There are so many things to do in Bairnsdale that will keep you entertained for your time in Gippsland but there are also some amazing things to do near Bairnsdale that are easily added into your Gippsland itinerary.
Things to do near Bairnsdale
From coastal towns to mighty rivers, you will find some amazing day trips from Bairnsdale into some of the best places Gippsland has to offer. Here will give you all the very best places to visit near Bairnsdale.
The Gippsland Lakes
The Gippsland Lakes are made up of lakes, marshes, and lagoons. The Lakes system is fed by water from the ocean and a number of rivers that flow into the system. The lakes cover an area of about 354 square kilometres.
The Gippsland Lakes are a popular destination for day-trippers and holidaymakers from all over the state of Victoria and beyond. Lakes Entrance located 322 kilometres east of Melbourne is the largest town on the Gippsland Lakes. The 90 Mile Bech runs parallel to the lakes system allowing you to access both the lakes and the ocean for swimming, fishing, and boating opportunities. You will regularly see seals and dolphins. The Burrunan Dolphins are not found anywhere else on Earth besides the lakes system of Gippsland.
The Lakes are popular for boating, fishing, and all types of water sports.
The town is aptly known because it is the only place on the coast that the ocean meets the lakes via an entrance. Lakes Entrance is the biggest town on the Gippsland Lakes. The town is popular with holidaymakers and day-trippers, especially over the summer months. Enjoy a stroll over the footbridge to the 90 Mile Beach or cast a line off one of the many jetties.
Enjoy local seafood and wines in one of the many cafes and restaurants. Popular activities include swimming, boating, fishing, mini-golf, and new to the town are camel rides and segway tours in summer.
Related post – Things to do in Lakes Entrance with kids
Den Of Nargun
The Den of Nargun is a sacred site of the Gunaikurnai people, especially the women. The Den of Nargun may have been used for women’s initiation and learning ceremonies in the past. The Den is a cave and waterfall. The Cave was a sacred site where stories were told of the Nargun (mythical), who would come out of the cave to the rockpool areas. The walk into the Den takes around 15 minutes each way, or 45 minutes as a circuit walk via the Mitchell River. The walkout of the Den can be steep and hard work for some people
The famous Raymond Island Koala walk is easily accessed from Paynesville. The trail allows you to see Koalas in their natural environment. You will need to catch the ferry from Paynesville to Raymond Island. Once on the island, the koala walking track is marked with a number of signs to help you best find a Koala.
You will see Koalas sleeping in trees all over the island. It is a special experience to see so many Koalas at Raymond Island. The ferry takes 5 minutes and is free for foot traffic.
Read More – Free things to do in Gippsland
Visit a winery
Located not far from Bairnsdale are a number of wineries where you can taste a local drop or two. Lightfoot and Sons planted their first vines in 1995, now 25 years later cool climate wines show amazing character and a wide breadth of flavour, Food and beverage option are available along with wine sales and tasting.
Nicholson River Wineries philosophy has been to create European styled Australian wines that reflect the intense flavours unique to the area. Nicholson River is the oldest established Vineyard in Gippsland. Drop by the Cellar door for tasting and purchases. Maybe enjoy a glass of wine with something from the kitchen.
Related: Our best things to do in Metung article is full of recommendations. Metung is a picturesque small lakeside village not far from Bairnsdale. Read it today
The Buchan Caves are an absolute gem that has to be seen to be believed. The near 400 million-year-old limestone formations were carved out by an underground river. Now you can tour the Fairy Cave or the Royal Cave to see the stalactite and stalagmite pillars that were discovered by Frank Moon back in 1907. You can only see the Buchan Caves on a guided tour.
Tickets to Buchan caves can be purchased 24 hours in advance of when you would like to visit Buchan Caves. The Buchan Caves Reserve has shops, tourist information, BBQs, playground and some bush walks. The Local Buchan Pub is a great choice for lunch.
Nyerimilang Heritage Park dates back to the late 18th century when the land was purchased as a place to go hunting and fishing on the Gippsland Lakes. During the three centuries since it was built, the park has been owned by millionaires, church groups, and finally Parks Victoria.
The park has a colonial period homestead that is open for viewing by the public. The Homestead has furniture and fittings from its period of construction. The Heritage Park at Nyerimilang today has areas for picnics, walking trails, tourist information, and a fishing jetty for the public to use. The bushwalks leading from the homestead range from a few hundred meters to a few kilometres return.
The sculptured and manicured gardens around the Homestead feature such varieties as Austral Indigo, Native Pigface, Kangaroo Apple, Tiger Orchard, Coast Grey Box, and more. Animals and birds around the park include Azure Kingfisher, Blue Tongue Lizard, Eastern Long Neck Turtle, Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo, feather tailed Glider, Powerful Owl, and many more.
Coonawarra Horse Trail Rides
If you are looking for a great family adventure in Gippsland then the Coonawarra horse trail rides may be for you.
Located just 30 minutes from Bairnsdale you can go on a trail ride for a couple of hours up to a couple of days with the Coonawarra trail ride guides. The horses are calm and there is a horse to suit all styles of riders. Helmets are supplied but you do need to wear appropriate clothing. Long pants and sturdy shoes are recommended.
Ride the East Gippsland Rail Trail
The East Gippsland Rail Trail is a safe place to walk or ride from Howitt Park in Bairnsdale all the way to Orbost. The Railway line was left unused in Gippsland for a long time and now it is getting a second wind with people using this trail to make their way from place to place in a safe way.
You can do the 4 sections of the trail taking you through some towns, over mighty rivers, passed relics of the past and through plenty of forests or you can break them up into shorter sections. There are some toilets and BBQ areas along the way to make the ride or walk easier.
Section 1 is Bairnsdale to Nicholson at roughly 9 kilometres
Section 2 is Nicholson to Bruthen at around 21.5 kilometres
Section 3 is Bruthen to Nowa Nowa at approximately 27 kilometres
Section 4 is Nowa Nowa to Orbost at around 38 kilometres
Picnic at the Nungurner Jetty
If you are looking for a lovely calm place to have a bbq on a hot day then the Nungurner Jetty is the perfect place for you.
Located in a little shallow inlet you can paddle in the calm waters near the jetty or go fishing, while you cook on the free bbq. The Bbq area has toilets and picnic tables as well as the free Bbq. There is plenty of shade and parking. You will need some mosquito spray if you are planning to visit Nungurner Jetty in the cooler months.
There is also a Defibrillator machine at the jetty.
Discover more: Best things to do near Metung
Visit the Fruit Farm in Johnsonville
The Fruit Farm in Johnsonville is a brilliant place for a visit. Located just 20 minutes from Bairnsdale is an easy drive to get some delicious local produce. While it won’t take you long you will find some of the most delicious local stone fruit during the summer season.
You can get locally grown stone fruit like cherries, nectarines and peaches as well as some other locally made products. Produce will depend on the season but the quality is assured. The address you will need for The Fruit Farm is 54 Bumberrah Rd, Johnsonville Victoria, 3902.
Please note The Fruit Farm is open from November until July and is not a pick your own farm.
Visit the Blueberry Fields
If you love amazing local produce then a trip to Blueberry Fields is for you. Not only are they grown on-site there is also a lot of other local procure you can purchase as well.
Fresh homemade jams, relish and garlic are some of the most popular products on offer. The address you will need for Blueberry Fields is 12 The Eyrie, Bumberrah, Victoria 3902.
Please note that Blueberry Fields is only open from December until February and is not a pick yourself farm.
How to get to Bairnsdale
Bairnsdale is 281 kilometres east of Melbourne on the Princes Highway. Bairnsdale is best accessed via car or by public transport. You can catch one of the two daily trains that run from Melbourne to Bairnsdale.
Where to stay in Bairnsdale
Bairnsdale has a wide variety of options for your accommodation needs. You will find a room and places to suit singles, couples, and families. There are cabin options at the Mitchel Riverside Holiday Park, apartments through Airbnb, and hotels of your choice including the popular Tanjil Motor Inn
We hope this article from us here at Travels in Gippsland has you inspired to visit Bairnsdale in East Gippsland and discover some of the very best things to do near Bairnsdale. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Gippsland click through to our East 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