The Omeo district has some amazing sights when you get off the beaten track.
East Gippsland isn’t just about the salt water and estuary fishing, as Victoria’s alpine country has some wonderfully diverse freshwater fishing.
Omeo is 120km to the north of Bairnsdale and a world away from the coastal lakes and estuaries. In addition to the high country plains, fresh air and bush landscape, Omeo offers tourism attractions that reflect its gold-mining heritage, including the Oriental Claims, Log Gaol and historic court house.
Further to the east, Benambra was the first cattle station in Victoria and is now a village offering access to the Three Brothers mountain peaks and Lake Omeo, which is renowned for its flyfishing opportunities.
Small streams abound in this region, and the intrepid trout fisher is well advised to scan local maps to find that wonderfully isolated trout stream.
Set on the banks of the mighty Snowy River, Orbost is the perfect place from which to explore the Snowy River country.
Settled in 1842, Orbost has a rich history of riverboats and steamers, farmers, gold and timber mills, many of which are still part of everyday life. While the town’s fertile river flats sustain agriculture, dairy and beef farming, Orbost is also surrounded by coastal rainforests and hinterlands. This is a great place to base a family to explore both the coastal regions and the inland waters and bushland.
The Cape Conran Coastal Reserve is a stunning expanse of rocky headlands, sheltered bays and golden beaches. Cape Conran plays host to some brilliant summer fishing, with yellowtail kingfish numbers very high during the warmer months. Bottom fishers do very well with quite a big snapper population keeping boat operators very happy indeed.
Non-fishing visitors can bicycle along the East Gippsland Rail Trail or tour the high plateaus and ancient old-growth mountain forests, some of which have supplied the region’s hardwood timber industry.
Once a rest stop for weary fortune hunters heading to East Gippsland’s gold diggings, the village of Bruthen is set at the fork in the road between the High Country, Gippsland Lakes and the hinterland. Just 24km from Bairnsdale on the Great Alpine Road, Bruthen oozes country charm and historical character.
Perched above the Tambo River flats, the village is a perfect place from which to set off on the Twin Rivers Food-Farm and wine Trail. Stock up on supplies and walk or cycle out of town – many of the region’s easy bushwalks start from here and the East Gippsland Rail Trail cuts through town.
While the magnificent Buchan Caves are renowned throughout Australia, the surrounding limestone-rich hills and valleys form a spectacular setting for the township of Buchan. Nestled in a beautiful valley, the town lies at the centre of a sheep, cattle and timber area on the Buchan River. One of the oldest towns in Victoria, Buchan is rich in pioneering heritage and was first settled by Europeans around 1840 after East Gippsland explorer J.R. Wilkinson began the Buchan Station and Edward Bayliss started the Gelentipy Station.
The vast wilderness areas that surround Buchan are preserved and protected as the Alpine and Snowy River National Parks. Snow covered high country during winter, followed by a profusion of wildflowers in spring, tall mountain forests, open woodlands, rainforest, sheer gorges, waterfalls and limestone caves comprise this ruggedly beautiful region.