The best things to do in Bruthen

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The best things to do in Bruthen

Credit: Destination Gippsland
Words by Staff Writer

The Bruthen Blues Festival is a hallmark on any blues-lover's calendar but in its temporary absence, we were pleased to see that East Gippsland Winter Festival has well and truly filled the void.

We were lucky enough to experience the best of Bruthen as part of our sojourn to East Gippsland Winter Festival this year and have happily taken some notes, so all you Melburnians keen for a weekend away can follow in our footsteps.

Catch live music at the Bruthen Inn

Everywhere in East Gippsland boasts spectacular views of rolling hills, lush valleys and flowing rivers but the 170+ year-old Bruthen Inn is a particularly special location, perched on a hill above the quaint music-loving town, it’s a must-visit destination for those wishing to experience one of the best music towns in regional Victoria.

They love a local artist in this region and they’re spoiled for choice. When we ventured to Bruthen, we were delighted to catch the booming blues man Mike Elrington, the Misty Harlowe band, Raven & the Dove, Organic Joe, Elfie Shetran and the renowned stylings of Todd Cook & the Rufous Whistlers (Todd being the organiser of the wonderful Songs of the East event).

Bruthen Recording Studio and Retro Recycling

It would be remiss of us at this point not to reserve special mention for Brent Hodgkins – a very popular fixture at events like Sounds of the East – and his endearingly-ramshackle Bruthen Recording Studio, which you’ll find next door to the similarly fashioned Bruthen Retro Recycling, a little op-shopper’s dream unaffected by the costly gentrification of inner city thrift stores.

Brent himself fronts IO, a Radiohead-esque group that played at Songs of the East alongside many of the artists Brent is producing. Check them out above.

Ye Olde Oppe Shoppe and Bullant Brewery

Speaking of the land that inflation forgot, if you want to find your next vintage outfit, look no further than Ye Olde Oppe Shoppe, located conveniently next door to the Bullant Brewery. After buying two pairs of $4 pants, you can spend your hard-earned savings on what really matters – beer.

Art Dreaming

There are two art galleries to enjoy in Bruthen – a per-capita average that must be among Victoria’s best. The Bruthen Art & Information Centre is a volunteer-staffed council-run information centre that displays some lovely local works, but it’s definitely worth heading over the road to Art Dreaming – Bruthen’s one-stop shop for gifts, knick-knacks, art supplies and a various range of paintings and small sculptures, all of which give a tantalising taste of the local community’s art-oriented ethos.

For East Gippsland Winter Festival

Spell Bound Winter Exhibition is showing at Art Dreaming Bruthen Art Gallery. You’ll experience the mystical magical ambience of artworks accompanied by handcrafted jewellery, enchanted faeries, crystal wands, nature dolls, curiosities, dreamcatchers, suncatchers and more created by artist Jacqui Reid.

Enjoy something delicious from the Sweet Charcuterie Table catered for by The Willow Buchan Valley, we take no responsibility for the spell you’ll be under after taking a bite. Visit the boys at their café for a mouth watering meal in Buchan. Take a journey into the unknown guided by Gail Conley from Chakra Angel Oracle and experience her gentle nudge as she reads your cards. After knowing more, you may feel the pull to learn the tarot through Gail’s 6 week Tarot Course.

Deepen into the mystery with local author Kirstie Pearce as she guides you to meet the female archetypes. This soulful experience is based on her best selling book The Moon Lodge, have your copy signed and find out how to join one of Kirstie’s workshops.

The exhibition will run until Sunday 9th of July with the following opening times;

Gallery Opening Hours
Monday – Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday – Friday: Open 10:00am – 3:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: Open 10:00am – 2:00pm

Walk along the Gippsland Rail Trail

The Bruthen Inn is just one of the picture-perfect destinations to visit in Bruthen on your Friday afternoon. While the trail is enormous and you can start and finish virtually anywhere along the many towns it covers, we started our walk along the Gippsland Rail Trail in Bruthen. Here you can enjoy the bucolic scenery up close as you traverse across meadows and over and under antique bridges, while you learn about the conservation work inherent in a changing landscape and spot climate change graffiti plastered around the area. Perfect for a bike ride.

Tambo Valley Honey

We’ve saved the sweetest until last. Tambo Valley Honey is a fascinating concept store and a real rarity for such a small country town. Dedicated to all things honey, the store features honey-infused spirits, milkshakes, cakes and all manner of foodstuffs. There are free samples aplenty – you can even sample the honey gins – plus a large range of honey by the tub, big and small. At the time of writing, we’re currently eating their manuka at home by the spoonful, a dark amber nectar of the gods.

The best part? They have their own beehive that’s connected to the outside world through a transparent channel reaching up and out of the roof. The bees come and go as they please – an impressive feat of homing pigeon sensibility – and its adorable to watch them climbing up and down the tube.

This is just the beginning of what to experience in Bruthen. For more information, head here.