Six unforgettable ways to experience South Gippsland

Travelling Well | Laura Waters | Posted on 05 May 2021

Explore stunning South Gippsland with our guide to six of the best things to do.

When it comes to hidden holiday gems, Victoria’s stunning South Gippsland has to be one of the state’s best-kept secrets. Head in any direction and you’ll find quaint country towns, quiet foodie havens, untouched sandy stretches, rolling vineyards and rambling rainforest treks.

From coastal hikes and rustic rail trails to whimsical waterfall walks and superb scenic drives, South Gippsland offers the ultimate food, wine and adventure playground. Whether it’s a family escape you’re looking for or a romantic weekend away, here are six of the best ways to explore the pure shores of Victoria’s pristine south east.

Agnes Falls, South Gippsland

Don't miss Victoria’s highest single-span waterfall, Agnes Falls, which cascades almost 60 metres over mossy rock formations and plunges into a sparkling blue ravine. 


Six of the best ways to explore stunning South Gippsland

Walk

For a backstage pass to this popular region, set foot on the George Bass Coastal Walk. The seven-kilometre trail between San Remo and Kilcunda winds along grassy clifftops pounded by ocean waves and occasionally dips down to golden beaches accessible only on foot. Bass Strait views are spectacular, and in winter migrating southern right whales pass by. Bird watchers might also spot pacific gulls, kites and kestrels. The trail has fairly gentle undulations and numerous bench seats to rest on, though you’ll need to negotiate a few stiles. This is a one-way route so do a car shuffle or park at one end and catch a taxi back (10 minutes). Reward yourself with lunch or a coffee and cake at the homely Kilcunda General Store, then pick up some local organic produce from Udder & Hoe next door. 

Ride

Australia’s most southern mainland rail line once ran between Leongatha and Port Welshpool. Now, the Great Southern Rail Trail follows its course, offering a gentle, scenic bike ride that blends views of rolling farmland, rainforest and coast with gourmet food and art galleries. While the full route is 72 kilometres, seven bite-sized chunks stretch between character-filled country towns. A long weekend would allow for the entire route. Head via Koonwarra to foodie haven Meeniyan, then push on for a beer at the Fish Creek Hotel or picnic on the grass with bubbles and a cheese platter at Gurneys Cider. There are art galleries to peruse in Foster before reaching the trail end at Port Welshpool with its restored 908-metre-long jetty.

Drive

With fresh vistas around every bend, South Gippsland lends itself to a road trip. Start at the golden beaches of Cape Paterson where you can step into an ocean rockpool built for swimming in the 1960s. Follow the coastal road east to the Eagles Nest lookout, with commanding sea views, then descend to the town of Inverloch on Anderson Inlet, ideal for sheltered boating and swimming. Back on the road, veer south at Fish Creek to Wilsons Promontory for world-class scenery, walking trails and wildlife. Wander the immense sand dunes of the Big Drift, search for wombats around Tidal River or follow the headland trail to blindingly white Squeaky Beach. 

While you’re there, take a detour to Victoria’s highest single-span waterfall, which hides in the hinterland near Toora. Agnes Falls cascades 59 metres over a series of rocks in an impressive display. From the carpark, follow a 200-metre path to the lookout then enjoy a picnic among bluegums, rosellas and kookaburras.

Stay

Nestled between wetlands and the pristine beaches of beautiful Bass Strait, RACV Inverloch Resort is the perfect place to relax, recharge and reconnect with nature. From three-bed ocean-view villas to ensuite caravan sites, stay overnight in ultimate comfort then hit the beach at low tide to search for fossilised dinosaur bones in the rock platforms offshore. You can dine in at the resort’s own Radius Restaurant, which showcases local wine and produce, or head into town for a fresh-Mex feast at Lime & Co or kick back with a glass of pinot noir and a local charcuterie platter at Dirty Three Wines urban cellar door.

Sail

Launch yourself on the adventure of a lifetime and see Wilson’s Promontory, Victoria’s largest marine protected area, like you’ve never seen it before. Over 2.5 hours, one of Victoria's most thrilling wildlife eco cruises will take you on a voyage to mainland Australia’s southernmost tip, where you’ll have the best seats in the house from which to marvel at prehistoric outcrops such as Mount Oberon and Skull Rock, as well as taking in the rugged, untouched beauty of Norman Beach, Anderson Inlet and Anser Island. Keep your eyes peeled for bottlenose dolphins, white bellied sea eagles and Australian fur seals and, if you’re travelling from May to October, you might even spot some migrating whales.

Hike

Why take a walk to remember when you can go for an unforgettable hike through Gippsland’s Tarra-Bulga National Park, which traverses more than 2000 hectares of pristine, cool-climate rainforest. The national park, which is known for its towering mountain ash trees, lush fern gullies and ancient myrtle beeches, is highly significant to Gunaikurnai traditional owners due to its remarkable Indigenous cultural heritage. Meander along the impressive Corrigan’s Suspension Bridge, which was built in 1938. The striking structure straddles the rainforest canopy, offering intrepid travellers magnificent views of the verdant fern gully and forest floor below.


Holiday here this year with RACV

There has never been a better time to holiday in Australia and support local businesses and the tourism industry. Whether it’s a weekend getaway in country Victoria or an extended Australian adventure, RACV Members get more when they travel with discounts and benefits on everything from travel and accommodation to tours and other experiences so you can easily holiday here this year.