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Traralgon And The Latrobe Valley
 
traralgonThe most beautiful region of Victoria would have to be the expansive Gippsland region, which covers most of eastern Victoria with beautiful beaches, lakes, snowfields, rainforest, mountains, wide rivers and lush valleys. Its vastness and diversity males it an ideal place for any visitor who is after beautiful sights, historic places and fun activities and adventures.

The Latrobe Valley is a centrally located within the region and acts as a perfect base for exploration of Gippsland because of its ease of accessibility to numerous nearby attractions. Nestled on the banks of the Latrobe River and surrounded by historic gold rush towns, Latrobe Valley will make you feel right at home and allow you to enjoy a holiday that you will never want to end.

The town of Traralgon is regarded as the entertainment capital of the Latrobe Valley. It also enjoys an idyllic location, which boosts its tourism profile while also making it an important industrial centre. Positioned on the Princes Highway, just 160 kilometres south east of Melbourne, this town is easily accessible and truly enticing. Back in the golden days it acted as a stopping place for drovers in the gold rush. Today, it is steeped in heritage that pays homage to this important development era.

Traralgon is the largest town in the Latrobe Valley, and a service centre for the surrounding timber, farming and paper industries. During the day it is a shoppers paradise, and at night it transforms int a fun and funky party town where restaurants, cafes and nightclubs come to life. With all this going on, and with the Latrobe Valley waiting to be explored, Traralgon certainly presents itself as an attractive holiday destination all year round.

The town itself also offers plenty to see and do. A highlight would have to be the beautifully designed golf course, which is a challenging place to try your hand at 18 holes. After a hard day of golfing you can enjoy a meal and a drink in the clubhouse and simply relax. Victory Park, near the centre of town, is perfect for picnickers and walkers. The gardens are beautifully landscaped and house the large marble sculpture Lars Compatalis, as well as a historic band rotunda. A short walk away, (crossing a footbridge that traverses a creek), you will find Newman Park, which is extremely popular amongst kids because of its large adventure playground and miniature train that operates one Sunday a month. After a day browsing the parks and shops of Traralgon, why not head to the Latrobe Performing Arts Centre for a comedy show or some live music? Its a great way to kick off an entertaining evening.

Journey fifty kilometres south of town and you will come across the Tarra-Bulga National Park; a National Park whose fern gullies are home to giant Mountain Ash trees and ancient myrtle beeches. Nestled on 2015 hectares, stepping into this park feels like you are taking a step into the movie set of a fantasy film-. The thick green vegetation, the moss covered rocks and tree trunks and the spectacular landscapes could almost be home to pixies, dwarfs and gnomes!

The park is situated on the Strzelecki Ranges and these rocky slopes provide for a setting of unique bushwalks and scenic drives, where wide views of the surrounding countryside greet you around each corner. Grand Ridge Road offers a truly scenic drive but while driving it, be careful of its narrow and windy nature. Venture onto the Fern Gulley Nature Walk which begins at the Bulga Picnic Ground, and includes the infamous suspension bridge. There are numerous other picnic areas in the park, but if you stop at any, make it the one at Tara Valley because it enjoys an extremely close proximity to the majestic Cyathea Falls.

Immerse yourself in the golden days of the past and pay a visit to the quaint and friendly little town of Walhalla. This town was one of the most important towns in the gold rush period, at its peak being home to over 500 people. Today only a small amount of people populate the town, but they have retained their heritage through their maintained buildings which will take you on a journey through the past. This, coupled with the idyllic setting of the town in a deep river valley surrounded by state forest, makes Walhalla a must on your to-do list while in the Latrobe Valley.

Keeping up the the demand of tourists, the Latrobe Valley offers plenty of accommodation options to choose from; in fact, you will be quite spoiled for choice. For a convenient, comfortable and welcoming place to base yourself on holiday here you cannot go past the Century Inn. Positioned right next to the Princes Highway, it has a wide range of accommodation options that cater to singles, couples, families and groups. There is a popular restaurant and bar on site, and conference facilities are also available.

The highlight of Victoria's Gippsland is no doubt the Latrobe Valley. This beautiful region, and its towns, are just waiting to be explore so there really is no excuse for not planning your next holiday to this region! Exciting and convenient Traralgon is the ideal place to base yourselves, and from the comfort of the Century Inn there you can see what the city and region has to offer. So why not plan your holiday now and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime?

Christine Barton




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