Victoria’s secluded Mitta Valley is riding a wave of food-related tourism to slowly but surely open up this special part of the world. 

Story Terri Cowley 

John Scales walks over a particularly verdant patch on his 520-hectare Dartmouth cattle-breeding property at the end of the Mitta Valley in Victoria’s High Country. “The last couple of years have been pretty sensational,” John says. “This clover is just ridiculous.”

The word ‘end’ is apt, for Dartmouth itself is a dead end in the best way possible. It’s on a no-through road that leads to the Dartmouth Dam, the largest storage in the Murray River system. The valley begins on the Omeo Highway near Tallangatta and heads in a south-easterly direction though Eskdale and Mitta Mitta to Dartmouth. Most travellers continue on from Mitta Mitta to Omeo – the sealing of this section of the highway was completed as recently as 2014. This has opened up tourism in the region to a degree, but peaceful Dartmouth is often passed by, sitting off the main drag to the east on a road going nowhere else. 

This doesn’t faze John, nor his cousin Tom Walsh, who lives on a neighbouring, equally lush property. And those that take the time to go to Dartmouth are rewarded with its beauty and solitude. “It is a beautiful valley," Tom says. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #120

Outback Magazine: August/September 2018