Glorious large lakes surround the hilltop township of Boort, one hour from Bendigo, Echuca and Swan Hill.
Here, uncover local heritage or celebrate the region’s unique ecological environment wandering the Boort Sculpture By The Lake Trail. At nearby Little Lake Boort, families take to the waters by stand-up paddleboard.
It’s prime growing land, and you’ll find a handful farm-gate experiences in this tight-knit community though reach out ahead first.
Boort Lakes Holiday Park on the banks of Little Lake Boort
SCAR TREES OF THE JAARA PEOPLE
The Dja Dja Wurrung (Jaara) people have traditionally navigated water ways via fishing canoes made from red gum. In fact, locals made baby carriers, vessels and shelters from this tree’s versatile bark. And on the trunks of the sacred scarred trees you can see indentations where they were carved from.
Boort is significant as it’s only one of a few places in Australia where these sacred scarred trees still stand.
But you’ll also find evidence of Indigenous existence in the 40 mounds comprising traditional cooking ovens, middens and ceremonial sites around the lake’s perimeter.
Below, filmmaker and Jaara youth Harley Dunolly-Lee shares his connection to the sacred scarred trees in Boort. Visit the Dja Dja Warrung website for more.
HAND-WELDED SCULPTURES WITH SPANNER MAN
For towering sculptures in a private garden setting, arrange a tour with artist John Piccoli, affectionately known as Spanner Man.
Grand, rust-weathered statues of duelling horses, swordfish and the famous thinking man fashioned from welded spanners contrast strikingly against a pristine manicured garden.
At the Picolli’s Spanner Sculptures, tours operate up to twice daily six days a week (Tues-Sunday); you’ll need to phone ahead to (03) 54554257 to reserve a spot.
Watch artisans press certified olives on-site at the grove door at Salute Olivia, situated between the two lakes within Boort’s heart.
Not only are the olives picked and pressed here for optimal freshness, the resulting extra virgin olive oil is bottled here as well.
You can sample and purchase it at the farm gate but you’ll need to contact the grove ahead to experience this one.
Sample traditional Italian fare and watch quilts made on-site at Simply Tomatoes and Aussie Wool Quilts.
Co-proprietor and long-time preserver Marilyn Lanyon fine-tuned Simple Tomatoes’ flagship product, Simply Green Tomatoes, while growing tomatoes commercially before sharing it with the world.
The family downscaled their farming efforts, branching into food production, tourism and quilt manufacturing. Read Marilyn’s remarkable story here or visit Simply Tomatoes to book a tour.
There’s no rush to leave either, with riverside camping available during the week.
- Cosy quilts and country hospitality with Marilyn Lanyon, Simply Tomatoes
- Accommodation in Victoria’s Goldfields Region