The week of Melbourne Cup, with a bunch of friends from Phillip Island, we took our caravans down to Toora.
It seemed an unusual place to choose – one of those blink and you’ve missed it points on the journey to somewhere else. But talk about a pleasant surprise!
The caravan park was very comfortable, in many ways.
But the township was the big surprise. The main highway is north of the town, with wide median strip to the service road so that traffic doesn’t intrude.
Being one of those dreadful dog walking people, my attention was quickly drawn to the Toora trail – just toppings, not nasty concrete, which winds all around the town, very pleasant.
One feature is the Heritage Pear Orchard, with addition of roses now, and even strange ‘pairs’ of footwear.
At various locations, there were plaques on posts to describe points of interest, one of which was a clearing of original forest to supply railway sleepers… to India, no less!
Another one was about a 700ft jetty, in Toora, like the one at Welshpool, but with only stumps left because the army blew it up, with very little explanation.
Of interest to Islanders will be that Toora has mulch, lots of it, even a tip.
For medical services, when one of our party cut her leg, at the medical centre, the medics came out to the car to administer first aid and decide that it was an eight stitches job that they were happy to do, though the hospital was quite close. Great service.
The pub was excellent, the bowls club too.
But the main point of all this is that they have a particularly good swimming pool, 25 metres indoors.
As well as this, they have one half the size to suit younger teens and then a third to suit toddlers. Astonishing.
Talking to the people, the main pool began in the early 70s.
When the wind farm arrived in the early 2000s, they donated $65,000 to community in general. Combined with fundraising, the pool had $75,000, which was matched by the South Gippsland Shire.
This $150,000 was then matched by the State Government, so $300,000 was provided for the roof and walls of the main pool, with other buildings for changing etc.
About the price of municipal pools – here’s one from 2012 at Orange, NSW, 25 metres indoor for $8.2 million, see http://www.orange.nsw.gov.au/site/index.cfm?display=147092.
An attractive colour magazine type brochure explains the attractions, for holidays or permanent residency.
They’re even game to divulge that permanent population is a whole 500 to 1000! But pool is busy, mulch is being spread, all kinds of action.
Meanwhile, Phillip Island has terrible roads, poor drainage and flooding, still no hope of a hospital, cinema, pub, swimming pool or tip (with mulching on site).
Merry Christmas Bass Coast Shire Council and a Preposterous New Year.
Bernie McComb, Cowes.
Toora v Phillip Island