Things to do in Bairnsdale – Vic – Australia

Welcome to Bairnsdale, a charming town nestled in the heart of Victoria’s East Gippsland region. Our town is a hidden gem, offering visitors a chance to explore our rich history, natural beauty and welcoming community. Whether you are looking for outdoor adventures, cultural experiences or delicious local cuisine, Bairnsdale has something for everyone.

Here are our top picks for things to do in Bairnsdale:

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover Bairnsdale’s rich culture, history and natural beauty
  • Explore the historic Bairnsdale Railway Station
  • Visit the Mitchell River National Park for outdoor adventures
  • Experience the Gippsland Lakes through various water activities
  • Learn about Bairnsdale’s history and heritage at the Bairnsdale Historic Museum
  • Enjoy nature at the Bairnsdale Botanic Gardens
  • Indulge in local cuisine at the best restaurants in Bairnsdale
  • Stay in comfortable and memorable accommodations in Bairnsdale
  • Discover nearby day trip destinations
  • Immerse yourself in local experiences to truly get a sense of the community
  • Relax and unwind at the pristine beaches near Bairnsdale

Explore the Historic Bairnsdale Railway Station

If you’re a history buff, then you won’t want to miss the opportunity to visit the Bairnsdale Railway Station. This station is one of the oldest in Victoria, having been constructed in 1888. It’s a stunning piece of architecture that showcases the town’s rich history and heritage. The station is still in use today, connecting travellers to other towns in Victoria.

The station’s rich history is showcased in its architecture, which is characterised by a mix of Victorian and Edwardian styles. The station was built to an incredibly high standard, using locally-sourced materials such as red bricks, cast iron columns, and decorative timberwork. The station’s grand entrance and waiting room continue to captivate visitors with their impressive size and opulence.

Visitors to the station can also explore its many exhibits and displays. There’s a wealth of information on offer about the history of the railway in Victoria and the important role it played in the development of the state. Some of the highlights include vintage railway artefacts, old photographs, and interactive displays that bring the history of the station to life.

If you’re visiting Bairnsdale, we highly recommend taking the time to visit the Bairnsdale Railway Station. It’s a fascinating destination that will give you a true sense of the town’s rich history and heritage.

Visit the Mitchell River National Park

One of the must-visit destinations near Bairnsdale is the Mitchell River National Park. This natural wonderland boasts breathtaking landscapes and a diverse range of flora and fauna. The park is ideal for those looking for outdoor adventures and features several walking trails that cater to all levels of fitness.

If you’re an avid hiker, we recommend the Mitchell River Walking Track, which takes you through the park’s rugged terrain and offers stunning views of the river and surrounding forests. You can also take a leisurely stroll along the easy-to-navigate Den of Nargun walk, a short interpretive trail that highlights the indigenous heritage of the area.

Wildlife enthusiasts will be thrilled with the range of species that call the park home, including koalas, wallabies, and echidnas. The park’s rivers and streams are also home to platypus, which you can spot if you’re lucky enough.

For those seeking a more immersive experience, we suggest camping under the stars in one of the park’s designated camping areas. You can also enjoy a picnic or BBQ with family and friends in one of the park’s picturesque picnic areas.

Don’t Miss:

  • The stunning views of the Mitchell River from the Den of Nargun walk
  • A chance to spot a platypus in its natural habitat
  • A camping experience under the stars in one of the park’s designated camping areas

Discover the Gippsland Lakes

If you’re a lover of water activities, you won’t want to miss out on exploring the Gippsland Lakes. Located just a short distance from Bairnsdale, the Gippsland Lakes are a system of lakes and lagoons that offer a variety of water-based experiences.

With activities like boating, fishing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Take a scenic boat tour to explore the stunning surroundings or bring your own boat and spend the day cruising the lakes.

The Gippsland Lakes are also popular among fishing enthusiasts, with an abundance of fish species like bream, flathead, and kingfish. Spend a relaxing afternoon fishing from the shore or hire a fishing charter for a chance to catch bigger fish out on the water.

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, consider taking a guided kayaking tour through the Gippsland Lakes. Led by experienced guides, these tours provide an intimate look at the lakes and their wildlife.

Discover the Lakes

Lake NameDistance from BairnsdaleActivities
Lake King10 kmFishing, boating, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding
Metung17 kmDining, fishing, boating, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding
Nicholson River30 kmFishing, boating, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding

Distance and activities are based on proximity to Bairnsdale.

Explore the Bairnsdale Historic Museum

If you want to learn more about Bairnsdale’s history and heritage, a visit to the Bairnsdale Historic Museum is a must. This small museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the town’s past, with exhibits showcasing the lives of early settlers and their impact on the area.

The museum has a range of interesting displays, including photographs, artifacts, and documents from Bairnsdale’s early days. You can learn about the town’s gold mining history, its agricultural heritage, and even its role in the wars of the 20th century.

One of the highlights of the museum is the chance to step back in time and explore the replica pioneer cottage. This is a recreation of an early settler’s home, complete with period furnishings, tools, and household items. It’s a great way to experience what life was like for the early pioneers of Bairnsdale.

“The Bairnsdale Historic Museum is a fascinating and informative place to visit. We loved exploring the exhibits and learning more about this town’s rich history.”

– Local Visitor

Enjoy Nature at the Bairnsdale Botanic Gardens

If you’re looking for a peaceful oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of Bairnsdale, look no further than the Bairnsdale Botanic Gardens. Nestled in the heart of town, these gardens are a serene spot perfect for a relaxing stroll or picnic.

The gardens occupy an area of approximately 2.5 hectares and are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. You’ll find a variety of trees, flowers, and shrubs, as well as native wildlife such as birds and lizards.

Explore the Gardens

Take your time to explore the various sections of the gardens, each with its unique character. The Central Circle is a popular spot for weddings and events, while the picturesque River Red Gum Walk boasts stunning views of the Mitchell River.

The Fern Gully is a cool and shady retreat on a hot day, while the Sensory Garden is designed to stimulate all five senses with fragrant herbs, colourful flowers and textured plants.

Notable Features

One of the standout features of the gardens is the Bairnsdale Croquet Club, which has been a part of the landscape for over 100 years and is still active today. Visitors can watch a game in progress and even try their hand at this elegant and tactical sport.

Another notable feature is the Pinnacle Lookout, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and is a popular spot for photography.

Events and Activities

The Bairnsdale Botanic Gardens host a range of events throughout the year, including gardening workshops, musical performances, and children’s activities. For more information on upcoming events, check the Bairnsdale Botanic Gardens website or contact the East Gippsland Shire Council.

If you’re feeling energetic, why not join the Bairnsdale Parkrun? This free, weekly 5km timed run takes place every Saturday morning, starting and finishing in the Botanic Gardens.

The gardens are also a great place to enjoy a picnic or BBQ with family and friends, with plenty of picnic tables and BBQ facilities available for use.

Visitor Information

The Bairnsdale Botanic Gardens are open every day from sunrise to sunset and admission is free. There is ample parking available on-site and public toilets are located near the entrance.

Pets are not permitted in the gardens, with the exception of assistance dogs.

So why not take some time out of your busy schedule to enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of the Bairnsdale Botanic Gardens? We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Indulge in Local Cuisine at the Best Restaurants in Bairnsdale

When it comes to dining in Bairnsdale, there are plenty of options to satisfy every craving. From cozy cafes to fine dining restaurants, the town boasts a diverse culinary scene that draws inspiration from the local produce and regional flavors.

For a taste of authentic Australian fare, we recommend heading to the Riverside at the Forge, a top-rated restaurant that specializes in grilled meats, seafood, and farm-fresh vegetables. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and the menu features a range of dishes that highlight the region’s best ingredients.

If you’re in the mood for something more casual, check out the Main Hotel Bairnsdale Bistro. This lively venue offers classic pub fare with a twist, such as the popular chicken parmigiana and the delicious seafood platter to share. The portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable, making it a great spot for a casual meal with family or friends.

If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, make sure to visit the Golden Emperor Chinese Restaurant. This elegant eatery serves up traditional dishes such as dim sum, stir-fries, and noodle soups, all made with fresh ingredients and expertly prepared. Don’t miss the crispy Peking duck, a house specialty that’s sure to impress.

For a taste of local wines and cheeses, head to the Picnic Point Wines and Cheese Cafe. This charming venue overlooks the picturesque Mitchell River, and is the perfect spot to relax and unwind with a glass of wine and a cheese platter. The menu also features light meals and desserts, all made with the finest local ingredients.

These are just a few of the top restaurants in Bairnsdale, but there are plenty more to discover. Whether you’re in the mood for Italian, Mexican, or fusion cuisine, you’re sure to find something that tantalizes your taste buds in this vibrant town.

Experience Comfortable and Memorable Stays in Bairnsdale

With so much to see and do in Bairnsdale, it’s essential to have comfortable and convenient accommodations during your stay. Luckily, the town offers a range of options to suit all preferences and budgets.

Accommodation TypeDetails
HotelBairnsdale has several hotels that offer comfortable and modern amenities. These hotels are located in the heart of the town, making it easy to access the various attractions and activities. Some of the popular options include The Riversleigh and Bairnsdale International.
Bed and BreakfastFor a more personal and homely experience, consider staying at one of Bairnsdale’s many bed and breakfasts. These accommodations are often run by locals who offer valuable insights into the town’s culture and history. Some of the popular options include Dalfruin B&B and Travellers Rest B&B.
Holiday RentalIf you’re traveling with a group or family, a holiday rental might be the perfect option for you. Bairnsdale has several rental properties that offer ample space and privacy, allowing you to feel at home during your stay. Some of the popular options include Bairnsdale Riverside Holiday Park and Bairnsdale Tanjil Motor Inn.

No matter where you choose to stay, you’re guaranteed to have a comfortable and memorable experience in Bairnsdale.

Experience Comfortable and Memorable Stays at the Bairnsdale Riverside Holiday Park

If you’re looking for a unique and picturesque location to stay in Bairnsdale, the Bairnsdale Riverside Holiday Park is an excellent choice. This park offers a variety of accommodations, including cabins, villas, and powered campsites – perfect for all types of travelers.

The park is nestled on the banks of the Mitchell River, offering stunning views and a peaceful setting. There are plenty of activities to keep you and your family entertained, including a playground, swimming pool, and mini-golf course. You can also hire boats, kayaks, and paddleboards to explore the river or enjoy a leisurely fishing trip.

Furthermore, the park is located just a short drive away from Bairnsdale’s town centre, so you can easily access the various attractions and activities.

Discover Nearby Day Trip Destinations

If you are looking to explore beyond Bairnsdale, there are plenty of nearby day trip destinations worth visiting. Whether you’re interested in history, outdoor activities, or simply enjoying the local scenery, there’s something for everyone. Here are a few of our top recommendations:

Lakes EntranceA picturesque coastal town known for its lakes, beaches, and water activities. Take a cruise on the Gippsland Lakes, go fishing, or simply relax on the beach.
MetungA charming village located on the shores of the Gippsland Lakes. Explore the local art galleries, walk along the boardwalk, or take a scenic drive through the countryside.
PaynesvilleAnother quaint town on the Gippsland Lakes, Paynesville is known for its boating and fishing opportunities. Take a boat tour, visit the local koala sanctuary, or enjoy a meal at one of the town’s many restaurants.
Buchan CavesA series of limestone caves located in the nearby Buchan Caves National Park. Take a guided tour through the caves to see unique rock formations and underground rivers.

These are just a few of the many day trip options within easy reach of Bairnsdale. We recommend taking some time to explore the surrounding area and discover all that this beautiful part of Victoria has to offer.

Immerse Yourself in Local Experiences in Bairnsdale

Visiting Bairnsdale is not just about seeing the sights; it’s about experiencing the culture and community of this charming town. Here are some top local experiences you won’t want to miss:

  • Farmer’s Market: Every Saturday morning, the farmers’ market takes place in the heart of Bairnsdale, offering fresh produce, handmade crafts, and local treats.
  • Bairnsdale Regional Health Service Art Gallery: This local gallery features works from talented artists across the region, showcasing their creativity and passion.
  • Bairnsdale Advertiser: The local newspaper has been a part of this community since 1881, providing insight into local news and events.
  • Rotary Club of Bairnsdale: Get involved in the local community by joining this active service club, which organizes events and fundraisers in support of various causes.

Whether it’s exploring the local art scene or getting involved in volunteer opportunities, Bairnsdale offers plenty of opportunities to connect with the people and culture of this beautiful town.

Relax and Unwind at the Pristine Beaches near Bairnsdale

When you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of Bairnsdale, the nearby beaches offer the perfect respite. The pristine sands and crystal clear waters provide a tranquil setting for relaxing and recharging.

1. Lakes Entrance Beach

The most popular and arguably the most stunning beach near Bairnsdale is Lakes Entrance Beach. With its long stretch of white sand, calm waters and spectacular scenery, it’s the perfect place to unwind and take in the natural beauty of the area.

2. Eastern Beach

Eastern Beach is another beautiful beach close to Bairnsdale that’s worth checking out. Surrounded by lush greenery and boasting crystal-clear waters, it’s a peaceful spot where you can soak up the sun or take a refreshing dip in the ocean.

3. Ninety Mile Beach

If you’re looking for a unique and captivating beach experience, head to Ninety Mile Beach. This breathtaking expanse of golden sand stretches for miles along the coastline, providing unparalleled views and opportunities for a leisurely stroll along the shore.

Whether you’re seeking a quiet escape or a fun-filled day out in the sun, the beaches near Bairnsdale offer something for everyone. So pack your sunscreen, grab your towel and head on down for some relaxation and fun in the sun!


Q: What are the top things to do in Bairnsdale?

A: Bairnsdale offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Some of the top things to do include exploring the historic Bairnsdale Railway Station, visiting the Mitchell River National Park, discovering the Gippsland Lakes, exploring the Bairnsdale Historic Museum, enjoying nature at the Bairnsdale Botanic Gardens, indulging in local cuisine at the best restaurants, experiencing comfortable and memorable stays, discovering nearby day trip destinations, immersing yourself in local experiences, and relaxing and unwinding at the pristine beaches near Bairnsdale.

Q: What is the significance of the Bairnsdale Railway Station?

A: The Bairnsdale Railway Station holds great historic significance, serving as an important transportation hub for the region. It showcases beautiful architecture and features exhibits that provide insights into the town’s history and the role of the railway in its development.

Q: Can you recommend activities in Mitchell River National Park?

A: The Mitchell River National Park offers a range of outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy hiking along scenic trails, camping in picturesque locations, and spotting wildlife in their natural habitats. It is a great destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Q: What can I do at the Gippsland Lakes?

A: The Gippsland Lakes provide ample opportunities for water-based activities. Visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, kayaking, and other water sports. The lakes offer stunning views and are a perfect place to relax and unwind amidst nature.

Q: What can I expect at the Bairnsdale Historic Museum?

A: The Bairnsdale Historic Museum is home to a fascinating collection of exhibits that showcase the town’s history and heritage. Visitors can learn about the local culture, explore historical artifacts, and gain insights into the development of Bairnsdale over the years.

Q: What can I see at the Bairnsdale Botanic Gardens?

A: The Bairnsdale Botanic Gardens boast a diverse range of flora and fauna. Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks, admire the beautiful gardens, and attend special events and exhibitions. It’s a tranquil oasis that offers a peaceful experience in nature.

Q: Which are the best restaurants in Bairnsdale?

A: Bairnsdale is home to several fantastic restaurants that offer delicious local cuisine. Some highly recommended options include [Restaurant 1], [Restaurant 2], and [Restaurant 3]. These establishments showcase the flavors of the region and provide a delightful dining experience.

Q: Where can I find accommodation in Bairnsdale?

A: Bairnsdale offers a range of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets. Visitors can choose from hotels, bed and breakfasts, and holiday rentals. Some popular choices include [Hotel 1], [Bed and Breakfast 2], and [Holiday Rental 3].

Q: Are there any nearby day trip destinations from Bairnsdale?

A: Yes, there are several nearby day trip destinations that are worth exploring. Some recommendations include [Day Trip Destination 1], [Day Trip Destination 2], and [Day Trip Destination 3]. These places offer unique attractions and activities that are perfect for a day excursion.

Q: What local experiences can I have in Bairnsdale?

A: Bairnsdale offers a range of local experiences that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the town’s culture and community. Some examples include attending local festivals, exploring farmers markets, participating in art and craft workshops, and engaging with the vibrant local community.

Q: Where can I find pristine beaches near Bairnsdale?

A: There are several pristine beaches located near Bairnsdale that are perfect for relaxation and enjoyment. Some popular options include [Beach 1], [Beach 2], and [Beach 3]. Visitors can indulge in activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and beach walks while enjoying the coastal beauty.