I am a Freelance Writer-Photographer and Novelist. I travel to find inspiration, wherever the distant horizons lead.
Published April 27th 2015
Catch the natural wonders of our best system of lakes
So you like kayaking! Maybe you have a favorite spot or two, and would like to find somewhere new? We are blessed with a multitude of lakes and rivers that provide many opportunities for adventure, camping and serenity in Victoria - Let's go folks! You can buy a light wetsuit and diving boots from places like Annaconda. You are really going to need to keep warm now the cooler months approach, and you will definitely need them if you take a swim or if a cold wind blows!
A stunning kayaking venue, Lake Wellington, Lakes Entrance.
If you take a drive down Princess Highway, and head for Sale, you can access great kayaking venues from Blonde Bay, the Lakes National Park at Loch Sport, and Lake Wellington. You WILL need a four wheel drive for the short section of deeper sand into Lake Wellington from Woodpile Road. The spit of land is on the western side of the lake and backs onto a channel called McLennan Straight, which connects it to Lake Victoria. For experienced four wheel drivers who have had plenty of time driving beaches and deserts, this will not pose a problem. The eastern side of Lake Wellington has easy access to a car park and boat ramp. There are no immediate facilities here.
Blonde Bay is located just past the exit of McLennan Straight at the Lake Victoria end. The access is via gravel roads and sandy tracks, and some of the sandy tracks may be troublesome for a two wheel drive. If you do not not know the area, be prepared to try a few different tracks to find a suitable access. Again, there are no facilities here.
A summer evening might be best for sunsets and I am not sure whether the Hazelwood mine fires improved the sunset photos on my visit last year. I must say it was a breath taking experience. After two trips to the area, between Lake Wellington and the Lakes National Park at Loch sport, all I can say is immerse yourself in the many kilometers of lakes, islands, and abundant wildlife. You will be surprised that it is such a quiet corner of the world most of the time.
You will need to be totally self sufficient on Lake Wellington's western shore, as there are no facilities at all; so stock up all the water and food you need. Incidentally, the range of porta-loos available today, make life so much easier and quick hot water systems means you can take all 'mod-cons' along. Just don't have so much equipment to set up that you don't get to relax. There is an old adage, 'kiss; keep it simple stupid' and a good balance between requirements and luxury, and the wisdom to differentiate can be a fickle thing!
There are camp sites with no facilities at Blonde Bay, and the area can be accessed from the Bengworden Road, then Goon Nure Road, near Bengworden. Emu Bight camp ground has eco- toilets, water tanks, and picnic tables at a few of the sites. There are fire places and metal barbecues, so 'byo' wood. There is a large picnic shelter for larger groups too. The fallen wood from trees in parks should be left for the environment, wildlife and fauna. There are maybe 20 campsites and camping fees are payable at the National Park office, just as you pass the entry gate. Be careful if you are driving through Loch Sport at night, there were kangaroos everywhere, hoping all over the road when I was there last. I am sure Skippy had more road-sense, and they were in the middle of town!
The Lakes National Park is much more accessible for conventional cars, although the gravel roads may seem bone-jarring, with a good few kilometers of corrugations. The lake, scenery and wildlife are well worth it, and the facilities are very good. There is room for campervans or a small caravan too. For more information click here.
There is a wonderful array of wildlife around the area. You might see wallabies, echidnas, sea eagles, wedge-tail eagles, hawks, cormorants, terns, pelicans and hawks, just to name a few. However you spend your time, I am sure you will leave with many tales to tell, and wonder when you might visit again.
Echidnas have very poor sight and if you see one approach, keep still and quiet, and you may have a close encounter. As soon as they hear noise and sense danger, they burrow and entrench themselves leaving only a ball of spikes to contend with.
The range of environments around the lakes provides some interesting walks when you feel like a leg stretch. There are stands of coastal eucalyptus, gnarly banksia, and there is a primordial looking forest of larger grass-trees around the Blonde Bay area.
The Loch Sport has all facilities if you are at the Lakes National Parks. Sale is larger still, but is 58km away. Blonde Bay is close to Paynesville and Bairnsdale, and right around the other side of the lake from Loch Sport. At Lake Wellington, there is a caravan park on Woodpile Road just short of the area described. The park provides an easier option for conventional cars. Not far away there is Hollands landing with a general store and a few onsite caravans too.
Other attractions in the area include the Trinculo ship wreck at Golden Beach, some 20 or more kilometres past the left turn for Loch Sport, after heading south from Sale. You just have to stop at Café 3847 in Rosedale for amazing food and service, and Lake Gutheridge in Sale for a leg stretch. See my related articles for details. Lake Entrance is the best tourist center with accommodation, boat hire, lake and river cruises too, and is situated at the eastern end of the Lakes! Lakes Entrance as a whole is one of Victoria's greatest treasures and natural wonder, being a wide and interesting area with lakes and islands, all adjacent to Ninety Mile Beach. How much of it have you explored?