Starting with a celebration of William Shakespeare's birthday on April 23rd — the bright and creative festival runs for 2 weeks with over 20 performances and features the Avon Village Fair Day on the first weekend in May. For more information and festival dates visit the official website.
Take some time to stroll through the antique and craft stores on the main street and be surprised by the fantastic unique treasures you will only find in Stratford. Don't forget to visit Mollies lollies open 7 days.
With the official trail opening in April 2012 the Stratford Arts community is developing an interactive walking trail guided by MP3 that provides a means of discovery for locals and visitors to dwell and take time to appreciate the creative art and festival culture of our fascinating town. The 3km trail links 9 interactive "Thought spaces" and unites many art forms through story, song, history and Sculpture and is free to walk 365 days of the year. The trail is communication and all ability friendly linking the "all abilities Heritage walk" and Rail trail tracks. MP3 hire & maps will be available from the Courthouse Gallery for a small charge.
Stratford's Apex Park is located before the bridge on the road to Melbourne and has an award winning medieval playground and bike track suitable for toddlers up to the adventurous teenager with plenty of space to kick a ball. Also equipped with good BBQ's, Toilets, Nature walk and Sculptures. At the other end of town the Memorial Park opposite the Courthouse has clean toilets and a great playground for younger children.
3 km south-east of Stratford is the 56-hectare park, Knob Reserve. At the crest of the hill you can look down upon the local farmlands, the foothills and the Avon River. The reserve is ideal for a picnic and has toilets and great picnic shelters with wood fired BBQs.
Stratford VIC 3862
Telephone: (03) 5145 6500
Shanti Relaxation Retreat (in Briagolong)
304 Marathon Road
Briagolong VIC 3860
t: 03 5145 5528
Stratford offers a number of quality dining options. Take a short stroll down the main road to the Avon Hotel and Bistro for good Chinese and Aussie fare Tuesday through to Saturday. On the opposite corner is the Here we go Dutch Cafe for a selection of eat in meals and takeaway. For lunch and coffee both Wal-de-locks cellar door cafe and the Ticklish turtle café are just down the road — serving great food and, dare we say, some of the best coffee in Gippsland! For takeaway the Milk bar in the main street makes great pizza and fish and chips most nights untill late.
When dining at night in Stratford we would always recommend calling to book ahead as not all cafes are open regularly at night although do occasionally have specialty set menu nights. Walde-locks and Ticklish Turtle cafes will also open pre show with nice set menus for a booking of 10 or more.
Five minutes from town, past the Munro turn-off, is the Australian Wildlife Art Gallery and Sculpture Park where you can see Australia's wildlife faithfully depicted in paint, clay and bronze by award-winning artists, Chris and Dawn Stubbs. The gallery is open to the public from Thursday to Monday or by appointment (03) 5145 8282.
The Rail trail is a wonderful, leisurely ride (30km return) on level, well maintained gravel track starting at Apex park, where you'll find a wonderful medieval playground for the kids. The track winds along the Avon River, through tranquil farmland into the heart of Maffra. One of Gippsland's favourite towns, Maffra is a great place to stop for a coffee and a shop before embarking on the return trip back. 2009 will see the track extended via the heritage trail from the Apex Park to the stunning Knob Reserve 5km along the banks of the river Avon.
Briagolong is a 10 minute drive north of Stratford via a good road. Highlights are the Quarry Reserve, Blue Pool and McKinnon’s Point allowing the visitor to experience the district’s natural beauty and history. Briagolong has a cafe, bookshop and very authentic Aussie pub, time your visit right and you may see an art shows in the Big Gallery or the annual 3 day Film Festival in June.
Less than 20 min drive from Stratford lies the beautiful Gippsland lakes accessible from Marley point on Lake Wellington between Stratford and Sale, a perfect place for a paddle, fishing or boating. The Lakes join the spectacular Ninety Mile Beach. A 90-mile long stretch of immaculate golden sand separating the Gippsland Lakes from Bass Strait. Ideal for any number of activities from beach fishing and swimming to walking, whale and dolphin-spotting to just lazing in the sun — this is one of the most natural and unspoilt beaches in the world.
Strathfieldsaye was the homestead of squatter, William Odell Raymond, who established a run in the area in 1842. He built the house in 1848-54 from hand-made bricks and pit-sawn timber and apart from some extensions in the 1870s it remains almost untouched, structurally.
Located on Bengworden Road, a little north of the town on a ridge, the homestead commands a pleasant view of Lake Wellington.
Along with its furnishings and some ancestral memorabilia, Strathfieldsaye was entrusted to the University of Melbourne in 1976. Open for inspection only 3 times a year — bookings are essential (phone the Buildings Section of the University on 03 93416917).
Watch great films, unavailable at local cinema's for an affordable price equal or less than going to the cinema in a friendly environment with a drop of wine or coffee.Join the Film Society
Play, Stay & Explore!
A unique look at the risch history and culture that Stratford has to offer.