Gippsland – A Fishy Tail

It’s not often you see a 7-metre stunned mullet lying on the roof of a two-story pub – but you will in the small South Gippsland town of Fish Creek.

Fish Creek Pub

Some 170kms southeast of Melbourne, Fish Creek (population 800) is a quirky little place. Unlike many small rural towns that have fallen on hard times as businesses and population migrate to the city and regional centres, Fish Creek has seen something of a resurgence. A range of art and craft businesses have been established in recent years, drawing in tourists passing to and from Wilsons Promontory National Park, which lies a little further south. The town boasts a couple of cafes, photographic and art galleries plus a wood turning workshop cum gallery with the rather unique name of Ride the Wild Goat. While Fish Creek is well equipped to meet a tourist’s general needs with a pharmacy and general store, post office, a hardware shop (and of course the hotel with the Stunned Mullet), nearby Foster (pop. 1,200) has a wider range of shops and services for those needing them.

Fish Creek was featured in a 2019 episode of ABC’s TV series Back Roads, something which came to my attention while surfing the streaming channels during Victoria’s seemingly never-ending Covid lockdown. A quick check for a caravan park showed none, but it did unearth a link that said the local hotel allowed fully self-contained vans and RV’s to use their car parking area – providing they also patronised the hotel. If taking your van to the Fish Creek hotel, it is a good idea not to turn up between 11.30am and 2.30pm or after about 5pm. Travelling on a Sunday we thought we’d find a sleepy little town and an equally sleepy country pub with two men and a dog in their front bar. Wrong! When we pulled in around 1pm there were dozens of blow-ins for lunch and not a spare car park to be seen. While considering what to do, one of the patrons drove out leaving a space little wider than our van to reverse into, and by 3pm the car park was almost empty, enabling better placement of our van.

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