The giant earthworm


Quiet Gippsland township servicing the surrounding beef and cattle farms
Bass is a small and attractive town located 109 km south-east of Melbourne via the Princes, South Gippsland and Bass Highways. To the west, it faces the tranquil waters of Westernport and, to the east, are the dairy and beef cattle inland farms. The town was named after George Bass (of Bass and Flinders fame) who reached Westernport Bay in 1798 and sailed some distance up the river which also bears his name. He named Westernport as it was the most westerly harbour he had found on Bass Strait.The visit is commemorated by a memorial in the George Bass Park.

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The former Union Bank at 34 Stanley St, Toora


Small picturesque dairy town in Western Gippsland
Located 197 km south-east of Melbourne, Toora is a small town surrounded by undulating hills which are primarily used for dairying. The word 'toora' is said to be an Aboriginal instruction which translates as 'woman, look after fire'. It was reputedly used regularly when the men in the group departed for religious ceremonies at Wilsons Promontory.

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An attractive wooden house in Stratford


Stratford (including Briagolong and Munro)
Small service centre in West Gippsland
Situated at a ford on the Avon River, 232 km east of Melbourne via the Princes Highway, Stratford's principal industries are dairying, sheep, cattle and horse breeding. There is some dispute about the origin of the town's name. Some claim it to be a variation on "straight ford" while others have suggested it comes from England. The most plausible explanation seems to be that it is named after the birthplace of William Shakespeare at Stratford-on-Avon in England. In any case the locals have embraced the connection and a Shakespearean festival is an annual event.

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Boats moored at Paynesville


Paynesville (including Raymond Island and Rotomah Island)
Resort and holiday destination on the Gippsland Lakes
Paynesville is a seaside resort situated between Lake King and Lake Victoria. It is located 298 km east of Melbourne via the Princes Highway. The town was formerly a shipbuilding centre and a vital port in the district's shipping. Historically large vessels could reach Lake King via the McMillan Straits.

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Boats at the marina, Port Albert

Port Albert

Port Albert
Attractive and historic port.
Port Albert, located 238 km south-east of Melbourne, was one of Victoria's earliest settled ports. Although the area is often mentioned in Aboriginal myths, it remained undiscovered by Europeans until 1841. In the first two months of that year, the site of the future township was visited by three separate exploration parties, marking an appropriately enthusiastic start to a town that would make a dramatic rise to prominence in the ensuing decades.

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Boats at low tide near the jetty at Port Welshpool

Port Welshpool

Port Welshpool (including Welshpool and Barry Beach)
Quiet port on the Gippsland coast.
Port Welshpool is located 191 km south-east of Melbourne via the South Gippsland Highway. Located at the north-eastern margin of Corner Inlet, it is not surprising that it initially relied almost exclusively on the ocean's marine life for its prosperity. An anchorage, apparently established offshore near Snake Island, was used by whalers as early as the 1830s.

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Leafy Kay Street in Traralgon


Traralgon (including Glengarry)
Important industrial centre in the heart of the Latrobe Valley.
Traralgon, situated in the economically important Latrobe Valley, is located 162 km south-east of Melbourne via the Princes Highway and 38 metres above sea level. It is thought that the town may have been named by Edward Hobson, an early settler, after two Aboriginal words possibly meaning "river of little fish".

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Yarram Club Hotel in the main street


Yarram (including Balook and Woodside)
Central service township in West Gippsland
Yarram is located 220 km south-east of Melbourne via the South Gippsland Highway and 21 metres above sea level. Located in the shire of Alberton, it is notable less for its own sights than for its proximity to the surf of Ninety Mile Beach (14 km), the Tarra-Bulga National Park, the Strzelecki Ranges and Wilsons Promontory.

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