You can't escape the great outdoors when in Victoria's Gippsland region, writes John Rozentals.
Gippsland is renowned for its amazing nature-based experiences. Here are some of the best ways you can get out in nature exploring the hiking trails, traversing the rail trails and mountain bike parks, and top locations to drop a fishing line.
If you weren't a walker before isolation, odds are that you have become one.
Wilsons Prom is now open to visitors and the park has some great hiking options.
Hard-roof accommodation at Tidal River is open for bookings so visitors can stay overnight, go for a hike and relax in nature while spotting a myriad of wildlife.
For a hike with a view, try the Mount Oberon Summit (6.8km return, two hours) or the lesser known, but equally impressive, Mount Bishop Walk (7.4km, 2.5 hours). Both have spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding coast and off-shore islands.
For a more challenging trek, the Sealers Cove walk is a spectacular 19km hike that will take people a full day (6.5-7hours). This picturesque, circular cove has turquoise waters, golden sand and a lovely area to sit and enjoy lunch.
The George Bass Coastal Trail is 8km one way (approx two hours) or 16km if you walk the return trail.
The trail starts at the Punch Bowl near San Remo and traverses the coast and cliff tops to Kilcunda.
This gorgeous walk offers panoramic coastal views from a narrow winding path, along cliff tops rising high above the pounding surf of Bass Strait.
You might also like
The George Bass Trail now links with the Bass Coast Rail Trail so it is possible to walk from Punch Bowl all the way into Wonthaggi.
Tarra Bulga is an incredible national park with towering mountain ash forest and some lovely walks.
The Corrigan suspension bridge is a short walk which begins at the visitors centre. This bridge stretches through the rainforest canopy, offering spectacular views of the fern gully on the forest floor below.
To enjoy the lush gullies, tree ferns and giant trees try the 6.8 km Forest Track which begins via the Lyrebird Ridge Track and completes a circuit back to the visitors centre. It winds through mountain ash forest, a rainforest gully and an unusual thicket of hazel pomaderris.
The Toorongo and Ampitheatre Falls Walk is fantastic during the wetter months with the impressive tiered waterfall in full flow.
Located just outside Noojee, the 2.2km loop walk takes just over an hour. Hikers will pass through dense native bush complete with towering gums and lush ferns.
Whether riders don the lycra, cruise with the family, or take on some serious mountain bike trails, there is a great variety of cycling options in Gippsland.
The Great Southern Rail Trail traverses Prom country all the while travelling through lush farmland, historic bridges and native forests.
Take the full 72km trail from Leongatha to Port Welshpool or choose one of the seven shorter segments.
The East Gippsland Rail Trail is 96km in total from Bairnsdale to Orbost. There are four distinct sections ranging in distance from 8k to 38km.
The complete trail travels through forests, floodplains and the towns of Nicholson, Bruthen and Nowa Nowa.
The Gippsland Plains Rail Trail offers a varied and leisurely ride through dairy country, over bridges and expansive views of the Gippsland plains and Great Dividing Ranges. The trail runs from Traralgon to Stratford and is 63km in total.
There are V/Line train stations at both Traralgon and Stratford so tourists can pedal one way and return by train to their vehicles.
Mountain bike enthusiasts need look no further than the Blores Hill Mountain Bike Park trails.
Located just north of Heyfield, the park is set on 50 acres and offers 36km of trails suitable for beginners to experienced mountain bike riders. There are jumps, bridges, rocky outcrops and flowing trails through the bush.
The Erica Mountain Bike Park is made up of two sets of trails carved out of either side of the highway at Erica. With more than 30km of rough dirt trails, the park is suitable for most ages, but some riding experience is recommended.
A little further afield is the Nowa Nowa Mountain Bike Park. The dedicated mountain bike park is built on a hill and sculpted with 35km of trails including 20km of mountain bike trails and 15km of dual-purpose walking/cycling paths.
Fishing and boating
Gippsland's coast and waterways and the Gippsland Lakes are synonymous with fishing and boating.
With eased restrictions Victorians are now able to get out and drop a fishing line.
Adults and kids alike will love to fish at the Port Welshpool long jetty. This iconic jetty seems to go on for miles as it extends into deeper waters.
Fishing and boating is abundant near the seaside town of Port Albert. Experienced boaties can head through the entrance for some good seasonal catches, while the in-shore waterways are a safe option for those looking for a more relaxed day on the water.
Land-based anglers can cast off the jetties.
Just 30-minute drive away is 90 Mile Beach where surf fishing is easy to access at locations such as Woodside Beach.
- See www.visitvictoria.com.
- Note: Potential travellers should check the status of individual events and establishments with regard to the coronavirus outbreak.