Begin your boating journey in Sale to explore the vast Gippsland Lakes and beyond. The Port of Sale – popular for its thriving cafe and restaurant scene – provides access to the entire lakes region, eventually connecting to the ocean at Lakes Entrance.
The historic Port of Sale first opened to shipping in 1890 as the westernmost port in the Gippsland Lakes. The cutting of the Sale canal in 1898 linked the town to the Thomson River and established Sale as a busy port for steamers. Its prosperity grew from nearby mountain gold rushes and its strategic location on the route between Port Albert and the gold diggings. It developed from being declared a borough in 1863, to a town in 1924, to finally a city in 1950. Latter day prosperity has stemmed from its proximity to the offshore oil and gas fields of Bass Strait.
Visitors can take time out to relax at the Port of Sale precinct with its selection of cafes and restaurants, or visit the renowned Gippsland Art Gallery-Sale. Sale is also home to the RAAF Roulettes aerobatic team, often seen training in the skies over the city.
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The magnificent stretch of coastline between Sydney and Melbourne is one of Australia’s most dramatic and naturally beautiful self-drive experiences. Along its length, the great waters of the Pacific Ocean, Tasman Sea and Bass Strait have carved out dramatic headlands and created beautiful coves and beaches. The ancient ranges that follow it inland are covered in vast expanses of national parks and forests protecting pristine lakes and rivers. Nestled amongst these natural wonders are dozens of quaint fishing villages, tiny colonial hamlets and thriving rural towns built by the country’s most adventurous settlers.
The coast provides you with the whole range of sensory experiences. You can surf the big Tasman swells, dive the many wrecks, do some blue water sailing, go whale spotting or share the beach with seals, dolphins and sea birds. Or take time out to enjoy the delights of its famous seafood.
As you move along it, the landscape constantly changes its character and moods – from the placid blues and pastoral greens of the NSW coast, to the brilliant white sands of Jervis Bay. Immerse yourself in Coastal Wilderness of Sapphire Coast. Experience a lush network of National Parks, dotted with heritage sites, dramatic mountains and waters that team with life. Visit the coastal town of Eden and follow Australia's most significant whale story as you travel on the fringes of a destination rich in culture and nature so precious parts have been declared a UNESCO world biosphere res. The massive, unspoiled wilderness of the Croajingolong National Park and the awesome breadth of Ninety Mile Beach and the Gippsland Lakes, Australia’s largest inland waterway.
The journey climaxes at Wilsons Promontory, the southern most point of mainland Australia, where you can explore small, hidden bays, see wildlife in its natural habitat, and visit the historic lighthouse. Then you gently wind your way to Melbourne via Phillip Island where you can see the famously cute little penguins parading along the beach. Moonlit Sanctuary if one of the many wildlife highlights between Phillip Island and Geelong and the Bellarine as you continue the drive along Victoira's coastline.
Drive the alternative inland route from Lakes Entrance to Melbourne via Walhalla taking in the beautiful green countryside, magnificent vistas, mountain scenery and historic villages. Walhalla became one of Australia's richest gold towns following the discovery of gold in 1863. Today, strolling past its lovingly restored period buildings provides you with an authentic experience of that golden era. Frozen in time, Walhalla is home to only to 20 people.
Drive from Sydney to Melbourne and Melbourne to Sydney for a memorable roadtrip. Find activities and accommodation along the coast and inland. Meet the wildlife, enjoy the food and wine and stay at some wonderful, welcoming cottages, guesthouses, camp grounds and motels. Plan your holiday now.