Father’s Day at Piccoli’s

Published on 19 August 2015

TOOLS in numbers Dad would never dream of – used in ways he couldn’t imagine.

That’s the promise contained in a special event coming up soon near Boort, when John and Sonia Piccoli open their famed sculpture gardens for a Father’s Day picnic.

The outing on September 6 will serve as the springboard for the 2015 “Naturally Loddon” Spring Festival, seven weeks of family-friendly events designed to showcase the best of the region’s natural attractions.

Located at Barraport, the Piccolis’ property will be open from 11am, with a gourmet barbecue operating and food and drinks on sale.

The festival program also includes the ever-popular Kooyoora Wildflower Show, family days at Terrick Terrick National Park and Tarnagulla, a fishing competition, wetlands tour, photographic shows and field trips, an archery open day, three local festivals and Boort’s Luncheon by the Lake.

One-time farmer John Piccoli makes all his metal sculptures out of spanners.

John contracted polio when he was eight and spent the next three years in hospital. When his father died, John, at 18, took up the reins and ran the family farm from his wheelchair with the help of his mother.

Visitors to the property enter via one of two avenues lined with 85 pieces of vintage farm machinery to stroll through two acres of manicured gardens awash with seasonal colours and admire the macaws, pheasants, peacocks and guinea fowl.

“Last financial year, we doubled our visitor numbers to 7150,” John said.

“We have about 45 sculptures on display, ranging from fruit bowls and table centrepieces to the biggest – a full-size wagon with a Clydesdale pulling it.

“The farm machinery is all horse-drawn types once used in the Mallee, dating from 1859 to 1935.”

To obtain a festival brochure, phone the Loddon Visitor Information Centre on 5494 1257 or visit www.loddon.vic.gov.au