Cycle Victoria, Road Ride, Lakes Entrance Loop
This ramble around Lakes Entrance gives you a chance to see some of its features and to orient yourself to its layout. Along the foreshore there are places to stop for a break and take it all in, which is just as well, given that the possibility of meeting other users on the shared paths doesn’t make this ride suitable for belting along. The hill climbing involved will raise a puff, but is not overly hard.
As its name suggests, Lakes Entrance is the gateway that allows vessels access to the Gippsland Lakes, the largest navigable inland waterway in Australia. Fed by five major rivers and linked by narrow channels, the great lakes of Gippsland cover 400 square kilometres and extend 90km down the coast. You only see a small part from the town itself.
The ride starts at the footbridge on the foreshore, which is probably the heart of the town. This bridge (which you can’t ride on) takes you over to the Ninety Mile Beach. You can have a swim on the patrolled section or walk part of the 90 miles up to the entrance to the lakes. This is man-made and constant dredging is needed to keep it open for the commercial fishing fleet, which is the largest supplier of fish to the Melbourne market and a major supplier to Sydney, and also for recreational boat users. Crossing the bar at the entrance is considered to be unsuitable for inexperienced boat users.
The first part of the ride around the shore line gives views of the sand dunes across the lake and chances are you’ll come across swans or pelicans, which may fly over in the expectation of a feed if you stop. You then ride through Lakes Entrance suburbia and past the golf club where you can hire golf clubs if you feel like ruining a good day.
Next you ride around part of the Lake Bunga Nature Trail through some of the remnant coastal scrub before riding up to the highway through a housing estate. The ride along the ridge on Thorpes Lane gives views of the town and across to the ocean. You plunge back downhill into the town and ride around a series of shared paths. If you are in the mood for a big meal you pass the bowling club, which has a bistro, before coming out again on a path around the shore line. You will see cruise boats and boat hire outlets. Follow this path back around to the footbridge. Take time on the way back to check out the fishing boats which, apart from tourism, provide the commercial heart for the town.
Lakes Entrance is on the Princes Highway around 310km east of Melbourne at RACV VicRoads State Directory map reference 84 H8. Start on the path by the footbridge adjacent to the only traffic lights on the highway. Park in the nearby foreshore car parks.
Food and Drink
Plenty of choice with bistros, pubs, cafés and takeaways. The ubiquitous fish and chip shops are worth a try as Lakes Entrance is one of the few places you can actually get locally caught fish.
Check out the deals being offered for lake cruises at the jetties. Stop off at the Lakes Entrance Golf Club, hire some clubs and have a hit. See what’s showing at the cinema in Myer Street, which is the road with the traffic lights at the end. Head across the footbridge for a swim.
16.483 km / 10.242 mi
166 m / 545 ft
166 m / 545 ft
82 m / 269 ft