Gayle Beveridge is a past winner of the Boroondara Literary Awards and her work has appeared in Award Winning Australian Writing. Gayle is passionate about family, writing, photography, and with Victoria’s beautiful Bass Coast which she now calls home.
Published November 1st 2019
Matured for 140 Years
Loch Village has been around since 1876. The village area of Clarence, Roy and Smith Streets and Victoria Road is identified as a heritage precinct in the South Gippsland Shire. Perfectly placed for a day trip from Melbourne this small town has it all. Visit galleries, shop for antiques, buy unique handmade clothing, relax in the outdoors, go to a festival or a market, admire the picturesque scenery or just come along for the great food and drink. Here are ten good reasons to turn off the highway and spend time at Loch Village.
Loch Village Street Gallery - Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge
1. Cape Horn Lookout. Around two kilometres south of Loch Village at 135 Loch-Wonthaggi Road this historic lookout accords 180-degree views of the picturesque rolling green hills that so typify this part of Gippsland. The lookout is a rest stop off the side the road with ample off road parking. There is a picnic table and seats and a directional cairn.
The view from Cape Horn Lookout - Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge
2. Sunnyside Park, Walking Tunnel and the Worm Story. Sunnyside Park is accessed from Victoria Road near its intersection with Loch-Poowong Road. Here you will find a skate park, a children's playground, open-air and covered picnic tables, open lawns, pretty gardens, treed areas and a historic jail building. From the park, a pedestrian tunnel goes under the bypass. On the tunnel walls, you will find a wealth of information about the giant Gippsland Worms, now an endangered species. Step out of the tunnel to a small post and rail fence, the top brightly decorated with paintings.
The painted fence at the pedestrian tunnel - Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge
3. Memorial Suspension Bridge and ANZAC Soldier Carving. The memorial suspension bridge was a community project built in May of 2000. It is a pedestrian bridge which crosses Allsops Creek from Memorial Reserve on Loch-Poowong Road to the Railway Siding area via the pedestrian tunnel from Sunnyside Park on Victoria Road. The Anzac soldier carved in wood stands at the town side of the bridge and as you approach him from the bridge you could be excused for thinking he is crossing to meet you. At Memorial Reserve, you will find oak trees with commemorative plaques for fallen World War II soldiers.
The suspension bridge over Allsops Creek - Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge
4. Old Wares and Antiques. Pop into Carringtons of Loch to buy or browse. This old wares and antique shop is well stocked and it will require time and a leisurely pace to take in all that is on display here. Set in a five-room vintage house at 40 Victoria Road and open seven days a week this is a must-see.
Carringtons of Loch - Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge
5. Arts and Crafts. Creativity is on display in abundance in Loch Village. a. Victoria Street Gallery at 34 Victoria Road displays a wide range of local crafts, handcrafted wood products and paintings. We purchased an original painting here last year for a family Christmas present. b.Tribal Threads Gallery at 46 Victoria Road is both a women's clothing store and an art gallery. Its in-house brand Ayako are made from natural fabrics. Some of the methods in the making of these are centuries old. c.The Caroline Askew Artist Studio displays Caroline's works. Caroline is a contemporary textile artist. d.Yakkity Yak at 36 Victoria Road sells handmade gifts from Nepal. This is a shop full of surprises. Would you like to buy some felt stacking rocks, some stylish tribal clothing or unique jewellery?
e. Peter McEwan Ceramics has a factory outlet at 13 Victoria Road. Shop for a wide variety of ceramic products or enrol in one of their casual pottery classes. f. Aus Woodcraft at 7 Victoria Road specialises in made to order furniture and signs. g.Small Forest is a clothing store which makes sustainable pieces in natural weave and vintage cloth.
6. Cafes, Coffee Shops and other Eateries. Visitors to Loch are spoilt for choice when it comes to getting a drink or a bite to eat. Check out one of these venues or go on a coffee shop crawl. Choose from Amalia's a café at 32 Victoria Road, Olive at Loch tea room and café at 38 Victoria Road, The Old Printshop Café at 27 Victoria Road which is open in the warmer months, Udder and Hoe at 37 Victoria Road which is open Thursday to Monday and Loch Village Food Store and restaurant at 35 Victoria Road.
7. The Good Drop. Make sure you've chosen your designated duty driver for the day as there is no shortage of places to for a drink or two. a.Gippsland Wine Company is at 6835 South Gippsland Highway. The cellar door is open Friday to Sunday. On offer are tastings, vineyard picnics, self-guided vineyard tours and masterclasses. Contact the company for more details. b.Loch Brewery and Distillery is a small batch, British style brewer and distiller operating from a century-old bank building at 44 Victoria Road. The Cellar door is open from Friday to Sunday. Why not take some time out with one of their gin or beer samplers in the pleasant and picturesque gardens.
Image from Loch Brewery and Distillery Facebook Page.
c.The Loch Wine Bar offers top Gippsland wines with cheese or wood fired pizzas. Located at 10 Smith Street the Loch Wine Bar is open Thursday to Sunday.
8. Centennial Park Murals. Stop at Centennial Park in Victoria Road and admire the murals. On the street front, a wall is painted with a draught horse pulling a plough, and in front of it, the plough itself is on display. On the wall of the public toilets in this small and shady park is a busy and colourful collage represented as postcards of Loch Village.
Centennial Park Murals - Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge
9. Festivals, Open Gardens and Markets. Loch is not a town to sit on its laurels and holds many events throughout the year. a. The Loch Food and Wine Festival runs on the Sunday of the Queen's Birthday weekend in June. The festival features local produce, food and wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, and children's entertainment. b. The Loch Village Antiques and Homewares Fair runs in early November at the public hall in Smith Street South. The Loch CWA put on Devonshire teas and the gold coin entry fees go to charity. c. The Loch Village Garden Club runs an Open Gardens event in early November. In 2019 there were nine gardens opened for an all-up entry fee of $5.00.
The beautiful Victoria Road streetscape - Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge
d. The Loch Village market featuring local produce, crafts and trash and treasure is held at the Loch Village Railway Siding on the second Sunday of each month from October to April between 9am and 1pm. During the colder months between May and September the market is held in the Loch public hall. Details can be found on the South Gippsland Community Directory website. e. The Makers Market runs a couple of times a year across several locations with a Christmas edition of the Loch Makers Market is held in early December.
10. Historic Buildings are plentiful in Loch. A leisurely walk around town will accord an appreciation of the aesthetics of these heritage properties. These are but a few. The Royal Hotel at 2 Smith Street was opened in 1917. It is a two-storey red brick building which replaced the original hotel constructed here in 1888 that burnt down in 1916. The Loch Village Food Store operates in premises originally called Bigelow's Store which was constructed around 1890. The old Post office at 7 Smith Street was constructed in 1913/14. It is one of only three post offices constructed in the shire before World War I. It is now used as a gallery. The Loch Mechanics Institute Hall at 16 Smith Street was constructed in 1891. It is the second oldest Mechanics Institute Hall in the Shire.
The Royal Hotel built in 1917 - Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge
Loch is around an hour and a half drive south east of the Melbourne CBD on the South Gippsland Highway. Turn off the Highway at Victoria Road, Loch. This is well signed. Loch is an easy day trip but if you would like to stay over and explore all this area has to offer a variety of accommodation is available with links to all provided on the Loch Village website. There is also the Loch Camping Ground by the Loch Memorial Reserve sports ground on Loch-Poowong Road. (03 5659 4441 or 03 5659 4360). For the day-trippers there are toilets, a playground and a BBQ at the recreation reserve on Loch-Poowong Road. For more information about Loch and the surrounding area go to the Visit Prom Country Website or the Loch Village website