Gippsland High Country Tours
Ecotours and Walking in the High Country and East Gippsland Regions of Victoria


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5 Day Gabo Island Discovery Ecotour
   

Gabo Island Discovery Ecotour with Gippsland High Country Tours
Gabo Island Lighthouse (M Cardoso)

Gabo Island Discovery Ecotour with Gippsland High Country Tours
Ocean Views (M Cardoso)

Gabo Island Discovery Ecotour with Gippsland High Country Tours
Walking across Gabo Island (M Cardoso)

Gabo Island Discovery Ecotour with Gippsland High Country Tours
Lighthouse Keepers Cottages (M Cardoso)

Gabo Island Discovery Ecotour with Gippsland High Country Tours
Hyacinth ordhid (M Cardoso)

Gabo Island Discovery Ecotour with Gippsland High Country Tours
Granite Lighthouse Tower (M Cardoso)

Gabo Island Discovery Ecotour with Gippsland High Country Tours
Victoria’s Coastal Wilderness Landscape (M Cardoso)

Gabo Island Discovery Ecotour with Gippsland High Country Tours
Fur seals and Pied Cormorants (M Cardoso)

Gabo Island Discovery Ecotour with Gippsland High Country Tours
Cape Howe from Gabo Idsland (M Cardoso)

Gabo Island Discovery Ecotour with Gippsland High Country Tours
The joys of an island holiday (M Cardoso)

Graded: Easy-Moderate

Walks: Easy - Moderate grade walks on minor trails with uneven, surfaces plus untracked walking and some rock scrambling.

4 nights accommodation


Focus:
Coastal environment.

Destinations: Gabo Island,
Croajingolong National Park, Mallacoota, Australia’s Coastal Wilderness Landscape.

Educational discovery level: Moderate

An island holiday that is a journey of discovery! Remoteness, wild and rugged shores, birds and marine life plus a rich history, will all be part of your Gabo Island experience.

The island at the far eastern tip of Victoria will be explored entirely on foot, so be prepared for plenty of walking and although it is not flat, there are no really steep hills.  Some points of interest and historic sites are reached on formed (but minor) tracks, however a little of our exploring will be off track, which might require some rock scrambling.

One of the highlights is an opportunity to climb the beautiful lighthouse tower made of locally quarried pink granite.  Listen to stories of an era when shipping relied so heavily on this light at the eastern corner of Victoria to avoid disaster on rocky reefs and gain an insight into the isolated lifestyles of the keepers.

Departure dates will vary every year, subject to availability of the lighthouse cottage. This cosy stone cottage is a wonderful base for our exploring and the verandah is the prefect place to sit and enjoy the ocean and the birdlife.

The seasons are all different and as always nature will provide the usual surprises!  Winter and late Spring provide opportunities for sightings of Humpback Whales as they move between the Southern Ocean and breeding sites off the Queensland coast. The best time to see Little Penguins at their rookery is from August - December.  Other birdlife are busy in spring, but flocking in larger numbers during Autumn. Careful observation at any time will find a few wildflowers, but spring is the most colourful.

The weather is often mild at this corner of Victoria, but the island is very exposed to the wind, so no matter what the season, but prepared for wind. Clear sunny days or dramatic southerly storms all provide different experiences of life on an island.

So bring along your sense of adventure and come and enjoy a very unique coastal holiday experience.

Maximum of 4 participants

Contact us to register your interest in the next departure


Contact us for more details and itinerary or to reserve a place

Other Easy Ecotours


Stories & poems from past participants

Gabo Island
by M Hallett (Vic)

In December, I was lucky enough to visit Gabo Island on Jenny’s tour with Wayne as guide.

There is something very special about seeing the sunrise and sunset from the veranda of the old lighthouse assistants cottage and to watch, binoculars to the eyes, gannets, gulls and terns, sea eagles and on a special occasion, an albatross from a first rate front seat.  It is truly a wonderful thing to do.

While we were there we also experienced Mother Nature’s best sound and light show as the storms passed across the sea.  We were snug and safe so we could only wonder at it’s great might and beauty.

Thanks you Jenny and our guide Wayne for a great experience.

Gabo Island

So many images…the windswept dunes of Croajingolong as we glide past in the boat, the protected little sandy bay alongside the Gabo Island jetty, the statuesque tower of the pink granite lighthouse, the rich blue of the Southern Ocean, the dinner suit vision of fairy penguins hopping from rock to rock in the dark, picnic lunch in the shady dells under spreading banksia trees, the swarms of New Holland honeyeaters perched on shrubs at dusk.

There was a sense of stepping back in time at the sight of the cluster of stone cottages huddled behind high granite walls…and the delight that one of these will be our home for the five days of our adventure on Gabo Island And what a delight! A cosy lounge surrounded by the artwork and photography of previous visitors, endless reference books to check our finds against. Then discovering two modern bathrooms for only 8 guests, comfy beds already made up, and a homey kitchen. And we were certainly well fed! Beyond was the bonus of three sheltered verandahs with seating overlooking the lighthouse and the granite cliffs. I felt I wanted to be there for weeks, not days!

It was a dream I had for many years…to go to Gabo Is. What could be more exciting but the mystery and isolation of a lighthouse island! Imagine my delight when Jenny offered the opportunity with her 5 day trip in January. But I had many questions running through my brain. Would I cook in the summer heat? Would I have to leap from a heaving boat and clamber up a towering cliff? What would I do there anyway…just sit and eat while the wind howled and shook our digs?  Thankfully, none of my apprehensions was the reality.

It was an adventure! This was the first trip for Gippsland High Country Tours and our leader, Maria. So we had the joy of exploring, sometimes in our group of five, other times free range. Right from when we arrived we chose to abandon the kind ranger’s plan to drive us to the accommodation, and walked the one and a half kilometres, so we could explore our new surroundings. It was a glorious sunny day, milder than Melbourne, and with no wind. A swim was in the offing but we chose to continue our wandering.

I had visualised a wind swept landscape, and some of it is, reminiscent of the moors of England, but much of it is thick woodland, tweeting with birds. Walking tracks were few and we meandered in and out, up and down the rises, seeing what plants, birds, and new vistas we could find. Imagine my delight when I did in fact discover a new species not listed on Gabo Is. It was an insignificant spindly tree, which drew my attention as it reminded me of species I had seen in my Outback wanderings. It had thin leaves and fruit like small olives. My amateur botanist companion, Ros identified it as Australian sandalwood, which was later verified by the ranger.

We indulged in the history of the island in the small museum, with its seafaring objects and stories of the lives of lighthouse keepers and their families since 1850. The ranger briefed us on his daily weather observations. Imagine our surprise when in the midst of this, two strange people appeared. They were from one of the numerous yachts we had seen sailing past and had anchored on the other side of the island. The ranger then took us all up the lighthouse. What a view!

My joy on Gabo was to sit on a verandah out of the 75km/hr wind of that day, sipping my hot chocolate, watching the endless waves crashing on the rocky cliffs at our front door. The spray would erupt like a volcano, spread over the cliffs and ooze down to the sea like a torrent of spilt milk. Different sea birds flew in to their favourite cliff perches, and just beyond, a colony of seals kept us entertained on their small rocky island.

Jenny is offering this trip again in various different season. As the climate on Gabo Is. is much milder than Melbourne I could recommend any season and each would be a quite different experience. Be sure to pack some long pants and long sleeved shirts for your woodland wanderings. Enjoy!

Nancy (Melbourne, Vic)

 

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  Gippsland High Country Tours
Gippsland High Country Tours  
PO Box 69,Bruthen, Victoria 3885 AUSTRALIA
 
Phone: (03) 5157 5556 (International 61 3 5157 5556)
Email: info@gippslandhighcountrytours.com.au
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