Welcome to Don’t Delay Your Stay, news.com.au’s campaign to support communities hard hit by this summer’s devastating bushfires. Many of these regions rely on tourism so one of the best ways to help is to visit and spend time in some of the most beautiful parts of our great country.
Known as the boating capital of Victoria, Paynesville is the perfect place for a getaway by the water.
The charming seaside village is surrounded by lakes on three sides that provide the perfect place for whatever water sport you choose and canals and inlets offering plenty of sheltered moorings for boats.
Explore these – but ensure that you take the ferry across to Raymond Island, home to one the largest wild koala populations in Victoria. Walk or cycle the island’s Koala Trail and spot its furry residents.
Hit the local walking trails – Paynesville Sunset Cove Walking Track winds its way around the coast with showstopping views across the water – and work up an appetite before dining at the impeccably located Pier 70, or for great coffee and all-day breakfast, head to The Fig Cafe.
Within 12 months of opening their doors, SARDINE Eatery and Bar gained a chef’s hat, and the restaurant is still winning fans.
Under the direction of former Vue de Monde head chef Mark Briggs, the team take the very best local produce – especially seafood – and turn it into a work of art. A recent review by delicious recommended ordering the sardines (of course) and the broccoli, which is fried in tempura batter and doused in grated parmesan and a bargain at $10.
Anglers, windsurfers, jet skiers and water skiers flock to the town in the summer to take to the water. Fish for black bream and mullet, waterski the lakes, or watch for dolphins playing in the water. Be sure to explore the Mitchell River silt jetties, the largest silt jetties in the world.
Retreat to Captain’s Cove Resort, the Gippsland Lake’s premier accommodation, where each apartment has its own private jetty and is only a short walk to the Raymond Island Ferry.