The Boolarra Community Hotel has been on our check-list to visit for some time, but we were told that it wasn’t open and certainly whenever we’ve gone past, there hasn’t been any noticeable activity within or without. So I was more than surprised when I heard that the hotel had been acquired by the Boolarra community, with residents chipping in to take shares in ownership. Sometimes this seems to be the only way to resurrect a hotel that has fallen by the wayside and with a community located where it is, not having a pub handy is always an issue. And so it was with some interest that we decided to visit this Sunday for lunch, especially as we’d heard that the meals were very good.
The Old Pub (The Old Boolarra Pub as it’s alternatively known) in Boolarra has had a chequered history since it was first established in 1884. Apparently it was called The Selectors Arms originally, thought to have become a boarding house in 1916 and then named the Old Boolarra Pub some time later. When we first came to Mirboo North, we visited Boolarra not that long after and went to visit the Old Pub, but unfortunately it was closed. It was (is) a private residence and was re-opened as a cafe and B&B and, I understand, in 2014 it re-acquired it’s liquor license and is now a licensed coffee house and eatery. The Old Pub is a fine example of an old bluestone and timber building of the era, which carries that bluestone character to the interior of the pub. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to discover very much more about the history of the pub itself.
OK, this is not a story about Gippsland, but the blog provides an easier way to let friends read about the trip. And so it was that 2015 saw the Gang of Ten (GoT) descend on Renmark, South Australia, for a week of formidable adventure along the mighty River Murray. The GoT arrived at Renmark on a Tuesday afternoon and, while the Gatherers went into Renmark in search of sustenance, the Hunters were instructed in the finer arts of floating castle handling and the like. And, as the Gatherers’ quest continued into the late afternoon, the Hunters conferred with the gods and performed traditional rituals that would be repeated throughout the weekend.
The Dog House bar & bistro is one of those venues that you come across unexpectedly and which gives you a pleasant surprise both in how it presents itself and the first impressions provided by the likeable staff. Nestled within the Wild Dog Winery, a few kilometres south of Warragul, it resides right next door to the Wild Dog Winery restaurant and function centre, yet is a complimentary establishment rather than a competing one. Apparently the Dog House building was the residence for the winery some time back, but was sold a few years ago and converted into a bar & bistro.
The Meeniyan Hotel has been around in one guise or another since around 1892; the original being destroyed by fire in 1933 and subsequently rebuilt and added to over the years. The Meeniyan Hotel is located in a small township that sits on the South Gippsland Highway, on what is a gateway for tourists on their way to Wilsons Promontory and other tourist destinations such as Port Welshpool or Port Albert. The hotel’s latest owner Andrew, outstandingly friendly and informative, only acquired the hotel recently and has commenced major renovations and improvements to take advantage of its perfect location on this busy tourist route.
The Noojee Hotel at Noojee Victoria commenced operations in 1925 with the main intent of supporting the local timber industry. The Noojee Hotel has quite a history, along with the township itself, and has provided an important role to the community (other than serving beers) during a number of severe bushfires, an ever present danger for the area. Noojee itself is kind of typical of these old mountain townships that have discovered a sort of revival due to the tourist industry. Every weekend, at least in the summer months, thousands of people travel from north and south to visit Noojee and other similar towns as part of a weekend drive or ride.
The Commercial Hotel at Woods Point Victoria (better known as the Woods Point Hotel), is one of Victoria’s most iconic pubs (especially for those who venture to these parts), though by no means the oldest, and is located in a remote valley through which the Goulburn River runs and which became a mecca for gold prospectors in the mid-1800s. Woods Point reportedly had over 30 hotels in its heyday; but today, only one remains. Hopefully the current facilities can keep running, as it would be a shame if a part of history such as this were to fade away.
On a recent week-long camping trip into the Victorian High Country (Bentley Plain), I had the opportunity to photograph a small variety of wildlife that accompanied us and which also visited our campsite on a regular basis. It’s actually great to get out to these more remote areas (though far from unvisited, depending on time of year) and enjoy the peace and quiet of bush life. By no means were we completely out in the boonies; as the predicted weather made certain that we had to settle into a locale that provided reasonable shelter from the anticipated storms (and storms we did get), but bush life it was (in a 21st Century fashion).
Christmas means many different things to many different people and, of course, not everyone celebrates Christmas. Also for many, Christmas isn’t so much a religious thing, but more an excuse or obligation for family and whatever to get together; it can be a blessing or a curse. For us, Christmas has, for many years, been a reason to go going camping in the bush; getting away from the mad, mad, world at perhaps the maddest time of year. We’ve tended to do the family thing a week or more before Christmas Day, so that we can be in the bush well before the post-festive crowds start to dribble in looking for campsites. It also usually means some very relaxing days with friends, both pre and post-Christmas, as they too come in after carrying out their own obligations.
Manna-Gum at Broadbeach Is a restaurant almost hidden down a suburban street in Inverloch Victoria. It’s a very popular restaurant, for those in the know, and features excellent Asian style meals rarely found in this neck of the woods and hosts Greg and Sue have a long association with the region, having run restaurants and hotels in the area for many years. We’ve been going to the Manna-Gum for lunch for quite a few years to boot (even when we lived in Melbourne) and always look forward to an opportunity to visit. Each time I’ve tried to sample something different (Thai Prawn Omelette this time) and I’ve never been disappointed with any of the meals. The White Rabbit Dark Ale really hit the spot.