A small pastoral town in the Wimmera, 365km north-west of Melbourne, Goroke takes its name from the local Aboriginal word for the magpie.
The records suggest that some of the first settlers thought the country too dry even for magpies, but the hardiest stuck it out and 200 people still live in the town servicing regional wheat, barley and sheep farmers.
Consult the locals for the lowdown on where the cod are biting in nearby lakes and which waterholes are giving up yabbies.
Goroke is close to Mt Arapiles-Tooan State Park. A sandstone peak, Mt Arapiles is a challenge for serious, international rock climbers, while the inexperienced can enjoy the views from the summit by taking the steep but less challenging routes. The park conserves 500 species of native plants, including the rare rock wattle and skeleton fern.
Lake Charlegrark, 22km west along the road to Bordertown, is a popular aqua-playground which rewards the patient fisherman with catches of Murray cod, redfin and yabbies. The shores of the lake host an annual Country Music Festival in February.