THE GREAT ALPINE ROAD VISITOR GUIDE I PAGE 65 %**# ! #% '$'( )&&& ! " ! PAYNESVILLE A magnet for water lovers Based in the centre of Australia’s largest lake system, and with canals carving their way through town, Paynesville offers visitors a unique waterside location. The town was originally called Toonalook, an aboriginal name for “place of many fish” and is known widely as Victoria’s boating capital, anglers and lovers of watercraft flocking to the area year round. Following on from its fishing traditions, recreational anglers seeking the renowned black bream and mullet still make a beeline to the lakeside town. Paynesville has direct access to both Lake King and Lake Victoria, so there’s no question as to why sailors, jet and water skiers, kite boarders, windsurfers, kayakers and canoeists all love it. Onshore there are large lawn expanses, stretches of sand, boat ramps and a pier along the southern shoreline. Walking and cycling around town is a marvellous way to take in the sights. The Sunset Cove Walk takes in terrific views of the waterway, starting at the craft centre on the Esplanade and following the Lake around as it becomes Newlands Arm and Backwater, passing boats on jetties along the way. Another is the Paynesville-Eagle Point track. Look for the sign just before the service station on the main road. The wetland along this track has a great variety of birdlife and it’s a kangaroo haven. Take a drive back towards Bairnsdale and check out the Mitchell River Silt Jetties. They are the longest silt jetties you’ll find in the world. There are a number of places where visitors and locals eat out along both the southern and eastern sections of the main esplanade. MUSIC FEST Celebrating a diverse range of local and visiting musical performers, the annual Paynesville Music Festival will hit the town and its waterways on the weekend of February 22 to 24, 2019. The first Paynesville Music Festival was held in 2012. Each year it has grown in size and quality, winning its organisers awards for their efforts. A number of venues around town will host musical acts, the main feature being the outdoors entertainment with the crowds making themselves comfortable on the foreshore for performances on the floating barge in McMillan Strait. Enjoy a musical cruise around the Lakes, symphony performances, buskers, and a variety of dancing opportunities from bush to rock ‘n roll. Paynesville lays at the tranquil heart of the Gippsland Lakes.