The year is 1918. The place: Bacchus Marsh Victoria. Over 1000 people have flocked to the main road that cuts through the heart of the town. Shovels poised and ready, the citizens wait on the bugle, the sound of which will initiate the planting of the 281 Dutch elms to commemorate those who served in the Great War. Within half an hour, all the saplings are planted, and are swaying in the gentle breeze along the approximately 3.3km stretch of road.
Today, these little elms have grown into a majestic archway that reaches into the sky where in some places the branches meet. It spans from the freeway exit, to the town centre of Bacchus Marsh. In 2018, the Avenue will celebrate it's centenary, and although almost a hundred years have passed, it still stands proudly, honouring the soldiers who died during the Great War. Every tree bears a metallic plaque with a single name boldly emblazoned upon it.
If the towering branches of the Avenue of Honour itself aren't enough to make you hop in the car and come for a gander, perhaps the assortment of fresh produce stalls that line the Avenue may sweeten the deal.
One of the more prominent shops on the Avenue is The Fruits of Life. A fresh produce/farm direct retail outlet, you will find enough fresh fruit and vegetables here to stock your fridge for all of winter. They also have a delightful assortment of gourmet smallgoods available for purchase, with gluten free treats in store as well.
The Fruits of Life is also the home of Oxygen Café. Here, you can tuck into a number of light lunch or snack options. They also have a variety of smoothies and juices available if you are feeling like something to quench your thirst, or, you could just sip on a hot chocolate or coffee while you delve into some deliciously decadent deserts and admire the historical canopy of the Avenue of Honour.
A little further down the road, you'll find The Big Apple Tourist Orchard. Australia is renowned for having 'big' things. The Big Banana, The Big Pineapple etc. At the Big Apple Tourist Orchard, you can venture a guess that you will find a decent sized model apple somewhere nearby. Although it isn't really the massive proportions of some of it's Australian counterparts, it still presents quite an interesting spectacle as a giant, red sphere in the middle of a field.
If farm fresh stalls are just not enough, you can pop into Naturipe fruits during certain times throughout the year and pick your own strawberries, cherries, apples, peaches and nectarines from the farm. However, if you aren't feeling particularly industrious, you can buy pre-picked fresh fruits from the on site warehouse.
Various other places of purchase can be found lining the Avenue. The best way to see everything the Avenue of Honour has to offer is to take a day trip and gambol through all the produce sheds and stalls to your hearts content. If you need a warm place to retreat after your day, you can always head into the Bacchus Marsh town centre to Baby Black Café and cosy down near the open fire with a hot coffee and a good book.