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Published September 13th 2016
Secluded island getaway
Raymond Island is located in the Gippsland Lakes of eastern Victoria, about 300km from Melbourne. This tiny island is unknown to most Melbournians; it is about 6km long and only 200m off the coast of Paynesville.
The highlight of this island is that it is home to many Koalas; they are free to roam the island and live in harmony with the residents of the island. You can find them along the Koala Walk, which begins at the entrance to the island. My wife and I decided to visit this magnificent place and stay one night.
We stayed at a beautiful accommodation called Swan Cove, hosted by Kirsten and Tony who truly made us feel welcome at home and made sure we had the best experience at Swan Cove.
With summer around the corner, Swan Cove is a perfect secluded getaway for you and your family. It is a Tudor Style house with its built-in 2 storey self-contained cottages for guests. The best part is that the house is only meters away from the safe sandy beach, which stretches for miles. The beach is part of the inland lake.
You can stay in either of the cottages; the east cottage faces the beach and the west cottages faces gardens and trees. The West Cottage caters for 4 and the East Cottage, 6 people. The two cottages are interconnecting to cater for larger groups.
It's unbelievable how calm the water is and you can walk about a mile in and still be only waist deep in water. Kayaks are also available for free to explore the lakes and in summer prawns are in abundance near the shore. If you wanted to you can hike along the coastline enjoying the unspoiled nature of the island.
Swan cove, which gets its name from the birdlife on the island, was built back in the 60s by a German family, so it has a vintage European feel to it, the kitchen itself gives you the feeling that you've walked back in time.
Other wildlife includes echidnas, kangaroos, wallabies, and a cacophony of birdlife from black swans to owls. If you step outside in the morning with some birdseed or biscuits, you'll be greeted by beautiful eastern rosellas. They'll eat right out of your hand; it's quite an experience.
To get to the island you have to get on the ferry. The ferry runs every 20 minutes from the Raymond Island side and more often at peak times and stops at midnight Fri/Sat night and 11pm weeknights. Cost is $11 return for cars and free for passengers and cyclists. There are no cafes/shops on the island, however a gourmet breakfast basket can be provided upon request, from $20 for two.
HOW TO GET THERE The lane to board the ferry is located at the esplanade in Paynesville, which is right opposite the ferry café. Once you've crossed the McMillan Strait and got off the ferry, drive along Seventh Parade and then turn left in Eight Avenue. Eight Avenue becomes Western Boulevard, keep driving until you come to Gravelly Point Road on your right. Follow Gravelly Point Road and you'll come to Centre Road, turn left. Keep going until you see a board on your right which says 'Swan Cove'.
360 VIEWS AT SWAN COVE
My husband and I visited Raymond Island to see the koals a couple of years back. I wasn't aware there was somewhere to stay, we stopped at Paynesville. I am very tempted though as I would love to have more time to walk around the island.