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.
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.
Things To Do
Koala Trail Loop
Enjoy a Picnic
Explore on foot or by bike
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.