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.
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.
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
- Petrol Stations
- Fast food and local food shops
*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.
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
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.
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
- Go out to the Stony Creek Trestle Bridge to see a mighty piece of history
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
- Local fast food and a pub
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 number 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 Lakes page for more brilliant Gippsland inspiration
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