SCENIC DRIVES

...experience the ambience!

There are seven tourist trails designed to help you get the most of you Gippsland touring experience.

Gippsland Gourmet Country
Walhalla & Mountain Rivers Trail
Gippsland Heritage Trail
Grand Ridge Road
Power Trails
Wildlife Coast Nature Trail
High Country Adventure


Information shelters on each trail will provide you with additional information. Look for then signs and visit the shelters here indicated on the maps. You can obtain the relevant brochures from accredited Visitor Information Centres in Traralgon, Korumburra and Phillip Island, as well as selected information outlets in smaller centres.

GIPPSLAND GOURMET COUNTRY

One hour eats of Melbourne, Gippsland Gourmet Country takes in lush green pastures, rolling hills and State Forests. Enjoy wineries, farm gate sales, arts, crafts galleries and antiques. Experience relaxing peace, tranquility and true contry hospitality.

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WALHALLA & MOUNTAIN RIVERS TRAIL

MOE TO TRARALGON, VIA ERICA, RAWSON, WALHALLA AND TYERS.
APPROX. DISTANCE – 80 KM
APPROX. DRIVING TIME – 1.8 HOURS, ALL SEALED ROADS.

This drive takes you through mountain country stepped in history and provides some of Victoria’s most spectacular scenery.

Commence your journey by visiting Moe, where a visit to Gippsland Heritage Park will provide you with an insight to the region’s history. The information centre located within the park can advise you on attractions in and around Moe.

From Moe, follow the Walhalla and Mountain Rivers signs that will take you to Walhalla via Erica (35km). The roads in the Walhalla and Mountain Rivers Region are windy and require patience. The Moe to Erica road slice through the Moondarra State Park, which is an attractive eucalypt forest and woodland of banksia and heath. Picnic facilities are provided at Moondarra Reservoir on the northwest edge of Tyers State Park. The ‘Gateway to the Mountain Rivers Region’ Erica is home to 150 people. A general store, tearooms and nursery cater for visitors. The community proudly showcases its timber heritage at the bushman’s display located within the hotel/motel and is worth visiting.

A further 4 km north is Rawson, a town established for the Thomson Dam construction workers, which is now a modern, mountain retreat. Its role today is as a base for nature appreciation, horse riding, fishing and bushwalking, especially exploration of the Nordic trails around Mt St Gwinear. Located around what is believed to be a crater lake, Rawson also features numerous picnic spots in untouched surroundings, cottage gardens, tearooms and nurseries for visitor enjoyment.

Just south of Rawson, turn left to the historic township of Walhalla (11km). Nestled in striking mountain landscape, Walhalla has much to offer. It is Gippsland’s most evocative and loved historic town. The deep, steep sided and mysterious valley in which it lies is home to only 23 permanent residents, who are custodians of the history and memories of what was one of
Australia’s richest gold towns. For more than 80 years Walhalla was virtually frozen in time. Electricity was only connected in 1998 after nearly a century of neglect and many of its buildings are now undergoing careful restoration.

It’s best to park your car, then stroll the meandering main street alongside Stringers Creek to properly absorb the heritage, beauty and peace of the near idyllic historic township.

The bakery is the town’s oldest surviving building, but the museum, Spetts Cottage, the rotunda, Mechanics’ Institute, fire station, cricket ground and Windsor House also provide stirring reminders of its golden years. Take a trip on the Goldfields Railway and experience living history down the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine.

Retrace your steps, rejoin the main road and head south towards Tyers and Traralgon (47km). En route you pass through the Boola Boola Forest. Stop at Tyers lookout, which affords panoramic views of the Latrobe Valley.

Your drive ends in Traralgon, where wide boulevards and attractive streets and parks await. Sample superb cuisine, excellent shopping and accommodation.

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GIPPSLAND GRAND RIDGE ROAD

APPROX. DISTANCE: 134KM.
APPROX. DRIVE TIME 5-6 HOURS, SEALED AND UNSEALED ROADS.

Gippsland’s Grand Ridge Road is one of the great tourist drives of Victoria. For 134km it snakes its way along the ridge of the Strzelecki Ranges, providing striking views across emerald farmland to the Latrobe Valley in the north and to Bass Strait in the south. For much of the journey the motorist is engulfed within a forest of ferns and under towering trees, to regularly emerge into the sunlight to absorb yet another sweeping valley view – even better than the last.

The natural splendour of the route is seen it’s best in the Tarra Bulga National Park, famous for its dense mountain gullies, its suspension bridge and wildlife which includes the elusive lyrebird.

The Grand Ridge Road can be reached either via Warragul, Morwell or Traralgon from the Princess Freeway or via Yarram, Foster, Korumburra, Mirboo North or Leongatha from the South Gippsland Highway in the south. It is about a 20-30 minute drive to the road from these towns.


Once you leave the high-speed highways, the roads in the Strzelecki Ranges are windy and require patience. The Grand Ridge Road is unsealed for the majority of its 134km length, but it is well maintained in most areas. The road carries some log truck traffic and care needs to be exercised to avoid native birds and animals. Allow 5-6 hours to comfortably enjoy its full length, although it can be undertaken in shorter sections.

For example, from Traralgon, follow the signs directing you to Tarra Bulga National Park (33km) where you will be entranced by the moist, lush fern gullies, beautiful tree ferns, towering mountain ash and the famous suspension bridge. Encompassing 1580 hectares of superb temperate rainforest, the Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife. Good BBQ facilities and beautiful picnic areas are to be found within the park or alternatively you can enjoy a Devonshire tea or meal at the local guesthouse and tearooms. There are also a number of excellent walking tracks to suit all ages. The Rainforest Interpretation Centre at Balook is open during weekends and holidays to provide excellent interpretation of the Park through displays and audio-visual material.

From Tarra Bulga follow the Grand Ridge Road (70km) until you reach the ‘capital’ of this drive, Mirboo North. This is the only major town on the road and marks the approximate half way point of the 134km route. The town sits high in the Strzelecki Ranges, boasting stunning panoramic views across lush valleys in most directions. In Mirboo North colourful murals depicting the history of the town adorn shop sides. Call in to the Grand Ridge Brewery and sample some of Gippsland’s finest beers and ales. The Mirboo North-Boolarra Rail Trail is rich in historical significance and natural beauty and is well worth the walk. The trail wends its way along the picturesque Little Morwell River valley, commencing at the Brewery and finishing at the historic ‘Old Pub’ (1884) in Boolarra.

It is worth the short detour off the Grand Ridge Road to enjoy the Park’s excellent walking trails and exceptional views across the Valley to the Baw Baw Plateau.

At the end of the Grand Ridge Road turn right to Warragul where there are delightful tearooms in picturesque surroundings.

POWER TRAIL

APPROX. DISTANCE – 80 MINUTES, ALL SEALED ROADS.

Valley has one of the world’s largest coal deposits. Here you will encounter a very powerful tourism experience.

Undertake your own unique tour of this Power Trail, simply by following the signed route (98). This touring route is on well made fully constructed roads. Along your journey, stop by Energy Brix Australia, which is the country’s largest co-generation manufacturing complex producing both electricity and brown coal briquettes.

Make your way around the regions five power stations, each a hive of activity, with their own special piece of history. Yallourn is the site of Victoria’s first permanent power station, established in 1924. The 1450MW Yallourn ‘W’ Power Station, with an adjacent open cut mine was the first station to be privatised. Yallourn Energy is currently developing the new Maryvale coalfield, to ensure supply of coal for the next 30 years.

Jeeralang Power Station is powered by gas turbine engines and operates on natural gas. Nearby is the old Gas and Fuel plant, complete with ‘gasometer’ storage tank; a reminder of days before natural gas.

The Hazelwood Power Station uses the unique Hazelwood Cooling Pond, which is extremely popular for water sport activities. Because of its warm temperature, it can be used all year round for swimming and boating.

Loy Yang Power’s Loy Yang ‘A’ is the State’s largest power generator. It entered into commercial production progressively between July 1984 and December 1988 and employs approximately 550 people.

Loy Yang ‘B’ Power Station is owned and operated by Edison Mission and attainted potential maximum generation capacity in December 1996. It utilises coal from the adjacent Loy Yang Power mine.

The lookouts along the trail at Yallourn and Miners Rest give an initial impression of the awesome open cut mines, power generating plants and massive earth moving equipment; however, guided tours provide Victoria’s best industrial tourism experience.

The fascinating technical and social history associated with the State’s power industry is part of the interactive and audio-visual displays and tours available at the industry’s major information and interpretation centre, Power Works.

Power Works offers escorted tours of the mine by day and at night. The tours include close inspection of the enormous machinery used to work the open cut and take you to the mines and power stations of Hazelwood, Yallourn or Loy Yang. The night time dining tours (group bookings only) are particularly memorable for the spectacular lighting of the mines and power generating plants. Make sure you visit the café and gift shop and wander through the industrial displays in the landscaped grounds before leaving.

For those interested in the innovative research and development to reduce emissions and costs fro brown coal generation, utilising Australian-owned technology, HRL Technology has developed a pilot plant on Tramway Road Morwell.

This trail is an awesome experience of industrial tourism and is one you should not miss when travelling in this region.

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WILDLIFE COAST NATURE TRAIL

OVER 300KM OF NATURE’S SPLENDOUR.

The coastal route between Sale and Phillip Island is truly unique part of our land. Located at the most southerly point on the Australian mainland, its combination of wild oceans, dunes, inter-tidal mudflats, mangroves, rainforest and visitor with possibly the most diverse nature based touring experience in the country.

It encompasses five national and coastal parks of major significance, including Wilsons Promontory and the Lakes National Park. In between there are numerous other reserves to provide a constant source of fascination and pleasure for the visitor, especially those interested in wildlife.

Almost the entire route is on well maintained, sealed roads, although there are many opportunities to safely venture off the beaten track on a discovery all of your own. For most of the journey you will feel that it’s just you and the elements, yet the comfort of a good bed and a hearty country meal is never too far away.

The wildlife Coast tourist drive can be reached via Warragul or Traralgon or Sale on the Princes Freeway or via the Bass and South Gippsland Highway.

On travelling along the Wildlife Coast from Phillip Island, you will be able to experience the Island’s unique and exciting wildlife up close by visiting the Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Centre, Seal Rocks and historical Churchill Island. Travelling along the coast you can venture off and take the Cape Liptrap Trail (84km), this route provides distant views of the peaks of Wilson's Promontory for much of the journey. It skirts the beautiful beach expanse of Waratah Bay before culminating at the Cape Liptrap Coastal Park and Lighthouse. Tarwin Lower is the gateway to Venus Bay, where kangaroos graze in their natural habitats and provides access to the sheltered waters of Anderson
Inlet. Between Venus Bay and Cape Liptrap the coast varies between attractive cliff of dune limestone to broad sandy beaches, backed by tall dunes.

Further along the route will find you at the ‘Prom" – Victoria’s best-loved National Park.

White, sandy beaches encircle the landmass, with offshore islands punctuating the sea vistas. A network of short to long walking tracks extend principally from Tidal River (where accommodation, camping and supplies are available) and lead to secluded coves, beaches and outlooks which are not to be missed. The walk to the summit of Mt Oberon provides fine views in most directions, while the 40km trek to the lighthouse is among the higher endurance walks.

Continuing along the coast until you reach the small town of Port Albert and localities such as Robertson's Beach, Mann’s Beach and McLoughlin’s Beach, you can observe the maze of small and large islands which make up the eastern end of Corner Inlet.

Driving further along the coast will enable you to travel alongside the splendour of the Gippsland Lakes system or the pristine expanse of the Ninety Mile Beach. Bird like is prolific throughout the coastal parks. Major access points for visitors to the southern edge of these two parks are Seaspray, Golden Beach, Seacombe and Loch Sport. Management tracks also provide ready access for walkers to some of the more secluded areas. Safe swimming is available at various sites along the sheltered lakeshore.


If possible, take your time to drive this tourist route, or promise yourself to return soon to discover all that it has to offer.

Heritage Trail

A Living Treasure Trove

Gippsland is one of Victoria’s earliest settled areas. Wherever you travel along its coastal fringe, or through the rich farmlands and forests of south and central Gippsland, reminders of that heritage are never far away

Port Albert’s was the lifeline for pioneers and gold seekers until the construction of the Great Southern Railway 1890. Gold discoveries at Walhalla, Omeo and in the scattered settlements of Grant and Talbotville near Dargo resulted in a steady flow of hopefuls into the region during the 1860s to 1880s. By then the prosperity derived from grazing and agriculture was well established and Gippsland was a major of food for the state. As the valleys and coastal lands were occupied, the settlers looked increasingly to the hills. Evidence of pioneering hardship in taming the Strezeleckis can still be seen as you tour the splendid forests. Coal was the ‘black gold’ of the region. It dominated activity in south-west Gippsland from the turn of the century, while one of the world’s largest coal deposits in the Latrobe Valley underpinned Central Gippsland’s wealth from 1920s.

The following list is just a small sample of the wide range of heritage and culture attractions which await your discovery in Gippsland. Be sure to call at information centres in most of the towns to obtain walking tours and other information, which will make your exploration as rewarding as possible.

Cape Liptrap Lighthouse

Cape Liptrap is a narrow peninsula formed by the spine of the Hoddle Range running out to sea. It consists of steep cliffs of folded marine sediments, flanked by rock pinnacles and wave cut platforms. It was declared a Coastal Park in 1997 to protect it’s strikingly beautiful scenery, which can be peaceful, but also wild, windy and awe inspiring during stormy weather. Its lighthouse was built in 1913 to improve the safety of coastal shipping. In 1951 the steel tower was dismantled and replaced with the current structure. The light is still operational, with a range of 18 nautical miles (over 43 km). Experience walkers can take the 14 km beach hike from Walkerville to the Cape, but you need to plan to reach the Cape within an hour or so of low tide.

Churchill Island

Westernport Bay, off Phillip Island.

Phillp Island’s ‘baby brother’ lies just over the San remo-Newhaven Bridge. When Lt James Grant explored Phillip Island during the late 1700s, he planted some seeds on Churchill Island, making it the earliest cultivated area in Victoria. It is now a working farm, featuring Highland Cattle, sheep, ducks, chicken and Clydesdale horses. The centrepiece of this magical area is a National Trust classified homestead, surrounded by outbuildings, fragrant gardens and amid a variety of bird life. The Churchill Island Loop Walking Track is an easy 5km walk, which takes 2 hours to complete, while the North Point Loop Track is an easy2km, 1 hour stroll. Entry fees apply.

Coal Creek Historical Park

South Gippsland Highway, Korumburra.

Tel 5655 1811. Open daily.

An authentic re-creation of a coal mining and railway township of the early 20th century, built in a steep sided gully that once rang to the sound of poppet winches. Since 1974 over 40 buildings have been moved to the site, which has been attractively landscaped with over 60,000 trees and shrubs and a series of lakes established along the creek. Many of the buildings have been refurbished with furniture, toys and utensils of the period. Authenic working stores such as the blacksmiths, newspaper office and general store flank the main street. A coalmine explosion, a water wheel and stream tramway rides complete the enjoyable and educational experience.

Dargo/Grant

Although only 75 minutes north of Sale on sealed roads, Dargo is one of Victoria’s most remote communities. It sits at the foot of the legendary Dargo High Plains in a charming river valley filled with century old walnut trees. Gold was found along Crooked River in 1860, with quartz mining continuing until 1950. Dargo was known principally for timber mining and as a service town to the nearby gold settlements. The few remnants of the heady 1860s gold era can be found at nearby Grant, Bull Town and Talbotville, including derelict mining machinery. Life in Dargo still centres upon the 100 year old pub. The annual grazing of cattle on the High Plains has been operating since the 1860s and cattle droving tours with descendants of the original families are available to visitors. A visit to the cemetery is worthwhile. Accommodation and dining is available.

Dargo

Christ Church, Tarraville


Tarraville was once as busy stopping point on the Port Albert to Sale Road and witnessed the passing parade of supplies and prospectors to the gold fields of Walhalla and Omeo. Its centrepiece is a beautiful 1856 wooden church; oldest in Gippsland and second oldest timber building in Victoria.

Walhalla Historic Township

The deep, steep sided and mysterious valley in which Walhalla lies is home to only 14 permanent residents, who are custodians of the history and memories of what was once one of Australia’s richest gold towns. Almost 4,500 people lived and worked in the area at its peak during the 1880s, but for almost all of the 20th century Walhalla was virtually frozen in time. Electricity was only connected in 1998 and, after nearly a century of being a near ghost town, many of its buildings are now undergoing careful restoration or are being rebuilt. Park your car and stroll the meandering main street alongside Stringers Creek to absorb the heritage, beauty and peace of the near idyllic valley hamlet. The old bakery is the town’s oldest building, but the corner stores, Spetts Cottage, the rotunda, mechanics institute, general store, post office, fire station, and Windsor House also provide stirring reminders of its golden years. Popular visitor activities include weekend trips through inspiring mountain scenery on the Walhalla Goldfields Railway, a visit to the hillside cemetery and daily tours of the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine.

windsor house

Local History Museums


The large number of museums and historical societies throughout Gippsland are your key to further unlocking the heritage of this region. They welcome your enquiry as you travel through our region or as you plan your trip before you leave home.

Information shelters on each trail will provide you with additional information. Look for the signs and visit the shelters where indicated on the maps.

You can obtain the relevant brochures from the accredited Visitor Information centres in Traralgon and Korumburra, as well as through selected information outlets in smaller centres.

Gippsland Heritage Park

Princes Highway, Moe.

Tel 5127 3083 Open daily.

An outdoor collection of authentic buildings, objects and documents spanning the years 1835 to 1925. Infact the reserve is a number of individual museums, representing the lifestyles and social history of 4 major eras in the region: 1835-1850, 1850-1870, 1870-1900 and 1900-1925, Throughout the reserve visitors can wander among the homes, shops, public buildings, agriculture machinery, jinkers, buggies, wagons, omnibuses and tools belonging to the eras. Entry fees apply.

Maffra Courthouse

The 1888 Courthouse is one of several historic buildings spanning 100 years that grace Maffra’s tree-lined main street. Explorer Angus MacMillan settled on the nearby Avon River in the 1840s. The settlement grew in stature in 1862 when a punt over the Macalister River enabled travellers to reach the goldfields. During the 1890s a sugar beet industry started and operated until weather and competition for labour from dairying ended it after WW2. The Beet Museum in River St chronicles the early industry, as well as the cattle and dairying heritage of the district. The Courthouse houses a significant gem and mineral display, as well as serving as the town’s visitor information centre.

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Noojee Trestle Bridge


1.7km south of Noojee towards Drouin
One of 7 wooden trestle bridges once located on the Warragul to Noojee tramway, which was used to haul timber from the forests to the major rail line. The 21 metres high, 102 metres long structure is testament to the bridge builder's skill. Originally built in 1919, it was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1939 and was used until the railway closed in 1954. Classified by the National Trust. Visitors can drive to the base of the structure and steps lead to its highest point.

noojee bridge

Port Albert

From the mid 1800s Port Albert was the supply port for Gippsland’s pioneers until the completion of the Great Southern Railway in 1890. It was Victoria’s first established port and its early prosperity was based on cattle trading between Gippsland and Van Demons Land (Tasmania). Its long timber jetty frequently berthed ships from Europe and America, as well as welcoming thousands of Chinese on the way to the Gippsland goldfields. The quaint whitewashed fishing village is off the beaten track and. Consequently, more than 40 buildings in a Georgian and Victorian architectural style still exist, including what is believed to be the first licensed hotel in Victoria (1842). Several of them carry information plaques. Relive its early significance at the museum, located in the former Bank of Victoria, which also records the turbulence of shipwrecks and coastal fishing.

Power Works

Off Commercial Road, Morwell.
Tel. 5135 3415. Open for tours daily 9am-5pm
The Latrobe Valley has one of the world’s largest deposits of coal and has been Victoria’s energy powerhouse since the early 1900s. Brown coal was discovered and mined in the area from 1889. The unplanned tent town, known simply as Brown Coal Mine, was renamed Yallourn North in 1947 and a well set out township grew. The Great Morwell Coal Mining Company was acquired by the State Government during 1920s, which has grown into a massive, privately managed power generation plants of today. The history of electricity generation in the Valley is part of the display to be enjoyed at Power Works. The visit also includes guided tours of the open cut mines and inspection of massive earth moving equipment.

Port Welshpool Maritime Museum

Open daily 10.30-4.30
This is a veritable treasure chest of marine items, maritime relics, documents, photographs and other memorabilia collected by the Smith family over 80 years professional fishing in Bass Strait. It is housed in the first permanent home in Port Welshpool, which also served as a wine salon, dance hall and the first Anglican Church and mail depot. In their work as fishermen, in servicing lighthouses and carrying supplies around the coastline, the family also gathered together a wonderful collection of seashells, rare fish and sea birds, which are stuffed for display. Entry fees apply.

South Gippsland Railway

Stations at Leongatha, Korumburra, Loch and Nyora.
Tel. 5658 1111.
One of Australia’s longest, privately managed and operated broad gauge, volunteer, mainline passenger railways. Until the 1950s it was the transportation artery for the rural and coalmining areas of South Gippsland. A variety of vintage trains, rail cars and carriages operate on the 37km section of the former Great Southern Railway, through the rolling Strezelecki Ranges and some of the most lush and fertile dairy farmland in Australia. Entry fees apply.

State Coal Mine

Garden Street, Wonthaggi
Tel. 5672 3053. Open daily for above ground tours only 10.00-4.30pm
The State Coal mine produced nearly 17 million tonnes of coal from 12 mines for 59 years from 1909. In 1929, 1821 men were employed to supply the Victorian Railways. It was the lifeblood of Wonthaggi and district. This was Victoria’s last black coal mine and is now operated for visitor enjoyment by Parks Victoria. Visitors can wander around mine buildings and a mining museum displays models, photographs, an audiovisual presentation and tools of the trade. Gold coin donation applies.

tunnell

Walkerville Lime Kilns


Walkerville South, via the Loop Road
Limestone deposits were discovered at Waratah Bay in 1875 and the first lime kiln was built at Walkerville in 1878. Quick lime is produced from the burning of Limestone and is the main ingredient in several building materials, including mortar, lime cement and plaster. Walkerville’s six kilns became one of the major suppliers to Melbourne’s booming building industry. The limestone was excavated from the cliffs, and then shovelled onto the kilns for fixing between layers of firewood and coke. It was then set alight and allowed to burn to a powder, when it was scraped from the base, bagged and despatched via a 350m long jetty. Production peaked in 1890, but the kilns had closed by 1925. Today, only parts of the kilns remain, the most visible of which can be explored at the South Beach.

HIGH COUNTRY ADVENTURE

This drive allows you to explore a district of rich cultural heritage, dating back to cattlemen and miner.

The High Country Adventure Drive can be reached via Warragul on the Princes Freeway or form Bairnsdale on the Princes Highway.

Starting at Warragul, make your way up to Noojee. This town is nestled on the high reaches of the Latrobe River, and is very picturesque with its backdrop of river and wild native forest. Walks and horse riding, as well as the proximity to the Mt Baw Baw ski fields are the major tourism features of this hamlet. Local highlights include the famous Trestle Bridge, Toorongo Falls and the Ada Tree.

From the Snow Gum woodlands and snow grass plains of the Baw Baw Plateau to the forests of the Thomson and Aberfeldy River valleys, Baw Baw, National Park dominates the northern skyline of West Gippsland. Winter at Baw Baw provides for great skiing trails while during summer those trails are transformed by wildflowers.

Heading back down this adventure route, turn left after Icy Creek and head towards Erica, which is known as the ‘Gateway to the Mountain Rivers Region’. In Erica, view the timber cutting memorabilia in the hotel, purchase a snack or browse the gallery before heading on to Rawson and Walhalla. Rawson was formerly the site for workers on the nearby Thomson Dam, the largest earth and rock fill dam in the Southern Hemisphere and is a popular Mt St Gwinear. The Thomson River is a heritage river and is one of Victoria’s leading venues for river rafting. Walhalla is Gippsland’s most evocative town, where you can relive the era through exploration of many original and some recreated buildings. The Long Tunnel Mine operates regular tours and the delightful Walhalla Goldfields Railway operates on weekends, public and school holidays.

At Tyers, turn left towards Heyfield and visit the scenic parklands and tranquil lake at Cowwarr Weir en route. Continue through Cowwarr to Heyfield where activities include: 4X4 and horse riding tours, rafting trips, bushwalking, cross country skiing and fishing in the wealth of rivers and creeks of the district. Continue on to Lake Glenmaggie (10km) and follow the signs to Licola (44km sealed roads). To experience the beauty of the Alpine National Park and Avon Wilderness Park, continue from Licola on the Tamboritha Road (well formed gravel) to Arbuckle Junction, then along the Morka Road, with its memorable valley views. A further 32km along the Moroka road turn left to reach Horseyard Flat, the starting point of the Moroka Gorge Walking Trail. A further 12km on is The Pinnacle, which provides spectacular views on a clear day to the Gippsland Lakes, Mt Hotham and Wonnangatta Valley. Return to Lake Glenmaggie via Licola. Turn left just after the lake and follow the sings to Tinamba and Maffra. Explore Maffra’s natural wetlands and Sugar Beet Museum before heading to Stratford, experiencing a winery and grand views of the Great Dividing Range along the way.

Alternatively, from Maffra head to Briagolong. Drive eastward along the Stockdale/Glenaladale Road to Dargo – Bairnsdale road. A further 54km north is the township of Dargo at the foothills of the Dargo High Plains. En route, visit the Mitchell River National Park and the Den of Nargun. From Dargo visitors can continue 25km north on a partially sealed road to the Grant Historic Mining Site, then return to Stratford via Fernbank.

Be a part of the High Country Adventure Drive. Experience it and feel for yourself the untamed grandeur and sense of remoteness that only the High Country can give.

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The Country Road

This peaceful alternative route between Traralgon and Stratford offers you good tree lined country roads passing through the central Gippsland plains, past lush farmland, over rivers and through vibrant rural communities. With the backdrop of the Australian Alps always there, this route presents you with magnificent scenery at every turn.

Leave the Princes Highway at the eastern end of Traralgon, turning left, or alternatively turn right two kilometres west of Stratford. The Country Road (C105) passes through river flats and prime pasture lands which are irrigated from the Glenmaggie and Cowwarr Weirs, making the Macalister Irrigation Area one of the richest dairying districts in Australia and a major contributor to Victoria’s export trade.

Country pubs at Glengarry, Cowwarr, Heyfield, Newry, Tinamba and Maffra offer you a range of different eating and drinking experiences along the way. You will also find an increasing number of boutique wineries in the area. While in Cowwarr or Maffra you may care to visit the local galleries.

If it’s heritage you are interested in, a stroll through the cemeteries at Toongabbie, Glenmaggie, Heyfield or Maffra can be rewarding. You’ll be enchanted by the recreated village green at Toongabbie, with its impressively restored Mechanics Institute and grandstand beside the cricket ground. You’ll enjoy a walk along Maffra’s celebrated main street where you will see a wide variety of architectural styles representing over 100 years of development.

If you are inclined to be active, a wide choice of alternatives confronts you. The Gippsland Plains Rail Trail has two sections open for walkers or cyclists: from Glengarry to Cowwarr and from Maffra to Stratford. There are very attractive and welcoming public golf courses at Newry and Maffra. Canoeists will enjoy the challenge of the Thomson River Canoe Trail from Cowwarr Weir or a peaceful paddle up the Macalister River launching at Maffra.

Bushwalkers will love the amazing array of landforms including river-sculptured gorges and rocky escarpments in the Mt Hedrick Scenic Reserve, or the 2-3 day trek up Track 96 from Briagolong past historic goldfields and deep river valleys.

A detour from the Country Road at Heyfield or Tinamba will take you to Lake Glenmaggie, which offers safe fresh-water swimming from surprisingly sandy beaches and ideal conditions for sailing, water skiing and power boating. A picnic lunch at the weir wall makes a pleasant break, which becomes a spectacular experience if the weir gates are opened to permit the Macalister River to roar into the valley below. There are a number of caravan parks along the lake foreshore or in close proximity.

Wetlands at Heyfield and Maffra offer the opportunity for photographers and enthusiasts to get close to the area’s bird life. Visitors during the irrigation season you will also be amazed at the size of the flocks of water birds scouring the paddocks or wheeling above on up-draughts of warm air.

The impressive Wetlands Interpretive Centre at Heyfield not only explains the role of various water management and land care groups but also illustrates the town’s long association with the timber industry. Examples of the work of local craftspeople need to be seen to be believed. Heyfield also acts as the service centre for travellers intending to spend time at Glenmaggie or to venture further north into the mountains.

Maffra, the largest town on the Country Road, was once renowned as the site of Australia’s only sugar beet factory. Today the impressive Murray Goulburn Cooperative’s milk processing plant, where a range of products are manufactured for export, dominates the skyline.

For further information about the Country Road, visit the Information Centres at Traralgon, Heyfield’s Wetlands Centre or Maffra’s Visitor Information Centre in the former Court House.



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