In West Gippsland, surf breaks are swapped out for snow sports and alpine adventures, with Mount Baw Baw being one of the big attractions. With a Snow Factory guaranteeing snow, and only 150 km from Melbourne, this is Victoria’s most accessible ski destination. In the warmer months, there’s mountain biking and hiking through the wildflowers.
Full of lovingly preserved buildings from the gold rush days, Walhalla is like stepping back in time. For the full ye olde experience, take a ride on the 1900s Walhalla Goldfields Railway or tour underground goldmines. Nearby, the Thomson River offers kayaking and rafting with some low-grade rapids.
Warragul is West Gippsland’s main hub and here you’ll find plenty of cheese from the many local dairies at the cafes and providores nestled among the heritage buildings along the cute streetscapes. To sample more local produce and live music, the Warragul Farmers Market is on the third Saturday of every month, while Creative Harvest, where you can visit flourishing food gardens, and Farm World, happens annually.
Yarragon, on the Princes Highway just east of Warragul, is where creatives want to head to make the most of the art galleries, antiques, books, collectables, homewares and gift stores. Or head north from Warragul to Neerim South, another bucolic town full of art lovers that is also a popular stopover en route to Mount Baw Baw.
From Neerim South, head further north to Noojee where you’ll find the cascading beauty of both Toorongo Falls, a tiered waterfall, and Amphitheatre Falls on the Tooronga River, where you can see both via a looped walking circuit.