Lakes Coast Visitor Guide

LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE | PAGE 63 CRUISES ON THE GIPPSLAND LAKES Fun ways to get out on the water The Gippsland Lakes form the largest navigable inland waterway in Australia, so it's no surprise that boaters flock from all over the country to experience this natural wonder. If you are fortunate enough to have a boat, the area has an abundance of public boat ramps and mooring facilities, as well as boat service centres, boataccessory shops, fishing and bait stores, and fuel outlets (some right on the dock) to keep you on the go. And if you don't have a boat – you can hire one, book an on-water tour, or charter a boat through one of the region's many established operators – turning your holiday into a cruisy and scenic adventure! Whether you'd like to charter a yacht on your own, learn to sail, or join an organised, guided cruise tour, there are lots of friendly and helpful operators who can help you get out onto the Lakes in style, safety and comfort... Riviera Nautic The team at Riviera Nautic in Metung provides a variety of stable and comfortable yachts, cruisers and day boats for charter, enabling virtually anyone to enjoy a sailing adventure on the Gippsland Lakes. Riviera Nautic's boats have been carefully selected for their ability to safely take holiday makers to all corners of the Gippsland Lakes and provide quality accommodation for you to holiday in comfort. A boat licence is not required to charter any of the vessels, and help is never far away should you need it, with 24-hour support available throughout your charter to keep you safe. To find out more, visit H2O Tours & Adventures H2O Tours & Adventures provides cruising tours from Paynesville to explore the Gippsland Lakes system and beaches. See page 58 of this edition of the Lakes Coast Visitor Guide to find out more about H2O, or visit Peels Cruises Departing from Lakes Entrance, Peels Cruises offers a variety of ways to explore the Gippsland Lakes. Peels' cruisers, the Thunderbird and the Stormbird, provide regular lakes sightseeing tours, accompanied by expert on-board commentary from experienced local guides. The Thunderbird – a large powered catamaran – features wide indoor and outdoor viewing areas, as well as a fully-stocked kiosk and bar, making it ideal for groups, families and kids who want to experience the region's magnificent natural scenery and wildlife. On the Stormbird, you can take a luncheon cruise, stopping for lunch and sightseeing in the lakeside village of Metung. The latest addition to the Peels fleet is the 100-passenger Seabird, which is ideal for weddings, private functions or work conferences. During warmer weather, the Seabird may substitute the Stormbird on the luncheon cruise to Metung. To find out more, visit Sail Safari The vast Gippsland Lakes system is a perfect place to join a serene sailing charter cruise or – for the more adventurous – try your hand at the wheel of a big yacht. One way to try either of these options, is with Sail Safari. Based in the heart of the Gippsland Lakes at Paynesville, Sail Safari offers a variety of experiences, from a full 'learning to sail' adventure, to a more sedate and relaxed canal cruise around the Paynesville waterways, all aboard the Calypso, a 34-foot fibreglass, fractional-rigged yacht. The yacht can carry up to eleven passengers, and special group packages are available. The minimum package is a two-hour cruise, with four- and six-hour packages available, as well as overnight stays (with accommodation provided in the numerous camping sites or accommodation venues around the Gippsland Lakes). All cruises are accompanied by a fully-qualified skipper with coxswain and sailing endorsements. For more information, visit Riviera Nautic gives you the opportunity to skipper a yacht like this on the Gippsland Lakes. Photo: Visit Victoria Paynesville-based Sail Safari offers a variety of cruising options, from a gentle, fully-skippered sightseeing trip, to more adventurous group-sailing lessons like this. PB11839