Maffra, Victoria – a different route when exploring East Gippsland
On a recent trip to Mallacoota, the furthest Victorian sea side town nearest the New South Wales border, we took an alternate route, off the Princes hwy by-passing Sale.
Our detour took us through the township of Tinamba and the onto Maffra finally re-joining the Princes near Stratford.
I have been travelling to the Gippsland Lakes and surrounding townships for many years now and had never ventured this way. Needless to say, I was not only surprised, but a touch disappointed I had not been previously acquainted with Maffra which struck me as a well established and attractive township with much to offer a passing traveller.
Having now spent a little time researching the area and looking at maps, the towns that you pass through on this way have clearly supported a larger population some years back. The farm land features many irrigation channels and the maps show a grid of roads to support the farmland and industry that would have thrived in this area some years before. There are historic houses and the likes but most obvious to me that the towns were once well populated (as we drove through at some pace on our way to Bairnsdale and beyond) are the beautiful established trees that line the road side.
As for timing. The bypass was similar or if anything, quicker than driving through Sale in my experience, so whether you drive to Maffra to visit, or simply as an alternative, scenic route from Sale, it is worth the effort to experience another part of Victoria.
- This town is located 228km east of Melbourne, and is surrounded by rich farming land. The 1890s saw the beginning of the sugar-beet industry in Maffra and the formation of the Maffra Sugar Beet Company. The company closed in 1946, and intensive dairying has since been the main industry on the irrigated land around Maffra.