55 Gippsland Lifestyle Winter

Page 1

Winter #55


Tambo Valley Cup



Cosy cafes, antique stores & galleries


A Community Restoration Project



Inspiring Artist, Conservationist & Bird Lover


ISSN 1838-8124 ISSN

1 Roughead Street, Leongatha, VIC 3953 Tel: 5662 2327 www.edneysnissan.com.au

Dealer License MD LMCT 1500

Again we have dived deep into the fabric of what Gippsland is all about, with creativity flowing through the veins of this great region.

In this edition, we have our mutual commitment with The Middle of Everywhere gaining great support, including a wonderful feature by Ken Roberts on The Boisdale Stables. This historic venue has been restored and is a great addition to the region.

Chris West and I ventured out to the beautiful Tambo Valley at Swifts Creek and had a day out at the Tambo Valley Cup, which is a picnic race meeting, and was attended by locals and visitors from all parts of Victoria. The race day is well organised and is a fan favourite for families of all ages.

With Covid-19 well and truly in the reverse mirror, events are happening again, and we have featured some of the many events in this edition.

Loch Village is our focus with South Gippsland and this charming village keeps hitting above its batting average with more great venues to visit, and of course the Loch Village Food and Wine Festival is on again, this time on the King’s Birthday Weekend on June 11; mark that in your calendar.

Overall, as I often say, we need to keep supporting our locals, shop local, visit local and support local. Afterall, we are all LOCAL.

our content

4 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 editorial Winter #55 our winter front cover Photo by DJP Photography Page 112 – 115 Introducing Artist Laurel Foenander Feature Doug Pell | Editor Welcome to Winter issue 55... our advertisers 18 All Sliding Doors Repairs Melbourne – servicing Gippsland 55 BJS Insurance – Holiday Rental Insurance 39 Bass Coast Boat & Caravan Storage – Bass Coast Award winners 110 Brent Sinclair Catering – Mobile catering, Takeaway & Cafe 8 Carpet Court – Dream It! Style It! Live It! 46 Carringtons of Loch Village – Antiques and more! 19 CPK McLaren Motor Body – Leongatha’s Motor Body & Repairer 39 Crawford Marine – Boating since 1964 121 Curtis Australia – Beautiful Jewellery just for you 9 Edgewater Terraces Metung – Relax & Rejuvinate 3 Edney’s Leongatha – Nissan Best in Class 91 Evans Petroleum – BP Toora – Now open 24 hours 2 GJ Gardner Homes – Feel the joy building 90 Grow Master Traralgon – Garden, Fashion & Giftware solutions 130 Jeff Bourman MP – State Member for Eastern Victoria 129 Laurie Collins Sculpture Garden & Red Tree Gallery 111 Leongatha RSL – Family friendly venue 46 Loch and Key – local and Imported Gins 47 Loch Food and Wine Festival – Sunday June 11 54 Loch Wine Bar – Wood fired pizzas and local wines 55 Meeniyan Art Gallery – Upcoming Winter Exhibitions 127 Melaleuca Nursery – Indigenous & Native plant farm 106 Moos at Meeniyan – Eat, Drink and Have Fun! 119 MYLI – Libraries change lives 5 Palm Lake Resort Paynesville – 10,000 reasons to celebrate 124 – 125 Pets Domain – The home for pets 99 Redi Milk – Have you tried today’s milk? 99 Rigby Homemakers – Gippsland’s finest furniture & bedding store 40 – 41 South Gippsland Shire – Loch Village 56 – 57 South Gippsland Shire – Winter in South Gippsland 102 Stony Creek Go Karts – Fun for all the family plus Go Kart hire 107 The Gurdies Winery – Take a detour to the Gurdies Winery 46 The Loch Grocer – Must see, Must do, Must buy! 103 The Middle Korumburra Hotel – Meals, Drinks and Fun 14 Van Steensel Timbers – We have everything for Winter 132 Virtue Homes – ‘Building Excellence’ 14 Waratah Hills Vineyard – Award winning wines 15 West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority 7 Wonthaggi Lotto – Authorised Tattslotto Agency
10 – 11 An artistic nod to Wonthaggi’s history 12 – 13 Curtis Australia – Trends, Fashions & Design Classics 16 – 17 Last Willow gone from Agnes River 42 – 45 The charming village of Loch 48 – 49 LCDA – A Little Town’s Big Achiever 50 – 53 Gippsland Wine Company – A Vintage Collection 58 – 61 Artisan Cheese & French – Style Wine 62 – 63 Virtue Homes – ‘Building Excellence’ 64 – 65 Mirboo North Italian Festa – A roaring success! 84 – 89 High Country Racing – Tambo Valley Cup 92 – 93 Erica Country Expo 94 – 95 Creativity Blooms in Ryan Parsons’ Unique Garden Sculptures 96 – 97 Foster & District Agricultural Show 98 Run The Bass Coast at Inverloch 100 – 101 The Hawks and the Demons come to play at Wonthaggi 104 – 105 Korumburra’s Best Kept Secret 108 – 109 Rokeby Trails – Walk, Run or Ride them this Winter 112 – 115 Introducing Laurel Foenander – Inspiring Artist 116 – 117 ‘Til the cows come home – Three calves fight for their lives 118 – 119 Myli Libraries – Magical Places for families to learn and grow 120 Seeing with Stars Astrology – Stephanie Johnson 122 – 123 Canine Corner – Our best friends brought to you by Pets Domain 126 – 127 Wonthaggi Heathlands & Cutlers Beach 129 Official opening of the Wonthaggi MFS Dispensary mural



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Chris West, Anita Butterworth, Megan Woolfe & Ken Roberts


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Gippsland the Lifestyle Magazine is published quarterly, usually available at the beginning of each season and distributed to selected newsagents and retail outlets within the Gippsland region and surrounding Melbourne regions and parts of Victoria.

Issues are also available to read online on desktop and mobile devices.

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6 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3



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gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 7
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An Artistic Nod to Wonthaggi's History

10 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3
By Anita Buttrerworth | Photo By Doug Pell

In what’s fast becoming a South Gippsland tradition, another majestic mural is now adorning a Wonthaggi building, paying homage to the rich and colourful history of the mining town.

A 15-metre-long scene now graces the wall of the former Graham Street office of Alex Scott, replacing a ‘tired’ area with a salute to a bygone era.

Completely funded by Alex Scott, the mural is somewhat of a love letter to Wonthaggi and its connection to the company’s founder.

Alex Scott Korumburra CEO Paul Dunlop says the idea was sparked by wanting to further beautify the Wonthaggi township after a similar project at Connell’s Bakery gathered widespread praise.

“We needed to make that wall look better because it was a bit of an eyesore as you came into Wonthaggi. So, we painted it and then the mural was the next step,” Paul said.

After speaking to the company’s directors Tom Gibson and Greg Price as well as Wonthaggi Branch Manager Dan Huther, the project was given the green light and funding.

They employed muralists Brigitte Dawson and Melissa Turner from Melbourne’s Murals, who are renowned for their incredible work. They came up with an incredible vision that captured the town’s commercial beginnings and its deep mining roots.

The piece features streetscapes, shops, and the famed pit ponies of Wonthaggi, which it’s believed Alex Scott supplied to the mines.

The mural was started in October last year and took three months to complete thanks to the wet weather, with curious visitors watching it slowly unfold.

“They had a lot of people stopping and talking to them. Especially Wonthaggi born and bred people that just knew a lot of the history of the town. It created a lot of interest right from the start. The idea of having something that’s good for the town and creating a bit of publicity for the town, was part of the idea.”

The mural includes Knox Brothers Timber and Hardware store, which occupied the current carpark space between 1913 and 1987, and an image of the Alex Scott office.

Two plaques at the mural site pay tribute to the Scott family, who have been with the business for 135 years. In particular, past chairman and son-in-law of Stewart Scott, Bruce Gibson, who passed away in 2020.

“The only reference that we have to Alex Scott (in the mural) is an office that has ‘Alex Scott & Co’. It’s not a Wonthaggi office but it was their office in Dandenong with Alex Scott actually standing out the front of the office. We didn’t want to make it a billboard for us, we just wanted to try and show the connection between Alex Scott, the mine and the pit ponies.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony attracted an enthusiastic crowd of locals, including Bruce Gibson’s wife Anne.

Since its unveiling in March, the mammoth mural has seen a steady stream of curious visitors, keen to take in the incredible detail and learn more about the historical foundations of Wonthaggi. The mural joins the ranks of the town's many other murals, including Connells Bakery’s native birds, Durham Lane’s deep sea, flora and fauna and Cargills’ mining history. The mural can be found on the wall of 99 Graham Street, Wonthaggi.

“It’s because of the history that Alex Scott had with the mine that we decided to go with that theme and because it’s also the Wonthaggi Workman’s Club carpark we thought it would be right to make sure that it fits in with the theme that they have when you walk into their club which is all to do with the mining history of Wonthaggi. It just made sense.”
gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 11 WONTHAGGI HISTORY

Trends, Fashion & Design Classics

what’s happening in jewellery

In some ways, jewellery is a fashion industry - but given that precious or fine jewellery lasts a long time it’s probably slower to change than say the clothing industry. That’s not to say that trends don’t emerge, they do – but it’s likely that they last longer and are less susceptible to perhaps more whimsical changes.

In some ways, jewellery is a fashion industry - but given that precious or fine jewellery lasts a long time it’s probably slower to change than say the clothing industry. That’s not to say that trends don’t emerge, they do – but it’s likely that they last longer and are less susceptible to perhaps more whimsical changes.

Classic designs tend to stay, but evolve slowly over time – take the solitaire engagement ring for example.

Gold colour is likely to be white gold today, but look back to the eighties and yellow gold was more popular. Very recently there’s been a move back towards yellow gold for engagement rings, so as you can see trends are often cyclical. What has changed are design styles, diamonds are worn closer to the finger today and we’ve seen increased interest in ‘halo’ rings, where the centre gem, often a diamond, is surrounded by a ring of smaller gems, a sparkling interpretation reflecting an angel’s halo.

Rings are worn today for a variety of reasons – no longer do we see just engagement and wedding rings on the hand, these are often complemented by an eternity ring, to celebrate an anniversary or the birth of a child. In addition, rings are often seen on other fingers and on the right hand, as people express themselves through distinctive designs that allow greater freedom of expression.

One of the designs that Bairnsdale jewellers Curtis Australia are often asked for is their crossover ring. These distinctive and exciting designs are the perfect vehicle for precious gems and can feature different combinations of gem colours for a truly individual statement. There’s often a centre gem acting as a focal point and these rings can even be custom made to bring together several existing, much loved rings. The bands, often two or three appear to cross over each other, but are effectively one ring. This makes the contemporary design of the cross over ideal for any occasion and given the options available can make quite a splash.

Another relatively recent trend that has stayed the distance are pearls, especially larger pearls. Often worn as earrings, these are often accompanied by simple, elegant gold fittings that drop the pearl down from the ear. Interestingly these tend to be paired with yellow gold, the warmth of the gold contrasting with the cooler lustre of the pearls. While we’re talking of earrings, drop earrings in particular have become more popular than studs, although Master Jeweller Glenn Curtis has lost count of the number of classic, claw set diamond studs he has hand crafted over his fifty years as a jeweller.

Gems have an endless appeal, and coloured gems have come to the fore in recent trends. Australia is blessed with a wide array of sapphire colours, but gems such as the purplish blue tanzanite have become popular, as have tsavorites, a member of the garnet family but light to dark green in colour. These remarkable gems can make a stunning feature when set in rings, or possibly as pendants.

12 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3
A twist on the classic solitaire, with swept shoulders embracing a brilliant diamond A diamond set 'halo' ring in white gold, with diamond set shoulders These rose gold and pearl earrings are simple yet stylish

One trend Curtis Australia have noticed is a move towards natural influences in jewellery design, particularly for less formal pieces. Their Beach and Woodland Collections are reflective of this, drawing on nature for inspired designs that remind us of the beauty around us.

Increasingly, jewellery is more meaningful if it relates to a special moment or memory, and the Beach Collection has struck a particular chord with those who live in our beautiful region of unspoilt beaches.

At Curtis Australia’s Bairnsdale studio, you can see a wide variety of different jewellery designs, with everything hand crafted on the premises. Not only that, but exclusive, hand made solid gold watches in both ladies and men's styles are also offered in the private and relaxed atmosphere of their purpose built showroom.

Next time you’re in Bairnsdale, pop in and see them at 129 Macleod Street, just up from the railway station and see classic and contemporary pieces that could well add a sparkle to your individual style.

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www.curtisaustralia.com Ph | 03 5152 1089 129 Macleod Street, Bairnsdale
The Curtis Australia studio is just behind the Shire Offices in Macleod Street, Bairnsdale. You'll find beautifully coordinated jewellery collections, hand crafted sterling silver and colourful resin pens, as well as solid gold Curtis Australia watches, each individually crafted in house, with both ladies and men's styles to choose from. 'Gum Leaf' pendant in yellow & white gold with diamond gum nut detail Handcrafted in the Curtis studio, a solid gold white gold 'Grace' watch with black dial A fabulous contemporary diamond ring, set with eight beautiful diamonds Set with purplish blue tanazanite and diamonds, these drop earrings are distinctive & different A stunning yellow gold 'Beach' ring, set with diamonds and sapphire Hand modelled then intricately formed in yellow gold, this stunning black pearl is part of the Beach Collection Purple sapphires accent brilliant white diamonds in this stylish 'Crossover' ring
14 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 Full range of Water Tanks, Building Materials, Gates, Rural Supplies & Nursery. Available for pick up or delivery. To Order Phone 5678 8552 E: grantville@vansteenseltimbers.com.au | www.vansteenseltimbers.com.au GRANTVILLE Cnr Bass Highway & Dalyston-Glen Forbes Road Mon – Fri 7.00am – 5.00pm Sat – 7.00am – 12.00pm | Sun – 9.00am – 2.00pm OFFICER 421 Princes Highway Mon – Fri 7.00am – 5.00pm Sat – 7.00am to 12.00pm | Sun Closed Waratah Hills Trading Hours Cellar Door – Friday – Sunday 11.00am – 5.00pm | Lunch 12.00pm – 3.00pm Bookings via vineyard@waratahhills.com.au or (03) 5683 2441 www.waratahhills.com.au
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Last Willow gone from Agnes River

MAY 2023

West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (CMA) is proud to have removed the last remaining stand of willow trees from the Agnes River – a first for the organisation and a win for the environment.

“Willows are a problem for rivers and removing them from 100% of the Agnes is a special milestone for the CMA,” said CEO Martin Fuller.

“The Agnes is a flagship river for our region because it runs into Corner Inlet and what happens along its length has a flow on effect for the world renowned wetland.”

West Gippsland CMA has just celebrated 25 years and the team has been chipping away at removing willows across the catchment since it was established in 1997.

Someone who has been on the ground since this project began is Project Delivery Officer, Richard (Richie) Allen who has worked with the CMA for over 20 years.

Richie describes himself as “just a small part of the team that gets great things done” and forms partnerships with landholders to map out required works and then creates an agreement to make them happen.

“In the early days there was a different mindset, so we chipped in and just did what we could. A few landholders came on board and the success spread like wild fire. Now people are queuing up to have works done because they see the benefits like how it’s much easier to manage their stock,” said Richie.

“Willows are not native trees and wildlife doesn’t live in them, so they’re not good for biodiversity or rivers.

They also divert the water, making the river wider, and have a massive leaf drop in one hit - which changes nutrients in the water.”

The next step after removing willows and weeds is planting the newly protected riverbanks. Richie and team will soon plant thousands of indigenous species using a mix of 30% eucalypts and the remaining understorey plants. This links habitat which benefits the river health and wildlife.

“To date, we have fenced and revegetated over 90% of the river. By the end of 2023-24, this will be 100% and I can see how the river is ‘reclaiming’ itself and wildlife is starting to return. I often see platypus in the early mornings and there are plenty of wombats in the area as we are creating good homes for them.”

Local landholders are also passionate about reconnecting habitat so that platypus and lyrebirds can return. They have even turned the number of trees they have planted into a bit of friendly neighbourly rivalry.

“There has been a fair bit of healthy competition in this last reach!” laughed Richie.

All of the positive works being done along the Agnes upstream ultimately flow down to benefit fish, birds and seagrass in Corner Inlet. The buffer created by weed removal, fencing and revegetation improves conditions for seagrass to flourish by reducing nutrient and sediment flowing into the inlet.

In his own time Richie loves going for a drive across West Gippsland with the family where he points out the trees he’s planted and how they have grown. This latest achievement is a great example of change on a landscape scale that will provide a lasting legacy he can enjoy with his kids and grandkids for years to come.

Mangroves Saltmarsh | DRIFT Media - Michael Green

Agnes River Landcare members
16 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3

Agnes River is on Gunuaikurnai Country and begins in the Strzelecki Ranges meandering its way into Corner Inlet near the town of Toora. It is well known for the Agnes Falls where the river cascades into a spectacular 59m drop into a deep picturesque gorge.

This large-scale restoration project is one of 19 Flagship Waterway projects funded as part of the Victorian Government’s $248 million investment over four years (2020-2024) to improve the health of waterways and catchments across regional Victoria. www.wgcma.vic.gov.au

This project is funded by the State Government as one of its Flagship Rivers. To date, the project has:

 Fenced 78.5 kilometres of river frontage at 65 sites.

 Planted 235,838 trees and shrubs to restore 237.63 hectares.

 Undertaken weed control on 414,51 hectares at 218 sites.

Members of Agnes River Landcare Group Corner Inlet Landholders at Toora North Beer Property after fencing Richie Allen with last stand of willows on the Agnes mid
gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 17
Established planting along the Agnes. Agnes Falls July 2016 Corner Inlet | Warren Reed Agnes River, January 2019
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Phillip Island & San Remo Index

20 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3
131 ALEX SCOTT AND STAFF – Real Estate from the mountains to the sea 34-35 CONSERVATION HILL & RHYLL INLET WALK – Must do! 32 COWES BAZAAR – Bohemian style at Phillip Island 30-31 DAIKIN AIRCONDITIONING – The best air everywhere 22-23 DESTINATION PHILLIP ISLAND – Phillip Island 101 The Hot List 28-29 DESTINATION PHILLIP ISLAND – The Whale Discovery Trail 38 ISLAND PRIMARY PRODUCE – Local butcher in Ventnor 24 ISLAND SHOES – Cabello comfort for winter 24 FLOWERS OF PHILLIP ISLAND – Over 30 years of great service 33 LATTITUDE TRADING – Great range of giftware for winter 38 NATIONAL VIETNAM VETERANS MUSEUM – Learn about our history 21 NEWHAVEN COLLEGE – An Island of opportunities 25 PHILLIP ISLAND RSL – A family friendly modern venue with great food 26 SWIM THE BASS COAST – Phillip Island 27 THE WESTERNPORT – Famous San Remo Hotel popular all year round 33 THE WOOLI TAVERN – Family friendly restaurant with Courtesy Bus 36-37 WILDLIFE COAST CRUISES – Winter Whales at Phillip Island

Welcome to Phillip Island, 101km2 of amazing experiences distilled into one easy-going island sanctuary.

Near enough to reach on a short drive from Melbourne but far enough to feel like you’ve had a real escape, Phillip Island is Victoria’s holiday sweet spot.

No matter what time of the year you visit, there’s 101km2 of island magic to be discovered. From watching fur seals sun themselves on Seal Rocks, to enjoying a smooth red at a cosy wine bar and taking to the skies on an exhilarating scenic helicopter ride, whichever direction you head there’s fun to be found.

Whilst cooler, the Winter months bring a sense of rejuvenation and invigoration. Rug up and explore the Phillip Island and Bass Coast Whale Discovery Trail, offering spectacular vantage points to spot Humpback whales on their annual migration and Southern Right whales visiting the coastal waters. If you are looking for a special winter adventure, book onto a Wildlife Coast Cruises - Winter Whale Cruise, and go in search of these majestic creatures.

To keep the kids (and big kids!) entertained this Winter, test your indoor climbing ability at Clip N Climb Phillip Island. Enjoy a speciality homemade hot chocolate or chocolate fondue at the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory or discover the magic and fun at A Maze’N Things. Learn stories of conservation, climate resilience and what lives in the deep, with the interactive and immersive experiences at the Antarctic Journey. And of course, no visit to Phillip Island is complete without watching the Little Penguins waddle on home at sunset – but don’t forget your jacket!

Seeking some mid-year R&R? Discover the blissful offerings at Her. Skin and Day Spa, where you can choose from a range of luxury day spa treatments from facials to spa experiences. For those looking for some retail therapy, browse a range of boutique shops, including Tyde and Brinnie T Designs in Cowes, Ivy Plant Studio at Newhaven and Lattitude in San Remo.

For a culinary experience on Phillip Island, enjoy delicious, quality food as you soak up the views of Westernport Bay at Saltwater Phillip Island, Westernport Hotel, Beach HQ Restaurant and Bar, Hotel Phillip Island, Isola di Capri or North Pier Hotel

Find a cosy spot next to the fire and a glass of wine at the Phillip Island Winery or at the family-friendly Wooli Tavern. Grab your morning brew and a bite to eat at Wild Food Farm Café, G’day Tiger, The Store or The Waterboy Café

Whether you glamp under the stars, stay in a luxury cabin or book a caravan park with a view, we invite you to stay and create your own Island adventure.

101 square kilometres of amazing is waiting. Phillip Island 101. One amazing place.

Eat: The Wooli Tavern

Do: Winter Whale Cruise

Stay: Marlin Beachfront Smiths Beach


The Winter Hot List
inspired at
24 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 134 - 138 Thompson Avenue, Cowes 3922 | Phone: 03 5952 2515 Follow us on Facebook @islandshoesphillipisland island shoes COWES PHILLIP ISLAND Great European Brands, Exceptional Quality & Brilliant Customer Service Shop 1/96 Thompson Avenue Cowes Vic 3922 Phone: 5952 2235 | Email: info@flowersofphillipisland.com.au www.flowersofphillipisland.com.au flowersofphillipisland flowersofphillipisland all your floral needs we can help with venue set up & styling, priding ourselves on our local venue knowledge. Flowers of Phillip Island has a history of creating wedding flowers for the most discerning couples for over 30 years. We can guide you from button hole to bouquets, Venue set ups and styling, creating lasting memories. Servicing Phillip Island, San Remo, Bass Coast and welcome Gippsland enquiries













Phone BH: 03 5952 1004

Enquiries: functions@pirsl.com.au


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Photos from the Swimming Event organised by SBR Weekend at Phillip Island, finishing at Cowes on Saturday March 17.


It’s the place where thongs, boat shoes and Blundstones come together, where ‘collars up’ is ok, but ‘no collar’ is better, where the beer glass has those little pearls of ice on the outside, and your favourite whisky winks at you from the top shelf. Where your favourite band plays their best set, while a bloke tries to tell you an over-exaggerated story of the one that got away.

THE WESTERNPORT HOTEL 161 Marine Parade, San Remo VIC 3925 | info@thewesternport.com.au | www.thewesternport.com.au Tel: 03 5678 5205




The whale season occurs from late May until mid-August and excites visitors and locals alike. If you are eager to go in search of whales, book onto the highly popular Wildlife Coast Cruises Winter Whale or Whale and Dolphin Cruise - an experience not to be missed!

If you prefer to stay on land, explore the Phillip Island and Bass Coast Whale Discovery Trail, featuring some of the finest whale lookouts in the region, from Phillip Island to Inverloch. Grab some warm clothing and a pair of binoculars and head out to one of the trails' fantastic vantage points. Popular locations for sightings include Cowes, Summerlands, Cape Woolamai, George Bass Coastal Walk and Kilcunda. For up-to-date whale sightings in the area, don't forget to download the Wildlife Whales App

This year, the Island Whale Festival weekend takes place from June 30th – July 2nd at various venues across Phillip Island. Local community and visitors alike have the opportunity to engage with a range of activities that will not only entertain but also allow you to appreciate the wildlife and natural habitats of Phillip Island and the Bass Coast region.

The weekend is set to feature various activities and events, including talks, live music, whale spotting, whale cruises, VR experience, Ocean Film screening, pop-up art show, craft activities and more! Stay up to date with the latest announcements, including the program at islandwhales.com.au or follow us on social media at @islandwhales

For inspiration on cosy winter stays, dining and things to do and see visitphillipisland.com.au

gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 29 Explore the WHALE DISCOVERY TRAIL S


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Conservation Hill & Rhyll Inlet Walk

Rhyll Inlet is a world-renowned habitat for migratory waders, and the walking tracks in this area allow for good bird observing opportunities. The mangroves and wetlands are listed under the Ramsar Convention as having international importance. Information signs are provided along the walks. The walking tracks in this area are also suitable for bicycles.


This track starts at Conservation Hill, along the mangrove boardwalk and then continues along Rhyll Inlet to Rhyll. Approximately 1 ½ hours return

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Mangrove boardwalk return track. Approximately ½ hour return

Or visit the Bass Coast Shire Information Centre at Newhaven

34 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3
Photography by Doug Pell
gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 35

Winter Whales at Phillip Island

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On an annual migratory mission from Antarctic waters, thousands of whales will head north with a vast amount following the east coast of Australia in search of warmer waters. Here where some whales will give birth, others will mate as these sheltered waters proving a ‘whale nursery’ for them.

As they undertake this massive journey, you can find hundreds of whales passing by the local waters of Phillip Island, mainly throughout the winter months.

This is where you can jump on board a Wildlife Coast Cruises whale tour taking you in search of these magnificent creatures.

To locate whales around the Island, Wildlife Coast Cruises relies on the help of the community through reports on the Wildlife Whales App, Facebook, and local whale enthusiasts as well as the keen eyes of the captain and crew all searching for that elusive blow.

Finding mainly Humpback whales with the occasional pod of Orcas or Southern Right Whales, that’s not to mention Dolphins, Australian Fur Seals and birdlife such as Albatross, Gannets and Terns that can be spotted along the way. Whilst watching whales their behaviour, pod size and age are all documented by the crew as well as photos taken of the whale’s tail known as a fluke, which provide unique distinctions like a fingerprint that is used to match whales from year to year.

This is an unforgettable winter adventure along the scenic Phillip Island coast with each day providing unique interactions with these massive animals of the deep. So, get out and about this winter, rug up, and set off to Phillip Island for a whale experience. If you aren’t able to make it for winter make sure to check out Wildlife Coast Cruises Wilsons Promontory springtime whale cruises.

gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 37
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Loch is a charming village set amongst the rolling hills of the Strzelecki Ranges, just a slight detour off the South Gippsland Highway. What was once a bustling highway through the centre of town, is now a delightful main street lined with garden beds and refurbished historic buildings. Despite being a small town, Loch showcases an abundance of exciting attractions that make it a great winter destination for both locals and visitors. From exploring the local history to experiencing the natural beauty of the area, there are many activities to embark on when visiting the little town of Loch.

Like many other towns in South Gippsland, Loch has rich heritage dating back to the 19th century. Throughout the main street, buildings such as the original Loch Post and Telegraph Office, railway station and red brick bank, showcase charming architecture with many of these beautiful structures still in use today.

Loch is home to several cosy cafes and restaurants, offering visitors a chance to warm up with a hot meal or beverage. Spoilt with fresh fruit and veg, locally produced wine, spirits, beer, and home baked goods, Loch is a foodie’s paradise. This little village is also renowned for its not so little annual Food and Wine festival. People come from far and wide to experience the event, where the masterminds behind some of the region’s finest eateries, wineries and breweries come together and celebrate with pop up food trucks, stalls and live music. The festival brings together the local community for a weekend of celebration and fun.

A must-see attraction in Loch, is the Suspension Bridge over Allsops Creek. This iconic bridge offers views of the surrounding scenery, particularly during the winter when the creek is at its fullest. Visitors can take a leisurely walk across the bridge and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

Just a short drive from Loch, is the Cape Horn lookout, a popular destination for visitors looking to take in the picturesque scenery the region has to offer. During the winter, the lush green hills and deep grey skies makes for a dramatic and mesmerizing sight. Take the scenic drive through the hills, go for a hike or simply relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Nature lovers will appreciate a visit to Wuchatsch Reserve, a beautiful nature reserve located just a short drive from Nyora. The reserve features several walking trails that wind through the bushland, providing opportunities for bird watching and wildlife spotting. The cooler temperatures during the winter months make it a great time to explore the reserve and take in lush greenery.

For history buffs, a visit to Coal Creek Community Park and Museum is a must. The historic village offers visitors a chance to step back in time and experience life in the 19th century. Visitors can explore the Park and see how people lived, worked and played during the era. This winter, experience the great Southern Lights Festival at the historic grounds where there will be an assortment of food and market stalls, free activities along with a spectacular light show.

Loch is a charming and welcoming town that offers visitors a chance to experience the beauty and history of South Gippsland. Whether you're interested in exploring the town's many historic sites, exploring the surrounding countryside, or simply relaxing and enjoying the local food and drink, Loch has something to offer everyone.

Things to do in Loch:

 Access the Great Southern Rail Trail and walk, ride or cycle to Nyora, Korumburra or Ruby and beyond

 Watch native wildlife at Wuchatsch Reserve

 Visit Hilda Falls for a leisurely stroll or picnic

 Pick up a local wine, beer or gin at our nearby winery or distillery

 Visit the Loch Village Winter Market (held from May until September on the second Sunday of every month)

Things to do nearby:

 Explore Coal Creek Community Park and Museum (10-minute drive)

 Attend the Kongwak markets on a Sunday (22-minute drive)

 Go for a country drive through beautiful, rolling green hills

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42 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 Loch Brewery
Gippsland Wine Company

The Charming Village of

Loch is a small vibrant village filled with cosy cafes, antique stores and galleries.

The township is set back from the South Gippsland Highway amongst colourful cottage gardens, parks, walking tracks and the very popular Great Southern Rail Trail.

There is plenty to see and do within the township and just out of the township.

Always worth a visit is the Gippsland Wine Company run by Mark Heath. Mark has an impressive stock of locally produced wines, beers and ciders in a comfortable under cover setting suitable in all weather.

The Loch Wine Bar is another great venue and host Andreas cooks the perfect wood fired pizzas, and again you can taste the local Gippsland wines on offer.

Loch & Key has a huge variety of Local and Imported Gins as well as great food.

Also, if you want to stock up on some groceries, you must call into The Loch Grocer for all your shopping requirements.

Carringtons of Loch is the standout shop for antiques and much-loved furniture. Take your time and browse the large range of artifacts that are available for sale.

Sunday 11th June, the King’s Birthday Weekend (formerly Queen’s Birthday) is the very popular Loch Food and Wine Festival. Ensure you book ahead or buy your tickets on the day, this festival is one of the great events staged in Gippsland, rain or shine, this is not to be missed.

For more information about Loch, head to visitsouthgippsland.com.au


Photos by Doug Pell
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Loch The Charming Village of 44 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3
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Loch Wine Bar
46 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 Loch & Key 32 Victoria Road, Loch Vic 3945 | Tel for bookings – 5659 4236 www.lochnkey.com.au Supplying local Australian & Imported Gins Local wine by the glass Casual Dining – Dinner Thur | Fri from 2.00pm | Lunch & Dinner Sat | Sun from 12.00pm

LCDA Loch Community Development Association

A Little Town’s Big Achiever

For a tiny community, Loch punches well above its weight – and it’s thanks in no small part to an organisation that’s been helping groups, businesses and individuals achieve their dreams or get back on their feet for more than two decades.

The Loch Community Development Association (LCDA) has a hand in everything from events, to grant applications, fundraising and even helping struggling community members, and recently even saved the town’s post office. Not bad for a village of just 300 residents.

Since 1999 the LCDA has been a bridge between all tiers of government and local community groups and organisations looking for funding to help improve facilities or deliver projects. As well as advocating for local groups, the association also fundraises through community events, making it an absolute workhorse.

Every second month the association holds a general meeting, where it invites any community group or organisation to present proposals for events or projects that need funding. The LCDA then decides whether the proposal is viable, before leaping into action.

“We would help the preschool if they’ve got a little project and need some money, we’ll help them,” explained LCDA’s Howard Booth. “The Loch and District Bowling Club, the Loch Memorial Hall, the Loch Memorial Reserve, we help individuals sometimes. People that are in desperate need. Recently we had a disaster here and the community rallied which was fantastic to help the family concerned.”

The LCDA helped coordinate a mammoth effort for a local family who recently lost everything in a house fire, finding them accommodation, furnishings, clothing and other support within 24 hours.

With a village population in the hundreds and around 1500 residents in the surrounding hills, the association works tirelessly to keep the town flourishing.

“We can do a lot on our own with our own resources, and people are so generous, they really are. Both with their time and materials and funding, it’s just great."

“We were going to lose our community post office because the operator was withdrawing. So, we met with Australia Post, another representative from LCDA and myself. And Australia Post mentioned that we could run it with volunteers. So, within a month, we had a community post office running with volunteers. And we’ve since got a permanent home for it because the Masonic Lodge made a building available to us, which was fantastic.

“We have representatives from a number of other community organisations like the Lions Club of Strzelecki, the Loch Memorial Reserve, and Opportunity Lochs which is our charity shop. The community now has all of the Masonic Centre leased to community groups, which is fantastic.”

The committee continues to go from strength to strength, with longstanding members as well as new residents bolstering the ranks.

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Words By Anita Butterworth | Photos By Doug Pell

“Committee members in particular change and have in the last 20 years I’ve been here, and we do have some younger people in our group. And we call for volunteers for a project or event, we have a cross-section of younger and older people, which is great. There’s been quite a turnover of residents in the village and even in the surrounding area. For instance, our primary school I think there’s up to about 150 students, so a lot of people come from the surrounding area to come to the school because it has such a good reputation. So, there are lots of young families.”

The LCDA also lends its expertise to several community and sporting groups, helping to organise regular events and working bees. The Loch Community Development Association also auspices some of the town’s groups, including the Loch Village Arts Council, which is currently working on a mural at the underpass and the Loch Village Garden Club.

It also runs events including the Loch Long Lunch, Anzac Day and Remembrance Day services.

In addition, the Loch Village Projects Group, an LCDA subcommittee, is chaired by Vice-President Sean Taylor-Lyons, and works closely with South Gippsland Shire Council for improvements to amenities including bench seating, bus shelters, bin surrounds, signage, tree planting and beautification projects.

The association’s biggest annual fundraiser is the Loch Village Food and Wine Festival, which has become a huge drawcard. It showcases the best the region has to offer in the food and wine industries, in a fun-filled and family-friendly atmosphere.

“We do have a subcommittee that runs it and has right through the years. We’ve got three new people on the committee at the moment which means new energy and new ideas.

“We try and get some good entertainment, a really good cross-section of producers from the region, there’s always stuff for kids so the primary school and preschool are always involved, they have their own stand, usually some activities for kids, as well as raising some money for their own school. We’ve had cooking demonstrations, cheese and wine tasting, masterclasses.”

This year’s festival, on Sunday June 11, will give visitors the chance to meet the people behind local wineries, breweries and eateries, with local restaurant pop-ups, international food trucks and of course, the opportunity to explore the historic Loch village.

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Gippsland Wine A VINTAGE COLLECTION Company

It is a far cry from growing up in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne to being the creator and overseer of a diverse, multi-faceted winemaking operation in Gippsland based in Loch. Mark Heath’s working journey has taken him to the renowned wine regions of the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley and Yarra Valley, but it is in his present capacity as the vigneron of the Gippsland Wine Company that all the fruits of his experience and passion for viticulture and viniculture are being harvested to the full.

Mark began his career in the wine industry in the mid 1970s when he enrolled in the first ever hospitality training course offered at William Angliss Institute and a section on wine sparked his interest. The industry experience required by the course had him knocking on the door of a local bottle shop with a great reputation and Mark reflects that it set him “on the pathway to a long career in the wine industry.” He had found his first niche and upon completion of his course, he decided to return to the shop to work full time. As it turned out, the little local store was one of the top ten wine shops in Australia during the 1970s.

Mark was drawn to work more closely with the wine industry, and he accepted a position with the Barossa Valley-based Tollana Wines.

“The position was Melbourne-based and at ground-floor entry level within their business, but it enabled me to learn all about the industry,” he says. “I was travelling backwards and forwards between Melbourne and the Barossa Valley during my three years at Tollana, and it was a great learning curve.”

Over the next several years Mark gained expertise and knowledge working with other wine industry legends Taylors Wines in South Australia’s Clare Valley and Seppelts at Great Western before working for Fergusson Winery in the Yarra Valley.

“Back then in the early 80s, the wine industry in the Yarra Valley was much like what Gippsland is now, in that it was not heavily commercialised,” he states.

Having built his career working for some of the most iconic wine establishments in Australia, Mark harboured a strong desire to one day own and operate his own winery business.

“It was something I had thought about for probably twenty years,” he estimates.

With the support of his partner Jane, Mark targeted Gippsland as the region in which to realise his dream.

“We took the plunge and made the move in 2009 by taking out a threeyear lease on a small vineyard at The Gurdies to get the feel for how it all worked,” he recalls. “Then an opportunity came up to buy the property on the South Gippsland Highway in Loch where we created Loch Village Vineyard and Cellar Door as the home base of our Gippsland Wine Company business.”

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A hospitality training course almost fifty years ago ultimately led Mark Heath to a lifetime career in the wine industry.

The previous property at The Gurdies produced the first wines to be sold under the Gippsland Wine Company label in 2010. From those relatively modest beginnings, the Gippsland Wine Company venture has steadily expanded to wider horizons.

Another vital contributor to Gippsland Wine Company’s success is award-winning winemaker Marcus Satchell of D3 Wines in Inverloch, who accommodates all the infrastructure for the processing component of the operation.

“Marcus and I have been collaborating since day one at The Gurdies, and technically, he is our winemaker. We have our own barrels and tanks, but all the processing is done at his premises,” Mark notes.

The expansion of Gippsland Wine Company has seen the operation spread over multiple sites across the region.

“In addition to our main vineyard at Loch, where our cellar door is located, we also have four other sites within a twenty-kilometre radius of here,” Mark explains.

However, Mark and Jane are planning for future expansion with the recent acquisition of twenty acres less than a kilometre away which has been dubbed the Lochonia Vineyard. Mark has always loved the names of the historic Irvine’s Wines Perthonia and Melbonia, so for him Lochonia seemed a natural progression!

“A new vineyard is not something that happens overnight,” Mark notes. “Even if we were to start planting at Lochonia this year, it would be five years before we see anything from there.”

In addition to the two properties in Loch, the Gippsland Wine Company operation also incorporates the nearby Jeetho Vineyard and two other establishments at Moyarra.

“The Moyarra Vineyards are on two separate sites, one on Prom Country Cheese’s property and the other is privately owned,” Mark says.

Other properties that also perform an important function within the wider operation are Rhyll Vineyard on Phillip Island, along with Calulu Vineyard, which is located in East Gippsland.

“They are all contract growers that supply fruit to us. We don’t run those particular vineyards, but they are an integral cog in our business,” Mark states.

Having been involved in the wine industry for more than forty years, Mark believes that Gippsland is a region still with considerable untapped potential and blessed with favourable natural attributes for wine growing.

gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 51

“A lot of people don’t realise that we actually have a maritime climate. We’re only thirteen kilometres as the crow flies to Bass Strait,” Mark observes.

“Apart from the maritime influences, we also benefit from having good soil structure here. Different parts of the region have different types of soil. Leongatha has red soil, whereas we have grey, sandy loam soil here. The rainfall is also plentiful. One disadvantage is the summer humidity, but that can be successfully managed and overcome.”

Mark again highlights the parallels between Gippsland as a wine region today and the Yarra Valley of the 1980s when he was working there.

“The Yarra Valley started off with family operations like what is happening in Gippsland,” he comments.

“As the potential grew in the Yarra Valley, the big corporations came in. That hasn’t really happened in Gippsland yet, but I think it is inevitable that this region will become more corporatised in the future.”

Mark believes an early sign of such change was the sale of the Leongathabased Bass Phillip to a group of international investors with French and Asian ties in 2020.

However, for the present time he is heartened by the growth of smaller wine labels created by a new generation of growers and winemakers bringing strength and diversity to the Gippsland region.

Whether you favour an award-winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or Riesling, or perhaps a fine Cabernet Sauvignon or even the Gustoso (a blend of three varieties from three vineyards) which has a strong following, the Gippsland Wine Company’s collection offers something for everyone.

Wines showcasing the GWC label are easily accessible in the local region however for those further afield they can be found at some small independent city bottle shops or through the online shop at the www.gippslandwinecompany.com website. Many of their wines are on the wine lists of casual bistros, cosy wine bars, stylish restaurants and international hotels in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.

“Locally, our wines are available at restaurants and cafes as far as Foster, Phillip Island and right up to Warragul,” Mark notes.

“The Michaels IGA supermarkets are also big supporters of the local wineries, and our wines are stocked in their two Leongatha stores and in Korumburra,” he adds.

But undoubtedly the best place to sample the Gippsland Wine Company collection is by visiting the Cellar Door at Loch Village Vineyard at 6835 South Gippsland Highway in Loch, which is open from Friday to Sunday between 11am and 5pm.

The Cellar Door setting is perfect for planned or impromptu tastings. Group tastings need to be arranged by appointment, but casual tastings by individuals and couples visiting the area are always welcome during opening hours. Tasting flights offer the choice of any four wines from the cellar door wine list.

With a glass in your hand, you’ll find that Mark will enjoy a chat about the wine, and he’ll tell you that this is the place to ask all the questions, whether you know a lot about wine or are worried that you know nothing. Mark might ask you what you’re having for dinner because for him, wine is for food and for sharing and for finding the right wine for each person or occasion. He might also tell you that wine can be pretentious, but this Cellar Door is anything but pretentious and certainly deserves its 5-star reviews.

Visitors can curate a delicious basket of cheese and accompaniments at the Loch Village Cellar Door and enjoy a table picnic outside under the shade sails or under cover of the verandah where there are heaters and blinds for the cooler months.

“We bake fresh bread in the mornings and have a large providore fridge which is stocked with charcuterie, pâtés and local cheeses. We supply the crockery and cutlery, and take care of the washing up afterwards,” Mark says.

Wines at the Cellar Door are available for purchase by the glass or bottle. Locally brewed craft beers, ciders and non-alcoholic beverages sourced from external suppliers, but which carry the GWC label are also available. Gippsland Wine Company also offers gift cards for purchase online or at the Cellar Door, which make the ideal present for any special occasion.

Mark has always been willing to lend his time and expertise to various initiatives that support the local wine industry. He has been a longtime member of the Wine Gippsland group and its predecessor in South Gippsland, promoting and participating in wine showcases and competitions. He completed a two-year stint as an Associate Judge at the annual Gippsland Wine Show which involves more than fifty Wine Gippsland members from as far as Lakes Entrance.

Gippsland Wine Company 52 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3
Mark Heath with Jane Taylor

Mark has also been a pivotal contributor to the annual Loch Food & Wine Festival. This popular event, which is described as South Gippsland’s “foodie heaven” is now in its fourteenth year and Mark has been the Chairman of the organising committee for around half of that time.

This year’s festival is being held in the Loch Railway Station Reserve on Sunday, 11th June. Visitors will have the opportunity to sample the best local wines, beers and other great produce while also getting to meet the people behind these products.

Adding to the attraction and vibe of this celebration of everything that South Gippsland has to offer will be the presence of local restaurant popups, international food trucks and live music. Attending the festival also provides the perfect opportunity to explore the historic Loch village while you’re there.

Mark expects this year’s festival will be another great success.

“The COVID period knocked the event around a bit, but we’ve bounced back bigger and better than ever,” he says.

“This year we have probably our strongest contingent ever with sixty-one exhibitors putting their local produce on show.”

Looking ahead, Mark shows no signs of slowing up or retiring. He has been well served by his successful strategy of seeking out neglected vineyards for long term contracts and coaxing them back to life, connecting with other independent vignerons and nurturing his own vines. The recent acquisition of Lochonia Vineyard has importantly added to his growing capacity and future possibilities.

“Once we get Lochonia under way across the road, that position is exactly where we need to be,” he asserts.

“At the moment, we’re at a point where we sell out from vintage to vintage and in need of more fruit. I’m sixty-six years old now and a bit old school, but I enjoy what I do and am happy to keep working.”

Like the fine wines he produces, this experienced industry professional seems to be getting better with age.

Further details:

Gippsland Wine Company Pty Ltd 6835 South Gippsland Highway, Loch

Cellar Door open

Friday, Saturday and Sunday – 11am to 5pm. Closed Monday to Thursday to tend the vines! Bookings essential for group wine tastings.

Phone: 0477 555 235

Email: cellardoor@gippslandwinecompany.com

Website: www.gippslandwinecompany.com

Gippsland Wine Company acknowledges the traditional owners of their land, the Bunurong/ Boon Wurrung people.

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Nothing but good vibes, good drinks and good food at Loch Wine Bar. Where everyone is a friend!

We have a large selection of Gippsland wine, craft beers and ciders to cater for all tastes and our Wood Fired Pizzas, freshly made by Andreas, are made with as much Gippsland produce as can be sourced.

Hours: (Seasonal – ring to confirm) Friday to Sunday - 12.00pm to late | Bookings essential 10 Smith Street Loch Vic 3945 | Tel: 0409 798 525 www.lochwinebar.com.au

Come and enjoy the best wines, cheeses and produce the Gippsland community has to offer in a relaxed atmosphere with great views in a peaceful setting.
gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 55 meeniyan art gallery Open: 10.00am – 4.00pm | Closed for Tuesdays & over August | 84 Whitelaw St Meeniyan VIC 3956 Ph: 03 5664 0101 www.meeniyanartgallery.com.au upcoming winter exhibitions
Rising Tide, an exhibition for climate action, Ken Spence presenting a photographic series ‘A Season with the Stony Creek Football Team’ & Fishy Friends with Jenny Mountford, Ann Todd, Valmai Todd & Gail Trollope july PICES at Meeniyan, a group show presenting artists never before exhibited at MAG & solo exhibitions by abstract artist Melinda Holt & landscape artist Caron Jenkins Untitled by Penelope Davis in Rising Tide R ay B owl by Helen Philipp in PICES at M eeniyan


it's Cooler in the South

Winter in South Gippsland is a joyous time of year where the scenery is green, rivers are full and the activities are endless. Whether it be a scenic drive through the country or the tour of a lifetime at one of our national parks, our region offers a little something for everyone’s ideal winter staycation or getaway.

South Gippsland is dotted with charming country towns, each offering its own unique charm and warm hospitality. Winter is the perfect time to rug up and meander through the scenic streets and discover cosy cafes, eclectic boutiques, and restored heritage buildings.

During winter, South Gippsland also becomes a hotspot for whale watching. These majestic creatures make their annual journey from Antarctica to give birth to their calves in the warmer water, making for an enchanting sight. Join a boat charter from Port Welshpool or Tidal River around Wilsons Promontory and try and catch a glimpse.

On dry land, the rich South Gippsland soil offers an abundance of fresh produce. Throughout winter, our region hosts many markets showcasing a wide variety of fruit, veg and condiments. They are the perfect source of inspiration when planning a warm winter meal or catering for family and friends.

If cooking is not your forte, it’s okay, because winter is the perfect time to indulge in our region’s thriving food and beverage scene. Sample local cheese, artisanal bread and award-winning wines, ciders and spirits as you embark on a self-guided food and drink journey through South Gippsland. The cooler weather is the perfect excuse to savour hearty dishes, paired with robust red wines, creating a true feast for the senses.

What some may consider a dreary season, is a lively time of the year in South Gippsland. Our region hosts many vibrant events during the cool season that showcase musical and artistic talents. These events provide an opportunity to engage with the local community and become immersed in our region’s culture.

If you would like to find out more about events or things to see and do, please drop-in to our local Visitor Information Centre in Foster or contact the team on 1800 630 704. The team are passionate about South Gippsland and love helping visitors to create exciting itineraries. You can also find out more via our website. visitsouthgippsland.com.au

South Gippsland Festival Event Series 2023

 Loch Village Food and Wine Festival - Sunday 11 June

 Korumburra Southern Lights Festival - Sunday 11 June

 Mirboo North Winterfest - Saturday 5 / Sunday 6 August

Winter Activities

 Whale watching - Wilsons Promontory and Port Welshpool

 Visit Lime Kilns - Walkerville

 Waterfall watching - Agnes Falls

 Fishing - Anderson Inlet

 Cycle from Tarwin Lower to Venus Bay

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Artisan Cheese & French~Style Wine

Capturing the essence of the farmland in their produce

Rachel Needoba and William (Bill) Downie’s farm is located in the foothills of the Strzelecki Ranges, on the fertile soils of Yarragon South. Here they live with their three children, in a rustic farm house that emanates country charm. The front veranda looks out over a serene view of their vineyard, and beyond to a wide expanse of patchwork farmland.

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Rachel and Bill put down roots here 17 years ago and have created a way of life that epitomises their philosophy of living off the land.

“Originally we wanted to produce enough food to be completely self-sufficient. When we had kids, we got a lot busier. Our goals changed and we focused on making more community connections and trading produce,” says Rachel. “Farmers work so hard and it’s important that we support each other.”

On their farm is a little mixed orchard, as well as sheep, some aging chickens, two cats (who take care of the uninvited rats) and Archie, the draught horse. Until recently, they also had a few cows and pigs, but have simplified things while they organise new fencing. Bill says, “We were influenced by the Amish model of farming, which is all about having a diversified small holding farm, with a variety of income sources, each on a very small scale.” Organic and sustainable farming practices are embedded into everything they do.

A French connection

As a young adult, Bill developed a zeal for winemaking, working in vineyards in South Gippsland and then the Yarra Valley. When Rachel finished school, she learnt about wines whilst working in restaurants in the U.S. She then did some harvesting work and was employed by an American wine importer. It’s no wonder they were both drawn to Burgundy, in France - one of the most famous wine regions in the world.

The two of them met through a mutual friend and felt an instant connection. Bill says, “All of our experiences and immersion in the French culture helped us to gain clarity about what we wanted in life. We realised we had the same vision.” Bill laughs, “I went to Burgundy with a hope of finding a partner, preferably a French woman on a tractor, with a vineyard,” Rachel chips in, “…and the last thing I expected, was to fall in love with a man from Gippsland.”

After a few years of living half the year in Australia and the other half in France, they decided to make Australia their permanent home. Having grown up in the Latrobe Valley, Bill felt a strong affinity towards the Gippsland landscape. After some challenges and delays, they were thrilled to finally own the Yarragon South farm they’d been eyeing off for a few years. Bill says, “Over a decade earlier, I drove past many times on my way to Melbourne. I remember gazing across at that hill and imagining planting a vineyard on it.”

From vine to bottle

Bill established his own label ‘William Downie’ in 2003. Just three years later, he was awarded Young Australian Winemaker of the year. He uses the most natural methods possible, which creates a purity and detail that has earned him a reputation as one of Australia’s finest Pinot Noir producers.

He leases a number of vineyards in West Gippsland. Bottles from his own farm are labelled with its name, ‘Guendulain Farm’.

Protecting his vines from disease and pests, without using chemicals requires a high level of monitoring, problem solving and natural interventions. Rachel says, “Bill takes a holistic approach and understands the interactions within the environment, working in harmony with it.”

He maximises quality over quantity. “We have only five to six bunches of grapes per vine, instead of 20-30 bunches that most Australian vineyards have.” Another difference is that Bill prunes so that the bunches grow lower. He explains, “This makes harvesting more difficult, but it’s important. It ensures that a lot more of the yeast and bacteria that live in the soil are present on the bunches. Every little piece of land has its own unique microbiome, so having that element enables the wine to become a true reflection of the place.”

Once harvested, the grapes go to Wild Dog Winery, in Warragul. He enlists the help of his parents and together they meticulously sort through the bunches on a conveyer belt. “We reject anything that’s not up to scratch,” Bill says. Five other winemakers work from there, so it’s a very collaborative environment.

Bill says, “One of the most valuable lessons I learnt from the winemakers in Burgundy, was it’s the landscape that gives the wine its potential. The hard work done in the vineyard is what determines the quality.”

The Butterfly Factory

Rachel had dreamed of having her own micro dairy since being inspired by the dairies in France. In 2020, when her children were a bit older, she turned her dream into reality and rented a small factory in Warragul. She produced butter, cream, yoghurt and then pasteurised milk. Here, her brand ‘The Butterfly Factory’ was born.

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After three years, Rachel and Bill received a grant from the Department of Agriculture. This enabled them to convert the existing winery on their property into Rachel’s own quintessential farmhouse cheese factory. She says her decision to specialise in cheesemaking was an easy one.

“The handmade artisan style processes suit my interests, not to mention, I love cheese.”

Rachel started searching for the best cheesemaking milk. She says, “I needed it to be capable of expressing a sense of place, otherwise, it’d be pointless.”

She met organic dairy farmers, John and Irene Crawford from the nearby town of Darnum. They have Fleckvieh cows, a common breed in the cheese making areas in France. Rachel was stoked when she found out that their cows were low yielding and only grass-fed, (which is important in the cheese fermentation process). This was exactly what she’d been looking for! To this day, she sources all of her fresh milk from their farm, St Ives.

Rachel strives to make a positive environmental impact. An example of this is what she does with the huge buckets of whey that are a by-product of cheesemaking. She explains, “It’s very acidic, so we came up with the ideal solution.” Michael, a pig farmer who lives nearby drops in regularly to pick it up, and feeds it to his pigs. This makes his pork sweeter and much tastier. It’s a win-win arrangement.

Sharing their gourmet specialties

The most discerning restaurants in Victoria plate up Rachel’s cheeses, delighting diners with their creamy, rich and velvety textures. Taking a sip of Bill’s Pinot Noir, tasters are taken on a sensory journey. Distinctive flavours evolve on the palate to reveal a depth and complexity of character like no other.

Rachel and Bill express their connection and harmonisation with the land through their carefully refined processes. The heart and essence of the landscape they love is embodied in their produce.

“Being able to share our cheese and wine with others is incredibly fulfilling for us,” Rachel says.

Fancy a Taste? Butterfly Factory Cheeses

Dine in:

Hogget Kitchen, Warragul

Northern Ground, Bairnsdale

The Long Paddock, Lindenow

Narkoojee Winery, Glengarry N

Cannibal Creek Vineyard, Tynong

Public Wine Shop, Fitzroy N

Florian Eatery, Carlton

Farmer’s Daughters, Melbourne CBD


The Loch Grocer, Loch

Udder & Hoe, Kilcunda

Baw Baw Food Hub, Warragul

Gippsland Food & Wine, Yarragon

Meeniyan Pantry & Cellar Door, Meeniyan

K-Sein, South Melbourne Market, Supercheese, Richmond

Obelix & Co., Fitzroy N

William Downie Pinot Noir

Dine in:

Sardine, Paynesville

Hogget Kitchen, Warragul

Northern Ground, Bairnsdale

The Long Paddock, Lindenow

Farmer’s Daughters, Melbourne CBD


Udder & Hoe, Kilcunda

The Press Cellars, Warragul

Meeniyan Pantry & Cellar Door, Meeniyan

Blackhearts & Sparrows, Melbourne

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- 8 Broadway Boulevard
Traralgon Wednesday
Open2ViewGippsland 03 5176 5997 | info@virtuehomes.com.au | www.virtuehomes.com.au NEW DISPLAY HOME LOCATIONS THE WINDSOR 2 - 8 BROADWAY BOULEVARD TRARALGON 2021 THE WINDSOR
Photography by


After the absence of this wonderful event due to covid-19, the Mirboo North Italian Festival held at Baromi Park was packed with a massive happy crowd enjoying the festivities of the day and enjoying some old age Italian hospitality.

There was plenty to see and do, 100s of stalls, food vendors, music and entertainment was set up in various parts of the park and in the words of Kevin Costner from Field of Dreams, build it and they will come and come they did by the carload.

Well done and hearty congratulations to the Mirboo North Italian Festa committee on a job well done! For more information on this event simply go to: www.italianfesta.net

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Smallgoods made in the premises from ham and bacon to a range of cabanas, plain, garlic, chilli, cheese and chilli. Ready to heat home style meals. Fresh Gippsland fish on Wednesday’s. Maffra and Gippsland cheese, as well as other locally sourced Gippsland products.

Find out more at themiddleofeverywhere.com.au


The sport of dragon boat racing has its origins in China 2000 years ago and can be further traced back to Greece in the early Olympiad days. The Gippsland Water Dragons Dragon Boat Club is a drop in that ocean having only formed just over two years ago.

What they lack in longevity though they more than make up for in passion and commitment to what they are doing. In such a short period of time they have proven they more than punch above their weight for a small “new” regional club. So much so that they at times far surpass bigger metropolitan clubs.

Dragon Boat racing as a sport in Australia is also relatively new but its popularity is rapidly increasing. The boats may have updated from traditional timber to fibreglass, but many ancient traditions remain. Dragon regalia and Chinese symbols appear frequently with ancient rituals a nod to the history of the now emerging sport.

What makes it an attractive sport and leisure option is that you can start from a “low fitness” base, as long as you can physically get into a boat, and if you put in the effort then you could end up representing your country! In fact, 6 members of the 60 strong Gippsland Water Dragons have been selected for the Victorian Dragon boat team.

The striking thing about the club and its members is the range of people involved. Ages range from teens to 80’s, men and women, married or single. They all have different reasons for being involved, some just for the social aspect, some for the fitness and competitiveness and others by chance. What they all share it seems is that once they have “a paddle” they’re hooked!

There are many stories among the members of changes to their lives that have resulted from joining the club. A member had a large weight loss and huge increase in fitness as they enjoyed the training and continued with it. Some have given up smoking in order to be able to paddle better. One member thought they were “too old” to be involved in an active sport but found this far from the truth and have gone from strength to strength.

One aspect apart from the fitness side seems to be the camaraderie that has built up between the Dragons. Some who have lost a partner have found new purpose and a whole social network from being involved with the group.

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While some days are allocated to serious training others have more of a social aspect with paddling then cake and a cuppa. They turn up of their own accord with no pressure, more often than not there is a crowd of eager members ready to get out on the water. At times they may have their three club boats paddling up toward the swing bridge at the same time.

One aspect of the Sale club is the seriousness with which they take the sport side of it, balanced with this social side. This was emphasised recently when they attended a regatta at Docklands in Melbourne and up against several other clubs, they achieved places and medals. The local coaches input a lot of time and energy into training the paddlers. There are 4 training sessions available a week to choose from, some people opting for every session while others going once a week or fortnight.

It’s a very easy going and flexible arrangement. Even though the race season goes from September to April the club continues training throughout the year. There is a high level of dedication among the members of the group that seems to push them to want to continue to improve and excel. This commitment has led them to compete in Regattas across the state and to the Pan Pac games on the Gold Coast in Queensland in 2022.

Another benefit of participation is that the paddlers get to experience nature from vantages that most miss. Chilly early morning winter sessions are magic as they paddle through the mist on the water. They witness so much wildlife from their watery point of view with the shush of synchronised paddling the only sound disturbing this pleasant idyll. These are experiences few but these fortunate “water dragons” ever have. A bonus is that they occasionally sight their namesake indigenous water dragons.

The club is always keen to expand their membership and there is an easy noncommitment way to see if the sport suits new members. A “Dragon pass” offered by Dragon Boat Victoria gives free membership for a month to any Dragon Boat club with use of a floatation device and paddle.

Access then is available to any session for that month with no ties, come for one session or every session. After that a yearly subscription assists the state or local organisation with all running costs, equipment and maintenance.

The future vision for the Gippsland Dragons club which is based at the Port of Sale is to have their own space where they can store their boats and gear and have facilities available for members and visitors. They are excited at the possibility of a suitable area being available in the current redevelopment plans for the Port of Sale.

At present members must carry all their gear to each training session and the boats are temporarily parked in a member’s back yard and must be trailered to the Port for use. Along with the Sale boating club and the rowing club who have their own designated areas along the Port, the Gippsland Water Dragons hope that one day they too will have the same opportunity.

In the meantime, the club continues to grow slowly and organically and to strive to get better all the time. With an emphasis on fun, friendship, fitness and “family” values they offer an undervalued opportunity for members of the public to become a part of an exciting and growing “new” old sport.

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Highlights of the Tarra

Festival held over the Easter Weekend in Yarram

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Photos by Doug Pell
gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 71 TARRA FESTIVAL

Water Tower Yarram Heesco


7 Nightingale Street, Yarram


In 2018 South Gippsland Water’s management gave in-principal support for the Tarra Tourism Association to investigate painting a mural on the tower. Five years down the track, and with the success of Yarram’s ‘Heesco Town’ murals, the Tarra Tourism Association passed over the water tower project to the ‘The Friends of Heesco Town’.


South Gippsland Water was keen that it should be Heesco Khosnaran who would paint the Tower, on the proviso that they, as the structure/building owner, would have final sign off on the design to be executed. This model has been used for all previous 24 Heesco Town murals and was seen as integral to the success of the Heesco Town project.

The tower was painted over a 4 week period starting April 7th 2023 and concluded with a public gathering at the Tower complete with local GUNAIKURNAI dancing, smoking and welcome ceremonies.


In preparation, South Gippsland Water engaged contractors to undertake repairs and maintenance of the tower. The tower repairs involved pressure washing the tower and removal of any loose or degraded concrete, concrete repair and then painting the tower with an acrylic weather protectant coating. These works are integral for the on-going safe operation and structural integrity of the tower.


Eric Greenaway, the main driver behind the Heesco Town Murals, offered to underwrite the total cost of the project but was keen to see the community come on the journey with him and contribute to it. Kevin Mackin, from The Friends of Heesco Town took up the challenge and the community and local businesses and organisations came to the party.


Eric Greenaway wanted the top of the tower to reflect the tourism hotspots around Yarram being very keen to see the many visitors to the area get out and see the breathtaking beauty this part of Gippsland offers. “Eric asked me to design the top so people could see everything from the 90-mile beach to the north through to Wilsons Promontory National Park to the south. Of course, the design had to include Eric’s beloved Yarram Golf Course, Australia’s number one volunteer-maintained golf course.”  Wayne

Tindall – Artist/film maker
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Photo by Doug Pell

Jenny Bennett


as“busy a bee"


It seems that some people are able to squeeze far more time out of a day, especially those who are creatives. Such is the case with Jenny Bennett from Sale who while working, raising a family of 3 with her husband Vince, creating a large garden has also managed to become a master at her chosen passion of embroidery. It’s credit to her hard work, talent and dedication that she is sought after to share her skills with many others.

In a quaint unassuming cottage on the outskirts of Sale, once the Myrtlebank schoolhouse and shifted to its present spot in the 60’s, Jenny lives with Vince. The couple moved to the house 16 years ago and from a bare plot with 4 trees they have created “The Bee garden”. A lush and beautiful setting that in the past has hosted weddings, parties and open garden days. The “Bee” is a symbol Jenny has used for many years in her business name and the garden has been designed specifically to attract bees.

In the garden a modest building houses Jenny’s studio and classroom that on entering is a treasure trove of delights for anyone even remotely interested in threading a needle. The array of thread on display is impressive and a surprise to find behind the studio door. Equally as surprising is the inspiring story of how Jenny has become a local and international teacher of embroidery. Jennifer Bee Embroidery is renowned for the standard of her work and tutelage.

With no special training but a mother and grandmother who both sewed and handed on basic instruction, followed up with sewing classes while a student at Sale Tech Jenny used these skills as a young Mother of 2 sons and a daughter. It was to create a smocked dress for her daughter Sharna that Jenny enrolled at the then Continuing Education Centre to learn smocking. This eventually led to Jenny being offered to become a tutor herself, completing a trainers course and then beginning a career in tutoring that continues to today.

Through many iterations Jenny taught adults, children, novices and experienced sewers in a variety of venues. At one point she took the plunge and opened her own shop to not only sell embroidery supplies but also hold classes on the premises.

It must have been obvious to those first teachers of hers that her ready smile and calm patient manner gave her the perfect attributes to become the fantastic teacher that she is today. She extolls the advice of starting with a single stitch and then carrying on.

She describes the mindfulness that comes with her art form as sometimes

She describes the mindfulness that comes with her art form as sometimes life changing and with helping some participants move far beyond what they believed they were capable of and then creating exquisite works. The intricacies of her work are astounding. The variety of different stitches seems endless and combined with the almost infinite thread colours and types available it seems that the only limit to what can be achieved in this artform is the imagination.

When they moved onto their property Jenny and Vince built a studio for her to be able to take classes from home. A long work table accommodates 12 students and she operates classes Monday to Friday and has all the supplies available to be purchased by the public. Some of her students have been with her continually ever since she took those first classes way back. They all come to work on their current projects but it has also become a strong social gathering with Jenny stating, “We often solve the problems of the world over this shared table.” People have become best friends and have met people they never would have come across and bonds have gone far beyond the classroom. There are no barriers and all help each other as they can. Jenny especially is very generous with her knowledge and expertise.

Jenny shared her skills over many years with classes locally, across the state, in other states and even on specifically created ocean cruises for fellow devotees. The embroidery community is vast, loyal and addicted to this art that dates back to 30,000 years BC. Jenny is part of a long history of embroidery that was used to decorate wall hangings and clothing as well as reinforce and mend cloth.

She is equally fascinated by this history and after participating in a tour in the UK she was asked to become a tutor. She has joined several tours across the UK viewing many historical examples of fine embroidered work including such priceless garments as the Queen Elizabeth 2nd’s coronation gown at Windsor Castle. Staying in many grand houses on the tours Jenny teaches the enthralled participants. It’s an astonishing achievement that began with her school classes.

Jenny is not only an expert embroiderer, a skill she practises every day, she is also a talented designer of new embroidery kits for others. She creates her own designs then whilst completing them she makes notes on the progress. The end result is a package that contains her original design printed on fabric along with instructions and all of the threads required for completion.

A kit in the early stage of design based on British symbols for students will be ready for later in the year when she is part of her next UK tour. After the tour she will attend the 2023 World Needlework convention in London. She truly is a dynamic and enterprising woman, though you would never know it from her self-effacing demeanor. The local Sale Art Gallery has recognised her talent, including her works in their permanent collection.

Without fanfare Jenny has made a significant contribution to the world of embroidery, all on her own terms. She continues to share and participate with others and learn new skills along the way. She encourages new talent, illustrated by a recent student who wished to translate her own artwork into stitches and so Jenny obliged by helping her through the process. Her morning, afternoon and evening classes are well attended, though some still have space available and she welcomes anyone to attend. Her website www.jenniferbee.net has all the details. She is one of Gippsland’s many treasures!

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McKinnon Point

McKinnon Point is situated a few kilometres along the Freestone Creek just up from Blue Pool and it offers free camping, swimming, kayaking and other water activities. It is also dog friendly.

It is accessible for motorbikes, RVs, camper trailers and caravans and camping in tents is allowed.

The Point is the perfect place to swim and explore and you can walk from here to Blue Pool. It is the perfect getaway for a long weekend short stay but most of all a great way to explore what this beautiful part of The Middle of Everywhere offers.

Blue Pool Waterhole

The Blue Pool is a waterhole and gorge near Briagolong, just half an hour north of Sale.

The pool consists of a large waterhole that starts off shallow but quickly gets deep. The Bluff is a nice and steep five-minute climb with some amazing views over the Blue Pool area. Nearby is the Peregrine Lookout Trail, which takes about an hour return. Between September and December, you may even be lucky enough to see some of the Peregrine falcons which nest there.

For more information visit the The Middle of Everywhere Information Centres as currently there is work being undertaken in the camping ground and only the day car park is open.

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Photos by Doug Pell Photos by Doug Pell

The Boisdale Stables

A Community Restoration Project

In the small hamlet of Boisdale, not far from Maffra, it seems magic is in the air. The “blink and you miss it” township has so much going for it in a town with only one street, Main Street.

The Post office, open until lunchtime, is a step back in time where the Postmistress hands out the mail to her customers. The busy small garage seems hardly changed for decades but still offers old fashioned expertise from days gone by. The town boasts artists such as photographers, a potter, textile artists, a weaver and musicians as some of its inhabitants.

A cross section of society from families with young children to retirees live on the one street. The local football and netball teams are thriving with well curated grounds and up to date facilities. Their Women’s football team were champions across Gippsland! The local hall has an active committee that ensures that the building is in tip top condition and holds regular events, including weekly Tai Chi.

This vibrant small township of Boisdale is a surprise to those who only ever pass through on the way to somewhere else. Only 10 km from Maffra it also has a unique history that many people are unaware of. It began as a “company” town for the family run Boisdale Estate. The area was settled in the mid 1800’s and the township began in the early 1900’s by the owners of 10,000 surrounding acres, the Foster brothers, to accommodate their workers at the Cheese and Butter Factory they had constructed there.

The brick cottages housing the original factory workers all remain today, a tribute to the craftsmanship of the era. The stables and a blacksmith’s workshop were built in Circa 1908 opposite the factory and housed their working horses.

Through various changes over time, including the decommissioning and demolishment of the factory, the stables remained and would ultimately become a storage place for bits and pieces of the descendants of the Foster family. In this manner it unwittingly became a time capsule that held artifacts that would tell stories from the town’s history and the early agriculture of the area.

In 2005, the large Foster estate consisting of homestead, farms and the stable building were to be auctioned. A group of locals formed a steering committee with the aim of purchasing and restoring the building for use by the community. A title dispute held up the auction of the stables’ building and ultimately the Foster family generously donated the building and its contents to the community of Boisdale.

The stables’ building that the Committee started with was a shadow of what the building is today. The time, dedication and sheer hard work that was required by a small group of the community over the many years has been incredible.

The numbers involved in bringing this project to completion are impressive. In the latest project an amazing 5500 volunteer hours equated to $110,000 in comparable monetary value, that did not include the work and goods donated by local tradespeople. The grants that were provided along the way are what made the long slow journey possible, they include Regional Development Victoria in 2014 and the major grant from the Latrobe Valley Authority of $167,000 towards a $210,000 project that enabled the amenities block, storage and display shed to be constructed. This, in addition to funds raised by the committee and work by volunteers, has recently brought the project to completion.

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The dedication of a core group who provided constant labour and commitment to the project are what enabled its ultimate success. They battled a huge storm that ripped off part of the original roof, heritage restrictions that dictated what they could do and ground conditions, which meant their plans for the amenity block had to be changed three times. The result of their toil is a community asset that will service Boisdale and the wider area for years to come with outdoor display and storage areas and a revitalised building that has retained and enhanced its humble origins as a utilitarian building.

The feeling inside the revitalised stables is magical. Its transformation seems effortless, even though it was far from it! The place oozes a sophisticated rustic charm. It has retained the look of a stable building but has been spruced up and dusted off until it shines. The lofty central area with its sturdy redgum posts provides a light and airy space that when the end doors are open becomes an even more amazing inside/ outside pavilion. The view towards the farmland and hills beyond is just superlative. The sunsets from that aspect are quite amazing.

Imagine holding a function there in the evening and guests being able to appreciate the view and nature’s stunning light show. The whole place is really a living museum. The horse stalls, all carrying names of local families, are perfect nooks for seating as well as being display places for artifacts. The century old brick paved flooring, once clattering with the sounds of horses’ hooves, is now the perfect surface for any event.

The addition of toilet facilities has been designed in such a seamless way that they look like they have always been there. Wherever possible there are images and items displayed relating to the early agricultural history of Boisdale and the area.

What makes The Boisdale Stables stand out as a venue is that it offers a unique and tasteful alternative to most options available. It’s a small and intimate setting yet it can hold 120 people. A large grassed area at the rear of the stables is more than adequate for functions with plans for this area to be extended and fenced.

The Boisdale Stables has already hosted several weddings, parties and official functions of many sorts. These were put on hold due to COVID and the building project but now it’s ready to go again. It is beginning to be booked for so many other events as its rebirth well and truly begins. An opening event will be held later in the year to officially launch the space and to acknowledge the huge volunteer effort it has taken to breathe new life into what was once a tired, unloved building.

A surprise no longer, people will soon be flocking to experience the historic Boisdale township to enjoy its hidden treasures, such as the fantastically revitalised Boisdale Stables.

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The Boisdale Stables


Boisdale is located on the Briagolong Road, north of Maffra.

It is a small town in the heart of Gippsland’s dairying district. The area comprises mostly dairy and vegetable farms.

Also, it is the home of the recently renovated Boisdale Stables a popular venue for weddings and more.

Apart from the Boisdale Stables which our writer Ken Roberts has written a great piece about, the other notable building is the Boisdale Public Hall, it is a very distinct building.

A brief history about the Hall is on a plaque outside the front and it reads as follows:

Following community consultation, Askin Foster called for tenders to erect a recreational Hall in Boisdale. The building was designed by G.H. Cain of Sale and Mr Buttery was the successful tender at 661 pounds. The hall was completed by October 1904.

The Hall originally housed a lending library, which was used as a school prior to the new State School being constructed in 1910, also a venue for church services, weddings, meetings and community celebrations.

The building was leased in 1931 through pledges from community members and purchased from the Foster Estate in 1938.

It remains as a community icon and is a credit to the dedicated residents of Boisdale, who have maintained and improved the facility over many years.

The Hall and community celebrated its centenary in 2004.

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The Boisdale Heritage Plaque is an initiative of the Boisdale & District History Group. Boisdale & District Progress Association and Wellington Shire Council, 2011. The Boisdale Community Hall The Boisdale Stables Mural located at rear of Community Hall Photos by Doug Pell

A Snapshot of


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Photos by Doug Pell



Words: Chris West | Photos: Doug Pell

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With only one fixture each year, the hard-working Tambo Valley Racing Club Committee Members and a dedicated team of volunteers prepare for months to ensure the success of their showpiece picnic race day at Swifts Creek Racecourse on Easter Sunday.

No stone is left unturned in preparing the track and on-course facilities for the big day, along with securing much-needed sponsors and selling advance ticket packages to club members and public patrons.

One thing the organisers can’t control, however, is the weather, which inevitably rests in the lap of the gods. But despite Easter Sunday this year bringing intermittent drizzle and an unseasonal winter chill to the air in the Tambo Valley, there was not one hint from anyone on course of letting the weather conditions impact on their enjoyment of the day.

The good-spirited crowd lapped up the racing action and trackside hospitality from start to finish, with the first of six races commencing at 1.10pm. Intervals between races were filled with a non-stop program of entertainment and fun including separate fashion competitions for men, women and children, along with foot races on the track, an Easter Egg Hunt for youngsters under 16 years of age, and even the chance for people to take to the microphone to provide their best rooster and crow calls, which raised the decibel levels across the course. Kids were also kept busy with supervised activities by Kelly Sports for much of the afternoon.

Many of the people in attendance were visitors to the High Country for the Easter holiday period, some of whom had preceded their day at the races by also enjoying the popular rodeo event in Omeo on Easter Saturday.

Members’ tickets were sold out in advance and all the food and beverage outlets were well patronised including the delicious barbecue fare prepared by the Swifts Creek Football Netball Club, along with The Big Red Food Van, WOW Espresso coffee outlet, and both the locally produced Tongio Honey and Nullamunjie Olive Oil displays.

The relaxed picnic atmosphere at Swifts Creek encapsulates the very essence of grass roots racing. None of the thoroughbreds contesting the races are going to be lining up at Flemington this Spring, but the modest form lines amongst the small fields does not deter the punters from having a flutter on their fancies with the on-course bookmakers or TAB facility. It’s all part of embracing the spirit of the day.

For many people, both young and old, picnic racing provides their introduction to the sport, not only for the attendees but also in some cases for the participants. It is not uncommon for amateur riders to begin their careers competing on the picnic circuit before progressing to the professional ranks.

One of the unique aspects of racing at Swifts Creek is that it can lay claim to having Victoria’s only privately owned track. The course is nestled between the Great Alpine Road and the Tambo River on a property owned by the Richardson family, who lease the section of land to the Tambo Valley Racing Club for a token sum each year.

A track circuit is prepared for the race meeting and the Club assembles in the necessary facilities to accommodate the horses, participants, officials, Members and public patrons. For the remainder of the year, after the temporary running rail is dismantled, the site resumes its normal role as a paddock on the Richardson family farm.

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Members Stand Kate Commins TVRC Secretary with daughter Bec Commins Tambo Valley Racing Club Ladies' Fashions Danielle Overall – Omeo, with the winner Sally Commins – North Fitzroy & Amy Mitchell – Melbourne
Tambo Valley Racing Club
Annie Patterson, Georgie Boucher, Jasmine Trenwith & Phillip Cook

“My late father Jack and mother Lenore bought the property fifty years ago. Our family is very community-minded and we were keen to continue the long history of association the race club has had with this particular piece of land,” Stephen Richardson explains.

“Swifts Creek is our community and the raceclub is part of that. Dad went on to become a Life Member of the Club and has a Memorial Race named in his honour at the raceday, so we continue to be closely entwined with the whole fabric of the Tambo Valley races,” he adds.

Sale-based trainers Reg Manning and Troy Kilgower, along with Bairnsdale-based Bob Triplow, cumulatively provided 16 of the 23 horses that contested the six races on this year’s card. Manning won the opening race with Mackong Fortune, whilst Kilgower fared one better with a double through Lucky Spinner in Race 3 and Angelsreach in Race 5.

The race Kilgower prepared Lucky Spinner to win was named in honour of Reg Manning’s late father Alec, who passed away in July 2019. Alec was an icon of Gippsland racing and a dominant force as a trainer at picnic meetings in the high country for decades. He lived north of Swifts Creek in Benambra for many years.

“My association with the races at Swifts Creek spans the entire sixty years of my life to date, and my dad’s involvement was even longer,” says Reg Manning, who is one of the Tambo Valley Racing Club’s current holders of Life Membership in recognition of his wide-ranging contribution to the annual race meeting.

Reg Manning and Troy Kilgower both saddled up runners in the day’s main event – the $7,000 Nullamunjie Oil Tambo Valley Cup over 1600 metres - but were upstaged by former local lass Georgie Boucher, who brought her in-form seven-year-old mare Gwennybeg down from Jindabyne.

Boucher had already trained Grosses Plain to win the second race on the program but was hopeful that Gwennybeg could complete a memorable double for her by taking out the Cup, which was run for the 127th time this year.

As if on cue, the sun finally poked through the clouds just before the main race as Gwennybeg was sent off as the $2.50 race favourite in the field of five runners, with apprentice jockey Jasmine Trenwith in the saddle.

When the barriers opened, Gwennybeg stood flat footed and missed the start by a conspicuous distance, but the inexperienced Trenwith didn’t panic and settled the mare at the rear of the field. When the field passed the winning post for the first time, Gwennybeg was still last of the five runners but steadily improved her position in the middle stages of the race.

By the top of the home straight, Trenwith had made considerable headway and was poised to take the favourite to the lead. It was evident that Gwennybeg was travelling far stronger than her rivals and the mare forged clear to a convincing one length victory over Manhattan Sting, with Golwen back in third. Both the runner-up and third placegetter were from the Troy Kilgower stable.

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Ray Gallagher, Kate Commins & Stephen Richardson Tambo Valley Racing Club Men's Fashions Paul – Melbourne, with the winner Chris Richards – Tongio & Jack Richardson – Swifts Creek Phillip Cook with Trainer Troy Kilgower

Gwennybeg’s success continued the remarkable start to Morningtonbased Trenwith’s riding career. The 24-year-old only entered the picnic riding ranks in January and the Tambo Valley Cup victory was already her fifth winner from just 13 rides.

The result provided a triumphant homecoming for trainer Georgie Boucher, who spent part of her childhood growing up in Swifts Creek. Boucher moved away to Woodglen near Lindenow as a teenager and later spent a period in Melbourne working at the stables of Moloney Racing after leaving school before eventually settling in Jindabyne, where she presently combines hobby training with managing the local mail delivery and co-owning a butcher’s shop with her partner Mick Flanagan.

“Having spent my early years in Swifts Creek, I have a really strong connection with the area. My family were good friends with the Richardsons, who own the track,” Boucher notes.

“Horses have always been a part of my life. I’ve held a trainer’s licence for about eighteen years, but this was only the second time that I’ve brought horses to compete at the Swifts Creek meeting. You always want to win your local races, and naturally make them a bit of a target due to the personal significance, so it was great to achieve that ambition by winning the Tambo Valley Cup. To do that this year was special enough, but coming away with a winning double on the day made it even better,” she adds.

Boucher purchased Gwennybegg two years ago for just $5,000 and has now won seven races with the mare. As horse and trainer headed back to Jindabyne with the Cup trophy, the crowd eventually emptied from the racecourse at the day’s end, with many visitors sure to already be planning to return next Easter.

But the ongoing success and longevity of the annual event would not be possible without the dedication and effort of all concerned at the Tambo Valley Racing Club led by President, Stuart Stagg, the Committee and many other individuals who make everything happen including Raceday CEO, Phil Cook. Members of several local families play a prominent role both behind the scenes and at the coalface of the operation, including the Richardson, Commins, Mitchell, Gallagher and Richards families, to name just a few.

The Club is appreciative of the generosity of all of its sponsors: Aeris Resources, bet365, Elders Bairnsdale, Nullamunjie Olive Oil & Pressing Shed Café, Nunniong Herefords, Tambo Angus, Omeo Rural and Hardware, Harcourts Bairnsdale, Daisie’s Hair Salon, TerryWhite Chemmart and Omeo Pharmacy.

As has become customary, a percentage of the proceeds from the race day will be donated by the Club to the Ensay & Swifts Creek Bush Nursing Association.

During the race meeting, the Tambo Valley Racing Club also acknowledged retiring race day official Bob McAdam with a fond farewell as he performed the role of starter at Swifts Creek for the final time. The long-serving McAdam has been starting races in the north-east region of Victoria for the past 32 years, having earlier commenced his career in racing as a Clerk of the Course.

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Tambo Valley Racing Club
Trainer Georgie Boucher & jockey Jasmine Trenwith following the win of Gwennybegg in the Nullamunjie Olive Oil Tambo Valley Cup over 1600 metres Bob McAdam & Phillip Cook Annie Richardson, Georgie Boucher, Lenore Richardson & Stephen Richardson Sophy & Mark Knight

Tambo Valley Racing History

Racing in the Tambo Valley probably commenced sometime in the 1860s. The enormous Bindi Station, some 15 km northeast of Swifts Creek, hosted a large seasonal workforce of shearers to remove the wool from the huge flocks of sheep that had been brought into the area in the few short years after European settlement.

Looking for some entertainment at the end of a hard season of shearing – and a way to spend some of their hard earned money – the shearers would race their horses against each other, wagering on who had the fastest steed.

The first known official races in the Swifts Creek area occurred around the locality of Tongio, about five kilometres north of the present racecourse. Races later shifted to Doctors Flat, about 7 km south of Swifts Creek, and were held on the other side of the Tambo River from the highway.

Sometime later they were relocated to Jim Gibson’s property just north of the Swifts Creek township, on an attractive piece of flat land between the highway and the Tambo River. This land is now owned by the Richardson family and remains the present location of the Tambo Valley racecourse.

Meanwhile, racing at Swifts Creek survived to the present day. For many years the club shared the Labour Day long weekend with the nearby Hinnomunjie races, with the Hinnomunjie races held on Saturday, and the Tambo Valley races held on the Labour Day holiday on the Monday. Massive and prolonged bushfires in 2007 saw the event postponed from its usual date and moved back to the Easter long weekend. This proved so popular that a permanent change was made to run the Tambo Valley Racing Club's picnic races every Easter Sunday.

The name Tambo Valley Racing Club and the Tambo Valley Picnic Races recognise not just the long history of racing at Swifts Creek but serves as a representation of all the communities throughout the Tambo Valley, past and present.

Source: Tambo Valley Racing Club website

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Geoff Adams, Andrew Mason, Jenny Mason, Bob McAdam (Starter), Bruce Commins, Phillip Cook (TVRC Committee), Evan Newcoman, Annie Patterson – Cup Sponsor (Nullamunjie Olive Oil). All went to the same Primary School with Bob McAdam and were there for his last race. Cup Sponsor Nullamunjie Olive Oil Tongio Honey




Hours | Monday to Sunday 9.00am - 5.00pm 62 Argyle St, Traralgon Vic 3844 Ph: (03) 5174 2861 Em: growmastertraralgon@yahoo.com.au


WE ARE YOUR DESTINATION For advice, range and quality. For an experience and a garden encounter that will enchant you. For solutions, inspiration and motivation. GROW MASTER TRARALGON INSPIRATION AWAITS





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Evans Petroleum’s association with Muddy Creek Service Station extends back some 32 years, providing a fuelling and convenience service to the people of Toora and District as well as the traveller looking for a place to rest and fuel their vehicle and themselves.

Evans have recently extended our fuelling offer to an after hour card machine to provide for those fishermen wanting to get onto the water early, the farmer needing some fuel late at night to let them finish their harvesting and the truck driver working the night shift to get his products carted.

Our commitment to our customers to provide high quality products at all times, coupled with expected service levels, is what we pride ourselves on and set as our benchmark to achieve at all our service stations, including the Toora site.


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This event was held on Saturday 4th March at the Erica Recreation Reserve in brilliant sunshine. A large crowd attended the day’s festivities and there was plenty to see and do for all ages. It was great to see the wood chopping in action, these blokes sure know how to swing an axe which is an event that should not be lost. Showbags, family fun activities, animals, local products on display, plenty of parking available near the reserve all added up to a well organised fun day.

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Erica Country Expo ++++++
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Creativity Blooms in Ryan Parsons' Unique Garden Sculptures

When it comes to the art of Ryan Parsons, one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure. Where we may see old tools, discarded motor pieces and random cogs, Ryan sees creatures, sculptures, and unique furniture pieces.

Words by Anita Butterworth & Photos by Doug Pell

With his background in landscape gardening the Trafalgar-based artist creates garden sculptures reimagined from steel and metal – and the results are whimsical, playful and curious creatures and pieces that adorn gardens all over the state.

“I was actually a landscape contractor by trade for just on 20 years,” Ryan explains. “And then a good friend that worked for me at the time got me into doing it because we used to do little bits and pieces for people’s gardens and doing a lot of maintenance on our own equipment and so forth.

“He used to work for a rose grower and used to go around Melbourne, all the cafes all the markets and he came to me one day and said, ‘Why don’t we do some garden art while it’s quiet?’. And it all went from there.”

Ryan has a keen eye for knowing exactly what to create from the steel pieces he finds. Pruning shears transform into the backrest of a garden bench, spanners become the top of a coffee table, shoe horses form a sculptural seat and a Singer sewing machine becomes a tractor, complete with a bent spoon seat.

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“It’s collecting a lot of recycled items; motorbike chains, plough discs, anything that’s metal and turning that into garden art. I use cutlery which I turn into roses and flowers, all sorts of things. I use timber in garden seat benches.

“I tend to do a lot of real animals. What I tend to find is that I work with personality. For example, I’ve got a few little Jack Russells. My little Jack Russell when I grew up, he would always walk around with a bone or a stick in his mouth.

“So, what I would do is actually put a spanner basically welded to its mouth. And then I’d sit it up, so that when people look at it, they can see that bit of personality, that’s where I create it from.”

Ryan’s work is known as ‘found art’, and his keen eye usually creates the piece in his mind just by looking at a discarded metal.

“Some artists see it as a drawn image, or they can draw an image for it. I actually see the piece and I can shape it in, or I can see a form shape to it. I’ve had to collect so many items because sometimes you can find part of the item, and then you go shopping in your supplies for something to finish it off.

“As time’s gone on, I started to find a bit of a style that I like doing, which is well-finished and neat. Not a lot of rusty items as such. If they are rusty, they’re cleaned up and then clear coated, so they don’t rust.”

While he no longer works fulltime as a landscaper, Ryan says it gave him the perfect grounding for understanding what sculptural pieces work well in a garden setting.

“I had a very creative mind, I guess. I was always building things – I always wanted to be a builder originally and then that’s sort of where the idea came from. To be able to build and construct. I think having that landscape background, and slowing down from the landscaping, that’s kept me with the creativity. I do a few landscape jobs here and there, not much, but it still keeps the creative juices flowing.

“I found that I already had a good idea of what people would like, what works well with a garden. The idea with found art is to be able to identify what the item is. It’s not just made out of a piece of steel and shaped. That was where the creativity came from was the landscape side of it.”

Ryan also creates custom artwork, including special pieces in memory of loved ones.

“Quite a few of the orders I do are sentimental items as well. At the moment I’ve got somebody’s father’s tools that I’m going to make some sentimental items out of. It adds a different element to what I do.

“I ask them what they would like to create and then I work with them to create what they need. I find them a little bit of a challenge. A lot of creativity, I guess. Because what I have found over time is my artwork is very individual. Every item’s a little bit different to the next. It’s a good challenge.”

While Ryan is working towards having his own exhibition and shop space, in the meantime you can find him and his pieces at local markets, as well as art shows. He’s a frequent exhibitor at the Toorak Sculpture Exhibition, the Tyers Art Festival and the Erica Country Expo, as well as local field days.

Ryan can be contacted for custom pieces via his Facebook page, Custom Creations by Ryan Parsons or via email: createbyryan@gmail.com

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Foster & District Agricultural Show

The 116th Foster Show was held on Saturday 24th February and it was a resounding success. These people know how to run a show that never fails to deliver. I have been fortunate to attend this show before and it has to be one of the best agricultural shows going around, not just in Gippsland but in all of regional Victoria.

Home Produce, creative art, dog high jump was great to watch and the fastest staffie in Victoria led the way. There was wood chopping, sheep herding, plenty of animals to see, rides and show bags and friendly people.

Can’t wait for the 2024 Foster Show, a must see event!

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Photos by Doug Pell BLUE TREE HONEY FARM
gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 97 FOSTER & DISTRICT AGRICULTURAL SHOW
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Photos from the SBR Weekend of running held at Inverloch on Sunday March 19
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The Demons Daniel Turner takes a great grab The Hawks James Blanck was too good for the Demons Ben Brown
Let's raffle the ball
Demons Jake Melksham gets the ball away despite close attention

Highlights from the historic meeting between the Box Hill Hawks and the Casey Demons VFL and VFLW sides at the Wonthaggi Recreation Reserve in glorious weather with approximately 3,000 people in attendance on Sunday April 30.

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Janet Baird looks to clear the zone The Demons India Lehman kicks the ball away from the pack The Hawks Cassie Davidson breaks clear Casey Demons celebrate a goal Victorious Hawks The Hawks Emily Everest handballs out of trouble The Hawks Chantella Perera stands next to the umpire
Wonthaggi Recreation Reserve
Casey Demons Leah Swain battles for the ball against the Hawks Maddie Boyd

Stony Creek Go-Karts is now well and truly one of the highlights of South Gippsland.

■ Hire Karts

■ BYO Kart Membership (Day/Yearly Rate)

■ Corporate Days

■ Group Bookings

■ Birthday Parties & Functions

■ Driver Education

■ Phoenix Kart Agents

■ Kart Sales & Spares

■ Café Please check website for dates and times.

PH : 5664 7272

EM: info@stonycreekgokarts.com.au

For more information visit stonycreekgokarts.com.au

Please Note: When Stony Creek Racing Club is holding a race meeting the venue will be closed. During the winter period the venue is closed mid week unless prior booking is made.

Please check our facebook for updates

Some changes are in place to keep you healthy and safe.

1. Bookings are essential. Please call to book your time.

2. There is a maximum of 12 karts only.

3. A 50% deposit is needed to secure your booking.

4. If you are sick, please stay at home.

5. Karts and Helmets will be disinfected between groups.



Best Kept Secret

Korumburra’s Public Park is a hidden gem, it is located behind the main shopping precinct of the town and features a large variety of trees, many named and labelled, along with the Paradise Falls. Follow the road in from the gates and you will find a small car park, there are picnic tables and shelters throughout the park and is a great venue for families, group events and people who like to take a leisurely stroll. You can even take your dog for a walk provided the dog is on a leash.

The deciduous trees are most impressive with magnificent oaks, cedars, and elms dispersed between equally impressive native eucalypts.

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Photography by Mark Thurman | Nicky Cawood



Gurdies, our winery boasts breathtaking views of French Island and Western Port Bay. Our large Cellar Door with open fire place, huge patio and outdoor function area, caters for all your special occasions. Come and experience what The Gurdies Winery has to offer.

All our wines are made from Estate grown grapes. Riesling, Chardonnay, Verdelho Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Our grazing platters showcase Bassine Cheese and local produce supporting our farmers. Bring your own picnic, or book one of our bbqs, Gippsland cider, Burra, Ocean Reach and Loch beer also available.

| Email info@thegurdieswinery.com.au www.thegurdieswinery.com.au

215 Gurdies-St Helier Rd,
Located on the top of the hill at The

Rokeby Trails

Wintery weather shouldn’t keep you cooped up indoors! Rug up, pack the rain coats and you’ll realise that embracing the cool, refreshing, brisk air is invigorating.

The rural town of Rokeby is only a short, 10 minute drive from Warragul. With a variety of trails to explore, it’s an ideal place to connect with nature, feel the benefits of exercise and tune into your senses. You can easily slip into a state of calm mindfulness.

As you make your way along the trails, take notice of the damp, earthy fragrance of the forest. The cool days create light mists that linger in the air and create a truly ethereal atmosphere. Tune into the symphony of soothing sounds of various bird calls, rustling leaves and the faint, distant hum of tractors.

Rokeby to Crossover Rail Trail

The Rokeby to Crossover Rail Trail is popular with cyclists, horse riders and walkers. Dogs are also welcome, but must be kept on a leash. The trail has a very gentle gradient the whole way and is 4 km long, taking approximately one hour and 45 minutes (one way). It is wide and wellmaintained.

At the beginning of the walk, you can see glimpses of lush green farmland beyond the trees. As you get further in, the forest thickens and you look down into dense fern gullies. Within the forest are large Strzelecki Gums. They have trunks with a mottled brown bark that sheds in patches to reveal a smooth, white underlayer. The gums stand up to 30 metres tall and are only found in the South and West Region of Victoria.

If you hear something scratching loudly in the bushes, look closer and you may find an echidna. I’ve seen many of these cute, spikey creatures here.

At the end of the trail, you can see the heritage-listed Crossover Trestle Bridge. This historical remnant still remains in its original condition and is the last of its kind in Victoria.

If you visit in winter or early spring, it’s likely you’ll see bursts of pink wildflowers, called Pink Heath spotted on the sides of the trail. To truly appreciate these wonders, get up close to admire the tiny bell-shaped structures that grow in clusters, at the end of the small shrubs. They are important to the ecosystem, as they attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

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Rokeby Flora and Fauna Trail

This shorter, 1 km trail traverses through the Rokeby Flora and Fauna Reserve. You can find the entrance on the left side of Brandy Creek Road, past the Rokeby Hall.

Easing into the trail, you are led down the hill, through a small section of pine trees. Take some deep breaths in and notice the fresh pine scent as you walk. Pine trees are an introduced species and were planted by the early settlers for their ornamental value in landscaping.

Shortly into the walk, if you take a right turn, you will end up in a peaceful, secluded spot next to the flowing Tarago River. There’s a picnic table where you can sit and take it all in. It’s also a fishing spot.

If you explore the short trails alongside the river, you may be lucky enough to find the hidden Bower Bird’s nest. Distinctive and unique, the nest sits on the ground and is made of two short parallel walls of twigs and straw, which create a narrow corridor. Surrounding it is a collection of random small blue items that the elusive Satin Bower Bird has collected to impress and attract a female.

Step back to the railway days…

On a momentous day in 1890, people in the small mining settlement in Red Jacket Creek (close to Rokeby) would have been elated that the newly constructed 10-mile rail track to Warragul was finally opened.

Imagine the excitement on the faces of men, women and children as they watched the first mighty steam train power along the narrow track. The loud puffs and hissing reverberating through the bush would alert people at the next station that it would arrive soon.

Construction of the track continued for another year to extend the line all the way to Neerim South. In the meantime, passengers would step off at Rokeby Station and get a horse drawn carriage to Neerim.

You’ll notice that there are sections where the track drops and other parts where the trail has been cut out of hills, with steep inclines on either side. This was dug by hand and with explosives. Imagine how tough and exhausting it would have been for the construction workers, spending long days digging and shovelling dirt and gravel.

Timber, potatoes, milk and gravel were some of the goods transported by train. In the 1950s, road transport started to replace the steam trains. The railway maintenance costs were so high that it was no longer viable and the rail line was officially closed in 1958.

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We are fully self-contained and can take care of everything including attendants.


We also offer catering for many other occasions including birthdays, weddings and engagements.

You can find us at Markets around Gippsland and we can prepare our menu to suit your event.

Contact us today on 0447 728 547 or brent@brentsinclaircatering.com.au

110 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 Call Brent Sinclair on 0447 728 547 146 McCartin Street, Leongatha, Vic 3953 E: brent@brentsinclaircatering.com.au www.brentsinclaircatering.com.au When looking for a superior culinary experience from an intimate gathering to a lavish banquet choose Brent Sinclair Catering. Relax and have the Brent Sinclair Catering team handle all the details and tailor any menu to perfectly suit your event.
Please visit our Facebook @BrentSinclairCatering for weekly changing menus and specials.


New Members Welcome. Reciprocal rights with RSL'S in Victoria, South Australia & Tasmania


OFFICE: 5662 2012

RECEPTION: 5662 2747

BISTRO: 5662 4487





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Corner of Smith Street & Michael Place, Leongatha CORNER OF SMITH STREET & MICHAEL PLACE, LEONGATHA

Laurel Foenander introducing

Inspiring Artist, Conservationist & Bird Lover

Words by Megan Woolfe | Photos supplied by Laurel Foenander and Doug Pell

It’s easy to see why so many people love Laurel’s paintings. They are showcased in galleries throughout Australia and have even found their way to collections across the world. Our very own Gippsland born and bred artist has won over 100 art awards, and presented numerous solo exhibitions. She describes herself as a contemporary realist painter and has been a professional artist for almost 30 years.

So what is it exactly that draws people to Laurel’s paintings? There’s no doubt they are incredibly emotive. Her mystical, natural scenes spark wonder and joy. At the same time, they bring a sense of calmness and serenity. The bright, vibrant colour contrasts capture dramatic skies and beach landscapes.

Her paintings invite you to witness the beautiful, intimate moments between our unique native birds. From black cockatoos perched up high, to delicate blue wrens flitting around performing a bush dance, to a cheeky parrot that playfully pecks at its mate.

Laurel’s paintings celebrate the beauty all around us. They are an enticing reminder to take time out, to appreciate and connect with the magic of the natural world.

Laurel emphasises that her artistic purpose goes beyond just aesthetics. “My works are far deeper than just pretty, decorative features.”

“My hope is that when people look at my paintings, they will be influenced to make better decisions to take care of the environment. Even small actions like planting more trees or choosing sustainable products- when done collectively, these things can make a huge difference.”

“I feel my responsibility as an artist is to show what is important…to try to impart the message.”

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Laurel with Fynn & Arkie Lest We Forget The Locals and the Lookout-Fossil Bay The Loved Ones Garden Royalty

Laurel Foenander

The effects of climate change and bush fires have been a recurring theme throughout Laurel’s career. On Black Saturday, over 20 of her paintings were on display in the Jinks Creek Gallery. They were all reduced to ash.

Despite her disappointment, she says “I was fortunate compared to others. Many people lost their whole houses and farms, I only lost my paintings.” Then in 2022, the extreme opposite occurred, when floods ruined some of her works in a Mornington Peninsula gallery.

The painting that won Laurel the prestigious MSC Maritime Art Award in 2021, is named ‘Lest We Forget.’ She created it as an urgent plea to not ignore the devastation that can result from climate change.

"I painted all the people and animals that I love on a big boat, to rescue them. It was cathartic in a way, to paint them in the darkest and loneliest days of lockdown.”

Laurel’s childhood is filled with fond memories of looking after animals. She lived in Warragul and then on a small farm in Jindivick. Her father was an aviculturist and greatly influenced her curiosity and appreciation for birds.

Laurel studied Art in year 11 and 12 but ironically, her art teacher advised her not to go to art college. “I suppose the sort of art I did was not seen as particularly relevant at the time.” Laurel had a variety of jobs after finishing school. However, she reflects “I always kept getting drawn back to creative projects, whether it was sewing clothes for my children, doing pottery or just drawing.”

When she decided she wanted a portrait done of her daughters, instead of paying someone, she decided to do it herself, so she took a few informal art classes and her passion grew from there.

Gardening is her other passion. “I get outside into my garden as much as I possibly can. When I’m out doing physical work outdoors, my creative ideas come to me and roll around in my head. Then I come inside and spend my afternoons and evenings at the easel. It gives me the perfect balance.”

Laurel’s fondness and love for birds has meant that she has cared for many, where she lives in Longwarry. “If someone finds one on the road, it will often end up here and we look after it until it recovers and can be released.”

“A lot of people don’t notice that birds are incredibly affectionate, social and comical characters.”

Laurel’s husband, Wayne is also a creative soul, a sculptor, art courier and musician. Art is a central part of their day to day lives. In fact, Laurel doesn’t have a separate art studio, instead she paints in a central part of their home.

“I used pastels for many years, then I discovered oils. I absolutely adore the texture of it and I love the texture of birds so my style is very much about incorporating both of these elements into my works.”

“For me, painting is a constructive form of meditation. I’m not saying it’s always easy, but I feel like I get into flow with it. It’s great for my well-being and I’m incredibly fortunate that I can also make a living from it.”

“I hope I will paint until the day I die. That would be my ultimate dream.”

114 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3
“I wanted to show we can all be climate refugees - it doesn’t just impact people on small pacific islands.” Her idea was formed from what happened during the devastating fires in Mallacoota, when people had to be evacuated in boats.
“Painting is an essential part of what I do every day. It grounds me and connects me to who I am. When I’m on holidays and I can’t paint, I’m thinking about what I could paint. My brain is always gathering bits and pieces to formulate ideas and inspiration.”
Laurel’s Studio





(Open from 9am—5pm on the first Sunday of each month, except Jan and Feb). This is located across from the Longwarry market. It is also open other times, by appointment.


Many of Laurel’s paintings are available as greeting cards and limited-edition prints, which can be purchased through selected galleries or by contacting her.

gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 115
Laurel & Wayne

‘Til The Cows Come Home Three calves fight for their lives

At least 400,000 bobby calves are destined for slaughter each year in Australia (RSPCA Australia). This is the story of three who were rescued by 'Til The Cows Come Home. Heartbreakingly, they did not all make it.

Words by Maiyah Kenz and Photos kindly supplied by ‘Til The Cows Come Home

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Oscar was not given a name at his birth; he was just a number. Stripped from his mother after only three days of his birth, he was facing the same fate as hundreds of thousands of calves.

As a boy in the dairy industry, not producing milk diminishes the value of his life. He is considered a “surplus” or “waste” product.

His mother, like most female cows on dairy farms, is kept in a constant cycle – artificial impregnation, birthing, milk production, repeat. He may have not been the first calf she had carried and birthed, to be taken from her. Sadly, nor would he be the last.

You may hope the routine abuse would become easier for her. This is not the case. So traumatised, mothers have broken down fences, cried in anguish and even hidden their calves from farmers.

Their stolen calves are usually split into two groups, those for human consumption and those to be "disposed of". Oscar was destined for the latter.

This is when Sari and Oscar's paths crossed.

Sari is a foster carer at ‘Til The Cows Come Home, an Australian not-forprofit animal charity. On her property in Gippsland, she homes unwanted calves – giving them the medical treatment they require, and the love they deserve. She has spent years developing relationships with dairy farms in Gippsland in an effort to rescue as many calves as possible.

When calves are born – before they are due to be “disposed of” – Sari and ‘Til The Cows Come Home will negotiate their rescue.

Oscar was one of those lucky calves.

When picking him up, Sari witnessed first-hand him being snatched from his mother, his mother following in panic.

"I was a bit shocked that he had been left on mum for 3 days as they are normally removed within 12 to 24 hours so the cow can get back in the milking shed." – Sari Williams, 'Til The Cows Come Home Foster Carer and Acting Foster Care Coordinator.

Initially, he struggled a little to settle into his newfound freedom. Sadly, this is no surprise after the trauma he has endured.

"Oscar was wild with not having any human contact for 3 days. Just enjoying the love and care of his mum. He had so much fear in his eyes. When I put him in a lovely warm straw-filled calf shed, he started crashing into the walls and gates – trying to escape.

He wouldn't even glance at me. I think if he had got loose, he would have ran and ran until he fell exhausted.

I just sat down in the corner and talked and talked about anything and everything so he could get used to my voice. He just stood wide-eyed staring out the gate."

It's no doubt he misses his mother, the first days were difficult for Oscar and Sari.

"Night time milk feed was the same, more banging and crashing into everything. I had to corner him and hold him tight to get him to drink, he kicked out backwards and made a nice mess of my legs. But I was just so relieved he drank.

Over the next 24 hours, I spent so much time sitting and talking slowly getting closer and closer. I even managed a little chin tickle. I was elated!" After a few days of unwavering love, consistent care and bucketloads of patience he has now settled nicely into his foster home with Sari. It is truly incredible to see the change love can create.

Others have not been so lucky. Only a few weeks after Oscar's rescue, Benjamin was surrendered into our care.

When Sari first laid eyes on Benjamin, he was a tiny, skeletal little boy, still trying to take in the world he’d been born into only three days before. He was extremely ill and heartbreakingly not all rescues survive. Sometimes they’re too sick, too far gone. Sometimes, they just don’t have the strength to fight.

Over the next few days, Benjamin switched between drinking from a bottle and having to be tube-fed. Sari got up at midnight every night to feed him electrolytes.

With each passing day, his eye grew cloudier. His energy levels never picked up. Benjamin’s eye had clouded over so much, it was blue. As if he’d gone blind. He refused his milk. He refused to stand. Sari knew.

“Fostering calves is the most rewarding, wonderful experience. They make you smile, laugh, cry - and they break your heart when you can no longer help them, and they slowly pass away in your arms.”

For the few days Benjamin had on this earth, he knew love he would have never known. This is what keeps us fighting. This is what drove Sari to return to the farm and continue our mission.

Cows, much like humans, are sociable animals. They bond with their friends and like any of us in the most stressful of times we need our companions. Oscar was now safe, but lonely.

Until he met Daryl.

Daryl was set to face the same fate as Oscar, on the same farm in Gippsland. With the support of our generous donors, we could stop that from happening.

Thus begins the bromance of this pair. Sharing this journey bonded them into the inseparable duo they are today. They have relied on one another and now never leave each other’s side.

As the best of friends, they have morphed into one. A pair of ‘firecrackers’, excited for life and full of beans. Don't let this fool you though, they are softies at heart. Always on the hunt for cuddles, we know anyone would fall in love with them both just as Sari and our team have.

"Daryl very quickly bonded with Oscar and now they spend their days grazing the paddock, cutting laps around the paddock or sleeping in the sun."

Now ready to find their forever home. If you can open your heart and home to these joyful boys, giving them another chance at life, please get in touch by emailing info@tilthecowscomehome.org

At ‘Til The Cows Come Home, it is our mission to transform the lives of unwanted farm animals through rescuing, rehoming and promoting a kinder world. This is only made possible through the generosity of the public.

People's kind donations are what allow us to continue to rescue and rehome unwanted calves in Gippsland, please consider donating through our website: calf-rescue.tilthecowscomehome.org

About ‘Til The Cows Come Home

‘Til The Cows Come Home is a registered animal charity in Australia, operating Australia wide and founded in 2018. We rescue unwanted, unviable, “waste’’ farmed animals, rehabilitate them in short term foster care and rehome them into safe, loving, forever homes as companions.

To date we have helped transform the lives of over 1,800 farm animals. We are predominately made up of volunteers and rely on the kindness of public donations to keep our mission going.

We are the voices for those forgotten and we hope we can inspire you to not only share their stories but make more compassionate choices.

Our Vision: Create a more compassionate world where farm animals are viewed as companions, not commodities.

Our Mission: We transform the lives of unwanted farm animals through rescuing, rehoming and promoting a kinder world. We give a voice to farm animals by telling their stories and inspiring change.

gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 117

Books for Everyone

Libraries are treasure troves of books for people of all ages. From thrilling stories to amazing facts, you can find books that spark your imagination and curiosity. Libraries have books for kids, parents, and even grandparents! You can borrow these books for free and bring them home to enjoy with your family. Reading together creates special moments and helps everyone learn new things.

Fun and Learning

Libraries are not just about books—they are also full of exciting activities and programs! Imagine attending a baby rhyme or story time where a friendly librarian reads exciting stories and brings characters to life. You can also join reading clubs and meet new friends who love books as much as you do! These activities make learning fun and help you become a better reader.

“We love attending Waterline library for Rhyme time. As a new Mum it has been wonderful for my mental health, making new friends and seeing the lovely social skills my daughter is developing. None of this would happen without Rhyme time.” Library Patron

Discovering Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)

Have you ever wanted to explore cool gadgets and the world of computers? Libraries have computers and technology just waiting for you to discover! You can use them to play educational games or do research for school projects. Explore the amazing world of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by joining a workshop at your local library. Libraries help you explore the exciting digital world and gain important skills for the future.

Unleash Your Creativity

Whether it's painting, collage, sculpting, or jewelry making, the library provides a space for you to explore, experiment, and let your imagination soar. Unleash your inner artist, make new friends who share your love for creativity, and discover the joy of self-expression through art and craft activities at the library!

Exciting Events and Workshops

Libraries are buzzing with exciting events and workshops that your family can attend together. From craft sessions to workshops on topics like art, dancing, or even cooking. Libraries are places where you can make friends, try new things, and create amazing memories.

Support for Parents

Libraries understand the importance of supporting parents on their incredible parenting journey. That's why they provide a range of resources to help you along the way. You can explore parenting tips, find wonderful books to read with your kids, and connect with fellow parents who share the joys and challenges of raising children. Libraries are your go-to source for valuable information, engaging literature, and a supportive community of parents ready to embark on this amazing adventure with you.

“I have made some beautiful local friends, and having events and a space to bring the kids and connect with other likeminded people has been amazing for my mental health through the journey of becoming a mum.” Library

So, the next time you visit a library, remember that it's not just a place with books—it's a world of wonders waiting to be explored! Libraries have books for all ages, fun activities, homework help, cool technology, exciting events, and support for your family. They are here to help you learn, grow, and create beautiful memories together. Get ready for magical adventures at your local library!

Myli libraries are located in Bass Coast, Baw Baw, Cardinia & South Gippsland Shire

For more information, visit myli.org.au or call 1800 44 6954.

118 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3
Libraries are like magical worlds filled with books, knowledge, and exciting adventures! Did you know that libraries do much more than just lend books? They are special places that support families in many incredible ways.
Let's explore how libraries can help you and your family learn, have fun and grow together!

Libraries: Magical Places for Families to Learn and Grow

gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 119

with Stephanie Johnson


21 March – 19 April

Winter begins and sees you start a new fun-filled activity, something that triggers a healthy mindset. Reading, writing, short courses, connecting with friends and such like are all emphasised at the start of the season. If you are in two minds about what to focus on, then you can talk it out. If something is troubling you then ask for help. The idea is that the June planetary line-up gives you the boost that you need to be more mindful and creative as you prepare for a personal cosmic shift from July 18 when the Moon’s Nodes enter your Zodiac Sign.

20 April – 20 May

You can count your lucky stars as planet Jupiter is now in your Zodiac Sign until May 25, 2024, heralding a period of abundance. Since May 2018 your finances and security have been subjected to the ups and downs of erratic Uranus. Now your fortunes improve. Fortune favours the brave. You are a natural accumulator; some would even say a hoarder. Now it’s time to take a few calculated risks. Jupiter in Taurus encourages you to be more generous and perhaps adventurous. You could spend some of your hard-earned income on travel, study, sport or religious pilgrimages.

21 May – 20 June

It’s time to tidy up any loose ends from recent times, or even from the distant past, so that you can move forward with more confidence. The start of Winter is cause for celebration as the Sun is in your birth sign. Like the fairy Tinker Bell, or Peter Pan, you flit from person to person, or event to event spreading your pixie dust and encouraging others to fly.  As Winter progresses, your stars align and encourage you to spread your own wings. You have the perfect excuse to indulge in some self-care and anything that uplifts your spirits. Find the wind beneath your wings.

21 June – 22 July

You are a Moon-ruled person. In other words, your Zodiac Sign is governed by La Luna. You may have found the recent Eclipse season somewhat challenging. And lessons may still be unfolding. If you are feeling overwhelmed, then June is your month to retreat. Some ‘cave’ time could be therapeutic as you say goodbye to old habits, memories from the past and perhaps even to a loved one as they journey far away. By the end of June, you soon find your way out in time to celebrate your new Solar year and the rest of the season.

23 July – 22 Aug

June is a supercharged month for Leos. The lucky planet Jupiter is high in your Solar chart, and the planet of action, Mars, is in your Sign. And these are just a couple of planetary influences. You are energised, ready to tackle something new and exciting. Opportunities arise through your social contacts – friends, groups and clubs. Associates are ready to support your hopes, dreams and wishes. As the season progresses, it’s possible that you receive an award, or boost for your endeavours in your professional arena. Or perhaps you have the chance to promote yourself through public speaking, writing, publishing and such like.

23 Aug – 22 Sep

June sees you start a journey. ‘Journey’ is defined as the physical act of travelling from one place to another, usually a long distance. In current times, it is used to describe the process of an emotional or spiritual transition, of moving from one place of realisation to another. You are keen to start your own personal journey, whether it is physical, emotional, intellectual or spiritual. You are embracing a change of perspective. This could be through study, travel, sport, teaching, or religion. By the end of July, you have a clearer picture and sense of purpose through these activities.

23 Sep – 22 Oct

Metaphysical matters are likely to be the focus this season. You may be drawn to the metaphysical poets, or perhaps your own sixth sense is more finely tuned. A course in a topic that is far from mundane may appeal. The idea is that you delve more deeply into the meaning of life, and what gives you purpose rather than simply skimming over the surface. An event or person may trigger your need to transcend everyday life. Cycles appeal – sleep cycles, economic ones, weather patterns and even the supernatural could all feature. You are then ready for action at the end of August.

23 Oct – 21 Nov

You have a date with destiny in June. A fated encounter triggers strong emotions. Are you ready? Singleton Scorpios may meet their match. A proposal may even be written in the stars. And if you are already in a committed relationship, then your union is highlighted for better or worse, and most likely better as lucky Jupiter is in the marriage sector of your Solar Chart. Rewards come through your main business and personal associations. If you have been waiting for legal news, or to sign a contract, then June is a fortuitous month, preparing the way for the rest of Winter.

22 Nov – 21 Dec

Early Winter is your time to establish healthy habits that provide a foundation for the rest of the season. Your ruling planet Jupiter is travelling through the health sector of your chart giving you the impetus to start or maintain good health. You can benefit greatly from a change in diet, an exercise plan and routines that uplift your spirits. The idea is that you embrace daily activities that boost your overall sense of wellbeing. It’s your private life that is the focus. Small animals may also feature in your plan to increase the pleasure that you seek each day.

22 Dec – 19 Jan

Capricorns are not usually noted for whimsy or romance, but June could see a hint of both of these. A person or project is likely to light your imagination this month, leading to unaccustomed feelings. It’s time for you to focus on fun and creativity. Your usual dutiful nature can be set aside for a short period, at least, so that you can pursue something or someone who appeals to the less practical side.  If this concept seems alien, then perhaps start with a fantasy novel or film, and see where either of these lead.

20 Jan – 18 Feb

Your private life is the focus at the start of Winter. Family fortunes are undergoing changes, and somehow you find yourself in the thick of the ups and downs. Perhaps the structure of your family is changing, as parents grow older, or children go to school. Or maybe you are making changes that disrupt the flow of family life. It’s also possible that you are changing your family rooms, moving house, renovating or such like. This is your opportunity to make alterations in your private life to better suit your personal needs and provide a strong basis for the Winter months.

19 Feb – 20 March

This Winter season is about expressing yourself. You need to find a way to voice your thoughts and feelings, so that you have the best possible mental health. This could be communicating to loved ones, or perhaps a more private form of expression such as journaling. Research has shown proven health benefits to journaling or writing feelings and thoughts. It’s also possible that you plan to take a short trip, or book a short course, or perhaps write something more than a journal entry. The idea is that you focus on positive mental activities

120 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3
and avoid needless worries at this time of year.
Stephanie Johnson (BA/J) is an international consulting astrologer running her own Seeing With Stars business for personal and business clients. Stephanie also heads up Esoteric Technologies, the company that produces astrology software for professional astrologers around the world. She was one of the original creators of the world-renowned Solar Fire for Windows and continues to co-create apps for the iPhone, iPad and macOS. Stephanie lives and works on the Mornington Peninsula, and writes horoscopes for her own business, as well as local bespoke magazines. She is also the author of numerous astrology reports which are used across the globe. You can follow Stephanie @seeingwithstars on Instagram | Twitter | www.seeingwithstars.net

corner canine

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Apollo [standing ] & Venus [lying down ] Fynn Bikie Dog Arkie George Parker Crunchy is hungry! Poppy wants a walk Tilka 'Chib'
gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 123 Do you want to place a photo of your dog in Canine Corner ? It's easy, just email us your pic and their name at gippslandlifestyle@bigpond.com ...just pawfect our best friends proudly brought to you by winter
Lily & Jerry Jack from Port Albert Jasper Abby Bullzeye Dolly

Wonthaggi Heathlands

Cutlers Beach

I discovered the Wonthaggi Heathlands a few years ago and I have kept on returning on a regular basis as this area not only contains walking tracks that go for miles but presents lovely views of the heathland which in Spring is full of colour, in fact, depending on the time of the year you will always see colour emanating from the natural flora and fauna that is in the heathlands.

At times the tracks can get boggy as it is a wetland area, but there will always be parts available for you to take a stroll, you can also walk your dog and many do, even ride a bike and often there are horse riders about too.

The Wonthaggi Heathlands is a vast area and has many starting points, the one I prefer is the walk to Cutlers Beach which is a 2km walk from the entrance. There are two ways to get there, one through the heathland and the other through a bush track that in sections is covered by tea tree canopies, actually handy on a wet day as you get a bit of cover, also you cross a low lying wet section via a boardwalk.

For more information about the various sections of the Wonthaggi Heathlands go to: Parks Victoria www.parks.vic.gov.au and Bass Coast Shire: www.visitbasscoast.com.au

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gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 127 WHOLESALE ENQUIRIES WELCOME 03 5674 1014 | info@melaleucanursery.com.au | www.melaleucanursery.com.au Find us on facebook @MelaleucaNurseryInverloch 50 Pearsalls Road, Inverloch Vic 3996 instagram: melaleucanursery

Gippsland will finally have its very own magazine dedicated to the ARTS featuring many of our talented regional & local artists, creators, textile art, metal & wood sculptures, history of art, photography & more.

gippsland art coming soon!

For all details of this brand new magazine please check out our facebook site Gippsland Art and our website www.gippslandlifestyle.com for updates and our new media kit for GIPPSLAND ART

128 gippsland lifestyle winter ���3

Set in Jindivick’s rolling green hills discover an acre of recycled metal sculptures and browse the gallery space hosting the work of contemporary artists and Laurie’s small stories sculptures. Call in anytime, no cost and see the studio (amongst the metal chaos!)



In celebration of 100 Years of the Wonthaggi Miners Friendly Society Dispensary

On the 23rd March, 2023 was the official opening of the historic wall mural painted by Dennis Leversha and Jim Barritt.

gippsland lifestyle winter ���3 129
420 Main Jindivick Road, Jindivick VIC 3818 P: 5628 5224 | E: info@lauriecollins.com.au
For more info visit www.redtreegallery.com.au Thanks Laurie - Good on ya
JULY Emah Silberstein paintings Grace McDonald paintings JUNE Members of the Warragul Camera Club with a show called INTERLUDE A variety of images representing a moment between busy lives. JIm Barritt & Dennis Leversha
Jeff Bourman is your local MP for the Eastern Victoria electorate in the Victorian Parliament’s Legislative Council Jeff Bourman MP Member for Eastern Victoria Unit 1, 9 Napier Street Warragul Vic 3820 Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Victoria (03) 5623 2999 Jeff.Bourman@parliament.vic.gov.au Jeff fights for regional jobs, promoting regional and rural lifestyle Jeff is your voice in the Upper House of the Victorian Parliament
Authorised by Jeff Bourman, Unit 1, 9 Napier Street Warragul, Funded by Parliamentary Budget
www.virtuehomes.com.au MBA VICTORIA REGIONAL RESIDENTIAL BUILDER OF THE YEAR 2022 'BUILDING EXCELLENCE' Visit our range of Display Homes Today | www.virtuehomes.com.au | 03 5176 5997 Don’t downsize your standards Step up with Virtue Homes RURAL CUSTOM HOME SPECIALIST BUILDER

Articles inside

Wonthaggi Heathlands Cutlers Beach article cover image

Wonthaggi Heathlands Cutlers Beach

pages 126-131
with Stephanie Johnson YOUR STARS WINTER 2023 article cover image

with Stephanie Johnson YOUR STARS WINTER 2023

pages 120-121
‘Til The Cows Come Home Three calves fight for their lives article cover image

‘Til The Cows Come Home Three calves fight for their lives

pages 116-118
Laurel Foenander article cover image

Laurel Foenander

pages 114-115
Laurel Foenander introducing article cover image

Laurel Foenander introducing

pages 112-113
WALK, RUN OR RIDE THEM THIS WINTER article cover image


pages 109-110
Rokeby Trails article cover image

Rokeby Trails

page 108
THE GURDIES WINERY article cover image


page 107
KORUMBURRA’S Best Kept Secret article cover image

KORUMBURRA’S Best Kept Secret

pages 104-106
Foster & District Agricultural Show article cover image

Foster & District Agricultural Show

pages 96-99
Creativity Blooms in Ryan Parsons' Unique Garden Sculptures article cover image

Creativity Blooms in Ryan Parsons' Unique Garden Sculptures

pages 94-95
Tambo Valley Racing History article cover image

Tambo Valley Racing History

pages 89-90
HighRacingCountry article cover image


pages 84-88
Boisdale article cover image


page 81
The Boisdale Stables A Community Restoration Project article cover image

The Boisdale Stables A Community Restoration Project

pages 79-80
Blue Pool Waterhole article cover image

Blue Pool Waterhole

pages 76-78
as“busy a bee" article cover image

as“busy a bee"

pages 74-75
Water Tower Yarram Heesco article cover image

Water Tower Yarram Heesco

pages 72-73
Gippsland article cover image


pages 68-69
A ROARING SUCCESS! article cover image


pages 64-67
Artisan Cheese & French~Style Wine article cover image

Artisan Cheese & French~Style Wine

pages 59-63
WINTER IN SOUTH GIPPSLAND... article cover image


page 56
A hospitality training course almost fifty years ago ultimately led Mark Heath to a lifetime career in the wine industry. article cover image

A hospitality training course almost fifty years ago ultimately led Mark Heath to a lifetime career in the wine industry.

pages 51-55
Gippsland Wine A VINTAGE COLLECTION Company article cover image

Gippsland Wine A VINTAGE COLLECTION Company

page 50
A Little Town’s Big Achiever article cover image

A Little Town’s Big Achiever

pages 48-49
The Charming Village of article cover image

The Charming Village of

page 43
LOCH article cover image


pages 40-42
Winter Whales at Phillip Island article cover image

Winter Whales at Phillip Island

pages 36-39
Conservation Hill & Rhyll Inlet Walk article cover image

Conservation Hill & Rhyll Inlet Walk

pages 34-35
WINTER ON PHILLIP ISLAND article cover image


pages 29-33
Welcome to Phillip Island, 101km2 of amazing experiences distilled into one easy-going island sanctuary. article cover image

Welcome to Phillip Island, 101km2 of amazing experiences distilled into one easy-going island sanctuary.

pages 22-26
Last Willow gone from Agnes River article cover image

Last Willow gone from Agnes River

pages 16-19
Trends, Fashion & Design Classics what’s happening in jewellery article cover image

Trends, Fashion & Design Classics what’s happening in jewellery

pages 12-15
An Artistic Nod to Wonthaggi's History article cover image

An Artistic Nod to Wonthaggi's History

pages 10-11


page 6
Wonthaggi Heathlands Cutlers Beach article cover image

Wonthaggi Heathlands Cutlers Beach

pages 126-131
with Stephanie Johnson YOUR STARS WINTER 2023 article cover image

with Stephanie Johnson YOUR STARS WINTER 2023

pages 120-121
‘Til The Cows Come Home Three calves fight for their lives article cover image

‘Til The Cows Come Home Three calves fight for their lives

pages 116-118
Laurel Foenander article cover image

Laurel Foenander

pages 114-115
Laurel Foenander introducing article cover image

Laurel Foenander introducing

pages 112-113
WALK, RUN OR RIDE THEM THIS WINTER article cover image


pages 109-110
Rokeby Trails article cover image

Rokeby Trails

page 108
THE GURDIES WINERY article cover image


page 107
KORUMBURRA’S Best Kept Secret article cover image

KORUMBURRA’S Best Kept Secret

pages 104-106
Foster & District Agricultural Show article cover image

Foster & District Agricultural Show

pages 96-99
Creativity Blooms in Ryan Parsons' Unique Garden Sculptures article cover image

Creativity Blooms in Ryan Parsons' Unique Garden Sculptures

pages 94-95
Tambo Valley Racing History article cover image

Tambo Valley Racing History

pages 89-90
HighRacingCountry article cover image


pages 84-88
Boisdale article cover image


page 81
The Boisdale Stables A Community Restoration Project article cover image

The Boisdale Stables A Community Restoration Project

pages 79-80
Blue Pool Waterhole article cover image

Blue Pool Waterhole

pages 76-78
as“busy a bee" article cover image

as“busy a bee"

pages 74-75
Water Tower Yarram Heesco article cover image

Water Tower Yarram Heesco

pages 72-73
Gippsland article cover image


pages 68-69
A ROARING SUCCESS! article cover image


pages 64-67
Artisan Cheese & French~Style Wine article cover image

Artisan Cheese & French~Style Wine

pages 59-63
WINTER IN SOUTH GIPPSLAND... article cover image


page 56
A hospitality training course almost fifty years ago ultimately led Mark Heath to a lifetime career in the wine industry. article cover image

A hospitality training course almost fifty years ago ultimately led Mark Heath to a lifetime career in the wine industry.

pages 51-55
Gippsland Wine A VINTAGE COLLECTION Company article cover image

Gippsland Wine A VINTAGE COLLECTION Company

page 50
A Little Town’s Big Achiever article cover image

A Little Town’s Big Achiever

pages 48-49
The Charming Village of article cover image

The Charming Village of

page 43
LOCH article cover image


pages 40-42
Winter Whales at Phillip Island article cover image

Winter Whales at Phillip Island

pages 36-39
Conservation Hill & Rhyll Inlet Walk article cover image

Conservation Hill & Rhyll Inlet Walk

pages 34-35
WINTER ON PHILLIP ISLAND article cover image


pages 29-33
Welcome to Phillip Island, 101km2 of amazing experiences distilled into one easy-going island sanctuary. article cover image

Welcome to Phillip Island, 101km2 of amazing experiences distilled into one easy-going island sanctuary.

pages 22-26
Last Willow gone from Agnes River article cover image

Last Willow gone from Agnes River

pages 16-19
Trends, Fashion & Design Classics what’s happening in jewellery article cover image

Trends, Fashion & Design Classics what’s happening in jewellery

pages 12-15
An Artistic Nod to Wonthaggi's History article cover image

An Artistic Nod to Wonthaggi's History

pages 10-11


page 6