While it’s best known for its water-themed activities, even non-fishing, non-boating, and non-swimming grey nomads routinely fall in love with the Victorian town of Lakes Entrance.
As well as stunning scenery, magnificent walks, and beautiful foreshore gardens, the popular holiday destination – with a permanent population of some 5,000 – also boasts marinas complete with floating restaurants, and an interesting array of shops and cafes.
Located some 300 kilometres east of Melbourne, it sits on the man-made channel that links Bass Strait and the Tasman Sea with the Gippsland Lakes. The world-famous network of lakes, marshes and lagoons cover more than 600 square kilometres and the whole area is a haven for wildlife, birdlife and marine life.
While tourism is now a major part of the town’s identity, it is the fishing industry that is probably woven most closely into its soul. Lakes Entrance remains the base of one of Australia’s largest fishing fleets and the Fisherman’s Co-Op – among other places – sells freshly caught fish to the public.
The esplanade running along the shoreline of the Cunninghame Arm inlet takes visitors past the marinas, jetties and foreshore gardens, and a number of wooden sculptures carved from tree stumps to represent images of Australia at war add further interest. For the visitor seeking to fully appreciate the magnificence of the town’s surroundings, there is a host of lookouts and walks to enable them to do just that.
A stroll across the footbridge that links the foreshore promenade to the vast expanse of iconic Ninety Mile Beach is a great place to start. Those happy to take a short trip up to Jemmy’s Point will be equally richly rewarded with a number of places from which to enjoy panoramic views over Lakes Entrance and the surrounding waterways.
There’s plenty to enjoy in the area, too. The small community of Lake Tyers, a few kilometres away is a relaxing place to visit, and 20 kilometres or so to the north-east is the Stony Creek Railway Bridge which was built in 1916 and is believed to be the largest wooden bridge still standing in Australia.
Not surprisingly Lakes Entrance is well serviced by a number of superbly located caravan parks and there are a variety of other camping options around at places such as Ninety Mile Beach itself, Colquhoun State Forest and further afield in the Lakes National Park and the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park.
While grey nomads who love to travel with a fishing rod, a tinnie, and a pair of swimmers will be keen to spend as much time as possible in this watery wonderland, they will most certainly not be alone!