Over the summer, a period which would usually be peak tourism season, East Gippsland was one of the regions in Australia impacted by horrific bushfires.
In the aftermath of the fires as the towns work to recover, one way to help is by planning a visit to the region. In 2019, the Austin Family bloggers (@livininavandownunder) visited East Gippsland and shared some of their adventures with us.
If you’re thinking taking a trip to the area, check out what the Austins recommend!
*This content was written prior to the bushfires and some facilities or activities mentioned may not currently be available. Please contact local caravan holiday parks and tourism bodies prior to planning your trip for all the latest information.
“Mum, Stella keeps looking at me.”
“Well, stop touching me, Sage!”
Whinging and arguing in the car can only be tolerated for so long. Being ‘chalkies’ by trade, we do appreciate our holidays and nothing ruins family time quite like a ‘good old fashion, verbal bashin‘.
We’d had enough of the verbal battles between the kids and ‘put downs’ or ‘build downs’ as we call them. So to encourage ‘build ups’ and broker a deal for world peace, the kids had to write words that ‘build up’ each other and not ‘build down’. This activity provided some respite… until round two!!!
Nicholson – Gippsland Victoria
Crossing state borders is always a thrill but the children were particularly pumped, given this would be our first for the ‘lap’. Of course, we had to do the obligatory photo at the border. The border town of Cann River came highly recommended for the Wild Rye Bakery and it didn’t disappoint. There’s something charming and quintessentially Australian about a pie with sauce from a country bakery.
Our hopes of staying at Lakes Entrance quickly faded after making a few calls to the caravan parks. The old mantra of, “Sorry, we’re fully booked” was as common as the mozzies around this neck of the woods. We, once again, underestimated the level of demand in this holiday mecca. Luckily, we managed to secure three nights at a ripping little bush caravan park call Bushland Caravan Park in the village of Nicholson. Nicholson is 15 minutes away from the town of Bairnsdale – one of the many beautiful little country towns we have discovered. For a small town, it has an impressive range of shops (for all your Dan Murphy’s essentials!) but the highlights were the wide streets adorned with manicured gardens. Oh, and the phenomenal East Gippsland All Abilities Playground – hours of free entertainment for the kids. What a great draw card!
Bushland Caravan Park was very reasonably priced at $56 a night (peak season) and contained an array of activities for children and adults to enjoy. There was a quality playground, tennis court and a primitive 9 hole golf course which was free to use and included equipment.
Below are some of the places we visited during our time in the area:
We enjoyed a day visit to the bustling coastal town of Lakes Entrance. The beaches were divine and the colour of the water was something to be seen. The actual town itself was teaming with activity and the most scrumptious fish and chips can be found on the waterfront!
This little hamlet, which we accidentally stumbled across, is home to the interesting Bruthen Butchers – a butcher that doesn’t stock a scrap of meat; more a pleather of scrap metal items and antique tools!
We rode our bikes down into the town centre and caught the free ferry over to Raymond Island, which is home to hundreds of koalas that were introduced in 1953. Here they live in their native habitat which made this place all the more exciting. Raymond Island is a protected koala sanctuary that relies on donations from us to support their fantastic program.
Yarram Holiday Park
Located in South Gippsland, Yarram is another beautiful little Aussie village. The park is just a three-minute bike ride to the town centre and 10-minute drive to Port Albert : famous for their fish and chips on the wharf.
Traralgon Park Lane Holiday Park
Traralgon is not exactly a renowned international tourism destination. The Traralgon Park Lane Holiday Park however, is the ‘jewel in her crown’. What makes this park stand out from the others is the facilities including swimming pool, spa, ginormous playground, laser tag, putt putt course and an impressive high ropes course!
Woodbyne Resort – Phillip Island
Phillip Island is much larger and diverse than we expected. Attractions that we attended included Panny’s Chocolate Factory, Churchill Island, Swan Lake Bushwalk (bird life), Penguin watching at Nobbies Centre and just strolling around the beautiful seaside village of Cowels.
Next stop… Melbourne!