A stay at home Mum who doesn't stay at home much; too many exciting things to be discovering in this city...
Published February 9th 2014
Soak up some seaside action in this beautiful town
Lakes Entrance probably isn't the first destination that springs to mind for a family holiday. Being well known for its wonderful food, relaxing ambience, and the serenity of cruising the waterways, it might be more the kind of getaway suited to young couples or grey nomads. However, we spent a couple of days in the area recently, with small children in attendance and everyone had a great time in this beautiful area.
Lakes Entrance is part of Gippsland and is only a few hours drive from Melbourne which is a bonus. We had gorgeous weather for our stay, with the sea breezes keeping things cool in the summer. If you're umming and aahing about where to go for your next mini break, see below for some family-friendly sights and activities in Lakes Entrance.
• Beaches – Lakes Entrance boasts many beaches, with the most popular being Main Beach. Access to Main Beach is via a large pedestrian bridge which was big excitement in itself to a curious four year old. Complete with amentities, water sports and kiosk, you could spend a whole day with your bucket and spade here.
• Boat Trips – There are several different companies offering boat trips of varying lengths and descriptions from the Lakes Entrance jetty. Most were too long for us considering we had a toddler in tow, so we searched about for something suitable. The Lakes Explorer is a small boat offering sea-safaris and short educational cruises designed for small groups and families. Amongst other things it offers a one hour afternoon sea-safari which would have been perfect for our needs. Sadly we had not booked in advance and missed the opportunity.
• Mini-Golf – Situated on the esplanade and impossible to miss are two fantastic mini-golf courses. Located bang next door to one another it was a hard choice to make between the two. Both are packed with fun features and will entice even the most reticent children. We spent a fair while working our way around the course, with the favourite hole being a toss up between the castle or the carousel. At $7 per person it's an inexpensive way to entertain the little ones.
• Ice –cream – Let's face it, it's compulsory on a seaside holiday. There are several ice-cream parlours in Lakes Entrance, which all looked delicious. After a hot day at the beach, ice-cream is a must and we weren't disappointed. Offering the standard fare of tens of flavours, plus your choice of cones, toppings and sizes, we opted for the busiest ice-creamery (can't for the life of me remember its name) and enjoyed our treats whilst looking out over the water.
• Harbour walk – Having packed the four year old's bike, we enjoyed a beautiful walk along the harbour. Lakes Entrance is so picturesque and we were lucky to have clear, blue skies to set it all off. The boats, strung about with fishing nets and fenders looked like something from a postcard and we walked/cycled the length of the jetty, then back along the other side of the road to check out the shops.
Griffiths Sea Shell Museum – You can't miss the huge octopus sitting atop the shell museum – your kids won't let you. The sea shell museum features over 80,000 shells and other marine items and is one of Australia's largest sea life displays. We had run out of time to see the actual museum, but the shop preceding the museum was an experience all on its own. Available for purchase (or just to browse and admire in my case) are thousands of shells and items made from shells, from tiny little starfish to enormous great conches. The collection in the shop alone is breathtaking and your kids are sure to be impressed by this place.
The best thing is, all of these activities are in spitting distance of one another, so once in Lakes Entrance there was no more getting in and out of the car, just pleasant waterside strolls (well, until the four year old with bike went AWOL). We had a lovely time in Lakes Entrance and the scenery is captivating. If you haven't been there before, give it a try – you might be surprised.