One of two country towns not bypassed by the Princes Freeway running between Melbourne and the Latrobe Valley, is the small village of Yarragon. With the 160 km duplication of the Princes Highway several towns between Melbourne and Traralgon no longer enjoy the passing trade. With a population of just over 1100 and full of old world charm, Yarragon nestles among the dairy farms with the imposing Strezlecki Range as a backdrop. It's a delightful town with such a variety of specialty shops, accommodation and food outlets that it will require several articles to bring them all to you.
As the centre point of the Gippsland Gourmet Country, visitors arrive from all four corners to sample its wines, cheeses, smoked meats and other handmade wares. If you're the browsing type, you'll be in seventh heaven in this neat little oasis. You'll find everything from shabby chic to new romantic including the kooky, comic and cuddly. Relax, wander and enjoy the diversity of Yarragon Village, just an hour and 30minutes from Melbourne along the Princes Freeway.
Right in the centre of the village, sits a beautiful old steam train K183 steeped in local history. At 71 years of age, it has been sandblasted and repainted and sits proudly on the centre nature strip, reminding all of the glorious days of steam locomotion. Caring hands and hearts have built an enclosure and have provided a roof to protect this grand old train, synonymous with the township as the logo of the Yarragon Primary School depicts.
Directly across the road you'll find Bob's Shed. Here you'll find quality, well designed vintage furniture. If you're into retro, funky or the highly unusual, look no further. I guarantee you will see the décor that you, or your parents, or your grandparents grew up with. Remember the laminated kitchen table you ate breakfast at each day? The range includes retro, teak, designer and olde worlde pieces, all in beautiful condition. There is also a wonderful display of motoring memorabilia and collectables.
All Creatures Great and Small provides the ardent pet lover with every conceivable type of toy, clothing or food container that a pet could possibly use. Their faces adorn calendars, books, umbrellas and soft toys. The master is not forgotten amongst the myriad of memorabilia on display from photo frames and speciality cards to gags and everything in between (like Flying Cows!) The eclectic range of goodies is such that even those who have sworn off pets, would still enjoy a stroll through.
Fancy a PennyWorth o' Lollies? The diverse range of confectionery contains selections of old fashioned English sweets, boiled lollies, fudge, liquorice, gummies and chocolate boxes. Not just for the sweet tooth, the shop also holds a good range of men's giftware including diecast model cars and tractors, metal signs, postcards, witches, gollywogs, fire engines, Betty Boop paraphernalia and other items of nostalgia.
There's just so much more to do and see in this artistic and quirky little village. There are some fabulous eateries I'd like to introduce you to, but that will have to be next time, along with the Ale House that sells 101 types of beers.
Set aside a day for a trip to Yarragon Village and I'll give you plenty more to add to your bucket list in a following article. I can assure you, it is worth the visiting.