Sunday, 25 November 2012

Love Letter from ... Old Gippstown

As usual, life ploughs on much faster than my blog can keep up. I have scores of photos and tales from Australia that I was intending to share but I keep getting distracted by events and thoughts in the present moment. But I'm going to be strict with myself now and present a few bumper Aussie posts before doing anything else...

And so I bring you Old Gippstown Heritage Park! This requires a post all of its own because I had such a great time there. My mum and I spent several happy hours exploring and being ridiculous, but there was just so much to see that we were kicked out at the end of the day, still not having seen anywhere near everything.

Old Gippstown High Street

Old Gippstown is located in the town of Moe in Gippsland, the beautiful southeastern corner of Australia. It brings together historic buildings from all around Gippsland to create a mid-Victorian township, including the high street with all its shops, a church, a school, theatre, town hall... I don't know how many buildings in total but, as I said, we didn't come even close to seeing everything.

Old Gipptown Church - lots of the churches in Gippsland are timber buildings that could just be picked up and
moved if the early settlements didn't flourish

One of the wonderful things about it is that you can go into every building and there's lots of things to poke and prod and play with. Really, you could spend a couple of days there, if you wanted to properly take it all in... and take multitudes of photos, like we did.

I don't recall there having been a lot in the way of interpretation at the park. And what there was, I haven't really held in my head so I don't have much information about the buildings to repeat here. As such, I think the best approach is to just inundate you with photographs, interspersed with only a few words of explanation...

The ingenious church windows, which could be opened in such a way as to allow some
ventilation whilst preserving the look of the stained glass windows

And the ingenious, reversible pews! In which the back could be pushed forwards to that sitters could face the other way
without the massive effort of actually shifting them around  

Note the dressed-up country look of my outfit (as opposed to my horse-riding country outfit). It was the first outing of the skirt, which my mother gave me, purchased from American Graffiti, a vintage shop on Melbourne's South Bank. The earrings were also a gift from my mother, cardigan from Benetton, jacket from Rokit and scarf from Beyond Retro. Mum thought we should wear heels but we quickly swapped them for more sensible shoes when we stepped out of the car into mud... Mine are EOS, purchased from a factory outlet in Melbourne.

Presumably people weren't exhumed to be re-buried at the heritage park...

Trying my hand at the water pump...

... and the wringer. Mum whipped off her slip so that we could have a proper go at it

All-Australian dunnies

I may have squealed when I saw the classic old ute - unfortunately, I couldn't get in behind the wheel

Look at the colour and details! It could do with a clean though...

Behind the counter at the cobbler's shop. I loved that you could not only go into all the buildings, but even get in
behind the counter and play shop...

Wonderfully rustic, colonial log house, complete with tree bark shutter on the window

It was the end of the day and the dressmaker's shop was all locked up by the time we
found our way to it, sadly... We could peer in the windows though and admire the signage

Enacting the audience of a thriller in the cinema....

... and a weepy

So, we had an awesome time, as you can hopefully see from these pictures. If you ever happen to be really randomly passing through Moe in rural Australia, I highly recommend checking it out.


  1. That is so cool! Looks like so much fun time and beautiful place filled with history.. !

    1. It was amazing. It was just so fun that all these different buildings were brought together to one place where you could run around and explore them all freely.

  2. What a thoroughly fantastic outing post. I've always adored historical parks and living ghost towns, so much so that (after years of dreaming about going there as a child; it's about nine hours away from where I grew up), I set my sights on getting my first job at one of my province's living ghost towns when I was a teenager, and was able to do so. Though I was only there for a short time (it was a seasonal position), I'll always look back with great fondness on the time I spent working in Barkerville (which is a living ghost town devoted to preserving the history of a Victorian gold rush that happened there).

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Jessica. That would have been amazing to get to work in one of these places, I think especially so as a teenager when it would have just been having a door open to a magical world, rather than having the more adult concerns of the working world...

  3. Well, Miss Marie, you've created a fun post here! You've made me smile a lot, laugh and sigh, with the way you've relived the story with beautiful illustrations too. What a great advertisement. Maybe you should somehow send the park this post. And Jessica - that's delightful that you were able to work in your own living ghost town!

    1. Aw, thanks, glad you enjoyed it. Perhaps I should send it to them...