Australia's most populous state!
Australia's most populous state!
Australian State Information
|Murrundi Magic||Goulburn Valley||Geelong||BellarinePeninsula|
|Great OceanRoad||Grampian Ranges||CentralGoldfields||Bendigo|
|Spa Country||GippslandCentral||Gippsland South||Gippsland East|
|Lakes Entrance||Murray Valley|
Victoriais a small State in the south eastern corner of mainland Australia,covering around 227,600 square kilometres. It comprises just 5%of the land mass and is roughly equivalent in size to England.However, it is home to a quarter of Australia's population and itscapital city, Melbourne, is the financial and manufacturing heart ofthe country. Up until the early 1800's its only occupants werethe nomadic, indigenous Aborigines, but from the early 18th centuryonwards, small groups of white settlers began to arrive and, in 1835,explorer John Batman declared a particular spot on the banks of theYarra river to be the place to build a city. Not long after it beganto take shape and was named after Lord Melbourne in England. Victoriamay be small, but it has many attractions to entice tourists toprolong their visit. There are the grand Grampian mountains inthe west and the High Country in the north east, of which Mt Bogong isthe highest peak at just under 2,000 metres, where skiing is the orderof the day in winter. Then there are the vast Lakeland's of the east,the old volcanoes of the south west, the semi desert areas of theMallee, the 18th century goldfield towns, the spa country, with itsscore of mineral spas, the prosperous winery areas, the beautiful PortPhillip Bay, the mighty Murray River, still steeped in paddle steamerhistory, hundreds of kilometres of pristine beaches (includingunspoilt 90 Mile Beach), old fern packed rainforests and pockets ofprimeval forest, together with over 2,500 species of nativevegetation, in addition to ruggedly scenic coastal parks (such as PortCampbell and Wilson's Promontory with their seal and penguin colonies)and all the rolling pastoral lands, where they farm beef, sheep, dairyproduce, wheat, vegetables and fruit. Then there's the fishingindustry and car manufacturing plants, oil and aluminium refineriesand much more. And the good news for tourists is that the roadsare excellent and there's plenty of accommodation everywhere, atprices to suit all pockets, from backpacker and youth hostels tocaravan parks, motels and three to five star hotels, plus hundreds ofgreat bed and breakfast properties and Farm Stays, just waiting tomake them welcome.
Itis a State with four seasons - winter from June to August, spring fromSeptember to November, summer from December to February and autumnfrom March to May. While temperatures rarely fall to zero in midwinter (except in the mountains), they do drop very low most winternights. By day it will be around 12-14C. In spring itwarms up gradually through 15-20C by day and in summer it averages25-28C, with quite a few days in the 30-40C range sometimes.Then, in autumn it gradually drops back again. This is a greenState. As with all Australia's native trees, they stay green allyear long and are not deciduous, therefore in winter there's alwaysplenty of greenery to be seen and often plenty of winter flowers aswell. In the autumn months, in certain areas, where Europeantrees were planted by settlers a century or so ago, (for instanceBright and Marysville), then there is a glorious blaze of colourbefore the leaves drop, but overall Victoria's trees remain wellleafed all year round and never look as bare and cold as in regionswhere all the foliage falls along with the temperature.
Victoria'scapital city, Melbourne, is sited at the mouth of the Yarra River,which empties into the north of Port Phillip Bay, which is located atthe central south of the State. Many of its suburbs areclustered around the bay, particularly down the eastern side, asthousands of Victorians love their beaches and water sports. Thecity was designed and laid out methodically on a grid pattern in1835. It was slow to develop at first, but when gold wasdiscovered out at Ballarat in 1861 and the goldfields were opened up,its availability provided the means by which the new settlement'sexpansion was ensured. Grand buildings, large factories andworkers' cottages soon appeared and quickly the settlement grew into atown and then a prosperous city. In those days it was thelargest city in Australia. Today, Melbourne measures over 30 milesacross and it is still spreading steadily outwards, as almost allVictorians like to own their own block of land (usually a quarter acreor larger) and few are happy living in a high rise apartment.There are now over three and a half million people living in thiscity. Melbourne is famous for its multitude of municipal parksand gardens - as Adelaide is the City of Churches, so Melbourne is theCity of Gardens, some to be found in the heart of the city itself - such as ALEXANDER GARDENS, FLAGSTAFF GARDENS,FITZROY GARDENS etc. In the Alexander Gardens, on theYarra River banks, can be seen the SOUNDSHELL, where thousands of people sit on the grass and watchfree concerts taking place at certain times of the year, the FitzroyGardens where Captain JAMES COOK'S COTTAGEcan be seen (having been transported from England) and where there isa beautifully stocked CONSERVATORY.Close by, the grand SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCEwas built as a tribute to our fallen servicemen. Also in these gardensis the FAIRY TREE, withinnumerable fairy creatures carved into its base for the delight ofchildren of all ages. Along side it is the MINIATUREENGLISH VILLAGE, donated by the people of Lambeth inLondon, in gratitude for all the food parcels sent to them duringWorld War 2.
Thecentral business district is now the financial heart of the nation andthis is sited among all the city skyscrapers that tend to overshadowthe grand old 19th century buildings. Shopping is a majordelight, especially along BOURKEand COLLINS STREETS and Melbourneis justly famous for its plethora of superb restaurants, serving foodsfrom all nations. SOUTHBANKon the river bank across from FLINDERS STREETrailway station and alongside the STATETHEATRE AND ARTS COMPLEX has a dozen or more suchrestaurants overlooking the river and city. In nearby Carlton, LYGONSTREET is long famous for all its ethnic restaurants, manyspilling out onto the pavements. St Kilda's ACKLANDSTREET, by the beach, is another cosmopolitan eatingcentre, with the widest choice of superb foods and should not bemissed. Nearby, the Sunday open market by the beach is great fun forsearching out a bargain. And just up Beaconsfield Parade is the TASMANIANFERRY TERMINAL at Port Melbourne.
StPAUL'S CATHEDRAL and St PATRICK'SCATHEDRAL are a couple of the oldest churches in theState. The TOWN HALL, the POSTOFFICE, the OLD TREASURYBUILDING and PARLIAMENTHOUSE are also buildings of note, as it the gracious old WINDSORHOTEL and the PRINCES' THEATRE,all to be found on Spring Street, at the top end of Bourke or CollinsStreets.
Nightlife, theatre, discos galore you'll find aplenty in Melbourne andthere is every form of accommodation you can imagine, from backpackershostels to boutique hotels with just three or four luxury suites, upto the grand five star, world class hotels, many with famous namessuch as SOFITEL, NOVOTEL and HYATT.There is an underground railway loop around the city and above groundvisitors are intrigued by the tram car system, of which there is afree visitors' tram service that encircles all the main cityhighlights. They run every 10 minutes and are painted a distinctburgundy colour. Get on and off as often as you please andthere's no charge. The best view to be had is from the top ofthe RIALTO BUILDING - 360 degrees all around Melbourne and for about 50 kilometres out onclear days. It is truly spectacular and there's a restaurant atthe top of the tower as well. It costs a few dollars to take alift to the top though.
Otherattractions include river and boat cruises from SOUTHBANK;the magnificent BOTANIC GARDENS; atramcar restaurant (watch the passing views as you eat); the IMMIGRATIONand HELLENIC MUSEUMS in FlindersStreet at the OLD CUSTOMS HOUSE;many National Trust properties such as COMOand RIPPONLEA; the delightful oldnaval dockyard, inner suburb of WILLIAMSTOWN,just a ferry ride across from the city; many day coach tours from thecity to places of great interest with AUSTRALIANPACIFIC; bush tours with ECO-ADVENTURETOURS; lovely wetlands for bird watching at The BRIARSand COOLART and numerous nearbywine regions such as the Mornington Peninsula, the Yarra Valley andthe Macedon Ranges (where you can also climb HANGING ROCK of the filmand book fame).
Thenthere are the horse racing tracks and the SPRINGRACING CARNIVAL, including the world famous MELBOURNECUP, held at Flemington on the first Tuesday everyNovember; the GRAND PRIX; theworld cup tennis, the motor cycle racing, the Australian RulesFootball season, Melbourne Cricket Ground and the huge and historic OLDVICTORIA MARKET. And that'snot even the half of it..
TheUNDERWATER WONDERWORLD on thebanks of the Yarra River at the end of King Street, opposite CrownEntertainment Centre. It cost $33 million and reaches 20 metresbelow the river surface. It has a 12 metre long viewing tube.Melbourne also has a new PLANETARIUMat the Scienceworks Museum in Spotswood. It is the only one ofits kind in the Southern Hemisphere. It has cost $6 million sofar. For further information, Tel: +613 9651 6726.
TheBlue Dandenong's (or the Dandenong Ranges as they are often called)are 40 miles (or an hour's drive) to the south east of the city ofMelbourne. Here the eucalypt forest clad hillsides abound with gianttree ferns, beautiful water catchment areas, tinkling streams,lyrebirds, bellbirds, kookaburras, echidnas and wombats, as well aspretty villages and many glorious gardens. There arescores of restaurants in the hills, some of which are ethnic, butmostly serving all types of food, even an old English style pub, the PIGAND WHISTLE, whileanother's in an old church and this provides enormous variety for allthe Melburnians who head for the hills for a Sunday drive. Inthese hills you will find a wide range of superb bed and breakfastaccommodation too, all tucked away in the forest, such as the fivestar ANNIEROE'S at OLINDA (withfabulous spa baths and private balcony views that stretch for 100kilometres), or gracious EARLWOOD MANORat SASSAFRAS, with its luxurysuites, one with a four poster bed and all with Romanesque bathroomsand restful country views.
There'sBERRY HILLS ORCHARDS at Silvan,pick your own; delightful CLOUDHILLterraced GARDENS on theOlinda-Monbulk Road; TESSALAR'S TULIP FARM,that looks like a piece of Holland in the Spring; the PUFFINGBILLY historic steam railway - an absolute gem and a must - travelling through the fern glades over old trestle bridges from BELGRAVEto GEMBROOK or EMERALD.The starting point is Belgrave and the trip take an hour and a half totwo hours in each direction, depending on your destination.
Allthe little villages have a plethora of arts and crafts shops - onesells teapots only, from all over the world, another sells dolls,while others specialise in local arts and crafts of all kinds.Then there's the WILLIAM RICKETTS SANCTUARY,where scores of superb statues of Aboriginal people can be seen,tucked in among the mountain tree ferns, eucalypts and tinklingfountains flanking the hillside paths. This again is anattraction that should not be missed. The view from the top ofMt Dandenong is the best for miles around, except on cloudydays. Then there are the RHODODENDRONGARDENS, which look simply splendid in Spring.
TheYarra Valley is to be found nestling at the foot of the Great DividingRange, an hour's drive to the east of Melbourne. It is famoustoday for its many wineries, where cellar tastings are the order ofthe day and many also offer fine restaurants for lunch and sometimesdinner. MOET ET CHANDON,DE BORTOLLIS, FERGUSSONS and many other wineries can befound here. In the old village of YARRAGLEN there are a number of old buildings worth a photographand GULF STATION, just beyond, isnow a National Trust old farm property, that dates back to early whitesettlement in the valley. Not far out from here, on the KinglakeRoad, is the HOUSE OF BOTTLES,which is great fun and well worth a visit. It only costs acouple of dollars to enter and also incorporates a good collection ofnative stones of all kinds including semi precious as well as many ofour mineral ores. It has a good little cafe too withinexpensive, homely food.
Justbeyond the Yarra Valley to the south east is WARBURTON,a pretty little country town with a famous health resort, greatcountry walks and many good bed and breakfast establishments. AtHEALESVILLE there is the COLINMCKENZIE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY,which is a form of open zoo of Australian species - the wombatenclosure and the wetlands are really special and this is a greatplace to visit. It has a good cafe and souvenir shop too.Continue up into the hills and over the beautiful BLACKSPUR range, through a cathedral like avenue of magnificentmountain ash, most over 200ft tall and you will reach delightful MARYSVILLE,with nearby, dramatic STEPHENSON'S FALLScascading down from on high. There's a TROUTFARM too, where you can buy some really fresh fish, or justsee them growing in their different ponds. This area isparticularly magnificent in autumn, as it was heavily planted withEuropean deciduous trees many years ago and they turn all shades ofred and gold as the weather grows colder.
Southof the city of Melbourne, hugging Port Phillip Bay are seaside suburbsthat are popular for day tripping Melburnians and also for longerholiday periods. There are now a number of wineries on thepeninsula, several of which have good restaurants attached and thesetoo are a drawcard with visitors. Bed and breakfastestablishments there are aplenty and there are also many caravan andtourist parks, although the beachside ones are full to overflowingduring the Christmas/January school holidays.
TheMornington Peninsula Tourism Inchave a website at www.travelbook.com.auwith in-depth listings of accommodation and attractions
There'sa chairlift to the top of ARTHUR'S SEATat DROMANA and great fishing to beenjoyed from the many beaches, or offshore from boats. HMASCERBERUS NAVAL BASE isto be found at SANDY POINT and itis from here that ferries are available to FRENCH'SISLAND (with its old prison farm and koala sanctuaries) andpopular PHILLIPISLAND (see the notes underCentral Gippsland). Then there's THEBLOWHOLE and a 140 year old LIGHTHOUSEat CAPE SCHANK, the NEPEANSTATE PARK, ARTHUR'S SEAT STATEPARK; a ferry at SORRENTO thatcrosses Port Phillip Bay to QUEENSCLIFFand dolphins, seals and penguins to be seen off CAPESCHANK COASTAL PARK.Care should be taken if swimming along this stretch of the coast. Itis best to do it at GUNNAMATA SURF BEACH,where well trained life savers patrol the beach regularly. The ASHCOMBEMAZE at SHOREHAM ispopular with families, as are the weekend markets in some of theseaside townships. PORTSEA is theelite peninsula township, where many of Melbourne's richest peoplehave their holiday homes and where their wealthy, well tanned progenycan be seen besporting themselves throughout the summer months. Thiswas the place where Australia's prime minister, Harold Holt,mysteriously disappeared while snorkelling one morning in the mid1960s. Some peninsula foreshores have walking and bicyclingtracks. During Christmas and New Year holidays ROSEBUDFORESHORE has a completely carnival atmosphere. Golfand Lawn Bowling Clubs abound on the peninsula and there are manycliff top board walks. Then there's the PINERIDGE CAR & FOLK MUSEUM at Arthur's Seat, theSUNNY RIDGE STRAWBERRY FARMat Main Ridge, FRENCH ISLAND ECO TOURSand MOONRAKER BOAT CHARTERS out ofSorrento, plus the ACE HI animalfarm at Cape Schank, where people can camp in covered wagons and meetall the wildlife at close hand. DELGANY ofPORTSEA is also known as the Castle on the Hill. Itis classified by the National Trust and sited in five acres ofbeautifully landscaped gardens. It has a big reputation forexclusive, very luxurious accommodation and gourmet meals.
There'san area two hours or so east by north from Melbourne that calls itselfMurrundi Shire. It incorporates the country towns of EILDON,ALEXANDRA, TAGGERTY and several other small hamlets, at thesouthern end of the Great Dividing Range, which stretches from thenorth to the south of Australia down the eastern States.Beginning at MARYSVILLE, the roadcontinues on to ALEXANDRA, withits many fine old buildings, its big country pub, its rotunda in themain street and its history of timber cutting, mirrored in its TimberTramway and Museum It has some good caravan parks, someexcellent bed and breakfast accommodation. Motel rooms areavailable too. At EILDON theattraction is obviously the great lake, popular with house boatingenthusiasts, fishermen, water sports people and, with FRASERNATIONAL PARK on its shores, bushwalkers and birdwatchersalso. At nearby SNOB'S CREEKthere is a TROUT FARM and the FRESHWATERDISCOVERY CENTRE, which welcomevisitors.
Becomingincreasingly popular are the MOUNTAINCATTLEMEN'S HERITAGE TOURS in this area, which are tailoredto individual requirements and which can last from a full day toseveral, if preferred. They can include fishing tuition, HarleyDavidson mountain rides, travel by four wheel drive and camp outs. Runby Geoff and Janine, their mobile number is 018 573 004. ACHERONACTION in the same area offers canoeing, high ropescourses, abseiling and much more. Their mobile number is 018 579 423.
Takethe Hume Highway out of Melbourne as far as SEYMOURand this is where you exit Highway 1 for the Goulburn Valley Highway,heading northwards. There is a good caravan park on the banks of theGoulburn river in Seymour and a fine Chinese restaurant in town.Then there's the ARMY MUSEUM atthe Puckapunyal Army Camp and several boutique wineries offering freetastings, to persuade people to linger a little longer. Takingthe valley route northwards, one comes to NAGAMBIE,with its lakes system, beloved of boaties and water skiingenthusiasts. There's also the COLONIALDOLL SHOP, the NUT HOUSE,BALLOON FLIGHTS VIC, MANGALORE GLIDING, SKY DIVING, GOULBURNRIVER CRUISES, a swag of good wineries and the MINERS'RETREAT at nearby WHROO.Hotels, bed and breakfast accommodation, motels and caravan parksthere are aplenty, as people usually like to stay here awhile.Nagambie has several museums, the BALACLAVAOPEN CUT GOLD MINE, plus outlying old gold mining towns andcemeteries. There are five lakes in the system, providing over40 kilometres of scenic river to canoe.
Themajor city on this route is SHEPPARTON,175 kilometres north of Melbourne. It has serene VICTORIALAKE, surrounded by landscaped gardens, plus other parks, avery good ART GALLERY, a HISTORICALMUSEUM and guided tours around the SPC fruit cannery areavailable. Then there are great sporting facilities available as wellas the EQUESTRIAN CENTRE, the BOXWOODPOTTERY, ROSEWOOD BLACKSMITH'S SHOP,BELSTACK STRAWBERRY FARM and EMERALDBANK HERITAGE FARM, on the banks of the Seven Creeks inSouth Shepparton. This is a 10 hectare model working farm, with acentury old cottage and 1930s farm setting. Rare and endangeredspecies can be seen here along with everyday farm animals. The INTERNATIONALVILLAGE was an exciting concept acouple of decades ago. Then it was planned that dozens ofcountries from all over the world would erect a building in theirnational style in this village, furnishing and staffing itappropriately, to attract thousands of visitors annually. Butgovernment support dried up after the first half dozen or so buildingswere erected around the lakes, so it is but a shadow of what wasoriginally planned. Still, for those who have not travelledextensively outside Australia, it does have considerableinterest. The entrance has been built in Maltese style and thereis a full size Dutch windmill, a Greek tavern, Chinese and Japanesepavilions, a large Philippine house and an Aboriginal culture centre,as well as pleasant picnic facilities, so it is worth a visit for mostpeople. Proceeding to the furthest end of the valley one arrives at NATHALIA,a small country town in Murray River Red Gum country. Close by,the BARMAH STATE FORESTprovides plenty of activities such as horse riding, duck shooting inthe swamps and lagoons (in season), boating and bushwalking. There arenumerous types of fish to be caught in these waters off the Murrayriver, but the most prized is the giant Murray cod. In theforest is the DHARNYA CULTURAL CENTRE,run by the Yorta Yorta tribe of Aborigines. Cruises can also be takenfrom Barmah aboard the 'KINGFISHER'an open sided, flat bottomed boat, whose pilots specialise in pointingout the local bird life. The LAWSONGALLERY can be viewed in the Nathalia Home ImprovementCentre, a National Trust classified property and the district's oldestbusiness premises.
Sitedon Corio Bay, which can be found on the western side of Port PhillipBay, the port city of GEELONG isone of our oldest settlements. The tiny old CUSTOMSHOUSE can still be seen in the foreshore BOTANICGARDENS. The NATIONAL WOOLMUSEUM can be found in one of its early bluestone buildingsnear the waterfront and this is a popular tourist attraction. BARWONGRANGE is another building of historic interest. Itis the gracious home built for a merchant ship owner in 1871. Itis set in landscaped gardens on the Barwon River and open these daysfor public viewing. In this manufacturing city, with its hugeFord motor works, its refinery and other industrial businesses, thereare art and antique galleries, a market square and shopping arcades,an excellent tourist information office and very pleasant walks to beenjoyed along the foreshore. There is a full range ofaccommodation from caravan parks to four star hotels. There is alsothe NAVAL & MARITIMEMUSEUM, GUIDED MYSTERY WALKS, HELICOPTER SCENIC FLIGHTSand fine golf courses. At Eastern Beach is a fully restored,1930s sea bathing complex for all members of the family, with arestaurant for those who chose to linger.
Onthe Bellarine Peninsula, just south of Geelong and at the northern endof the Great Ocean Road, QUEENSCLIFFis probably the queen of the seaside resorts. It is also thearrival and departure point for ferry boats crossing Port Phillip Bayto Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula. It is a historictownship, with many well preserved old buildings, including the OZONEHOTEL. Holidaymakers on this peninsula, which has manytourist parks and motels, appreciate the wide choice of familyattractions that keep children amused during long summerholidays. These include A MAZE'N THINGS(golf, a giant timber maze, outdoor checkers and chess etc), COUNTRYCONNECTION ADVENTURE PARK(water slide, express train, go karts and much more), TUCKERBERRYHILL (pick your own berries), QUEENSCLIFFMARITIME CENTRE & MUSEUM, stage coach rides around townand vintage steam train rides available between Queenscliff andDrysdale aboard the BELLARINE PENINSULARAILWAY. People can also swim with the dolphins andseals in the bay with SEA ALL CHARTERS. At nearby POINT LONSDALE, theold FORT at the Army depot can beinspected and this too is a worthwhile attraction.
Leavingthe Bellarine Peninsula and continuing south westwards (or due southfrom Geelong), one of the world's most scenic roads hugs thiscoastline from TORQUAYwestwards. It is known as the Great Ocean Road. Torquay isworld famous for its grand surf beaches and every January worldchampionship surfing takes place here at BELL'SBEACH,although it is also popular with serious surfers all year round. Thetown's attractions include SURFWORLD, TIGERMOTH WORLDout at the airstrip (flights available down the coast) and BELLBRAEHARVEST, where you pick your own berries, stroll around theextensive herb gardens, feed the ducks and eat in their gourmetrestaurant. Torquay also has the most incredible, huge MOSAICSUNDIAL set in the pavement of the foreshore. Don'tmiss it - crafted by local artists it is a really specialattraction. The cliff top walks and fishing along this stretchare top notch. Torquay has a number of caravan parks and manyexcellent bed and breakfast establishments.
AtANGLESEA, pretty little town tucked atthe bottom of the Otway Ranges with beautiful beaches, wonderfulwalking trails, magnificent wildflower display in Spring with aWildflower festival held in September and kangaroos on the famous golfcourse. International visitors come here to see the kangaroos beforeor after they have been to Phillip Island to see the PenguinsSEAMIST AUSTRALIA conducts trail riding and offersexcellent bunkhouse accommodation. Along this stretch of thecoast there is a grand HEATHLAND CLIFFWALK and plenty of good fishing opportunities. Historic LORNEcame into being when the timber cutters felled the forests of mightymountain ash in the Otway Ranges behind the settlement.Nowadays, it is a busy seaside township in school holidays and overlong weekends. The old jetty is still to be seen jutting out into thewater. THE CUMBERLANDRESORT on the waterfront is a five star establishment, withspa baths and private balconies to many of the suites. There isan indoor swimming pool and spa, restaurants, games room, gym and more - all just across the road from the beach. Up behind thetownship are ERSKINE FALLS andclose by are the ERSKINE FALLS CABINS,where people can stay in mountainside, fully self contained log cabinsamong the bushland and with grand views. From here, this scenic roadwinds down to APOLLO BAY, (withits old cliff top lighthouse and beautiful beaches) and then leavesthe coast to dive into the semi darkness of an ancient hinterlandrainforest. This is one of the highlights of this road.After a long stretch of winding, climbing road, stop off at one of thetwo cafe/restaurants on the top of LAVERSHILL, with their scenic views and colourful parrots andenjoy a break. Not long after, at MAITSREST and MELBA GULLY inthe OTWAYNATIONAL PARK, you can take theboardwalks around mysterious, giant old beech and myrtle trees, somereputed to be 400-500 years old. The fern glades here aresome of the world's finest. Look overhead and you may see a koalaasleep in an old manna gum. Nearby, along the coastal edge,shell middens attest to thousands of years of Aboriginal occupation,now long past.
Thisstretch of land and sea on westwards to Port Fairy is known as the SHIPWRECKCOAST, as there have been scoresof sailing and steamships which have met disastrous ends in thesetreacherous waters since white settlement first began in Australiaover 200 years ago. PORTCAMPBELL NATIONAL PARK is the next point of great scenicinterest. It is here that the TWELVEAPOSTLES can be viewed from the cliff tops. They aretowering pillars of sandstone bursting upwards out of the ocean justoffshore, although these days there are only about nine left, asseveral have collapsed during the past few decades. This is where the "LOCHARD" sailing ship was wrecked in the last century andall but a young man and a young woman were drowned. There is a hilltopcemetery to the memory of the drowned and a number of other geologicalattractions nearby that are also of great interest, such as thesplendid BAY OF ISLANDS.
WARRNAMBOOLis a major township on this route and is well worth a couple of daysstopover, as there is plenty of accommodation in the township at allprices. First, there's LOGAN'S BEACH,where the Southern Right Whales come to give birthand nurse their young in Springtime (August/September). Thenthere's peaceful PERTOBE PARK, forfine family picnics. There's also the FLAGSTAFFHILL MARITIME MUSEUM, a recreated old port, with boats,ships chandlery, a blacksmith in his forge, a Seamen's Mission, amuseum, shops, old world tea rooms and much more to keep visitorsinterested for a couple of hours.
Notfar out of town is HOPKINS FALLS,where the eels migrate upstream, with a nearby very photogenic,historic bridge. Also just out of town is the TOWERHILL CRATER LAKES RESERVE,just off the highway leading to Port Fairy. Here one can meetkangaroos, emus, echidnas, koalas and other native creatures in theirnatural bush habitat. There is also a ranger manned informationcentre and the scenic old crater lakes, with their remarkable straitsand boardwalks out into the reeds. There is no fee to enter thisgreat attraction.
Continuingin the same direction, one arrives at PORTFAIRY, an old whaling township, where a remarkable numberof whalers' cottages have been well preserved. The MERRIJIGINN and GOBLE'S MILL onthe river banks provide old world accommodation in splendid style andmany of the old cottages are let on a bed and breakfast basis. Thereare also caravan parks for those on a budget. Several of thetown's hotels are very picturesque and there's a very good touristinformation centre in the township. There are always a few boats to beseen tied up at the wharf (where you can often buy freshly caughtfish) and nearby are the old BELFAST ICEWORKS. Every summer the town puts on a very popularFOLK FESTIVAL.
FromPort Fairy the road continues on to PORTLANDin the south eastern corner of the State. It is the last majortown before reaching the South Australian border, although there are afew small hamlets in between. PORTLANDhas many well preserved historic buildings and this was one of thefirst areas to be settled in Victoria after Melbourne wasfounded. Two of the grandest old buildings are VICTORIAHOUSE and BURSWOOD,both of which now offer first class bed and breakfastaccommodation. At Burswood you can even book a suite with a bigfour poster bed, if you wish. Other historic buildings includethe COURT HOUSE and the CUSTOMSHOUSE. This is a port town, where meat is shipped live toMiddle Eastern countries. Other attractions include KINGSLEYVINEYARD and the old PORTLANDBATTERY, built to protect the town from possible Russianinvasion in the late 19th century. There's also a considerable fishingindustry and an offshore abalone industry, much of which isillegal, Then there's the mighty ALUMINIUMSMELTER which employs 700 locals and where tours areavailable three days a week, plus the superb FAWTHROPLAGOON, where there is five kilometres of very scenicnatural territory that is just perfect for bird watching Anothernatural attraction can be found if you take the road out to BRIDGEWATERBAYand when you get to the rocky coast you'll find a wonderful phenomenonknown as the PETRIFIED FOREST,close to the BLOWHOLE, thelimestone caves and the springs. It's worth the effort to findthis unique spot, with its magnificent ocean views as a bonusThere are many other unspoilt coastal parks surrounding this townshipand most provide particular points of interest, so enquire for thefree literature in the Visitors Information office.
Otherwiseknown as the GARIWERDS, to givethem their Aboriginal name, the Grampian Ranges in western Victoriaare some of the oldest land on earth and one of the most scenic areasin the State. Reached in three and a half to four hour's drivenorth west from Melbourne, this range has much to offer holidaymakersof all ages. It comprises a series of dramatic sandstone ridges,with sheer waterfalls, vast lakes, Aboriginal rock art sites andplenty of unspoilt native flora and fauna. The GrampiansNational Park is 100 kilometres in length and 50 kilometres in width,making it the largest in the State. The park is criss crossed byover 1,000 kilometres of walking tracks and over 1,000 kilometres ofprimary and secondary roads, which make for excellent scenic and fourwheel driving opportunities. Over 900 native plants species havebeen identified in this park and between August and November each yearthe widest variety of them are in full bloom. HALLSGAP is the main tourist centre in the Grampians and hascaravan parks, shops, cafes, restaurants, motels and guesthouses foreveryone's convenience. Facilities in this township includeabseiling, horse riding, tennis, fishing, swimming, a golf fun park,the WALLAROO WILDLIFEPARK, GRAMPIANS BY BALLOON, the BOROKAVINEYARD, nearby spectacular McKENZIE'SFALLS, a number of mini-coach tours of the area, the VISITORS'CENTRE and theBRAMBUKABORIGINAL CULTURAL CENTRE. A colony of tame kangaroos in apaddock beside the road at ZUMSTEINSenable visitors to meet these inquisitive creatures at closehand. Koalas too abound in the tall manna gums and can often beheard grunting fiercely in the night. Many spectacular geologicalformations afford fine photographs, such as THEBALCONIES, the ELEPHANT'S HIDE,the WONDERLANDFOREST PARK, as well as views from the various Lookouts andmuch more.
Thereare a dozen wineries in the area, such as GREATWESTERN and ST GREGORY'Sand in the township of STAWELL atthe southern end of the ranges, the WOOLLENMILLS, the WORLDIN MINIATURE and the annual STAWELLGIFT foot race, which is run each Easter and drawscompetitors from all over the world, are further drawcards. In HORSHAM,on the Wimmera River at the northern end of the range there is greatfishing and golf, good accommodation at a variety of prices, a fineart gallery, many antique shops, the old DOOENPUB, the BOTANIC GARDENSand the nearby WIMMERA LAKES. Itis the nearest large town to MT ZEROand a great centre for abseiling enthusiasts. The LITTLEDESERT is just a few kilometres away and provides a totallydifferent type of environment from that on the mountains. Good placesto stay in the Grampians include the HAPPYWANDERER LOG CABINS at Wartook, MOUNTAINVIEW MOTOR INN & HOLIDAYLODGES in Halls Gap and the HALLSGAP CARAVAN & CAMPING PARK.Every year, in the old Heatherlie quarry, there are performances ofShakespearean works by a local dramatic group, then in February thereis the annual JAZZ FESTIVAL;in October the FESTIVAL OF FLOWERS & ARTand November the FILM FESTIVAL - and that's only the half of it.
There'sa triangle of old goldfields in the centre of Victoria, wheretownships continued to grow long after the gold petered out.Their gold now comes from the tourist industry, as visitors arrive tolearn about the area's history and enjoy all their modern attractionsand facilities. All have good caravan parks, motels, guesthousesand bed and breakfast accommodation available. This areaincludes Ballarat, Bendigo, Castlemaine, Maldon and other smallerhamlets in the triangle.
Undoubtedlythe major drawcard in BALLARAT isthe superb, multi award winning SOVEREIGNHILL HISTORICAL PARK. Here, one can spend a dayimmersed in the lifestyle of the goldfields of 150 years ago.Visitors young and old can pan for gold in the stream (it's there);ride on Cobb & Co stage coaches; watch a blacksmith at work; shopin old world stores; explore a gold mine; enjoy the panoramic theatre;have an old world photo taken in 19th century costume; eat old styletucker and so very much more. At night there is a SOUNDAND LIGHT SHOW that should definitely not be missed andthere is also a superb GOLD MUSEUM,with a great deal of exhibits to see and enjoy. The park staffare all dressed in period costumes and are very knowledgeable aboutthe history of the area. Then again, you never know when you'llsee live entertainment on the streets or even find yourself a part ofit. It's an 'all happening', exciting place that has takendecades to created and which has been voted the best historical parkin the world. In the city of Ballarat there is a number of magnificenttwo and three storey buildings replete with tons of great iron lacework, including the old Mining Exchange and a band rotunda. Ofcourse they are all listed on the National Trust register.
TheBOTANIC GARDENS are superb andinclude a Prime Ministers' Avenue, with a life size bust of everyprime minister we have ever had since Federation flanking thepath. There are also conservatories and ferneries, poet AdamLindsay Gordon's former cottage and magnificent begonia and otherfloral displays. In March each year, the town holds a BEGONIAFESTIVAL, with world beating blooms galore on display, aswell as vast carpets of flowers (specially designed each year byexperts) and many exciting civic events. Across the road from theBotanic Gardens, there are the historic trams to ride and plenty ofblack swans to feed on LAKE WENDOURIE.There also is an excellent old world gracious restaurant beside thewetlands boardwalks and a small paddle steamer for lake cruises.
Additionalattractions in Ballarat are the top notch ARTGALLERY, many fine antique shops, the historic EUREKASTOCKADE, MONTROSE COTTAGE, the HERMAJESTY'S THEATRE, superb gourmet restaurants, first classaccommodation at all prices, the BALLARATWILDLIFE PARK, BUNINYONG BIRD FLORA PARK and heaps more. Not far out of thistownship can be found THE TANGLED MAZEand the DINOSAUR FUN PARK at CRESWICK,YUULONG LAVENDER ESTATE at MT.EGERTON, TUKI TROUT FARM at SMEATONand some grand national parks and forests.
Theentire small township of MALDONhas a National Trust listing and its general area is still verypopular with gold fossickers. Apart from the old world ambienceof the main street, with its quaint old shops and pubs and even agarden gnome factory, other attractions include the spectacular old GOLDDREDGE in the bush out at PORCUPINEFLAT, the old CEMETERY,which includes a CHINESE OVEN, thehigh lookout tower on top of MT TARRANGOWER,CARMAN'S TUNNEL (old gold mine tours), the remains of theold NORTH BRITISH MINE in theReserve on Parkins Reef Road, the TOWNMUSEUM, the OLDCOURTHOUSE (1861), the old RAILWAYSTATION & STEAM TRAIN RIDES,the BEEHIVE GOLD MINE CHIMNEY(1862), the old WELSH CONGREGATIONALCHURCH & PENNY SCHOOL, SMITH'S REEF STATE FOREST,horse drawn cart rides around town with CLYDESDALETREKS & TOURS and an excellent VISITORSINFORMATION CENTRE. It is here that you can obtain a freeleaflet that will guide you around 46 historic buildings in this smalltownship. HOLY TRINITYCHURCH is one of them well worth visiting. Race meetingsare held here annually during the EASTER FAIRand at nearby NEWSTEAD, there isan award winning winery. Maldon has caravan parks, guesthouses motelsand hotel accommodation, but a good place to stay is in MALDONHOLIDAY COTTAGES on a small stud farm, which have twobedrooms, all home comforts and are very competitively priced, just alittle way out of the township.
BENDIGO is a large town which also has a very popular EASTERFAIR, in which the Chinese population take an importantpart, many of whom are descendants of the area's 18th century goldminers. Their GOLDEN DRAGON MUSEUM &GARDENS are a great attraction, as is the gateway to themfrom the main street. Their SUN LOONGIMPERIAL DRAGON, which is used formajor street parades, is the largest in the world, as those inmainland China were all destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. TheNational Trust listed JOSS HOUSEis still in everyday use by their community and can be viewed byvisitors, who must respect it for the shrine that it is to the Chinesepeople. Bendigo has a first rate TOURISTINFORMATION CENTRE, a great ARTGALLERY, the spectacular SHAMROCKHOTEL, dating back to the boom times of the gold rush, theCENTRAL DEBORAH(working) MINE, where underground tours are conductedregularly and the above ground buildings may be inspected, TALKINGTRAM TOURS of the city (visiting the old TRAMMUSEUM and the JOSS HOUSE,with commentary), the SACRED HEARTCATHEDRAL, that too 200 years to complete, the historic BENDIGOPOTTERY, with its giant old brickkilns for firing the pieces; the SCIENCE DISCOVERY CENTRE;double Decker bus town tours; THE CASCADEin ROSALIND PARK,the shopping mall, the old TOWN HALL,plus a swag of wineries and potteries scattered just out oftown. For something different there is SEDGEWICK'SCAMEL FARM, wherevisitors may take a ride aboard one of these stately creatures andlearn about their lifestyle and care; CONFECTIONERYCAPERS, where scores of unique working models can be seen,as well as the purchase of 40 varieties of American jelly beans!Then there's CHAMP'S MUSEUM of engines of all kinds, machinery,bottles and many other collectables, or SKYDANCERSORCHID & BUTTERFLY GARDENS at nearby HARCOURT.There's also the GOLDFIELDS MOHAIR FARMat nearby LOCKWOOD, IRONBARK RIDING CENTREin Watson Street, offering bush trail rides, the lively Sundaymarkets, the WOOLLEN MILLS, SANDHURSTHERITAGE TOURS,restaurants and delightful eateries galore. Add a number of goodcaravan parks, scores of four star B&Bs, terrific motels andguesthouses and you have everything a tourist could want for aninterest packed holiday. Other old gold towns in this area include CASTLEMAINE,which has many fine old buildings, antique galleries and five starrestaurants; MARYBOROUGH, with itsGOLDFIELDS RESERVOIR, wineries,sports facilities, its old station and many other fine buildings; RUSHWORTH(another small gold town, the whole of which is classified by theNational Trust), where one can see the old BANDROTUNDA, RISSTROM'S SAWMILL, THE CHRONICLE NEWSPAPER OFFICES(still publishing), the MUSEUMand, just out of town in the forest, the old mines and the ghosthamlet of WHROO, with its mudcottage, cemetery and other evocative relics.
AtHEATHCOTE visitors should make theeffort to find the PINK CLIFFS inthe ARGYLE STATEFOREST (very discreetly signposted and not far out oftown), where the hillocks are multistrata'd in a variety of coloursfrom the old gold mining processes that took place there 150 yearsago. Heathcote is surrounded by forests, where much goldfossicking is still carried out and nearby is popular LAKEEPPALOCK, a variety of wineries, OSTRICH,ALPACA and YABBIE FARMS,as well as a golf club, holiday parks, caravan parks, hotels and ADVENTURETRAIL RIDES.
Adjacentand part of the Golden Triangle mentioned above are Victoria's SpaTowns of DAYLESFORD & HEPBURN SPRINGS.Here, 18th century gold miners came across so many different naturalsprings in the bush, each with a totally different mineral taste, thatthe area eventually became famous for the medicinal properties ofthese waters. People began to build weekend cottages here.Guesthouses appeared. A contingent of Italian and Swiss peoplechose to settle in the area and gradually the twin townships became afavourite weekend resort for the fashionable people ofMelbourne. Today, the waters from all of these springs have beenharnessed by taps and visitors can wander around tasting their watersand bottling as much of it as they please quite free in the SPRINGSRESERVE. A largeSPA COMPLEX has been built in Hepburn Springs, where peoplecan swim in the mineral waters, take mud baths, spa baths, massagesand more. In Daylesford there are a couple of scenic lakes andaround these can be found caravan parks and guesthouses. Bed andbreakfast accommodation is really booming and over 100 fine, fullyfurnished cottages are let on a bed and breakfast basis, many ofhistoric note and period furnished. For further informationabout their availability telephone Tel: +613 5348 1255
Fax them on Tel: +61 3 5348 3606 or emailthem at firstname.lastname@example.org.Daylesford has BOTANIC GARDENS,many antique galleries, old world shops galore, an excellent VISITORSINFORMATION CENTRE, the award winning, old CONVENTGALLERY & RESTAURANTand a variety of crafts shops and ethnic eateries.
Fishingenthusiasts may be familiar with John & Carolyn Peel's 'THEBLUE DUCK' at ANGLERS' REST,out of OMEO in the HighCountry It can be reached either from Bright and the Alpine Wayor, if approaching from the south, leave the Princes Highway atBairnsdale and drive to Omeo, then head towards Falls Creek for about30 kilometres and you'll be there. This is a historic property, onthe banks of the Cobungra river. For over a century it hasattracted anglers from all over the world. The slow, deep poolsare the home of fine trout and there are plenty more to be caught inthe nearby rivers. This is great canoeing and white waterrafting territory too. However, The Blue Dick is an isolated property,surrounded by the ALPINE NATIONALPARK. Accommodation isprovided in a ranch style building with a veranda running its fulllength. Six of the seven fully equipped, self contained unitssleep seven, while the seventh, a three bedroom unit, sleeps ten.Linen is, however, required. There is a barbecue area, a gamesroom, a playground, trampoline, great crystal clear river swimming inthe summer months and bushwalking opportunities withoutparallel. Their telephone number is Tel:+613 5159 7220
Oneof the prime attractions of Central Gippsland, to the south east ofMelbourne, is COAL CREEKat KORUMBURRA. This is arecreated old coal mining village, with historic locomotive, railwaystation, shops and other village buildings. The well stockedgeneral store is a delight, as is the lady who serves behind itscounter. There's a photo parlour, barber's shop, lands office,blacksmith, court house, church, a band rotunda, mine and much more.Everything is in period style and totally authentic. Thisvillage was recreated from original plans and there is much to see anddo there, as well as a theatrette and cafe, so plan to stay a coupleof hours. WALHALLA, in the hillsnorth of MOE, is a mostpicturesque old gold town, with mine tours, bank rotunda, old firestation and shops, early miners' cottages and a guesthouse cut intothe hillside. Old steam trains run from THOMPSONto WALHALLA over old timbertrestle bridges through some of the State's loveliest countryside atspecific times on specific days. For more information Tel: 005511788. On the western edge of Moe is OLDGIPPSTOWN PIONEERTOWNSHIP, where many authenticearly buildings have been resited, to give the atmosphere of ourpioneering past. And at DARNUM,there is the unusual DARNUM MUSICALVILLAGE, where a collection ofantique pianos, organs and other musical instruments can be seen andheard. Each house in this mini village is stocked with thesemarvellous old instruments and the owner can and will play them all ashe conducts the tours. At LOCHthere is the WEEMALA ALPACA& EXOTICANIMALS FARMon the South Gippsland Highway. Here these gentle creatures canbe fed and many other farm animals met and befriended. Childrenjust love the place. Here one can learn about these SouthAmerican animals and buy produce made from their wool. Then, forpeople who like to stay in rustic retreats, there's WOORARRABUSHLAND RETREAT,on the Toora Road at Woorarra East. It comprises 65 acres ofprivately owned natural bushland, with many varieties of smallorchids, a grand entertainment shed, canoeing on the small lake,conducted night-time bushwalks, seven kilometres of walking trails, 20camping sites and limited onsite budget accommodation. THEQUILTERS' BARN in ARAWATAis a great place for ladies who enjoy quilting. There arehundreds of patchwork designs, fabrics, patterns, etc in the store,which has a coffee shop and here people can stay for several days onquilting courses, if they wish.
TRARALGONand MORWELL in the LATROBEVALLEY are fairly large towns,with plenty of accommodation at all prices. Their prosperitygrew, along with their population decades ago, from the major browncoal open cut mines and giant power plants in the valley. One ofthe main attractions, therefore, is POWERWORKS,offering guided tours of the mines and the giant power stations atHazlewood, Yallourn and Loy Yang. They also offer night toursthat includes fine dining. There are plenty of signs on thehighway indicating where to find Powerworks.
CentralGippsland also calls itself Gourmet Deli Country, because of its dairyfarms, cheese factories, berry farms, wineries, smokehouse, troutfarm, its vintage bakehouse and its wide range of gourmet bed andbreakfast properties, as well as its superb country restaurants.
Twoof the best attractions in South Gippsland are TIDALRIVER NATIONALPARK on WILSON'SPROMONTORY and PHILLIPISLAND, reached by a bridge fromSAN REMO. 'The Prom', as itis known to most Victorians, is a wonderful spot for naturelovers. Surrounded by the sea, it has some superb beaches, grandbushwalking opportunities, very good campgrounds, plus plenty ofnative flora and fauna. One often comes across a wallaby or two,or a wombat or echidna crossing one's path and the rosellas and otherparakeets add glorious splashes of colour as they flit through thebush. This is a rocky promontory, overlooked by a sharp hill,which most visitors manage to climb at sometime or another, for itsspectacular sea views of the offshore islands. There are a number ofsmall cruise boats operating from the little townships that flank theneck of The Prom and these are always popular, particularly in summer.
PhillipIsland has a number of top tourist attractions, but the main three areThe SEAL ROCKSCOMPLEX, the PENGUINPARADE and the KOALASANCTUARY, all of which have muchof interest for every age group. The Seal Rocks Complex at the NOBBIESis a fairly new, multi million dollar attraction, where people maywatch the seal colony live on a very wide screen in the theatrettewith a ranger's commentary, live through the underground portholes, orthrough a bank of telescopes in the main building. There arenumerous exhibits to enjoy, including an underground boat ride throughvarious caves with sound and light dioramas and much more. Thereare three grades of eateries in the complex, from cafe to fine dining.The main restaurant on the lower deck and the exclusive one upstairsboth have magnificent seascape views and specialise in the freshestseafoods. At the penguin parade, a colony of fairy penguins can beseen arriving out of the ocean to cross the beach and head into theirburrows at dusk. There are also some nesting boxes where chickscan be seen at any time during the nesting season, with their mothersthrough glass lids. There's a theatre showing a documentary onthe lives of these small creatures, plus dioramas, a large souvenirshop, a cafe and more. At the Koala Sanctuary exhibits may beviewed on the life and times of koalas, before walking through intothe bushland, where boardwalks up into the trees allow visitors to getup close to these creatures in the wild and learn more aboutthem. Other attractions on the island are its chicory kilnshaped Visitors Information Centre, a great wild life park,A'Mazin'Things (great for the kids), magnificent surf beaches, ferryand other boat rides, Forrest Caves, the Dairy Centre, old chicorykilns (the island produced a great deal of chicory for use with scarcecoffee during WW2), fishing villages and boat hire.
Themain town for shopping and eating is COWESand there are scores of top B&Bs, as well as numerous motels,guesthouses, caravan parks and a backpackers hostel on the island.
TheGRAND RIDGEROAD, running along the crest ofthe STRZELECKI RANGES,between MIRBOO NORTHand NYORA is one of the mostspectacular in the State, winding through beautiful forests andnational parks. There is a Visitors Centre at Balook. Close byis the TARRA BULGANATIONAL PARK - a misnomer, as there are two separate parks really, Tarra andBulga. Here primeval rainforest can be seen at is best bywalking across the suspension bridge at canopy height. Shylyrebirds, platypus, possums and giant earthworms are among its nativehabitat. And the songs birds and bright parakeets will keep youenthralled all the time. There are caravan parks such asFernholme right in this forest.
LEEANNEFIEDLER has been runningpersonalised THEN &NOW DAYTOURS of this region for fouryears now. Using her four wheel drive vehicle as transport, sheplans the day or half day tours to exactly suit the requirements ofher clients. Her mobile is 015 852 442 or ring her on Tel: +613 5681 2260.
Thelittle coastal towns of YARRAM, PORTALBERT, ALBERTON,TOORA and TARRAVILLEall have an old world charm of their own, with grand sea views, finebeaches, excellent restaurants, superb fishing opportunities, boatcruises and plenty of motel, caravan park and B&Baccommodation. Here too can be found the start of 90MILE BEACH, one of the greatest in the State. AMBLESIDECOUNTRY MANORat Toora is a particularly good bed and breakfast establishment.This is a historic home, superbly restored with periodfurniture. Four course dinners and picnic baskets can also bearranged to suit guests. Only two couples can stay here at any onetime.
Comingalong the Princes Highway from the west, BAIRNSDALEis the first major township you will enter in East Gippsland. Dostop to look at the paintings in the Catholic Church, next door to theVisitors Information Centre, just before the main shopping area.Also in town there is a HISTORICALMUSEUM, a CLOCKMUSEUM, a dirt track SPEEDWAY,an ARCHERY &MINI GOLFPARK, a architecturally unusualold COURT HOUSEand plenty of antique shops and galleries. Less than halfan hour north of the township is the excellent BUSHHIDEAWAY LOGCABINS, which are beautifullyappointed for family comfort and well set apart from each other in thebush on a private property. This is very pretty countryside anda perfect spot in which to get away from the rat race. It isalso in the budget price range. Run by John and Bev Toohey,their phone number is Tel: +61 3 51568448. An attractive little waterfront township is METUNG,with its boat cruises, waterfront pub, sculpture gallery, a few shopsand cafes, boat hire, pelicans, marinas, beaches and plenty of modernaccommodation with superb views. Set back on the gentle hillslope of Metung behind BANCROFTBAY is the MCMILLANHOLIDAY VILLAGE.A multi award winning property, it consists of 11 historic cottages,superbly appointed, nestling well apart from each other in thebush. There is a terrific swimming pool, a picturesque, lilycovered billabong, a full size tennis court, boat mooring, a gamesroom, public phone and Sundowners (drinks and savories) on the lawnsof the McMillan Homestead in the evenings, presided over by gracioushosts John and Kaye McMillan, so that guests may meet each otherinformally, if they choose to do so. Entry to the property is bybaronial gates. The telephone number is Tel: +613 5156 2283. Try and watch the sun rise over the McMillianjetty. It is often quite spectacular.
Nearbyis PAYNESVILLE, with plenty ofaccommodation in caravanparks, motels, apartments and units. Its attractions include theold SILT JETTIES,LAKE KING,A'BECKETT (fun) PARK,offshore nature and bird lovers' ROTAMAHISLAND and RAYMONDISLAND, reached by ferry andfamous for its koala colony and playful dolphins. Then there's90 Mile Beach, a privately owned miniature railway and more.
is possibly the most importantof the East Gippsland townships and has a fishing fleet, boat cruiseson the lakes, KINKUNA COUNTRY - a big fun park on the highway, ample accommodation at all prices foreveryone (from five star to backpackers), a SHELLMUSEUM &AQUARIUM, an excellent VISITORINFORMATION CENTRE,the Aboriginal KEEPING PLACE,an AQUADOME, NYERIMALANGHERITAGE PARK(an early homestead on the cliff top), EASTGIPPSLAND CARRIAGETOURS (by horse and cart throughthe bush, listening to our classic bush poetry and old bosh tales), WYANGHAPARK WINERYand the extensive lakes system itself, around which one can spendweeks sailing or cruising.
Tothe east of Lakes Entrance, bordering on LAKETYERS, is the small old timbertownship of NOWA NOWA,with its historic wood mill, its galleries, forest lookouts, B&Bsand caravan park. Beyond is BUCHANwith its great BUCHAN CAVEScomplex. Here is a truly delightful tourist park, hugeunderground limestone caves (take a tour), CONORVILLE(a miniature heritage village), an operational timber mill and BUCHANVALLEY LOGCABINS, which are great for familyholidays in total comfort, next door to a deer farm. Hosts Judith andIan Moon's phone number is Tel: +61 3 51559494.
Beyond,to the furthest corner of the State is the SNOWYRIVER NATIONALPARK, the CROAJINGOLONGNATIONAL PARK,ORBOST and MALLACOOTA.The National Parks have some of the greatest bushwalking in thiscountry. Croajinglolong also has some of the bestbeaches Orbost has a good little RAINFORESTORIENTATION CENTRE,art galleries and the OLD SLABHUT and Mallacoota is much lovedby anglers and boaties. It is surrounded by wilderness parks,along with great boating and grand beaches.
The Murray River forms the northern border of Victoria, between it and New South Wales and stretches from Mildura in the west to Corryong in the east. The Murray Valley Highway runs its length on the Victorian side and is a good road for driving, although it gets fairly well used by families in the Christmas and New Year school holidays and at Easter time. (The river itself is classed as New South Wales territory and thus needs a fishing licence from that State). Starting in MILDURA, which is a popular holiday township with high, dry summer temperatures and mild usually dry winters, there is much to see and do. Because of this, there is a very wide choice of caravan and camping parks, some along the river bank. There are also numerous holiday apartments, B&Bs, cabins, the renowned GRAND HOTEL and a number of other cheaper hostelries to take care of visitors who wish to linger awhile. There are several very good ART GALLERIES, the HUMPTY DUMPTY TOURIST FARM, ORANGE WORLD, the GOLDEN RIVER ZOO, the LANGTREE HALL MUSEUM, WOODSIE'S GEM SHOP, the RIO VISTA MUSEUM, PADDLE STEAMER CRUISES, boating, houseboat and canoe hire, wineries, national parks, licensed sports clubs galore, good shopping and eating, plus the river beaches and tour operators offering day and half day trips to areas of considerable interest. These include WENTWORTH and MUNGO STATION NATIONAL PARK, over the river in New South Wales. At SWAN HILL there is the PIONEER SETTLEMENT, a recreated paddle steamer port, with live action throughout the various old buildings, plus a SOUND & LIGHT SHOW by night and a restaurant and art gallery in the historic P.S. GEM. Across the river there's the old MURRAY DOWNS HOMESTEAD, which is a living step back into the past, plus WETLANDER CRUISES. Back on the Victorian side there are more wineries and yet another historic property that welcomes visitors, TYNTYNDER HOMESTEAD, plus the AMBOC MOHAIR FARM and the NYAH FOREST, where horse riding can be enjoyed. There are a number of caravan parks, motels, hotels and holiday flats available here, but it is wise to prebook in peak holiday times. Moving further eastwards one arrives at ECHUCA, a grand old river port that has totally reinvented its busy past. Here one can see half a dozen or more paddle steamers moored to the banks near the base of the century old wharves and several more plying up and down the river with a load of tourists on board. Echuca has a wide range of attractions to hold visitors and these include plenty of excellent accommodation right across everyone's budget range, from riverside camp sites to the largest luxury houseboats. Its other attractions include the excellent WAX MUSEUM, a couple of CAR MUSEUMS, SHARP'S PENNY ARCADE, a HISTORICAL MUSEUM, a great little al fresco restaurant known as the TANGLED GARDEN, the AQUARIUM, the KIDDIES INDOOR FARM in the OLD PORT, the BARMAH FOREST for horse riding or bush walking and in the township - great shopping and eating and all the water sports. Across the river you can reach friendly DENILIQUIN in well under half an hour, where you will find a great ISLAND WILDLIFE SANCTUARY in the Edwardes River and an excellent PASTORAL MUSEUM, dedicated to the surrounding wool and rice industries, in the old, red brick school building. The adjacent bistro restaurant is delightful and serves great tucker. By the time you reach Yarrawonga you will be past the half way mark. Here you will find LAKE MULWALA - again plenty of all types of accommodation from camp sites to excellent bed and breakfast facilities in top private homes, also cabins for those who like their family privacy, hotels and motels aplenty, except when there are special events taking place on the lake - then you must prebook to be sure of a comfy spot. There's a great TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE by the weir wall and in town you will find a HISTORICAL MUSEUM, the TUDOR CLOCK MUSEUM, across the river the DAVEILE ANTIQUE LAMP GALLERY (don't miss it), a WATER FUN PARK, a KIDS FUN PARK, art galleries, HORSE RIDING, LAKE CRUISES, boat hire, wineries and more. Between here and ALBURY-WODONGA there are popular townships not actually on the river banks, such as historic CHILTERN and RUTHERGLEN, with its plethora of surrounding first class wineries. At the eastern end of the State, CORRYONG on mighty LAKE HUME is best known for its water sports and camping facilities. If you would like a free MURRAY TOURING MAP telephone (free call within Australia) 1800 800 743
Australian State Information