Gippsland Wildlife Coast Nature Trail


Map of Trail

Wildlife Coast Nature Trail

 The coastal route between Sale and Phillip Island is truly a unique part of our land. Located at the most southerly point on the Australian mainland, its combination of wild oceans, dunes, inter-tidal mudflats, mangroves, rainforest and coastal lake systems provides the visitor with possibly the most diverse nature-based touring experience in the country.

It includes five national and coastal parks of major significance, including Wilsons Promontory and the Lakes National Park. In between there are numerous other reserves to provide a constant source of fascination and pleasure for the visitor, especially those interested in wildlife.

Almost the entire route is on well maintained, sealed roads, although there are many opportunities to safely venture off the beaten track on a discovery all of your own. For most of the journey you will feel that its just you and the elements, yet the comfort of a good bed and a hearty country meal is never too far away.



If possible, take your time to wander this route, or promise yourself to return soon to discover all that it has to offer.

For much of this journey you will be travelling alongside the splendour of the GippsIand Lakes system or the pristine expanse of the Ninety Mile Beach.
Bird life is prolific throughout the coastal parks, while kangaroos, emus and echidnas are a common sight in some sections.

Distance 170km.



Boardwalk, Sale Common

A 450 metre long board walk wends its way through a variety of habitat to enable visitors to experience the environment of hundreds of permanent and migratory bird species, particularly the majesty of swans, herons, egrets and spoonbills.



South GippsIand Highway, Sale.
Easily accessed from the touring route, this internationally significant wetland comprises 308 hectares of predominantly freshwater marsh but also extensive areas of grassland and river redgum woodland.




Family of Swans Sale Common


A short walking track from the car park leads to a public bird hide.
The Sale Common Wetland forms only a part of the much larger Lake Wellington Wetlands which, extend for approximately 40km east of Sale.
It Is formed by the basins of the Latrobe, Thompson, Macalister, Avon and Perry Rivers.
The Dowd Morass adjoins the Sale Common Wetlands and is also easily off the South GippsIand Highway.


This 60 km road is about as close is you can possibly get to two of Victorias splendid natural area; the GippsIand Likes Coastal Park and The Lakes National Park .

With the relentless pounding surf of the Ninety Mile Beach on one side, it hugs the dune country alongside Lake Reeve before entering the Coastal Park.

Seaspray is noted for its wide expanse of fishing and swimming beach (patrolled during summer).

The larger town of Loch Sport is home to abundant wildlife, such as the friendly kangaroos which inhabit the Sperm Whale Head picnic ground.

The Loch Sport Causeway separates Likes Victoria and Reeve by a narrow sand spit Lake Reeve Lookout and the Like Victoria NatureTrail also highlight the beauty of the district.


Seaspray on the 90 Mile Beach





Port Albert

From Port Albert and localities such as Robertsons Beach, Manns Beach and McLoughlins Beach you can observe the maze of small and large Islands which make the eastern end of Corner Inlet. The peaks of Wilsons Promontory form a majestic backdrop.



Over 5 million years ago, the land in the north of GippsIand was pushed up to form the Great Dividing Range. Since then, silt and clay from the eroding mountains has been washed down by the rivers, gradually forming GippsIands coastal plains.

During the last million years the GippsIand Lakes slowly evolved as a result of the sea constantly depositing sand. This has created a barrier which encloses the bay that once existed.

The Lakes National Park was declared in 1927 to protect this very special part of Australia.
Major access points for visitors to the southern edge of these two parks are Seaspray, Golden Beach, Seacombe and Loch Sport.
Management tracks also provide ready access for walkers to some of the more secluded areas.

The Ninety Mile Beach is also excellent for walking. Safe swimming is available at various sites on the sheltered lake shore, but swim only in patrolled areas on the Ninety Mile Beach because of strong rips and sharks.


Lakes Entrance From the Air

The plants growing around the GippsIand Lakes can be divided into: coastal vegetation along the sand dunes of the Ninety Mile Beach; swampy areas around the lakes; and heathy woodlands which grow on hills behind the dunes and further inland.
Bird life is prolific throughout the parks and the mammals you are most likely to see on your exploration of these parks include kangaroo, swamp wallabies, possums, echidnas, swamp rats and various types of bats.
The previously thought extinct New Holland Mouse has been found again in the GippsIand Lakes Coastal Park.




The 1.560 hectares of this National Park are noted for their moist, lush fern gullies, beautiful tree ferns, waterfalls, towering mountain ash and the famous suspension bridge.

The splendid forest is full of songbirds, including the master mimic, the lyrebird, which can often be found along the network of walking tracks and shorter nature trails.
Wombats, echidnas and wallabies are also found. The upper storey of the forest is dominated by the 60 metre high mountain ash, then the smaller myrtle beech, blackwood and sassafras. At ground level, tree ferns create a lush, soft environment, while delicate mosses and fungi rule the forest floor. This mountain cathedral provides a haven for visitors during the hotter months.

High quality picnic facilities, toilets and networks of short to longer walking trails are available in the Bulga picnic area, Tarra Valley picnic ground and at the Rainforest Interpretation Centre in Balook (open weekends and school holidays).

Accommodation: Yarram, Balook and Toora Dining: Yarram, Balook, Welshpool, Toora Petrol and food: Yarram, Alberton, Welshpool and Toora





Suspension Bridge Tarra Bulga National Park


The rugged terrain and towering timber of the eastern Strzeleckis has resisted most attempts to clear and farm it over the past 100 years.

This tour leads visitors through verdant farmlands and gentle foothills before climbing into the magnificent forests, culminating in the rainforest splendour of Tarra Bulga National Park.
Three waterfalls, Agnes, Minnie Ha Ha and Cyathea can be explored along the way.
Distance: 104 km.




This park embraces a maze of islands and mudflats, large and small, extending from Port Welshpool to McLoughlins Beach.

It is the largest area of saltmarsh and mangrove on the Victorian mainland and is an internationally significant habitat for migratory and wading birds, including the white bellied sea eagle, orange bellied parrot and ground parrot.

Introduced hog deer are nearly extinct in their native Asia, but flourish on some islands of this park, including Snake Island.
Best access points are Port Welshpool, Port Albert, Robertsons and Manns Beach (via Tarraville).





Hidden within the green rolling hills of the Strzelecki Ranges, the meandering Agnes River cascades over rocks into a deep, picturesque gorge. At 59 metres, it is the highest single span falls in Victoria.

After heavy rain, the river falls as a spectacular cascade into the gorge. An easy 200 metre walking track leads from the car park to a viewing area overlooking the falls A small picnic ground set among tall blue gums on the grassy banks of the river is the centrepiece of a six hectare scenic reserve.




The Prom is Victorias best loved National Park - 50,000 hectares of Bass Strait beaches backdropped by granite mountains, some of the most magnificent coastal scenery to be enjoyed in the State. White, sandy beaches encircle the landmass, with offshore islands punctuating the sea

During the mid 19th century, fur sealers would hunt the seals oil the offshore islands. Cattle grazing, forestry and tin mining were early industries, but the Prom had been declared a National Park. as early, as 1898 and by the 1920s tourism was becoming its major focus.
The settlement at Tidal River grew from army commando camps established during the second world war. The lighthouse located on the most southern tip of the Australian mainland was built in 1859.

The Prom is made of grey granite. Weathering of the rock over millions of years has produced the distinctive huge tors, which add to the incredible visual appeal of the Park. A network of 20 short to long walking tracks extend principally from Tidal River (where accommodation, camping and supplies are available) .and lead to secluded coves, beaches and lookouts.
The walk to the summit of Mt Oberon provides fine views in most directions, while the 40 km trek to the lighthouse is among the higher endurance walks.

 



This trail traverses the farming country of far South GippsIand, providing distant views of the peaks of Wilsons Promontory for much of the journey. It skirts the beautiful beach expanse of Waratah Bay before culminating at the Cape Liptrap Coastal Park and Lighthouse. Tarwin Lower is the gateway to Venus Bay, where kangaroos graze in their natural habitat and where access to the sheltered waters of Andersons Inlet can be gained.
Distance 84km.



Cape Liptrap is a narrow peninsula formed by the spine of the Hoddle Range running out to sea. It consists of steep cliffs of folded marine sediments flanked by rock pinnacles and wave cut platforms.
The Coastal Park declared in 1997 to protect the strikingly beautiful scenery, between the sand barrier at Pt Smythe (Venus Bay) and the sheltered waters of Waratah Bay (Walkerville).
The Cape Liptrap lighthouse was first built in 1913. Its light has it range of 18 nautical miles (over 43 km). Between Venus Bay and Cape Liptrap the coast varies between attractive cliffs of dune limestone to broad sandy beaches backed by, tall dunes. Gemstones such as jasper and serpentine are commonly found in the sheltered coves along the coast between Walkerville and the Cape. Walking tracks are mainly located at Walkerville and at Venus Bay.