Things to Do in Bairnsdale East Gippsland
Bairnsdale is the western gateway to Victoria's 'Lakes and Wilderness' region in East Gippsland. The region still retains a quiet country pace and lots of fresh air clear air. Bairnsdale has a population of 11,500 with a further 7,250 in the district. The local area is noted for its wonderful temperate climate of mild winters and glorious summer-autumn periods. The average yearly rainfall is 700mm.
Kayaking on the Mitchel River
We recommend that you pick up a brochure from Bairnsdale's visitor information centre and drive along the Twin Rivers Food and Wine Trail, or cycle along the East Gippsland Rail Trail from Bairnsdale to Nowa Nowa. Bairnsdale is also a good starting point for the Great Alpine Road. View some magnificent scenery on a joy flight - or try the exhilaration of a parachute jump. Bird-watch in the hides of the Macleod Morass boardwalk, a rare deep freshwater marsh and sanctuary for over 130 species of water birds.
Popular local events include the Bairnsdale Country Music Festival in March and the Bairnsdale Cup in September.
History of BairnsdaleBairnsdale was first settled by Europeans in 1842 as a cattle run. Prior to this, the land had been inhabited by the Brabralong clan, the local tribe of East Gippsland's Kurnai Aborigines. Discovery of gold in areas surrounding Bairnsdale in the 1850s brought an influx of miners and demands for a township. A large number of Chinese came as miners, choosing to stay becoming market gardeners and farmers.
In the 1870s, the district was well-known for its production of hops. Wheat, maize and oats were also important crops along the fertile Mitchell River flats and the river was busy with steamer traffic. The 1890s dairies started popping up, resulting in the establishment of a number of creameries, and a butter factory in Bairnsdale. Many fine buildings were erected in Bairnsdale during these years including the Courthouse, Mechanics Institute, Railway Station and St. John's Anglican Church.
The railway came to Bairnsdale in 1888 and beautification of the Main Street gardens commenced in the early 1900s. The famous St. Mary's Catholic Church was built in 1913; its painted ceilings being completed during the depression years of the early 1930s.