Orbost is situated in the far east of Victoria between Lakes Entrance and Cann River.
The area around Orbost was first settled in 1842 and originally used for cattle grazing. A township began to develop in the 1870s and it eventually became an important service centre for what has developed into a major cattle and agricultural district. The surrounding mountain forests produce hardwood timber, most of which is milled locally.
Orbost is situated on the Snowy River, surrounded by its rich river flats. Its commercial centre is along Nicholson Street and includes two supermarkets, a selection of shops and a few hotels. At the northern end of the commercial centre, at the Salisbury Street roundabout, is a memorial clocktower. As Nicholson Street heads northwards, it breaks out into a wide boulevard with lawns and trees along its central strip.
Forest Park is an attractive reserve in Orbost, wedged between Nicholson Street and the Snowy River. It features a slab hut which was built in 1872 and relocated to its present site. The hut is open to the public and furnished as a period settler's home. Other attractions in Forest Park include the Orbost Exhibition Centre and gallery, as well as a number of rainforest walks which begin in the park.
Good views of Orbost, the Snowy River and the bridges across its flood plain can be enjoyed from Grandview Lookout, located south-west of Orbost in the small community of Newmerella.
14 kilometres downstream along the Snowy River near its mouth is the small coastal community of Marlo.
The towering peak of Mount Raymond, 16 kilometres east of Orbost on the Princes Highway, provides spectacular views of the region, including as far south as the wetlands adjoining Brodribb River. On a clear day the view extends all the way down to Bass Strait and the Ninety Mile Beach.
The Cabbage Tree Creek Flora Reserve, located south of the highway and to the east of Orbost, includes the Cabbage Tree Palms - Victoria's only native palms exclusively located in this area. There are picnic facilities and walking tracks through the surrounding forests which are home to a large variety of birdlife.