Published on 28th February 2018
by Linsey Rendell

There’s a spot east of the city where days are spent unhurried by the seaside, where kitchens thrive on quality local produce and wine producers are making some of the state’s best. In partnership with Destination Gippsland, here’s our guide on where to eat, drink and stay in East Gippsland.

From the pastoral plains of dairy country and mountains, to long stretches of undisturbed coastline and lake systems, East Gippsland is home to a bounty of idyllic terrain.

Red-gum forest, tea-tree scrub, fern-laden rainforest and coastal heathland all feature in this easternmost corner of the state, and support a lot of native wildlife. A web of caves resides underground, and lakes offer fishing, diving, swimming and kayaking year round. With much of the region pure national park – the Snowy River, Errinundra and Croajingolong – there are hundreds of short, day and week-long trails to discover.

This lush environment attracted winegrowers and vegetable farmers lured by the prime conditions, mild climate and reliable rainfall. Chefs, brewers and baristas followed. Then there’s the seafood – fresh off the boat.

East Gippsland’s jumping-off point is 3.5 hours along the M1, before the A1 curves all the way to the New South Wales border. Here’s our guide to what to eat, drink, do and where to stay in the region.

Welcome to East Gippsland

EAT

East Gippsland is a veritable food bowl and has inspired top Melbourne chefs to break from the city’s shackles and set up shop at the source of quality ingredients.

The Long Paddock

Cafe

A produce-driven home-style cafe run by fine-dining pros.

93-95 Main Road Lindenow 3865
Wednesday
7:30am - 3:30am

Albert & Co

Restaurant

Vibrant breakfasts and Five Senses Coffee with water views.

201 The Esplanade Lakes Entrance 3909
Wednesday
6:30am - 9:00pm

DRINK

It might be the quiet achiever of Victoria’s wine regions, but there are plenty of liquids being poured here among the cellar doors, breweries, restaurants and pubs.

Lightfoot & Sons

Bar

The long-awaited cellar door of this respected vineyard is now open.

717 Wy Yung-Calulu Road Wy Yung 3875
Closed Today

Bullant Brewery

Bar

Local craft beer and sizeable meals just off the rail trail.

46 Main Street Bruthen 3885
Wednesday
11:00am - 5:00pm

Nicholson River Winery

Bar

European-style minimalist wines overlooking the river.

57 Liddells Road Nicholson 3882
Wednesday
10:00am - 4:00pm

Metung Hotel

Bar

Drink with the pelicans at this historic pub at the “bend in the lake”.

Kurnai Avenue Metung 3904
Wednesday
11:00am - 1:00am

DO

This expansive region is a nature-chaser’s paradise, lush with native flora and fauna and undisturbed land, sea and riverscapes.

Croajingolong National Park

The name Croajingolong is from the Krauatungalung dialect of the Gunaikurnai nation; galung means “belonging to” and kraua means “east”. The expansive (218,330-acre) park features eucalyptus forest, rainforest, heathland, granite outcrops, pristine lakes and beaches and was declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 1977. Walking trails lead to secluded beaches and wildlife and spots to camp under the bright stars. At Mallacoota, which brushes the NSW border, visitors can spot mobs of kangaroos and the odd lyrebird and jellyfish. The lakes are teeming with fish, abalone and oysters and prawns swim to the surface of the shallows come nightfall. Quarry and Secret Beach are known for their rock formations (and seclusion) and incredible vistas can be taken in from the Thurra River sand dunes or Genoa Peak.

Gale Hill Track Wingan River 3891

STAY

Heritage sleeping quarters and sweeping vistas abound in this undulating pocket of Victoria.

Itinerary

A Road Trip Through East Gippsland

It’s easy to forget yourself when surrounded by nature so lush, but in East Gippsland there’s also a significant amount of impeccable food and wine to consume. Sleep in, pace yourself, and stroll the scenery in-between.

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