This delightful trip starts in Drouin, 100km south-east of Melbourne
at the centre of a dairying, grazing and timber region in West Gippsland. Initially you'll follow a bitumen road to Warragul, Nerrim and Noojee before dirt road to Loch Valley, winding through the Goulburn State Forest and continuing further north on gravel roads through the tiny settlements of Matlock, and finally into historic Woods Point
The trip is relatively easy and could be handled by small 4WDs and soft-roaders. The section through the Goulburn State Forest is used by logging trucks so particular care must be taken to keep alert for oncoming vehicles.
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Drouin to Woods Point From:
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Things to See & Do
The Victorian Heritage
-listed Noojee Trestle Bridge
is one of the only remaining historic timber trestle bridges in Victoria
and is easily accessible along a very short side-road off the Yarra Junction - Noojee Rd. A 2.5km Rail-Trail can be followed by foot, horse, or bike from the bridge back to Noojee if you feel inclined. For more info, read the History section.Woods Point
is full of wonderful buildings to explore, walks to old mine sites, memorabillia etc. A good place to stop overnight. For more info, read the History section.
conditions in mountain areas can change rapidly so it is wise to anticipate rain when packing clothing and camping gear. An axe would be useful - some campsites will have large logs supplied but may need splitting before they can be used. Low range 4WD will not be required so fuel consumption should not concern you, although depending on where you are heading after reaching Woods Point
, you may need to consider your range. Woods Point
cannot always be relied upon to fill your tanks.
Due to the historical significance of Woods Point
, it would be worth planning to spend some time in the township, including an overnight camp. Although information on the history is available in town, it would be worthwhile to do some pre-trip reading and planning before arriving - perhaps making arrangements to visit certain historic/mine sites on the outskirts of the township and following walk trails of interest or even booking accommodation in one of the historic buildings.
Camp Sites & Accommodation
Free campsites are located at The Poplars Reserve - a delightful area alongside a running creek
, beneath large trees, plenty of firewood, and basic toilet facilities.
A small free camp/picnic site is located at the Triangle, at the junction of Nine Mile Road and the C511.
Around Woods Point
there are 2 good campsites - JH Scott Reserve just 2km west and Comet Flat to the east. A fee of $2 per vehicle/night is payable at the General Store. Accommodation is also available at the pub.
Birds are prolific through this trek, particularly Eastern Rosellas in the state forest. Wombats and wallabies are the main marsupials seen during the day and Mountain & Alpine Ash are the most notable of the large trees. The trek follows the edge of Radiata Pine Plantation and with ferns in the understory, makes a delightful driving environment.
This trek is full of historical significance so we do suggest you take the time to read up a little, especially about Woods Point
At the beginning of your trip however, you'll pass the turnoff to the Victorian Heritage
-listed Noojee Trestle Bridge
. It's definately speccy to see, but it is also significant for being one of the only remaining historic timber trestle bridges in Victoria
. Being so easily accessible just off the Noojee Road, its definatley worth a look-in. The Noojee to Nayook section of the broad gauge line to Warragul opened in 1919. There was a terminus at Noojee, to which large amounts of timber were transported from mills scattered through the forest by means of a network of timber tramlines, heading to the West and to the North. The bridge originally carried the weight of N class steam locomotives and was eventually taken out of service in 1954 when the line was closed. When the line was being dismantled, the Buln Buln Shire Council purchased the bridge from the Victorian Railways for one pound ($2) so it would be preserved for the future.
Further along this trek you skirt the Yarra Ranges and enter the Goulburn SF. The dense forests of the area were not particularly favoured by Aboriginal people, and were a barrier to European settlement
. Europeans first settled in the 1860s to access Woods Point
goldfields and soon the area was recognised as a valuable source of timber.
At the end of the trek you'll reach historic Woods Point
, which today only exists for passing tourism, but in former years was a gold-mining township. Gold was official discovered here in mid 1861 by William Gooley. Not long later, the Morning Star reef was found and a storekeeper by the name of Wood set up business on the largest point of the spur. The town was built around it, and so the site became known as Woods Point
. Within a few years it had a post office
, a police court, a hospital, a school, three churches, three banks, two newspapers, three breweries and numerous shops and hotels. Woods Point
went eventually went into decline however the Morning Star continued to operate until December 1927. Much of Woods Point
as you see it today is the new town built in 1940, after much of it was destroyed in Black Friday fires of 1939. Today the permanent population
is about 30.