Accessible only by boat, Bunga Arm was formed over many thousands of years when sand, deposited by the sea, built up between the original bay (now Lake Victoria) and the ocean. Approximately 250 metres divides the tranquil waters of Bunga Arm from the pounding surf of Bass Strait - and you can stay at one of the seven boat-based bush campsites located there. If you don’t have your own boat to access Bunga Arm, you can hire one at one of the lakeside towns.
Cast a line and try your hand at lake fishing from a boat, bank or jetty. Bream, flathead, skipjack and mullet are common catches.
There are a number of picnic areas on Bunga Arm. Spread your picnic rug at the First Blowhole, or under the shade of old Stone Pines at Ocean Grange. Alternatively, just a short cruise from Lakes Entrance and set opposite Rigby Island, Entrance Bay offers a scenic picnic spot and views over Ninety Mile Beach and the Southern Ocean. Some of the old construction equipment from the 1880s can still be seen here.
Animal lovers are in for a treat with frolicking seals and pods of the rare Burrunan dolphin, which is found only here and in Port Phillip. There’s plenty of native birds, and possible sightings of rare shorebirds including the Little Tern, Fairy Tern and Hooded Plover.
If you get a chance, check out nearby Raymond Island to spot Victoria's largest koala population snoozing in the treetops. If you don't have access to a boat, jump on a free ferry from Paynesville and explore the island's Koala Trail by bike or foot.
The Lakes National Park makes for another peaceful and wildlife-filled retreat from Loch Sport or via boat from Paynesville. Home to more than 190 species of birds including the rare White-bellied Sea-Eagle and the endangered Little Tern, you'll also see Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Swamp Wallabies, echidnas and wombats.
Things to do in the area
Australia’s southern coast is unique. There is no other east-west expanse of temperate shoreline in the southern hemisphere. Some of Victoria’s marine species, such as the eastern blue groper, occur nowhere else in the world.
Little Tern & Fairy Tern
Threatened species that breed on the beaches, mud and sand islands of the Gippsland Lakes area. Littler Terns migrate from southern Queensland and parts of New South Wales to the lakes in early November and stay until about March. Please help these birds by avoiding the sand bars on the islands and keeping your dogs away.
The lakes are home to about 50 of the recently described species of bottlenose dolphin, the Burrunan dolphin (Tursiops australis). The other 150 or so of this rare species are to be found in Port Phillip
How to get there
Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park (East)
Jetties are also available at Barrier Landing, Drews Jetty, Ocean Grange, Silver Shot Landing and Steamer Landing.
If you're going past Lakes Entrance, stop off at Nyerimilang Heritage Park en route for a picnic or walk. Boasting magnificent views and a rich variety of plant and birdlife, don't miss the homestead set in a delightful garden on a clifftop above the beautiful Gippsland Lakes.
When to go
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Need to know
Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park (East)
Change of Conditions
Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.
Notices Affecting Multiple Parks
Park closures due to COVID19Ahead of the Easter long weekend, Parks Victoria has closed additional high-visitation parks to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). This Easter the message is clear. Stay home. Protect our health system. Save Lives. This park will be closed from midnight on 8 April 2020 until further notice to protect the health of staff and volunteers. For further information please go to www.parks.vic.gov.au/COVID19
Campground closureAs directed by the Chief Health Officer all campsites, camping grounds and caravan parks closed from midnight 25 March 2020.People can continue to live on a closed caravan park or camping ground if it is registered as their primary place of residence or if they are staying in caravan parks as interim accommodation where their primary residence is not available. For further information go to parks.vic.gov.au/COVID19