Gayle is a retired accountant and a photography enthusiast living on Victoria's beautiful Bass Coast. Gayle is passionate about writing and keen to showcase Aussie culture to a global audience. Gayle loves her family, dogs, sunsets, and chocolate.
Published September 24th 2019
Singing Tooralli Ooralli Addity We’re Bound for Toora Today
Toora is a small town, one you might easily pass by. If you do you will miss the many things there are to see. We have driven through several times now, on our way to somewhere else. Each time we have stopped and each time we have come to know it better. So do yourself a favour if you are in South Gippsland, or on your way to Wilsons Promontory, to Sale or passing through to Mallacoota. Take a detour and spend a day or more at Toora.
It is a picturesque place, nestled in Prom Country and surrounded by rolling green hills. Its buildings testify to a long history, and they are displayed with pride. So far we have enjoyed at least nine of Toora's attractions. This may just be the beginning of my list as we will be going back.
1. Agnes Fallsis Victoria's highest single-span waterfall. It's quarter hour's scenic drive from Toora on the sealed Silcocks Hill Road. There is a picnic ground and toilets at the Agnes Falls Scenic Reserve Car Park. When we visited kookaburras were perched in towering eucalypt trees and we watched and photographed. Other birdlife was abundant with a grey shrike thrush coming surprisingly near to us. The falls are accessed by a short and easy 260 metre walking track which starts at the picnic ground, just follow the signs. There is an information board along the way and its work stopping to read it. At the end of the track, there is a viewing platform over the falls.
2. Silcocks Hill Road Lookout is a must-stop on the way to Agnes Falls. Watch out for the sign to the carpark on your right as you drive up the hill. Here you will have wide views over the rural landscape, the town of Toora and across the water to the mountains of Wilsons Promontory. Photographers will need to take a panorama to capture this scenic feast. A monument in the form of a compass clock was erected here in 1988 to commemorate Toora's centenary of settlement.
3. The Toora Wind Farm is also along Silcocks Hill Road. The carpark at the farm has been set up as a tourist attraction. The Toora Wind Farm was one of the first commercial wind farms in Victoria. Here you are near the turbines of which there are 12. You will be so close to one of them you will be able to hear the controversial noise of the blades for yourself. There are a couple of comprehensive information boards, one of which has a detailed diagram of a turbine and an explanation of how it works.
4. The Royal Standard Hotel is where we stopped for lunch on our first visit. This hotel was opened in 1889 and serves lunch and dinner seven days a week. It is a double-storey corner hotel with impressive verandahs. The hotel is at 69 Stanley Street and can be contacted on (03) 5686 2475. It was winter when we visited so the open fire was very much appreciated as was the hearty country meal they served. You will find historic photos around the walls and interesting artwork in the entrance hall.
5. Vintage Shopping is available in spades in Stanley Street. At Mauzie's Most Marvellous Vintage you can shop for ladies and gents vintage clothing. Toora Fancy Goods and Old Relics invites you to browse in their century-old corner store. We had a coffee and a scrounge around in the Toora Bargain Centre and Windmill Café. This is where we spent most of our old wares discovery time. There was plenty to see with every available space jam-packed with goods. The building was erected in 1904 for the Great Southern Co-Operative.
6. The Toora Village Studio Art Gallery at 25 Stanley Street is in the same complex as the Windmill Café. It is open Thursday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm. We enjoyed viewing the artworks on display. We found the lady here happy to chat a while, as was the case everywhere we went in Toora. They are welcoming folks. Exhibitions at this volunteer run gallery are changed throughout the year.
7. The Toora Tin Mine Mural fills the wall of a building next to the Playground in Stanley Street. The people of Toora hang onto their history and display it with pride. As is the case with the heritage buildings the mural too, has an information board. The board explains the challenges and triumphs of delivering water to the mine.
8. The Town Heritage Walk highlights Toora's history through illustrated and detailed information boards in front of ten of its historic buildings. The buildings were erected in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They include the State Bank Building (1906), St Thomas Church of England (1892), and the Great Southern Co-Operative (1894). Click here for details of the Toora Heritage Trail.
9. The Toora Bird Hide was the highlight of our last visit for me as I am a keen birdwatcher. It is accessed at the end of Toora Jetty Road. Before we even left the carpark we spotted royal spoonbills, egrets, ibis and black swans near the boat ramp. To get to the bird hide take the boardwalk which overlooks mangroves and wetlands. This area has been classified as a wetland of international importance by the 1975 RAMSAR convention.
There are information boards along the way and in the hide. Mud crabs can be spotted in the mangroves if you are quiet. They can be skittish and quick to retreat to their holes. The bird hide is large. The openings look across the mangroves to the beach at Corner Inlet and across the water to of Wilsons Promontory. We sighted many water birds including a large flock of eastern curlews. A pair of binoculars will come in handy here.
Toora is located 180 kilometres and around 2.5 hours south-east of Melbourne along the South Gippsland Highway or 13 kilometres east of Foster. For more details click here to go to the Visit Prom Country website or ring the Prom Country Visitor Information Centre on 1800 630 704 or (03) 5655 2233. If you wish to stay over try the Toora Tourist Park or the Toora Lodge Motel.