Foster township

Foster – Victoria’s Secret

Foster township is located at the very heart of Prom Country, just two hours SE of Melbourne and 30 minutes from the gate of the magnificent Wilsons Promontory National Park.  As the main shopping centre in the area, Foster is a short drive from other popular attractions, including Shallow Inlet, Corner Inlet, the spectacular beaches of Sandy Point and Waratah Bay and Victoria’s highest waterfall, Agnes Falls.

This less-travelled part of Australia really is Victoria’s best kept secret.  It is blessed with magnificent beaches, ancient forests, rich soil, abundant rainfall and vibrant, caring communities.  People really do come here for the beauty – and stay for the lifestyle.

See the Google map of Foster

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What people have said about Foster…

Megan and Scott Bindloss and family, who moved from suburban Melbourne to Foster, where Scott has re-established his successful cabinetmaking business. Megan…

“It was important to me to have good services, such as library, shops, medical, schools – especially schools. I did quite a bit of research before we reached our decision. This move has been great for us. We’ll never go back.”

Norm and Paddy Broberg took a seachange to Foster and declare it to have been…

“absolutely the right thing to do”.

Paddy…

“This is such a beautiful place to live, and Foster is a unique town, having, amongst many other positive features, a thriving artistic community to which we happily belong. We also have friends of all ages and backgrounds with whom we share diverse interests. I’d have to say that as much as anything else, it’s the people who hold us here.”

Dianne Brabant visited Foster only once before she knew she wanted to live here. She has bought a house, found a job and couldn’t be happier…

“I saw Foster, fell in love with it and knew I wanted to be here because it is beautiful and the people are friendly.”

Go back to the city? You're kidding!

The district is famous for its award-winning cheeses, cool climate wines, beers, fruits, preserves, succulent beef and lamb, potatoes, herbs, bush foods and fresh locally caught fish – and a wonderfully rich arts culture.

The area from Foster to Toora, Welshpool and Port Welshpool is home to a large fishing fleet. Dairy, beef cattle and sheep production are the main rural activities and the area benefits from being one of the highest rainfall areas in Victoria.

Lifestyle

Living in Foster and the Corner Inlet District is all about discovering a simpler pace of life.  No traffic lights, no traffic jams and definitely no stress.  People love the uncrowded streets and their peaceful, relaxing ambience – and the parks and gardens that are maintained to perfection year round.

This is a friendly, welcoming and open-minded community, where people have a sense of peace and belonging – and feel privileged to live here.

Residents love the fabulous natural environment – spectacular views, beautiful countryside, amazing wildlife.  And they love the fact that the entire district is culturally and intellectually stimulating, with live theatre, community choirs and a rich arts culture.

It’s an amazingly active community that gets things done and provides endless opportunities for people to become involved in a myriad of activities and projects.

The district is blessed with brilliant schools, healthcare and recreational facilities as well as well-resourced sporting clubs and shopping precincts.

For visitors

This part of Victoria represents a path less travelled.  While only two hours from Melbourne, it’s right on the Sydney-Melbourne coastal route, and just a short drive from the Penguins at Phillip Island.

The natural unspoilt beauty of the district is full of natural wonder, with wildlife, empty windswept beaches, rainforests and waterfalls.  For visitors looking for action, there’s surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, snorkelling, diving, swimming, fishing, golfing and more.

Climate

The Corner inlet district has an enviable climate, with ample rainfall, full dams and NO WATER RESTRICTIONS!.  Our average annual rainfall is second only to the Otways, which means that our grass is almost always green, our water catchments almost always full and our level of stress is lower than in other parts of Victoria – and Australia.

At the same time, we suffer less heat stress in summer, but are warmer in winter months compared with other Victorian locations.

Month Daily minimum (°C) Daily maximum (°C) Days of rain Monthly rainfall (mm)
January 14.0 20.2 9.9 51.9
February 14.8 20.5 8.8 46.0
March 14.1 19.4 11.9 69.0
April 12.6 17.3 14.8 84.7
May 11.0 14.9 17.7 113.3
June 9.3 13.0 18.8 119.8
July 8.3 12.2 19.4 121.7
August 8.4 12.8 19.4 119.9
September 8.9 14.2 17.5 98.6
October 9.9 15.8 16.0 93.1
November 11.1 17.1 13.4 71.0
December 12.6 18.8 11.9 63.2
TOTAL 1052.2

Tourism

‘Prom Country’ is a magnet for nature-based tourists exploring the region’s national, state and marine parks.  The region is known for its coastal wilderness, rainforests, sweeping uncrowded beaches and abundant wildlife.

These natural attractions – and the scenic beauty of the surrounding area –  attract more than 1.1 million experience seeking visitors annually. Tourism contributes over $220 million dollars to the local economy.

The spectacular beauty of Wilsons Prom is right on Foster's doorstep.

Town facilities

Foster Main Street intersection

Foster Main Street

Foster is the major service town for the Prom Country/Corner Inlet district and is so well resourced, there’s no need to go anywhere else.  Included among its many services are:

  • Three banks: ANZ, Bendigo and Commonwealth
  • Two supermarkets
  • A bookshop
  • Two butchers
  • A fishmonger specialising in locally caught fish
  • Award-winning fruits and vegetables
  • Two bakeries
  • Three cafes, two take-aways and a pub
  • Two petrol stations
  • Pharmacy
  • Newsagent
  • Post Office
  • Hardware shop
  • Homewares, carpets and furniture
  • Hospital, doctors and allied health professionals
  • Library, Gallery, and
  • Visitor Information Centre

The Discovery of Gold in the Foster District

Originally named Stockyard Creek, Foster was once a stopover for drovers travelling through from Port Albert. By accident in the 1860’s, loggers discovered a rich strain of gold. A gold rush followed which finally ended in the 1930’s.

The discovery of gold proved to be a very rich find, and the registered claim was named ‘the Great Uncertainty’. After the news of the find became known, the rush to the field commenced, and many rich alluvial claims were discovered. The alluvial field comprised Kaffir, New Zealand and Ophir Hills, and a large area of the flats below them.

Some of the richest claims were Number One South, about where the present-day Commonwealth Bank is; the Scotchmans, in the old State School grounds; the Prussians, in the car park at the entrance to the old tennis courts; the Big Long, behind the old Shire Hall; the Rise and Shine, behind “The Mirror” office; the Lankies, behind the Court House, and many others.

When the alluvial field was more or less exhausted, mining activities were concentrated on quartz mining, three of the main ones being the Victory (the Historical Museum being on portion of the lease), the Gladstone in the Parks Victoria depot yard, and the Jubilee on Kaffir Hill north of Mrs. P. J. Wilson’s home.

The Victory commenced operating in 1887 and continued until 1908, producing 26,000 ounces of gold in that period. Mining continued spasmodically for a number of years, including the hydraulic sluicing of New Zealand Hill in 1917.

The last company-operated mines to work in the Foster district were: one near the site of the Foster Bowls Club house and in the Foster Recreation Reserve off Pioneer Street, opposite the Foster Primary School.

There was also alluvial mining at Turtons Creek but this ran out in about 10 years.

There was a small revival of prospecting and mining during the depression years, but nothing of any consequence resulted from these efforts.

Lookouts

The town offers magnificent views over Corner Inlet to the peaks of the Prom. Stop at Foster North on the South Gippsland Highway or Mt Nicholl Lookout, which is mid-way between Foster and Fish Creek for some of the best panoramas around.

The views from both lookouts are quite spectacular and extend from the towering wind turbines at Toora, across Corner Inlet to the Prom, to the sand dunes at Shallow Inlet and the islands beyond.

Population

The Corner Inlet area covers an area of 1,365.6 square kilometres and incorporates the townships of Fish Creek, Foster, Toora, Port Franklin, Welshpool, Port Welshpool and the smaller communities of Sandy Point, Waratah Bay, Yanakie, Mount Best, Hedley and Agnes.

It forms the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ South Gippsland East Statistical Local Area (SLA) and is referred to on the South Gippsland Shire Council’s community profile web site as the South East Coastal District.

At the time of the 2006 Census, it had a population of 5,467:

  • Foster & district, including Yanakie – 2,664
  • Toora & district, including Mount Best – 1,068
  • Fish Creek & district, including Sandy Point & Waratah Bay – 949
  • Welshpool & district, including Hedley & Agnes –  468
  • Port Franklin – 119
  • Port Welshpool –  199

The district is predominantly rural.  It is home to a significant fishing fleet, and is a nationally important region for dairy, beef cattle and sheep production.

Around 1,000 holiday homes in the area attract 103,000 visitors a year.  One-third visit during summer, with the remaining two-thirds spread almost equally across the other seasons.

In summer the population swells further with a large influx of day and overnight tourists visiting Waratah Bay and Wilsons Promontory National Park.  Wilsons Prom attracts around 400,000 ‘visitor days’ annually.

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