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255,718 (2011 census)

Time zone


41,556 km (16,044.9 sq mi)

120 km (75 mi) E of Melbourne

(by population)LatrobeBaw BawEast GippslandWellingtonBass CoastSouth Gippsland

State electorate(s)
BassGippsland EastGippsland SouthMorwellNarracan

Gippsland is an economic rural region of Victoria, Australia, located in the south-eastern part of that state. It covers an area of 41,556 square kilometres (16,045 sq mi), and lies to the east of the eastern suburbs of Greater Melbourne, to the north of Bass Strait, to the west of the Tasman Sea, to the south of the Black-Allan Line that marks part of the Victorian/New South Wales border, and to the east and southeast of the Great Dividing Range that lies within the Hume region and the Victorian Alps. Gippsland is generally broken down into the East Gippsland, South Gippsland, West Gippsland, and the Latrobe Valley statistical divisions.


As at the 2011 Australian census, Gippsland had a population of 255,718, with the principal population centres of the region, in descending order of population, being Traralgon, Moe, Warragul, Morwell, Sale, Bairnsdale, Drouin, Leongatha, and Phillip Island. Gippsland is best known for its primary production such as mining, power generation and farming as well as its tourist destinations— Phillip Island, Wilsons Promontory, the Gippsland Lakes, Walhalla, the Baw Baw Plateau, and the Strzelecki Ranges.


The area was originally inhabited by Indigenous Australians of the Gunai nation and part of West Gippsland by the Bunurong nation. Before permanent European settlement, the area was visited by sealers and wattle bark gatherers, but who did not settle. Samuel Anderson (1803-1863), a Scottish immigrant from Kirkudbright Scotland, agriculturist and explorer, arrived in Hobart, Tasmania in 1830, and in 1835 established a squatter agricultural settlement on the Bass River in Gippsland, the third permanent settlement in Victoria (then called the Port Phillip District). His business partner Robert Massie joined him in 1837. Both had worked for the Van Diemen's Land Company at Circular Head, Tasmania. Samuel's brothers Hugh (1808-1898) and Thomas (1814-1903) arrived at Bass shortly after, where they established a successful farming venture.

Further European settlement followed two separate expeditions to the area. Angus McMillan led the first European expedition between 1839 and 1840, naming the area "Caledonia Australis". He was followed in March 1840 by Polish explorer Paweł Edmund Strzelecki, who unknowingly led his expedition across the same terrain already traversed by McMillan, and gave his own names to many natural landmarks and places.

Following these expeditions, the area was officially named "Gippsland", a name chosen by Strzelecki in honour of the New South Wales Governor, George Gipps, his sponsor.

The township of Bass was surveyed and settled in the early 1860s.


Gippsland is traditionally subdivided into four or five main sub–regions or districts:

  • West Gippsland (roughly equivalent to the Shires of Cardinia and Baw Baw)
  • South Gippsland (Bass Coast and South Gippsland Shires)
  • the Latrobe Valley (Latrobe City and areas of Baw Baw to the north)
  • East Gippsland (Shires of Wellington and East Gippsland).
  • Sometimes a fifth region, Central Gippsland (corresponding approximately to the Shire of Wellington), is added to refer to the drier zone between the Gippsland Lakes and Yarram.
  • Climate

    The climate of Gippsland is temperate and generally humid, except in the central region around Sale, where annual rainfall can be less than 600 millimetres (24 in). In the Strzelecki Ranges annual rainfall can be as high as 1,500 millimetres (59 in), while on the high mountains of East Gippsland it probably reaches similar levels – much of it falling as snow. In lower levels east of the Snowy River, mean annual rainfall is typically about 900–950 millimetres (35–37 in) and less variable than in the coastal districts of New South Wales. Mean maximum temperatures in lower areas range from 24 °C (75 °F) in January to 15 °C (59 °F) in July. In the highlands of the Baw Baw Plateau and the remote Errinundra Plateau, temperatures range from a maximum of 18 °C (64 °F) to a minimum of 8 °C (46 °F). However, in winter, mean minima in these areas can be as low as −4 °C (25 °F), leading to heavy snowfalls that often isolate the Errinundra Plateau between June and October.

    Political representation

    For Australian federal elections for the House of Representatives, the electoral divisions of Flinders, McMillan, and Gippsland lay entirely or partly in the Gippsland region. Flinders and McMillan are currently held by the Liberal Party, while Gippsland is held by the Nationals.

    For elections for the Victorian Legislative Assembly, the electoral districts of Bass, Narracan, Morwell, Gippsland South and Gippsland East lay entirely or partly in the Gippsland region. Bass and Narracan are currently held by the Liberal Party, while the other electorates are held by the Nationals.

    Local government areas

    Gippsland contains six local government areas:

    Environmental protection

    The Gippsland region contains the Alfred National Park, Baw Baw National Park, Coopracambra National Park, Croajingolong National Park, Errinundra National Park, Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, Lind National Park, Mitchell River National Park, Morwell National Park, Snowy River National Park, Tarra-Bulga National Park, The Lakes National Park, and Wilsons Promontory National Park.


    Gippsland Wikipedia