Monday, January 2, 2012

lakes entrance in the gippsland

i first heard of 'lake entrance' when a returning student from melbourne was talking about some of the places she had visited during her university vacations. apparently, she liked the place very much. i had wondered why a lake would have a entrance when it was supposed to be a body of water surrounded by land. now, after visiting the place, i have a better idea of how the name was derived.

lakes entrance is a man-made channel - which is dredged regulary - that links the bass strait and the tasman sea to a number of lakes in the gippsland. the three main lakes are king lake, victoria lake and wellington lake. this part of victoria seems more popular with the locals than with the tourists. overseas tourists will rather go to phillip island, which is also in the same area, the gippsland, to watch the fairy penguins.

the cunninghame arm bridge (in the above picture) is a footbridge that takes you from the town of lakes entrance to the 90-mile beach. the actual length of the beach is slightly more than 90 miles (144km).

lakes entrance is popular with the locals because of its milder climate - it is warmer in winter and cooler in summer. the place is also known as the 'seafood capital' of victoria because of the many fishing trawlers operating in that area. you could go out in a hired boat to catch your own fish or you could buy the catch from the fishermen. with the abundance of fresh seafood, it is no surprise that there are a number of seafood restaurants in lakes entrance. we ate at one such restaurant.

we were looking forward to seeing some of the 50 bottlenose dolphins frolicking in the waters of the lakes but we did not spot any because of the rain. the rain was to dampen our spirit somewhat because we could not go cruising or fishing. however, we did see some birds like the pelicans, swans and lots of cormorants at the lake (king lake).

we stayed in this rented house on a hillock that overlooks the lake. it is indeed a wonderful getaway - quiet surroundings and good view of the scenic lake. i think we paid aud$275/night, shared out among 3 families, it came up slightly more than $91/night per family.

since we did not go fishing or cruising, we did some land tours, visiting the nicholson river winery and a brewery, where we had lunch. we had wanted to visit the buchan fairy cave but changed our mind because of the changeable weather.