As the temperature rises this summer, scenic Gippsland will come to life with an inspiring array of outdoor adventures, coastal rambles and exploration activities along with music festivals, sumptuous food and wine experiences and complete indulgence at the luxurious new Brandy Creek Day Spa. Adventurous travellers can weave their way through the inspiring Buchan Caves to enter a land of calcite-rimmed pools and magic or take in the scenic views of the Gippsland Lakes with Riveria Nautic's sightseeing cruise boats. Visitors in need of a little indulgence can relax and unwind at the stunning new architect designed Brandy Creek Day Spa, set to be the next leading Victorian day spa destination. Other highlights this summer include water park fun at BIG4 Inverloch Holiday Park, farm-to-table foraging and outdoor dining at working farm, Tamsin's Table, lazy afternoons tasting the hand-crafted wines at Narkoojee Winery, toe tapping fun at the Beyond the Valley and Groundswell Music Festivals and self-guided scenic cycling adventures around the Snowy River region.
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.
What: Buchan Caves guided tours
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
Sightseeing Tours of the Gippsland Lakes
The award-winning Riviera Nautic, offers unforgettable 2.5 hour sightseeing tours on the cruise boat, Riviera Scenic, showcasing the region's beauty and sharing insights into the area's history, wildlife and more. Starting from the marina in Metung and then heading out through Chinaman's Creek to the picturesque Box's Creek, the Riviera Scenic tour also takes in Bells Point, the quaint hamlets of Nungurner and Kalimna, and the busy fishing hub of Lakes Entrance, stopping for a short beach walk before heading back to Metung via the stunning Barrier Landing.
What: Riviera Nautic's sightseeing tours of the Gippsland Lakes
When: Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 2.30pm to 5.00pm
Where: Tours depart from the Riviera Nautic Marina, 185 Metung Road, Metung
How: To book, call 03 5156 2243. Tickets are $45 for adults, $35 for seniors, concession holders and locals, and $20 for children or $110 for a family (or 2 adults and up to 3 children). Children under 6 are free. For more information, visit www.rivierascenic.com.au/tours
Brandy Creek Day Spa
Located an hour's drive out of Melbourne, Brandy Creek Day Spa is a stunning new $1.8 million architect designed escape. Set to position Gippsland as a leading day spa destination, Brandy Creek Day Spa looks out across the surrounding valley, rolling hills and vineyard and offers five treatment rooms, luxurious change rooms and a spectacular Turkish Hammam (steam bath). Brandy Creek Day Spa's signature treatments have been designed using Australian skincare brands Uspa and Alpha H to deliver the perfect balance of therapeutic nurturing and cosmeceutical punch. Visitors looking for a full day of indulgence can ask Brandy Creek Day Spa to organise a complete package combining luxury therapies with a beautiful meal or wine tasting along with local boutique accommodation where required.
What: The luxurious new $1.8 million architect designed Brandy Creek Day Spa
When: Open Thursday to Monday from 10am
Where: 570 Buln Buln Road, Drouin East
Snowy River Cycling
Snowy River Cycling is offering self-guided summer cycling trips, encouraging visitors to explore the farmlands and forest area surrounding the beautiful Snowy River. Starting and finishing in Orbost, cyclists have the option of choosing a relaxed, leisurely pedal riverside or, for the more experienced, an energetic 45km loop that covers the river, farmland and East Gippsland Rail Trail. Bike, helmet, basic tools, drink bottle holder, route maps and information are all included in the tour providing everything needed to discover the inspiring and scenic surrounds of Gippsland by bike.
What: Self-guided cycling tour around Snowy River
When: Available via bookings
Where: Orbost, Far East Gippsland, Victoria
How: Visit www.snowyrivercycling.com.au to organise bike and equipment hire
*NEW* Indoor Splash Park at BIG4 Inverloch Holiday Park
The family friendly offering of the Inverloch Big4 Holiday Park has just been extended with the introduction of an exciting new indoor splash park; the first of its kind in an Australian caravan park. The surf themed water park is packed with a series of thrilling aquatic fun including a giant shark tipping bucket, large and small water slides, cannon guns, fountains and mini tipping buckets perfect for tiny tots. The splash park is situated within a temperature controlled, indoor environment making it perfect for use all year round and includes activities for kids of all ages.
What: A new indoor splash park for visitors at BIG4 Inverloch Holiday Park
When: Open year round for guests of BIG4 Inverloch Holiday Park
Where: 2 Cuttriss Street, Inverloch
How: For bookings and inquiries visit www.big4.com.au/caravan-parks/vic/gippsland/inverloch-holiday-park or phone 1800 468 375.
Taste local wine and produce at Narkoojee Winery
Visitors can soak in the warmer weather and scenery with a relaxing afternoon at Narkoojee Winery. Nestled in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, with a spectacular view of the Strzelecki Ranges, this award winning winery is a two hour drive out of Melbourne where the cool, long-ripening period produces classic, cool climate wines. At the Cellar Door, visitors can indulge in hand-crafted wines and delicious Mediterranean inspired dishes from the restaurant, by Jorg.
What: Winery and Cellar Door. Winery tours can also be made by appointment.
When: Cellar Door is open daily from 10:30am – 4:30pm, excluding Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Good Friday.
Where: 220 Francis Road, Glengarry, VIC 3854
How: For more information visit narkoojee.com
Set on a 113 acre working farm in the lush countryside of Poowong East, Tamsin's Table was created by owner, Tamsin Carvan, a former city girl who made the sea change and moved to the countryside to establish this beautiful workshop and dining destination. Husband Allan makes handcrafted furniture and interiors by commission, while Tamsin collaborates with some wonderfully talented individuals on bespoke, intimate, open-to-the-public events held on the farm. A calendar of lunches are held throughout the year at the farmhouse or outside under the tree, with delicious seasonal food and spectacular views of the valley. Visitors will be treated to a simple, whimsical menu of seasonal produce, grown in the rambling kitchen garden or on the farm.
What: Lunch and workshops at Tamsin's Table
When: Available via booking
Where: Tamsin's Table, 2255 Main South Road, Poowong East, Victoria
How: To make a booking visit http://tamsinstable.com.au/lunches and select a lunch event or workshop to attend. Private group bookings are available for eight to ten guests by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with preferred dates.
Beyond the Valley
After a hugely popular inaugural Festival in 2014, Beyond the Valley music festival is back in 2015 with an impressive line up and a new location. Music lovers won't want to miss performances from Anna Lunoe, Benson, Broadway Sounds, Client Liaison, Dividem, KINGSWOOD, Oliver Dollar, Sam Feldt, Seth Troxler, Skepta and more. Beyond the Valley will be held on a new site in Lardner this year with spacious green fields surrounding a central lake and rolling hills in the distance. General camping is free with event admission but can also be upgraded at an additional cost to a powered site in the Electric City or a Luxury Camping option.
What: A music festival held across New Years Eve with a beautifully green, and uniquely Gippsland backdrop.
When: 29th December 2015 – 1st January 2016
Where: 155 Burnt Store Road, Lardner, 90 minutes east of Melbourne; a picturesque site with spacious green fields surrounding a central lake, all encapsulated by hills rolling on into the distance.
How: For tickets and more information visit www.beyondthevalley.com.au.
Groundswell Music Festival
The second annual Lake Tyers Beach Groundswell Festival will feature Aussie rock greats including the Hoodoo Gurus, Ian Moss, Diesel, The Break (featuring members of Midnight Oil and the Violent Femmes), Electric Mary, Harry Hookey and Matt Katsis and will once again be held at the Waterwheel Beach Tavern, on the beachfront of the pristine Lake Tyers Beach, East Gippsland.
What: A one day music festival with the stunning backdrop of Lake Tyers Beach, East Gippsland
When: 2 January 2016
Where: The Waterwheel Beach Tavern, on the beachfront of beautiful Lake Tyers Beach, East Gippsland, Victoria
How: General admission tickets are $79 (plus booking fee). This licensed event is strictly for people aged 18 years and over. For more information and a link to the bookings page visit www.groundswellfest.com.au.
For more travel inspiration and to book from a range of accommodation options visit www.inspiredbygippsland.com.au.