Great segway into the town

Great segway into the town

A new tourist attraction for Lakes Entrance and the region is putting smiles on the faces of visitors and locals alike.

Segway adventures are proving popular in Lakes Entrance with rides along the Ninety Mile Beach.

Visitors are thrilled at the opportunity to see dolphins and seals playing during twilight tours to the entrance.

A two-wheel stand-up machine, segway is a spectacular way to see the town and likewise a city in a short space of time.

What is unique about Lakes Entrance Segway is it’s the only place in Victoria and one of three places in Australia where you are permitted to ride the machine on the open beach.

“It really is the best job in the world,” James Stevenson, from Metung, who is employed to take visitors out on a 90-minute adventure around Lakes Entrance, said.

Segway has taken off worldwide since the beginning of the 21st century.

The concept was invented in the United States and has become extremely popular in tourist havens, particularly in Europe.

John and Berni Bognar were living in Melbourne and decided they wanted a seachange.

They relocated to Metung recently and were looking for a job to keep them both busy.

As a business, segway appealed to them as an eco-friendly idea and had an obvious attraction for tourists.

They launched the business three weeks ago and are happy with the response.

“We thought we’d try it out, so we did and I was rapt,” Mr Bognar said.

“Berni needed to give up nursing and so this has been the perfect vehicle for her.”

Mr Bognar said the couple had initially thought that the segway would have been ideal on the rail trail between Bruthen and Bairnsdale, but after discussions with the East Gippsland Shire, the idea to establish the business in Lakes Entrance was conceived.

“A lot of people are surprised the machines run on the sand, but it’s no problem at all,” Mr Bognar says.

Running on two lithium batteries, each segway contains two electric motors and five electronic gyroscopes. They run for six hours before needing to be recharged. Segways travel at a top speed of 22 kilometres per hour, but usually are ridden at about 13-14kph.

Those who take a ride are firstly trained on how to handle the machines before heading out onto the beach.

Helmets and safety vests are required to be worn.

Mr Stephenson says age is no barrier in undertaking a segway adventure.

“We had an 84-year-old the other day and he absolutely loved it,” he said.

Lakes Entrance Segway Adventures operate seven days a week.

More details can be found online.

PICTURED: James Stevenson and John and Berni Bognar run Lakes Entrance Segway Adventures from the foreshore on the Esplanade.