Apsley

Travelling the forested road from Edenhope to Naracoorte will have you stumble upon the pretty little town of Apsley. Famous for its ripper art-deco pub, this is a town of fluctuating fortunes, but ultimately it’s a place where life hasn’t changed all too much for centuries. And that’s, of course, what makes it so appealing.

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Greeting you to the town is the endearing landmark of the world’s biggest flowering gum. And while its best flowering days may be behind this 85-year-old tree, it remains an enduring tribute to the delightful eccentricities of Australiana roadside attractions.

Apsley is a tiny town filled with gold nuggets of history. Predating the Melbourne Cup, the Apsley Racing Club was established back here in 1855, making it the oldest horseracing club in Victoria. And while it’s since moved to Edenhope, the Apsley Cup remains one of West Wimmera’s social events of the year.

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It’s a meet that’s also hosted another race over the years – the Jimmy Tarpot Cup. While not held every year, this quirky backwards race is held in honour of Apsley’s most famous son, former Australian cricketer Murrumgunerrimin (aka Jimmy Tarpot) who, unsurprisingly, still holds the record for the fastest time running backwards at the MCG! Today he’s commemorated with a plaque at the Aspley cemetery.

Visit the Federation Corner to read more about the town’s history, before setting off on the Newland's Nature Walking Trail: a 5km loop through red gum to look out for the red-tail black cockatoo and rare wildflowers. Nearby Lake Bringalbert is very popular for free camping, boating, fishing and birdwatching.