Leongatha

An agricultural and pastoral town, often used as a base for the exploration of Wilsons Promontory.

The town hosts an Agricultural Show in February, the Daffodil and Rotary Art Festival September and the Leongatha Food and Wine Festival in January.

Location: 125 km south east of Melbourne.

Brief history: the first Europeans into the area arrived in in 1845. Timber getters cleared the forests of huge mountain ash trees from the environment in the 1870s. During the recession of the 1880s the government sought ways to alleviate unemployment by establishing a land clearing labour colony here. The colony operated from 1893 until 1903, when the clearing project was completed; 6000 men had passed through the colony. None of the colony’s buildings survived the subdivision of the land for soldier settlement farms after World War I. The name is of Aboriginal origin, believed to refer to teeth.

South Gippsland Tourist Railway

Things To See and Do

Firelight Museum (9 km north) displays a vast collection of antique lamps and firearms, many of which are several centuries old.

Leongatha Art and Craft Gallery: features a mixture of traditional and contemporary local artworks and crafts, many of which are for sale, as well as changing exhibitions. The Gallery is managed and operated by all volunteer staff of the Leongatha Art and Craft Society Inc

Heritage features: Firelight Museum

Surrounding Area

South Gippsland Tourist Railway: runs a collection of historical diesel locomotives and railcars between Leongatha, Korumburra and Nyora along a 36-kilometre section of former Victorian Railways track. It is a section of the former Great Southern Railway which once stretched almost 250 kilometres from Melbourne to Woodside, between Yarram and Sale. The steep and windy track skirts its way along the hills of the beautiful Strezlecki Ranges, with spectacular views across Gippsland and towards Phillip Island and the Wonthaggi coast. trains operate every Sunday. Ph (03) 5658 1111.


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