Published on 2nd August 2017
by Linsey Rendell

If your city-bound winter has left you pining for natural adventures and fire-lit evenings, venture east for a weekend of rural respite. In partnership with Destination Gippsland, here’s our guide on 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

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

Itinerary

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.

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8AM

Brigadoon Cottages

108 Haunted Hills Road
Newborough VIC
(03) 5127 2656
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Brigadoon Cottages

Wake to a fog cloaking your private cottage and its surrounding 15 acres. Keep the log fire roaring through a breakfast of locally baked Oak and Swan sourdough and warming cup of coffee before putting on a few layers to investigate the crisp day ahead.

10AM

Tarra-Bulga National Park


South Gippsland VIC
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Tarra-Bulga National Park

Drive south-east to this verdant, almost mystical national park. Spot lyrebirds performing their varied songs as you follow the walking tracks through ancient Gippsland vegetation.

1PM

Port Albert Cafe and Wine Bar

71 Tarraville Road
Port Albert VIC
(03) 5183 2126
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Port Albert Cafe and Wine Bar

Head south to the seaside to enjoy the kitchen wizardry of Port Albert’s proprietor, Kim Wherret. Opt for hyper-local fish and chips and a hearty helping of cream-filled carrot cake, accompanied by a tall glass of local wine. The portions here are generous.

3.30PM

Narkoojee Winery

220 Francis Road
Glengarry North VIC
(03) 5192 4257
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Narkoojee Winery

Make your way back north for a tasting at this bucolic winery. Enjoy a glass (or two) on the deck as the sun sets behind the Strzelecki Ranges, perhaps splitting a pizza (made with Tarago River Cheese’s silky blue) to tide you over until dinner.

6PM

Tinamba Hotel

4-6 Tinamba-Seaton Road
Tinamba VIC
(03) 5145 1484
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Tinamba Hotel

Finish at this elegant Euro-styled hotel, where veggies come straight from the on-site market garden and beef from the owner’s farm. Pocket a wedge of Maffra cheese to enjoy by the fire when you get home.