Country town beckons both seachangers and treechangers
STORY: MARGARET LINLEY PHOTOGRAPHY: VISIT VICTORIA & SUPPLIED
Unless you were involved in the dairy industry, there was a time when you wouldn’t have heard of Timboon.
Nestled in the hinterland hills behind the stunning Shipwreck Coast, the small town was the commercial hub for the surrounding farms. It was also a timber production town; its hills dotted with timber cutters’ illegal whisky stills, which makes the current-day Timboon Distillery a particularly good fit.
Today, the town has experienced remarkable growth and consolidated itself as a tourist destination, with its proximity to the Southern Ocean coastline and the nearby Twelve Apostles; its fresh and cleverly marketed produce; and its rural charm. The town also presents itself as a hiking and bicycling destination. Just out of town is the Curdies River Trestle Bridge, built in 1892 and now restored. You can walk or cycle through pretty countryside, with the likelihood of seeing quite a lot of wildlife.
It’s not just tourists who are drawn to the town. Increasingly, it is home buyers who make the move. In the last 12 months, property prices rose 14.5 percent, with the median house price now $335,000. While housing stock in low supply, and rental stock even more restricted, there are a number of land options on the market.
The population has grown steadily – in the last decade it increased 50 percent – and now sits at 1202.
It’s easy to see the allure of Timboon if a tree-change is something you’re considering. Or if it’s a sea-change, Timboon is only 20 minutes from the coast.
“It’s an amazingly friendly little town. It’s small enough that you know everyone. I love that – you drive down the road and everyone waves and says ‘Gidday.’.”
The town has one school, a government Prep-12 with 444 students, spread almost evenly across the primary and secondary sectors. VCE students have 24 subjects to choose from and there are 14 VET programs on offer.
Timboon has quite a few employment opportunities, including in retail and hospitality for casual work.
Warrnambool is 50km away with all the extra services a large town offers including a good range of secondary schools and a Deakin University campus.
Public transport links Timboon to the larger town of Camperdown and then through to Warrnambool.
The town has pretty much most of what you need. Creative and entrepreneurial types in town have brought dynamic change, such as opening a great provedore and café. And you’ll find the well-known Timboon Fine Ice Cream in a picturesque setting next to the creek and Timboon-Camperdown Rail Trail. Other local gourmet delights include rhe Timboon Cheesery and Berry World.
There is a supermarket, pharmacy, a pretty pub with a deck looking over town, and lovely parks and walks. Perhaps, most encouragingly, is the presence of the Timboon and District Heath Centre. This is a 24-hour service hospital with an ambulance on-site. There are 14-beds, four of which are in aged care. Theatre operates twice a month; there are allied health services such as dietetics, podiatry, social work and speech therapy; and over-65s have a specific range of services and support.
The Traditional Custodians of the land on which Timboon sits in south-west Victoria are the Dhauwurd Wurrung, also known as the Gunditmara people.
WATTLE ROAD 🖤: Timboon is not only a beautiful little spot, it’s known as the gourmet hub of the 12 Apostles region. Indulge at the Timboon Cheesery, Timboon Ice-cream, Berry World, Dairylicious Farm Fudge and Timboon Railway Shed Distillery.
DISTANCE FROM MELBOURNE: 213 km
WHO LIVES HERE?
According to the 2016 Census
♦ The median age of people in Timboon was 47 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 17.5% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 23.3%.
♦ Of the families in Timboon, 37.1% were couple families with children, 43.6% were couple families without children and 17.8% were one parent families.
♦ 87.0% of people were born in Australia. The most common countries of birth were England 2.0%, New Zealand 1.7%, Netherlands 0.7%, Germany 0.6% and Philippines 0.3%.
♦ The most common occupations in Timboon, included labourers 18.2%, managers 18.1%, technicians and trades workers 15.6%, professionals 13.8%, and machinery operators and drivers 9.3%
CLIMATE: December average temperatures are max 24.2°C, min 8.4°C. June average temperatures are max 13.6°C, minimum 4.2°C.
MAJOR EMPLOYERS: farming and food production, timber-cutting, lime production, medical, education and hospitality.
SCHOOLS: One government school which is Prep-12 with 440 students.
NBN CONNECTION: Fixed Wireless
PROPERTY PRICES: The median sale price for houses is $335. Property values have increased by 14.5% in the last 12 months.
SPORT AND RECREATION: Indoor sporting facilities including a gym, golf, bike-riding, bushwalking, bowls, cricket, horse-riding, and the Ice-cream Mile (a running event for kids).
ARTS AND CULTURE: There is an Australia Day event each year in the Amphitheatre, the Tracks (music) Festival is on in March. The town also hosts dances in the local hall; and both Probus and Lions clubs operate in the area.
I came from Kyneton and I did a teaching degree and this was my first placement, I had never heard of Timboon before. I had to get out the road map out. It appealed to me straight away. It’s a beautiful little town with plenty of facilities and it’s close to the ocean. I used to do a lot of kayak surfing and that appealed to me.
I met a local girl and ended up marrying and had a family.
Someone who was teaching here and went to Gippsland somewhere said to me, ‘don’t ever leave Timboon, you don’t know how good it is until you go away’. I took that advice
It was a one-year contract that turned into 15 years of teaching. I’ve been here 35 years now. Both my kids went to school here. Josh owns the distillery. He was a farm contractor, drove tractors and the distillery came up and he decided to buy it. That was five-and-a-half years ago. Sarah went to Warrnambool. My wife’s family are all farming in the district.
It’s an amazingly friendly little town. It’s small enough that you know everyone. I love that, you drive down the road and everyone waves and says gidday.
When I first came here it was a service town for the farming industry. When the dairy industry struggles the town struggles but in the last ten years it’s changed quite a lot. Some of the younger ones have set up great little businesses, which has triggered other businesses. There’s chocolate, fudge, strawberries, ice cream, a little vineyard, and all part of the artisan food trail. They work together very well and cross promote.
The town has prospered and shops that were once closed have now reopened and that’s made a big difference. Most of the farming community is very happy.
Travel time is approximately 60 minutes.
FIND A PROPERTY
1249 Williams Road, Scotts Creek
3 1 2
86 Haywards Road, Timboon
4 3 4
79 Timboon-Curdievale Road, Timboon
3 2 2
31 Cottonwood Court, Timboon
5 2 2