Central & West Gippsland Natural Attractions

ADA TREE

25 km NW of Noojee. (located 1.6 km from the Ada River Road carpark.)
This mountain ash, 76 metres high and 15 metres in circumference, is probably over 300 years old and is one of Victorias tallest trees. Picnic facilities and toilets are provided.

 

MT WORTH STATE PARK

18 km south of Warragul Information: Phone: 131963
This small Park is one of the few uncleared bush areas left in the Western Strzeleckis. It features a walking trail, and a picnic ground with solid fuel barbecues and toilets located on its eastern side.

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BAW BAW PLATEAU  

Best accessed from Drouin West, Moe or Noojee Information: Phone: 5165 1136.
Alpine Resort National Park Phone: 131963 The Baw Baws are a block of hard granite, with eight peaks rising more than 100 metres above the plateau. The vegetation of the area changes from Alpine herbfields on the plateau to the snow gums and snow grass of the sub Alpine woodland. Alpine ash, mountain ash and myrtle beech are the common tree species and the fauna of the area includes kangaroos, wombats and the rare Leadbeater possum. The Baw Baws are a relatively recently developed skiing destination for family groups, beginners and cross country skiers. A network of walking tracks and skiing trails from the Mt Baw Baw Alpine Village provides access to much of the 80 square kilometre plateau. The township of Rawson is a good base for exploring the trails around Mt St Gwinear. Baw Baw is an aboriginal word meaning `echo.

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 MIRBOO NORTH / BOOLARRA RAIL TRAIL

13km, easy grade, allow 4 hours one-way
Commences at Grand Ridge Brewery, Mirboo North or from the Old Pub in Boolarra This signposted trail on a well formed surface follows the scenic route of the former Mirboo North to Boolarra Railway, which operated through the Strzelecki Ranges between 1885 and 1974. It follows the picturesque Little Morwell River Valley and features a wide range of native animals and bird life and towering mountain eucalypts. 
 

THOMSON RIVER WALK

8km, easy grade, allow 3.25 hours
Begins at the Thomson Bridge, 4 km short of Walhalla Historic Township. The Walhalla district offers much of historical and scenic interest to walkers. The Thomson River is in view for much of the distance and the walking is easily and virtually flat. Forest, ferns and steep mountainsides, plus lyrebirds are some of the attractions, along with the Poverty Point Steel Bridge, which is classified by the National Trust 
 


MORWELL NATIONAL PARK

16km south of Morwell
This Park encompasses a stringybark forest on the higher ridges, while tree ferns and blue gums are a feature in the creek valley. Two established short walks highlight the gullies, treeferns and more than 40 species of native orchid, including the summer flowering hyacinth orchid, the biggest ground orchid in Victoria. Solid fuel barbecues, picnic shelters and toilets are provided.

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TYERS RIVER WALK

l0km, easy grade, allow 4 hours
Located close to Tyers River as it leaves the steep forested mountainsides and flows across the Latrobe Valley. Most of the walk is in rugged country where there are a number of rocky outcrops that contain fossils. Open woodland predominates, so there are many wildflowers in season. Birdlife is also good, including a great many lyrebirds.

AVON-MT HEDRICK SCENIC RESERVE BRYCES GORGE WALK

30km NW of Maffra
Accessed via Maffra or Heyfield on several roads running off the Newry Glenmaggie Road This 5,700 hectare reserve is bisected by the Avon River which provides the major visitor interest, while its predominantly dry open forests display a great diversity of wildflowers and its variable landform contains gorges, rocky escarpments and several high peaks. Day picnic and BBQ facilities are provided at Nicholson Rocks, The Channels carpark and Dermodys Camp. These sites are starting points for short walks, including The Channels track which runs through a rocky gorge, cut out of siltstone and sandstone by the Avon River. Several walking tracks are also provided in the vicinity of Mt Hedrick. 

 8km, medium grade, allow 3 hrs
Commences carpark - beside the Howitt Rd, 18km north of Arbuckle Junction, which is 471m north of Licola along the Tamboritha Rd. Note: high altitude walk-carry warm, waterproof clothing at any time of the year. This excellent family walk follows a well defined walking track, passing through open snow-grass plains, along an escarpment, through woodlands, open plains, then snow gums to reach Guys Hut, one of the most photographed of the famous cattlemens huts of the High Country. You will also encounter two waterfalls along the route. 


BLUE POOL

Freestone Creek, 10 km north of Briagolong
A crystal clear pool set in natural bushland Freestone Creek is part of Gippslands forgotten goldfields and a short walk from Blue Pool leads to an old gold mine. Watch for koalas along the way.

Blue Pool walking tracks

DARGO HIGH PLAINS

373 km NE of Melbourne
Best access is via a partially unsealed road from Dargo township to the Great Alpine Road. (closed June to October - subject to snow conditions) Miners first crossed the High Plains to reach the gold diggings at Grant and Crooked River. When mining stopped around the turn of the century the area began to be used for summer grazing of cattle, giving rise to the stories of the legendary mountain cattlemen and their rustic high country huts. Spring is an ideal time to explore the high plains, when the mobs of grazing cattle are a common sight, wildflowers blanket the countryside and the views from the many vantage points are particularly clear. The High Plains vary from between 1,200 and 1,500 metres above sea level. Numerous walks are available, including longer walks with overnight stops, but are for experienced walkers only. From here, visitors can access the Great Alpine Road.

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THE HOLEY PLAIN STATE PARK

5 km SE of Rosedale
Named during the mid 1800s by explorers and settlers because the alluvial land along the Latrobe River has many yabby holes. The 11,000 hectare state park is primarily of interest because of its 530 species of native flora, particularly banksias and melaleucas, and its range of native fauna, a1111 of which are protected by a series of low sandy ridges. Numerous roads and tracks enable exploration and the fire tower at Holey Hill provides excellent views. Solid fuel barbecues, picnic facilities and toilets are provided.

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LAKE GENMAGGIE

11km north of Heyfield
Beneath the waters of this popular aquatic recreation venue is the original Glenmaggie township, which was flooded in the 1920s to store the waters of the Macalister River for irrigation purposes. Picnic and playground facilities are available at the weir wall. You can stroll across the wall and through a native arboretum. 

 

LAKE TALI KARNG

40km NE of Licola
Walking track starts on the Bennisons Plains Road within the Alpine National Park. One of the high countrys little known jewels, although you have to be fit to walk the 18km from the start of the signposted track to reach it. The `hidden lake, 850 metres above sea level, is surrounded by very steeply sided banks and is the source of the Wellington River. The lake was formed by an enormous landslide 1500 years ago and has been a popular walking destination since the 1880s

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LAKES NATIONAL PARK

274 km east of Melbourne

This national park was declared in 1927 and is almost the centre of the Gippsland Lakes system. Surrounded by the waters of Lakes Victoria and Reeve, it is situated at the remote end of a peninsula known as Sperm Whale Head. It contains the islands of Rotomah and Little Rotomah. Most of the Parks fauna is active at night, but it is better known for its extensive areas of coastal heath, wetlands and banksia woodland, which support a range of interesting flora, including one of the best displays of native orchids in Australia - best viewed between August and November.

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THE GIPPSLAND LAKES COASTAL PARK

Access from Loch Sport or Sale Canal by boat.
The Gippsland Lakes system is Australias most extensive, separated from Bass Strait by a long line of sand dunes that form the Ninety Mile Beach. It provides an almost endless array of waterways to explore by boat, on foot and with more limited road access via Loch Sport. The lakes also enclose many small islands, including Rotomah and Raymond Islands.

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MOROKA GORGE

75 km east of Licola
Best accessed from Heyfield, via Licola A medium to hard walk leads visitors to the remote and scenic gorge. Along the way enjoy some of the most spectacular and rugged scenery in Victoria, including panoramic views from many peaks of treeless high plains, deep valleys, rocky cliffs and escarpments.

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NINETY MILE BEACH

The Ninety Mile Beach starts at Woodside in the west and continues to Lakes Entrance in the east.
Wonderful surf fishing. Whales and dolphins regularly play close to shore and there is boat access to the Gippsland Lakes at Seacombe, Loch Sport and Lakes Entrance.

The wreck of the Trinculo may be seen at its best after a king tide removes large amounts of sand temporarily. It is 6.4 kilometres from the roundabout at Golden Beach going towards Seaspray.

Bird life is prolific all along the coastal parks and includes Crimson and Eastern Rosellas, Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo, Swamp Harriers, Hawks, Blue Wrens, Silver Eyes, Red Browed Finch, Eastern Spine Bill and many other honey eaters. The Rainbow Lorikeet would normally fly north for the winter but it remains along the beach coastal parks area all year - attracted by the temperate climate and the plentiful coastal banksia. 

 

SALE COMMON WETLAND

South Gippsland Highway Sale,
This internationally significant wetland comprises 308 hectares of predominantly freshwater marsh, but also extensive areas of grassland and river redgum woodland. A 450 metre long boardwalk wends its way through a variety of habitat to enable visitors to experience the environment of hundreds of permanent and migratory bird species, particularly swans, herons, egrets and spoonbills. A short walking track from the carpark leads to a public bird `hide.

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 TARRA BULGA NATIONAL PARK

This park is a remnant of the magnificent mountain forests that once covered the entire Strzelecki Range. Its 1,560 hectares are noted for their moist, lush fern gullies, beautiful tree ferns, towering mountain ash and its famous suspension bridge. The splendid forest is full of songbirds, including the master mimic, the lyrebird, which can be often found along its network of walking tracks and shorter nature trails. The rainforest information centre at Balook is open at peak times to provide excellent interpretation of the Park and to display reminders of the early settlement of the area. A barbecue/ picnic area, with toilets and shelter, is provided.

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THE PINNACLES

95 km east of Licola
Accessed from Licola, via Heyfield or Dargo during summer (4WD access only) The sheer rocky walls of The Pinnacles drop a thousand metres to rolling hills far below and beyond to the Wonnangatta Valley. On a clear day the view from the Fire Watching Tower takes in the Gippsland Lakes to the south and Mt Hotham to the north. Check road conditions before commencing trip. 


WONNANGATTA STATION

40km NE of Licola
Best accessed via Licola or Dargo via 4WD, horseback or on foot. Recommended for summer access only. Allow 3hrs travelling time from Licola or Dargo by 4 wheel drive. Not only is this valley one of Victorias most remote and beautiful, it is also the scene of one of the High Countrys best mysteries. In 1917 the Manager of Wonnangatta Station, James Barclay, was found dead. The cook with whom he lived could not be found and was, therefore, implicated in the murder, until the cooks body was found under the thawing snow during the following spring. Although never solved, it is commonly thought that the cook murdered Barclay after an argument, only to be later murdered by cattle rustlers. The homestead burned down in 1957, but the graveyard and mystery remain.

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