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Hit the road on a hinterland trip to West Gippsland

The hinterland region of West Gippsland is a top choice when it comes to long weekend getaways from Melbourne. If you’re like me and you have travelled up from Queensland or another state, make the most of your extended time off and linger longer in all the good spots. Trust me, there are a lot of them.

Here’s how to make the most of a hinterland road trip into West Gippsland.

west gippsland
Historic train at Walhalla in West Gippsland © Jessica Palmer
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Where to stay in West Gippsland

Erica Caravan Park

Erica Caravan Park is ideally located within an hour of many awesome things to see and do in West Gippsland. Found in the small town of … you guessed it … Erica, which consists of the caravan park, a hotel, general store and ski hire, expect a warm welcome from Bec, Trev and Scooby Doo.

Choose from both powered and unpowered camping sites as well as cabin accommodation at reasonable rates. Facilities include:

  • BBQ area and camp kitchen
  • Games room and outdoor chess set
  • Campers bar (licenced or BYO)
  • Laundry
  • Clean toilets and showers
  • Communal fire pits

Why I love it

The grounds and facilities are modern and well maintained. The camp kitchen is a highlight and features pizza ovens (buy your pizza from reception) and a lovely big communal firepit. If the weather turns wet like it did when we visited, make use of the comfortable enclosed games room with a TV/DVD and plenty of board games. 

BBQ area and camp kitchen with communal firepit © Erica Caravan Park

Awesome regions to explore in West Gippsland

Go on a historic journey in Walhalla

Driving distance: 22 minutes (18 km) northeast of Erica Caravan Park

The historic township of Walhalla is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Surrounded by dramatic hills and set in a deep valley, buildings that once housed a thriving gold rush have been lovingly preserved to create a picture-perfect town.

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Allow a few hours to do the Walhalla Heritage Walk from one end of town to the other. Take in the shop fronts, stop for lunch, visit the unusual cemetery perched high above the valley and satisfy you sweet tooth at Walhalla Lolly Shoppe.

The highlight? A ride on the Walhalla Goldfields Railway, a scenic railway journey that takes around an hour return. If you have an extra day up your sleeve, check out the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine tours

Riding the historic train at Walhalla © Jessica Palmer

Explore Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort and National Park

Driving distance: 40 minutes (36 km)  northwest of Erica Caravan Park

Let’s start with the Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort. It’s the closest downhill ski resort to Melbourne and is super family-friendly. Here you can ski, snowboard, toboggan, build a snowman, hike in snow shoes and even cuddle an alpine dingo. The green season is just as fun with excellent hiking and mountain biking opportunities. 

However, there is much more to Mount Baw Baw than the Alpine Resort. Mt St Gwinear is a free family-friendly snow area with toboggan runs, a snow play area, cross-country trails and a heated shelter room. The same trails can be enjoyed on foot in the green season when it comes alive with wildflowers. I can personally vouch that the freshly cooked hot jam donuts from the school holiday food van go down a treat in the cold weather. 

Don’t miss Mushroom Rocks at Mount Baw Baw National Park, a maze of giant granite tors that rise from the forest.

Cuddling an alpine Dingo at Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort © Jessica Palmer

Get a dose of outdoor zen at Noojee

Driving distance: one hour (70 km) northwest of Erica Caravan Park

Once a thriving timber town, Noojee is now the place to experience some outdoor zen. Head to the iconic Noojee Trestle Bridge for the starting point of a number of cycling and walking tracks. The three-kilometre Noojee Trestle Bridge Rail Trail is a great option for families and ends at the Noojee Railway Station Precinct, where you can climb aboard a 1950s steam train. If you have a little more left in the tank, hike the Toorongo and Amphitheatre Falls loop walk through the ferny forest just out of town.

Keen anglers will want to head to the Alpine Trout Farm where both rods and bait are supplied. You can even cook up your catch to enjoy onsite!

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