Travel and tourism

Gippsland towns are finalists for Victoria’s Top Tourism Towns

Contributed/staff writer

Victoria Tourism Industry Council photo: Paynesville

Finalists for the new Victorian Top Tourism Town Awards have been announced and four Gippsland towns are among them.

22 towns across the state are vying for the prestigious accolade so Gippslanders are being urged to get online and vote for our local towns!

Lakes Entrance, Paynesville, Mallacoota and San Remo are each up for the top prize, three of them being from the region’s east.

Lakes Entrance, with a population over 5000, is competing against the much larger towns of Ballarat, Frankston and Bendigo.

Paynesville and Mallacoota are in the Small Tourism Town category and compete against towns like Aireys Inlet, Halls Gap and Dunkeld.


These tourism awards recognise some of the state’s best destinations, to encourage Aussies to hit the road and see more of their own backyard. More than a year after the country’s first lockdown and the devastating bushfires, and as tourism operators continue to navigate through one of the most critical times for the industry, this year the Victorian Tourism Industry Council hopes to encourage more Victorians to consider exploring their own backyard.

Lakes Entrance, Paynesville and Mallacoota are the jewels of East Gippsland. Each are well-known for their coastal location, the foodie hotspots that reside within (like the hatted restaurants Sardine at Paynesville and Sodafish at Lakes Entrance) and tourism icons such as Croajingolong National Park, which is a World Biosphere-listed reserve for its birdlife.

For visitors looking to explore the towns, East Gippsland is located around 3.5 hours east of Melbourne, with Mallacoota a further 2.5 hours east of Lakes Entrance. There is a wealth of accommodation options through East Gippsland, from stunning self-contained apartments located right on the water in Paynesville to pet-friendly camp parks in Lakes Entrance or a boutique guesthouse in the wilderness in Mallacoota.

Hayley Hardy of East Gippsland Marketing said “I’m so pleased and excited for our East Gippsland tourism operators to see three of our amazing towns be given this recognition. Lakes Entrance, Paynesville and Mallacoota are all amazing destinations.”

“We encourage everyone to jump onto the VTIC website and vote for their favourite East Gippsland town.”

Vote HERE for your favourite Victorian tourism town before 27 May 2021 to go into the draw to win a Melbourne getaway for two. The prize package includes a one night’s stay at the new luxury W Melbourne Hotel, passes to NGV’s Winter Masterpieces, as well as a delicious afternoon high tea at the Hotel Windsor.


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