GREAT ALPINE ROAD VISITOR GUIDE | PAGE 89 BAIRNSDALE Local attractions to surprise and delight A bustling town of 24,000 people, Bairnsdale is the perfect place to stock-up on supplies, take a quick pit-stop on your way to the Gippsland Lakes or High Country, or stay longer to enjoy a surprising array of local attractions. Situated on the banks of the serene Mitchell River, there’s so much to see and do in Bairnsdale, ranging from colourful gardens, historic buildings (including a distinctive 1893-built, ‘Federation Romanesque-style’ Courthouse, and the amazing St Mary’s church, adorned inside with impressive murals painted by Italian artist, Francesco Floreani), indigenous heritage centres, galleries, cafés and eateries, to wetland boardwalks, rail trails and river walks, farmgate providers, antique stores, markets, wineries and much more. In fact, there’s so much to see and do in Bairnsdale, you might just be tempted to stay a few extra days. Get active Over recent years, the town of Bairnsdale has become a fun recreational destination, with numerous new features to keep your family entertained for days, including a fabulous skate park and an equipment-packed playground. Roll-up, roll-up At the eastern end of town, you’ll find the relatively new Davison Oval Skate Park, with a wide choice of concrete curves and ramps to keep beginners and advanced skaters (and scooter riders) happily occupied for as long as you like. There’s parking on the site, making it easy to sit and watch as your younger ones burn off some energy. Popular playgrounds Right next to the skate park is a huge, new, fully-fenced playground called ‘All Abilities Park’ with stacks of fun play equipment for kids of all ages, plus picnic tables and toilet facilities. Keep heading east over the bridge, and you’ll soon see a sign to Howitt Park – another popular playground, which features a flying fox, a giant enclosed slide and other play equipment, as well as barbecues, picnic tables, public toilets and lots of trees and green space to run around. To find out more about everything Bairnsdale has to offer, be sure to drop by the Visitor Information Centre at 240 Main Street, or go to visiteastgippsland.com.au The distinctive ‘Federation Romanesque-style’ Bairnsdale Courthouse – built in 1893 and still in use today. Photo: Visit Victoria Davison Oval Skate Park has a wide choice of concrete curves and ramps for skaters and scooter riders to enjoy. Bairnsdale’s new, fully-fenced ‘All Abilities Park’ features stacks of fun play equipment, as well as picnic tables and toilet facilities. The interior of Bairnsdale’s St Mary’s Church is adorned with impressive murals painted by Italian artist, Francesco Floreani.