Skip the crowds and head for the hills this summer
Tuesday 8 December, 2020
Planning a summer getaway to South Gippsland? Check out our hot tips for staying cool away from the crowds.
Wilsons Prom is by far the most popular visitor destination in South Gippsland during the holiday period.
As part of the Victorian State Budget, Wilsons Promontory National Park received over $23 million to delivering superior visitor experiences while reducing the environmental impact of visitation.
Whilst Parks Victoria is revitalising the Prom, we’ve compiled a list of some other spectacular destinations in South Gippsland and the Bass Coast where you can get your nature fix.
Whenever you visit one of Victoria’s beautiful natural areas, remember:
- Please respect the environment and take your rubbish home when you leave.
- Take only photos, leave only footprints.
- Bring plenty of drinking water and be sun smart.
- Always let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be home.
Note: High resolution images of all the places on this list are available to download here.
Oswin Roberts Reserve
Tucked away in Rhyll, Phillip Island, Oswin Roberts Reserve offers visitors the chance to explore the last remaining remnant bushland on the island.
It’s the perfect place to go for a stroll and enjoy the local wildlife. There are a series of different walking and cycling tracks, including some that are pram and wheelchair friendly.
Forget the beach, this lush patch of bushland is the perfect destination for a summer day-trip.
Plan your visit to Oswin Roberts Reserve.
The Strzelecki Ranges are a hidden gem in South Gippsland on Gunaikurnai country, providing plenty of shade, gorgeous scenery and picnic spots for everyone to enjoy.
Rainforests are always wetter and cooler than coastal areas and often forgotten on those hot summer days. Head out early in the day and you might even have the forest to yourself. Ah, the serenity!
Explore the Strzelecki Ranges at Agnes Falls Scenic Reserve and see the highest single span falls in Victoria. This spectacular waterfall cascades down a series of rocks over a 59-metre drop. It’s a fantastic sight, especially after heavy rain when the falls and surrounding rockpools are at their best.
The falls are a short 200 metre walk from the carpark to the lookout which has seating. The picnic area is a perfect spot for an outdoor lunch and the picnic shelter and tables are accessible to those in wheelchairs.
The area is abundant in bird wildlife and shade is available under the plentiful silver wattles, tall blue gum and blackwood trees.
Hidden in the Strzelecki Ranges, Tarra-Bulga National Park features lush fern-filled gullies, giant Mountain Ash and ancient Myrtle Beech.
Visitors have long enjoyed strolling along one of the nature walks or picnicking beside a shady fern-lined creek, not to mention crossing the spectacular Corrigan Suspension Bridge along the self-guided Fern Gully Nature Walk.
Take the scenic route there through Yarram via the Tarra Valley Road or Bulga Park Road. Roads throughout the area are narrow and winding but offer marvellous scenery with panoramic views from several points, including Mount Tassie.
Relax away from the crowds amongst the native forests typical of the South Gippsland region.
Only four kilometres from the picturesque town of Mirboo North you’ll find the Lyrebird Forest Walk in the Mirboo North Regional Park. It’s a quiet haven in the temperate forests of the Strzelecki Ranges, often forgotten between Wilsons Prom and the Australian Alps.
Keep your eyes peeled for native birds and wildlife as you meander through the forest of towering Eucalypts and lush Coral Ferns.
Great Southern Rail Trail
Stretching over 70 kilometers from Leongatha to Port Welshpool, the Great Southern Rail Trail offers an epic experience for hikers, cyclist or horse riders. This trail offers visitors the opportunity to retrace the Australian mainland's southern-most rail line through lush green farmland and temperate rainforest.
Take a few days to traverse the entire 72 kilometres or choose a few shorter trips to experience the stunning ocean views looking out to mountain peaks of the Prom.
Port Welshpool Long Jetty
If you make it all the way to the end of the Great Southern Rail Trail, consider taking a few extra steps over to the historic Port Welshpool Long Jetty.
The Long Jetty is an unmissable icon of South Gippsland, stretching 800-metres out to the waters of Corner Inlet. Originally built in the 1930s, this impressive piece of Port Welshpool’s history has recently undergone a multi-million-dollar rehabilitation and is looking better than ever.
It’s the perfect place for a peaceful stroll over the water or some recreational fishing. Fishing rod holders can be found along the jetty’s railing and there is even a fish cleaning table at the end of the jetty.
George Bass Coastal Walk
The George Bass Coastal Walk offers panoramic coastal views from a narrow winding path, along cliff tops rising high above the pounding surf of Bass Strait.
If you’re feeling adventurous, take off on the seven kilometre walk (that’s two hours one way), or pick a spot for a quiet picnic and soak it all in. This magnificent stretch of coast will soon be extended and upgraded as it forms part of the new Yallock Bulluk Marine and Coastal Park.
Heathlands are widespread in Victoria, particularly near the coast, and provide visitors with the perfect mix of bush and beach.
Wonthaggi Heathland and Coastal Reserve is a magnificent example of all the beauty this ecosystem has to offer. The incredible 811-hectare area provides important habitat for a range of special native animals, plants and flowers.
Surrounded by ten kilometres of unspoiled and secluded coastland, it’s the perfect place to wander around and snap some photos of the gorgeous native flora and fauna.
Nestled in between Walkerville and Sandy Point you’ll find Waratah Bay, home to one of Australia’s most beautiful and serene beaches. Even on a busy day you won’t feel crowded here.
The 30 kilometre stretch of beach is ideal for swimming, surfing or fishing and is patrolled by the Waratah Beach Surf Life Saving Club. Look out over the water and you’ll see the mountain peaks of Wilsons Prom’s west coast.
Walk along the sheer cliff tops of Phillip Island's most southerly point and be rewarded with superb panoramas of the island. Cape Woolamai is the highest point on Phillip Island and offers spectacular 360-degree views over Bass Strait.
Explore the full Cape Woolamai Circuit, a combination of all three Cape Woolamai walking tracks, or try something a little shorter. All walks start from the information shelter at the carpark and follow the beach to the left for approximately one kilometre.
McLoughlins and Ninety Mile Beach Walk
At McLoughlins Beach you can stroll through wetlands, the estuary and sand dunes while keeping an eye out for wildlife like ducks and kangaroos.
Once you’ve had your fill of the iconic Australian coastal vegetation, loop around via the footbridge to explore a remote and wild stretch of Ninety Mile Beach to marvel in the vast and beautiful views.
Kilcunda is a great spot for a variety of beach activities, boasting three beaches with excellent rock fishing and surfing spots and stunning views to boot.
Splash around the high tide beaches, go searching for critters in the near-continuous intertidal rock flats and be careful of all the rocks in and around the water if you’re swimming.
Don’t forget to stop by the iconic Kilcunda Trestle Bridge which has been standing since 1911. The heritage-listed bridge is 12-metres high, 91-metres long, and offers stunning views to those who walk or bike across.