East Gippsland is famously known as East Gipps Wonderland among the locals, and it’s not hard to see why.
As one of Victoria’s biggest regional areas, East Gippsland is a vast landscape of nature and sea that spans from the iconic coast to the high country. It’s also Victoria's first and only regional area to have an ECO Destination sustainability certification.
If you’re planning a holiday to the region, there’s so much to do in the area. With magnificent landscapes, fantastic natural attractions, and pristine beaches, visitors often find themselves never wanting to leave!
Although it’s hard to pinpoint our favourite things to do in East Gippsland, we do have some amazing recommendations as locals. So, from fun water activities to fantastic restaurants, here are the locals top picks.
East Gippsland prides itself on its fantastic produce. Our amazing local farmers are passionate about sourcing, growing, and catching some of the best offerings in Victoria, and it certainly shows in what they deliver!
Almost everything is fresh and locally sourced in East Gippsland. Visitors can taste the amazing seafood taken straight off the boat, as well as the locally grown fruits and vegetables - known to be the salad bowl of Victoria.
For alcohol lovers, the region's excellent wineries, breweries, and locally made spirits are not to be taken lightly! East Gippsland’s cool climate and fertile grounds set the perfect stage for winemaking and crafting other alcoholic beverages. Whether it’s dry wines or hoppy beers, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
East Gippsland is also home to many beautiful towns with quaint local scenes and business vendors.
Bairnsdale is the biggest town in the region, with cafes, bookshops, wineries, and even an indoor play centre for the little ones. Other must-visit towns include Paynesville, Metung, Orbost, Buchan, Lakes Entrance, Marlo, and Bemm River - just to name a few!
Each individual town is unique in its own way, offering different glimpses of East Gippsland’s beauty through its various things to do, eat, and stay.
The region hosts many exciting events and festivals all year round. A major festival not to be missed is the East Gippsland Winter Festival, where guests can enjoy events, such as camping under the stars, bread-making workshops, and a magical boat cruise under the Milky Way.
During warmer weathers, visitors can indulge in the local farmers' market, wood-chopping workshops, and various family-friendly and adult-only local shows. Visitors coming in March 2024 can participate in the Paynesville Classic Boat Rally celebration, as well as numerous other fishing competitions and similar events.
Food-lovers rejoice! There’s plenty of fantastic food to relish and savor the local flavours. Although it may be hard to choose a favourite, we do have a few top picks that are guaranteed to leave you satisfied.
For a modern Australian affair, we’d recommend visiting Sodafish next to the Lakes Entrance fishing fleet, The Long Paddock in Lindenow, and Sardine Dining in Paynesville. These restaurants have a regularly changing menu, so do visit their website to stay updated on what’s served!
There’s also a myriad of great cafes and pubs like Northern Ground and The Dargo Hotel Tavern. With all these choices, it’s heaven for all foodies!
East Gippsland has a breathtaking natural environment. With vast lakes, luscious forests, and starry skies, there’s no better place to reconnect with nature and escape the city’s hustle. Guests can visit the magnificent Buchan Caves’ system of limestone formations, go camping under the stars in the high country, and or ride a bike on the East Gippsland Rail Trail.
Families will love the fun water activities available in the region. For a great beach day, visit The Ninety Mile Beach - a 90-mile stretch of sand and sea that separates the Gippsland Lakes from the Bass Strait.
There are also plenty of dayboats and overnight cruisers that are perfect for an adventure. Vendors such as Bulls Cruisers, Riviera Nautic, and Portside Boat Hire offer cruises and boat rentals while in the area. Alternatively, guests can bring their own boats and park at The Waterfront Retreat at Wattle Point. We also offer kayaks, paddle boards, and canoes for free.
No matter what time of the year, you’ll never be bored of things to do in East Gippsland. If you’re visiting the area, enjoy the best experience right on the banks of Lake Victoria with the Australian wildlife right at your door at The Waterfront Retreat at Wattle Point. Our luxury accommodation welcomes families and groups of all sizes.
There is a reason the region is called East Gipps Wonderland, and there’s no better place to explore it than The Waterfront Retreat at Wattle Point.