Published on 2nd August 2017
by Linsey Rendell

Venture east for a weekend of rural respite packed with natural adventures and fire-lit evenings. In partnership with Destination Gippsland, here’s our guide for where to eat, drink and stay in Central Gippsland.

Central Gippsland in Victoria’s east is a vast expanse. Commencing at Newborough and Traralgon, it stretches east into the hidden bushland gorge of Briagolong. There the Great Dividing Range looms over broad stretches of flat pastoral terrain that form the Latrobe Valley floor, making for a striking silhouette at every turn.

To the south, the quiet forests of Balook and Tarra Valley lead to the coast and the sleepy maritime town of Port Albert. It’s a huge territory, so there’s plenty to explore.

It’s also easy to find a tranquil corner where you can tap out of civilisation for a few days. That’s helped by recent momentum on the food front, with several new openings joining long-standing favourites. Meals straddle the space between home-style comfort and city-led trends, while the drinks scene is predominantly driven by small-batch makers.

The region is just shy of two hours’ drive to your jumping-off point at Newborough. Take the M1 all the way before darting north or south in search of solitude and adventure.

Welcome to Central Gippsland


From contemporary pub fare to Korean fried chicken wings, Central Gippsland has all tastes covered.

Badger and Hare


Stop for a coffee without leaving the highway.

Tinamba Hotel


An unassuming destination pub with its own market garden.

Criterion Hotel


A heritage-listed pub with a penchant for local drops.

Port Albert Cafe and Wine Bar


Start with proper fish and chips and end with a monstrous slice of cake.

The Vault on Church


Inventive hot chocolates and all-day food in an historic bank.


Start your day with a smoky hot chocolate before tasting your way through the region’s cellar doors.

Narkoojee Winery


Wine and Italian eats in a bucolic “place of flowers”.

The Vines on Avon


Taste the goods, then stay for a produce-driven lunch.

Little Prince


Upbeat Asian fusion, with city sensibilities. Book in advance.


Experience the region’s natural beauty with walks, swims and rides through rainforests, gorges and pastoral plains.


Catch fog-cloaked sunrises and technicolor sunsets at these secluded country residences.

Brigadoon Cottages


Enjoy a loaf of sourdough by the fire.

Abington Farm


A remote farmstay with a prime sunset-viewing position.


A Road Trip through Central Gippsland

Enjoy freshly caught fish by the seaside and paddock-to-plate gastropub meals between cool-climate wine tastings and nature walks.