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Orbost

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Orbost is a historic tourist town in the Shire of East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia, east of Melbourne and south of Canberra where the Princes Highway crosses the Snowy River. It is about from the surf and fishing seaside town of Marlo on the coast of Bass Strait and 217 km drive to Mount Hotham Snow Resort. At the 2006 census, Orbost had a population of 2452. Orbost is the service centre for the primary industries of beef, dairy cattle and sawmilling.
More recently, tourism has become an important and thriving industry, being the major town close to several national parks that are between the east access to either the surf or the snow, including the famous Snowy River National Park, Alpine National Park, Errinundra National Park, Croajingolong National Park and Cape Conran Coastal Park.
The establishment of the Sailors Grave Brewery has also brought significant tourism to the area with its multiple festivals throughout the year. Cycling and canoeing have also become major tourist attractions drawing people worldwide to the area for its wide range of cycling tours and spectacular rivers throughout the region.

History


Peter Imlay established the Snowy River Station for grazing in 1842, and his brother the Newmerella run nearby. In 1845 the land was sold to Norman McLeod, who named the area after Orbost farm in the northwest of Isle of Skye, in Scotland.
Gold was discovered in the mid-1850s in the Bendoc area, in the mountains north of Orbost, which brought an influx of people to the district. By 1868 it was estimated that there was a population of 500 miners and squatters in the vicinity of Bendoc.
The Cameron family settled on the rich alluvial river flats in 1876, followed by many other selectors, many of them Scottish migrants. Allan Burn opened the Post Office on 1 December 1880 named Neumerella (sic) and was renamed Orbost in 1883. He and wife Joyce (nee Morgan) had nine children. They owned 237 acres on the Snowy River (now Burn Rd). Allan and his brother Robert Burn arrived in Australia in 1850. Robert's descendants still live in Orbost today. A Newmerella office opened in 1889 and closed in 1897, then reopened in 1921.
The township was proclaimed in 1890 and a bridge constructed across the Snowy River and a telegraph office established. Sawmills were established in the area and the first batch of sawn timber was cut at Orbost in 1882. By the late 1890s produce was regularly being exported to Melbourne via coastal trading vessels sailing up the Snowy River to Orbost. The Orbost railway linerailway from Melbourne arrived in 1916, allowing further agricultural settlement up the valley, and exploitation of native hardwood forests for timber and railway sleepers.
The Orbost railway line and surrounding townships have embarked on a campaign to "Save the Snowy River Rail Bridge."
For most of the 20th century, Orbost was a fairly prosperous local centre for the forestry and agricultural industries and a supply point for smaller towns in the area. In the 1950s and 1960s several new sawmills were opened to exploit the native forests north and east of Orbost. By the 1980s logging of East Gippsland native forests had become an environmental issue. This resulted in the creation or extension of National Parks in the area, and a steady decline in forestry and sawmilling jobs. The general rural decline of the area and its economy saw the railway close in the mid-1980s and the population drop from around 4000 to around 2000 by the start of the 21st century. Logging and forestry continues to be a contentious issue in 2004 and 2005 in the Goolengook Valley, near the Errinundra National Park.
The Snowy Mountains Scheme resulted in the waters of the Snowy River being diverted to the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers and associated irrigation schemes. During the 1990s the low level of water in the Snowy River was a major concern, with a political campaign to increase the flow of water from the dam at Jindabyne. Independent candidate from the Orbost district, Craig Ingram, was elected in 1999, and re-elected in 2002, to the Victorian Legislative Assembly on a platform to increase the flow of water in the Snowy River.
The small rural communities of Bendoc, Bonang and Tubbut lie North East of Orbost. Delegate in NSW is the next major town geographically across the NSW/Vic Border from Orbost.

Climate

Orbost has a mild temperate climate with warm summers and mild to cool winters.
{{Weather box
location = Orbost (1883-2011)
metric first = Yes
single line = Yes
Jan record high C = 45.2
Feb record high C = 44.6
Mar record high C = 40.6
Apr record high C = 36.5
May record high C = 28.9
Jun record high C = 24.4
Jul record high C = 25.0
Aug record high C = 28.1
Sep record high C = 35.0
Oct record high C = 34.9
Nov record high C = 42.7
Dec record high C = 41.1
year record high C = 45.2
Jan high C = 25.5
Feb high C = 25.4
Mar high C = 23.8
Apr high C = 20.9
May high C = 17.7
Jun high C = 15.2
Jul high C = 14.8
Aug high C = 16.0
Sep high C = 17.9
Oct high C = 19.8
Nov high C = 21.6
Dec high C = 23.6
year high C = 20.2
Jan low C = 13.3
Feb low C = 13.5
Mar low C = 12.0
Apr low C = 9.3
May low C = 7.1
Jun low C = 5.2
Jul low C = 4.2
Aug low C = 4.8
Sep low C = 6.3
Oct low C = 8.3
Nov low C = 10.2
Dec low C = 11.8
year low C = 8.8
Jan record low C = 4.4
Feb record low C = 4.0
Mar record low C = 2.8
Apr record low C = -0.6
May record low C = -0.2
Jun record low C = -2.4
Jul record low C = -3.2
Aug record low C = -2.2
Sep record low C = -1.0
Oct record low C = 0.7
Nov record low C = 1.7
Dec record low C = 3.3
year record low C = -3.2
Jan rain mm = 66.5
Feb rain mm = 59.6
Mar rain mm = 66.1
Apr rain mm = 73.7
May rain mm = 70.3
Jun rain mm = 85.0
Jul rain mm = 67.6
Aug rain mm = 59.2
Sep rain mm = 70.9
Oct rain mm = 77.1
Nov rain mm = 72.3
Dec rain mm = 78.1
Jan rain days = 8.1
Feb rain days = 7.1
Mar rain days = 8.3
Apr rain days = 8.9
May rain days = 10.2
Jun rain days = 11.3
Jul rain days = 10.9
Aug rain days = 10.4
Sep rain days = 11.6
Oct rain days = 11.6
Nov rain days = 10.1
Dec rain days = 9.3
unit rain days = 0.2mm
source 1 = Bureau of Meteorology
date=March 2013

Sports

The town is represented in the sport of Australian rules football by the Orbost-Snowy Rovers in the East Gippsland Football League.
The town also boasts a field hockey club which fields junior, women's and men's sides in the East Gippsland Hockey Association.
Golfers play at the course of the Orbost Golf Club on the Bonang Highway.

Transport


Orbost straddles the Princes Highway. The town was connected to Melbourne via the Orbost railway line in 1916, and operated until 1987, principally carrying timber and farming produce. In the early days of the railway's operation dedicated passenger trains ran but these ceased by the 1930s. The track infrastructure was dismantled in 1994. The line traversed a mixture of farmland, hills and heavily forested country. It included numerous bridges, including the Stoney Creek Trestle Bridge, the largest of its kind in Victoria. Public transport services are provided to the town by V/Line, a coach bus service between Canberra and , that operates three times per week.
Orbost has a regional airport, Orbost Airport YORB (RBS).

Current profile

The national parks are showcased in events such as The Wilderness Bike Ride, a community event managed out of Orbost, which won the Best Event 2004 Regional Tourism Award for East Gippsland.

Education

The Orbost region has four State primary schools, one Catholic primary school, and Orbost Secondary College (Government).

Notable people from Orbost

  • thumb300x300pxThe main street of Orbost, entering from the south.Percival Bazeley, scientist
  • Richard Dalla-Riva, politician
  • Jennifer Hansen, TV presenter
  • Sarah Hanson-Young, politician
  • Nick Heyne, Current Australian rules footballer with the St.Kilda Football Club
  • Craig Ingram, politician
  • Jennings Carmichael (aka Grace Jennings Carmichael), poet
  • Charlie Lynn, politician
  • Tim Matthews, Paralympic athlete
  • Molly Meldrum, music critic, journalist, TV presenter
  • Peter Nixon, politician
  • Lindsay Tanner, politician
  • Michael Voss, former Australian rules footballer and former coach of the Brisbane Lions in the AFL
  • Brett Voss, Former Australian Rules Footballer St Kilda Football Club
  • Harry Firth, Australian motorsport legend. Winner of first Bathurst race in 1963.

12. The Descendants of William Hone website featuring information about Allan and Robert Burn. https://thedescendantsofwilliamhone.blogspot.com/p/allan-burn-and-joise-morgan.html
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/it-s-now-or-never-the-campaign-to-save-victoria-s-longest-timber-rail-bridge-20190201-p50v34.html

External links


  • Orbost District Website
  • Wilderness Bike Ride
  • Orbost - a brief history
  • Orbost District Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Category:Towns in Victoria (Australia)
Category:East Gippsland
 
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