Long the beef cattle capital of West Gippsland and, for many years, the only beet sugar processing centre in the land, Maffra is 225km east of Melbourne.
The town, which has a population of 4050, began as an outstation of the region’s first cattle run, Boisdale, named by pioneer grazier Lachlan Macalister after a village in the Outer Hebrides.
The village was originally known as Sheepfold, but Macalister renamed it Maffra after a town in Portugal (Mafra) where he served during the Peninsula Wars. Boisdale House was built in 1892 from hand-made bricks, oregon pine and French tiles by John Foster who took over the cattle property in the late 1840s.
The creation of Lake Glenmaggie and the advent of irrigation has seen a regional shift to dairy and crop farms, but Boisdale House and the Maffra Sugar Beet Museum remain to preserve links to the past.
The cellar door at the Wa-De-Lock Vineyard is open from 10am to 5pm on week days, while you can also apply the nose test at All Seasons Herb Garden.
Nearby Briagolong and Strathavon preserve some historic buildings. Showcasing the district's produce, the Gippsland Harvest Festival is held annually at Powerscourt, a turn of the 20th century homestead.