Has anyone riden the tracks around the LakesNP (Vic)

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VeloGiro
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Has anyone riden the tracks around the LakesNP (Vic)

Postby VeloGiro » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:29 pm

Hi all - After an inordinate time not undertaking any cycle travel/touring i am planning an East Gippsland ride and keen to explore some of the Lakes NP tracks and arrange boat transport across to Metung or even Lakes Entrance. I am guessing the tracks are likely to be a bit sandy but just wondering if anyone has ridden in the NP and could provide any advice on track conditions...

Thanks so much...cheers Johnno.
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Tim
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Re: Has anyone riden the tracks around the LakesNP (Vic)

Postby Tim » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:40 pm

You're in luck. I live in Metung and spent much of my earlier years over on the Boole Poole Peninsula.
There are management and privately constructed roads throughout the park.
The Lakes National Park (proper) is the section of land extending from Lochs Sport up to Sperm Whale Head adjacent to Rotamah Island.
Further east and seperated by a stretch of water and several smaller islands is the Lakes Coastal Park extending from Ocean Grange up to the western wall of the (lakes) entrance. There is private land interspersed within the park.
It isn't possible to ride from Lochs Sport to the entrance unless you enjoy pushing the bike through sand dunes or riding on the ocean beach. However with a boat ride across Bancroft Bay in Metung to Boole Poole there is a series of walking and driving tracks which can take you east as far as the private boundaries near the Barrier Landing, south to Bunga Arm (the Back Lake) and west to Wollaston Bay, adjacent to Ocean Grange.
Most of the roads are actually quite firm on a peaty, cricket pitch like spongy surface formed from paperbark and phragmites reed accumulated over who knows how many thousands of years. There are also deeper sandy sections.
Camping isn't strictly permitted other than in the designated sites at Ocean Grange which can't be accessed by bike. I think the rule is that walkers can camp on their way through. Can't see why this rule wouldn't apply to bikes. I wouldn't worry too much, The Parkies don't spend much time over there but some of the land owners can be touchy. Just tell them you know me, they'll either shoot you, trap you or welcome you. :D
There's a track follows the northern shoreline of Bunga Arm. My favourite patch of bush and lake. I used to walk across to the back lake, swim across it, walk across the dunes, dip in the ocean, then walk and swim home. Beautiful coastal/(once) estuarine environment. My mum's family ran cattle over most of Boole Poole back in the day. You can't ride any great distances as you are bound by private land, water or unridable sand dunes but it's well worthwhile spending a few days at least soaking up the quiet natural surrounds. Late summer/early autumn is the best time of the year as the east winds tends to ease and the water is still warm enough to swim until around mid-april.
Any questions, fire away. I'm more familiar with that country than any other.

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VeloGiro
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Re: Has anyone riden the tracks around the LakesNP (Vic)

Postby VeloGiro » Wed Feb 24, 2021 7:41 am

Tim wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:40 pm
You're in luck. I live in Metung and spent much of my earlier years over on the Boole Poole Peninsula.
Awesome Tim - Thank you SO much for the fantastic information. If we are in your patch I'll PM you about perhaps grabbing a cuppa in Metung if your around and up for a catch up - be nice to meet - Thanks again! Johnno...
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warthog1
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Re: Has anyone riden the tracks around the LakesNP (Vic)

Postby warthog1 » Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:27 pm

Tim wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:40 pm
You're in luck. I live in Metung and spent much of my earlier years over on the Boole Poole Peninsula.
There are management and privately constructed roads throughout the park.
The Lakes National Park (proper) is the section of land extending from Lochs Sport up to Sperm Whale Head adjacent to Rotamah Island.
Further east and seperated by a stretch of water and several smaller islands is the Lakes Coastal Park extending from Ocean Grange up to the western wall of the (lakes) entrance. There is private land interspersed within the park.
It isn't possible to ride from Lochs Sport to the entrance unless you enjoy pushing the bike through sand dunes or riding on the ocean beach. However with a boat ride across Bancroft Bay in Metung to Boole Poole there is a series of walking and driving tracks which can take you east as far as the private boundaries near the Barrier Landing, south to Bunga Arm (the Back Lake) and west to Wollaston Bay, adjacent to Ocean Grange.
Most of the roads are actually quite firm on a peaty, cricket pitch like spongy surface formed from paperbark and phragmites reed accumulated over who knows how many thousands of years. There are also deeper sandy sections.
Camping isn't strictly permitted other than in the designated sites at Ocean Grange which can't be accessed by bike. I think the rule is that walkers can camp on their way through. Can't see why this rule wouldn't apply to bikes. I wouldn't worry too much, The Parkies don't spend much time over there but some of the land owners can be touchy. Just tell them you know me, they'll either shoot you, trap you or welcome you. :D
There's a track follows the northern shoreline of Bunga Arm. My favourite patch of bush and lake. I used to walk across to the back lake, swim across it, walk across the dunes, dip in the ocean, then walk and swim home. Beautiful coastal/(once) estuarine environment. My mum's family ran cattle over most of Boole Poole back in the day. You can't ride any great distances as you are bound by private land, water or unridable sand dunes but it's well worthwhile spending a few days at least soaking up the quiet natural surrounds. Late summer/early autumn is the best time of the year as the east winds tends to ease and the water is still warm enough to swim until around mid-april.
Any questions, fire away. I'm more familiar with that country than any other.
Thanks Tim.
Sounds good. :)
Might have to get down there for a look myself.
Dogs are the best people :wink:

askmikey
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Re: Has anyone riden the tracks around the LakesNP (Vic)

Postby askmikey » Mon Jan 08, 2024 5:18 pm

I am riding some of the roads around lakes entrance in the coming weeks and I have several questions similar to this topic.

1. Can you cycling from Loch Sport to Ocean Grange?
2. If 1 is possible can you get a boat from Ocean Grange to Paynesville?
3. If 1 isn't possible can you get a boat from Loch Sport to Ocean Grange?

regards
Michael

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Tim
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Re: Has anyone riden the tracks around the LakesNP (Vic)

Postby Tim » Tue Jan 09, 2024 8:42 am

askmikey wrote:1. Can you cycling from Loch Sport to Ocean Grange?

There is a dirt road for Management Vehicles Only running from LS to Ocean Grange.
This section of coast is National Park with a high conservation value so check with Parks Victoria as to whether bikes are allowed.
I walked that track many, many years ago. Assuming conditions haven't changed too much I'd be wanting a mountain bike with nice wide tyres to ride it. You'll be pushing through deep sandy patches here and there. Take plenty of water, there is no reliable local source once leaving LS, assuming of course that ParksVic allow bikes in the area.
Be aware that Ocean Grange's location is incorrectly labelled on Google Maps. It is actually about 5 km's further east where the Ocean Grange Beach House is marked on the map. The infrastructure at OG is mostly privately owned, with public campgrounds further east but very limited facilities ie. no shops/food/reliable water.

askmikey wrote: 2. If 1 is possible can you get a boat from Ocean Grange to Paynesville?
3. If 1 isn't possible can you get a boat from Loch Sport to Ocean Grange?

It's possible to do both by boat but I'm not aware of any service offered to the pubic. Maybe contact the Visitor Information Centers in Loch Sport or Paynesville. Alternately contact the Ocean Grange Beach House operators. They run a very professional accommodation business and should know of any locally available water transport options, and also give you up to date access-to-the-park information.

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