So often on road trips we drive past the same exit, repeatedly, without questioning what could be there. We’re so focused on our destination that we miss little gems. However, on our way home from Yanakie and Wilsons Prom recently, in no rush and hankering for a coffee, we decided to detour into the tiny village of Loch.
It’s literally a minute off the South Gippsland Highway.
How cute is this old railway station?
However I think it’s been a long time since a train’s stopped here. More often, the reserve is used for the monthly market.
It’s also the backdrop to the Loch Village Food and Wine Festival and the Garden Festival held during the year.
Loch is quiet and unhurried, a respite from the busy highway and the perfect place to break the trip with a coffee or more.
The Main Street was once a busy highway but today the wide garden lined street is more conducive to a Sunday afternoon stroll. Still, the tiny village has thrived since the town by-pass was completed in 2008 and more people are discovering it’s charms.
Just two kilometres out of Loch there’s gorgeous rural views from the Cape Horn lookout and, when nature calls back in town, even the dunnies have a story to tell.
You’ll find cute cafes, like the Cosy Kitchen, the Rustic Cacao Factory or Olive at Loch. Check out the Loch Brewery and Distillery for some fine beer, gin and whisky and for wine lovers the fabulous Gippsland Wine Company is just out of Loch.
Step back in time inside the antique stores and galleries and, for those who want more info on the area, The Hard Loch Cafe has the Prom Country Tourist Information inside.
There’s something for everyone here, even opera lovers.
One of the joys of country life is the way communities embrace all types of music and Loch is no exception.
On Saturday August 18 a huge night of opera is planned at the Loch Public Hall, as locals and visitors are invited to dust off their black ties and bling.
Inside the old hall music lovers will be treated to an evening of opera performed by the Melba Opera Trust.
Whether it’s country, classical or pop, I love places that support live music. Places that nurture promising young singers to develop and realise their full potential, to prepare them for the world stage.
If you’re not into opera you can just stretch the legs through town. It’ll only take you about ten minutes to get from one end to the other!
From the cafes and picnic grounds, through Sunnyside Park and the walking tunnel that goes under the bypass connecting the town. Here we found walls of fun and fascinating information on the Giant Gippsland Earth Worms.
They can grow up to three metres long!
Okay, so the giant Earth Worms in Loch might not rival the Loch Ness Monster, but seeing one would sure make you think twice.
The track crosses the Loch-Poowong Road before ending at the Loch Recreation Reserve, just near the suspension bridge over Allsop’s Creek. Don’t be surprised to see an Anzac Soldier and Digger at the other end.
Everything here feels so hidden. Then, another surprise, we find a camp ground on the other side of the bridge.
There’s both powered and unpowered camping in the Loch Memorial Reserve, a prime spot to stop for a night. It’s close to town, there’s showers available (you can organise for a key) and best of all, it’s within walking distance to the pub.
Non campers don’t miss out either. They can stay at the Royal Hotel which provides Bed and Breakfast.
This is a place full of unexpected surprises and quirky characters.
The first place we visited when we pulled off the highway was the old Mechanics Shed. It’s not my usual shopping experience but the other half was in his glee and enjoyed bantering with the owner Andy, originally from Sardonica, Greece.
Where is it?
As we journey through August stay open to those detours and off the beaten track opportunities that open up the world to you.
Veer off the main road, make a different decision and remember that sometimes amazing things appear when we take a different route.
Make August the month you detour into somewhere new.
Stay happy, keep adventuring and enjoy the journey.
In light and love.
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Outanabout YOLO “You only live once”