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Lakes Entrance – A gateway to the waterways of Gippsland
Lakes Entrance is a seaside resort located between Bairnsdale and Orbost to the east of Melbourne. This Victoria town where fishing and tourism are the lifeblood of the people is set on a man-made channel that connects Gippsland Lakes to the Bass Strait. The 400 square kilometres of inland waterways in Gippsland, fine weather, and a wide variety of hotels make the town an incredibly popular tourist destination throughout the year.
Fun for all the family
With so many waterways in the area, it should come as no surprise that many of the most popular activities are on the water. Kids will enjoy the paddle boats and body boards for hire, but this town is so much more than fun with a splash. Visitors can hire bikes to explore the area, catch a movie in the small theatre, or visit Buchan Caves which are a 45-minute drive from the town. For those with an eye for scenery, there’s the lookout point at Kalimna that has telescopes for checking out the stunning vistas.
A fishing port and seaside resort such as Lakes Entrance wouldn’t be complete without a museum dedicated to the diverse marine life found throughout the area. Griffiths’ Sea Shell Museum and Marine Display was established in 1962, and there’s no sign of this town landmark going anywhere with thousands passing through its door each year. It’s well worth a visit as it is recognized as one of Australia’s largest museums of natural sea life.
A fishing paradise
The town is something of a Mecca for anglers who fill the many hotels in Lakes Entrance throughout the year. Anglers return year on year to catch bream, tailor, luderick, and the many other species of fish native to the area. The local bait shops provide all the necessary equipment for a good day’s fishing on the jetties while there’s also the possibility of hiring a boat to find the best secluded fishing spots in Victoria. There are a number of shops in the town where boats can be hired, and as piloting one will take a little skill, staff are willing to help out novices and teach them the basics. There are also several fishing clubs based in the locality that organize and hold a number of fishing competitions throughout the year. These clubs welcome new members and joining one is a great way to discover some of the area’s best fishing spots.
Tasty local cuisine
With such a wide variety of fish available throughout the year, it’s little wonder that the town is home to a number of locally-owned restaurants serving up the catch of the day. As with many seaside resorts, the signature dishes vary from venue to venue, but overall the menus are predominantly seafood-based. However, it’s the unique dining experiences and locations that make each mealtime in Lakes Entrance an exciting event. Visitors can enjoy lunch on one of the many cruise boats during an afternoon exploring the waterways while in the town itself experiences range from floating restaurants to marina-side al fresco dining. Here visitors can take in the scenery of this lovely town while sampling some of the freshest fish caught in the waters of the area. Many of the restaurants are on the Esplanade offering views of a number of wooden creations which serve as a memorial to the fallen of the First World War. These sculptures are so popular that they have become a tourist attraction themselves.
Take to the beach or grab a racket or club
Lakes Entrance main beach is a popular haunt for visitors and locals alike, and it is patrolled during school and public holidays. Access to this beach is via the landmark footbridge which connects the town centre to the sands. Other local beaches include Lake Tyers Beach and Eastern Beach which are just as clean and inviting as the main beach, but visitors are warned to take care as all three have undertows. The town is also home to a tennis club and a squash and racquetball club. These are a great way to get out of the hotel or take a break from the beaches and waterways. And for the golfing tourist Lakes Entrance also has an 18-hole golf course set in the local natural landscape with water hazards throughout.