PAGE 14 I LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE PHILLIP ISLAND WONTHAGGI INVERLOCH LEONGATHA WILSONS PROMONTORY FOSTER TOORA YARRAGON ROAD NERRENA ROAD ROUGHEAD STREET ANDERSON STREET S O U T H G I P P S L A N D H W Y O G I L V Y S T R E E T MCCARTIN STREET BASS HWY STRZELECKI HWY K O O N W A R R A R O A D Police LEONGATHA WELCOME TO 3953 TO MIRBOO NORTH TO GIPPSLAND SOUTHERN HEALTH SERVICE TO KORUMBURRA TO INVERLOCH Scan here for full detailed map Distance fromMelbourne: 134km Population: 5600 approx. Amenities: A large commercial centre, the town also boasts historic buildings and marks the start of the Great Southern Rail Trail. Hugged by prime dairy country Nestled in the foothills of South Gippsland’s Strzelecki Ranges, Leongatha is a pleasant country town. Servicing its local population and smaller surrounding towns, Leongatha offers a large commercial centre with a good selection of shops. Surrounded by prime dairy country, it is home to the largest co-operative dairy in the southern hemisphere. Dairies have operated in the area since the 1870s when forests in the area were cleared. South Gippsland really opened up to trade and trav- ellers when the railway came through in 1892, boosting the development of the area. the Great Southern Rail Trail, which ends in Port Welshpool and passes through several small towns where you can stop off for a bite to eat, a visit to a winery or gallery, or a browse of the local shops. An interesting addition to the town in October last year was a statue of Lennie Gywther in Centenary Park, which has already become quite a landmark. The artwork commemorates nine-year-old Lennie’s solo trek to Sydney in 1932. The local farmer’s son rode his pony, Ginger Mick, to Sydney, to witness the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, a treat bestowed upon him for working so hard on the farm. A number of historic buildings reflect the architecture of the time including the post office (1906), courthouse (1912) and Mechanics Institute (1912), which now serves as a museum. One of the town’s most impressive buildings, its Memorial Hall, was built between 1925 and 1926. Today it functions as a community hall, citizens advice bureau and art and craft gallery. Leongatha marks the start of Nine-year-old Lennie Gywther’s solo ride from Leongatha to Sydney in 1932 to witness the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is remembered in a statue of him with his pony, Ginger Mick, in Leongatha’s Centenary Park.