From rolling green hills to charming railway towns: your guide to West Gippsland

Many times we have watched with envy, the photos uploaded by those touring the region of West Gippsland. So we thought it’s about time we explore this region for ourselves. 

The rail towns of West Gippsland are less than an hours drive from Melbourne CBD and with the option of catching a V-line train, means you can easily explore this diverse small-town community as a weekend day trip with friends.

As you can see from our itinerary below, it’s quite the day out, with not a moment to spare, so pack the car or jump on the V-line and come and join us in West Gippsland!

A spring time tour of Manningham

Recently the team at One Hour Out were invited to explore Manningham in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. What we found was an incredibly diverse mix of residential suburbs and verdant riverside parklands.

The region includes some of Victoria’s most engaging art experiences and the eclectic mix of cafes, restaurants and boutique shopping is second to none. The northern edge of Manningham is marked by the Yarra River that winds its way down from the Yarra Valley towards the city, with endless walking trails, picnic locations and playgrounds.

Come and join us as we explore this outstanding region.

Blackwood’s Martin Street Coffee Roasters welcomes good bakery offering

Words by Della Vreeland
Images Suppled

The quaint little village of Blackwood is about to become all the more charming with the opening of a new retail offering along the main drag.

The town’s much-loved Martin Street Coffee Roasters has welcomed their new flatmate Adam Kluga of Adam, The Good Baker this week, offering locals and visitors the chance to savour some of regional Victoria’s finest sourdough alongside their morning brew.

Blackwood Bakery

Hailing from a Sicilian background, Adam says food and baking have always played a significant role in his life.

‘I spent quite a few years living with my Nonna, so I learnt a lot about preserving and pickling and cooking more generally,’ Adam said. ‘My granddad was a career baker and my Nonna knew a lot about the trade, and that was my first exposure to making fresh bread and making good honest food.’

Having launched his micro-bakery from his humble home in Trentham during the height of the Covid pandemic in 2021, Adam quickly earned the community’s respect and admiration for his wholesome products made with love, passion and integrity.

I’m not trying to do anything flash. I’m just trying to make good, honest food for people to share. There’s no frills.

Having been approached by the Martin Street Coffee team, he said the opportunity presented itself at the right time and it made sense to ‘take the plunge’.

The retail space will initially operate from Martin Street Coffee Roasters on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with Adam also maintaining his wholesale and online orders. Expect indulgent sourdoughs, crispy baguettes, seeded loaves and other European-inspired goods.

‘It’s such a great opportunity and a beautiful space,’ Adam said. ‘The crew have curated such a welcoming, warm environment and I’m really looking forward to settling into the space, utilising a dedicated kitchen and offering people really good bread. It’s really exciting. I couldn’t have asked for a better fit.’

Trading since 2017, Martin Street Coffee Roasters is renowned for serving up carefully roasted, seriously decadent coffee with a big focus on being good to the planet.

Coffe Balckwood

The roastery specialises in small-batch roasting using bespoke fluid-bed, air-roasting technology that guarantees a smooth, bold, delicious and never bitter flavour profile and prides itself on choosing beans from family growers using sustainable, eco-friendly methods.

Martin Street Coffee Roasters founder Simon Daniel said his team was thrilled Adam would be operating out of the same premises as the factory door.

‘Adam produces slow-fermented bread products that are next level,’ Simon said. ‘We’ve known him for a reasonable while and have always enjoyed the high quality, crunch, texture, and flavour of his bread.

‘People see us as a destination, a welcoming hub to immerse oneself in the sight, sounds, and aromatics of the coffee production process. Visiting the factory door speaks to a wide range of people, from those sampling or purchasing our products to those making quick stops to stock up on beans and other products.

‘The idea was to support another small, high-quality business to get into an actual retail space. We have a good connection and look forward to the vibe this collaborative concept will bring.’


WHAT: Adam, The Good Baker at Martin Street Coffee Roasters
WHERE: 21 Martin Street, Blackwood
WHEN: Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10am until sold out
FIND OUT MORE: Adam The Good Baker & Martin Street Coffee Roasters

We wish to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Ethical and sustainable coffee company Emme Mac Black just launched in Molyullah

Words by Tehya Nicholas
Images by @leonschoots

Emme Mac Black Coffee, the brand new coffee label from the family behind rustic Airbnb favourite Dunmore Farm, is blending premium global flavours with a local touch.

When Melbourne couple Bec and Angus Macdougall bought their property Dunmore Farm in the rural town of Molyullah—which they rightly describe as radiating an “immediate sense of relaxation”—they were looking to open a chilled out weekender. Five years later, it’s a full-time, thriving Airbnb, as well as home and office space for their personal and professional projects. And their latest venture—a speciality coffee company named after their two-and-a-half year old daughter Emme—is already proving just as fruitful.

Coffee aficionados and dedicated morning latte drinkers themselves, Bec and Angus have nailed the formula for a premium speciality coffee: ethically and sustainably sourced beans from around the globe, local roasting and packaging in Melbourne to preserve the bean quality and freshness, and a charming lack of pretension. It’s just good produce handled with skill and integrity.

With three slow-roasted Italian style blends already on rotation, as well as three blends of industrially compostable (soon-to-be home compostable!) coffee capsules, customers have plenty of flavour and brewing options to choose from. We spoke to Bec recently who told us their certified organic single-origin roast, Misty Mac, makes for a mean brew on the stovetop or through an espresso machine.

“We’re really lucky here in Australia to have incredible quality coffee and coffee culture, and it’s really great to be a part of that [and] let Emme Mac Black grow into the vision we have for it,” Bec said.

Distributed in restaurants, boutique accommodation, speciality food stores and grocers across Australia, Emme Black Coffee is already garnering significant praise for its smooth, full-bodied flavour and commitment to sustainable practices. You can find their beans at the acclaimed Chauncy Restaurant in Heathcote, local favourite The Kingston Hotel in Richmond, and many more. And if you’re after a bag for your home set-up, you can buy their beans online here.

Guiding coffee on a journey across the globe to some of regional and metropolitan Victoria’s best businesses, all from their humble abode in a Molyullah valley, the Macdougal’s are doing small business with a bang.

WHAT: Emme Mac Black Coffee
WHERE: Operates from Molyullah
MORE INFO: Emme Mac Black Coffee

We wish to acknowledge the Taungurung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.


Caffeine perfection just landed in Wonthaggi with Sth Drop Espresso

Words by Richard Cornish
Images Supplied

South Gippsland has a smart new café from a pair of brothers who are self-declared caffeine perfectionists. Justin and Ryan Bertuleit are Inverloch boys who spent their lives searching for the perfect brew.

Last week they opened a brand new coffee venue Sth Drop Espresso in Wonthaggi. After years of Ryan working in local cafes and Justin forging a career in hospo marketing the duo have reunited with this smooth 12-seater café in Wonthaggi’s Graham Street. The emphasis in its first few weeks has been ensuring they have been perfecting their coffee.

The Humbler blend coffee beans come from Proud Mary roasters in Collingwood. “They (Proud Mary) have a specific recipe,” says Justin. “They specify that each dose (of ground coffee) weighs 24g with a 0.2g leeway each way. But no more or no less. Making great coffee is about following a recipe to the letter. And that’s what we do.”

The brothers have also insisted that Sth Drop Espresso takeaway should taste as good as the in-house coffee. “Some cafes have different sized takeaway cups to the ones they use in-house,” says Justin. “This means you end up with different tasting coffee depending on whether you’re inside or enjoying a coffee on the run. Great coffee has to be consistent.” The milk the pair are using is Gippsland Jersey and within a few weeks, there will be a good offer of morning pastries and brekky burgers to add to the mix. Open seven days a week you’ll find Sth Drop Espresso opposite the Wonthaggi Golden Arches, with plenty of parking out front.

WHAT: Sth Drop Espresso
WHEN: Open Now
WHERE: 175 Graham St, Wonthaggi
MORE INFO: Sth Drop Espresso

We wish to acknowledge the Bunurong people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Meet Ellington’s, Ballarat’s first wine bar with a rooftop

Words by Teyha Nicholls
Images Supplied

The name Ellington conjures certain boozy images to mind. For this writer, it’s a picture of Duke Ellington, the legendary New York jazz musician and composer from the swinging 1920’s hashing it out on his piano, a glass of red wine shaking with the melody on the lid. For the wine-lovers of Ballarat, another, similar image might come to mind: a cosy evening at the freshly minted Ellingtons Wine Bar, sipping on a local shiraz.

That’s the hope of owner and operator Myles Williams, whose year long journey to opening a European-style neighbourhood wine bar in Ballarat has finally come to bear fruit. The heavy wooden doors swung open last month and as Myles explains, the locals are loving it.

“We took over the building in July last year. The build took eight months with a few Covid-related speed bumps but we finally opened last month and the feedback from the community has been great. I just think Ballarat is so supportive of new ventures.”

It’s not hard to see why. Stepping inside Ellington’s is like walking through an Edward Hopper painting. It oozes warmth and sophistication. The curved wood of the Bentwood chairs invite you to sit and stay a while, and the natural light seeping in from the warehouse-style windows bathes the bar in a warm glow that’s impossible to resist. If you like Mad Men, you’ll like it here.

For Myles, the emphasis on comfort, community and the antiqued feel of how hospitality once was is paramount. His team provide table service and offer a selection of local and international wines that pair perfectly with the small, shared plates. Guests can either sit in the bar or head outside to their newly designed rooftop space for uninterrupted views of Sturt Street and beyond.

The menu is seasonal, flexible and sourced locally. Oysters, charcuterie boards, cheese platters and anchovies, as well as other bite-sized bar snacks and French chocolates make the perfect accompaniments to a post-work drink, meeting or weekend catch up with friends.

The idea was to do something different, something unique. We’re Ballarat’s first rooftop that’s joined with a function space and since we’ve opened the doors everyone has beelined straight to the rooftop.

Come rain, hail or shine, Ellington’s will be pouring tall glasses of booze and warm foamy coffees during the daytime. As for the jazz records, they’ll be on repeat of course.

WHAT: Ellingtons Wine Bar & Rooftop
WHERE: 405A Sturt Street, Ballarat
WHEN: Open Wednesday – Monday , 2pm – late
Kitchen open from 4pm
MORE INFO: Ellingtons Wine Bar & Rooftop

We wish to acknowledge the Wadawurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Latin American cuisine is now cooking in the heart of East Gippsland

Words by Teyha Nicholls
Images Supplied

East Gippsland has never been known for its Latin American dining scene, but there’s a new restaurant setting out to change all that.

Arturo’s Latin Cuisine Restaurant is busting open the repertoire with authentic Peruvian, Argentinian and Colombian dishes for lunch and dinner. Charcoal-grilled meat plates and tapas with traditional spices have been flying out of the kitchen for one month now, something owner Mark Wheeldon couldn’t be happier about — both professionally and personally.

“I left [Gippsland] at 19 and returned at 54. I was sort of semi-retired when I saw this venue and contacted my friend, Arturo, who is a Peruvian chef. I said to him, “c’mon we’re going to start up a restaurant,” Mark explains.

Arturo, who emigrated from Peru six years ago, was cooking in the RACV City Club kitchen before the pandemic hit. But like many other venues, customer shortages during 2020 meant several staff were forced to find other work so Arturo found a job in a factory.  Fast forward two years and the duo are breaking new ground by building one of Gippsland’s finest Latin American restaurants.

We don’t call it a restaurant, we call it a venue. It’s somewhere people come to experience some nice food, to chat with friends. There’s a certain sort of ambience to it.

That ambience was designed by Mark’s niece, an interior designer with an intimate knowledge of what makes a venue sing. The team completely renovated what once was an uninspired 1960’s brick shopfront into a modern, glass-fronted restaurant with subtle homages to Latin America. The space feels bright yet warm, spacious yet cosy and, of course, the lake view is the hero.

“Arturo’s is all about helping out a friend, giving me something to do and also doing something unique in Paynesville. And that’s what we’ve done.”

WHAT: Arturo’s Latin Cuisine Restaurant
WHERE: 59 Esplanade, Paynesville
WHEN: Thursday – Sunday 10:30 am –9:00 pm
MORE INFO: Arturo’s Latin Cuisine Restaurant

We wish to acknowledge the Gunaikurnai people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Seriously good bagels are happening at Out of Order cafe in Bendigo

Words by Tehya Nicholas
Images Supplied

Despite society’s best efforts to eschew carbohydrates, the humble bagel has us in a chokehold. From its beginnings in Europe through to its migration to the U.S and Australia, the delicious ring-shaped bread has stirred up deep and fierce loyalties. The latest town in the bagel grip? Bendigo, thanks to a forward-thinking, bread-loving couple.

Kelsey and Taylor, two Bendigo locals with a wealth of hospitality experience behind them, have built Out of Order cafe, a speciality bagel and coffee shop serving classic, crowd-pleasing bagels for breakfast and lunch.

“We’d been playing around with the idea of opening our own place for a little while. Somewhere that we can have more creative control,” Kelsey tells me of the venture.

Within two months of deciding to take the small-business gamble, the couple had found a location in the heart of town and were busting open Bendigo’s food repertoire of toasted sandwiches and meat pies. They wanted New York style, stuffed-to-the-brim bagels that give your jaw muscles a workout, and they found it. Needless to say, the locals are loving it.

5 & Dime Bagels are delivered fresh daily from Melbourne and packed full on sight with fresh, local ingredients. Their menu boasts classics like the Reuben and the Lox, as well as plant-based options for the vegans out there. Of course, cream cheese (both the dairy and dairy-free versions) features heavily — a fact sure to please bagel traditionalists.

Micro roastery Coffee Cartel from Geelong provide the beans, which in the hands of their expert barista, is a combination no one can resist.

“It is going really well. We’ve got some awesome regulars that are coming in every day. That makes us feel that we’re doing something right,” Kelsey explains.

Chewiness, delightfulness and freshness is the Out of Order promise. Some good vibes, as the A-frame sign outside their front door says, can also be expected.

WHAT: Out of Order cafe
WHEN: Open Monday to Friday 6am – 2pm, Saturday 8am – 2pm
WHERE: 352 Hargreaves Street, Bendigo
MORE INFO: Out of Order

We wish to acknowledge the Dja Dja Wurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Celebrate regional roasters this International Coffee Day

Words by Tehya Nicholas
Images Supplied

Did you know, if you replace your morning coffee with a peppermint tea, you can lose up to 87% of the joy you have left in your lockdown life?

That’s why we’re big supporters of coffee. To roast, to grind, to percolate and most importantly to drink – any interaction with this magical little bean is a good one. And on October 1st, coffee gets it’s very own day of worldwide recognition with (the fittingly titled) International Coffee Day.

Of course, it’s no secret Melbourne is the coffee capital of the world but regional Victoria is hot on the city’s tail. With dozens of independent roasteries serving speciality coffee at their own storefronts or supplying to some of Melbourne’s biggest cafe’s, regional Victoria’s coffee scene is like a dark horse ready to bolt – you want to have your bets on it.

So in celebration of International Coffee Day, we thought we’d give the people what they want (and need) to get them through another few weeks of lockdown: a list of regional Victoria’s best roasteries to stockpile your grinder and crank the morning joy up to 11. Without further ado, here are six of our top picks.

1. Great Divide Coffee, Marysville

Coffee MarysvillePerched on the edge of the Great Dividing Range in Marysville, this micro-roastery specialises in ethical, fairtrade and sustainable coffee that does not compromise on flavour. Bold Arabica beans are sourced by the tight-knit team from premium coffee farming countries like Papua New Guinea and Brazil. All roasted by hand in small batches, Great Divide Coffee can be tasted in cafes around North Eastern Victoria or ordered directly via their website for your home brew.


2. Ocean Grind, Torquay

Torquay CoffeeThe laid-back and sustainable ethos of the Surf Coast flows into all aspects of Ocean Grind’s coffee roastery. From the careful selection of ethical coffee farms around the globe, to the slow and small batch roasting that takes place in their Torquay home, this crew puts as much love into coffee as they do into surfing – and that’s saying something. Once travel restrictions ease, we recommend giving their flagship cafe a visit, but remember to bring your reusable cup! No single-use cups are in sight here.

3. Coffee Basics, Castlemaine

Coffee CastlemaineTraditional European coffee craftsmanship meets central Victorian standards at the Coffee Basics Rösterei and cafe Das Kaffeehaus. Helmed by Edmund Schaerf and Elna Schaerf-Trauner, Coffee Basics is the result of sixty years of family tradition in the roasting and blending business. Their small batch, artisan coffee beans come in either single origin or blend packs and can be ordered online.



4. Revolution Roasters, Mornington Peninsula

Coffee RoastersMuch more than just a roastery, these guys are changing the game when it comes to coffee roasting, both for their own blends and for other businesses. Revolution Roasters are putting freshness, transparency and simplicity at the centre of the coffee experience, supplying sustainable green beans to cafes who roast themselves. Try their Three Bags Full Sample Pack for the full taste experience.



5. Mansfield Coffee Merchant, Mansfield

Mansfield CoffeeThis is speciality coffee that has caught the eye of some of Melbourne’s toughest coffee-critics. Mansfield Coffee Merchant burst onto the scene several years back and has turned the sleepy High Country town into an industry leader. They roast their single origin coffee and signature blends on-site, package them in compostable packaging and sell them direct to the public. Plus, they even have Nespresso-compatible coffee pods. What more could you want?



6. Silva Coffee Roasters, Wesburn

Yarra Valley CoffeeNestled in the Yarra Valley surrounded by native bush, Silva Coffee Roasters produce coffee that is, quite simply, delicious. Local duo Wayne and Cleo started roasting in 2010 with a desire to share and celebrate great flavour with their community. Fast forward over a decade and that passion has flowed onto countless folks taking a detour off the Warburton Highway for a pitstop at their roastery door and ordering online for home. All beans come from socially and environmentally sustainable sources and are roasted with care to make the perfect cup.

We wish to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.