We are continuing to use our new found Covid freedom to get away for a few more days – this time to Brigadoon Cottages in Gippsland. We used to be frequent guests at these cottages but haven’t visited for a long time. It’s nice to be back at this very nice property.
Gippsland is a rural region of Victoria, located in the south-eastern part of the state.In 1840, when Victoria was still a colony and part of NSW, Polish explorer Paweł Edmund Strzelecki led an expedition across this area and named many of the local natural landmarks and places. He named this area “Gippsland” in honour of the New South Wales Governor, George Gipps who was his sponsor.
Gippsland is a well-watered region consisting of low, rolling hills descending to the coast in the south and the Latrobe Valley in the north. The major industries are forestry and dairy farming. It is not unusual to see large herds of up to 1000 Holstein cows in the paddocks. (During WW1, these cattle were renamed as ‘Friesians’ to avoid their German names and connotation but their original name is returning). These are the dairy industry’s ‘super cow’ and are genetically bred to maximise their high level of milk production.
On our way down here yesterday, we detoured through the very scenic hills to the little village of Narracan. There wasn’t much there other than the community hall, a crossroad and a church.
Nearby, up the appropriately named Falls Road, we found the Narracan Falls. In winter and spring you can hear the roar of these wateralls even before you have even stepped out of your car. Their steady flow continues right through summer. There is good access to the falls through a grassy paddock running alongside the creek and then down a dirt walking track that winds into the gully to the base of the falls and a muddy pool.
Today (Thursday), we made the decision to explore the area to the south of Newborough as it looked like rain and there were more small towns with cafes than in the mountains to the north We could more easily escape from the rain if needed. We ended up going to Port Welshpool to see its historic long jetty and then to Agnes Falls.
The 900 metres long jetty at Port Welshpool was built in 1927 and used in World War II by minesweepers and other navy vessels. It has a curve along its length because the main channel in this shallow area of Corner Inlet runs parallel to the shore. During the 1960’s the jetty was used by ships and barges for oil exploration in Bass Strait. For a brief time, passenger and vehicular ferries began operating a service to Tasmania from here. In 2004, the jetty was closed due to fire damage but restoration was completed in 2018.
At a total height of 59 metres, Agnes Falls is the tallest waterfall in Gippsland and one of the highest in the State. The falls drop over several tiers of rock, iYou can get a clear view of the falls from behind a waist high fence at two spots on the perched ledge that overlooks the downstream ravine.
We stopped in the little town of Toora for lunch. It is an historic town with a number of old buildings – among them, the Bank of Victoria building which is now a private residence.
Near the town is a wind farm with twelve wind turbines. I remember that Donald Trump, along with all the other stupid things he said, complained that wind turbines caused cancer. While this is a complete load of crap, I still held my breath for the tength of the ten minutes that we were at the viewpoint just in case!
These turbines are built from Danish materials and each has a rated capacity of 1.75 Mw. Their total generating capacity is 21 Mw of electricity – many, many times the output of the solar system on our roof at home. Vestas Wind Systems completed the power station in 2002. Contrary to Donald’s crazy rantings, there is no cluster of cancer cases in the local town.
Toora is dominated by the exceptionally ugly building of its local dairy factory. Sadly, it has just retrenched thirty workers – over half of work force because the export of infant formula to China (its major market) has been hit hard because of Corona Virus. The loss of these jobs has had a significant affect on this town of just 500 people.
We drove back to our cottage through the very scenic landscape of the rolling hills and farmland and booked a table for dinner at the local RSL..