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A charming village on the Gippsland Lakes, Paynesville is surrounded by lakes on three sides with canals and inlets providing plenty of exciting water sports opportunities. Paynesville is a haven for water sport enthusiasts who ski, sail, surf and fish on waters that are also home to flocks of water birds. Canals and inlets offer sheltered moorings for yachts and cruisers that give the town its distinctive maritime feel and boating reputation. Hire a boat and explore the waterways in style or join a tour to learn more about the lakes. Foot passengers can take the free car and passenger ferry to Raymond Island across the McMillan Strait. Raymond Island is one of the best places in Victoria to go koala spotting and is also home to over 60 bird species and many species of ground orchids and wildflowers. There are also 140 species of native birds to spot in the Lakes National Park. The Gippsland Lakes comprises the largest inland network of waterways in Australia. Explore the Mitchell River silt jetties, second only in size to the immense silt jetties of the Mississippi River. There are good views from Eagle Point Bluff and a vehicle track that provides a closer view and leads to some fine fishing spots. Catch your fill of black bream and mullet or watch for dolphins playing in the water. Soak up the charm of the village with a walk around the Newlands Arm walking track along the lake shore, or just relax with coffee and cake by the water. Paynesville is 300 kilometres from Melbourne, or around three-and-a-half hours by car along the Princes Highway.