How can you help the bushfire affected towns? By visiting them, of course!
Although it may have been a tad excessive but very much needed, the torrential rains have finally extinguished a majority of the ravaging bushfires in Victoria. But as the smoke withers away, we must not forget the struggling towns yearning for a boost to their economy. And the most effective way to help out is with a road trip through the most affected areas.
Each road trip comes with a Google Maps itinerary, along with our own Weekender guides and articles hyperlinked throughout each section.
A comprehensive list of affected areas in each state has been linked at the end of the article.
Beechworth-Lakes Entrance Triangle – The Road Trip
Mansfield | Whitfield | Wangaratta | Beechworth | Myrtleford | Bright | Omeo | Lakes Entrance | Melbourne
The eastern end of Victoria is in recovery mode, and they’re seeking help from tourists.
The first stop is Mansfield which was not physically affected by bushfires, but they lost revenue during their peak season. We recommend making a pit-stop in this cosy little town, filling up that belly before moving on. Perhaps even catch a movie at the Mansfield Armchair Cinemas.
Weave through the hills and make your way to Whitfield, home to a few delectable wineries, such as the Politini, Pizzini, Dal Zotto and Darling Estate.
Cruise further north to find more wineries and eventually land yourself in Beechworth. This quaint town makes for a great night’s sleep, with plenty of hotels, cottages and cabins to choose from. To stop those stomachs from rumbling, head out on the town for the evening of fantastic feeds and tipples. And perhaps if you’re up for it, a ghost tour at the historic Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum will provide you with the thrills on this trip.
With the sun rising in the east, make your morning drive down to Myrtleford and find a cosy cafe to warm those bellies. You could even consider a tasting at Michelini Wines if you want to stay for the afternoon.
Then, make your way down to Bright, bringing yourself close to the bushfire affected region. Here you can enjoy a good dose of retail therapy, buying from local merchants. Think toy stores, apparel, books, and even some jolly Christmas spirit at Country Heart & Home. There are even plenty of accommodation ideas in the area.
The final stop before we make our way back to Melbourne is Lakes Entrance. The town was on the verge of the bushfire threat, which meant a lot of its commerce was affected. Lakes Entrance could be considered a mini Gold Coast for Victoria, with stretching beaches and wonderful fishing activities – even helicopter rides! Stay for the night before trekking back home and enjoy some local hospitality.
Scenic Drive To Sydney – The Road Trip
Bairnsdale | Lakes Entrance | Marlo | Bemm River | Mallacoota | Eden | Merimbula | Bega | Narooma | Moruya | Batemans Bay | Ulldadulla |
Jervis Bay | Sydney
Thinking of driving up to Sydney? Why not take the scenic route along the coast and enjoy the unique warmth that each little town offers.
Begin your journey with a quick stop at Bairnsdale for some grub and a hot beverage or two. Bairnsfale features a small selection of cafes and eateries for passing revellers. We also recommend dropping into nearby Paynesville to see some cute and cuddly koalas up close on their bike trail on Raymond Island (which includes Surrey bike hire).
Next stop is Lakes Entrance, which we’ve spoken about in the previous road trip via Beechworth. It’s a mini Gold Coast, with plenty of fun activities and eateries.
Follow on to Marlo, a quaint coastal village with a lively hotel, bar and restaurant. Stay the night and wake up to the glistening Snowy River inlet as the sun rises in the distance. Be sure to include a stunning coastal walk alongside the Snowy River inlet before jetting off to Bemm River.
For over a month during the bushfire crisis, Bemm River was cut off from civilisation, with the Bemm River Hotel housing and feeding the firemen who managed to save the town from bushfires. We recommend stopping in and giving them thanks by ordering a hearty lunch with a pint of beer.
Before you cross the border into New South Wales, we recommend stopping at Mallacoota. This town was nearly wiped out by the bushfires, which has severely impacted on their summer tourist trade. While any time of year is perfect for a visit, April would be the highlight this year. Mallacoota will host the Wild Harvest Seafood Festival, showcasing the tastiest seafood this part of the world has to offer.
Now you can cross the border and end up in Eden. Here visitors will find a range of mesmerising beaches all tucked into this beautiful bayside town. Filled with evoking stunning scenery and a range of wonderful nature escapes; for a more city escape a further six hour drive will lead you to Sydney.
For a more comprehensive list of places and to research bespoke road trips to suit your needs, visit Roadtrip For Good.
Wanting to explore bushfire affected New South Wales? Check out our New South Wales road trip guide for the five best trips you should be taking.
Looking for other ways to donate? Here are two other ways you can help firefighters and bushfire victims.