Bairnsdale is the civic hub of East Gippsland, and gateway town to shimmering lakes, untouched coastline or mountain adventure. The leafy banks flanking the tranquil Mitchell River set the laid-back tone for the town.
ART & CULTURE
A creative community thrives in the area, and the East Gippsland Art Gallery celebrates that artistic spirit as a centre for visual arts. Krowathunkoolong Keeping Place, a museum displaying the heritage of the Gunaikurnai people, has hunting and fighting weapons, baskets, canoes and contemporary art on display. Join a guided tour to learn about the area’s Aboriginal history. Just across the river is the scenic and shady Howitt Park, a site of deep Indigenous significance.
EAT & DRINK
Bairnsdale boasts a strong tradition of excellent cafes and restaurants from wine bars to classic pubs and cosy brunch spots. You can set out on the East Gippsland Drink Trail to visit a number of cool maritime wineries and breweries.
A GATEWAY TO NATURE
Bairnsdale is the gateway to the remarkable Gippsland Lakes – Australia’s largest inland waterway – peppered with waterfront villages, flush with seafood dining and show-stopping sunsets. It’s just a short drive from where the Gippsland Lakes meet with the stunning expanse of Ninety Mile Beach, one of the world’s most beautiful untouched beaches.
Set out on a cycling adventure along the mammoth 96km East Gippsland Rail Trail, passing through whispering forests and frolicking hills. Tackle all or part of the ride with Snowy River Cycling, offering fully guided tours, bike hire or transport options.
Use Bairnsdale as a base to explore Mitchell River National Park, laced with lush rainforests and dramatic river gorges. Picnic at the Den of Nargun, a place of great significance for the Aboriginal people.