Play, Stay, Explore Stratford
Shakespeare on the River Festival
Starting with a celebration of William Shakespeare's birthday on April 23rd, the bright and creative festival runs for 2 weeks with over 20 performances and features the Avon Village Faire Day on the first weekend in May.
Shopping in Stratford
Take some time to stroll through the antique and craft stores on the main street and be surprised by the fantastic unique treasures you will only find in Stratford.
Stratford Arts Trail - "Shakespeare Through the Ages"
With the official trail opening in April 2012, the Stratford Arts community developed an interactive walking trail guided by MP3 that provides a means of discovery for locals and visitors to dwell and take time to appreciate the creative art and festival culture of our fascinating town. The 3km trail links nine interactive "thought spaces" and unites many art forms through story, song, history and sculpture and is free to walk 365 days of the year. The trail is communication and all ability friendly linking the "all abilities heritage walk" and rail trail tracks. MP3 hire & maps are available from Segue Arts Cafe. For more information, head to our dedicated Stratford Arts Trail page here.
Playgrounds and BBQ
Stratford's Apex Park is located before the bridge on the road to Melbourne and has an award winning medieval playground and bike track suitable for toddlers up to the adventurous teenager with plenty of space to kick a ball. Also equipped with good BBQ's, toilets, nature walk and sculptures. At the other end of town the Memorial Park opposite the Courthouse Theatre and Segue Arts Cafe has clean toilets and a great playground for younger children.
3 km south-east of Stratford is the 56-hectare park, Knob Reserve. At the crest of the hill you can look down upon the local farmlands, the foothills and the Avon River. The reserve is ideal for a picnic and has toilets and great picnic shelters with wood fired BBQs.
Stratford VIC 3862
Telephone: (03) 5145 6500
Stratford on the River Tourist Park
Shanti Relaxation Retreat (in Briagolong)
304 Marathon Road
Briagolong VIC 3860
t: 03 5145 5528
Stratford offers a number of quality dining options. Take a short stroll down the main road to the Avon Hotel and Bistro for good Chinese and Aussie fare Tuesday through to Saturday. On the opposite corner is the Here We Go Dutch Cafe for a selection of eat in meals and takeaway. For lunch and coffee both Wa-de-lock cellar door cafe and the Ticklish turtle café are just down the road — serving great food and, dare we say, some of the best coffee in Gippsland! For takeaway the milk bar in the main street makes great pizza and fish and chips most nights until late.
When dining at night in Stratford we would always recommend calling to book ahead as not all cafes are open regularly at night, although do occasionally have specialty set menu nights. Wa-de-lock and Ticklish Turtle cafes will also open pre-show with nice set menus for a booking of 10 or more.
Australian Wildlife Art Gallery and Sculpture Park
Five minutes from town, past the Munro turn-off, is the Australian Wildlife Art Gallery and Sculpture Park where you can see Australia's wildlife faithfully depicted in paint, clay and bronze by award-winning artists, Chris and Dawn Stubbs. The gallery is open to the public from Thursday to Monday or by appointment. Phone: (03) 5145 8282.
The Rail trail (cycle track) to Maffra
The Rail trail is a wonderful, leisurely ride (30km return) on level, well maintained gravel track starting at Apex park, where you'll find a wonderful medieval playground for the kids. The track winds along the Avon River, through tranquil farmland into the heart of Maffra. One of Gippsland's favourite towns, Maffra is a great place to stop for a coffee and a shop before embarking on the return trip back.
Briagolong and the Blue Pools
Briagolong is a 10 minute drive north of Stratford. Highlights are the Quarry Reserve, Blue Pools and McKinnon’s Point allowing the visitor to experience the district’s natural beauty and history. Briagolong has a cafe, bookshop and very authentic Aussie pub, time your visit right and you may see an art shows in the Big Gallery or the annual 3 day Film Festival in June.
Ninety Mile Beach and the Gippsland Lakes
Less than a 20 minute drive from Stratford lies the beautiful Gippsland lakes accessible from Marley point on Lake Wellington between Stratford and Sale, a perfect place for a paddle, fishing or boating. The Lakes join the spectacular Ninety Mile Beach. A 90-mile long stretch of immaculate golden sand separating the Gippsland Lakes from Bass Strait. Ideal for any number of activities from beach fishing and swimming to walking, whale and dolphin-spotting to just lazing in the sun — this is one of the most natural and unspoilt beaches in the world.
Strathfieldsaye was the homestead of squatter, William Odell Raymond, who established a run in the area in 1842. He built the house in 1848-1854 from hand-made bricks and pit-sawn timber and apart from some extensions in the 1870s it remains almost untouched, structurally. Located on Bengworden Road, a little north of the town on a ridge, the homestead commands a pleasant view of Lake Wellington. Along with its furnishings and some ancestral memorabilia, Strathfieldsaye was entrusted to the University of Melbourne in 1976. Open for inspection only 3 times a year — bookings are essential (phone the Buildings Section of the University on 03 93416917).
In the Media
Stratford Stay, Play, Explore http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kDK0wZJYo8
Shakespeare MOB Dance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1yg3vxG18s