Explore the eastern section of South Gippsland with a leisurely drive to several iconic destinations.
This leisurely drive takes you through some of the most picturesque locations in the eastern section of South Gippsland. Beginning at Foster and travelling right through to the Tarra Valley, the drive can be completed in a day if necessary, but breaking the drive up over multiple days is recommended to fully appreciate all that’s on offer along the way.
Thanks to Kathy Whelan for providing this drive information.
If starting at FOSTER take the South Gippsland Highway east towards Toora, and take a short break at the lovely FRANKLIN RIVER RESERVE. Then either continue easterly to TOORA, or go south down Dorans Road and turn right (westerly), over the Franklin River bridge, then left (south) to the small fishing village of PORT FRANKLIN.
At Port Franklin, you can take a leisurely stroll along the Franklin River where the boats are moored, and then take the boardwalk to a river viewing platform – see the most southerly mangroves on mainland Australia – and continue along the coastal scrub bushwalk which takes you back to another section of the Franklin River – view the TOORA WINDFARM towers in the distance – and follow the path back past all the private moorings to the picnic ground and toilets.
To get to TOORA from Port Franklin take the Lower Road easterly (right turn).
TOORA has much to offer – fabulous Sagasser Park with a BBQ shelter, children’s play equipment and a skate park, RV parking, public toilets, an excellent pub, quality shops including Mauzie’s Marvellous Vintage clothing, antiques and bric-a-brac, cafes, supermarket, hardware, newsagency, bank, pharmacy, primary school, kindergarten, and more. A fabulous swimming pool complex is in town (open September to April), as well as a Heritage Pear Orchard, Heritage Walk through the town with plaques of interest, and a Bird Hide and boardwalk on the foreshore at the end of Jetty Road (drive past the ViPlus Dairy and the Recreation Reserve).
Look back at the hills of the Strzelecki Ranges and spot the dairy tower, and the Toora Windfarm!
Go back to the South Gippsland Highway and take Silcocks Hill Road, opposite the school, and stop off for fabulous views across CORNER INLET (on a clear day) from the SILCOCKS HILL LOOKOUT, and see the Barry Beach Marine Terminal and Snake Island to the east, Wilsons Promontory to the south, and Mt Nicoll towards Fish Creek to the west. Interesting information and a picnic table are also on site.
Continue up Silcocks Hill Road and stop off at the TOORA WINDFARM carpark and viewing area, and find out more about these elegant towers and turbines. They are 70 metres high, and each blade measures 30 metres in length.
From there continue along Silcocks Hill Road and take the easterly turnoff (right) to the AGNES FALLS, and follow Hazel Park Road, through pretty hill farm country and over the Agnes River bridge, to the Agnes Falls turnoffs (two of them), to arrive at the picturesque bushland picnic ground at the Agnes Falls Scenic Reserve.
A large picnic shelter (two tables undercover and local information) and a unisex toilet block are on site, as well as four outdoor picnic tables. Take a leisurely stroll through the grounds to the large table on the river bend (Platypus Corner), and then follow the track beside the Agnes River to the two waterfall viewing areas.
On leaving the Agnes Falls carpark, and once back on the Hazel Park Road, turn right (easterly) to Slades Hill Road. Follow this road back to the South Gippsland Highway – fabulous views of the farmland and hills, and glimpses of Corner Inlet and the Prom, can again be seen on the way. Turn left (east), travel through WELSHPOOL and then turn right (south) to PORT WELSHPOOL and take a walk along the 800 metre long newly-restored LONG JETTY. Bring your fishing rod and try your luck! Port Welshpool also has a shallow and safe beach area along the foreshore, with a commercial fishing fleet, hotel, general store, BBQ shelter and children’s playground, maritime museum and caravan park also in the town.
If you are into bike-riding, then keep in mind the GREAT SOUTHERN RAIL TRAIL, which can take you in sections from PORT WELSHPOOL to WELSHPOOL to TOORA to FOSTER to FISH CREEK to STONY CREEK to MEENIYAN to KOONWARRA and then to LEONGATHA.
After leaving Port Welshpool and travelling back to Welshpool, you will arrive back at the South Gippsland Highway again. You can then choose to either turn left (westerly) to get back to TOORA and FOSTER, or turn right (easterly) to travel on to PORT ALBERT, the oldest port in Gippsland, with great views (and excellent fish and chips!), and then YARRAM.
If time permits, travel through Yarram and follow the signs to visit the magnificent TARRA BULGA NATIONAL PARK with its famous suspension bridge and temperate rainforest – tree ferns, huge trees, crystal clear creeks, Tarra and Cyathea Falls. Picnic facilities are on site at both parks, and there is a Visitor Information Centre at Bulga, manned by volunteers (not always open).
However, it is recommended to reserve the trip to Port Albert, Yarram and Tarra Bulga National Park for another day, to do justice to this marvellous Tarra Territory area!
The whole area is just too scenic to rush! ENJOY!!
South Gippsland is a large region and has many wonderful scenic drive opportunities.
Green mountainous terrain, flat pastures and winding coastal tracks can all be found in South Gippsland.