The ultimate tree change? Korumburra is turning city heads to the country lifestyle

From our Property Partner, Domain 

A sleepy mining town turned into a thriving example of the tree-change economy, Korumburra is turning city heads to the country lifestyle.

The South Gippsland town of almost 5000 people is humming along happily with a plethora of civic works including a just-opened library and community meeting centre.

A thorough upgrade to the main street shopping precinct is about to begin, while the council is looking for tenants for the restored historic train station which sits on the discontinued rail line that’s now the 72-kilometre-long Great Southern Rail Trail. (Business opportunity, anyone?)

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Coal Creek Community Park and Village. Photo: Robert Blackburn

“We’ve been well and truly discovered in the past five years,” says real estate agent Jack Gilchrist of Area Specialist Solutions.

“The reason [Korumburra is] so popular is that it has the classic country town charm yet it’s in comfortable travelling distance to Melbourne, so you don’t feel cut off from friends and family living there.

“Plus, we have the infrastructure you need – nearby towns like Poowong and Loch have the charm but you need to travel out for shopping.”

Leongatha, 15 kilometres away, has the “big” shops but Korumburra sits pretty with a full-service IGA supermarket and ancillary boutiques and niche outlets along the high street.

Another great thing about Korumburra? Wherever you are in town, Gilchrist says, you’re guaranteed good views of the Strzelecki Ranges and the rolling green foothills commonly used for grazing dairy cattle, the region’s most important industry.

Where to eat and drink in Korumburra

Luscious Cafe on Commercial Street (the town’s high street) is the town’s go-to for coffee, egg and bacon toasties and lunchtime burgers. After a pot and a parma? You have a choice between the “top pub” and the “middle pub”. (Fun fact: there used to be a “bottom pub”, but it’s now closed.) The top (real name the Austral Hotel) and the middle (real name the Middle Hotel) both rock a solid bistro menu and great atmosphere.

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The Borough Department Store. Photo: Rob Blackburn

What to see and do in Korumburra

Take the kids to visit the recreated mining village of Coal Creek, a testament to the era in which black coal was celebrated as the area’s economic driver and the phrase “climate change” hadn’t taken over public discourse. Head to the beach at Inverloch, a 15-minute drive away, or take to the rail trail (feet, bikes and horses are all acceptable modes of transport), which culminates at the fishing town of Port Welshpool, 64 kilometres away.

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