Lakes Coast Visitor Guide

LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE I PAGE 49 PORT ALBERT YARRAM CENTRAL GIPPSLAND LOCH SPORT SALE MAFFRA STRATFORD BAIRNSDALE Lush on the Gippsland Plains Country Drive An attractive and friendly rural town situated on the Macalister River, Maffra is surrounded by lush pastures and is the ser- vice centre for the rich Macalister dairying, agricultural, pastoral and irrigation district. Maffra is the largest town on the C105, the Gippsland Plains Country Drive, a peaceful scenic alternative to the Princes Highway that gives access to the mountains to the north and the sea to the south. With a continuous backdrop of the Australian Alps, the tree lined scenic drive passes across the Central Gippsland Plains and through one of the richest dairying districts in Australia. Maffra was the location for an experiment in sugar production using beets in the late 19th century. Other minor attempts to establish such production in Victoria had taken place as early as 1866, but this local effort was by far the most serious. The Maffra Sugar Beet Company was registered in 1896, with the building of a factory commencing the following year. Originally in private hands, it was later taken over by the Victorian Government, continuing until 1948 when the weather and competition for labour from the dairying industry ended it after World War II. GIPPSLAND VEHICLE COLLECTION Like many great ideas in Australia, the one to form the Gippsland Vehicle Collection (GVC) came about over a few beers. The Grand Prix Rally had travelled through Maffra for the third time in a row and the Maffra and District Car Club had organised a display of cars to line Johnson Street, which got a few men talking. “We were saying it was a shame that all the great cars on show would be pushed back into their sheds and not seen again,” GVC executive member, Peter Quennell, said. It wasn’t long before they decided they could create a motor muse- um to showcase all the interesting vehicles from throughout the region and beyond, and give them their time in the sun. That conversation led to two years of ‘hard slog’ that transformed a dilapidated, abandoned building into Maffra’s, and the wider region’s, premier tourism attraction. Since then it has displayed almost 3000 vehicles, had almost 70,000 people through its doors, held 35 display days and provided immeasurable hours of nostalgia, memories, insights and laughs for members and visitors alike. The collection now incorporates Model World Maffra, a collection of more than 3500 models that include 1:18 and 1:43 scale models of fire engines, racing cars, vintage and veteran cars, trucks and buses, most Australian vehicles and a collection of Elvis Presley memorabilia. Other exhibitions change every four months in line with three different display themes each year. The 30s and 50s Jitterbug to Boogie Woogie exhibition will showcase vehicles from those decades and run through until February 23, 2019. Visitors of all ages find something they love in the exhibits that bring back memories of days gone by. The Gippsland Vehicle Collection is the home of local and visiting vehicles of all sorts from days gone by. 1A Sale Rd, Ma,ra www.gippslandvehiclecollection.org.au $10 per adult | $8 concession | Under 15s FREE GIPPSLAND VEHICLE COLLECTION Now includes MODEL WORLDMAFFRA The '30s and '50s - Jitterbug to Boogie Woogie exhibition November 11, 2018 to February 23, 2019. Model World Ma-ra features more than 3500 models - one of Australia's largest public displays! Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday from 10am to 4pm and every day in the school holidays.

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