Discover the charm of Heritage Harvest Weekend at Sovereign Hill

As autumn paints Victoria crimson, Sovereign Hill invites you to a weekend where the past meets the present.

The Heritage Harvest Weekend on Saturday, 25 May and Sunday, 26 May is a journey back in time – celebrating rustic food and traditions brought to the goldfields from around the globe.

With a vibrant blend of history, gastronomy and community spirit, this festival is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience Australia’s rich culinary heritage. Here’s how you can make the most out of your visit.

Culinary stars take the stage

Julie Goodwin Heritage harvest Festival BallaratPrepare to be dazzled by some of the brightest Australian chefs – Julie Goodwin, Darren Purchese and Tim Bone. Exclusive meet-and-greets aside, these kitchen virtuosos will grace the festival across the weekend in several engaging events.

Ballarat local and host of Good Chef/Bad Chef Tim Bone will be cooking up a hearty dish inspired by the Gold Rush era. Using simple yet flavourful ingredients, Tim’s cooking is a modern twist on the rugged gold miner grub in the Heritage Market Village.

The Great Bake Off’s Darren Purchese will share his handy tips and insights into creating delicious, sweet treats this autumn. And Julie Goodwin, the inaugural winner of MasterChef Australia, will lift the lid on preparing the ultimate family feast in a live demonstration.

‘I’m delighted to be doing cooking demos at Sovereign Hill’s Heritage Harvest Weekend, sharing my passion for delicious, seasonal dishes,’ says Goodwin. ‘Our food traditions are such an important part of who we are and where we come from.’

Plus, under the moderation of Kara Monseen, Herald Sun’s food and wine editor, you’re in for a treat as these chefs share their passion for delicious, seasonal dishes and sweet treats in an interactive Q&A session.

A community of flavours

Heritage Harvest BallaratThe festival proudly showcases over 30 producers and artisans, turning Sovereign Hill into a paradise for food lovers.

Wander through the village market to find quality locally made wares, watch live demonstrations of traditional crafts and cooking along Main Street, and let the kids explore their culinary creativity with special activities.

Highlights include Sweet Sage Farm – full of traditional homemade condiments, gourmet salts and natural herbal balms; Mrs Brown Bakes, selling delicious treats like cookies and their famous Brownie Boys; and The Cottage Herbalist will bring a selection of award-winning tea and herbal tisanes to the Heritage Harvest Market.

And don’t miss the cooking and craft sessions hosted by the esteemed Country Women’s Association, celebrating the essence of community and shared knowledge.

More than just taste

Sovereign Hill heritage harvest weekendHeritage Harvest Weekend offers more than just a taste of the past. You can join in various rare trade activities that celebrate the goldfields’ cultural diversity and rich history.

From gold panning, coach rides and candle dipping to butter-churning and damper-making, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Just ensure you wear comfortable clothes to make the most of the fun!

And if you’re ready to stock up on handcrafted wares? Stop by the Botanical Bar, where longstanding potter Tony Barnes will be throwing clay at the wheel and selling his fine porcelain stoneware in copper red, cobalt blue, rutile and celadon glazes.

Another must-see for lovers of old-fashioned gems is the Basketmakers of Victoria stand. Weavers will be on hand to sell their sustainable, natural handmade baskets – and demonstrate their handiwork, skills and materials.

To keep the weekend’s activities buzzing, local bands The Valentines and Morrigan & Wilding will provide a jazzy, folk-filled backdrop.

And for the little explorers

Kids activities sovereign HillIn true Sovereign Hill style, the Heritage Harvest Weekend has plenty for the little ones.

Kids can get up close, say hello, and learn more about their favourite animals at the Fun Farm2U petting station. Or get their hands dirty in the Little Green Thumbs garden – where they can plant seedlings to take home. Plus, lawn games, face-painting and other interactive activities are guided throughout the day.

The Little Explorers Refreshment Hub offers the perfect break for families. While the kids navigate the straw maze, parents can relax with a Gilded Grog cocktail and a famous chicken sandwich, enjoying a pause in your day of festival exploration.

This hub is located at the Hotel Parade Ground, ensuring that kids and adults alike can recharge with some delicious food and drink.

Tickets and timing

The festival is accessible with the standard Sovereign Hill ticket, ensuring you can experience the entire immersive weekend.

Running from 10 am to 5 pm on both the 25 and 26 May, make sure to book your tickets in advance to secure your spot in this celebration of heritage, harvest and community.

Planning your visit

Before you head out, check the event program online to plan your day. With activities and sessions throughout the weekend, a little planning can go a long way in ensuring you don’t miss out on your favourite parts of the festival.

Remember, some experiences require separate bookings, so it’s best to look into these details beforehand.

Whether you’re a foodie, history buff, or simply searching for a unique weekend out, head to the Heritage Harvest Weekend this May.

Your Guide to the Goulburn River and Ranges

The Goulburn River might not have the PR team of the mighty Murray but as Victoria’s longest river it has long been a part of peoples’ daily lives. It is the region’s lifeline of agriculture, a cultural and historic touchstone as well as a magnet for outdoor activities.

Your road trip offers so many waterways to choose from, including one of Victoria’s largest man-made lakes, enchanting waterfalls and secluded fishing spots. No matter the season, you’ll be greeted with breathtaking scenery, pretty little towns and down to earth hospitality as you wind your way through this special part of central Victoria – all within a short, easy drive out of Melbourne.

Here’s an itinerary to get you started.

Choose your own adventure: Exploring the You Yangs & Moorabool Valley

Words by Amanda Kennedy
Images Supplied

They say life is all about balance, a bit of yin with your yang, so to speak. We all know that getting outside to blow away the cobwebs is not only good for the body, but it’s also good for the soul. We’ve rounded up a host of activities in the Moorabool Valley and You Yangs area to get you out and about and sweetened it with some treats for afterwards.

Walking MelbourneYou Yangs Regional Park

You’ve definitely seen them from across the bay, or perhaps from the city’s outskirts, those hills on the horizon. The You Yangs (Wurdi Youang) are a group of 24km long granite outcrops an hour southwest of Melbourne near the town of Little River. Time to pay them a visit!

Topping out at 319m is the park’s highest point, Flinders Peak. Those who make the 3.2km one-hour return walk will be well-rewarded with stunning views across the volcanic plains back towards Melbourne or south to Geelong.

From the eastern lookout, the eagle-eyed will also spy the geoglyph of Bunjil, creator spirit of the Wadawurrung people, traditional custodians of the region. Artist Andrew Rogers utilised 1500 tonnes of granite and limestone rock to form the wedge-tail eagle geoglyph, in recognition of the Wadawurrung people’s connection to the land.

Iconic Australian painter Fred Williams was known to spend much time painting en plein air in the region. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to create your own masterpiece?

Bike Riding MelbourneIf you’re the type who likes to get the blood really pumping, you might like to bring your mountain bike and hit some of the 50km of purpose-built trails across two dedicated zones. Maybe horse riding, orienteering, rock-climbing, abseiling or bushwalking is more your speed? If so, there are dozens of trails from the family-friendly through to the more challenging to choose from.

If that all sounds a little exhausting, you could always try your hand at some birdwatching or perhaps a gentle stroll to one of the nine designated picnic areas.

The You Yangs Regional Park is open every day from 7am and closing at 5pm (6pm from Daylight Savings). Access to the park from the Princes Freeway is signposted via Lara. Facilities include picnic areas (barbecues, tables and toilets available) as well as drinking water available from the Visitors Centre.

Serendip Sanctuary Wildlife Park

Melbourne wildlife
© Barbara Dawn

Only 10 minutes further south is the Serendip Sanctuary. Soak in the serenity or explore some of the 250ha of wetlands and grassy woodlands. Experience your own close encounter with some native wildlife on one of the popular and wheelchair-accessible nature trails. Spot a mob of emus, Eastern Grey kangaroos or even a Tawny Frogmouth from one of the many bird hides.

With an emphasis on education, the sanctuary offers a Junior Rangers Program for families during school holidays as well as downloadable DIY activity sheets. Discover how some of Victoria’s most threatened species are being protected at the sanctuary’s education facility, old school and screen-free.

Serendip Sanctuary is open every day except Christmas Day & Good Friday from 8am until 4pm. Facilities include picnic areas, barbecues, tables, toilets and drinking water.

Brisbane Ranges National Park

National Parks MelbourneDrive half an hour west and you’ve arrived at Brisbane Ranges National Park and Steiglitz Historic Park. Ten points if you time your visit for spring’s magnificent wildflower displays including the rarely seen Velvet Daisy-bush and Brisbane Ranges Grevillea.

But first let’s start the adrenaline racing with some rock-climbing, abseiling, horse riding, kayaking/rafting or bushwalking (trails range from a couple of hours to several days). Camping areas with tank water and pit toilets available, bookings required. Picnic areas include wood barbecues, tables and toilets.

As with any visit to the great outdoors, best to check forecasted weather as well as location conditions. Visit Parks Victoria for more information.

Reckon you’ve earned a reward or two?

Farmers Market MelbourneFortunately, an area so rich in outdoor activities is also blessed with a cornucopia of food and drink choices.

Golden Plains Farmers Market is held the first Saturday of every month and is the ideal place to begin. If you miss that, no matter; the region is well placed with a slew of farm gates and providores.

Moorabool Valley Chocolate Pick up some handmade truffles made with the freshest ingredients from this family-owned small business.

Meredith Dairy The Cameron family have been responsibly and sustainably farming sheep and goats since the early 1990s, creating one of Australia’s most iconic farmhouse cheeses which are now exported to the world.

Inverleigh Bakehouse An old-school country bakery is a thing of beauty and this converted 1868 homestead doesn’t disappoint with artisan breads as well as tempting pastries and cakes.

Clyde ParkBread cheese and chocolate – tick! Now you need something to drink. Thankfully this cool climate wine region offers boutique wineries, renowned cellar doors and winery restaurants both large and small, so you’re sure to find one to suit.

Clyde Park Vineyard and Bistro Step into the cellar door and secure a spot by the fire before tasting through their award-winning wines whilst taking in sweeping views over the Moorabool Valley. This family-friendly bistro is open daily offering everything from a quick nibble through to a three-course meal.

Del Rios Wines Enjoy a long, lazy lunch centred around their estate-grown produce (including Black Angus beef) complemented by an extensive wine portfolio.

No doubt this has whet your appetite to explore the region. You’ll only wonder what took you so long.

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

A generational shift for an established Goulburn Valley cellar door

Words by Jay Dillon
Images supplied

Since the end of the lockdowns, we hear many stories of the struggles faced by the hospitality operators across regional Victoria. However, in a winery in the Goulburn Valley, a chance conversation became a catalyst for a realignment of values and new opportunities.

Both Hannah and Tess had returned to the Shepparton region with their partners at the start of Covid with Hannah now a well-experienced events manager and Tess honing branding and design skills at a Melbourne studio. The two were introduced by their respective partners and instantly hit it off, deciding to entwine their skills sets to create Rye Studio.

Shepparton Winery

Rye studio quickly gained a formidable reputation for crafting exquisite branding and management for events, weddings and festivals across the region. Established Dookie winery Tallis Wine became a loyal customer and it was in discussions with the owners that a new opportunity arose.

Richard and Alice Tallis have been growing fruit on the ancient Cambrian soil of the Dookie Hills for more than 25 years, dedicated to estate-grown varietals that embrace the warmer client like shiraz, cabernet, grenache, sangiovese. At the end of Covid, Alice and Richard decided managing a cellar door was a distraction from their passion for winemaking and it was here that Hannah and Tess saw an opportunity to take the reins and reimagine what a cellar door can be.

‘Tess and I both have a love of design, curated events and hospitality with a dedication to the Goulburn Valley’s producers, farmers and local businesses. Running a new wine bar at the amazing Tallis property allows us to do that on a greater scale.’ Explains Hannah.

With fresh eyes and great skill, Hannah and Tess’ reimagined wine bar marks a changing of the guard for the Goulburn Valley wine region. Along-side the full range of Tallis Wines they are now serving a small list of other favourite wines, local gins and wildly fun beers from Shepparton’s Wild Life Brewing Co and Shepparton Brewery. As we find out from Hannah, the menu is quite the shift away from your standard cheese platter too.

Winery Shepparton

‘We’ve simply modernised the food expectation of a regional cellar door, with a tapas style menu that includes buratta served with seasonal local veggies, anchovy garlic bread and warm olives with bay leaves, chili and lemon. For those seeking a full lunch, we do have some more substantial items on the menu like arancini with red pesto and chicken goujons with aioli with can be matched with a Salad verde’.

Monthly special events will keep the offering fresh and exciting. The first of which was a special set-menu to celebrate Mother’s Day that quickly sold out. These special events will continue now that Hannah and Tess have a new chef coming on board before the end of the month. Keep an eye on the Rye at Tallis social media account for a local Sunday roast, Italian pasta day or a colourful Mexican fiesta!

The two seem to have an unlimited resource for inspiration, as Hannah tells us that they are currently seeking to install a wood fired pizza oven, with plans to offer guests a cocktail menu as well. Their experience with weddings and corporate events mean plans are also afoot to cater for larger events.

The cellar door itself is a fantastic space for long table corporate lunches and workshops and we have the opportunity to utilise an area up on the hill to set up a marquee to host larger events and weddings.

This is the sort of energy that we love to see coming into regional hospitality, with Hannah and Tess really showing the industry what the next generation are capable of. We are excited to be witness to the metamorphosis of this much loved cellar door.


What: Reimagined Wine Bar
Where: 5 Major Plains Rd, Dookie
When: Thursday to Sunday 11am – 5pm
More info: Rye at Tallis

Grampians Edge Caravan Park

As we travel further and deeper into regional Victoria, we quickly realise each region has young upcoming go-getter representatives. For the town of Dadswells Bridge, the designated go-getters are Katey and Dale Exon, the managers of Grampians Edge Caravan Park.

Dale and Katey became managers of Grampians Edge Caravan Park in 2022, after getting a taste for hosting guests in a tiny home that was located on their own property nearby. The successful partnership formed with ‘Tiny Away, Australia’ through this property has continued in this new location with tiny homes of varying configurations installed amongst the existing camping sites and cabins.

The tiny homes really are a work of wonder. That something so compact can also be so luxurious is cause to reconsider the nature of high-end accommodation. There are nine of these tiny homes in the park presently, including one two-bedroom cabin with a loft. All have an ensuite, split system air conditioning and a kitchenette. Many of the original cabins have also received a makeover recently and for those who prefer to bring their own accommodation, the campsites throughout the park are of a generous size.

The park was founded in the 1970s by Cleve Krause, who had a vision for attracting guests to this idyllic bushland environment with views across the Grampians/Gariwerd ranges. The site is just walking distance to the town of Dadswells Bridge for supplies, takeaway food and even an Indian restaurant.

Between the park and town is the Mt. William Creek Nature Trail, an easy 1 hr loop through the beautiful grass woodlands that curb Mount William Creek. It’s a haven for wildflowers at the start of spring and if you are very lucky, a chance to see a platypus in its natural environment.

The park is the perfect home base for exploring the entire region. Situated on the northern edge of the Grampians National Park, it is a short drive to the magnificent lookouts, hiking trails and waterfalls across the ranges. The starting point for the Silo Art Trail is just a 30min drive away and the internationally recognised wineries of the Pyrenees region are very accessible for the willing designated driver.

Thank goodness for go-getters like Dale and Katey who can deliver such a high-end accommodation experience in a natural bushland for us all to escape to.

Learn more about the region here.

Mt Stapylton Wines

Farming is a hard business, it’s usually something you are born into rather than decide to take up by choice. The desire to stay with it comes from growing up within the landscape, its spirit creeping into the sinew of each generation. For Robert Staehr, continuing with grain and sheep grazing on the family farm set in the Wartook Valley was always a given, winemaking however was a matter of serendipity when the neighbouring vineyard came on the market.

The established rows of Shiraz were complimented by the planting of Grenache, and under the guidance of winemaker Leigh Clarnette (Seppelt, Taltarni, Clarnette Wines) bottling commenced under the Mount Stapylton brand, named in honour of the iron-rich sandstone cliffs that overlook the vineyard.

The vineyard is the most northern of the Grampians region, with the extra warmth resulting in a vigorous canopy and early picking without the loss of acidity while maintaining plenty of flavour. The results are an easy-drinking, approachable wine, and with extra fruit brought in from regions close by, the winery portfolio now includes a Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc.

At the end of 2021, the old cow shed was converted into one of the tiniest (and cutest) cellar doors you are likely to come across. The bar is surfaced with pressed metal sourced from the property homestead, and here visitors can indulge in a wine tasting and gain deeper insight into the winemaking process and philosophy.

When things get chilly, the fire pit will likely get fired up, where visitors can soak in the views across the property and chat about all things farming. We love these down-and-dirty encounters with farmers that are void of pretension and rich in connection.

More details about the region can be found here.

It’s time to return to the Murray

Words by Anthea Riskas
Photography Jay Dillon and supplied

Seeing towns along the Murray River endure the flood events of 2022, was devastating. But now that the waters have subsided, and the arduous cleanup and repairs complete, these resilient communities still need your help. And what they need you to do is visit!

House Boat Murray RiverWith approximately 2,700km of winding river and waterways to explore, pristine landscapes, rich Indigenous culture, a thriving arts scene, museums, top notch tucker and accommodation options that range from under-the-stars to 5-star, there’s so many reasons to head to the Murray for your next getaway.

The obvious place to start planning is along the river itself, and one of the most well-loved ways to enjoy it is by skippering your own houseboat. Fire up the group chat and get a bunch of your favourite pals together to share costs and make memories on your own floating holiday house. You can set sail from Echuca, Moama, Yarrawonga, Mulawa, Mildura or Wentworth. Throw a fishing rod over the side, slowly watch the world go by and moor along the way to explore smaller towns. All you need is a full driver’s license and a sense of adventure, the captain’s hat is optional.

Camping Murray RiverMore of a coastal lover? Well so you thought because there are beaches here too! Some of the best stretches of sandy inland beaches can be found near the towns of Cobram and Tocumwal and are perfect spots for camping, kayaking and water skiing.

Perry Sandhills is a spectacular series of sand dunes that have been formed by wind erosion over thousands of years. Traditional owners once camped and hunted here and evidence of their activities, as well as skeleton remains of mega-fauna, are still being revealed as the sand dunes shift over time. It is a stunning landscape to walk through and explore with the family. Kids will love to tumble down some of the steeper dunes. The dramatic site has been regularly utilised as a backdrop to a number of popular films including The Man from Snowy River II.

The Sandhills are also one of many sites of the region that hold deep cultural and spiritual significance to local Indigenous peoples, and another must-see stop on this side of the border is the Aboriginal culture centre Barkindji Wiimpatya Murra Centre (Bmeet), in Dareton. Here you’ll find artworks ranging from traditional carvings and painting to jewellery and more.

Things to do Murray RiverAt the more contemporary end of the art spectrum, and at the complete opposite end of the river in Albury, is another noteworthy Indigenous stop – the Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk. Here you’ll find 15 sculptures installed along 5km of the sealed Wagirra Trail path, that will wander you past playgrounds and parks, and finish at the Wonga Wetlands.

One of the most extraordinary artistic ways to plan your Murray River journey is by mapping out a tour of silo art along the way. Larger than life murals can be seen literal stories high, painted on the sides of wheat silos in towns like Rochester, Colbinabbin, St James and Picola. This outdoor “gallery” has to be seen to be believed!

More of a history buff than an art lover? Then there’s plenty for you throughout the region, with museums and collections ranging from an historic gaol in Wentworth, to all things automotive at The Depot in Deniliquin, from colonial recreations at the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre to a dry-docked submarine in Holbrook and flying boats at Lake Boga. If this is starting to make no sense, it’s your sign to start visiting for yourself.

Hiking Murray RiverNature lovers are utterly spoiled for choice with National Parks aplenty, ready for you to camp, canoe, cycle, hike, swim and end each magical day around a fire, looking up at the stars and marvelling at how many times you’re going to have to return to tick off all the locations on your list.

And then there’s food! Which we could dedicate an entire article to – and which we will do soon, so stay tuned to uncover a secret speakeasy cocktail bar, hipster-level coffee, fine dining and so much more.

For now though, as the weather starts to cool down south, remember that towns like Mildura have semi-arid climates, which mean they’re perfect winter destinations and all along the Murray River Region you’ll find a warm welcome, so get planning!



Where: Murray River Region
What: Nature, art, history and more!
More Info: Visit The Murray

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

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.

Train travel to any part of Victoria now capped at under $10

Words by Jay Dillon
Images by One Hour Out & Visit Victoria

What does the Maharajas’ Express, the Royal Scotsman and the Eastern & Oriental Express have in common with Victoria’s V-Line? Probably not much at all…certainly not the price, now that V-line has capped all regional trips to under $10.

The new fares will appear for all bookings made on the V/Line booking system from March 31, setting a daily travel cap of $9.20 and bringing the fare into line with Metro Melbourne’s daily rate fares.

It’s a significant reduction in the cost of regional train travel, where currently a midweek trip from Southern Cross station to Mildura would cost $56.80 for an adult one-way ($28.40 concession), the same trip after March 31 would be just $9.20 ($4.60 concession). This represents an 83% reduction and makes train travel, even more, cheaper than travelling by car (the same trip would cost around $100 in a mid-sized petrol SUV.)

In addition to the new weekday daily tickets used in the above example, the program results in even greater savings for holders of a Weekend Saver ticket, with weekends and public holidays capped at $6.70 for Adults ($3.35 concession). In all cases, children travel with the same fare offered to adult concession holders.

Vline Price reduction

The fare reduction was a key campaign promise of both parties in the November elections, with the aim of assisting to reduce the cost of living for regional residents who regularly need to travel to Melbourne and other city hubs for work and medical appointments. 

The announcement is equally welcome for regional tourists, who may never have considered the train as an option for reaching a destination due to fares representing only a minimal saving on petrol prices. Utilising the V-line train service for a weekend away allows passengers an opportunity to sit back and relax with a good book or a game of cards with their group. The ability to take a bike on board makes for the perfect start of a multi-day bike trip along Victorian’s many converted rail trails.

The new fares are available for booking now on the V-line website.


What: V/Line price reduction
More Info: V Line

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

An East Gippsland arts collective is bringing a unique program of eco-walks and events to Lake Tyers

Words by Anthea Riskas
Images supplied

The East Gippsland Walking Festival is a collaboration between local environmental enthusiasts, storytellers, entrepreneurs and former artists-in-residence, aiming to reactivate the towns surrounding the Gippsland Lakes.

All the creatives involved have spent time working and living on a purpose-built houseboat, aptly entitled FLOAT, that is permanently moored on Bung Yarnda – Lake Tyers’ Indigenous name – and are sharing their enthusiasm and individual responses to their experience.

The activities invite participants to experience the natural surrounds in a variety of interactive ways.

There’s a two-hour beach meander, where you pack a journal and marking tool, and record your sensory journey on the page, with storyteller and visual artist Sofia Sabbagh.

A Sound and Plant Walk will focus on edible, native succulents that grow around the lake and you will be accompanied by a downloadable musical score, composed by Dylan Martorell, that will make the flora you’re discovering audible as well as digestible!

East Gippsland Walking Festival

The Cherry Tree Walk is an early evening event, that will literally take you back in time by discovering fossils and following and hearing the Indigenous stories of the estuary, as you stroll around with FLOAT curator Josephine Jakobi and Whadjuk/Balladong Noongar designer, researcher, Jack Mitchell.

Geology buffs can book the Red Bluff walk that will focus on what lies underneath the water, how it got there and where it’s headed in the current environmental climate.

Filmmaker Isaac Carné will be leading a nighttime forest walk, where it’s BYO torch, to light your way through the pitch-black bush to try and spot threatened species like the Yellow Belly Glider, Greater Glider or the Sooty and Powerful Owls.

A Plant Diary walk will teach you how to read the story of various fauna – from ancient trees to fresh saplings – gaining an understanding of how the individual environment dictates growth of the same species.

The analysis will then turn toward human parallels, with thoughtful discussion led by artist/curator/writer and Honorary Lecturer and Researcher at ANU School of Art and Design, Simon Cottrell.

The festival winds up on Sunday, 2nd April with a costume parade along the beach, soundscapes, afternoon tea, live music, and an invite to head along to the Water Wheel Tavern to feast on local produce and take in a last view of Lake Tyers while you ponder all that you’ve learned and experienced.


Who: School of Untourism
What: East Gippsland Walking Festival
When: 26 March – 2 April
Lake Tyers
Bookings: HERE

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