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Fairways of Fun in Omeo
This five-day muster in beautiful Omeo over the Melbourne Cup weekend has something for everyone
Words and Images by: Allison Watt

After a cold winter, the lure of five days away enjoying the spring sunshine in the magical mountains of Victoria’s high country sounds very appealing.

The Omeo High Country Caravan and RV Muster is back bigger and better in 2022 after a two-year hiatus, to be held at the Omeo Golf Club over the Melbourne Cup long weekend, from Friday 28 October to Tuesday 1 November 2022.

This annual event is put together by the local volunteers of the Omeo Golf Club Inc. which is grateful for the grant funding and assistance provided by the East Gippsland Shire Council and Victorian Government to make the event a success.

East Gippsland Shire Council Mayor, Cr Mark Reeves, said the Omeo Caravan and RV Muster is a highlight on the region’s event calendar.

“The muster is a great concept with opportunities to enjoy a mix of entertainment, relaxing and exploring,” Cr Reeves said.

“Visitors can enjoy the benefit of the locals’ High Country knowledge to see some spectacular countryside. I am sure the return of the muster this year will be a great success, bringing people to the High Country and in turn supporting local business,” Cr Reeves said.

So, dust the winter cobwebs off the RV, pack a hat and some sunscreen and organise your family and friends to meet you at this idyllic mountain location for five days of fabulous rest and relaxation, with some fun and food thrown in.

Use the muster as a chance to sightsee

FAIRWAY CAMPING

The Omeo High Country Caravan and RV Muster is held at the Omeo Golf Club, just two kilometres from the township.

Muster-goers can camp for four nights in RVs, caravans, camper trailers or tents for just $100 per site. All bookings must be made online via the Trybooking system https://www.trybooking.com/BXTOO.

Campsites are spacious and spread out over the beautiful setting of the fairways so you can have plenty of space to yourselves, or in clusters with family and friends if you’d prefer.

There is a cap of 200 campsites and paying campers will need to obtain and wear a wrist ban on entry. Showers and toilets are provided.

If you don’t want to camp, there are plenty of other accommodation options in town from which to choose and you are welcome to attend the muster as a day visitor. Day passes are $10 for adults, $5 for children or $25 for a family to enjoy all the entertainment on offer – what great value!

The Victorian High Country has spectacular views

ENTERTAINMENT GALORE

This year’s muster promises a program of entertainment for the young and the young at heart. Befitting for the surroundings, there is the novelty golf competitions with a $1500 cash prize for the hole-in-one competition.

Friday night music is provided by Mick Harrington, a finalist from ‘The Voice’.

Saturday and Sunday night live entertainment includes legends of the Melbourne pub scene, dynamic duo ‘Dean and Carruthers’. A fireworks display will round off the entertainment on Saturday.

Cooking guru Ranger Nick will demonstrate his skills and prowess with a camp oven in his highly entertaining cooking displays.

There will be a classic and unique car display, Melbourne Cup calcutta and sweeps, a fire pit, market stalls, sheep shearing demonstrations, a jumping castle and face painting for the kids, games and a few more surprises.

On the Monday, there will be a special tag-along-tour through some of the seldom-seen back roads of the Omeo Region High Country.

In addition to food and coffee vans, barbecue meals will be available, and these can be washed down with beer or wine served out under the clubhouse awning.

So much for every age group to enjoy!

There is plenty to do in the town of Omeo

OMEO TOWNSHIP

Just two kilometres from the Golf Club, historic Omeo is a well serviced town with two pubs, a supermarket, post office, 24-hour fuel, mechanics, cafes, fishing and outdoor gear shop, hardware store, gallery with resident artist, clothes boutique, bookshop, hospital and more.

A walk along the main street provides an opportunity to read about the historic buildings.

The town is the commercial hub for the Omeo region and is a service centre for outlying communities such as Benambra, Cobungra, Cassilis, Swifts Creek, and Ensay.

Discover back tracks and seldom-seen sights

GOLD RUSH HISTORY

Omeo is derived from an Aboriginal word for 'mountains' or 'hills'. The first reported sighting of the area from the southern alps was by naturalist John Lhotsky in 1834 and the area was first visited by stockmen who drove stock through the region as early as 1835.

Gold was found in the Livingstone Creek, which runs through the town, in 1845 causing the population to swell to 9400 by 1901. These prosperous times attracted hotels, cafes, banks and other businesses. AJ McDonald, one of the colony’s leading architects, designed the post and telegraph office and courthouse and they remain unique for their architecture to this day.

Earthquakes in 1885 and 1892, and the Black Friday bushfires of 1939, destroyed many buildings; although many remain including the historic Omeo Bank House and the Omeo Coffee House which was built in 1879 and was a temperance boarding house as well as a restaurant. It is a timber building which was condemned in 1990, restored and completed in 1995 when it housed its first guests after 25 years. It is now known as Snug as a Bug Motel.

Campsites are spacious

TRADITIONAL OWNERS

The Gunaikurnai people are the Traditional Owners of much of Gippsland. There are approximately 3,000 Gunaikurnai people, and the territory includes the coastal and inland areas to the southern slopes of the Victorian Alps. Gunaikurnai people are made up of five major clans.

ADVENTURE HUB

There is lots to do at the muster with even more around the Omeo region. A four-night stay is hardly  enough. There’s a range of quality experiences on offer – the region is renowned as the adventure hub of East Gippsland with white-water rafting, cycling, MTB riding, hiking and skiing right on the town’s doorstep.

Gippsland High Country Tours takes pride in its small friendly groups, led by experienced guides. The tours and walks are all inclusive - the travel, accommodation and meals are all arranged. Just pack your bag and enjoy the high country experience.

World-class white-water rafting is available on the Mitta Gorge with Rafting Australia. Experience towering granite river gorges and the exquisite wilderness of the majestic Alpine National Park during your 19km rapid descent. All tuition and preparation for this incredible journey are included on the morning of your trip by our experienced guides to make sure you are thoroughly prepared for your rapid descent.

Learn more about the historic township

If you’re not quite so adventurous, why not visit the Oriental Claims?

The name may conjure up visions of hundreds of Chinese miners working with shovels and wicker baskets filled with dirt. In reality, it refers to a 19th century European mining company ‘The Oriental Company’, which worked this particular piece of the ground from 1876 until 1904. The term also acknowledges the significant contribution of Chinese miners to the area’s history. Walks around the claims are The Pioneers Lookout, Ah Fongs Loop and you can also walk to and from Omeo.

The Great Alpine Gallery is a permanent exhibiting venue in nearby Swifts Creek displaying and selling the work of local artists. Omeo Makers’ Market, in Day Avenue, always has a collection of unique works from local artists and craftspeople, just  a walk down the road from Terry Petersen, an artist in residence.

If sipping a local wine while taking in the breathtaking views of the Tambo River Valley sounds more like your thing, pay a visit to Ensay Winery in nearby Ensay. The vineyard faces north and west at an elevation of 220 meters on granitic soils. The cellar door is open for free tastings from 10am-5pm on weekends, public and school Holidays or by appointment.

Sample the shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, pinot noir, and sparkling shiraz wines - which are 100 per cent grown, made and sold on the property – from the rammed earth cellar.

The High Country is truly picturesque at this time of year

ANNUAL EVENTS

In addition to the Omeo High Country Caravan and RV Muster, there are several other annual events in town.

The Omeo and District Show will be back in 2022 from Friday  11-Sunday 13 November with shearing, yard dogs, horse and harness events, whip-cracking, wood chop, art and photography, handcrafts and garments, jams and preserves, flowers, garden produce and much more.

Cattlemen 100 MTB (mountain bike) is a regional cycling event on 19 November 2022, spanning across Omeo, Omeo Valley and Benambra, highlighting the High Country’s breathtaking landscape acting as a ‘teaser’ for the forthcoming Mountain Bike Track.

The Lock and Load Alpine Rally of East Gippsland is an iconic motorsport event, and this year will be held on 3 December.

The Alpine was first run in 1921, as the ‘Alpine 1000 Mile Trial’ by the RACV. It is the oldest motorsport event in Australia and the second oldest rally in the world behind the Monte Carlo Rally.

The event has enjoyed support from the Victorian Government

CYCLING MECCA

Omeo and its surrounds are a mecca for cyclists of all disciplines – road, gravel and mountain, so pack your bikes.

The brand new, world-class pump and skills track will test  beginner and expert cyclists alike. Ride through the endless loops of rollers, jumps and berms on the pump track or practise your jumps and downhill expertise on the skills track. Both tracks are located walking distance from the main street of town at Livingstone Park, so it’s easy to grab a coffee or a bite to eat and keep riding. 

Works on the first stage of the Omeo Mountain Bike project recently began. At the same time, the Victoria Government pledged an additional $3.2 million from the Regional Tourism Investment Fund to deliver the project’s second stage, which will create an additional 64 kilometres of bike trails, bringing the total project to 121 kilometres of connected tracks which will meet Mountain Bike Australia’s criteria for national events.

Once complete, the trail project is set to capture nationwide demand for outdoor adventure, winding through Mount Sam State Forest and the Oriental Claims Historic Area parkland. The project will boost Omeo’s reputation as an all-year-round tourism destination with the first trail expected to be ready by March next year. 

Enjoy the natural beauty of Omeo

DESTINATION DETAILS

GETTING THERE

Omeo, on the Great Alpine Road in East Gippsland, is 400km from Melbourne via the Hume Hwy to Wangaratta then over Mt Hotham or via the Princes Hwy to Bairsdale then the Great Alpine Road.

WHERE TO STAY

There are several accommodation options available in Omeo.

Omeo Holiday Park

111 Old Omeo Highway, Omeo 3898

Phone: 03 5152 5646

Email: info@omeoholidaypark.com.au

Golden Age Motel

189 Day Avenue, Omeo 3898

Phone: 03 5159 1455

Email: goldenageomeo@gmail.com

Snug as a Bug Motel

188 Day Avenue, Omeo 3898

Phone: 03 5159 1311

Omeo Motel

43 Park Street, Omeo 3898

Phone: 03 5159 1297

Holston Building

192 Day Avenue, Omeo 3898

Phone: 0433 165 544, 03 5159 1600

BACKGROUND

www.visitomeo.com.au

www.visiteastgippsland.com.au

www.eastgippsland.vic.gov.au

CONTACTS

Omeo Golf Club,

21 Stanley Drive, Omeo VIC 3898

www.omeogolfclub.org.au

Facebook: Omeo High Country Caravan & RV Muster

Email: omeogolftreas@gmail.com

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Category: Features
Written: Thu 01 Sep 2022
Printed: September, 2022
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