Victorian Gippsland Round Up
Daryl and I have done countless trips between Sydney and Melbourne over the years, mostly to see family and for Daryl to watch his beloved Sydney Swans at the MCG. When it came time to plan our route from Melbourne to Sydney after we had returned from our travels in Tasmania we knew we wanted to take the opportunity and time to go an alternate route. With neither of us having been to the Gippsland region of Victoria it made sense for us to go there and explore the region as we made our way to New South Wales and ultimately back to Sydney for a family event.
This leg of our travels started in Melbourne on 17 March 2018 when we disembarked from the Spirit of Tasmania where we spent a few days in around Melbourne visiting and staying with family and friends before heading off on four weeks traveling through Gippsland, following the coastline.
Gippsland is an area of Victoria on the east side of the state and includes the Victorian south east coast, east coast and covers approximately 41500km2. It is generally divided into the regions of East Gippsland, South Gippsland, West Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley. It is primarily a rural and coastal region.
Overall we found four weeks in Gippsland was more than adequate. For travellers more pushed for time, it would be possible to enjoy the area and a lot of what it has to offer in one to two weeks. For us the coast and the Gippsland Lakes area gave us ample opportunity to kayak, go to the beach, walking, fishing and general sightseeing. The highlights were Daryl catching a 1.5m (approx.) beach worm the biggest since he used catch them as a boy with his Pop, kayaking among a pod of dolphins on Lake Wellington and me (Emma) learning to tow Josephine as discussed in #ChicksCanTow.
We are glad we took the time to see this area and add it early to our list of areas travelled in Australia.
Our stats for Gippsland:
Duration: 30 days
Distance: 2200km = 73km per day or 513km per week
Fuel Consumption: 19L per 100km
Budget and Expenses
At the time we travelled the Gippsland in our caravan our weekly travel budget was $400 per week. During our four weeks in the Gippsland we managed to stay under budget spending on average $378.35 per week. This is likely due to two main reasons:
- We spent less on Car and Caravan Maintenance with the expenditure on this reducing by close to 50% from $55 per week we spent while touring Tasmania to $27 per week.
- We spent $0 on Entertainment & Tours. We didn’t set out to do this, there just wasn’t any paid entries or tours we found we wanted to do.
In contrast though our mobile and internet expenses have nearly doubled increasing from $20 per week to $37 per week when comparing the Tasmania and Gippsland stats. This has been because we have significantly increased our data from 5GB to 60GB per month between the two of us. Internet has become necessary for the way we travel, to keep in contact with family and friends, for blogging and so forth.
- Groceries: $572.42 total = $19.08 per day or 133.56 per week
- Fuel: $532.46 total = $17.85 per day or $124.24 per week
- Mobiles (Internet): $159.00 total = $5.30 per day or $37.10 per week
- Car & Caravan Maintenance: $114.56 total = $3.32 per day or 26.78 per week
- Odds & Sods: $53.61
- Takeaway & Pubs: $36.20
- Op Shops: $35.00
- Fishing License & Bait: $33.90
- Golf Comp Fees: $33.50
- Gas: $27.00
- Postage: $13.80
- Campground Fees: $10.00
Total = $1621.45 = $54.05 per day or $378.35 per week
Our choice of campground always has to meet two criteria – i) dog friendly and ii)free or low cost. In total for this leg of our travels we spent only $10 in total on campground fees.
Below is all the campgrounds we stayed at as we ventured from Melbourne, through the Gippsland region and up to the New South Wales border. In addition to the campgrounds we stayed in Bairnsdale we stayed with fellow travellers we met in on our travels in Tasmania for a few nights.
Campgrounds (all are dog friendly):
Gisborne Rest Area, Gisborne
Review: Terrible overnight stay. Toilets are gross, clearly neglected by lazy workers who bother to drop off toilet paper but never clean it. Rubbish everywhere so much so I filled a large garbage bag just around where we stopped. Lots of local criminal activity at the toilets at night. Stop well away from the toilets if you need to stop here.
Kurth Kiln Scout Loop Camping Area, Gembrook
Review: Stayed two nights and loved it. Great bush setting with decent drop toilets, flat spots and fire pits. Plenty of space. Loved the walking trails, walked many with our dog. Loved the kiln etc, how well it’s been maintained and the information. Highly recommend for all travellers.
Caltex Rest Stop, Longwarry
Review: Nice grass flat area towards the back of the service station complex. Overlooks farmland with cows and a dam which is nice. Far enough off the highway for road noise not to be a huge issue. Showers in HJ hot and ok. Good free dog friendly overnight stop.
The Yallourn North Hotel, Yallourn North
Review: Nice grass area in the back yard of the pub. Publican and staff are friendly. Nice little town.
Franklin River Rest Area, Toora
Review: A really pleasant campground by the river. Lots of grass area. Met a lovely local who told us about Agnes Falls and other local attractions. Loved the rolling hills of the area, drove around seeing the sites, the views, Toora and Port Welshpool. Dog friendly. Toilets flush and are ok.
Port Albert 24Hr RV Stop & DP, Port Albert
Review: In the carpark right by the water. We parked in the yellow bays with our caravan on the grass and vehicle in the parking bay. Nice to wander along the waters edge and on the jetties. The Christopher Robins walk is also good. All dog friendly on a leash. We kayaked the bay. Lovely stop and would have liked another night to further explore.
Reeves Beach, Woodside
Review: Busy for the Easter long weekend but as expected and all campers pleasant and chilled. Drop toilet got emptied which made it better but still not great. Beach is a trek over the sand dunes and is pleasant in the sun. Dog friendly spot. Enjoyed our long weekend here.
90 Mile Beach – C5 Campground, Golden Beach
Review: Campground about a minute walk to the beach, has toilets and a fire pit. Tip – black sand makes everything dirty so have a bucket of water for rinsing feet. New drop toilets are good. Beware of soft sand in front of toilets, 2WD get bogged there. Lovely beach. Nice town.
Marlay Point Foreshore Reserve, Clydebank
Review: Fantastic spot made a highlight for us when we went kayaking on the lake and ended up among dolphins. Lovely grassy spots. Flushing toilets, picnic tables, boat ramp and a BBQ. Camping is right by the water so the outlook is stunning. Can be windy in the afternoon. Dog friendly. No stores etc so best to get supplies in Sale or elsewhere.
Waterwheel Beach Tavern, Lake Tyers Beach
Review: Need to book ahead. Fantastic campground with flat spots, BBQs, hot showers, power and flushing toilets. First night free, $15/pn after. Great spot by the Tyers Lake. We enjoyed a lovely kayak. Bigger or powered boats need to use the other boat ramp. Nice pub. Great stay, definitely recommend.
Snowy Riverside, Newmerella
Review: Nice free camp right on the riverside. Multiple grassy spots, some flatter than others. Spot we stayed we could get our kayak in the river but there is a boat ramp. Fires permitted when there are no restrictions. Lovely secluded stay.
Cann River Rainforest Caravan Park, Cann River
Review: Excellent dog friendly free camp. Lovely flat grass spot with water, flushing toilets and cold showers. Close to town which has bakeries, general store, pub, fuel etc. River is very low.
Genoa Camp Park, Genoa
Cost: Donation Paid: $10
Review: Very nice campground that was a Caravan Park a number of years ago. Grassy flat area suitable for all size and type rigs including tents. Flushing toilets, picnic tables, playground and river nearby. Genoa only has a pub so bring supplies and fuel. 72hr limit. Please donate as small town won’t be able to keep open otherwise.
What To Do In The Gippsland Region For Free
It is easy to think when we spent nothing on entries or tours we mustn’t have done much but that isn’t true. Mostly we spent our time exploring various regional towns throughout the Gippsland, doing walks, spending time at various beaches, fishing and kayaking. You can too and here is everything we did for free:
Towns We Visited
- Cann River
- Golden Beach
- Gypsy Point
- Lakes Entrance
- Loch Sport
- Lindenow South
- North Yallourn
- Port Albert
- Port Welshpool
- Reeves Beach
- Agnes Falls, Toora
- Caught beach worms, Reeves Beach
- Fishing (various locations)
- Geocaching (various locations)
- Historic Long Jetty, Port Welshpool
- Historic Kurth Kiln, Gembrook
- Historic Swing Bridge, Sale
- Kurth Kiln Walking Tracks, Gembrook
- Rail Trail, Toora
- Silt Jetties, Mitchell River
- Tarra Festival and Street Parade, Yarram
- Rainforest Walk, Cann River
- Wind Turbine Farm, Toora
Places to Kayak in the Gippsland
While we were caravanning in Tasmania we bought ourselves a second hand kayak big enough for all three of us. Generally we use it a couple of times a week and found it is an awesome alternative way to explore areas.
- Lake Narracan, Moe
- Lake Tyers, Lake Tyers Beach
- Lake Victoria, Loch Sport
- Lake Wellington, Marlay Point
- Latrobe River, Sale
- Port Albert Bay, Port Albert
- Port Welshpool Bay, Port Welshpool
- Snowy River, Orbost
- Wallagaraugh River, Mallacoota
Where To Play Golf in the Gippsland
Daryl loves his golf and has made room for his clubs and other golf gear in our tow vehicle. Daryl did not play for free but he did find low or reasonably priced clubs to play in the local comps, these were:
Gippsland is a regional coastal area of Victoria is great for water sports, exploring regional towns and spending time at the beach. It is an inexpensive area to visit whether you have a few days, weeks or months. It is also a great alternative route for the journey between Melbourne and Sydney or New South Wales.