When you visited most of the highlights of Victoria, then it’s time to push yourself beyond. And with beyond I mean the Gippslands.
What I’m proposing to you it’s a 3 day trip to see what you have to see around this area, but of course you can extend your stay.
Day 1 – Get a flavour of enchanting Wilsons Promontory
Day 2 – 90 miles beach and the Lakes Entrance area
Day 3 – enjoy the Gippsland a bit more before making your way back through Walhalla
Wilsons Prom, as it’s known, is about 3hours away from Melbourne.
I suggest you make a coffee stop at 2/3 of the way in Meeniyan where there are nice little cafes, like The Meeniyan Store where you can also indulge in quite good treats, also gluten free like the Nougat one, and top up on organic fruit & veg and home-made produce such as jams, sauces, chutneys, fruit in Syrup.
Cruise till the Prom and then onto Squeaky Beach where you can admire the amazing panoramas and listen to the waves crushing ashore and of course to the squeak of the granite sand. Then visit Tidal River and walk on this long beach and observe the surfers, if it’s a nice day you can even swim. Choose to sleep in one of the campings, but book in advance, or in one of the towns close by such as Meeniyan, where you can also have a choice of at least a couple of restaurants: i Trulli, an Italian pizzeria, which was probably quite good as it was booked out, and Moo’s at Meeniyan a very a nice ambience, good service, but trying to be something more than it actually is. Stick to the simple dishes and you’ll be fine or almost fine.
The road up to Lakes Entrance is quite boring and if you want to break the journey to see a first taste of the 90 miles beach, you’ll likely stop at Seaspray, roughly half an hour from the main road. A little town, just made of a few houses and one general store where you can buy a drink or a snack or some greasy food, if you dare. But the beach is just amazing, the atmosphere so laid back that all of a sudden you feel relaxed and just wanting to rest on the beach!
The next town worth stopping before Lakes Entrance is Metung. A kind of posh lake town. It’s good for a brunch, a lunch or just a quick meal. We had a very good Leek and Parmesan tart at the Sands of Metung Cafe. Then walk in the tiny park, sit on one of the benches or have lunch or a beer at the Metung Hotel. Metung is a nice place if you like fishing or going for a boat ride on the lake. Otherwise it’s just a good, quick stop before reaching Lakes Entrance. Before leaving, just walk along the lake shore on the other side of town and admire a sculpture overlooking the sea and resembling an old steamboat that used to sail from Melbourne in the old days.
Once you reach Lakes Entrance, a must do is the walk till the Entrance, an artificial cut in the land giving access to boats from the lakes into the sea. Walk on the beach instead of inland, is much more beautiful! Believe me, the walk is worthy it and it’ll only take you 1 hour and 20 minutes return. And it’ll allow you to gain your evening meal.
Don’t miss the Plasti Duck race. Yes, I’m serious! And then go and watch the sunset from the Kalimna lookout and the dine at the Kalimna Hotel. We haven’t the chance to eat there, we only had a drink after a dinner, but the view is pretty amazing. And especially because you rarely have the chance to eat overlooking the water in Australia!
We had a look once again at the amazing view from Kalimna Point look out and then went for a pretty good brekkie at the Funkey Monkey downtown at Lakes Entrance.
The granola I had was delicious and probably the most colourful, creative and fresh granola I’ve ever had. While Carlo had a classic poached eggs with bacon, pretty good as well. I had a good freshly squeezed juice (pineapple, carrot, beetroot and strawberry) and Carlo a coffee on the side, good but probably not the highlight. Another place that was recommended to us was 6 sisters and a pigeon.
The way back to Melbourne, if that’s your destination, is pretty long. A good way to make it more interesting is driving to Walhalla through the Thomson State Forest. You’ll be amazed by the lush vegetation. And then walk around Walhalla, an old mining settlement, and go for some good old pub food at the Wally Pub. When they’re busy, you’ll have to wait a little bit. You though have a couple of alternatives such as some bakery snacks & coffee at the Grey cafe.
Walhalla is a great stop, you can enjoy some history and mountain feeling, something rare in Australia!