Gippsland is one of our favourite regions in Victoria. Think beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, thriving wildlife and beautiful, beautiful wine. Recently we went on a five day road trip through Gippsland where we got to explore some of the highlights of the region. Our only complaint? That we only got to spend one day in each place. We are already planning our return journey, and you will soon understand why.
Day 1: Melbourne to Philip Island
It only takes an hour and forty minutes to get from central Melbourne to Philip Island, so there is no need to rush yourself out of Australia’s coolest city. Melbourne is famous for it’s coffee and cafe’s, so find some delicious coffee and treat yourself to a great breakfast. If you have more time in the city, then check out our guide to North Melbourne and Carlton – this area of full of great activities.
Don’t dally too much, because there is plenty to do on Phillip Island. When you arrive, drop in at the visitor centre, grab some maps and info. There is lots to do on the island, and you only have a day so choose wisely.
The main attraction on Philip Island is the world famous penguin parade. Penguins don’t start parading until sunset, so you have all day to explore the island before you need to be at the Penguins. There are some great beaches on the island, our favourite was the one behind our hotel, the Comfort Resort Kaloha.
To learn more about the Penguin Parade and Philip Island, check our Philip Island feature.
Day 2: Philip Island to Foster
If you are on Philip Island on the 4th Saturday of the month, then please don’t miss the local farmers market on nearby Churchill Island. The market is fairly low key and small, but don’t let that fool you. We ended up spending a small fortune at the market as every single thing we tried was absolutely DELICIOUS. We stocked up on delicious goodies for the road trip ahead, and recommend you do the same.
The drive from Philip Island to Foster is only an hour and a half long, but there are a few pit stop opportunities on the way. There are a couple wineries not far from the main route including Lyre Bird Hill Winery & Guest House and Windy Ridge Vineyard and Winery. A great lunch stop is the Koonwarra Food Store. We actually discovered this store when we tasted some of their goodies at the Churchill Island markets. It’s a great place for lunch and to taste and try more delicacies from the Gippsland region.
The Foster area is home to the much loved Wilsons Promontory National Park, so don’t waste time. Drop your bags off, grab a map from the visitor centre in Foster and head to the Prom. You can read more about what to do at Wilson’s Prom in our feature story here.
We stayed at the Comfort Inn Foster, where we were able to relax our tired muscles in the spa tub after a day of hiking and wine tasting.
Day 3: Foster to Lakes Entrance
The drive from Foster to Lakes Entrance is one of the longer drives on the journey, clocking in at three hours. Shortly after leaving Foster you will come to the turn off for Agnes Falls. Agnes Falls is the highest waterfall in Victoria, and it is an easy walk from the parking lot to the viewing platforms.
A great spot for lunch is the Bullant Brewery which is located only 15 minutes north from Bairnsdale.
When you arrive at Lakes Entrance, ditch the car and head to the esplanade. Here you can jump onto a boat tour of Lakes Entrance and try your luck at some wildlife spotting. For more ideas of how to spend your time in Lakes Entrance, check out our destination feature here.
We stayed at Comfort Inn & Suites Emmanuel, which is walking distance to the main pier of Lakes Entrance.
Day 4: Lakes Entrance to Traralgon
The drive from Lakes Entrance to Traralgon only takes two hours, so take your time to enjoy some of the beaches around Lakes Entrance. Before heading to Traralgon, take a short detour south from Bairnsdale to the small town of Paynesville. Here you can grab a short ferry ride to Raymond Island. Raymond Island is a great place for spotting wild koalas, and you can read more about it on our Lakes Entrance feature article.
We stayed at the Quality Inn Latrobe Convention Centre. The quiet ground around the hotel will help you rest up for another big day ahead.
Day 5: Traralgon to Melbourne
It is only another short two hour drive from Traralgon to Melbourne, so take our time and do a short detour south to Tarra-Bulga National Park. We detail some great short walks on our feature article, which are great ways to discover the park.
Our Gippsland adventure tour was made possible by Choice Hotels. Want to win your own Aussie Road Trip Adventure? Check out the Tom Williams Aussie Adventures competition for your chance to win.