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PostPosted: Jul 20th, '18, 19:22 
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Start by looking at the charter boat websites for suggestions:
http://www.rivieranautic.com.au/gippsla ... guide.html
http://www.bullscruisers.com.au/gippsland-lakes
https://www.sailfree.com.au/australia/gippsland%20lakes

You'll notice that both Riviera Nautic and Bulls use a map which is pretty much centred on Raymond Island/Paynesville, extending to Lakes Entrance top the east and just short of Loch Sport to the west. Loch Sport isn't terribly interesting and is more a water skiing area than sailing. It's also a very long drive from Paynesville or Lakes Entrance.

Paul will pop up and point out that there are some lovely spots down the south west end of the lakes, but theres more distance between things and the summer afternoon sea breezes are invariably strong easterlies discouraging returning from Loch Sport in the afternoon.

So, based in Lakes Entrance, in a car, what can/should you see in preparation for coming back with a boat?

First of all, drive west out of Lakes Entrance. When you get to the top of the hill there is a lookout and a pub on your left. Turn right into Lookout Road and then right to access the fire tower at the top of the hill which is where virtually all the tourist photos you see of the entrance are taken from.

Typical view of the entrance:

Image

And looking further to the right over the east end of Rigby Island:

Image

From here you can see the entrance, and Rigby Island (closest to Lakes Entrance) and Fraser Island (next island west), as well as Barrier Landing. Fraser Island is a resort; they have a couple of lovely aerial photos of this area on their website here, eg:

Image

A short distance further west on the highway turn down Kalimna Jetty Road. There's a very basic ramp and a jetty here, a nice spot to watch the boats going by.

Between Lakes Entrance and Bancroft Bay (west of Metung), the lake is relatively narrow with high ground on the north side. At Nyerimilang Heritage Park there is a homestead on the clifftop which you can visit. It is not accessible from the water!

At Nungurner there is a boathouse, a couple of jetties, a few moorings, a park with loos and a BBQ. Doesn't sound like much but it's one of my favourite spots, especially by car.

Metung is next; the road approaches town down the west side of Chinamans Creek, passing Riviera Nautic (charters) and Metung Yacht Club. Have a good look around Metung since it is readily accessible from the water; there is a large public jetty complex next to the pub on the East side of Metung and the Lake King jetty next to the public toilets on the west side. There is a ramp and further toilets at Shaving Point, where you pass from the relatively sheltered waters to the east into Lake King to the west.

Returning to the highway, at Swan Reach there is a pub, petrol and a wharf on the Tambo River. If you can drop your mast on the water to get under the bridge, you can get about another 6km/3nm upstream from here before reaching ankle deep gravel about 1.5km south of the next bridge.

A couple of kilometres further west on the highway there are some more shops and Punt Road on your left leads down to the Tambo River, where there is a boat storage facility, a park and some BBQs, as well as access along a dirt track to the mouth of the Tambo River:

Image

At Nicholson, on the highway at the Nicholson River there's a caravan park, ramp, loos, etc.

Once you get to Bairnsdale you can head in a variety of directions, so I'll end this post here.

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PostPosted: Jul 20th, '18, 20:57 
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Pand JR away wrote:
We have booked a weeks accommodation at Lakes Entrance in August. We are not bringing the boat this trip but we do plan to reconnoiter the area for a sailing trip possibly next year. We will have the Hilux camper (mainly for the trip home) and do not mind camping out instead of staying at the resort for a night or two if there is a special place to visit

We are looking for suggestions of things to add to our itinerary such as places to visit on land or for gaining knowledge of the area for our sailing trip, nice walks, activities, day trips or any other ideas.

John and Pam


Leave exploring the lakes until you have a boat - there is more than a weeks worth of car based trips availabe from lakes entrance - what sort of things do you enjoy? Alternatively, if you want a taste of what the lakes has to offer I sail out of paynesville most tuesdays - pm me contact details etc.

The 4x4 options are endless, if you want to test out that hilux then pm me a postal adress and an honest assesment of your abilities, I'll send you a selection of the local " rooftops" maps for you to consider , and then we can negotiate from there. I've been trailbike riding these hills for the past 20 years and I STILL haven't samped everything they have to offer. At the very least, you need to visit Dargo , perhaps on the way home go up from buchan via the barry way / visit mckillops bridge ( across the snowy river) - this is 2wd in the dry country but a full day of dirt driving / overnight camp option.

Cycling options are impressive - there's at least 3 full days mountain bike riding in free dedicated complexes within 30 minutes of lakes entrance, plus a great rail trail network, the culquorn forrest trail, or the " arts trail" cycling loop at nwa nowa ( try the burgers at the nowa nowa store!!!!)

Bringing a canoe? Lake tyers is a few minutes east , nice place to paddle around on tannin flat water with cold climate forrest overhanging. A decent beachside pub to have lunch overlooking the lunch / beach

Food...I could fill pages with this...probably better if you indicate if you're interested before I do...

Arty stuff ? Nyumerang has an interesting arts subculture, as does the foothills between bruthen and briagalong - there are brochures detailing both that you should be able to get from the local info centre, or if you're keen let me know via pm and I can include these as well.

Buchan caves if you want to do one of the earliest tourist cave tours ( or if you're into hard core caving there are several real caves for that if you want to chase permits with the dept multiple name changes.

For what it's worth, lakes entrance is a horrible tourist trap, I guess it's convenient but please don't judge the area based on lakes entrance. We stay at either metung ( the moorings for luxury) or holiday housess in Paynesville ( gippsland lakes escapes is the booking agent) .

Enjoy, perhaps let us know what you're interests are so we can tailor to them?

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PostPosted: Jul 20th, '18, 21:21 
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Bear in mind that there is plenty else to see by car in the area around the lakes; I'm trying to give you an idea of what is worth exploring by car to help familiarise yourself with the lakes for boating. (I wrote that sentence before I saw Paul's post above!)

Bairnsdale is about 16km from Paynesville. Unless you're down near Lakes Entrance, it's where you drive to for stuff you can't find on the water, so it's worth a look around to understand what is there. The highway bridge and the parallel disused railway bridge prevent mast up access further upstream, but the river passes the north side of the shopping district, with a linear park along the river bank accessible from behind the shops.

Jones Bay, the water between Bairnsdale and Nicholson north of the Silt Jetties, is mostly too shallow for sailing.

You must see the Silt Jetties! Head down the Paynesville road, which runs along the riverbefore turning away and up onto higher ground. Turn left at the big roundabout at Forge Creek Road, and again at Rivermouth Road. Make sure you don't miss the lookout on the left off Rivermouth road too! There's a jetty at Point Dawson on the south Silt Jetty (the north side is not accessible by road) at the end of Rivermouth Road.

There's not much at Eagle Bay except the caravan park and some houses. It's very exposed to the afternoon sea breeze in summer.

Have a good poke about Paynesville. Paynesville has a supermarket (IGA), a pub, numerous cafes and take aways, a yacht club (GLYC, at the south end of the strait), chemist, newsagent, several launching ramps (always a suitable one somewhere no matter where the wind is from). There are several toilet blocks with hot showers, detailed elsewhere on TSP. The Raymond Island ferry access is on the main street at the north end of the shops; pop over for a walk or take the car and spend a few hours exploring the more distant bits of the island. If you're concerned about security for your car when away sailing for a few days, the ramp on Raymond Island has it's own moat, but most of us are happy to use the King Street ramp (actually on Slip Road at the end of King Street) which is useable in virtually all weather.

The large L shaped jetty near the IGA supermarket is the Progress Jetty. Most of the time it is a useful place to tie up to access the supermarket and the shops at this end of town. But when a cold front comes through, it is the last place you want to be, completely exposed to the weather from the south & south-west.

Across Newlands Backwater to the south west you'll see housing on the hillside; this is Newlands Arm. There's a ramp with jetty, loo, electric BBQ, etc behind the point, otherwise it's mostly housing. Newlands Backwater itself is a blind end with good shelter and quite a few private moorings. Access by road from Paynesville is 12km!

Beyond Newlands Arm is the Banksia Peninsula with Duck Arm and Picnic Arm; at busy times of the year you're sure to find a group of trailer sailers in here, but road access is poor.

Wattle Point, Waddy Point and Storm Point on the north shore of Lake Victoria each offer some shelter from the west, but have little else to recommend them. Hollands Landing is on the north side of the exit from McLennan strait (from Lake Wellington) into Lake Victoria. I go there precisely once per year, on the evening of the Marlay Point race, to watch the boats pass through. You can see back up the strait enough to get some idea of what it is like. If you've come all the way from Queensland you probably want to go have a look at LWYC at Marlay Point, but without all the people and boats and chaos of race day it's nothing special as a location!

That pretty much covers what you can reconnoitre by car; you'll be kicking yourself for not bringing a boat!

I strongly recommend getting a copy of the Gippsland Lakes Outdoor Recreation Guide, published by Spatial Vision, both for boating and for driving/hiking around the lakes. It's available from most map specialists as well as on ebay.

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PostPosted: Jul 21st, '18, 15:53 
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Thankyou for such extensive and on target information.

I have ordered the map and yes we are disappointed that we not bringing the boat but we will be back. Originally we had planned to bring the Adams down and spend 2-4+ weeks in the area with a mix of water and land activities. The resort booking, which was made over a year ago, was to give us a chance to clean up and visit family etc but responsibilities at home changed through the year and so did our planning.

I have spent a little time when I was a student in Vic at an adventure camp near Lake Victoria and as well as some time with New Games Tournaments in the Gippsland regionwhen Norm was the face of Life Be in It. Canoeing in 1/2m swell was a new experience for a meandering river and estuary boy from the north. The lakes have been on my destination list for long time it is just taking a while to get all things in a row. While I enjoy a good coffee (and maybe pastry sometimes) we are not 'foodies' and tend to be reasonably self sufficient.

I have been driving 4wd's for 40+ years but not as a sport or activity in itself but rather to do a job or visit somewhere of interest. I am probably a more competent 4wd'er than sailor but enjoy the places and opportunities both provide. For many years our main interests were hiking and canoeing and we are hoping to get back to doing more of this as a part of our travels. Our cycling skills and endurance are well suited to rail trails however we are not bringing the bikes this trip. There isn't room although from the cursory research i've done so far shows this area looks to be rich in variety and experience.

I have been looking at online resources for day and possibly overnight walks but havn't settled on any yet. We like to walk and to see new places and I suspect our final program will mostly combine some day bush or trail walks with trips in the Hilux. The 'travel route' suggestions are appreciated and I think some will be incorporated.

Thanks
J&P

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PostPosted: Jul 22nd, '18, 18:25 
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Ok, so walks within reasonable distance from lakes entrance?

Firstly, in August anything over 1400 m is going to be under snow, are you interested / equiped for alpine snow overnight trips?

Re subalpine options :

There's a nice scenic drive with a few short walks option - head west out of lakes, take the kalimna west rd and stop where the road crosses the creek / estuary - this gives you access to the park adjacent to Nyerimilang homestead without having to pay. Walk out to the lakes , then up the ridge for a decent view of that section of the lakes - probably about an hour of wandering around. If you want to look at the old homestead you'll need to pay an entry fee. After this, comtinue west to nungurner rd / down to metung - where roshville rd meets the main metung rd , there is a short walk up to a lookout with nice views along bancroft bay. Coffee in metung. Then head nth, up through tambo towards bruthen, pay a visit to the fairy dell scenic reserve ( a nice 1 hour wander along a semi rainforrest creek) . There's a confusing network of unmapped single line mountain bike trails that come off the northern end of fairy dell jeep track if you want to extend the walk, but take a decent gps + a copy of the rooftops " bairnsdale dargo omeo" map if you intend to get lost in here. Afterwards, head back to bruthen, perhaps drive back to lakes through the colquorn forrest - the historic quary that's partway along the discovery trail is worth wandering into but to be honest the discovery trail itself is more a bike trail than walking trail.

Other walks to consider

The mitchel walking trail is on the west side of the river, halfway between bairnsdale and Dargo. It's a relatively easy but long wander along the clifftop with nice views up the mitchel gorge. The southern end has a diversion to the den of nargun ( with signs describing the aboriginal story behind it) . If you want to make a camping trip out of it, the northern end finishes at Angusvale which is a lovely grassy clearing beside the mitchel river ( where you might get lucky and have someone camped who can drive you back to your car....). Driving north after the walk will get you to Dargo, a nice 1 pub town in the base of the alps, very popular amongst 4x4 types. There are several free campsites to the ne on the upper Dargo rd ( grass clearing beside river with drop toilets) , or you can head up the dargo high plains rd, turn west at grant ( interesting old relics of a gold mining area) , then drop down into talbotville ( grassy clearing beside a creek, very popular / busy campsite on the weekends because it's JUST 2wd accecible) . You might be able to do sections of the mcmillan walking trail between talbotvile and the high plains road, but nb this walking trail doesn't get a lot of traffic / maintenance . The dargo highplains rd is also one of the best ways to see the snow for free - literally drive as far as you like / are capable , then stop and throw snow at each other / try and work out how to turn around.....the general store in dargo should be able to give you an idea of conditions / if it's worth the trip.

Another scenic drive / short walk day trip would be to head to buchan. The caves complex has a few 1-2 hour walks through the granite ridges . Then you could drive nth up to the little river falls ( and marvel at the people who go canyoning through there....one of the last true extreme wilderness trips left in victoria...) . Then perhaps drive down to mckillops bridge ( which spans the snowy river) , there's camping at the base of the bridge if you decide to stay the night. The barry way heads north on the west side of the snowy river up to nsw - it's a tight winding dirt road with amazing views along the snowy. There's a couple of campsites beside the river. DO NOT do the barry way if it's raining - the northern section is greasy mongrel clay that is terrifying when wet ( and dead easy when dry)

Other things to consider?

The old track 96 walking trail roughly follows freestone creek ( running west from the dargo rd at castleburn over towards briagalong) it's getting pretty overgrown , and is mostly of interest if you like old mining history. This is the route that was used when people would walk from port albert through towards Dargo / the high country to try their luck at gold mining. There's 2/3 old towns along this route that are almost impossible to find - nature has won that battle. If you are interested, let me know and I'll dig up the old walking trail notes - it's probably a 2 day walk, or a very long obe day walk. We do a short loop on the west side, accesed from briagalong / the blue pools - up along a ridge with lovely views, then back down and across the river , it's about 2 hours and probably not worth the drive from lakes unless you're vissiting briagalong for another reason ( tiny town - 1 pub, a local artist gallery, not much else)

Perhaps a little to far away, but again a nice scenic drive with a short walk - moscow villa. You'd drive north from bruthen along the omeo " highway" - nb this is motorbike heaven - tight twisty road , definitely not what most people expect from a highway. North of swifts creek you head NE along bindi then nunnong rd , stop and take a look at the washington winch ( old winch used for dragging trees out of the valley) , then continue up to moscow villa - it's usually just below the snowline ( not always) , an old wooden log hut with an interesting history, To the south are some nice walks through the plains . You'd want to watch the weather before doing this trip, when it snows up there the tracks get interesting. If you're into minng history, the cassils relics around swifts creek , plus the oriental claims area around Omeo can chew up some extra time. Watch out for snow traffic ( and police) on the weekends ( this is an alternate access route to dinner plains / mt hotham )

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PostPosted: Aug 10th, '18, 10:21 
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Again, thanks for all the good info. It has formed the basis of our explorations.
We had a few issues at the farm before we left which resulted in a rushed departure and arriving a day and a half late but we have got to the lakes. It is a beautiful place.

We have walked around town and the Entrance, as well as trips to Lake Tyres, and out to Bruthen and Nowa Nowa. A few things in the camper needed fixing after the trip and we have been able to find the necessary parts. Thanks for the tip about the hamburgers at Nowa Nowa. What a surprising spot. We spent quite a while there. It is the end of the tourist season and a number of locations are closed but there has been plenty to keep us busy.

We are off to Metung and Paynesville today. The weather during our first 24 hrs was chilly and demanding but Tuesday afternoon brightened up and it has been warm and clear since. This is likely to change again over the weekend but the last few days have been sufficient to encourage the crew to return.

John

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PostPosted: Aug 10th, '18, 12:38 
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Glad to hear you're enjoying - don't let tomorrows rain predictions put you off- scattered shoers at the moment seems to mean "we're just teasing - it's still a drought"

Forget about any on water activity for sunday - when those big westerlies kick in , anything west of metung gets a bit lumpy - it's almost worth going for a drive on Raymond island sunday over to gravelly point and getting a look at what the westerlies do to that area (as a warning of why you want to watch out for westerlies on the yacht) . Then perhaps go back to metung and look at both sides of the point to realise how easy it is to find cover when those westerlies kick in ?

I'd suggest NOT doing any 4 wd travel in the high country on sunday unless you have a chainsaw - alternatively let me know via pm if you want to borrow one . Perhaps just a drive up through dargo, lunch at the dargo pub, wander around the grant historic area and drop down to talbotville for a look at the valley (as research for future camping trips?) . You'll need snow chains if you intend to go any further nth above grant after sunday - chances are we'll get a bit of snow falling on the weekend- again pm me if you wish to borrow some

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