Gippsland Forests

East Gippsland contains the most extensive areas of forest wilderness left in Victoria. Unique to almost any other forested area on the planet, East Gippsland still has a large unbroken chain of forest stretching from the alps to the sea. There are alpine environments and dry rain-shadow woodlands, tall wet mountain forests where the trees can reach 60 metres tall with a rich understorey of sassafras and ferns. There are dry wildlflower-rich foothill forests, coastal wilderness areas, deep gorges that fall off the high rainfall plateaus. Tall wet old growth forests and Mountain Plum Pine rainforests dominate the Errinundra Plateau while the Snowy River National Park can change within kilometres from the tall grand Alpine Ash forests to rugged dry rainshadow woodlands with native cypress pines.  There are rare plateau wetlands, coastal heathlands, lily pily dominated warm temperate rainforests and the ferny moss-blanketed cool temperate rainforests.

The forests support diverse wildlife from the huge hollow dwelling Greater Glider to the tiny Feather-tailed Glider. Brush-tailed Possums and a smaller Ring-tailed Possums are often seen at night in the spotlight. The endangered Powerful Owl, Barking and Sooty Owls hunt in the forests by night, along with the rare Spot Tailed Quoll which is mainland Australia’s largest marsupial (pouched mammal) carnivore (similar in size to a large cat). Wallabies and kangaroos are common but bandicoots and Victoria’s rarest marsupial, the Long-footed Potoroo are fewer and more secretive.