Paynesville, Tourism Victoria

Population 3455

Paynesville is a popular tourist resort close to the rural city of Bairnsdale, on the McMillan Straits. The town is set on the Gippsland Lakes and the beaches of the Tasman Sea, making it a favourite destination for fishing and waterskiing.

Visitor Information

Community Craft Centre, Esplanade; (03) 5156 7479

Nearby national parks

  • The Lakes National Park

    The Lakes National Park in Gippsland is a birdwatcher’s paradise, a tranquil retreat edged by the blue waters of Victoria and Reeve...more

  • Mitchell River National Park

    Stunning river scenery, thickets of temperate rainforest, idyllic fern gullies and tracts of rugged countryside are the background to a wide...more

  • Croajingolong National Park

    Croajingolong National Park sweeps along the far south-east corner of Victoria for 100 kilometres. This is one of the state’s largest...more

Nearby towns

  • Bairnsdale

    An attractive rural centre situated on the Mitchell River Flats and considered to be the western gateway to the lakes and wilderness region...more

  • Lakes Entrance

    Lakes Entrance is a lovely holiday town situated at the eastern end of the Gippsland Lakes, an inland network of waterways covering more...more

  • Sale vic

    Situated by the Thomson River near the Latrobe River junction, Sale grew on the back of the gold rush and became Gippsland's first city in...more

In Town

St Peter-by-the-Lake Church: built in 1961, this unique structure incorporates seafaring images in its design; The Esplanade.

Community Craft Centre: displays and sells local arts and crafts; The Esplanade.


Gippsland Lakes This area incorporates The Lakes National Park, Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park and the famous Ninety Mile Beach. Lake cruises, boat charters and organised scenic tours of the region are all available; details from visitor centre.

Eagle Pt: a small fishing community set by Lake King. The Mitchell River empties here, where it forms curious silt jetties that stretch out into the distance. The town hosts the annual Australian Powerboat Racing Championships at Easter; 2 km NW.

Raymond Island: Koala Reserve and Riviera Meadows, an animal farm that specialises in miniature breeds; the island is just east of Paynesville and can be accessed by a ferry that departs from the foreshore.

Fishing spots near town

Mitchell River 5 km

The estuary section of the Mitchell River begins at the rock barrier, about 5 km upstream from Bairnsdale. Bream are caught all the way through to where the silt jetties enter Lake King. The jetties look like two long... Find out more

Nicholson River 10 km

The Nicholson is the shortest of the three waterways in the Bairnsdale area and is more affected by thawing snow than rainfall. The stretch near the railway bridge can be productive. A scenic waterway, it has limited... Find out more

Metung 10 km

Metung, on the western shore of Bancroft Bay, is a major centre for the cruise-boat industry. Whether you own one or want to hire a live- aboard boat for a few days, Metung is a prime spot. Surprisingly, for a town so... Find out more

Lake Victoria 12 km

This lake joins Lake King at the popular boating and fishing town Paynesville, opposite Raymond Island. The piers on both sides of McMillan Strait here are popular with anglers, especially lure fishers who have found the... Find out more

Tambo River 14 km

The Tambo River is renowned for the quality of its bream fishing. From the mouth of the river at Lake King upstream past Johnsonville and Swan Reach, anglers can access long stretches of sheltered water above and below... Find out more

Lakes Entrance 20 km

Lakes Entrance is an ideal base for anglers wanting to fish the region. Facilities are excellent and it is within easy reach of places like the Tambo River and Lake Tyers. The township is situated along Cunninghame Arm. ... Find out more

Lake Tyers 34 km

Lake Tyers is a few minutes’ drive north-east of Lake Entrance on the Princes Highway. It is one of the most picturesque of the Gippsland Lakes, being surrounded by forest. Covering an area of about 16 sq km, Lake... Find out more

Ninety Mile Beach 56 km

In autumn, large schools of salmon, along with gummy sharks and mulloway, hit Victoria’s beaches. Snapper can still be caught, along with increasing numbers of yelloweye mullet. One of the most popular beaches in... Find out more

Marlo 72 km

In the annals of Australian folklore, the Snowy River is one of the icons. Anglers know that most of the action is in the lower reaches downstream from Orbost to Marlo where the river flows to the sea. Marlo is reached... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Cruises - around Lakes Entrance 25 km

More than just a cruise, a one- or two-hour Sea- Safari out of Lakes Entrance is an opportunity to add to research about the area. You will help document seabirds, marine life – including seahorses with an... Find out more

Mitchell River National Park 43 km

Although only 11 900 hectares in size, this rugged national park contains some of the best forest country in Gippsland. Great for experienced rafters, kayakers and canoeists, it also has some superb bushwalks. With a... Find out more

Bushwalking Alpine National Park 91 km

Covering a vast 6460 square kilometres, this is Victoria’s largest national park and cradles the state’s highest mountains and dramatic alpine scenery, as well as the major downhill skiing resorts. The park... Find out more

Campsites around town

Emu Bight camping area 10 km

On Sperm Whale Head, Emu Bight is the only place to camp in the Lakes park. It’s 5 km east of Loch Sport, beside Lake Victoria and accessed from Lake Victoria Track; campsites must be booked in advance through... Find out more

Bunga Arm (boat-based camping) 12 km

Bunga Arm, in the road-free western part of Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, is a spit of sand that has built up between the ocean and Lake Victoria. There are 7 designated camping areas, each with a dozen campsites and... Find out more

Colquhoun camping area (bush camping) 21 km

While enjoying the dispersed bush camping available around the forest, campers can familiarise themselves with forest bats, tree goannas, lyrebirds and koalas. The Forest Discovery Drive takes you past such historical... Find out more

Red Bluff camping area 23 km

Red Bluff is just north of Beacon Swamp at the edge of Lake Victoria. Besides going swimming or paddling out in a canoe, you can go driving or horseriding along the tracks that run riot between here and Lake Reeve... Find out more

Waters Edge Holiday Park 25 km

This high-standard camping and caravan park is located in the centre of Lakes Entrance, the holiday town sited behind the magnificent sweep of sand known as Ninety Mile Beach. It’s opposite an arm of the Gippsland... Find out more

Thalia Point camping areas 26 km

You can plant yourself in the bushland alongside Lake Victoria at Thalia Point, between the Spoon Bay and Thalia tracks. The catch is that you can only do so during the designated hunting seasons for duck, quail and... Find out more

Spoon Bay camping area 29 km

Spoon Bay, off Lakeside Track, is on the gently curving western foreshore of Lake Victoria. The water is quite calm here, which makes it a good place to launch a canoe. You’ll probably spot ringtail possums and... Find out more

Glasshouse camping area 36 km

Glasshouse is one of several camping spots east of Nowa Nowa Arm. It’s on Glasshouse Beach at the southern end of Lake Tyers Rd and has no facilities to speak of – perfect for those who want to play castaway... Find out more

Trident Arm camping area 38 km

You’ll find this tranquil spot at the end of Trident Arm Track, off Lake Tyers Rd. As with the park’s other campsites, it’s east of Nowa Nowa Arm – the area to the west of the arm has several... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Lake King Waterfront Caravan Park 4 km

With absolute lake frontage, this neat park has its own jetties and boat ramp and there are waterfront van sites available. This is good value. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies to... Find out more

Bairnsdale Holiday Park 12 km

There are many caravan parks in Bairnsdale but this is one of the few with a large number of tourist sites. Located on the Princes Highway, it is well suited to a family holiday or just a couple of nights. Bookings are... Find out more

Mitchell Gardens Holiday Park 13 km

This park is at the river end of the main street (Princes Highway), just 500 metres from the centre of town. With beautifully maintained surrounds, the park is located on the banks of the Mitchell River. Bookings are... Find out more

Waters Edge Holiday Park 25 km

This good quality park is suitable for a few days in Lakes Entrance. It is on the Princes Highway, across the road from the water, and not too far from the centre of town. Bookings are required in peak periods and a... Find out more

Koonwarra Beach Resort 25 km

Easily accessible on the Princes Highway, at the eastern end of Lakes Entrance, this park is just a short distance from the town centre. It is ideal for a short stay or a family holiday in this popular destination.... Find out more

Eastern Beach Tourist Park 26 km

Just off the Princes Highway and easily accessible, this is a large spacious park where you can walk to town along the waters edge, Great for a family holiday. We like it. Bookings are required in peak periods and a... Find out more

Lakes Entrance Tourist Park 27 km

This owner-operated park is on the eastern edge of town and very convenient for a stopover. It has good facilities and caters for most needs. We stay here. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay... Find out more

90 Mile Beach Holiday Retreat 29 km

This camping park on a private farming property is just a stroll away, over the sand dunes, from the fabulous Ninety Mile Beach. The owner-operated park is reached via some 5 km of unsealed access road but the journey is... Find out more

Lake Tyers Camp and Caravan Park 33 km

This beachfront park is owned and operated by the Uniting Church. It is a great family park, ideal for a beachside holiday. The park operates in conjunction with a school camp and the consumption of alcohol is permitted... Find out more

Stratford On The River Tourist Park 57 km

This is a good quality park with a range of accommodation, just a short 600-metre walk from the centre of the small town. There are good facilities and it is ideally located for overnight stops or longer stays. Bookings... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Captain’s Cove

Like a string of grown-up bathing boxes, these two-storey architect-designed apartments edge one of the attractive artificial waterways on Victoria’s Gippsland Lakes. Comprising 18 units, the stylish complex has a... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Nicholson park area 11 km

At Nicholson

Overlooking the river on the east side of town.

Log Crossing rest area 22 km

T/O 26km E of Bairnsdale (L) or 9km W of Lakes Entrance (R)

Secluded in the forest 2.5km (unsealed) north of the highway. 

Lakes Entrance park area 23 km

At Lakes Entrance

Overlooking the river near the information centre.

Burnt Bridge rest area 30 km

10km NE of Lakes Entrance (R) or 49km SW of Orbost (L)

Secluded in the forest just off the highway.

Providence Ponds rest area 39 km

17km E of Stratford (R) or 35km W of Bairnsdale (L)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Tambo River rest area 58 km

49km S of Omeo (L) or 72km N of Bairnsdale (R)

Adjacent to the highway among a few trees.

Newmerella park area 65 km

At Newmerella

Adjacent to the highway in the middle of town.

Doctors Flat rest area 68 km

33km S of Omeo (L) or 88km N of Bairnsdale (R)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Murrungower rest area 83 km

16km E of Orbost (L) or 59km W of Cann River (R)

Secluded forest setting just off the highway. 

Willows rest area 85 km

1km NE of Rosedale (L) or 25km SW of Sale (R)

Large grassed area just off the highway.

Blind Joe Creek park area 88 km

21km E of Traralgon (R) or 2km W of Rosedale (L)

Just off the highway near the caravan park.

Lookout rest area 89 km

102km SE of Bright (L) or 7km NW of Omeo (R)

Just off the road at the lookout.

Oriental Claims park area 91 km

107km SE of Bright (L) or 2km NW of Omeo (R)

At a historical site beside a creek 500m off the highway.

Victoria Falls camping area 95 km

89km SE of Bright (L) or 20km NW of Omeo (R)

Secluded area 600m off the road.

What's on around town

Market: Gilsenan Reserve; 2nd Sun each month.

Jazz Festival: Feb.

Marlay Pt Paynesville Overnight Yacht Race: Mar long weekend.

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