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West Gippsland Hinterland Drive

Gippsland

  • West Gippsland Hinterland Drive, Gippsland Victoria, Australia

Country art and culture plus a sense of adventure
181.5 km/113 miles, about 4.5 hours

Wind your way through the diverse landscapes of West Gippsland on this unique scenic drive. Discover historic villages, dine on fresh local produce, and unwind amid the stunning natural beauty of the hinterland region.

Kick off in Melbourne and journey towards Gippsland via the Princess Highway. Have a leisurely lunch stop in Yarragon, taking time to browse through antique and arty treasures. Immerse yourself in gold rush history in Walhalla with a train ride into the past or delving underground for a golden adventure. Take a deep breath of solitude on the slopes of spectacular Mt Baw Baw, or pick up the pace with some whitewater action in Rawson. Explore the many art galleries in and around Neerim South and discover some unique personalities along the way.

Leg 1: Yarragon to Walhalla
67 km/41 miles, about 1 hour

There's no better place to start your West Gippsland explorations than in peaceful Yarragon, where an artistic community flourishes alongside a passion for regional produce.

Indulging in Yarragon
Known for its specialty shops, Yarragon also features one of Gippsland's leading antique stores and galleries. Shopping for linen and lace, soaps and candles, dolls and bears, fabrics and patterns, blown-glass vases and sculptures, cups and saucers, clothing and children's items can work up an appetite for the town's delicious Devonshire teas. Regional wines, sumptuous smoked meats and fresh local produce can be purchased at the Gippsland Food and Wine Store.

Set out for Walhalla
With the car groaning under the weight of your edible purchases, it's time to set out for Walhalla on an hour-long drive around the Moe regional centre and green dairy farming country.

Take the time to experience the beautiful gold rush town of Walhalla, nestled in a deep valley and home to only 20 residents. Tour the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine, ride on the Walhalla Goldfields Railway, or explore the cemetery overlooking the village. The self-guided Walhalla Historic Township Walk offers insights into the town's rich past, while a ghost tour will reveal another side all together.

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Leg two: Walhalla to Mt Baw Baw

47.5 km/30 miles, about 2 hours

There's much adventure to be had between historic Walhalla and the spectacular Mt Baw Baw Alpine Village.

From bushwalking to whitewater fun
Discover the villages of Rawson and Erica and get back to nature with everything from 4WD tours and whitewater adventures to fishing and bushwalking.

Detour off the route and follow the signs to Thomson Dam, the largest of all of Melbourne's reservoirs and an amazing feat of engineering. Enjoy a break from driving and settle into a picnic lunch while taking in the scenery.

Back on the touring route, you'll begin your ascent up the unsealed South Face Road. Turn off on Mt Erica Road and head towards Mushroom Rocks, an impressive display of giant granite tors. Walk through the diverse and unspoilt landscapes of Baw Baw National Park to the rocks, a part of the 650-kilometre Australian Alps Walking Track that links Walhalla and Canberra.

Something for everyone at Mt Baw Baw
You'll finally arrive at Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort. There's something for everyone here, winter or summer. Hit the slopes on a bushwalk, try your hand at toboganning or skiing during the white season, or set out on a downhill biking adventure in the warmer months. To finish, slow it right down with a soak in the outdoor spa at Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort.

Leg three: Mt Baw Baw to Neerim South

67 km/41 miles, about 1.5 hours

You'll eventually have to come down from Mt Baw Baw, but there are still plenty of sights to inspire you as you make your way to Neerim South, one of the most picturesque towns in Gippsland.

An ancient tree and a well-known bridge
Follow the tree-lined Mt Baw Baw Tourist Road through Icy Creek and Tanjil Bren, an old gold prospector's and logging village, until you reach Noojee. Here you'll find the giant Ada Tree – one of the largest trees in Victoria and believed to be nearly 300 years old.

Head into Noojee and take time out to enjoy camping, fishing, bird watching or bushwalking. Visit some of the historical and natural attractions in the area including the Noojee Water Wheel, the Ralph Cornwall Loch Valley Tramway Walk, Toorongo Falls and the famous Noojee Trestle Bridge.

Postcard-perfect Neerim South
Continue onto the Main Neerim Road to Neerim South, your last stop on this scenic touring route. In addition to jaw-droppingly beautiful scenery, Neerim South features galleries and boutique B&Bs. Cycling and walking tracks criss-cross the surrounding countryside and taking in a spot of outdoor activity will build an appetite to make the most of of Neerim South's regional wines, fabulous cheeses, super-fresh produce and the finest meats. Stock up on provisions for the return trip to Melbourne to ensure you'll be enjoying a taste of West Gippsland for a while to come.