IN PARTNERSHIP WITH DESTINATION GIPPSLAND
If you like simple holidays filled with activities such as fishing, hiking and cycling, why not book a campsite or cabin in Victoria’s Gippsland region?
Home to an underground wonderland of 400-million-year-old limestone caves, Buchan Caves Reserve should be on any family’s bucket list. Guided tours operate daily along well-lit underground walkways, providing the opportunity to explore the calcite-rimmed pools of Royal Cave and the elaborate stalactites and stalagmites in Fairy Cave. The reserve also has a pool fed by the waters of an underground stream flowing from one of the caves.
The campground offers powered and unpowered sites, as well as cabins with kitchenettes and microwaves. For glamping fans, a Wilderness Camp offers tents that can sleep up to six people in bunk beds, a small fridge and a table and chairs (BYO linen). The reserve also has a playground, a camp kitchen and electric and wood-fired barbecues.
Stretching along 60km of isolated beaches on the rugged Bass Strait, Cape Conran Coastal Park is a mecca for nature lovers. It spreads across an 11,000ha wilderness area, with heathlands and banksia woodlands brimming with nectar-feeding birds. The Park offers basic self-contained timber cabins, ideal for families, with incredible views of the ocean and bushland, pot-belly heating inside and wood-fired barbecues outside, but you need to bring your own pillows, sleeping gear and towels. There’s also a lodge sleeping up to 17 people and a campground with a dog-friendly section.
Sitting on the Snowy River Estuary, which has some of the best perch and bream fishing around, the small village of Marlo is a well-kept secret just 15 minutes from Orbost and the Princes Hwy and 15 minutes along the beach from Cape Conran. Marlo Caravan Park & Motel sits behind the iconic Marlo Hotel, one of the best waterfront pubs you can find, with plenty of lawn for the kids to run around while you enjoy a meal and soak up the view. The park has powered sites, budget cabins, park cabins and deluxe cabins. It’s close to the general store and post office and has a playground, barbecue, laundry and DVD rental.
On the banks of the Nicholson River, this holiday park is a great spot for fishing and within easy driving distance of bustling Lakes Entrance, picturesque Metung and the koala colony on Raymond Island. Have a chat to owner Jamie Malady about where the bream are biting and what bait to use before heading out. The park has self-contained cabins overlooking the river, more affordable cabins and large grassy powered sites for caravans and camping. While animals are not allowed in cabins, the grounds are pet-friendly. It also has a pool and a large recreation room with a pool table, table tennis, full cooking facilities, a PlayStation and TV. There’s also two free barbecues, a rotunda with views over the river and boat mooring is available.
Located in the small town of Swan Reach, halfway between the townships of Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance on the Tambo River, this holiday park is an ideal base for keen anglers. Talk to the staff at Swan Reach General Store to get some local tips while buying bait. The park has6ha of gardens, free Wi-Fi, a playground and a barbecue where you can cook up a catch of fresh seafood bought directly from the boat. Accommodation ranges from unpowered campsites to standard cabins and two-bedroom miners cottages with a small deck.
On the banks of the Snowy River in the pretty town of Orbost, just 15 minutes’ drive from the coast, this park has a lovely tranquil atmosphere, just a 500m walk from town. Shaded powered and unpowered sites are available, as well as standard and deluxe cabins, plus barbecue and picnic areas, playgrounds, laundry, and a park just across the road.
Pitch a tent or stay in a self-contained cabin at Dargo River Inn, which lies on the site of an old
timber mill. Nestled in the Dargo High Plains, the town is at the gateway to the Alpine National Park, Avon Wilderness River and Mitchell River National Park, making it a popular pick for 4WD and motorbike enthusiasts. This iconic high country inn has a large beer garden overlooking the countryside and hosts gigs with country music stars such as Lee Kernaghan, Travis Sinclair and Adam Brand.
Developed from an old sawmill town that was mostly destroyed in the 1960s, Licola is the only privately-owned ‘town’ in Victoria. Licola Caravan Park is a pet-friendly park on the edge of the meandering Macalister River. It makes a great base for 4WDing, fishing, hiking and dirt bike riding. It has bunkhouses, cabins and powered and unpowered campsites and there’s a general store on site which sells groceries, camping equipment, take-away food and fuel.
Gippsland’s magnificent 90 Mile Beach is one of the longest uninterrupted beaches in the world, offering plenty of space for surfing, fishing, body boarding and sunset walks. A jumping pillow and playground make this park, a favourite for families. There’s a three-bedroom cabin with a TV, DVD player, microwave and air-conditioning, as well as powered sites that are either pet-friendly or in no pet zones. It has a camp kitchen and barbecue area, with public tennis courts next door.
On the southern shores of Lake Victoria in the Gippsland Lakes area, this dog-friendly park is surrounded by water and national park. There’s a golf course next door and it’s just ten minutes’ drive to the golden sands of 90 Mile Beach and a 10-minute walk to the supermarket and post office. There are powered and unpowered sites and cabins, a playground, camp kitchen, kiosk, barbecues, and a boat ramp nearby.
If taking your pooch is a priority, look no further than Best Friend Holiday Retreat in the Tarra Valley. As well as six large, fenced off-leash areas, the holiday park has a giant dog ball run, a dog hydrobath hut and luxury kennels where your furry friend can hang out while you visit nearby national parks, such as the temperate rainforest Tarra-Bulga National Park, just 3km away. All cabins, campsites and caravan sites are fully fenced. It’s a 25-minute drive to the beach, or just pop across the road to cool down in a natural rock pool and waterfall. Koalas live in the gum trees overlooking the holiday park and you can feed the birds daily, and pick your own organic fruit, berries and nuts when they are in season, which you can roast along with marshmallows on the campfire at night.