A family-friendly guide to Gippsland destinations

Gippsland is the largest region in the state of Victoria Australia and for some, it is the most unknown part of the state. The Gippsland region is also the least populated area of the state and is an amazing region for families to visit with outdoor activities the most popular. There are so many Gippsland destinations that are perfect for an epic getaway.

Gippsland has miles and miles of coastline and mountainous areas waiting to be explored and experienced. Perfect for family weekend getaways in Victoria. Small towns with friendly locals welcome you. From swimming in the ocean to skiing down mountains to exploring any of the 20+ Gippsland National Parks in the area there truly is something for all members of your family to enjoy.

If you are looking for a family-friendly guide to Gippsland Destinations look no further than what we have right here.

Where is Gippsland?

As we have said Gippsland is one of Australia’s best-kept secret. Many people have not heard of this gorgeous part of the State of Victoria.

Gippsland starts on the outskirts of Melbourne and stretches all the way to the New South Wales border. Gippsland has snow fields, mighty mountains, untamed rivers, vast farm land and rugged Australian bush you have the best of it all in this amazing area.

The map of Gippsland below will give you an idea of just how big the area is and what towns are a part of that area.

Map of Gippsland Australia
Map of Gippsland.

Dinner Plain

Dinner Plains history stretches back well over a century to when the stagecoach that crossed the mountains would stop here for lunch, thus the name Dinner Plain. Today Dinner Plain is a popular 365 day a year destination with a wide range of activities.

chalets at Dinner Plain
The Alpine Chalets at Dinner Plain

Where is Dinner Plain?

Dinner Plain is located in the Alpine Region of Gippsland. Dinner Plain is approximately 5 hours and 45 minutes or roughly 445 kilometres drive via the Princes Freeway (the M1) to Bairnsdale and then the Great Alpine Road/B500

Dinner Plain is very much like a European alpine village than a town in Australia. If you close your eyes you could imagine yourself in Austria or Switzerland. Multi-story chalets with steep roofs and sleek designs adorn the main street.

Why is Dinner Plain a brilliant family friendly Gippsland destination?

The town has over 200 chalets and lodges plus shops, pubs and restaurants. In the summer months, activities such as bushwalking, horse riding, mountain biking and tennis are popular with visitors.

Where Dinner Plain really comes into its own is in the winter months. Dinner Plain is popular with families looking for a skiing experience. The gentle slopes of the Plain are perfect for beginners learning to ski and snowboard. Some time spent at The Peashooter toboggan run and building snowmen are family favourites when on the mountain. Dinner plain has 1 ski tow

The all-year-round tubing park is highly popular with kids and adults alike. For the more advanced you can take a trip 20 minutes up the road to Mt Hotham one of Australia’s premier ski destinations.

Dinner Plain accommodation

If you are planning a trip to Dinner Plain the price of accommodation will vary hugely depending on the season you visit. The summer months will see you get some real bargains as the snow has disappeared and the allure of the mountain subsides. But don’t underestimate travels in Gippsland during the winter months either! Find a great place to stay at Dinner Plain

Phillip Island

Phillip Island is one of Victoria’s if not Australia’s premier tourist attractions. When people talk about penguins in Australia, they talk about Phillip Island. Nightly these miraculous little fairy penguins make their way from the cold waters of Bass Straight up onto the beach to their homes at the island and into their burrows.

2 rocky small islands in roough seas in Phillip Island

They waddle and they shuffle in all their cuteness to the oh’s and ah’s of the kids and crowds. These little guys may be the main attraction of the island but there is plenty more to see at Phillip Island.

Where is Phillip Island?

Phillip Island is located only an hour from Melbourne making it highly accessible to international visitors.

Why is Phillip Island a brilliant family-friendly Gippsland destination?

There are so many family-friendly activities on Phillip Island for all ages. You can spend a few days touring Phillip Island and seeing so much more than the penguin (although no trip to Phillip Island would be complete without seeing them) Below are some of the best things to see on Phillip Island.

The Koala Conservation Centre

is a standout experience with a boardwalk through the trees bringing you up close and personal with Australia’s most iconic animal. In places, the Koalas are only a matter of meters away from you.

The Arctic Journey Centre

at The Nobbies is both educational and entertaining with the multimedia presentations on a large scale captivating. You will learn about Australia’s history of exploring the Arctic and the animals that call the water of this baron and deescalate place home.

Amaze n Things

Phillip Islands answer to a fun park is Amaze n things, home to magic, intrigue, action and excitement. From a giant maze to halls of mirrors, mini golf and high ropes courses there is a little something for all ages.

Churchill Island Heritage Farm

Experience a trip back in time with a visit to the Churchill Island Heritage Farm. Here you will get to see what life was like back in the 1800s on the sprawling farm.

Phillip Island accommodation

When staying on Phillip Island we recommend that you stay at Ramada Resort Phillips Island. Set on a bushland property with cabin-style accommodation and all the facilities of a 5-star hotel. You can get 1,2 or 3 bedroom cabins with cooking and washing facilities.

Lounge room with Tv, deck with outdoor setting to relax on free wifi. You will find indoor and outdoor pools, games room, play equipment on-site restaurant and bike hire are available. This is one of the best family accommodations we have ever stayed at.

Lakes Entrance

Lakes Entrance is the capital of the Gippsland Lakes. The largest town on Australia’s largest inland lake system. Located 3 hours east of Melbourne on the Princes Highway.

Lakes Entrance is all about long days spent at the beach swimming and eating ice cream and playing mini-golf. for families. What makes Lakes Entrance unique is its access to both the ocean and lakes.

The town is separated from the ocean by a long narrow stretch of water that requires you to walk across a footbridge to access the 90-mile beach. If salt water is not your thing the Lakes Entrance aquatic centre will keep the sand and sun away from you. When not enjoying the waters some equally popular things to do in Lakes Entrance include bike riding, fishing and mini-golf.

Where is Lakes Entrance?

Lakes Entrance is located on the Princes Highway in East Gippsland. Travelling from Melbourne to Lakes Entrance via the highway you will cover a distance of 330 kilometres and take you around 3.5 hours to reach.

There are many attractions to see when coming from Melbourne to Lakes Entrance, so plan ahead and take your time. Arriving from the opposite direction you will find Lakes Entrance 2.5 hours from the New South Wales border.

Why is Lakes Entrance a brilliant family friendly Gippsland destination?

Lakes Entrance is home to 4 mini-golf courses which is a fantastic game for the whole family. Fishing can be done either on the 90-mile beach or off the town jetties in the lakes system. It is quite a thrill for young kids to wind in a fish of their own. A shared bike path runs from one end of the town to the other along the water’s edge.

There is nothing better on a cool evening to go for a ride and watch the fishing boats come back into the docks. Over the January summer period, a carnival sets up in town on the foreshore with roller coasters, dodgem cars and sideshows.

Lakes Entrance Accommodation

When staying in Lakes Entrance we recommend that you stay at the Esplanade Spa and Resort. The Esplanade Spa and Resort is located on the Esplanade directly adjacent to the water and the beach. A community playground and bbq facilities are just behind the resort. Featuring a bar, restaurant, day spa and swimming pool this place hits the spot for families. Find out more about the Esplanade Resort and Spa here

Wilson Promontory

Wilsons Promontory or simply know as the Prom to Gippslanders is the southernmost point of the Australian mainland. The drive into Wilson Promontory takes you through a visual journey of excitement. You will see a rugged landscape dominated by hills with rugged outcrops, lush vegetation bursting with wildflowers that gives way to long white sandy beaches.  

Beach, sandunes and water at Wilsons promontory

Where is Wilsons Promontory?

Located just off the South Gippsland Highway 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Melbourne.

Why is Wilsons Prom a brilliant family friendly Gippsland destination?

The Wilsons Promontory National Park was recently made a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, only 1 of 6 worldwide. The Prom is home to an abundant amount of wildlife. You will find seals and whales in the waters that surround it and kangaroos, wombats and possums on the land. Around 400,000 national and 15,000 foreign tourists visit Wilson’s Promontory every year. You can undertake a variety of activities in the park, including hiking, fishing, power boating, camping and swimming.

The calm waters and sandy beaches of Wilsons Promontory are a strong drawcard for families coming to the area for a holiday. Tidal River is the main settlement at Wilsons Promontory, home to a ranger’s station and information centre. The information centre will tell you about everything from the different walks around the park to where the surf lessons for the kid are run.  

Days at Wilsons Promontory for families can be filled with an early morning fish, followed by a bushwalk and a cool-down swim in the ocean or the river. The main beach area is family-friendly with lifesavers patrolling during the summer months. The main areas of the Prom are packed in the summer months with accommodation at Foster and Fish Creek filling up fast.

Wilsons Promontory Accommodation

We recommend Promontory View beach House for your stay at the Prom.
Set in Yanakie, this 4-bedroom holiday home features a deck with sea views. The unit is 2.5 mi from Wilsons Promontory National Park. Sit on the deck enjoy a bbq and drinks as you watch the sunset over this amazing part of Australia. For more details and bookings click here


Walhalla is located in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range in Gippsland. The road to Walhalla winds its way around the mountains through rainforests, and across rivers. Wallaha sits in a densely forested valley where the trees and bush lap at the back door of many properties.

As the gold declined so did the population to the point where the town was nearly forgotten and reclaimed by the bush. Walhalla has now re-emerged as a colonial-era tourist town restored to its former glory.

Where is Walhalla?

Walhalla It is located in the Great Dividing Range, in Stringers Creek valley. Walhalla is accessed via Rawson if coming from the west and Tyers if coming from the east.

Why is Walhalla one of the best family friendly Gippsland destinations?

The main street is lined with shops bought back to their former glory and painted in heritage colours selling antiques, foods, ice creams and old-fashioned sweets. A BBQ by the river in the park is a relaxing way to spend a few hours. The kids can enjoy the playground with plenty of space to play.

The land around Walhalla is so steep that even the cemetery is located on the slope of a hill. Walhalla was one of the most prosperous gold-mining towns in the state over 100 years ago.

The mine that was once so prosperous can now be toured daily as you are taken down into the depths of the mountain. The Gold Fields railway which starts a few kilometres outside of town is the star attraction. The reopened line ferries families and visitors in and out of Walhalla by a traditional steam train.

Walhalla Accommodation

If you are brave enough and you are spending the night in Walhalla there is a ghost tour that takes around town at night. Camping is a great option for Walhalla with paid and free camping areas available.

There is also some amazing and unique stay at places like the old hospital and sites near the mines. There are a few houses that are also available for you to stay overnight if you dare!

We hope these amazing places have awakened you to a few of Gippsland’s best destinations for family day trips, weekends and holidays. Gippsland can easily be reached from Melbourne so when are you visiting?

We hope this article from us here at Travels in Gippsland has you inspired to visit Gippsland. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Gippsland click through to our Best of Gippsland page for more brilliant inspiration.

Some more travel inspiration for your trip to Gippsland

About the Author

Mark has grown up and lived in the Gippsland area all his life. Being born and raised in Gippsland he knows a thing or 2 about this amazing region. When Mark is not working he is out exploring the best of Gippsland with his wife and kids

Family friendly Gippsland Australian destinations. Places to visit in Gippsland with kids.
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