Dive in and experience the broad range of water sports on offer in Gippsland. With an abundance of fresh and salt water in the region's lakes, rivers and coastal waterways, you can enjoy fishing, boating, swimming, surfing, scuba diving and many more outdoor activities.
Canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding
Launch a boat on the Snowy River near Orbost for a thrilling Gippsland canoeing or kayaking experience. Canoeing and kayaking trips run all year round, although the best times are when the snow melts from August to September.
The Mitchell River near Bairnsdale offers the canoeist short day trips or extended touring through tranquil pools and turbulent rapids down to the Gippsland Lakes. It provides challenging grade 3 and 4 rapids and the best time to visit is July to December. Go white water rafting on the Mitta Mitta, which rises in the Alpine High Plains.
For a gentler paddle, launch a canoe, kayak or paddle board on the Gippsland Lakes or further along the coast at the Mallacoota Inlet. You can also canoe on the tranquil waters of the Genoa and Wallagaraugh rivers that lead into the Mallacoota inlet or the Thurra and Mueller rivers in the Croajingolong National Park. Bring your own or hire a paddle board and set out at Lakes Entrance for a lazy meander around Gippsland Lakes.
Scuba diving and snorkelling
Gippsland offers visitors the chance to take a peek at the wonders beneath the ocean with scuba diving and snorkelling opportunities. The broad rock platforms and underwater reefs of Bunurong Marine Park support a remarkable range of habitats along 17 kilometres of coastline. Favourite points from which to set off include Eagles Nest, Shack Bay, Cape Paterson, Flat Rocks and Inverloch.
Further along the coast, Cape Conran Coastal Park is another popular spot for scuba diving, particularly around West Cape Beach and Salmon Rocks.
Surfing and windsurfing
When the surf's up, you can find crystal clear waters and white sands in Gippsland along the coast of Wilsons Promontory National Park. More advanced surfers can find some excellent world-class beach breaks at Cape Paterson, Venus Bay and Waratah Bay as well as Red Bluff at Lake Tyers Beach, Salmon Rocks at West Cape Beach in the Cape Conran Coastal Park and Bastion Point Beach in Mallacoota.
Beaches such as Sandy Point, Inverloch and Lakes Entrance have gentle uncrowded waves ideal for surfing beginners, and would-be surfers can attend a beachside surf school to learn the techniques for catching a wave.
Switch gears when the wind picks up and enjoy a spot of windsurfing at Shallow Inlet and Sandy Point. The local sea breezes make perfect conditions for both beginners and more advanced windsurfers.
Stretching from Cape Paterson in the east to the beaches of Croajingolong National Park in the west are some of the finest swimming beaches in Gippsland. In the warmer months popular ocean beaches like Cape Paterson, Inverloch, Venus Bay, Sandy Point, Norman Bay, Seaspray, Woodside and Lakes Entrance are the perfect swimming spots for families.
Walkerville, famous for its historic lime kilns, is a great spot for families – children love the rock pools, sandy coves and sheltered waters of Shallow Inlet or East Cape Beach a little further east.
Waterskiing and towed water sports
Gippsland has an excellent reputation for waterskiing. The Gippsland Lakes in particular provide excellent opportunities for waterskiing. Base yourself at Metung, Lakes Entrance or Paynesville and hit the water. There are a number of designated waterskiing spots such as Bunga Arm, Newlands Arm and North Arm but you can ski almost anywhere on the lakes.
Take the family out for a spot of wakeboarding, discing and biscuiting (tubing) during the warmer months. In Central Gippsland, Lake Glenmaggie near Heyfield, Lake Narracan at Moe and the Hazelwood Pondage at Morwell in Central Gippsland are among Victoria's best kept secrets for water sports lovers, with their deep fresh water and open space for that's perfect for all kinds of water sports, from fun with the kids to a more fast paced water-ski session.
Remember that boating licences are required for most boat and personal watercraft operators. For more information about Recreational Boat Licences visit the official Marine Safety Victoria website.
With countless beaches, lakes and winding waterways all across Gippsland, sailing is a great way to see the region. Set sail on tranquil waters, stop for lunch at secluded beaches and riverbanks, or cast a line and catch your diner. Boxes Creek, close to Metung and Duck Arm near Paynesville, offer all-weather moorings in idyllic settings.