Named after the birthplace of the first settler in the area, Bairnsdale has always been popular for its location on the river and as a thoroughfare to the sea. It was a port for the nearby goldfields before the railways came and stole the glory. Today, Bairnsdale is a laid-back country town that attracts many tourists lured by the promise of Australia’s largest and most beautiful inland waterways, the Gippsland Lakes. What the name doesn’t tell you is that the surrounding forests and alpine regions are just as worthy of your precious holiday time.
Thanks to all this beautiful scenery you’ll find yourself on an outdoor adventure without even seeking it out. Love to fish? There’s lots of water! Surfing, swimming and all kinds of water activities are the pick of the day – every day – in Bairnsdale. And it’s not all limited to the lakes. Canoeing and rafting is the best way to access Mitchell River National Park, with the fun of a few rapids on the way. For the tame there’s a walking track that winds past the serene rainforest gullies, rugged landscapes and beautiful river scenery. If cycling is more your style, the East Gippsland Rail Trail leads you 100km across historic bridges and rivers, through forests and rolling farmlands.
Once all that fresh air goes to your head check out Krowathunkoolong Keeping Place, a museum exploring the Aboriginal heritage of the area. On top of all the fascinating background info, displays include bark canoes, grass baskets, boomerangs and contemporary Aboriginal art. The colonial side of Bairnsdale’s history is on show at the Historical Museum and Resource Centre, set in 19th century rose gardens. Then wander the streets to discover what heritage still stands tall around you, including the Court House and St Marys Roman Catholic Church.
Prefer food and wine? Take the scenic Twin Rivers Food and Wine Trail and stop in at the region’s wineries, restaurants, fruit orchards and berry farms. Nicholson River Winery creates preservative-free wines, and offers cheese and antipasto platters on the spot – sometimes there’s even wood-fired pizza. If you really do love a driving kind of holiday, then don’t miss the Great Alpine Road. It’s Australia’s highest year-round accessible sealed road, so the views are truly up there!
So now you’re wondering how to get here right? It’s easy! Bairnsdale is located on the Princes Highway between Sale and Lakes Entrance. It’s just over three hours east of Melbourne and eight hours southwest of Sydney. A relaxed country town set amongst the spectacular scenery of the Gippsland Lakes and beyond, Bairnsdale is a holiday that can be as adventurous or as relaxing as you want. Get in and book one of our Bairnsdale hotels or bed and breakfasts today.
Hotels in Bairnsdale start at AU$81 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.