So, you are thinking seriously about an internship in East Gippsland, but – why would you really want to move to East Gippsland? Because you might just discover the REAL life you’ve been looking for…
What do you need to know?
Well, we’re talking about 2 main locations – Sale (in Wellington Shire, 214 km east of Melbourne) and Bairnsdale (in East Gippsland Shire, 280 km east of Melbourne).
East Gippsland– it’s as east as you can go in Victoria.
And, well, it’s worth the trip.
It might take a little while to get used to all that nature, all those friendly people, all those nice neighbours – it IS another world – that you will seriously love.
It’s beautiful to look at. And there is space to move. Wildly. Madly. Or slowly. Or dawdle.
And there are no traffic jams or parking tickets (to speak of).
And there is sooo much to do (or not).
When we speak of East Gippsland we’re talking about dynamic and diverse communities with a love for their environment and contented lifestyles. And of the creative culture that ‘I’m there!’ kinda people create without even trying. What we mean is, there’s lots to see, do, get involved in – or, on the other hand – you can simply immerse yourself in the endless coastline, the stunningly photogenic Lakes, or the eminently walk-able forests. Choose your own adventure.
FAB FOOD – FRESH AND FORAGED
These days, thanks to a globally re-found love of home grown food, foraged delicacies, and fresh, organic cuisine, East Gippsland is the place to be. With loads of freaking-fresh fruit & veg at the door, family orchards, Farmer’s Markets, farmgate offerings and local producers – the cafes are bursting with great food, boutique brews & ciders, and great coffee – all surrounded with that crisp country air that you soon take for granted.
FINE WINE DINE
For those who like their urban hit of fine food and wine – and a good strong latte, rest assured you’ll be well satisfied by the café culture that has taken hold in the east.
We’ve conducted a quick vox pop to round up your best NO FAIL options.
In Sale – head for the likes of Mr Raymond, Hunting Ground, Redd Catt and Equus @ The Wedge [ Esso BHP Billiton Wellington Entertainment Centre] … or go wild and discover the slightly-more-distant-treasures – like the Tinamba Hotel, Toms Cap Vineyard, or Wildfish at Port Albert just to name a memorable few.
In Bairnsdale we love what The Stables, Paper Chase, New Leaf and Northern Ground are doing with local produce and very fine coffee. But then, on your day off – discover the joys of Metung, Nicholson (Nicholson River Winery), Bruthen (Bullant Brewery), Lakes Entrance (Ferrymans Café and Miriams). And that’s just to name a few…
There’s no doubt we are rich with nature and wild adventures. Walking trails, cycling circuits and of course the fabulously compelling Rail Trail that connects a string of East Gippsland towns where the train once rolled. The Gippsland Plains and East Gippsland Rail Trail cover over 150 kms of our unique landscape. (Not to mention the kayaking, white water, sailing, fishing, skiing and snowboarding all at our doorstep).
But it’s not ALL beer and skittles. We are also up to our elbows in great art & cultural experiences. With creativity oozing from the main galleries in Sale and Bairnsdale, there are smaller galleries, studios and workshops dotted throughout the region – from Mallacoota to Yarram to Swifts Creek and Metung there are creative destinations at every corner of East Gippsland. Sculpture, glass, ceramics, print workshops, painting, drawing, photography, textiles abound! Choose your own obsession.
GALLERIES & THEATRES
Sale is the home of the Gippsland Art Gallery, hosting over 30 exhibitions a year, from all the best international, national and local artists. Next door – the theatre maximus – Esso BHP Billiton Wellington Entertainment Centre has a relentless program of theatre, song, music, dance, comedy … everything!
Twenty minutes east of Sale, the town of Stratford (on the River Avon) is home to the Courthouse Theatre & Seque Community Gallery. This newly renovated 100 seat facility produces professional & community productions and offers the best arthouse films around through its bustling film society.
Travel a little further afield for the sublime Cowwarr Art Space – a glorious (1918 ) Butter Factory that has been transformed into a gallery for contemporary art.
The East Gippsland Art Gallery in Bairnsdale has calendar overflowing with great exhibitions from artists around the region – and a series of community-supported workshops and projects.
Just down the road apiece, Nungurner is not only a stunning stopover, but home of Tallon Glass Studio, Oneofftwo Contemporary Jewellery and a brand new art gallery opening soon– all nestled on The Loop.
But it would be fair to say that the depth of East Gippsland’s cultural vibrancy comes through live performance, festivals, pop-up responses to nature and community-made opportunity. It lives and breathes among us in writing groups, choirs, makerspaces, yoga gatherings and collaborative projects.
The (f)route project has become a force in the far east, that consistently enchants the uninitiated traveller. Throughout the year we combine fruit and art to create impromptu events – popping up in orchards, beside rivers, in caravan parks, among forests and on faraway beaches. At (f)route breakfasts we share found fruit and good conversation. We welcome locals and newcomers, tell stories of peaches and pomegranates, bottling and bees. make chutney and soak up the atmosphere. Recommended for warm welcomes.
The traditional inhabitants of the Gippsland region are the GunaiKurnai. Indigenous culture is precious to East Gippsland with many acclaimed Aboriginal artists living and working in the region. Krowathunkooloong (The Keeping Place) and the Batuluk Cultural Trail are a great place to begin your appreciation of this wise and generous culture. After that – there are plenty of hands-on opportunities to get involved in great cultural projects that preserve and respect traditional skills in a groovy, culture hungry, caring world.
There’s no end of little towns and big drives. Long beaches and long walks.
And yes cafes with truly glorious coffee.