellington People’s Choice Awards PRIME7 WELLINGTON People’s CHOICE AWARDS One of the fully-fenced cabins, nestled in a leafy setting at Best Friend Holiday Park. Because dogs love holidays too! Winner of 23 tourism awards, 11 of which have been for best in Australia, Best Friend Holiday Retreat is pretty much as pet friendly as accommodation can be, designed and purpose-built especially for people holidaying with their four-legged best friends. A short drive from the rainforests of Tarra Bulga National Park, the retreat is set in lush green surrounds, adjacent to a year-round waterfall and a natural rock-formed swimming pool, with the 90 Mile Beach just a 30-minute drive away. Stay options include securely-fenced, drivethrough camping or caravan sites, and budget or deluxe pet-friendly fenced cabins. Unlike most accommodation providers, when you stay in a cabin at Best Friend Holiday Retreat, your dog can even sleep inside with you! The Retreat has six expansive off-leash areas, securely fenced with underground wire netting and double gate entrances, as well as plenty of tethering places and drinking spots. Dog-friendly play and dog-agility equipment – as well as a unique, giant dog ball run – will keep their minds and bodies active. There's also an onsite hydrobath hut to pamper your dog, and luxury day kennels to care for your dog while you head out to explore the National Park. There are two separate covered barbecues and camp kitchen areas, with the larger kitchen area seating up to 40 people and boasting a cook-top, microwave, refrigerator, hot and cold water (and, of course, your best friend can dine with you). By night, you and your family can toast marshmallows or chestnuts (in season) on your own private campfire, watched by the friendly resident koalas. To book or find out more about Best Friend Holiday Retreat, visit bestfriend.net.au Best Friend Holiday Retreat is designed especially for people holidaying with their dogs. Airedale Terrier, Bmo, chilling-out on a camping trip at Best Friend Holiday Retreat. PRIME7 Wellington People’s Choice Awards PRIME7 WELLINGTON People’s CHOICE AWARDS
LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE | PAGE 25 YARRAM The Yarram Country Club – the town’s social and sporting hub – welcomes locals and visitors alike. Yarram’s social and sporting hub Yarram's social and sporting hub is the Yarram Country Club, which welcomes locals and visitors to participate in a range of sports activities, or simply enjoy a delicious meal or snack, a drink and chat, or a friendly flutter on Kino or the TAB. Here you can have a hit of tennis, bowl a few ends, or shoot some pool, then relax in the Club bistro, which is open every day, and offers everything from fine dining and themed weekly menu specials, to classic pub-style meals and bar snacks – all served by friendly and cheerful staff, who always provide exceptional service. The Club also hosts a schedule of fabulous live entertainment – check the Yarram Country Club Facebook page for updates. And if you're planning a special event, Yarram Country Club can cater for any function – from a simple birthday party to a large, formal dinner. To find out more, contact the Club for current menu plans and ideas to make your event special and memorable. Whether you are staying in the area or 'just passing through', be sure to take the time to drop into the welcoming Yarram Country Club for a delicious meal, a quiet drink or just a snack. You'll be glad you did. The Club is a great place to enjoy a friendly game of pool. The bistro has fine dining, classic pub-style meals, and snacks. Visiting lawn bowlers are welcome at the Club. 322-340 Commercial Road, Yarram, VIC 3971 Phone 03 5182 5399 www.yarramcountryclub.com • Lunch and Dinner 7 days • Bowls, Tennis and frequent, special entertainment • Modern and comfortable facilities • Great atmosphere with friendly staff • Courtesy bus on weekends PB13955