Innovative Gippsland producers have turned a traditional dairy region into a movable feast of gourmet delicacies.

Story & photos by Martin Auldist

It’s green in West Gippsland. More than a metre of rainfall a year sees to that. The soils are varied and fertile too, so it’s not surprising that this area of Victoria is one of the most productive in the state. Though the main agricultural enterprise in the region is dairying, many locals have taken to growing all manner of niche products to supply a growing demand both locally and internationally. For visitors to the region, the result is a miniature food bowl offering opportunities to sample some of the best gourmet foods that the country has to offer.
Tourism authorities promote Gippsland’s cluster of specialty farms as part of Gourmet Deli Trails, though in reality there aren’t really any trails. It’s more of a loose conglomeration of farms scattered across a region stretching from Garfield in the west to Trafalgar in the east, and from Noojee in the north to Korumburra in the south. Nevertheless, the region offers a great day out for keen foodies, with some properties offering farm gate sales and others selling their produce through local cafes, restaurants and farmers’ markets. Conveniently, the region is situated a little more than an hour’s drive from Melbourne in a landscape that is one of the most scenic in the country.

This story excerpt is from Issue #48

Outback Magazine: Aug/Sept 2006