Copyright © 2005-2017 Ray Plowman All Rights Reserved
East Gippsland's abundance of wildlife, scenic waterways, wild coastline and long sandy beaches, makes it an excellent place for nature, landscape and wildlife photography.
Lakes-Entrance is a small seaside town situated at the end of Ninety Mile Beach, where the Gippsland Lakes, Australia's largest inland waterway, flows into the Southern Ocean (Bass Strait). The town has good accommodation options so it's an ideal base to explore East Gippsland with Cape Conran Coastal Park to the east, Metung and Nyerimilang Reserve to the west, all within easy reach. There's a lot to do around the town and on the lakes but with only two nights it's best to prioritise. Inclement weather on our visits to Metung and Nyerimilang Reserve inhibited photography, both palaces are worth a visit if time allows.
The highlight of any stay at Lakes Entrance has to be a boat trip. Lonsdale Eco boat cruises have a three-hour afternoon tour which, departs from Cunninghame Quay and goes west as far as Mutung passing Rigby, Fraser and Flanagan Islands and visiting Box's Creek and Chinaman's Creek. The boat goes into the manmade, entrance channel linking the lakes and the ocean where Burrunan dolphins (Tursiops australis) and Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) often swim in the strong incoming tide. On the cruise, there are many opportunities to photograph other wildlife such as Grey Kangaroos and seabirds such as cormorants.
About 60 Km east along the Princess Highway from Lakes Entrance is Orbost and then 15 Km south is Marlo on the Snowy River estuary. From Marlo a sealed road runs through the Coastal Reserve to Point Ricardo, which has a small carpark with beach access. Cape Conran Coastal Park has car parks at West Cape and East Cape Beach, the latter has several trails and short walks.
Burrunan dolphin (Tursiops australis) is a species of bottlenose dolphin with a resident population in the Gippsland Lakes; it also inhabits inshore regions of Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
Australian or Brown/Cape Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) is the largest of the fur seals. In Australia, they breed in the Bass Strait area and inhabit South Australian, Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmanian coasts.
The Eastern Grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) is the second largest kangaroo that inhabit the eastern part of Australia and parts of Tasmania – preferring wet areas of open grassland and are mainly nocturnal.
The Gippsland lakes, home to five species of cormorant, the photo galleries include, images of three species: the little pied cormorant (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos), little black cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris) and great or black cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo). The other two species seen in the lakes are the pied cormorant or shag ((Phalacrocorax varius) and black faced cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscescens). The little pied cormorant is probably the majority species of the five and often seen with little black cormorants, which are of similar size. Cormorants catch their prey by diving and taking insects, crustaceans and fish. The photo gallery images of other commonly seen birds on the lakes include the Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus), black swan (Cygnus atratus) and pied oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris).