Meeniyan Recreation Reserve, $10 per night, Meeniyan, Vic
As tempting as it is to keep returning to favourite places it is more rewarding finding new ones. We’ve all got our favourite places, the ones we keep going back to but when you’re faced with a choice why not give it a go? Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, is it really as good as it looks in the WikiCamps pics? Does it have access for a van of our size? Holy hell that’s a dirt road, can we turn the rig around if we don’t like the place? Now come on, that’s half the fun of the unknown and odds on it’s a ripper of a spot that you’ll want to tell all your mates about.
In fact, we recently ‘discovered’ Meeniyan Recreation Reserve on the WikiCamps app and with a caravan club muster on the calendar we checked it out for the suitability of a few nights of free camping. Not being brave enough to lead a whole bunch of caravans off into the unknown, we took a drive down there for a peek. Sure enough, this little place in South Gippsland looked quite enticing on a sunny summer’s morning. We returned a few weeks later and our mob rolled in. Everyone got a nice site on mowed lawns and their choice of shade or sun. There were galahs grazing on the lawns, fantails in the shrubbery and kookaburras in the trees. Across the oval there were clean flushing toilets, a water tap and a dump point. The town volunteers are working hard here to renovate a toilet block closer to the camping area. It sounds perfect doesn’t it? But it gets better. The bright and cheerful little village of Meeniyan is but a 2minute stroll away along a concrete path which leads directly to the IGA supermarket and the bakery. The town has a variety of shops, a restaurant, cafes, bakeries and a pub. The main street has a central garden of flowers and vegetables shaded by flowering gums that were planted by the local school children long ago as a memorial to World War One soldiers. For the energetic the Great Southern Rail Trail passes the campground. If you like home grown vegies the Meeniyan Community Garden is nearby where freshly picked vegetables can be purchased for a small donation.
There’s a lot to like about this friendly town. We had a delicious meal at the Meeniyan Pub and breakfast at the café called Moos. We liked the town so much that most of us returned after lockdown but that’s another story. Six days later a bunch of us returned to Meeniyan to relax and salvage our holiday.
Meeniyan means Moonlight in the local Aboriginal language. Which sounds as pretty as this charming town is.
Meeniyan is about 125Kms south east of Melbourne, it has a population of around 700 and would make a perfect base for those wishing to explore the nearby towns of Fish Creek, Foster and of course Wilson’s Promontory National Park.
Note to self: What is the collective noun for a bunch of caravans? A ‘circus’ perhaps? Yep, sounds like our mob.