Our central Victoria series
Central Victoria has been undergoing a small town revival transformation in the last decade. Many city dwellers of the creative and innovative kind are moving here in droves to rekindle and connect to the deeper part of themselves. The historic architecture of our small Gold Rush towns provides a strong sense of place and the internal spaces are encouraging cultural rebirth and community cohesiveness.
A lot of our towns were once service towns for farming districts, the Gold Rush or manufacture, but now tourism is key to their survival.
You can’t talk about Central Victoria without of course inviting the landscape to be part of the narrative. Our topsoil, bush and creeks have been dredged and scoured many times over in the feverish search for gold. There are few trees that stand in all their glory of pre-white settlement, yet it is a miracle that wild flowers and orchids, fungi, shrubs and trees are making their way back into existence.
Living here you are never far from the awareness of our rich (and destructive) history commingling with revival of internal and external places of this region.
So without further ado, our first in the Central Victoria series is all about Eddy’s Cafe.
A humble roadside attraction
The We Push Buttons team took a country drive one Thursday morning in May to visit Eddy’s Garage in Eddington, a tiny town on a wider and deeper section of the Loddon River in Central Victoria.
As you sweep into Eddington a goofy looking dinosaur stands by the roadside, alerting you that Eddy’s Garage is open for business with good coffee and home baked goodies inside.
Tim and Debbie Bray are the proprietors of this groovy establishment almost in the middle of nowhere. We came to talk to them about why they sold up and took on a remote empty garage and what their aspirations for the place were. We learned that it was much more than just a cafe. They had big dreams for the place and for Eddington, their new adopted town.
Apart from offering good food and coffee, Eddy’s future is going to be in the long-forgotten genre of the roadside attraction/ theme park. If you are old enough to remember long family road trips or the Sunday drive broken up by stops to buy petrol, a coke or a truck stop meal, you might recall there would also be a petting zoo, mini golf, miniature railway or other family entertainment as part of the experience. Stopping at these places made road trips feel special, memorable family time. They were the good things in life.
Eddy’s Garage is going to be a roadside destination for families one day. Its going to be about bringing people together in a positive way. Its going to be about life in the slow lane. Stopping to smell the roses (or coffee more like it), a place for enjoyment’s sake.