Swan Reach is a haven for nature lovers and adventurists alike. In the heart of East Gippsland, the area is packed with plenty of legendary local attractions. You will be spoilt for choice and will need at least three days to explore the ‘must see’ areas.
For the Explorers and Nature Lovers
Hop on a day cruise and explore the turquoise waters and coastal dunes of Australia’s largest, breathtaking inland waterways. Keep your eyes peeled for the resident friendly dolphins, which sometimes swim alongside the boat.
Or, bring your own boat and explore the Gippsland’s Lakes National Park and their secluded islands in your own time. Anchor-up near Rotamah Island for a spot of fishing and bring your catch on-land to cook on the island’s public BBQ. With an abundance of boat ramps and marinas to launch from, you won’t be short of choice.
For the boat-less, there are also plenty of companies that charter yachts or rent boats, kayaks, canoes and SUPs. Lakes Entrance is a mere 15 minute drive from Swan Reach.
Explore the Buchan Caves and enjoy the spectacle of huge limestone formations, only a 50 minute drive from Swan Reach. The caves are adjacent to the wild, Snowy River National Park which conceals Raymond Creek Falls which conceals Raymond Creek Falls, a secluded 20m waterfall which plummets into a natural, clear pool. Don’t forget your swimmers.
Take a picnic and hike in the Mitchell River National Park through pockets of lush rainforest and discover the legendary ‘Den of Nargun’. A natural waterfall cascades over a deep black cave, home to the Nargun so keep your wits about you. (A 60 minute drive from Swan Reach)
In the colder months of the year, if you’re looking for an alpine adventure, wake up at the crack of dawn and drive on up to Mt. Hotham to satisfy your skiing, snowboarding or tobogganing craving and brush off the winter blues. Only around a 2 hour drive from the park.
Swan Reach is also situated within easy reach of the ‘High Country’ and its spectacular and well known 4WD tracks. Use the park as a base for a day drive or as a start and end point for your longer camping adventures.
For the Leisure Seekers
If you like pottering around quaint towns and taking life at a leisurely pace, then East Gippsland is for you.
Take a visit to Tambo Winery or Nicholson River Winery, or any one of the other fantastic local wineries to dabble in some afternoon wine tasting sessions, whilst taking in the delectable views of the surrounding vineyards. With estates as close as 10 minutes away from the park – it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere.
Your closest craft beer brewery is Bullant Brewery in Bruthen, who claim to have the best brewed beer and regionally sourced food. Soak up a glorious sunny afternoon, surrounded by rolling hills, with a crisp, cold beer in hand.
Hop aboard Peels’ Wyanga Park Winery Cruise at Lakes Entrance Esplanade for a leisurely tour up the North Arm River to the winery, where lunch awaits, and of course, a fine selection of wines to taste.
Enjoy a stroll around Bairnsdale or Metung Farmers’ Markets to discover the freshest and finest selection of local produce in East Gippsland. From chutneys, cheese and dips to smoked meats, vegetables and fruit you will have the ingredients to piece together the perfect picnic. The Bairnsdale Market is on every first Saturday of the month, and the Metung Market every second Saturday of the month.
For the Fishing Enthusiast
With the Tambo, Nicholson and Mitchell Rivers on your doorstep, and Lakes Entrance a mere 15 minute drive from the park, you will not run out of fishing opportunities. The rivers are teaming with Bream, whilst Lakes Entrance is a fisherman’s paradise offering jetties, coastal fishing or the option of boating Gippsland’s network of waterways and lakes. Brown Trout, River Blackfish, Perch, Whiting, Flathead, Snapper, Gummy Shark, Garfish, Australian Salmon, Yellow Kingfish, Mullet and Snook are resident to these areas. As an alternative to the quieter inland water ways, book yourself a place on one of the several charter fishing companies which operate from Lakes Entrance. Head out through the mouth and into view of the stunning 90 Mile Beach for a session of big game fishing. Swordfish is a popular catch on these charters.
For the Leg Stretchers
Entrance to the Lakes Walk
(15 minute drive from Swan Reach to starting point)
An interesting walk through changing bushland, and along the lake edge, to the mouth of the Lakes system then back along the 90 Mile Beach.
Start: Myer Street, Lakes Entrance – at the pedestrian footbridge
Distance: 4.6km return – approximately 2 hours
Nowa Nowa Walk
(25m drive from Swan Reach to start point)
Discover the beauty of Lake Tyers with its outdoor sculptures or climb to the top of the Boggy Creek Lookout. Choose from a number of Nowa Nowa walks, for all levels of walking.
Start: Ramsdel Court, Nowa Nowa
Den of Nargun Loop Walk
(1 hour drive from Swan Reach to starting point)
Immerse yourself into spectacular rainforest territory and enjoy the stunning views from the Bluff Lookout as you make your way to the Den of Nargun and back.
Start: Mitchell River National Park, Wallers Road, Iguana Creek
Distance: 5km return – approximately 1.5 hours
For more information on walks in the area visit Parks Victoria.
For the Adventurous
Swan Reach is close by to two well used mountain bike parks – Mt Taylor and Colquhoun Mountain Bike Parks. Local company Venture Out can assist with hire of bikes and transfers to and from the parks.
The East Gippsland Rail Trail stretches from Bairnsdale, thorough Nicholson, Johnsonville, Bruthen, Nowa Nowa and finishes in Orbost. It is a spectacular, scenic walk or ride, taking you past historic trestle rail bridges and which can be done in sections. Maps and information are available at the park office or local visitor centres.
For something new and exciting, consider taking a Segway Tour in Lakes Entrance. Rides are suitable for anyone over 10 years old. The instructor led rides take in the Lakes Entrance foreshore and also cruise along the 90 Mile Beach. Get some wind in your hair.
Another alternative for an unforgettable view of the Lakes system, 90 Mile Beach and local area, you can book with Lakes Entrance Helicopter Scenic Flights. They operate from the Lakes Entrance Airfield, only 10 minutes down the road from Swan Reach. Get a bird’s eye view that you won’t forget.