Need some Inspiration for your Visitors or Friends & Relatives
SUMMER HOLIDAY FUN TAKES OVER GIPPSLAND,
FROM THE SEA TO THE MOUNTAINS, CAVES, LAKES AND FOOD!
Summer is the ideal time to explore your own backyard, support local businesses and show off our beautiful region off to visiting friends and family. Gippsland comes alive in the Summer with outdoor adventures and exploration activities that will entertain, educate and inspire even the most screen-loving kids.
Celebrating the region’s spectacular local produce and proud culture, Gippsland has a full calendar of family-friendly food and wine events including The Kilcunda Lobster Festival, The Meeniyan Garlic Festival, the Mirboo North Italian Festa and the Thorpdale Potato Festival all with a wide variety of food and drinks, market stalls, entertainment and quirky activities we’re sure you’ll only ever find at that event… spud sack fashion parade anyone?
Along the coastline near Inverloch, children can venture into another world of dinosaurs with a Dinosaur Discovery Tour, Wildlife Spotlighting or a Rockpool Ramble at The Bunurong Environment Centre or learn to surf with the skilled, and very entertaining, team from Offshore Surf School.
In East Gippsland, families can weave their way through a land of calcite-rimmed pools and 400-million-year-old limestone caves at the Buchan Caves or explore nature’s playground in the Gippsland Lakes with a range or boat tours, kayaking, SUP or mountain biking activities.
Or take the kids for a step back in time at one of Gippsland’s exceptional historic attraction including the Wonthaggi State Coal Mine, Coal Creek Korumburra, Old Gippstown or Walhalla’s Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine and Goldfields Railway.
Pick your own Berries
It’s been a rough year for the humble strawberry. Show your love of local, farm grown berries by loading up your family or friends for a drive through Gippsland’s beautiful, rolling green hills to stop in to pick some juicy, sun-ripened fruit and berries at the following open farms.
When: The berry season usually runs from early Dec through to early – mid Feb. Check opening time or call to make an appointment. Remember to BYO containers…
Waterwheel Orchards – Boolarra
Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
Sunny Creek Organic Berry Farm – Trafalgar
Loganberries, gooseberries, red currants, raspberries, ranui blackberries and youngberries.
Strawberries, gold and black raspberries.
Herbert Hill Berry Farm – Leongatha
Loganberries, Silvanberries, Youngberries, Boysenberries
http://www.herberthillberryfarm.com.au/ – Leongatha
Yilleen Berry Farm – Hallston
Raspberries,Boysenberries, Youngberries, Brambleberries, Black and Red Currants.
Bunurong Coast Education – Summer School Holiday Program
Bunurong Coast Education program will be hosting activities for families across the school holidays to meet the busy summer demands. Including the Dinosaur Discovery and Rock Pool Ramble adventures; this school holiday program also features an Astronomy activity to explore the clear Gippsland night sky while Wildlife Spotlighting takes kids on an exploration through bushland to find the creatures of the night. Families will be entertained by local musicians with donations supporting the SGCS tree planting program.
When: Multiple dates throughout school holidays
Where: Bunurong Environment Centre, corner The Esplanade and Ramsay Bvd, Inverloch
How: Visit http://sgcs.org.au/ or book tickets at Bunurong Coast Education
Kids Surfing and SUP lessons
nudie SurfGroms adopts an approach to learning that uses group-based games to not only equip your child with the skills they need to surf and/or SUP, but also to encourage their participation by having fun. Every nudie SurfGroms lesson is designed purposefully to create a positive and supportive learning environment. nudie SurfGroms teaches children from 5-12 years old core skills in the ocean across five incremental skill levels, as well as fundamental Ocean Awareness and Beach Safety skills such as surf survival and rescue techniques; basic first aid skills; and about varying surf conditions at the beach. Offshore Surf School in Inverloch run weekly and 4-day intensive programs.
When: Multiple dates in Summer
Where: 8 Ramsey Boulevard, Inverloch
How: Bookings can be made online http://offshoresurfschool.com.au/ or phone 0407 374 743
Near the township of Buchan is a world of honeycomb caves full of intricate limestone formations created by underground rivers and rain water seeping through the cracks. From beautiful calcite-rimmed pools in the Royal Cave to the elaborate magical Fairy Cave, families can embark on a guided tour for the ultimate nature based experience.
When: Daily, excluding Christmas
Where: Caves Rd, Buchan, Victoria 3885
How: Visit www.parkweb.vic.gov.au for more information or phone 03 5162 1910
Coal Creek Korumburra
Give your kids a taste of Gippsland’s rich history with a trip to one of the many historic sites dotted around this beautiful part of Victoria. Coal Creek Community Park and Museum in Korumburra is like taking a step back in time, and best of all entry is free!
The park is open seven days a week over the Victorian school holidays, and kids get to see what life was like in Gippsland from the 1870s to the 1920s.
School Holiday Program – 23 or 24 January 2019, 9am – 3.30pm. Children spend the day as an early settler, collecting firewood, preparing a traditional early settlers lunch to cook over the fire, making bush tools and playing traditional games.
When: Open 7 days a week
Where: 12 Silkstone Rd, Korumburra VIC 3950
How: Visit https://coalcreekcommunityparkandmuseum.com for more information
The stunning town of Walhalla is also a fabulous way to give the kids a history lesson, showing them just how this tiny town boomed during the gold rush.
Explore the lovingly maintained, authentic buildings, or take a ride on the historic Walhalla Goldfields Railway, which runs three times a day during school holidays or tour the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine, which was the most productive mine in Victoria for several years during the 1890s.
Where: Just 45 minutes north of Moe, Victoria
How: Visit www.visitwalhalla.com/ for more information
State Coal Mine at Wonthaggi
Another fabulous mining community that will immerse the kids in a bygone era is the State Coal Mine at Wonthaggi. Underground tours run daily, with additional tours during the school holidays and prices varying depending on age. However, it’s free to visit the above-ground facilities, including the heritage walk.
Where: State Coal Mine Garden St, Wonthaggi VIC 3995
How: Visit https://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/state-coal-mine-h.a. for more information
Mount Baw Baw Summer Activities
Escape the heat and explore all that Mt Baw Baw Alpine Village has to offer over the Summer months. Regardless of the time of year there’s always something exciting to do at Mt Baw Baw – Kids (and big kids) come and try our free to use inground trampolines, Glamping, Fly Fishing, Laser Tag, Archery, Mountain Bike Shuttles or walk with the endangered Alpine Dingoes.
Where: Mt Baw Baw Alpine Village
How: For more information see https://mountbawbaw.com.au/summer-activities
Tarra Bulga National Park
With its lush gullies, giant mountain ash trees and tree ferns, Tarra Bulga National Park is one of only four major areas of cool temperate rainforest in the state.
Picnic under a mountain ash
Have lunch at the Tarra Bulga Picnic area, just off the Grand Ridge Road, or the Tarra Valley picnic area off Tarra Valley Road. Both spots are set amongst the giant mountain ash and shady fronds of tree ferns and offer tables, fireplaces, toilets and picnic shelters.
Bushwalks, waterfalls and rivers
Try out one of the numerous walking tracks that emanate from the picnic areas. Meander through the forest, head south down to Tarra Falls, or take the Fern Gully Nature Walk, which includes magnificent views along the famous suspension bridge.
How: https://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/tarra-bulga-national-park for more information.
Venture Out School Holiday Program
This Summer school holidays, choose from riding and paddling adventures in and around Lakes Entrance, catering for ages 7-15 years. Kids can BYO Bikes/Kayaks or use ours, see pricing below, discounts available for booking multiple activities on the Venture Out website
When: Throughout Summer School holidays
Where: Lakes Entrance and surrounds
How: Visit https://ventureout.com.au for more information
Lakes Entrance – Boat Tours
Visitors can venture through the spectacular waterways of the Gippsland Lakes with a scenic eco tour. There are a huge range of boat cruises available visiting the islands of the lakes, the Entrance from the ocean to the lakes and various other points of interest around the Lakes. Spot sea birds, sea horses and even seals or dolphins in the wild.
When: Multiple departure dates and times
Where: The Esplanade, Lakes Entrance, VIC 3909
How: Minimum age may apply. Visit http://www.lonsdalecruises.com.au or www.lakes-explorer.com.au for more information.
Junior Ranger Programs across Gippsland
Junior Ranger Programs will run this Summer across Gippsland’s diverse National Parks and Reserves, close to some of Victoria’s most popular family holiday destinations.
Kids and families holidaying in Gippsland can watch tiny critters through microscopes on a Minibeast Discovery, follow clues to discover animals in the bush as a Wildlife Detective, or find out what lies beneath the water in a Rockpool Ramble.
Junior Rangers is a free program hosted by Parks Victoria Rangers, offering activities for children aged 6 to 12 and their families with the aim of getting kids outdoors and teaching them about our natural environment. Gipspsland Parks included in this Summer’s Junior Ranger Program are:
Croajingolong National Park, Heyfield Wetlands, Cape Conran Coastal Park, Morwell River National Park, Gippsland Lakes, Tarra Bulga National Park, Mitchell River, Mt Worth State Park, Mitta River, and Wilsons Promontory National Park
All activities are free, but bookings are essential and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all sessions. Check the website http://www.juniorrangers.com.au in mid-December for activity locations and dates, and to register your attendance.
How: Visit www.juniorrangers.com.au in mid-December for activity locations and dates, and to register your attendance.
Chants Carnival, Lakes Entrance Foreshore – January
Come to Lakes Entrance and experience the best Carnival rides this side of the Melbourne Show.
Chants Family Carnival is on the Foreshore in Lakes Entrance from late December through to the end of the school holidays, end of January. Including Australia Day.
Opening from 6:00 pm every day till late, the Carnival offers rides for the crazy adventerous to little kids. Sideshows, Ferris Wheel and Dodgem cars as well.
Chants Amusements do shows all around Australia, including Moomba, Melbourne and Sydney Shows and hundreds of smaller festivals. They’re a professional bunch with a team of hardworking dedicated workers making the Carnival a great experience for everyone.
For up to date information on dates and times, keep an eye on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/LakesEntrance.
When: Late-December 2018 – late-January 2019
Where: Lakes Entrance, East Gippsland
How: Visit https://www.lakesentrance.com/events/lakes-entrance-carnival-1 for more information.
Tesky Brothers at Summer Nights – Mossvale Park – 5 Jan
It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful setting for a Summer evening of live music than Mossvale Park, a beautiful public park filled with majestic oak trees and an open sound stage, midway between Leongatha and Mirboo North, South Gippsland.
Honouring that old school Motown sound and working it into something of their very own, Australian four piece The Teskey Brothers stunned many in 2017 with their gorgeous debut album Half Mile Harvest. A raw combination of soul and blues, the record has warmed the hearts of listeners everywhere. The Teskey Brothers will be supported by Saskwatch, Caiti Baker, Rechords for what promises to be a highlight of the Summer.
When: Saturday, 5 January 2019
Where: Mossvale Park, Berrys Creek, South Gippsland
How: Visit http://lyrebirdartscouncil.com.au/mossvale-park-summer-nights-2/ for more information.
Cape Family Festival – 19 Jan
The Cape Family Festival is a Wonthaggi Life Saving Club Initiative that celebrates Cape Paterson’s rich local culture, environment, music, diverse food, and fun in the sun for the whole family.
Activities on the day include Live Music, Food Stalls, Market Stalls, Live Music, Beach and Children’s Activities
With an emphasis on enjoying the natural environment, traditional beach activities are a key component for kids at the Cape Family Festival. Lifesavers from (Wonthaggi Life Saving Club and trainers from Lifesaving Victoria) will be supervising the beach and beach activities will include learn to snorkel and scuba dive.
When: Saturday, 19 January 2019
Where: Cape Paterson, Bass Coast
How: Visit https://www.facebook.com/wonthaggilsc for more information.
Kilcunda Lobster festival – 27 Jan
A family friendly event overlooking the beautiful Bass Strait on the foreshore at Kilcunda. Freshly cooked local lobsters are available to purchase whole or as a lunch – or buy a spinning wheel ticket and win one!
The event has a wide variety of food and drinks, market stalls, entertainment, emergency service displays and is free entry.
When: 27 January 2019
Where: Kilcunda, Bass Coast
How: Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/2080821192129790/ for more information.
Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta – 26- 28 Jan
The Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta will once again be taking place over the Australia Day weekend in 2019. Running from the 26th to 28th January, this 3-day event will include social sailing, regatta racing and beach displays in what has become Australia’s foremost wooden dinghy gathering. Now in its 6th year, the regatta welcomes all wooden sailing dinghies (whatever their state of repair or seaworthiness!) and will feature a “Jack Holt designs” theme. A Regatta awards dinner is planned for the Sunday night. More details to follow soon.
When: 26 – 28 January 2019
Where: Inverloch, Bass Coast
How: Visit http://sgycinverloch.com.au for more information.
San Remo Channel Challenge – 9 Feb
Part of the Bass Coast Series, the San Remo Channel Challenge begins on San Remo foreshore, south of the pier, for a 550m swim across the channel to Newhaven on Phillip Island at ebb tide.
Then don your shoes at the change station for a 2km run back over the bridge and up the road toward Anderson, before turning back into town to finish in front of San Remo Hotel Motel.
A day of festivities surrounds this popular event, with a number of art exhibitions/workshops, farmers markets, yoga on the beach and swimming/running events.
When: 9 February 2019
Where: San Remo, Bass Coast
How: Visit http://www.basscoastseries.com.au/san-remo-channel-challenge for more information.
Mirboo North Italian Festa – 10 Feb
A celebration of the proud Italian heritage of the Mirboo North area – 50 years ago, a group of Italian immigrants in Mirboo North commissioned a statue of St Paul, the patron saint of their hometown “Solarino” in Sicily, and had it shipped to Australia. The statue’s arrival was celebrated with the first St Paul’s Festival in 1966.
More than 50 years later the Mirboo North Italian Festa has grown to one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the Gippsland events calendar.
The Festa boasts delicious, authentic Italian food stalls, outdoor bars, huge market area, music, singing, dancing, comedy, displays, cooking demonstrations, grape stomping, cars and competitions. For the kids there’s the Jumping Castle, Giant inflatable slide and Obstacle Course.
It is promising to be another huge event in 2019 with 14 flag throwers coming from Faenza in Italy to perform, lots of other free entertainment and of course dozens of FOOD stalls selling authentic lovingly prepared handmade Italian food from the many regions of Italy!!
When: Sunday, 10 February 2019
Where: Baromi Park, Mirboo North, South Gippsland
How: Visit http://www.italianfesta.net for more information.
Meeniyan Garlic Festival – 16 Feb
A celebration of all things garlic takes over the village of Meeniyan each February – garlic beer, garlic ice-cream and loads of loads of garlic in the biggest and best selection of locally-grown garlic in all of Victoria!
The town jumps with activity in this hugely popular Summer events. There are cooking demonstrations, guest speakers, live music, market stalls and kids activities, plus a Wine and Cheese Precinct gives you the chance to sample 15 local wine and cheesemakers at the one event.
NEW for 2019
– Specialty presentations in the Festival Kitchen Stage on Kombucha and Water Kefit
– And Bush Herbs (from Peppermint Ridge Farm)
– Artisan Workshops – making garlic oil, garlic aioli and smoked garlic butter, black garlic, smoked garlic and plaiting garlic
When: Saturday, 16 February 2019
Where: Meeniyan Recreation Reserve, Meeniyan, South Gippsland
How: Visit http://meeniyangarlicfestival.com.au/ for more information.
Bruthen Blues Festival – 15, 16 & 17 February 2019
Bruthen Blues & Arts Festival is on again in February 2019. Bruthen Blues is East Gippsland’s premier 3 day music event. Held on the third weekend of February, the event will celebrate its 24th anniversary. The festival opens on a Friday night at the great local music showdown, The Friday Night Jam, with music and fun continuing on until Sunday evening at the Sunday Recovery. The jewel in the festival crown is the Big Blues Bash at Bruthen Inn Hotel. Festival artists include 19-Twenty, The Fret Drifters and The Kutcha Edwards Band to name just three.
Earlybird tickets are available to purchase for $85 from the festival website until 31st January 2019.
When: 15, 16, 17th February 2019
Where: Bruthen, East Gippsland
How: Visit www.bruthenblues.com.au for more information and tickets
Feral Forage and Feast: Eat the Problem – 16 Feb
Venison, sea urchin, blackberries, rabbits… Feral Forage and Feast shows the inherent deliciousness in Victoria’s pest problem.
Learn how to get creative with our agricultural enemies through with workshops run by local artisans, cooking competitions and presentations by celebrity chefs.
Just add local music and craft beer and get ready to party the problem away.
When: 16 February 2019
Where: Bruthen Mechanics Hall, Bruthen
How: Visit http://www.melbournefoodandwine.com.au/program/feral-forage-and-feast-7120 for more information and tickets
Boolarra Folk Festival – 2 March
The Boolarra Folk Festival is a FREE annual community event held in the beautiful country township of Boolarra.
Come along and enjoy the relaxed and friendly atmosphere, whilst enjoying some fantastic live music.
Our Art, Craft and Food Market will once again provide visitors with the opportunity to discover the work of many local artisans.
When: 2 March 2019
Where: Boolarra, Latrobe City
How: See http://www.boolarrafolkfestival.com.au/ for more information
Thorpdale Potato Festival – 10 March
The Thorpdale Potato Festival is a family fun day out to celebrate the humble spud. Potatoes are the world’s most versatile vegetable – come learn how they are grown, harvested and thrive in our rich volcanic Gippsland soil.
The return of the festival in 2015, the first after a 15 year hiatus, saw close to 10,000 people flock to the rolling Thorpdale hills to enjoy picking, stacking, eating and learning all about our delicious potatoes.
Meet the farmers who grow the potatoes, see the spectacle of the pallet throw, the speed of the spud pickers or peruse the ‘hessians on the field’.
Full of good old-fashioned country show entertainment including sheep dog trials, a quick shear competition and free live music throughout the day, the Thorpdale Potato Festival is sure to have something for everyone!
When: 10 March 2019
Where: Thorpdale, Baw Baw
How: Visit https://www.thorpdalepotatofestival.com.au/ for more information.
Regional World’s Longest Lunch – Lardner Park – 15 March
Gather your friends and family to celebrate the amazing food and drink that the Gippsland region is renowned for. This Regional World’s Longest Lunch will showcase mouth-watering produce from every corner of Gippsland over a three-course lunch with an excellent wine and drink list, set in one of the region’s premier event venues.
When: Friday 15 March 2019
Where: Lardner Park, Lardner
How: Visit http://www.melbournefoodandwine.com.au/program/regional-worlds-longest-lunch-lardner-park-7297 for more information and tickets
For more information about visiting Gippsland, see: www.inspiredbygippsland.com.au.