People are well aware of the contribution that immigrants made to the Snowy River project in Gippsland many years ago but our immigration heritage goes much further back then that era. From European immigrants that came to farm Gippsland to the Asian immigrants that came for gold the Gippsland Immigration Park and Heritage Walk is there to celebrate them all.
Lake Kernot is home to Kernot Hall and the Gippsland Immigration Park and Heritage Walk. Kernot Lake (Morwell Lake) is a focal point of things to do in Morwell and a community area for citizens and visitors to the area.
The park is a great spot for family gatherings and days out. There are two covered BBQ areas with electric barbeques and picnic tables for seating.
You will find plenty of green grass for kids to play on and trees to shelter under all while learning about the amazing Gippsland history.
The Immigration memorial consists of 7 walls that display the history of immigration into Gippsland in images and writing. The walls are depicted using four themes – ‘Departing / Arriving, Settling, Working, Achieving’.
They feature images and names of the families who arrived in Gippsland. These walls sit in front of a deck sits on the edge of the lake that was designed to look like an arrivals port where the migrants arrived.
Many people who now call Gippsland home can trace their ancestry to some of those first immigrant settlers to the Gippsland area. Today’s figures show only 5.6 per cent of the population were born in one of the main non-English speaking countries and 4.5 per cent of the population only speak a language other than English at home.
What is the Gippsland Heritage Walk?
The Gippsland Heritage walk located next to the Immigration Park educates all in the traditional owners of Gippsland the Gunaikurnai people.
The beginning and end of the Heritage Walk are marked by two large archways. I can tell you its an educational experience even for someone who has lived in Gippsland their whole life. Kernot Lake provides some great things to do in Gippsland.
The 72 panels will educate you about Gunaikurnai history, Coming to Gippsland, Settling In, Energy (electricity, gas, oil) which have all played a huge part in shaping Gippsland.
Other panels also include Life in Gippsland, Government, Rule of Law, Transport, War Time, Educating Gippsland, Serving Gippsland (emergency services) and Gippsland Community (immigrants, early sport, population, government towns).
Where is the Gippsland Immigration Park and Heritage Walk?
When you are travelling in Gippsland the address you will need for the Gippsland Immigration Park and Heritage walk is 50/70 Princes Dr, Morwell VIC 3840. The Park and Heritage Walk are located on Lake Kernot.
If you are driving from Melbourne to Morwell
Melbourne to Morwell is 153 kilometres along the M1 freeway and will take you approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.
As you drive through Morwell on the old Princes Highway just past McDonald’s you will see the park on the right-hand side. As it is a dual carriageway you will need to go to the next set of traffic lights to perform a u-turn to safely get to the Gippsland Immigration Park.
If you are coming from Traralgon to the Gippsland Immigration Park
Traralgon to Morwell is 11 kilometres via M1 and Princes Dr/C104 and will take you approximately 15 minutes drive time.
After you go past the Mid Valley Shopping Centre Morwell you will see the signs to Lake Kernot. It is here the Immigration Park and Heritage Walk is located.
What facilities does the Immigration Park have?
There are a lot of facilities at the Gippsland Immigration Park and Heritage Walk that make it a great day out in Gippsland. Not only brilliant facilities for families, but large groups and couple will also find the facilities amazing when they stop to learn about this section of Gippsland’s history.
Facilities at the Immigration Park at Lake Kernot
Large grassed areas
Easy walking track
Morwell Lake is stocked with fish a few times every year. It is a great place to introduce the kids to a fish or two in Gippsland.
It’s well worth turning off the Princes Highway and exploring Heritage Walk and Immigration Memorial in Morwell. On a nice day, the sun dances off the calm waters of the lake which provides a picturesque backdrop to this Gippsland attraction.
We hope this article from us here at Travels in Gippsland has you inspired to visit Morwell in Gippsland. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Gippsland click through to our Gippsland Museums page for more brilliant inspiration.
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About the Author
Mark has grown up and lived in the Gippsland area all his life. “I think I know a thing or 2 about Gippsland”. When Mark is not working he is out exploring the best of Gippsland with his wife and kids