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East Gippsland Winter Festival

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by Dayna Chu (subscribe)
I'm a teacher, lecturer and freelance writer living in SE Melbourne. I love finding adventures for myself, my husband and our four kids to enjoy. Come along! Heart my articles and subscribe to the fun
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Enjoy lantern parades to bonfires and medieval games
Get ready for a bigger and brighter East Gippsland Winter Festival in 2023! From the King's Birthday long weekend through the winter school holidays, over 100 events will take place throughout the region. Immerse yourself in 'How We Winter' as East Gippsland comes to life with light displays, culinary delights, live music, art exhibitions, and cultural events. This exciting festival will feature hand-crafted lanterns, innovative projection art, impromptu musical performances, wellness experiences with scenic lake views, outdoor workshops, nature walks, cycling tours with food truck stops, and more. Families can enjoy free activities and fun-filled events that are affordable yet enchanting. Take advantage of East Gippsland's mild coastal winters and diverse landscapes to plan a winter adventure with your loved ones.
East Gippsland Winter Festival 2023
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The Phoenix Trail is a celebration of creativity and the human spirit, which perseveres through setbacks, no matter how big or small, and unimaginable events. The trail showcases over 30 artists with a wide range of creativity and products running throughout East Gippsland, from Omeo to Mallacoota. These artists will be open during the East Gippsland Winter Festival in the following towns and villages; Omeo, Swifts Creek, Ensay South, Wy Yung, Fernbank, Bairnsdale, Eagle Point, Metung, Nungurner, Kalimna West, Lakes Entrance, Orbost and Mallacoota.
east gippsland winter festival
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The Winter Light - Art and Lantern Exhibition at the Great Alpine Gallery in Swifts Creek will feature the work of the wonderfully creative community of the Tambo Valley. Visitors can enjoy the quality arts and crafts for sale in the gallery and should not miss the gala event on Friday 30th June when the lanterns will light up in a gorgeous display of light and colour from 5.30 pm.
east gippsland winter festival
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Sailors Grave will host Deep in the Weeds at Sailors Grave feat. C.W. Stoneking on Saturday, 10th June, from 5pm to midnight. C.W. Stoneking and His Primitive Horn Orchestra will headline Sailors Grave's infamous 'Deep in the Weeds Festival' on Saturday 10 June, thanks to support from the Small Regional Presenters Program. The farmhouse brewery, located on the banks of the Snowy River, crafts unique and ever-changing beers with subtle layers of complexity in an array of styles and ingredients, much like C.W. Stoneking's music. This is a ticketed event. The opening weekend of the East Gippsland Winter Festival coincides with the King's Birthday long weekend, and music and beer lovers are encouraged to stay a few days and check out some other events on the program, explore the natural beauty of the Orbost/Marlo area, and support some small businesses along the way.
east gippsland winter festival
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Local tour guide Skipper Pete will host a small group of bushwalkers on a 3 km walk from the Lakes Entrance Footbridge to the Ocean Entrance each Sunday morning. Along the way, Skipper Pete will encourage discussion on the local wildlife, including Fur-Seals, Dolphins, Pelicans, and birdlife. The walk takes about two hours, with sandy tracks and some steps, and participants can return to the starting point at their leisure and stay a little longer at the Ocean Entrance if they wish. Walkers need good health/mobility and suitable clothing and footwear. Skipper Pete has been running various guided tours in East Gippsland over the last 15 years and is a former National Park Ranger and a Certified Eco-Guide with Eco-Tourism Australia. Booking is essential, and the maximum number of participants is 15, subject to suitable weather.
east gippsland winter festival
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The Lion's Park in Mallacoota will host the 3rd Annual FOOD VAN FEAST under the stars with the addition of a GLOWTASTIC DISCO PARTY and a range of fun children's activities. Participants should also keep an eye out on the program for information on a Growing and Cooking with Mushrooms workshop that includes Sunday lunch (18 June).
east gippsland winter festival
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Other events during the East Gippsland Winter Festival include the Gippsland Jersey Winter Solstice Sunrise Swim (22 June) and the Medieval Winter Fire Festival and Lantern Parade (24 June). Join the festivities where you can dress up in your finest medieval attire and immerse yourself in the magical winter evening. Before the parade, head to the Medieval market in the gardens and BYO chairs for a relaxing time. From 3 pm onwards, you can expect a plethora of activities and entertainment. The East Gippsland Historical Re-Enactment Group will be in attendance showcasing their medieval skills and games. The day will end with an impressive fire act and a bonfire hosted by the Bruthen CFA to keep you warm. Take part in the beautiful Lantern Parade, featuring lanterns made in the pre-event workshop or bring your own special lantern. Delicious food options will be available, including spit-roasted pork, sausage sizzle, donuts, baked potatoes, and more, with beverages from Sailors Grave Brewery and Wyanga Park Winery.
east gippsland winter festival
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Mark your calendars for Lakes Lights on Saturday 1 July, the middle weekend of the school holidays. This family-friendly event includes a lantern parade across the Lakes Entrance Footbridge and a magical lantern display between the lake and the 90 Mile Beach. Don't forget to dress warmly and bring your friends along for a wonderful evening in Lakes Entrance!

The festival runs from 9 June to 9 July and spans across the region. Visit for the complete program.

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Why? There's something for everyone at the East Gippsland Winter Festival
When: June 9 to July 9 2023
Where: East Gippsland/Lakes Entrance, VIC
Cost: varies
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