As you make your way through South Gippsland to Foster and the Corner Inlet district, you’ll discover an eclectic mix of vibrant townships and villages, each with their own, unique personality.
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, the district had a population of 5,467:
|Foster & district, including Yanakie||2,664|
|Toora & district, including Mt Best||1,068|
|Fish Creek & district, including Sandy Point & Waratah Bay||949|
|Welshpool & district, including Hedley & Agnes||468|
You’ll know you’ve arrived in this fish-themed village when you see the giant mullet atop the roof of the Fishy Pub. Fish Creek is home to a thriving artistic community, and attracts visitors en route to Wilsons Prom, who browse the galleries and shops, or enjoy breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea at one of the charming, quirky cafe’s.
The rail trail passes through the centre of the town where there is a park with BBQs and a rotunda.
It’s a town where visitors feel compelled to stop and relax for a while.
See this ABC Arts online video about Fish Creek.
Other things to do while in Fish Creek:
Fish Creek (Vic Tourism website)
Sandy Point is an idyllic small coastal village two hours drive south east of Melbourne. Located at the northern end of Wilsons Promontory National Park and fronting both the surf beach of Waratah Bay and the water sports mecca of Shallow Inlet, Sandy Point is a perfect and accessible base for exploring the beauty of the natural attractions in the area.
Situated half way between Leongatha and Foster is the village of Koonwarra, which is famous for its holistic approach to sustainable living. Its commitment is evident through the organic food and wine, clothing, furniture and art, accommodation, health and wellbeing available. In 2004 Koonwarra became the first Eco-wise town in Australia.
The acclaimed Koonwarra Farmers’ Market is held on the first Saturday of each month, while the local cafes are renowned for their food, ambiance and gorgeous garden settings.
Other things to do while in Koonwarra:
Meeniyan is fascinating village at the ‘turning point’ from the South Gippsland Highway to Wilsons Prom and the seaside hamlets of Waratah Bay and Sandy Point.
Meeniyan was catapulted into national fame as ‘Rainbow’s End’, the location for ABC TVs popular Bed of Roses mini-series, starring Kerry Armstrong and most of the local community, who appear in the program mainly as extras. The a town growing in artistic flair and invites visitors to browse its seriously good art gallery, fine jewellery studio, gift emporium and cafes. Musicians of national and international acclaim play regularly at the Meeniyan Hall.
Toora is located right on Corner Inlet, a Ramsar wetland site of international significance, renowned for the migratory birds which nest in the area. The town has a number of heritage sites, including the hotel, bank, post office and old Toora Bush Nursing Hospital.
Visit the bird hide just south of Toora. Take the Toora Historic Tour by following the trail markers for historic buildings, and have refreshments at the cafes or hotel. Visit the lookout and wind turbines on the hills behind Toora.
Other things to do:
The coastal village of Port Welshpool revolves around fishing. Colourful commercial trawlers at the wharf make a great photo, and the views to Wilsons Prom are simply stunning.
At the heart of Port Welshpool is the old Long Jetty, built in 1939 and, until its closure in 2004, was the centre of recreational activity and tourism.
Today, there are strong hopes that the Jetty will be restored and reopened to the public, giving people once again access to the deep, clear waters that are home to a stunning array of resident and visiting marine life, including seahorses, crabs and starfish, schools of salmon and kingfish, along with dolphins, seals and penguins.
The Welshpool & District Horticultural Society hosts a popular flower show in October of each year with over 400 entries submitted from a range of locations in South Gippsland.
Things to do:
Walkerville is situated on the shores of Waratah Bay. Both Walkerville North and South overlook the Cape Liptrap Coastal Park and Wilsons Promontory. Once home to a thriving lime industry, remnants of the kilns can still be seen lining the cliffs of Walkerville South. Walkerville South has an historic cemetery. Boats can be launched from the beach. Walk along cliffs between Walkerville North and South. Picnic tables, electric BBQ and kiosk.
Cape Liptrap Coastal Park stretches from Point Smythe to Waratah Bay and features strikingly beautiful scenery.
Bear Gully is one of the Prom Coast ‘s hidden delights. Spend hours here exploring the coastline or rock pools and little sandy coves, walking, fishing or simply relaxing
Waratah Bay is renowned for its stunningly beautiful, safe surf beach beside a secluded holiday township. It has good playground and picnic shelters, and a lookout at the visitor car park at The Gap where, if you’re very lucky, you’ll see whales frolicking just offshore in the autumn months.
Walk in the Cape Liptrap Coastal Park behind the Waratah Bay Caravan Park, or enjoy a spot of surf fishing. Boats can be launched off the beach.
Nestled on the isthmus between Shallow Inlet and Corner Inlet Marine and Coastal Parks, Yanakie is the last settlement before the Prom.
The sheltered waters of Shallow Inlet provide a secluded and peaceful setting for a wide range of water based activities, while Corner Inlet provides a safe haven for over 180 species of birds. Walk along the Duck Point loop track, the Yanakie Landing circuit, or from Hourigan Camp Lane along the walking track to the beach at Shallow Inlet.
A little bit further afield: