Gippsland Lakes cruises
Back to nature
You’re on a real research expedition, chugging along the water in a small cruiser. Everyone is supplied with binoculars and a booklet with coloured photos of birds to identify and count. There’s a squeal of glee as a line of seabirds comes into sight, perched on a rock wall. Your kids eagerly riffle though their booklets and start to count. In this cruise packed full of excitement and educational opportunities, they identify more than a dozen birds, learn how to tell the difference between gastropod and bivalve shells, spot seahorses and help in a research project to find out the best salinity levels to sustain seahorses.
Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park; 1800 637 060
■ The iron hull of the sailing ship Trinculo, wrecked here in 1879, still visible in the sand west of Delray Beach.
The Gipplsand Lakes have the largest concentration of migratory waders in East Gippsland. If you don’t do the research cruise, bring a bird identification book and see how many birds you can spot. One of the endangered birds you might see is the little tern which migrates to Rigby Island and Ninety Mile Beach in September to breed. If you walk on the beach during October, be careful not to step on their well-camouflaged eggs and nests. The eggs are light brownish grey, with brown and purple splotches, and the nests are just shallow scrapes in the shell grit.
■ Gippsland Lakes is the largest expanse of inland waterways in the Southern Hemisphere. It is made up of Lake Wellington, McLennans Strait, Lake Victoria and Lake King, and joins the waters of Bass Strait through a man made entrance at Lakes Entrance.