Raymond Island Gippsland Lakes Reserve


Raymond Island Gippsland Lakes Reserve

Raymond Island Gippsland Lakes Reserve is one of the jointly managed parks within Gippsland. The Joint Management agreement recognises the fact that the Gunaikurnai people hold Aboriginal Title and maintain a strong connection to Country. As custodians of the land, they are the rightful people who speak for their Country. These parks and reserves are cultural landscapes that continue to be part of Gunaikurnai living culture. For more information on Joint Management, please visit the Gunaikurnai Traditional Owner Land Management Board and the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation.

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Gippsland Lakes Reserve, situated on Raymond Island on Tatungalung Country, is highly significant to Gunaikurnai Traditional Owners due to its remarkable Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Just a short ferry ride from Paynesville is Raymond Island. Leave the car behind and explore the island by foot or bike, or bring your car with you for a small fee. Walk or ride along the island's roads and tracks. On school holidays, you can hire a bike on the island, or bring your own! Wander along the sandy beach shores and take a dip in the water. Stop for a picnic at Gravelly Point or the Historic School Site

Raymond Island is a haven for wildlife, especially well known for its large koala population. The best koala spotting is on the Koala Trail, a short walk which starts near the ferry arrival point, and leads you among the gum trees. Look up, and you'll likely spot a sleeping koala.

While most people come to Raymond Island for the koalas, it's also a fantastic place for bird watching, with many different local and migratory birds that frequent the area. There's plenty of other wildlife to be seen on the island too including the rare Burrunun dolphin (Tursiops australis), a recently described species of bottlenose dolphin found only in the Gippsland Lakes and Port Phillip.

Raymond Island is also a fantastic place to go orchid spotting. The island is home to over 50 different species of orchids, including the very rare and isolated Raymond Island Spider Orchid.

Gunaikurnai camped on this island, which they call Gragin. It was particularly important for collecting swan eggs. Evidence of scar trees, burial sites and artefact scatters have been found in the area. It is in a strategic location in the lagoon system, providing a line of sight to many of the other important places on the water. Gunaikurnai people would have used this place to keep an eye on what was going on in the surrounding area.

The waters of the island remain important to Gunaikurnai for fishing, collecting mussels, catching eels, hunting animals, collecting swan eggs, and gathering various plants for food and medicine.

Preserving the past is important to better manage our cultural landscapes. Patrick Mullett is a proud Gunaikurnai man working on Country to manage Aboriginal cultural heritage. He assesses sites and provides advice under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 on how to best protect cultural heritage.

Things To Do

The View to PaynesVille from Raymond Island Walking Track

Cultural Heritage

Gippsland Lakes Reserve, situated on Raymond Island on Tatungalung Country, is highly significant to Gunaikurnai Traditional Owners due to its remarkable Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Koala Trail Loop

Walk the Koala Trail loop and see how many koalas you can spot. Raymond Island is well known for its large koala population, and is one of the few places in Victoria at which you are almost guaranteed to see at least one koala during your visit.

Enjoy a Picnic

Have a picnic at either The Old School Site at the corner of Centre Rd and Gravelly Point Rd, or one of the sites along the foreshore of Gravelly Point Rd, where you can enjoy a swim in the expansive Lake Victoria section of the Gippsland Lakes.

Explore on foot or by bike

Take a walk through the many tracks within the park. Enjoy the many wildflowers, orchids and birds, or try your luck at spotting the Gippsland Lakes Burrunun dolphin. Hire a 4-wheel family bicycle, or bring your own and tour the Island.

Raymond Island Gippsland Lakes Reserve

This area is well known for its wildlife. Keep an eye out for:


Tours in the area

Bushwalking, four-wheel driving, horse riding, kayaking, rock climbing and mountain biking are just some of the many activities you can experience in Victoria's parks.

If you want to try something new or meet some like-minded people on your next visit to a park, contact a licensed tour operator.

Parks Victoria licenses tour operators who are experts in these activities and more. They will help you get the most out of your visit.

View all local tours

How to get there

Raymond Island Gippsland Lakes Reserve

Situated in the Gippsland Lakes, Raymond Island is 243 km east of Melbourne on the Princes Highway, and 18 km south-east of Bairnsdale, following the Bairnsdale - Paynesville Road. Raymond Island is accessible by foot or bicycle (for free) or by car (for a small fee) on the regular ferry service from Paynesville. The ferry timetable can be found on the East Gippsland Shire Council website.

When to go

Enjoy an Island surrounded by water. The Gippsland Lakes surrounding the Island are ideal for swimming, boating, fishing and many other water activities.

Need to know

Raymond Island Gippsland Lakes Reserve

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