Want to take a scenic drive, with the music turned up and a fresh experience around every corner? The South Gippsland Coastal Drive is a getaway that suits couples, families, singles and seniors alike.
Starting at Western Port in south-east Melbourne, follow the Bass Straight coastline to Port Albert. If time permits, detour to Phillip Island. In total, this is around a two-hour drive if travelling direct, but our overview of the many attractions and towns along the way will help you make the most of every bit of this relaxing road tour for a longer journey with much to see.
Places of interest
Tooradin: Just the right distance for a break and a cuppa. Tooradin is a quiet spot and the parklands and jetty are a lovely place for a walk.
There’s a supermarket too, so you can stock up on car-snacks and refreshments.
Corinella: About 6kms off the main highway, Corinella has a fantastic old-fashioned General Store with everything including hearty burgers or fish and chips for lunch. Corinella was one of the first towns to be settled in Victoria. It has a water aspect, with seaside walks that go for miles. Take a dip, or simply enjoy the view.
San Remo and Phillip Island: The gateway to Phillip Island. The most famous residents here are the pelicans who regularly feed at the beach. But once you’re on Phillip Island the penguins steal the show with their sunset parade. Phillip Island offers lots of opportunities to see native wildlife up close. There’s also rugged coastline to enjoy, great food and wine, and motor sports on race days.
Kilcunda: Another secret spot, and an excellent place for Lobster. If you’re travelling in January, don’t miss the annual Lobster Festival. You can access the Bass Coast Rail Trail from here, which is a wonderful 16km walking/cycling/horse-riding track with spectacular views over the rugged coastline and farms to the west.
Wonthaggi: Time for a history lesson. Visit the Coal Mine where you can see relics and interactive displays, or underground for a guided tour. There are also beautiful gardens, perfect for a picnic.
Cape Patterson: A surfer’s delight. Just 8km off the Bass Highway, at Cape Patterson you might get all the waves to yourself at this secluded break. Enjoy the sand between your toes or cool off in the rock pools.
Inverloch: A popular place for holidaymakers, Inverloch has great surf beaches and lots of family attractions. If you’re travelling in March you can attend the Jazz Festival.
Tarwin Lower: This small fishing village is quiet and relaxing all year around, except at Easter when the family festivities begin for the Tour De Tarwin. This festival-style four-day casual trek by bike and on foot travels through local towns over the Easter long weekend.
Venus Bay: A sleepy holiday village nestled in vegetated sand dunes. Its static population is around 500 people, but during summer, the number swells to thousands, as surfers, beach-lovers, swimmers, boaties and fisherman converge to enjoy the location. There are five surf beaches and Anderson Inlet is perfect for swimming and other water sports. Take a scenic walking trail along the coastline.
Walkerville: The limestone cliffs here were mined until 1926, supplying material for Melbourne’s building industry. A relic can be found along the foreshore and one of the kilns has been preserved. There are unique rock formations on the beach to. This is a great place for photography with a dramatic backdrop.
Sandy Point: At the northern end of Wilson’s Promotory National Park, this is a perfect base for exploring the natural surroundings. Or, have a round of mini-golf – great fun at any age.
Foster: Surrounded by lush, green countryside, this picturesque country town is the place to enjoy pretty scenery. The Gold Rush here lasted from the 1860s to the 1930s. Stop at the Exchange Hotel for a meal, and the nearby Stockyard Gallery is the place to buy a souvenir by a local artist.
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