Visit the Loddon Valley

Published on 15 February 2019

Have a flutter on a horse, try prospecting, sample some fine fare or size up a giant pumpkin – just a few of the varied and entertaining options on offer for visitors to Loddon Shire this autumn.

A suite of scheduled special events heads the long list of reasons to explore the Loddon Valley, a region renowned for its recreational waterways, walking and riding trails, treasured nature reserves and rich goldfields heritage.

An annual favourite is Wedderburn’s Minelab Detector Jamboree, planned for 9-10 March – a family-friendly weekend focusing on detector skills, gold panning, live music, town garage sales, a country market and the chance to take home some valuable prizes.

At $50 for the weekend, senior competitors are provided with breakfast, evening entertainment and the opportunity to test their skills while hunting for tokens scattered around the town’s Hard Hill Tourist Reserve.

Non-participants enter free and the kids get a go as well, with a junior token hunt, gold panning competition in four age categories and special children’s activities.

The following weekend sees the unveiling of the Loddon Valley Food and Wine Expo, featuring the opportunity of a three-course lunch for 150 pre-booked guests prepared by chef Karen Martini (Better Homes and Gardens) and served with local wines.

Planned for 16 March at Newbridge, the expo takes place on the banks of the Loddon River and showcases the region’s gourmet food and wine, supported by live music and entertainment.

For those not attending the lunch, entry is $10 (under 16 free) or $20 for entry, tastings of food and wine, plus a souvenir wine glass.

On the Sunday, 17 March, it’s the Boort Pacing Cup, a colourful social day hosted by the oldest continuous trotting club in Australia.

Patrons are guaranteed a lively day’s racing, plus access to a sports bar and free children’s entertainment.

The Pyramid Hill Fiesta on 23 March celebrates the vibrant contribution of the town’s Filipino community, with dance displays, singing, children’s entertainment, live music, Filipino and Australian country cuisine and an operating bar facility.

Soon after comes the Eddington Vintage Sports Car Club Sprints, planned for 30 March, featuring vehicles from early 1900s roadsters to classics from the seventies.

Free to spectators, cars compete individually against the clock across 25 classes to set the fastest time they can over the quarter-mile.  Historic motorcycles are also run on the day.

Think you can grow a pumpkin bigger than 52.5kg?

That’s the challenge for a family day at Simply Tomatoes, near Boort, from noon on 31 March to raise funds for cystic fibrosis research.

Categories will also include decorated pumpkins, best conditioned pumpkin and a separate section for giant specimens of fruit, vegetables and flowers.

On Easter Monday, 22 April, the 149th Rheola Charity Carnival showcases old-fashioned country entertainment, while the Bridgewater Mother’s Day Classic returns on May 12, with courses for walkers and runners in aid of breast cancer research.

For further details on all these events and even more, phone the Loddon Visitor Information Centre on (03) 5494 3489 or visit www.loddon.vic.gov.au