6 things you need to bring with you for a BBQ in Gippsland

6 things you need to bring with you for a BBQ in Gippsland

Gippsland is a fantastic place to have a BBQ with family and friends. There are lots of great spots to have your BBQ like Cape Conran, but you need to think about more than just the location when you are planning your gathering.

The following will look at 6 essentials to bring with you to have a great BBQ in Gippsland.

Meat and bread

When you are planning a BBQ, you need to cover the essentials first, and what could be more essential than the actual food you are going to cook and eat?

Sausages are the mainstay of any BBQ, and you don’t just need to go with beef. There are plenty of options for lamb and chicken, as well as vegetarian and even vegan choices as well. Keep in mind; if you are going to be cooking for different dietary requirements, then you want to make sure that there is no cross-contamination by using the same surface for different meats/meat alternatives.

If you need to source alternatives for your vegetarian or vegan BBQ guests, check out the vegan and meat-free section at Woolworths.

Burger sliders are also a great option for any BBQ, as well as skewers and smaller options like chicken wings or thighs. These are all great options if you BBQ often and you or others are getting a little tired of having sausages every time.

Other than the meat (or veggie alternatives), you need to make sure that you have bread as well. In Australia, we tend to go with simple sandwich bread to wrap around the meat, but you can always go a little fancier and buy hot dog and burger buns as well.

the sausages on the bbq

Sides and condiments

You’ve already nailed the core elements of a BBQ above, so there is really no rule you need to follow when it comes to the sides you offer. Of course, some sides are more classic for a BBQ, such as coleslaw, corn on the cob, baking potatoes, and more.

Sides can also be their own meals depending on the appetites of the people you have in attendance. In fact, there are lots of different dishes, such as the meals featured on EveryPlate, that could be prepared in advance and brought along to the BBQ. This can be a great option for people who want to enjoy the social gathering in picturesque Gippsland without having to eat BBQ food they might not personally enjoy.

You can’t forget about the condiments either! Make sure that you have all the essentials like tomato sauce, barbeque sauce, mustard and mayonnaise. It can be worthwhile buying extra of each so that you can be sure you won’t run out (there’s nothing worse than running out of condiments at a BBQ)!

Music and entertainment

While the natural sounds of Gippsland are a great soundtrack to any gathering, there’s nothing wrong with bringing along a handy JBL Bluetooth speaker and cranking some tunes for everyone to enjoy. If you and your family/friends use Spotify, it’s a smart idea to create a collaborative playlist so that everyone can add their own songs, and you’ll get a really diverse selection of music for your BBQ by doing this.

On top of the music, why not bring along some sports equipment or some other fun activities? A cricket set or footy is always a hit at any BBQ. Even a frisbee is better than nothing and helps to keep kids occupied while the adults chat.

Drinks

No BBQ is complete without beverages, as they’re essential to enjoy with the food, and will cool you down during the day. Keeping your drinks cool is a cinch when you have an esky – just make sure you bring enough ice with you to fill it up.

If you are going to bring alcohol, it’s a good idea to keep it in a separate esky for adults while you have another one with soft drinks for the kids. Make sure each esky is kept a reasonable distance apart, so there is no chance of confusion about which is which.

a family having a bbq

Garbage and recycling bins

Gippsland is a beautiful region, and just like the rest of Australia, we all need to do our bit to keep it beautiful. You shouldn’t try to have a BBQ if you aren’t prepared to clean up after yourself.

Make sure that you come with adequate garbage bags and separate your food and plastic waste from recyclables like beer bottles and cardboard packaging. You can make things easier by investing in small lidded plastic bins that you can line with a garbage bag and wheel around (the lids also help reduce any smell from the bins and stop insects from getting to the food waste).

Insect repellent and sunscreen

When you are planning a big BBQ in Gippsland, it can be easy to forget about the little things like insect repellent and sunscreen. It would be terrible if you or any of your guests were plagued with insect bites or with a nasty sunburn because you forgot about these essential items.

We hope this article from us here at Travels in Gippsland has you inspired to have a bbq in Gippsland for more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Gippsland click through to our Gippsland Town Attractions Page for more brilliant Gippsland inspiration.

Things to do in Lakes Entrance with kids

Things to do in Lakes Entrance with kids

So you are going on a holiday to Lakes Entrance and you are all about the relaxing, sun and good vibes. In the car on the drive up, you realise that the kids may have differing ideas about that a holiday in Lakes Entrance will look like for you!

Juggling the number of activities, relaxing and good vibes take some serious planning so luckily we have put together all of the very best things to do in Lakes Entrance with kids so you have more time for those easy holiday vibes you have been longing for.

The very best things to do in Lakes Entrance for kids

While you may worry that it is all about the beach there is so much more to do in Lakes Entrance with kids that you may find you’ll visit the town over and over again to get all the best things in Lakes Entrance ticked off your list.

These ideas are for all ages and they will definitely keep the whole family happy…they may even stir up some family rivalry if you are not careful.

Have an ice cream at the Riviera Ice Creamery

This amazing Ice Cream shop used to be on the Esplanade but has now moved just over the road past the traffic lights to a much smaller premises but the ice cream is still just as good.

There is so much to chose from that you’ll have to take your time and find your favourite flavor. This is one of the things in Lakes Entrance that we return to every year in either summer or winter.

Bike Riding also the Esplanade

Along the Esplanade in Lakes Entrance is a dual footpath which is great for a walk or a bike ride. There are plenty of places to stop and have a drink along the Esplande.

You will also find that they are plenty of grassy areas to stop and have a picnic of fish and chips or a coffee if there is no room in the cafes.

Toilets are located at the Footbridge. Check out the wooden sculptures along the way too.

Can I hire a bike in Lakes Entrance?

You absolutely can. Sometimes taking your bikes with you isn’t the easiest. You can hire bikes at the Venture Out Shop at 347B Esplanade, Lakes Entrance VIC 3909.

Bike rental will cost you; 1 hr $18 – 2 hrs $25 – Half Day $35 – Full Day $50. It’s a good idea if you have a helmet at home to take it with you.

Related post: See a historic site by visiting the Stony Creek Trestle bridge just out of Lakes Entrance. It’s the perfect place to go for a BBQ with kids in Lakes Entrance

Lakes Entrance paddle boat hire

There’s nothing like using the leg muscles to glide the kids along the water.

Just over the footbridge is a small shed where you can hire paddle boats, aqua bikes and canoes to get out on the water. They have to be used in the water out the front of the shed but it is a great way to spend some time.

How much is paddle boat hire?

Item to hireCost
Paddle Boats$25
Paddle Boat Family$45
Aquabike$25
Canoe$20

*Cost of hire is for 20 minutes during summer and 30 minutes during winter all depending on suitable weather

What are the opening times of the paddle boat hire?

  • September School Holidays 10 am to 5 pm
  • October Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 5 pm
  • November till Easter, every day 10 am to 5 pm
  • Christmas School Holidays 10 am to 8 pm
  • April School Holidays 10 am to 5 pm
  • July School Holidays 10 am to 4 pm
  • ALL public Holidays 10 am to 5 pm

*In the winter the opening hours will really depend on the weather. You can call the Lakes Entrance paddle boat hire on  0419 552 753 to make sure they are operating.

Top tips for paddle boat hire in Lakes Entrance

  • Life jackets are supplied with your hire
  • Make sure you take water with you and sunscreen
  • 20 minutes may not seem like a long time but on the aqua bikes it seems to go forever

Skate Park

Just as you enter Lakes Entrance you’ll see the Skate Park to the right after you go over the bridge.

It’s a concrete park where a lot of kids hang out. If your kids need some time to chill out and maybe meet some new friends this will be a brillaint spot for it.

*Across from the Skate Park is the North Arm playground and BBQ area. It’s a great area to have a picnic lunch

Camel Rides on Eastern Beach

This has to be one of the most unique things to do in Lakes Entrance for any one visiting Gippsland. The Lakes Entrance Beach Camel rides are a seriously fun way to discover the 90 mile beach.

Located at the Eastern Beach (slightly out of Lakes Entrance towards Orbost) you can go on a 1 hour camel ride along the beach.

Is there an age limit for the Eastern Beach Camel Rides?

Children from 2-4 need to have an adult with them and although there is no age limit some children find the height of the camel a bit scary.

How much is the Lakes Entrance Beach Camel ride?

Below are the prices for the Lakes Entrance Camel rides.

TicketCost of camel ride
Adult $90.00
Child (5-16)$70.00
Child 0-5 (sitting with adult)$30.00

Can I contact Lakes Entrance Camel rides?

If you are worried about how your child will deal with a camel ride or you want to organise your camel ride in Lakes Entrance give the owners of Lakes Entrance Camel rides a call and discuss with them your worries.

The number for the Lakes Entrance Camel rides is 0487032810

To find out all the information and book a camel ride click here

Griffiths Sea Shell Museum

If you are looking for an indoor activity then a lok at the Griffith Sea Shell Museum is for you. Here you can find so many different sea shells and some souviners from your stay in Lakes Entrance,

There is also also a small aquarium out the back for you to have a look at as well.

How much is entry to Griffiths Sea Shell Museum?

Entry to the gift shop is free but if you decide to enter the museum the prices are

Museum ticketEntry cost
Adult $8.00
Children (5-15 years)$4.00
Seniors (cardholders only)$6.00

What are the Griffiths Sea Shell Museum opening hours?

Summer hours are 9 am to 5 pm daily
Winter hours are 10 am to 4 pm daily.

Discover more: A short day trip to Raymond Island will have the kids so excited. See Koalas in their natural habitat is amazing and a brilliant experience for kids

Mini Golf in Lakes Entrance

There are so many mini-golf courses along the Esplanade that you can choose the one that sticks out for you. Prices range from $10.00 for 18 holes up to $13.00.

Local Tip for mini golf in Lakes Entrance.

We actually take the kids to the Lakes Entrance mini-golf and trampolines located at 56 Roadknight St, Lakes Entrance VIC 3909. This mini-golf course is on one of the streets back from the Esplanade and also has trampolines there which they love.

The Footbridge Minigolf course also has a lolly shop and ice creamery inside. All kids win a prize when they play there,

Visit Nyerimilang Heritage Park

Take a look to the past with a visit to the Nyerimilang Heritage Park. The old Homestead dating back to 1894 will give you a glimpse into life back then with the Homestead, farm buildings and farm machinery.

The Entrance Walk

This may be better for families travelling with older kids or very young kids that can be carried in a sling or carrier.

The Entrance walk will take you along either the 90 mile beach or along the Lake Cunningham to the Entrance of the Gippsland Lakes. Here you can see seals on the rocks, dolphins, birds and boats coming in and out.

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Ride the Thunderbird through the Lakes

Riding the Thunderbird through the Lakes is an excellent way to see wildlife. With a guided tour your captain will be able to show you everything you need to see while on the cruise. This would have to be one of the best things to do in Lakes Entrance with kids especially if they love wildlife.

Ride a Segway along the 90 mile Beach

Now, this would have to be the absolute best thing to do in Lakes Entrance and definitely the most memorable! Imagine you riding a segway along one of the world’s best beaches, well now you can actually do it.

The Lakes Entrance Segway Adventures offer a 90-minute cruise along the 90-mile beach from the Footbridge up to Eastern beach and back. For anyone looking for one of the top things to do in Lakes Entrance this should be top of the list.

How much is a Segway tour of the 90 mile beach?

Below are the prices for the Lakes Entrance Segway adventure tours of the 90 mile beach.

TicketCost
Adult (18+)$89.00
Children (12 – 17 years)$59.00
Pensioner $59.00

Is there an age limit on Lakes Entrance Segway Adventures?

Your child does have to be 12 years old to ride the Segway in Lakes Entrance. There is also a 115 kg weight limit to ride the Segway.

To book your amazing Segway tour of Lakes Entrance click here

Things to do in Lakes Entrance in summer with kids

Lakes Entrance in the summer is a completely different town. It comes alive with visitors from all over who are there to enjoy the sun, fun and beach vibes. You will find that the town is bustling and full all the time.

Swim at the 90 mile beach

While you can swim at the 90 mile beach in eany weather if that is what you would like, you will find that the beach is patrolled in the summer months. Right near the Lakes Entrance Surf Life Saving Club building is the best place f you are not a string swimmer.

The Life Saver will have picked the safest spoirt to swim there are the flag will be out,

If you are a string swimmer you can go slightly either side of the flags to get away from the crowds, surf or fish.

Surf Lesson on the 90 Mile Beach

You can book some surf lesson at The Surf Shack. With this, you will get a qualified surf teacher for 2 hours. This will cost you $60.00. A surfboard and wetsuit are provided for you.

*Check out the walkway into the Surf Shack shop. They are old boards from the Footbridge. What an awesome way to recycle some of Lakes Entrance history!

Are you camping in Lakes Entrance? Use our ultimate guide to what you need to bring when camping in Gippsland so you don’t forget a thing!

Summer foreshore carnival

During the summer months, you will find that a carnival comes to Lakes Entrance. As it is a huge family holiday destination in summer where families got to celebrate New Year’s Eve. The foreshore carnival is a great place to spend a couple of hours with the kids in Lakes Entrance.

Things to do in Lakes Entrance with kids in winter

Being a summer destination in Gippsland Lakes Entrance still does has a few activities that you can do in the winter months. Most of the activities in Lakes Entrance you can do in winter if you like but it can get cold!

Lakes Entrance Aquadome

If the beach is not your thing to do in Lakes Entrance with kids then the Aquadome might be the place for you. The Aquadome has 2 pools for you to swim in and on busy days there can also be activities that will keep the kids entertained.

How much is entry to the Lakes Entrance Aquadome?

There are extra areas in the Lakes Entrance Aquadome that you can pay to enter like the gym and join a water aerobics class but we have just included entry to the pool.

TicketCost of entry
Adult$7.00
Concession$5.50
Children$5.50

Lakes Entrance Cinema

Some days there is just absolutely nothing you can do with the weather and the cinema may be your only option if it is that bad. Finding things to do in Lakes Entrance with kids in the driving rain is near on impossible. You can find many of the latest releases and definitely something that the kids will love.

What is the Lakes Entrance cinema address?

You will find the Lakes Entrance cinema at 52 Myer Street Lakes Entrance, VIC Australia 3909

As you can see there is so much to do in Lakes Entrance for families in any season. If you are planning a trip to Lakes Entrance or even a day trip to Lakes Entrance you will find so much to do.

We hope this article from us here at Travels in Gippsland has you inspired to visit Lakes Entrance. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Gippsland click through to our Gippsland Town Attractions Page for more brilliant Gippsland 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

Best things to do in Maffra Victoria

Best things to do in Maffra Victoria

Coming into Maffra from any direction one of the first things you notice is the surrounding farmland whether it be dairy or vegetable farms. Lush green paddocks with rolling fields, cows grazing and corn or canola growing. It is a beautiful sight.

Driving into Maffra you will instantly be drawn to the tree-lined nineteenth century Main Street, Johnson Street. The tree-lined avenue has local shops lying on each side street, some still sporting heritage verandas. Maffra’s main street is a throwback to times gone by with its community rotunda and town clock. A time when small Gippsland towns thrived.

Maffra population

Maffra Victoria has a small population of around 5,000, with the major industries being dairy farming and vegetables growing. The dairy industry is in decline while the vegetable industry surrounding the town continues to grow steadily.

Things to do in Maffra Victoria

What you will find in a small town like Maffra are friendly people and small-town hospitality. Let’s take a look at some of the best things to do in Maffra.

Gippsland Vehicle Collection

The jewel in the crown of things to do in Maffra. The Gippsland Vehicle collection is an award-winning motor vehicle museum. The museum has a rotating display of vehicles and motorcycles. The Gippsland Vehicle collection stages a number of shows throughout the year featuring different themes such as American classics, Fords etc just to name a few. You can make a day of it by bringing some food and using the free BBQ facilities onsite. GVC now allows self-contained travellers to camp in the grounds of the Motor Museum.

old industrial shed housing car museum in maffra

What is the Gippsland Vehicle Collection address?

1 Maffra-Sale Rd, Maffra VIC 3860

What are the Gippsland Vehicle Collection opening hours?

Friday-Monday from 10.00am – 4.00pm

Gippsland Rail Trail

The Gippsland Rail Trail that runs from Traralgon to Stratford enters and departs from Maffra. The rail-trail provides visitors with a great place to ride their bike or do some walking towards both Stratford and Tinamba. It is a nice flat surface ride to Stratford 11 kilometres away. If you like a drop of wine you can call into Avon Ridge Winery for a glass of wine at the near halfway mark. The ride to Tinamba has you surrounded by green dairy farming pastures. There are places to eat and drink at both Tinamba and Stratford.

Have a bbq at the Macalister River Park

If you are travelling in Gippsland with kids a stop at the amazing Macalister River Park in Maffra is a must. This large and well-maintained park is beside the mighty Macalister river and is a great family-friendly stop. There is a walking track beside the river where you can stretch your legs and look for local native animals.

What is the Macalister River Park address?

McMahon Drive, Maffra Victoria 3860

What facilities are at the Macalister River Park Maffra

There are plenty of facilites at Macalister River park for everyone.

  • Toilets
  • Free Bbq
  • Play equipment
  • Close to Woolworths Supermarket
  • Large lawned area for pets
  • Shaded eating areas
  • Seating
  • Walking track
  • Ample parking
  • Close to the Maffra Sugarbeet Museum

Maffra Golf Club

Maffra Golf Course has a reputation as having some of the best greens in the Gippsland area. The Maffra Golf Course is a par 72 golf course of just over 6000 meters. The course will provide a challenge to golfers of all abilities. A clubhouse has a bar and sells food on competition days and weekends. Green fee players and members of other clubs are welcome. The Maffra Golf Course has space for Rv parking so you can stay overnight.

What is the Maffra Golf Club address?

13 Fulton Rd, Maffra VIC 3860

What time is the Golf Course open?

The golf course is open daily from 9.00am-5.00pm

Tips for playing golf at Maffra Gold Club?

  • There are competition days where you may not be able to play
  • There are motorised carts and push carts for hire
  • You can hire golf clubs
  • If you need to stay the night there is a motor home park out the back of the club house
  • You can call the club house on 03 5147 1884 to book a time

Macalister Wetland Reserve

Maffra wetlands walk is a short 1.5 kilometres walk that is accessed from River Street near the local pool. The Wetlands of Maffra has both paved paths and wooden boardwalks. A number of Birds on the Victorian threatened species list which has been recorded at Macalister Wetland Reserve.

You might just see the Australasian Bittern, Glossy Ibis, Little Egret, Great Egret, Nankeen Night Heron, Royal Spoonbill, White-bellied Sea-Eagle and the Painted Snipe. There are a number of bench seats and picnic tables for you to sit on.

Maffra Tourist Information Centre

If you’re still looking for further things to do in Maffra call into the local tourist information centre. The Maffra tourist information centre is located in the old courthouse building on Johnson St (the main street) and is a Maffra attraction in itself.

What is the Maffra Tourist Information Center address?

 96 Johnson St, Maffra VIC 3860

What are the Tourist Information Office opening hours?

Open daily from 10.00am – 3.00pm (The Tourist Information Office closes early at 1.00pm on a Tuesday)

Maffra Sugarbeet Museum

Go back in time and learn about an industry that kept this town alive in times past. The Sugarbeet Museum is in the old office and weighbridge factory building that was used by the employees in its heyday. Outside you will also find some old equipment that was used in the harvesting process.

Inside there is plenty on the industry in the area, information on European families that settled in the area and some information in the local Aboriginal tribe that lived in the area.

What is the Maffra Sugarbeet Museum address?

McMahon Dr, Maffra VIC 3860

What are the Sugarbeet Museum opening hours?

Hours differ during seasons and on the availabilty on volunteers. Please contact 0351472680 to organise a visit.

Find the wooden sculptures at Victoria Park

Another beautiful park in Maffra to visit is Victoria Park. Here you will find wooden sculptures displayed along the banks of a large pond. You can walk through the park or around Victoria park to find the sculptures.

What is the Victoria Park in Maffra address?

52 Kent Street,  Maffra Victoria 3860 (Across from the Maffra District Hospital)

What facilities does Victoria Park Maffra have?

There are plenty of facilites at Victoria Pain in Maffra for anyone who needs a break.

  • Tap water
  • Free gas Bbq
  • Picnic tables
  • Toilets
  • Large shaded eating area
  • Play equipment
  • Ample parking on Kent Street

Sample a local wine

The residents of Maffra are lucky enough to have 2 wonderful wineries close to town. The closer of the two is Avon Ridge (the restaurant is called the Vines on Avon) and the other is Blue Gables.

The Avon Ridge Winery

Located just 5.5km’s out of the Maffra township towards Stratford Avon Ridge is a great place for a tasting of local wine. Surrounded with views of the vines you can also see out over the Avon River Valley. Not only can you enjoy a local Maffra wine here there is also an assortment of ciders too. The new restaurant and dining area is called The Vines on Avon.

What is Avon Ridge address?

446 Stratford-Maffra Rd, Maffra VIC 3860, Australia

Blue Gables

Situated on top of a small hill with the vines behind you, you are able to look down on some amazing farmland that the area is known for. You can sit inside under the verandah or out in the sun on the large picnic-style tables. While you are having your local Maffra wine you can enjoy some local Maffra cheese platers or wood-fired pizza. Blue Gables is located 23km’s from the Maffra township through beautiful farming lands.

What is Blue Gables address?

100 Lanigan Rd, Maffra West Upper VIC 3859, Australia

*If you are unable to get out to either of these wineries during your visit to Maffra you can purchase wines from them at the local IGA store in their liquor department. IGA is located at 102-106 Johnson St, Maffra VIC 3860

Devour a Maffra Pie

Many people will attest to loving a Maffra Pie. This award winning piece of heaven is a Maffra legend in it’s own right. Whether it’s at the footy or garbbing one to head to the park with the kids you can’t go wrong.

The Maffra Bakery and their pies have been around for as long as I can remember with my mother returning home with a treat of as Maffra pie on many occasions when I was growing up.

Where can I get a Maffra Pie?

You can visit the Maffra Bakery at 18 Foster Street Maffra, Victoria 3860

Does the Maffra Bakery sell other items?

You will find an array of cakes, bread, drinks, made to order salad rolls, sausage rolls and different flavoured pies if the traditional Maffra pie is not for you.

When is the Maffra Bakery open?

You will find the Bakery open Monday to Friday 7.30 am – 4.00 pm and Saturday mornings until 12.30.

Maffra Accommodation

Being a small rural town there are not too many options for Maffra accommodation. There are a few places to stay in Maffra and we will list them below.

Maffra Backpackers

Maffra Golf Club Motor Park

Gippsland Vehicle Collection Park

Air BnB

Macalister pub rooms

Maffra Caravan Park

Maffra Motor Inn

*Some of these places to stay only have basic facilities or they are only available to stay in if you are self-contained.

How to get to Maffra by car

Maffra is easily accessed off the Princess Highway on the Melbourne side of Stratford or via the Princess Highway turn off between Sale and Traralgon. You can easily follow the signs to Maffra.

How to get to Maffra by bus

If you are travelling to Maffra from Melbourne you will find you can book tickets through V/Line.

How to get to Maffra by train

There are no direct trains from Melboun to maffra. If you are travelling from Mebourne to Maffra you can get a train to Traralgon and then you will have to transfer onto a bus.

We hope this article from us here at Travels in Gippsland on our amazing hometown in Gippsland Australia has made you want to visit. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Gippsland click through to our Gippsland Attractions page for more brilliant Gippsland inspiration.

Please find 2 more articles from Travels in Gippsland below for your reading enjoyment. Just click on the description to read.


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

Things to take camping in Gippsland

Things to take camping in Gippsland

Gippsland is a vast area, stretching from the mountains to the coast, from the forest to the open plains. Gippsland is an area of wonder waiting to be explored. This makes camping in Gippsland the ideal thing to do.

You can camp with the sound of the ocean nearby, you can camp in the old world forests, you can camp in mountain huts in front of a roaring fire.

Gippsland has plenty of paid and free campsites available for those wanting to get away from it all. In this article, we will talk about all the camping essentials for an epic camping in Gippsland trip.

Tent vs Swag for camping in Gippsland

It will depend on the amount of time, space you have and what you plan on doing when you holiday in Gippsland as to whether a tent or a swag is the best option for you. Below we have the information on both so you can make an informed decision.

Taking a swag Gippsland camping

Your Swag is guaranteed to be warmer than tents due to the heavy material and type of canvas used. This allows you to go camping even once the weather turns colder. The swag has a smaller area, which traps body heat inside making it warmer. The foam mattress included, is more effective for body warmth than an air mattress.

Camping by the water in Gippsland

What are the benefits of a swag over a tent?

Swags are easier to set up and pack up, just roll out and roll-up. You don’t need to bring extra bedding as it is already inside your swag. Swags are more durable and less likely to be damaged. Swags can be rolled out on the back of a ute and no pegs are ever needed.

Taking a tent camping in Gippsland

Your tent provides you with a bigger area to move around in than a swag. You can stand up to get changed, you can bring a camp chair inside to sit on. You can store all your food, eskies, clothes and gear inside the tent. If you are camping with kids you are all in the same rooms. You can also have a bigger, thicker mattress in a tent. Tents are very cheap especially if you just want a weekender for a getaway now and then.

Sleeping bags

Sleeping bags play an important part of any camping trip and can be top of the camping essentials list for some. Your sleeping bag is your one-stop blanket for trips away. Easily stored in the carry case and put into the cupboard or plastic container in the shed between uses. No need to carry bug bulky blankets when you can carry your sleeping bag.

Sleeping bag

What sort of sleeping bag will I need for camping?

Your sleeping bag needs will differ depending on when you plan to do most of your camping. Winter sleeping bags will have a warmth rating that goes well into the minus temperatures while lightweight designs are best for warm summer nights.

BrandDescriptionFeaturesRead more
ColemanFor kids* ZipPlow zipper for snag-free opening and closing
* Interior tuck pocket to conveniently store small items
* Designed for young campers up to 5 ft tall
Click here
ColemanFor cold nights * Includes pillow for soft comfort
* Lining material: Cotton flannel
* Temperature comfort rating: -6 degrees
Click here
Mountain WarehouseFor summer nights* 2 Season – warm nights, summer, indoor use
* Insulation – Insulated with hollow fibre stuffing
* Insulated with hollow fibre stuffing
Click here

For a full range of sleeping bags, we have put together links for you to browse at some of the most popular places to buy sleeping bags in Australia

  • Browse sleeping bags at BCF

Fridge, icebox or esky for Gippsland camping

When you’re in Gippsland camping do you need a fridge, icebox or just an esky? The answer is never an easy one and many factors need to be taken into considerations such as

  • How long am I going camping for?
  • Where am I going camping?
  • Is there any shade and shops nearby my campsite?
  • Do I want to take perishable food to last more than a couple of days?
  • What amount of food and drinks do I want to bring?

For most campers, the icebox is the ideal piece of camping equipment for a few days away. It stores things cold and keeps things frozen for 2-3 days under the right conditions. If you are just wanting to keep beer and drinks cold the back yard esky will do the trick.

Both the icebox and the esky will need topping up with ice regularly. If you are a committed camper and regularly go camping the investment in a camping fridge will be worthwhile. Please find below a table with a comparison of a fridge, an icebox and an esky.

BrandDescriptionFeaturesRead more
Engell Camping FridgePortable Fridge/Freezer mid-range for camping* Large fridge and freezer storage space of 21 litres capacity (29 x 375ml cans)
* Switches between voltage for power from car or powerboard
* Rugged steel body, lid and handles for easy transport
Click here!
IcecoolIce Box* Keeps ice frozen for several days, depending on model usage and conditions
* Drainage bung for easy cleaning
* Will not rust or corrode
Click
here!
WillowWheeled esky* Features robust wheels and extra-long handle
* Hinged lid with two cup holders.
* Glove compartment in lid for keys, loose change etc
Click here!

For a full range of camping fridges, camping iceboxes and camping eskies we have put together links for you to browse at some of the most popular places to buy in Australia

Camping chairs

The easiest thing might be to just buy a cheap chair from cheap as chips or Bunnings. Yes, they might do you for a camping trip but will they be comfortable after a few hours? Certainly not.

We strongly suggest for your Gippsland camping trip to spend a little extra and buy a good chair. One that has padding, one that reclines or even one that has a side table. The investment in top quality camping gear will be worth the reward.

BrandDescriptionFeaturesRead more
ColemanFlat fold 5 position chair* Powder-coated 25mm steel frame and steel arm for extra strength
*5 position reclining chair with easy to use arm mechanism
*Fully padded seat and back with a padded fold back headrest
Click here
FE – ActiveCompact folding chair* It weighs approximately 1.9 pounds or 880 grams.
* The load capacity is 330 pounds or 150 kilograms.
Click here
King CampMid-range* Comfortable tilted back design offers great support for the back and the legs.
* Armrest cup holder to keep your drink at hand.
* 136 Kg weight rating
Click here
Oz Trail Compact stool * Hard wearing, durable polyester
* Weight Rating: 80 kg
* Seat Height: 35 cm
Click here
  • Browse camping chairs at BCF
  • Browse camping chairs at Kogan

Camping mattress

Your camping mattress is a very important part of the experience and is a camping essential. We all want to be comfortable and have a good nights sleep no matter where we are. You will find numerous models on the market from airbeds to foam mattress to self-inflating and foldup bed frames.

What do I need to consider when buying a camping mattress?

A lot of the time your choice will come down to size and storage. Let’s be honest, this is camping and we can’t take everything! Space is the reason the airbed has been so popular over the years. These days the airbed comes in all shapes and size.

For those camping with kids you can also buy camping bunk beds to save space. These stretcher type beds don’t require a mattress.

BrandDescriptionFeaturesRead more
WandererHigh walled airbed* Double high sizing for added comfort and that ‘at home’ feel
* 100% of all Wanderer beds are tested inflated for 24-48 hours before sale
* Includes repair kit for long-lasting quality
Read more!
Oz TrailLow profile stretcher bed * Setup literally takes 10 seconds
* Greater comfort for tall people with no head or foot crossbars
* A fully flat sleeping surface
Read
more!
Wanderer Folding Foam mattress* Folds up small for easy storage
* Comfortable polyester cover
* Opened size L180 x W74 x H6.5cm
Read More!
Oz TrailSelf Inflating leisure mattress* Self-inflating: simply open the valve and the mattress does the work for you
* Will remain in a lofted state even with the valve open
* High-density open cell foam for maximum comfort and support
Read more!
  • Browse camping beds at BCF

Camping furniture

Camping furniture has come along way from just throwing everything in a milk crate. These days you can buy cupboards, kitchens, pantries and more. They are all lightweight and fold-able. This makes them easy to transport and an integral part of anyone’s camping kit.

camp fire in Gippsland

The camping furniture will be most beneficial to those who are planning on camping longer than a few days. They will help to keep your clothes, foods and accessories organised while camping in Gippsland.

BrandDescriptionFeaturesRead more
Kathmandu Portable single cupboard shelves * Zipped door with mesh window that can be rolled and secured to the side
* Two slip pockets on each side for extra storage
* Quick and easy to assemble
* Flattens to fit in a carry bag
Click here
Wanderer Folding table with storage * Folding camping table with plenty of storage for meal prep
* Includes hanging storage cupboard to keep you organised
* 2 adjustable height positions for versatility
Click here
Wanderer Dual cupboard cooking station * Durable aluminium slat top and shelf
* Rugged powder-coated steel frame and windshield
* Windbreak to prevent stove flare-ups
Click here!
  • Browse camp furniture at BCF

Camp ovens and cookers

Sometimes Gippsland camp spots don’t have places for a fire to cook your camping food or campfire cooking is not allowed. It might be a total fire ban day and so on. This means you will need some sort of camping cooking stove to cook meals, boil the kettle and more.

preparing camp food

Don’t get me wrong, a good campfire cooking arsenal will contain a cast iron camp oven and a flat plate cooker that can be put over an open fire.

You can buy a number of different devices from the gas canister cooker to the LPG 2 burner cooker to an even enclosed oven that will cook you a Sunday roast to be proud of. Let’s have a look at what’s on offer

BrandDescriptionFeaturesRead more
GasmateButane stove* High heat output
* New 2 stage overpressure safety shut off device
* Convenient carry case for storage
Click Here
Gasmate Double butane stove with hotplate * Includes hotplate and hard carry case for easy storage and transport
* Includes new safety shut off the device; if over-pressure occurs cartridge will eject and gas supply will shut off
* Stainless steel spill tray and top with flame protection ring
Click here!
Oz TrailFlatplate cooker* Flameproof painted finish
* Large capacity solid plate with oil drain
* Built in carry handle with folding legs for quick set up
* Carry bag included for transport and storage
Click here
PioneerPre-seasoned camp oven* Heavy-duty cast iron camp oven to stand up to punishment out in the bush
* Comfortable spiral steel carry handle
* Pre-seasoned with a vegetable oil mix so your food doesn’t taste metallic
Click here
  • Browse camp cooking at BCF

Lights and power for camping

We certainly need some form of lighting for bush camping, they are definitely camping essentials. There will be times you need to find something in the tent at night, you may have to head to the bushes to go to the toilet or you may need to make sure the steaks are not burning.

What lighting is available for camping?

There is everything from torches to re-chargeable hand-held lights and LPG lanterns to provide you with the lights you will need for your camping trip in Gippsland.

Portable power supply might be handy in the form of a battery pack or generator for some.

BrandDescriptionFeaturesRead more
RetreatPowerful handheld lighting* Four lighting choices – high, medium, low and flashing
* Impact resistant – up to one metre (three feet)
* Utilises LED bulbs – energy efficient with a long lifespan
Click here!
ColemanLight and sound lantern* Provides full 360 degrees of light
* Built in bluetooth speaker
* Rechargeable via USB for versatile power
* Up to 20hrs of music from a full charge
Click here!
Companion   
Tent light and fan
* Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
* Two-speed fan
* Multi-use mounting bracket – table stand or hanging
Click here!
Engel Smart battery box * 300w modified sine wave inverter can power both 12v and 240v appliances
* Recharge via 12/24v, 240v (cables included) and Anderson Connection
* Provides portable power, a battery management system and a dual-battery management system in one
Click here

We hope this Gippsland Camping equipment guide has you out and about on the campgrounds of our great area as soon as possible. Gippsland is a beautiful spot to go camping and everyone should enjoy their Travels in Gippsland, so just remember to leave your campsite how you found or in even better condition if possible.

For more amazing ideas on where to go camping in Gippsland click through to our Camping in Gippsland page for more brilliant Gippsland inspiration.

Please find 2 more articles from Travels in Gippsland below for your reading enjoyment. Just click on the description to read.


Some more travel inspiration for your holiday in 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

Places to stay in the Gippsland Lakes

Places to stay in the Gippsland Lakes

The stunning Gippsland Lakes are situated in East Gippsland and they can be reached by an easy drive from Melbourne. Since the lake system takes just over three hours to reach from Melbourne, it makes them perfect for a weekend visit. The main towns for a stay in the Gippsland Lakes that tourists are looking for are Lakes Entrance, Metung, Paynesville, and Loch Sport.

Lakes Entrance is considered the capital of the Gippsland Lakes. The lakes are separated from the ocean by a long stretch of magnificent unbroken coastline called the Ninety Mile Beach.

What are the Gippsland Lakes?

The Gippsland Lakes is the largest inland waterway in Australia and is home to amazing marine life. The Gippsland Lakes are highly popular in the warmer months as tourists look to put their feet up to relax, sun themselves on the beach and drop a line for fishing.

In this post we will go through some of the most popular places for a stay in the Gippsland Lakes and what they have on offer for people wishing to visit Gippsland.

Lakes Entrance

As we said above Lakes Entrance is the largest of the Lakes towns and here you will find most of the essentials that you will need when visiting the Gippsland Lakes area. It is a beautiful sleepy, sea side town during the winter months but in the summer there is so much going on in the town.

The footbridge in Lakes Entrance snakes over the water. The bridge is white and has timber legs that go into the water. Lakes is a brilliant place to stay in the Gippsland Lakes

Is Lakes Entrance a good choice for you?

If you plan on visiting Lakes Entrance, as with any place you need to know a few things before you take the leap and book it! Lakes Entrance is the major town on the Gippsland Lakes and has most of the essentials for a perfect holiday on the Gippsland Lakes.

So if you are looking for never ending fun, entertainment and beach vibes the Lakes Entrance is the spot for you.

Pros of a stay in Lakes Entrance

Staying in Lakes Entrance offers you the biggest variety of shops and restaurants to eat at and browse. Facilities such as a golf club, bowling club and cinema are available for you.

Lakes Entrance provides you with easy access to both the 90 Mile Beach and the Gippsland Lakes. There is a wide variety of Lakes Entrance hotels for your Gippsland Lakes accommodation for any budget.

Cons of a stay in Lakes Entrance

If you are staying in the summer months prices will be high and the town will be crowded. Local eateries often increase their prices slightly to make some extra money while they can.

It is a very popular destination in Gippsland during summer, especially over the Christmas/New Year period with the majority of accommodation in Lakes Entrance selling out months in advance.

Essential Services in Lakes Entrance

Being the largest of the Lakes towns you can find nearly all you could need in Lakes Entrance.

  • Doctors Clinic
  • Police Station
  • Supermarkets
  • Petrol Stations
  • Fast food and local food shops
  • Mechanic
  • ATM

*For any medical emergencies you will need to go to Bairnsdale Hospital for treatment or call 000 for help.

Accommodation in Lakes Entrance

There are accommodation types for all budgets in Lakes Entrance. It doesn’t matter if you are a family, a couple or a backpacker there is something for everyone.

Accommodation for couples in Lakes Entrance

For a wonderful romantic getaway or for a break by the ocean there are so many places to close from when staying in Lakes Entrance. No matter the budget you have you are bound to have an amazing stay in Lakes.

Bellevue on the Lakes

The Bellevue on the Lakes located in the centre of town. The property features 2 pools, sauna, private jetty and a BBQ area where you can cook up your own feast of fresh seafood.

There is an onsite bar for cocktails, beer or a nightcap. Get romantic and get a superior suite with a spa bath. The Bellevue is the top choice for Lakes Entrance accommodation.

For more information and bookings click here

A woman sleeping in a very white bed looking peaceful on her stay in the Gippsland Lakes

Family friendly accommodation in Lakes Entrance

For families visiting Lakes Entrance, the accommodation options are never-ending. You can camp in Lakes Entrance or you can stay in a luxury resort type accommodation in Lakes Entrance.

Esplanade Resort and Spa

The Esplanade Resort and Spa is the logical choice for families staying in Lakes Entrance. You will find fully self-contained units for families. 1,2 and 3 bedroom units are available.

A large lagoon type pool and tennis courts. Located on the waterfront close to the North Arm area. You will find Aldi 100 meters away and a BBQ playground area nearby. This Gippsland Lakes accommodation is centrally located on the Esplanade in Lakes Entrance

For more information and bookings click here

Budget accommodation in Lakes Entrance

You don’t actually have to spend a lot of money in Lakes Entrance on your holiday if you don’t want to. There are so many free things to do in Lakes Entrance that at times the only thing you will pay for is your accommodation and your food!

Koonawarra Holiday Park

The Koonawarra Holiday Park has fully self-contained units. A 1 bedroom apartment with self-contained bathroom and cooking facilities is the budget choice ( 2 bedroom apartments are also available ). The park also contains a camp kitchen, seasonal swimming pool, kids playground and communal area.

For more information and bookings click here

Air BnB alternative for Lakes Entrance

If you prefer a home away from home style accommodation then Air BnB is the best choice for you. There are so many options for singles, families and budget-friendly options as well. Check out the map below to find the perfect air BnB in Lakes Entrance.

Where is Lakes Entrance?

Lakes Entrance lies at the eastern end of the Gippsland Lakes. Melbourne to Lakes Entrance is approximately 320 kilometres along the Princes Highway.

Additional information about Lakes Entrance

Lakes Entrance has great fishing and boating options. There is a cinema, mini-golf, camel rides and surrounding National Parks to explore. Trips out of town to Lake Tyers, Buchan Caves and the Stony Creek trestle bridge are some amazing things to do near Lakes Entrance.

Top Tips for visiting Lakes Entrance

  • The main beach is patrolled during the summer months
  • Grab an ice-cream from the Riviera Ice-creamery on the esplanade, they are so good
  • There are free BBQ’s along the esplanade where you can have a bbq and soak up the sun
  • There are places you can buy fresh seafood from the trawlers if you like
  • Do the Entrance walk on a nice day and see if you can spot the sea lions on the rocks at the entrance
  • Go to Bullock Island and watch people crabbing
  • Check out the carnival or the Sunday market if you are there while there are on

Metung

Metung is a small village around 20-30 minutes from lakes Entrance still on the Gippsland Lakes. As it is a smaller town it may not be as busy as Lakes Entrance in the summer months but it is very popular with people making a day trip to Gippsland.

Is Metung a good choice for you?

Metung is glorious little town on the Gippsland Lakes. If you are looking for a quieter stay on the Gippsland Lakes or a boutique getaway this may be the perfect spot for your holiday in Gippsland. Here are our thoughts on the pros and cons of a stay in Metung.

Pros of a stay in Metung

Metung is a small boutique village on the water edge. If you like quiet walks and fewer people, yachting and sipping lattes then Metung is a good choice for you.

There is a local yacht club, bowling greens, plenty of fishing spots, a 9 hole golf course and small sandy beach for swimming.

Cons of a stay in Metung

Higher prices for accommodation with many 4 and 5-star places listed. Small commercial area with only a handful of shops available for you.

Essential services in Metung

Being a smaller town there may not be as many facilities as you would find in some of the bigger towns.

  • Doctors clinic
  • Supermarket
  • ATM
  • Local fast food and a pub
  • Mechanic

Accommodation in Metung

Being a smaller town there are limits to the kind of accommodation that are on offer but Metung has some brilliant options for everyone.

Accommodation for couples in Metung

Metung is the perfect getaway for a quiet, romantic staycation. From luxury accommodation to small boutique hotels for couples Metung is stunning.

The Moorings at Metung

The Moonings at Metung have suites with a spa and views over the Gippsland Lakes. The property has indoor and outdoor pools, tennis court and private mariner take a romantic stroll along the Bancroft Bay boardwalk into the town centre. The Yacht Club and bowls club is a 10-minute walk while the local golf course is a 7-minute drive.

For more information and bookings click here

Family accommodation at Metung

Family accommodation in Metung is in abundance. From cheap tent sites to large cabins for bigger travelling families there is a brilliant assortment of family accommodation in Metung.

Metung Holiday Village

The Metung Holiday Village offers a range of 2 bedroom family villas. Starting with a standard villa and increasing to you reach the deluxe villa. Each unit is fully self-contained with a kitchen, dining area, and bathroom. WiFi comes standard with your stay. There is a pool onsite for those warm summer stays.

For more information and bookings click here

Budget accommodation at Metung

As we have said before you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy your holiday on the Gippsland Lakes. There is plenty of budget accommodation in Metung where you will get amazing accommodation.

Metung Waters

The Metung Waters offers a queen room with free wifi and flatscreen tv for your viewing. If your visiting in the warmer months you have air conditioning to keep you cool.

Coffee maker for the kick starts in the morning with a patio or balcony to drink it on. Metung Waters offer nice clean and quiet but basic rooms for a budget stay in the Metung area

For more information and bookings click here

Air BnB alternative for Metung

Some people prefer a home away from home style accommodation and Air BnB is perfect for that. Check out the map below to find the perfect air BnB in Metung.

Where is Metung?

Metung is 314 kilometres east of the state capital Melbourne and between the larger towns of Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance.

Additional information about Metung

Metung has a boardwalk along the water’s edge that is great for fishing and walking.

The Metung Yacht club and Metung Bowls clubs are both welcomings of visitors.

You will find long sandy areas of the beach with calm Gippsland lakes waters for swimming. The Metung Pub is the focal point of the town.

Top tips for visiting Metung

  • Have a cold drink or beer on the deck at the pub
  • Get some fresh fish and chips from one of the local shops and enjoy then beside the water
  • Enjoy looking in the little shops

Paynesville

Another beautiful coastal town that sits on the Lakes system. It is a perfect spot for a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Is Paynesville a good choice for you?

Paynesville is in between Metung and Lakes Entrance in the amount of visitors it gets and the attractions it has nearby. It is a great town for having just enough of everything to keep you busy with not so much that you feel constantly overwhelmed.

Pros of a stay in Paynesville

Paynesville is centrally located for the best access to the Gippsland Lakes and to Bairnsdale the biggest town in the East Gippsland Region.

Bairnsdale is only 15 minutes away while the 90-mile beach at Lakes Entrance is 30 minutes away. At Paynesville, you still plenty of access for swimming and boating, not to mention the Koalas on Raymond Island.

Cons of a stay in Paynesville

Paynesville can get very overcrowded in the summer months with holidaymakers and day-trippers.

Paynesville is like 2 towns in one with the ferry to and from Raymond Island running daily.

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Essential services in Paynesville

Being another smaller town you may have to go outside of Paynesville to get some things if you can’t find them here.

  • Small supermarket
  • ATM
  • Mechanic

Accommodation in Paynesville

You will find every type of accommodation in Paynesville for every taste. From boutique to budget there is something for everyone.

Accommodation for couples in Paynesville

There are some beautiful places in Paynesville for you to stay in. You can take your pick as to how you want to spend your time in Paynesville.

Captains Cove Waterfront Apartments in Paynesville

The Captains Cove Waterfront Apartments feature a vast array of facilities available for their guests.

Each apartment features a balcony or patio, a dining area and a sitting area. In-room dining is easy with a kitchen that comes equipped with a fridge, a microwave, espresso maker and a hob.

Outdoor facilities include a tennis court and indoor swimming pool. The close access to the water allows for kayaking, fishing and boating.

For more information and bookings click here

Family accommodation in Paynesville

There is some great family accommodation in Paynesville that will have you never wanting to leave! Available for every budget you will definitely fin the perfect spot to spend your time here.

Mariners Cove Motel and Apartments

The Mariners Cove Motel and Apartments are right in the centre of Paynesville located within a 100-meter walk from the main shopping street and the ferry to Raymond Island.

Each room features a balcony or patio with some looking out over the waters towards Raymond Island. All rooms have TVs and coffee/tea makers, fridges, hairdryers and irons/ironing boards.

Free WiFi in public areas, barbecues and dry cleaning/laundry services. are available. Breakfast and free parking are available. Rooms can fit from 2 to 6 people which caters for all types of families.

For more information and bookings click here

Budget accommodation in Paynesville

The budget accommodation in Paynesville is amazing and can carter to all that want to visit Paynesville on a budget. As we have said before you don’t always have to spend a huge amount of money to have an amazing holiday in Gippsland.

Paynesville Holiday Park

The Holiday Park is only a short walk to the waterfront esplanade village, where you can find a selection of cafes, supermarket, restaurants and retail outlets.   

The Holiday Caravan park in Paynesville accommodation options includes cabins, villas, caravan and camping sites. 

Echidna

If you have your own van there are ensuite sites available for you.

Park facilities include a large camp kitchen, outside BBQ rotunda and games room.  If you are visiting in the warmer months you can access the solar-heated swimming pool, children’s splash pool, spa (Summer months only) and a playground with an inflatable jumping pillow.

For more information and bookings click here

Air BnB alternative for Paynesville

Check out the map below to find the perfect Air BnB in Paynesville.

Where is Paynesville?

The town is located 293 kilometres east of Melbourne.

Additional information about Paynesville

Paynesville is connected to Raymond Island by a free ferry. The Raymond Island Koala walk is a must.

The 2 close towns of Eagle Point and Newlands Arms are worth a visit.

There is plenty of BBQ areas and a cafe’s on the foreshore. The Bairnsdale Golf Course and Lawn Bowls Club are 5 minutes away.

Top tips for visiting Paynesville

  • Take the ferry over to Raymond Island to look for koalas
  • Get some fresh fish and chips and enjoy them on the dock
  • If you don’t want fish and chips have a bbq instead

We hope this article from us here at Travels in Gippsland has inspired you to get away to the Gippsland Lakes. Whether it be a weekend or a week, when you visit Gippsland you will find plenty of things to do.

For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Gippsland click through to our Gippsland Attractions page for more brilliant Gippsland inspiration

Please find 2 more articles from Travels in Gippsland below for your reading enjoyment. Just click on the description to read.


Some more travel inspiration for your visit 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