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Phillip Island and Gippsland region Victoria The best travel deals are in the bag

Attractions Phillip Island - Gippsland

Phillip Island , famous for its annual Moto GP race, also has a wide variety of intimate experiences for couples and families to enjoy. With the local Fairy penguins and seals that wander the beaches and secluded inlets of the region, you will just love the friendly vibe of this neighbourhood. Mornington Peninsula provides a variety of well serviced towns, with accommodation to suit all. An excellent variety of gourmet food producers

Gippsland is a region which stretches eastwards, from the periphery of Melbourne, to the magnificent Lakes in the east and to the extraordinary Wilsons Promontory in the south east. It is riddled with masses of green forests and gardens, stunning mountains, rocky rivers, picturesque towns and, to a large degree, is defined by its long sandy beaches. It was the Polish explorer Count Paul Edmond de Strzelecki who named the region after Governor Gipps. The Princes, South Gippsland and Bass Highways provide the major access to its destinations.

YANAKIE
Yanakie is located on the Peninsula of Wilsons Promontory, South Gippsland, and the Southernmost Landmass on the Australian Mainland. Yanakie is approximately a two hour drive from Melbourne via the South Gippsland Highway, (just follow the Wilsons Promontory signs at all times), and the last (and only) town on the peninsula before the 'Prom' National Park gate. The village is situated in a rural location, overlooking rolling farmland, and is only a few minutes drive to beaches (Corner Inlet & Shallow Inlet) on either side of the Peninsula. This is a great destination for those interested in discovering the majestic beauty of the Southern Coastlines, Inlets and bays; access to the giant timbers, the ferny valleys and water falls of the Strzelecki Ranges.

  • Village Services - The Yanakie Licensed General Store, fuel outlet and Yanakie House & Gallery Café.
    Local attractions & services - Milparinkis Yabbie farm and Tingara View Tea Room
  • B&B and Self Contained accommodation providers.
  • Two caravan parks on either side of the peninsula
  • Boat launching facilities · Population - in village 12 people (increasing in season) and in the whole peninsula region - 261 people (varies seasonally)
  • On the Meeniyan - Promontory Road in South Gippsland, 185 Kms from the GPO in Melbourne. · 8 Kms from the National Park gate, travelling time approx 5 mins, and 30 minutes to Tidal River.
  • The main town is Foster, 28 Kms to the north, a 20 minutes drive
  • Surrounded on two sides by Inlets (Corner & Shallow Inlets), 5 minutes drive either way.
  • Local tennis courts & children's playground.
  • Fishing, boating, swimming, windsurfing and bushwalking.
  • A great base for the artist, photographer, fisherman, Prom enthusiast, or weary traveller.

HISTORY 'YANAKIE (yan-a-key) - a Koori name from the Gunai (Kurnai) language interpreted generally as 'between waters' - More than 12,000 years ago, when the sea level was six metres higher than at present, 'The Prom' was a group of islands with only the mountain tips showing above water level. When the sea level dropped, (to form the land bridge to Tasmania), a series of sand dunes formed over a basalt base creating the Yanakie Peninsula. This constructed a link between the previous islands and the mainland, so that when the sea level rose again, it thus formed what is now the present day Wilsons Promontory.
Wilsons Promontory was first travelled by the Koories (as south-eastern Australian Aboriginals prefer to call themselves). These people were the Gunai (Kurnai) community with the Brataualung clan occupying the surrounding areas of South Gippsland. To the Koories, Wilsons Promontory is known as 'Wamoon', (also known as Yirik or Woomom), watched over by their spirit ancestor, 'Loo-errn'. These people had been spending at least part of their year on the Yanakie Peninsula for approximately 6500 years prior to the arrival of George Bass in 1798.
Originally, in the shire of South Gippsland, Yanakie was one of the parishes in the County of Buln-Buln on Wilsons Promontory, along with the other parishes - Beek-Beek, Warreen, Kulk and Tallang. The northern section of Yanakie was probably exempted from the National Park (declared in 1905 - internal section only, 1908 - the coastline, and in the 1950's - the Yanakie southern section) on the grounds of revenue. A lease had been granted in 1852 for the Yanakie Station or Run (a profitable business), which originally grazed cattle through to Darby River. Yanakie has only been developed into dairying country since the 1950's... Prior to development, Yanakie (also called the Yanakie Common) was open heathy plains with the 'Red Swamp', 'White Swamp and 'Black Swamps', supporting vast birdlife including the black swans and brolgas. It is interesting to note that very few of these original Koori (aboriginal) parish names exist on the National Park today…


Since the time of European discovery, exploitation has vastly changed some of the land and the surrounding sea. One record of the extent of this is the impact on seal numbers - in 1804 the American ship 'Union' obtained 600,000 seal skins - today we have nowhere near this number in the whole of the southern Australian waters. When this industry collapsed they turned their attention towards harvesting the oil of muttonbirds (short-tailed Shearwaters), and whaling. (Local timber was used for fuel to boil down the blubber) A timber mill was set up in Sealers Cove in 1849, but lasted only until 1858, when presumably all the accessible tall timber had been removed. (A revival of the timber milling occurred again between 1903 to 1906, with a small town comprising 16 buildings, a boarding house and a community hall existed). Pastoral leases were granted from approximately 1851 onward in Sealers Cove and the Yanakie region, with varied successes.

LOCAL BEACHES AND WALKS AROUND YANAKIE SHALLOW INLET
Hourigan Camp Lane Walk - This section of 'The Prom' offers visitors long sandy beaches after a pleasant stroll through a sheltered gully. By walking quietly along the track, you may see and hear the various birds and animals in their natural habitat. The beach offers sandy tidal flats, where at low tide the channel is clearly visible and on high tide a vast sheet of water consumes the Inlet. The area forms part of the Shallow Inlet Marine and Coastal Park and is popular for fishing and windsurfing. From Millar Road (see map) turn into - 'Hourigan Camp Lane', a short unmade road, and drive to the carpark. Once you pass through the small gate, you are in Wilsons Promontory National Park. Follow the track along the boardwalk to the beach. Distance: 400metres/10 - 15mins one way - an easy walk. Lester Road - at the end of this road was the site of the original guest house for those wishing to travel further into the Promontory. From this location, people would wait until low tide, then set off driving around the beach of Shallow Inlet, along Cotters Beach, finally making their way down to the 'Darby River Chalet' (now demolished). Here you will find a lovely beach side picnic area near the caravan park. Adams Road - after a little climb down to the beach, you will find yourself at the lower reaches of the Shallow Inlet channel. This vast area is the nursery and breeding ground of several fish species.


CORNER INLET Duck Point Walk - Commencing on Foley Road, this trail leads through thickets of Coastal Tea-tree to the sheltered waters of Corner Inlet. Scenic views across the Inlet to the peaks of Wilsons Promontory are the feature of this walk. Distance 800 metres/30min return Shellcot Road - enter reserve area marked 'Red Bluff' and follow track to beach. It is very pleasant to walk in either direction, but to the right you will see the 'Red Bluff' jutting out. ('Red Bluff' is formed out of a very reddish clay) This is a very tidal area. Bluff Road - Follow a very bushy track down to the boat sheds. This is a mangrove area and can be quite squelchy under foot. To the left, towards 'Red Bluff', the very rare 'Yanakie Berry ' (bright red berries with very prickly leaves) can be seen in fruit in the late Autumn and early Winter. From this location enjoy the wonderful views over the Inlet Be aware that this is a tidal area, and even at low tide the shoreline can be very boggy. Yanakie Landing Walk - Starting at Foley Road the track wends its way down to the rocky beach area, then back up through the Old Quarry. Distance approximately a 1.3km circuit with some steep sections. The lookout has good views of Corner Inlet and over Mt.Singapore, Mt.Vereker, Mt.Margaret, Mt.Hunter, Mt.Roundback and Chinamans Knob. Charles Hall Road - an excellent location for observing the pristine environment and habitat of many species of wading birds. This is a very fragile and significant location with its marshes and small creeks, so tread gently.

BASS
At the town of Bass on the Bass Highway, you'll discover the extraordinary Wildlife Wonderland. This has four different areas depicting Australian wildlife - the giant worm attraction, wombat world, kangaroo enclosure and a farm yard featuring cows, sheep, goats and a host of other animals. Wildlife Wonderland allows visitors to have hands-on contact with some of Australia's most treasured animals.

WONTHAGGI
A 90-minute journey down the South Gippsland and Bass Highways brings you to the former coal mining town of Wonthaggi. The mines operated here from 1909 till 1968 and, if it were not for coal, the town would not have existed.

The only mine now in operation is for tourists. Known as the State Coal Mine it was reopened in 1982 for the making of the film, "Strikebound". Former miners take regular tours underground and show the difficult conditions in which they once worked.

INVERLOCH
Inverloch was one of the state's first seaports and much of the first coal mined in Wonthaggi was shipped to Melbourne from here. The township is found at the mouth of Anderson's Inlet and it is best known for its beaches. The coastal drive between Cape Paterson and Inverloch is a must. It tracks along the narrow Bunurong Cliff Coastal Park. Look out for Eagles Nest - a peculiar rock formation which has long been a prominent landmark.

KORUMBURRA
Korumburra is a similar distance from Melbourne and was likewise established because of coal. Black coal was first uncovered here in 1872 and by 1889 the Coal Creek Mine was producing the first commercially-viable coal in the state.

Today, on the original site of this mine, is the Coal Creek Historical Village, which features a recreation of a coal mining town of the 1890s. Coal Creek has established itself as one of Gippsland's major tourism destinations and is conveniently located on the South Gippsland Highway.

LEONGATHA
A 10-minute drive from Korumburra is the thriving farming town of Leongatha, home of the biggest dairy factory in the southern hemisphere. Leongatha was once the home of a labour colony, a settlement of unemployed men who cleared and farmed the area after the completion of the South Gippsland railway in the 1890s.

FOSTER
Further down the South Gippsland Highway is the pretty former gold mining town of Foster. On the way in you will be rewarded with great views of Wilsons Promontory and Corner Inlet. Gold was discovered at Foster in 1870 by a group of timber cutters. While the finds were never as rich as those elsewhere in Victoria, goldmining continued through till the 1930s.

YARRAM
Rejoining the South Gippsland Highway and travelling east you will happen upon the town of Yarram, formerly the site of low-lying swamplands.

John Carpenter, an early pioneer, established a flour mill and a saw mill in the area in 1857.

PORT ALBERT
Nearby is the historic Port Albert, discovered in 1841 by Angus McMillan. It is Victoria's oldest seaport and the first settlement in Gippsland. Its size belies the major role it played in the opening up of the whole region. McMillan happened upon Port Albert during his search for a southern port through which to ship livestock between New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land.

Throughout the 1840s more settlers arrived , gradually shipping, banking, stock and other businesses were established.

When gold was discovered at Walhalla and Omeo, Port Albert became a shipping point for something other than cattle. Its relevance as a transport hub began to decline following the establishment of the South Gippsland rail line in the 1890s.

A walk through Port Albert will reveal some 12 historic buildings all with plaques affixed.

Today the town is best known for fishing. It provides access not only to Bass Strait but to 220 square kilometres of sheltered estuaries. Catches include flathead, snapper, king george whiting, bream, salmon, perch and mulloway.

LATROBE VALLEY Supplying about 85 per cent of Victoria's power, the Latrobe Valley has long been regarded as the state's "engine room" and contains three major cities - Morwell, Moe and Traralgon.

Begining at the town of Yarragon, the Princes Highway plots the extent of the Latrobe Valley to its end just east of Traralgon. "The Valley", as it's called by its residents, is home to the State Electricity Commission's giant open cut coal mine and its extensive power generation plants. Regular free tours are conducted of the Morwell Open Cut and Hazlewood Power Station.

This area is sports mad as two top class racecourses (Moe and Traralgon) and four I8-hole golf courses help testify.

The Latrobe Valley boasts about 40 a la carte restaurants, more than 30 hotels/motels, extensive convention facilities and a good range of caravan and camping grounds.

The Valley puts the visitor within striking distance of some magnificent country such as that found at the Tarra-Bulga, Baw Baw, and Morwell National Parks, and at the Mount Worth, Strezlecki, Moondara, Tyers and Holey Plains State Parks.

It is also only a short drive from the extraordinary former goldmining town of Walhalla.

Just 45 minutes drive north of Moe and found within the Baw Baw National Park are the excellent cross-country ski resorts of Baw Baw and Mt St Gwinear.

And, at Moe, is the Latrobe Valley's pride and joy - Old Gippstown. Found right on the Princes Highway this recreated township of more than 30 buildings is situated on 3.5 hectares of parkland. It has recaptured the life of early Gippsland through the eyes of the primary producer, the gold prospector, the retailer and the early industrialist.

At Morwell is the Latrobe Regional Gallery which has provided great support to talented local artists through both its acquisitions and exhibitions.

WALHALLA
Not far north of the Latrobe Valley and nestled in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, the Mountain Rivers District provides a beautiful combination of history and nature.

Here you will find the magnificent former goldmining town of Walhalla. It's almost as if it has been snap frozen in time. Not many people live at Walhalla but many of its original buildings remain.

These include the fire station, museum, post office, Windsor House, Mechanics Institute, bank vault Freemason's Lodge, St John's Church of England and, possibly the most photographed thing in Walhalla, the grand old band rotunda.

During the 1880s Walhalla was one of the state's richest goldfields. The Long Tunnel Extended Mine, which operated from 1871 until 1911, yielded 8 15,568 ounces of gold and paid dividends of $2.5 million.

The hilly terrain meant local sports fans had to virtually cut the top off a mountain in order to establish a sports field for football and cricket. The climb to the top was so arduous that local sportsmen would ascend the day before and camp overnight.

ERICA
Not far from Walhalla is Erica, an historic timber town, where you will see old wooden timber trestle bridges, tram lines and mill sites. The local hotel has an extensive display of artefacts while the railway museum traces the history of the Moe to Walhalla line which closed in 1954. Efforts are underway to restore part of the line for tourists.

RAWSON The township of Rawson was established for workers constructing the giant Thomson Dam which was completed in 1983. This dam supplies water to Melbourne and is an ideal place for picnics. The dam is fed by the magnificent Thomson River which has established itself as an excellent venue for whitewater rafting, canoeing and trout fishing.

SALE
Sale is the biggest centre in the area and it is here that you can view the acclaimed textile art of the famous wildlife artist Annemieke Mein. A key source of her inspiration is the wetlands of the Sale Common. For thousands of years this labyrinth of marshes, rivers and lakes has provided a haven for a vast range of wildlife.

Sale is just a 20 minute drive from the famous 90-Mile Beach, the slender strip of coast which helps separate the remarkable Gippsland Lakes from the ocean. These are comprised of three lakes - King, Victoria and Wellington. These lakes are fed by four navigable rivers - Latrobe, Mitchell, Nicholson and Tambo.

The Lakes incorporate picturesque resorts such as Paynesville, Metung, Loch Sport, Rotamah Island, Golden Beach and Seaspray. Sufficiently protected from the ocean winds, and without any rocks to contend with, the Gippsland Lakes provide an ideal boating venue for cruisers, yachts and small craft.

To a large degree the area is very much as it was when explorer Angus McMillan visited here in the 1840s and this is mainly due to the establishment of national parks covering almost 20,000 hectares.

MAFFRA
Just to the north west of Sale is the charming town of Maffra where the annual Gippsland Harvest Festival is staged at the Powerscourt Country House. This celebrates the produce provided by the rich fertile flood plains. Noted restaurants, vignerons and artists are represented on one of the most important days on Central Gippsland's calender.

BAIRNSDALE
Bairnsdale is a neat and charming town found on the banks of the Mitchell River, between Sale and Lakes Entrance on the Princes Highway. Both Sale and Bairnsdale put the visitor in easy rich of the high country to the north. Most notable this means the Alpine National Park, the Avon Wilderness Area and the Mitchell River National Park. An ideal destination is the Den of Nargun, a ferny grotto in the Mitchell River National Park which is popular for picnics and bushwalking.

Photo courtesy - Tourism VIC
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