Under the Surface ready to be traversed in East Gippsland

This May, Under the Surface, a multi-dimensional public art experience is launching across East Gippsland, encouraging visitors to ponder and deepen their connections to the natural landscape.

The site-specific art trail, which follows the East Gippsland Rail Trail from Bairnsdale to Orbost, begins with and builds on stories from the Gunaikurnai people, the Traditional Owners of much of Gippsland. Through a cultural awareness program, the Gunaikurnai artists collective and visiting artists shared traditional stories and land management practices, as well as artistic practices and skills. The result? Five unique, large scale works that draw attention to and honour the environment and its ecology.

Local Indigenous artist Alice Pepper, in collaboration with non-Indigenous artist David “Meggs” Hooke, who is well-known for his large scale murals interweaving nature and industry, have artwork showing at Nowa Nowa underpass/tunnel in Nowa Nowa. Further west, Yuin artist and Gippsland local Patricia Pittman is presenting work Nicholson River Bridge in Nicholson.

Visiting artists also include graffiti/street artist Ling and Minna Leunig, an accomplished painter and muralist whose work focuses on native Australian plants and animals (and yes, she is also daughter of acclaimed cartoonist Michael Leunig). Ling’s artwork can be found at Orbost Butter Factory in Orbost; Leunig’s at Partelli’s Crossing, Tostaree.

A fruitful cross-cultural exchange between the Gunaikurnai community and the visiting artists, Under the Surface posits a timely reflection of our connection to land within an era of climate change.  The event designers and producers, The Social Crew, say they hope “the works will draw attention to the natural environment, assist in visual storytelling and connect and grow human relationships with the land through art.”

Tracing across farmland and forest, Under the Surface weaves along the former Orbost railway line and joins existing public artworks at the beginning of the rail trail by Alfie Hudson, another in Nicholson by local artist Tracey Solomon, and the water tank in Bruthen by Alan Solomon.

The project has been created with support from Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation, the Victorian State Government, East Gippsland Shire Council, and the East Gippsland Rail Trail Committee, and is now live and ready for to be experienced.


THE DETAILS
WHAT: Under the Surface art trail
WHERE: Bairnsdale to Orbost, East Gippsland
WHEN: Opens May
MORE INFO: Under the Surface

 

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

A discovery of the St Andrews village

Words by Della Vreeland

A one hour drive north-east of Melbourne, St Andrews is a small rural township that is characterised by its lush native bushlands and charming village aesthetic.

While its bustling weekly market acts as one of its major drawcards, the town is fast becoming known as an all-around hub of creativity, with a range of boutique businesses showcasing the versatility of talent and wonder inherent within. We give you a glimpse of exactly what this quaint community has to offer travellers with this specially curated itinerary.

The OHO Itinerary of Hurstbridge

A bit of a well-kept secret just outside of Melbourne is the quaint village of Hurstbridge. Most people will only have heard of it as it’s the end of the train line but believe us this small community is bursting with world-class restaurants, diverse shopfronts and heaps of walking and biking trails.

So jump on the train or take the scenic drive out to explore the foodie, art and cultural scene of this vibrant community.

We’ve even made it easy for you to get started with an itinerary of restaurants and storefronts but believe us you will find heaps of delightful places to visit.

Three ways to explore the natural beauty of Murrindindi Shire this autumn

Words by Della Vreeland
Images Supplied

Proclaimed as Melbourne’s closest natural playground, Murrindindi Shire’s rich landscape is made up of lush national parks and state forests, the iconic Lake Eildon, Lake Mountain and the Goulburn River, as well as some pretty darn awe-inspiring locations right on the city’s doorstep. The gateway to the High Country, the region’s natural beauty is vast and varied – from the Goulburn River flats to the rugged peaks and cool-climate rainforests of the Great Dividing Range.

The Aboriginal word for Murrindindi translates to mountainous, misty place. This in itself should be cause enough to lure in the discerning nature lover. Imagine then such a mountainous place during autumn, where the trees are boasting leaves of auburn, yellow and brown, and the rolling vistas are cast against a temperate background.

While the region’s natural wonders are worthy of exploration any old time of year, there’s no denying that autumn is especially special in Murrindindi. Tree-lined streets in the towns and villages are resplendent with stunning deciduous trees, and many of the highways that connect the townships feature historic plantings of poplars, oak and maple trees

So if you’ve got a few days, a weekend, or even a day to spare, then Murrindindi Shire should be on your autumn to-do. Here’s three ways you’ll be able to tour the region once you’re there as you discover all the hidden beauty for yourself.

Drive

Black SpurThe historic and quaint township of Yea is one of Murrindindi Shire’s most-loved and boasts historic buildings, a thriving main street and a strong arts culture. It’s also a key town on the Great Victorian Rail Trail. With a range of award-winning restaurants, wineries and accommodation options on offer, you can start your journey in Yea and reap the benefits of a gorgeous scenic drive while you’re at it – exploring the unique flora and fauna of the Yea Wetlands as well as the historic sites.

Yea is adjoined by a series of hamlets including Glenburn, Murrindindi, Limestone, Highlands, Strath Creek, Kerrisdale, and Flowerdale, each with their own distinct natural charms and landmarks – making the town the perfect base for a weekend of exploration.

Can only afford a one-day road trip? We get you. The cruise along the Maroondah Highway from Alexandra to Marysville offers the perfect scenic Sunday drive. You’ll pass by stately country estates with the imposing Cathedral Ranges, and the Gould Memorial Drive is a most impressive gateway to Marysville with its avenue of brilliant yellow poplars. Both Alexandra and Marysville also offer great dining options, and local produce stores, breweries and cellar doors along the route feature the best of Murrindindi’s autumn harvest so you can stock up for the trip back and the week ahead!

Another option if travelling from Melbourne is to start or finish your journey by cruising along the Black Spur Drive and enjoying views of the tall mountain ash and lush green tree ferns that the region is known for.

Walk

Rubicon Trestle BridgeIf you prefer to feel the earth move under your feet, Murrindindi’s cool, misty mornings and mild, sunny days are perfect for gentle riverside rambles, day treks through the rolling hills or more challenging overnight hikes.

Don your hiking boots and wander through historic locations and villages such as Yea and Alexandra; discover the beauty of ancient forests at the likes of the Toolangi Tanglefoot Loop; explore the many majestic waterfalls dotted throughout the shire and the lush fern gullies in the Yarra Ranges National Park and Marysville State Forest or; hike to the Lake Mountain Summit for spectacular mountain views.

If you’ve got young ones in tow, the Beauty Spot Nature Trail at Marysville is a good option, showcasing some of Marysville’s most beautiful flora and fauna – including an abundance of birdlife – as is the Eildon Pondage Walk.

Ride

Lake MountainFor the avid cyclists, Murrindindi Shire also offers some fab autumn cycling experiences. For family-friendly riding, jump on the Great Victorian Rail Trail running from Tallarook, through Yea and Yarck, with a spur line to Alexandra, and all the way to Mansfield. Pack a picnic lunch, admire the natural wonders and seasonal colours along the route, and make a day of it!

If you want to get your heart rate up, the region has some of the best cycling trails and mountain bike tracks in the North East region – and you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy the smooth flowing trails at Eildon, Buxton and Lake Mountain.

 


THE DETAILS

WHAT: Murrindindi Shire in autumn
FIND OUT MORE: discoverdindi.com.au

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

The epic Grampians Peaks Trail is now open

Words by Tehya Nicholas
Images Supplied

Lace up your hiking boots and hit the Western Highway because 160km of all-new, pristine hiking trails have opened in The Grampians.

As the warmer weather and holiday season approaches, it’s fair to say Melburnians are keen to get some fresh air, and Parks Victoria has come through with a stellar announcement: after 20 years of planning, the Grampians Peaks Trail has been completed and is ready to welcome its first trail blazers.

The epic new track links some of the Grampians most spectacular sandstone peaks in a blood-pumping 13-day, 12-night hike. Starting at the base of Mt Zero, the trail passes over the summit of Gar (also fittingly known as Mt Difficult), before traversing through Halls Gap, then winding across Redman Bluff, Mount William, Major Mitchell Plateau, Signal Peak, Mt Abrupt, Mt Sturgeon and more before finishing up at Dunkeld in the south.

For the experienced hiker, the full trail above is a field day with its challenging inclines, steep descents, rock scrambles and unbelievable views. The difficulty on average is a Grade 4/5, which means sweat will be dripping.

Shorter, less physically demanding hikes and itineraries have been marked out by Parks Vic on their website too, so you can enjoy the natural surrounds and learn about the rich Aboriginal history throughout the country as you wander. The traditional owners, the Jadawadjali and Djab Wurrung peoples, have lived on this land they call Gariwerd for thousands of years, and interpretation signage along the trail will help hikers learn more about their rich cultural heritage and the natural environment.

There’s no cost for hitting the trail, but campers will need to book and pay a fee of roughly $47 to pitch their tents each night. All 11 campgrounds are unique and well-equipped to keep you charged and ready to go. As always, take only photos and leave only footprints to help keep this incredible national park healthy and enjoyable for generations to come.


THE DETAILS
WHAT: Grampians Peak Trail completion
WHERE: Grampians National Park
WHEN: Now open
MORE INFO: Parks Victoria

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

Where the wildflowers are: with artist and ecologist Georgina Gould-Hardwick

Words by Della Vreeland
Images supplied

The spring season may be an idyllic time to go wildflower spotting, but these pretty native plants actually flourish in parklands, forests and reserves year-round – all you have to do is look above, around and below.

You’re bound to encounter wildflowers in any natural setting. And while some are endemic, meaning they are native to a certain area, most species can be found all over.

Artist and ecologist Georgina Gould-Hardwick is a graduate of fine arts and environmental science, and her love for ecology, native plants and wildlife inspires most of her art. With Georgina’s help, we have created a list of spots to seek out wildflowers across regional Victoria.

Woowookarung Regional Park
#oneandahalfhoursout

Ivy Lead Wildflower

Located in Ballarat, Woowookarung Regional Park is a new 641-hectare regional park created in 2016 through the ongoing efforts of the local community and its many user groups. ‘Woowookarung means place of plenty in Wadawurung language,’ Georgina says. ‘Walking through the meandering tracks and trails of the Woowookarung, you will find a plethora of wildflowers, including many pea species, such as masses of Golden Bush-pea or the beautiful Herdenbergia sprawling over fallen logs. And don’t forget to watch out for the dainty native Violet or Ivy-leaf Violet that are very small and grow low to the ground.’

Enfield State Park
#oneandhalfhoursout

Enfield Grevillea

Lying on the outskirts of Ballarat, the Enfield State Park boasts a similar landscape and wildflower variety as Woowookarung. ‘Here you’ll find many of the same species due to the bushland once being part of a much larger area of forest prior to European settlement,’ Georgina says. ‘However, Enfield State Park has many of its own curiosities, with endemic species such as the Enfield Grevillea.’

Buckley Casuarina Woodland
#oneandahalfhoursout

Sheoak

Along the Otway Plain around Winchelsea and Wurdale, the Buckley casuarina woodland is home to quite a large remnant of drooping Sheoak. Usually growing in poor, dry soils, the species is wind pollinated and dioecious (male and female flowers on separate trees). ‘The female flowers are very inconspicuous,’ Georgina says. ‘But if you look closely you can see the cutest fuzzy flowers.’

Bald Hill Reserve
#onehourout

Clover Glycine

Renowned for its wildflowers, Kyneton’s Bald Hill Reserve is home to many precious peas including remnants of the nationally threatened Clover Glycine. The reserve is also home to other wildflowers including the Yellow Rush Lily and Sticky Everlasting.

 

 

Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park
#threeandahalfhoursout

Water Ribbons

Wetlands are the best place to spot aquatic species such as Water Ribbons, which are mostly discovered in permanent swamps, lagoons and streams.  They feature an erect spike up to 30cm long and boast cream to pink flowers. Normally a plant of freshwater environments, some Water Ribbons have a huge tolerance to the saline and acid waters in East Gippsland.  Spectacular displays of orchids, wattle and heathland can also be discovered within this extensive coastal park.

The Grampians
#threehoursout

White Heath

The Grampians region is home to a huge variety of emerging wildflowers including pink and white heath, orchids and blooming tea-trees in their natural settings. Wander around the vast bushlands of the region and catch a glimpse of the eye-catching flora, or visit in early October for Halls Gap’s Wildflower Walkabout Weekend.

Slatey Creek
#oneandahalfhoursout

Murnong Daisy

If you’re seeking an overdose of wildflower species, Slatey Creek near Creswick will surely indulge your appetite. Native peas, Goodenia, Drosera and Golden Spray are just a few of the species that can be found here. The area is also home to the Murnong Yam Daisy, a widespread wildflower in Victoria that can be found in dry, open forests everywhere. With a tufted rosette of toothed lanceolate leaves, it is reminiscent of a dandelion due to its yellow head of florets, and its tuberous roots are also edible!

The Great Ocean Road
#oneandahalfhoursout

Parrot Pea

If you’re seeking a wildflower appreciation venture in a coastal setting, the towns along the Great Ocean Road will surely satisfy. Admire banksias, parrot peas and orchids along the Surf Coast Walk, which also crosses the Anglesea heathlands, or traverse more heathland in the Bay of Islands Coastal Park where spring wildflowers abound at the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve.


A note on Gorse:

Gorse

According to Georgina, the dense shrub known as Gorse is particularly deceitful. With large yellow pea flowers, it is in fact a problem weed. ‘This little devil is extremely hard to remove, with seed that can last dormant in the ground for approximately 70 years,’ she says. ‘If the ground is disturbed within that time, hundreds of gorse can sprout and take over vast areas, out-competing native species and wildflowers.’ Thankfully, Georgina says there are certain task forces that have been tasked with eliminating this weed – heavy gear and machinery in-tow.


According to Georgina,  it is important to show utmost respect to your surroundings during your wildflower wanderings in order to ensure the preservation of these native plants as well as the surrounding flora and fauna.

‘Remember to look up the guidelines to the parks areas that you visit,’ Georgina says. ‘It’s always best to leave natural areas with less rubbish than when you arrived, so please don’t litter! Traveling to regional areas can be dangerous for not just people but for wildlife as well.’

To find out more about Georgina’s work, visit her website here, or her Instagram page here.

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

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.

Six secluded picnic areas for your post-iso getaway

Words by Tehya Nicholas
Images Supplied

As the end of lockdown approaches and our love of the humble picnic reaches its triumphant peak, we have taken it upon ourselves to round up some of the lesser known picnic areas you can unfurl your rug on once restrictions ease. Here are six spots to soak up the spring air, munch on cheese and biscuits and enjoy your newfound freedom.

Sanatorium Lake
Mount Macedon #onehourout

Untarnished bush land, a bright shimmering lake, and ample space to spread out, Sanatorium Lake is a hidden gem within the Macedon Ranges for picnics, nature walks and wildlife watching. A man-made lake originally constructed for a nearby hospital (which was actually never built), the lake is now shrouded by towering eucalypts and a wet fern gully that gives it a fairytale feel. Thanks to the picnic facilities and public toilets nearby, you could practically stay all day.

Check out the facilities here

Mount Franklin Reserve
Hepburn Springs #onehourout

Fancy picnicking in a volcanic crater? Here’s your chance. Deeply sacred to the traditional owners the Djara Wurrung people, Mount Franklin Reserve is one of the more unique locations to enjoy a day on the green. In spite of it’s proximity to Melbourne, this spot is still off the beaten track and mostly enjoys the company of resident kangaroos and wallabies. If you’re lucky, you may get to meet a few while you enjoy some nibbles.

Click here for more info

Kennett River
Great Ocean Road #twohoursout

On the banks of the Kennett River lies this idyllic picnic spot just a stones throw away a rainforest walk, a pristine beachfront and best of all, glow worms! Sit amongst the leafy reserve, drink a kombucha and keep an eye on the eucalypts for koalas in the daytime, and if you’re feeling up for a nighttime adventure, look out for the glow worms on the embankment near the bridge. The perfect day out.

Tips for how to get there

Blue Rock Lake
Moe #twohoursout

One of the larger picnic spots on this list, Blue Rock Lake is the family’s dream locale. There’s plenty of wide open grassland for the kids to run around, water sport access (we’re talking kayaking, fishing, swimming, boating) and oodles of shady spots to take refuge in and crack open a cold one. If you happen to catch an Australian Bass, you may even be able to cook it up at one of the BBQ’s dotted around the place. Delish.

Find out more here

Dunkeld Arboretum
Dunkeld #threehoursout

Find your inner peace at Dunkeld Arboretum, the botanic garden overflowing with giant red gums, birdlife and picturesque viewpoints to settle for a few hours. The arboretum is centred around a pristine lake and features walking trails, a jetty to while away the time and even a labyrinth for walking meditation! We recommend bringing a rug and picnic kit, as there are no tables here just yet.

Click here for more

Lions Park
Lakes Entrance #threehoursout

For the lovers of a salty breeze, Lions Park along Eastern Beach Road could be the ultimate picnic spot. With the ocean in front and parkland all around, good views abound – which we all know make the picnic a whole lot sweeter. The park itself features a playground (with a built-in trampoline!), picnic tables and toilet facilities. Once you’ve finished picnicking, wander through the boardwalks and sand dunes and brave a dip in the ocean.

More information here

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

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.

Goulburn River & Ranges Road Trip

Words by Amanda Kennedy
Images supplied

Central Victoria was sometimes seen as a drive-through rather than a drive-to area; a place where you’d stop to use the restroom facilities, grab a coffee or fuel up the car.  Our Goulburn River and Ranges Road Trip proves otherwise.

Goulburn Rover Things to DoIt is a place that is filled with a rich history, both recent and more ancient. A place of sweeping landscapes, enchanting waterways and stunning scenic drives, all within an easy drive out of Melbourne.

Head north-east from Melbourne firstly to Marysville and Eildon then on to Yea.  From Yea it’s over to Trawool and Tallarook before heading north to Seymour, Avenel then Nagambie and finally arriving at Euroa.

Marysville
#oneandahalfhoursout

EuroaOn the edge of the Yarra Valley is the (in)famous Black Spur Drive. Marvel as the road twists and turns beneath towering eucalypts and movie-worthy mist. Soon enough you arrive in Marysville, a pretty little town with a big heart. It is also a convenient jumping-off point to visit Lake Mountain, with plenty for adventure seekers no matter the time of year.

If you want to stretch the legs a little further, Steavenson Falls (Victoria’s tallest with a drop of 84m) is just the ticket. Be well-rewarded for an easy 250m walk from the carpark with sensational views of one of the region’s most iconic waterfalls.

Eildon
#twohoursout

Lake EildonNext up is the town of Eildon and one of Victoria’s largest man-made lakes, with a whopping 500km coastline. Lake Eildon was created in the 1950s with the damming of the Goulburn River for supply of drinking water, hydro-electricity generation and irrigation.

Naturally this makes it a popular spot for all the water recreational activities you can think of: boating, fishing, kayaking, waterskiing, sailing and house boat hire. It’s also an ideal place to just kick back and watch the changing reflections of the clouds and hills on the water.

Yea
#oneandahalfhoursout

Yea WetlandsOur next stop is Yea – yay! A perennially popular stopping-off point to refuel both the car and the driver, Yea easily recalls the grandeur of the area’s gold mining past with historic buildings and graceful wide streets. It is also where the Goulburn River meets the Yea River and the Yea Wetlands, a treasure trove of flora and fauna.

Yea’s historic Gothic-styled railway station is beautifully preserved with its red brick façade. It’s a great place to pick up The Great Victorian Rail Trail or allow the kids to let off some steam at the playground.

Trawool
#oneandahalfhoursout

TrawA short drive and it’s on to the district of Trawool, for there is no township as such. It is here that the Goulburn Valley Hwy plays cat and mouse with the Goulburn River and its lagoons. Holiday makers have been visiting Trawool Valley from the early 1900s to take in the area’s scenic charms and it’s easy to see why.  A visit to the iconic Trawool Estate will not disappoint.

Tallarook
#onehourout

Tallarook Farmers’ MarketNext stop is Tallarook and the start of the 134 km Great Victorian Rail Trail connecting Tallarook to Mansfield. Whether you choose to explore the trail by foot, by bike or by horse it certainly offers a unique way to take in some fresh air. Like so many townships along this great drive, a weekend trip to the farmers’ market is a great way to sample local produce and stock up at the same time. Since 2009, locals and visitors have been filling up their baskets and supporting producers and makers alike at Tallarook Farmers’ Market on the first Sunday of the month.

Seymour
#oneandahalfhoursout

Food SeymourA short drive from Tallarook is Seymour, located on the banks of the beautiful Goulburn River. Very much the platonic ideal of a country town with its wide, welcoming streets and riverside parks, Seymour has always been a major stop on the Melbourne-Sydney route. The area has also had strong military connections since the establishment of a nearby training camp prior to WW1 and then later Puckapunyal Army Base.

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting during blueberry season (summer) a stop-off at Blue Tongue Berries needs to be top of the list. The Brewer’s Table is your best bet for quality local food, craft beer and cider. While your wine needs are all taken care of with a visit to Wines By Sam, Sam Plunkett’s cellar door in the expertly refitted old Seymour dye works building.

Avenel
#oneandahalfhoursout

AvenelThe historic township of Avenel was established in 1849 as a stop-over point between Melbourne and Albury. It is also known as the place where Ned Kelly’s family lived in the 1806s. Ned is now known as a bushranger and outlaw, but he was once hailed a hero after rescuing a young boy from drowning in a local creek. Fowles Wines is the perfect lunch spot; after all who can resist a wine with the name Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch?

Nagambie
#oneandahalfhoursout

Mitchelton Gallery of Aboriginal ArtNagambie calls and it’s our next stop. It is little wonder wineries are a great drawcard of Nagambie and surrounds. The cool climate (influenced by the Goulburn River and Lake Nagambie) combined with the area’s red sandy loam soil adds up to a distinctive wine region.

Look no further than the historic Tahbilk Winery and Mitchelton wineries for evidence. Situated within the Mitchelton estate in a disused underground wine cellars you’ll find the Mitchelton Gallery of Aboriginal Art, regional Victoria’s largest indigenous art gallery, celebrating the art of Australia’s First People, including local Taungurung people.

Euroa
#twohoursout

EuroaOur last stop is Euroa at the foothills of the Strathbogie Ranges. You’re definitely in Kelly country now – Ned Kelly and his gang bank robbed a local bank here in 1878. These days the town is a good base to explore the nearby Strathbogies, take a scenic drive to the Gooram waterfalls or perhaps take a quick dip in one of the popular swimming holes if weather allows.

Whether you are seeking a nature-lovers paradise, a taste of the region’s best restaurants and wineries or a relaxing getaway full of country hospitality, a Goulburn River and Ranges Road Trip has it all. Murrindindi, Mitchell and Strathbogie regions are an easy drive out of Melbourne with no end of things to experience whatever the season.

We suggest you plan to stay a while.


DOWNLOAD GOULBURN RIVER & RANGES ROADTRIP MAP

Goulburn River Road TripDiscover the huge variety of attractions across the region with this printable map. Download here.

Or use our helpful itinerary to plan your trip around the region.

 

 

 

 


 

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