There is something for everyone in Gippsland with amazing local food and produce, National Parks, stunning coastline, waterfalls, art, history and plenty of wildlife. Gippsland is located in the eastern end of Victoria and is categorised by region: Phillip Island, South Gippsland, West Gippsland, Central Gippsland and East Gippsland.
Money: Australian Dollar (AUD)
Beliefs: over 30% identify as non-religious, followed by catholic, Anglican.
Best time to visit: Peak periods are Spring (Sept – Nov), Summer (Dec – Feb) and school holidays. Ski season generally runs June – October but check with the resort you plan to ski with. Personally, I enjoy Gippsland year round for difference reasons – beach in summer, watching leaves turn colour in Autumn, snuggling up in a cabin in Winter, and admiring new plant growth and flowers in Spring. But, I am bias since it is the region I live in!
Stats on population and religion from Australian Bureau of Statistics Census data.
Gippsland has beautiful National Parks and nature reserves with plenty of opportunities to spot local wildlife. Entry into National Parks is generally free for day visits, and charges usually apply for overnight stays.
You will be spoilt for choice with the local food and produce on offer from markets, farm gates, cafes and restaurants. The region also boasts many wineries and breweries with suggested wine and drink trails on the Visit Gippsland website. Note that in Australia there are strict laws regarding driving and drinking so make sure you designate a driver or pay to go on a tour.
The Gippsland coastline is stunning. From Phillip Island, to the rugged South Gippsland coast, through to the 90 Mile Beach and Gippsland Lakes system. Don’t miss Wilsons Promontory National Park for what I believe are the best beaches in Victoria! If you are looking for family friendly sheltered beaches then head to Inverloch or Cape Patterson.
Meet the locals
Explore the beaches
Australia can have some harsh droughts which impact different areas so please be mindful of conditions in the area you visit and try and limit your water consumption.
Given the large size of Gippsland and lack of Public Transport out of major centres, you will probably end up driving. Driving is a great way to see Gippsland but make sure you are aware of the road rules and be a respectful driver since you will be driving in country areas with milk trucks, log trucks, tractors etc.
While the state of Victoria has banned lightweight plastic bags, you will still find thicker plastic bags being used. Many retailers have been awesome at moving to paper bags or just refusing to give out bags completely – but it is still best to try and bring re-usable bags. Wonderfully, many farmers market refuse to give out bags and you must bring your own – or you will walk out with fresh produce balancing precariously in your arms!
Tipping is not common in Australia, and many Australians don’t want tipping to become commonplace. Restaurants may have a tip jar on the counter if you want to leave a tip and this money usually goes to paying for a social function for everyone to enjoy, or spilt evenly between staff, rather than going to an individual. Should you barter or haggle in Australia? No! You might be able to get a small discount from markets etc if you are buying multiple products, but in general haggling hard will just make you look like a tight-arse (good Aussie saying for someone who is tight with money!).
Accommodation – cheapest accommodation options are camping and free RV stops. Cabins in caravan parks start around $90 but average around $130. Budget around $100 for basic hotels/motels. There are limited backpacker spaces in Gippsland but house rentals are becoming more popular. If you are not limited by budget then you will find amazing bed and breakfasts and resort style accommodation.
Food – Food will use up a chunk of your budget if you eat out for all meals. Cheap takeaway style lunches are around $7, coffees $5, breakfast at a cafe $15, classic Aussie Pies $5. Cheapest option is to self cater. If you are not restricted by budget then eat out until you can’t fit in anymore delicious Gippsland food!
Transportation – Public Transport prices are available from V-Line with car hire around $60 per day plus extras.
Cost Summary – Australia is known for being an expensive travel destination, many Australians holiday overseas due to the cost! If you want to travel cheap then look at self drive and self catering.
Prices for accommodation increase (easily double) during peak period and School Holidays so avoid these times. Excellent deals can be found for longer stays outside the peak period, or mid-week stays.
Grab a basket or shopping bag, head to a local market and stock up on fresh produce! Yes, Gippsland has a wide variety of food to indulge in, but eating out constantly will hurt your budget (if you have one!). Find accommodation with a kitchen and cook-up a feast!
Books to provide further inspiration and help plan your amazing journey.
Many Journeys Blog has a range of blog posts on Gippsland to help you plan your visit.