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Vacation - Gippsland and the Baw Baw Mountains.

Updated on December 11, 2009

Vacation Gippsland and the Baw Baw Mountains.

The Latrobe Valley is the gateway to Gippsland.

From Melbourne it is a fantastic road trip for one whole day or more if you want to go take a good look at some of the coastline.

lying between the Strezelecki Mountain Range and the Great Dividing Range the Latrobe valley is rich and fertile, with a diverse range of industries.

On the left as you travel from Melbourne up the Latrobe Valley are the snow fields at Mount Baw Baw, which are quite close to Melbourne and not too far of the highway.If you stay on the freeway you will travel past Druin, Warragul, Trafalgar, Moe, Morwell, Traralgon, Sale and Bairnsdale before you arrive at Lakes Entrance.

Lake Victoria and Lakes entrance are at the other end of the Gippsland about 5 hours away. It is quite a bit warmer here in the winter than in Melbourne, and the fishing is very good all along this part of the coast, but especially on the 100 mile beach and in the Tambo River.

Farm land at Neerim South.

Neerim South in winter below the snow line
Neerim South in winter below the snow line

Neerim South

On the way to the Baw Baw snow fields you will pass through a lot of dairy farming country as you climb up in to the foothills you will come to Neerim South which is a service town for surrounding farms. A pretty little place perches on the top of the hill, it has a great old fashioned pub. This is a great place to stop for a "counter" lunch.

Counter lunches are an Australian hotel tradition of putting on great cheap food to promote drink sales.

You do not have to buy drinks to get a counter lunch, and children are always welcome in Australian hotels or pubs, and the old fashioned ones still have what they call a "saloon bar" for the purpose of eating as a family.

The Victorian Snowfields.

A tourist photographed at the entrance to Mount Baw Baw
A tourist photographed at the entrance to Mount Baw Baw

Mount Baw Baw camp.

Getting ready for a cold night on Mount Baw Baw. The closest snow fields to Melbourne.
Getting ready for a cold night on Mount Baw Baw. The closest snow fields to Melbourne.

Mount Baw Baw.

This is the large blue mountain you can see in the background from Melbourne, On a clear day you can see the snow line in winter.

Mount Baw Baw has very modern snow skiing facilities with many lifts and lots of accommodation for winter sports.The countryside is typical of the forested areas in Victoria, lush and beautiful, with natural tree-ferns in the gullies and old giant eucalyptus trees.

Drive in to Mount Baw Baw from either end of the Baw Baw tourist road and you will experience a totally different drive.

If you turn off the Princes highway at Warragul you will climb gently up the ridge to the rich farming area of Neerim. There are small towns such as Neerim Junction along the way where you can enjoy cold Australian beer with a steak or pasta dish for lunch at hotel prices. Although cheap, Australian pub meals are usually very nice.

Power Station Yallourn

Lakes Entrance Vic.

The beautiful waters of the lakes around Lakes Entrance.
The beautiful waters of the lakes around Lakes Entrance.
Memorial statues carved from old trees in the main street of Lakes Entrance
Memorial statues carved from old trees in the main street of Lakes Entrance

Coal Mines.

Coal mining started in the Latrobe Valley in the 1900s and there are many coal-fired power stations in the valley. The brown coal reserves in the Latrobe valley is very large, new methods of cleaning the pollution from the power stations is ongoing..

Power stations were established in Yallourn, Hazelwwood, Loy Yang are the main ones in the Valley, providing much of the states power needs. As you go further up the Latrobe Valley there are oil and gas installations ofshore.

Farming is a major industry in the Latrobe Valley with some of Australia's richest airy farm land on many of the river flats and wheat and other grains grown in the warm end of Gippsland

Lakes Entrance

After a leisurely 5 hours drive from Melbourne you will find yourself high above the coast, when suddenly below you is Lakes Entrance.

From the road you have no hint until you arrive, that you are about to descend down a steep hill in to this beautiful fishing and tourist town.

In the summer there is a beach carnival, and for children this is paradise. Just out of town is a indoor swimming pool and huge water slide!

Fishing trawlers can be seen coming and going through the treacherous heads that lead in to the Lakes Entrance inlet, When the boats are moored they can beĀ  easily viewed by the public as they are next to the lovely walking path provided by the city.

During the season fresh fish and Prawns can be purchased directly from the trawlers.

Along the walking path you will see many carvings of old tree trunks . The carvings are of a memorial nature and were fashioned by a local artist .

Lake Victoria

On the way to Lakes Entrance
On the way to Lakes Entrance

On the Bellarine Peninsula near Lakes Entrance is Lake Victoria. This area is part of the Lonsdale Lake Nature Reserve, the wetlands around the lake providing a habitat for many waterbirds such as banded Stilts and hooded plover.

Lake Victoria is calm and suitable for boating.

The Entrance.

The man made entrance to Lakes Entrance now a thriving fishing and tourist spot.
The man made entrance to Lakes Entrance now a thriving fishing and tourist spot.

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