Adventure beckons: Metung, East Gippsland

Metung jetty at sunset. Pic: Belinda Jackson
Coastal chic meets village vibes on a svelte strip of land that dips into the Gippsland Lakes. 

Everything happens around Metung's Village Green: from kids on swings to cafe culture to hopeful fishermen looking for a bite from a bream. The village is surrounded on three sides by lakes, and the air here is filled with the chimes made by the riggings on yachts.

Explore Metung's lakes King and Victoria on a traditional timber boat (no licence necessary) and take a picnic to a deserted sand island where you may spot wild goats, inquisitive seals and the occasional dolphin.

The lakes' waters are calm and clear, excellent for lazy-day swims, and are well guarded from the crashing surf of Bass Strait by a long spit of low-lying dunes: cross them and you're on the wild, rugged Ninety Mile Beach.

For panoramic views, boat to Barrier Landing, moor and follow the path across the dunes to one of Australia's great coastal wildernesses. For an epicurean excursion, the hills above Metung include the Nicholson River Winery, Tambo Estate and Lightfoot & Sons.

With the kids
Under fives
* Back Beach on Lake King is the place for the buckets-and-spades brigade.
* Press the big green button at the Rain Drop Water Play Area in Metung village's Patterson Park.

Older children
* Try the new mountain-bike track at Nowa Nowa, a 40-minute drive from Metung.
* The best surfing conditions can be found at high tide at Red Bluff, between Lakes Entrance and Lake Tyers Beach, a 30-minute drive from Metung.

Teenagers
* Learn to water ski, wake board or tube ride at nearby Paynesville; aquamania.com.au.

While there Locals head to Bancroft Bites on Metung Road or The Metung Galley, just opposite, for a caffeine fix. Cruisers and day boats are available for hire at Metung Marina; rivieranautic.com.au, bullscruisers.com.au.

Getting there Metung is 3 1/2 hours' drive east of Melbourne on the Monash Freeway.

Staying there Jetty Road Retreat cabins at nearby Nungurner sleep four; jettyroadretreat.com.au. For holiday homes, apartments and B&Bs, see stayz.com.au. Waterfront apartments overlooking Bancroft Bay include The Moorings at Metung; themoorings.com.au.

More information Visit discovereastgippsland.com.au and destinationgippsland.com.au

The writer was a guest of Gippsland Tourism. 

This feature by Belinda Jackson was published in the Sydney Morning Herald's Traveller section.

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