OH! Magazine - Australian Version December 2018 - Page 4

( OH WOW ) A HEALTHY HOLIDAY AWAITS IN EAST GIPPSLAND There’s a healthy getaway ready and waiting, just a few hours east of Melbourne, Victoria. If you’re looking for a holiday that combines some much-needed R&R with a healthy dose of activity, then look no further than East Gippsland. B Located around three and a half hours east of Melbourne, East Gippsland is fast- becoming Victoria’s premier destination for healthy holidays, boasting a vast array of outdoor activities, from kayaking and paddleboarding to cycling and trail walking. The area’s outdoor activities can be enjoyed independently, or as part of an organised group or tour, or increasingly, by getting involved in the area’s ever- growing list of major public events and challenges. East Gippsland’s calendar of public events includes the East Gippsland Adventure Challenge at Lakes Entrance, on 1 to 2 December, where participants, including children, can paddle, run or ride their way on and around Australia’s largest lake system; and the Mitchell River Trail Run, on 9 December, with three distances to suit trail runners of all fitness levels. In May 2019, there is the Gippsland Lakes Paddle Challenge, run by Surf Life Saving Victoria, starting at Paynesville for the elite paddler and Metung for the recreational paddler, and finishing at the iconic Lakes Entrance footbridge. Of course, you can get active in East Gippsland all year round, by hiring your own bikes, paddleboards and kayaks, or taking part in a range of guided bike and 4 OH! MAGAZINE ( DECEMBER 2018 ) paddle tours hosted by local adventure businesses, including Venture Out in Lakes Entrance, who also offer ‘ride and dine’ and ‘ride and paddle’ packages, which combine spectacular trail rides and lake paddles with some of the region’s best gourmet food. With the summer holidays fast approaching, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite ways to combine a healthy holiday retreat with some R&R in East Gippsland, including some of the best places to eat, sleep, see the sights and get active. EAT Albert & Co, Lakes Entrance This light-washed, waterfront café overlooking the magnificent Gippsland Lakes is a must-try for great coffee and food that favours locally-sourced produce. www.facebook.com/albertandcocatering Sardine Eatery & Bar, Paynesville Former head chef of Vue De Monde and Waterfront Southgate, Mark Briggs, brings his award-winning style to Paynesville’s newest eatery, complemented by a wine and beer list that highlights the best of Gippsland. www.sardineeaterybar.com Northern Ground, Bairnsdale Originally from Yorkshire, in the UK, chef Rob Turner, brings years of experience working in country house hotels in the north of England to East Gippsland where he has turned his focus on the area’s regional produce. www.northernground.com.au SLEEP The Riversleigh, Bairnsdale Located in the heart of Bairnsdale’s central business district on a quiet street over-looking the Mitchell River, The Riversleigh combines the warmth of a country hotel with the luxury you expect from a contemporary boutique accommodation. www.riversleigh.com.au Captains Cove Resort, Paynesville You can’t go past this place when you visit Paynesville. With 15 beautifully appointed apartments, located right on the water, it’s a setting that will lift your spirits and inspire you to celebrate the region’s finest offerings. You can enjoy the indoor pool, tennis court kayaks, bikes, private jetties and the peacefulness of water from your deck. www.captainscove.com.au SEE & DO Koala Trail, Raymond Island Take the 200m ferry ride from Paynesville across to Raymond Island and follow the signs to walk the leisurely hour-long koala trail. Be sure to look up to spot these sleepy Australian icons, and keep an eye out for other native wildlife such as echidnas, kangaroos and birdlife. ridethekoalas.com.au/raymond-island Fishing at Metung Grab some fishing supplies from the store behind the Metung pub and drop a line from the jetty in front of the village green, overlooking picturesque Bancroft Bay. Lakes Explorer Sea Safari Board a cruise with Skipper Pete for an