Travelling Australia - Journal 2014
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20-21 March 2014

Yarram visit
Yarram has a population of about 2,000 making it fairly small but the town has a remarkably wide range of small businesses, particularly those with an engineering or machinery bias. Driving along side roads from main shopping street is a good way to see the variety of businesses operating in Yarram. This activity reflects the relative isolation of the town. One resident pointed out that it took an hour to drive to the nearest bigger towns (Leongatha, Sale and Traralgon) so there was an opportunity for local business to develop. This is especially the case when the larger chains stores such as Woolworths, Coles, Big W, Target and Bunnings (but there is a Mitre 10 and Home Hardware) have not opened in Yarram allowing local stores to develop many side-lines. The large number of nearby farms provides even more customers for local stores and businesses.

The area is well-known for dairy products but many meat cattle were seen grazing as well as sheep of various types. The very large number of sheep and cattle being grazed around Yarram becomes most obvious when driving along some of the lesser road. Many of these may be stock from the Queensland and northern New South Wales drought affected areas being agisted in this better watered part of Australia. Farmers here do not appear to be short of feed; several paddocks contained literally hundreds of round, plastic wrapped bales of hay waiting to be collected and hay sheds were completely full.

Dairying has been a mainstay of farming around this part of Gippsland for more than a hundred years. While driving around the area in late afternoon an encounter with a dairy herd wandering across or along the road to the milking machinery is almost certain. Drivers have to be patient and wait for the cows to get clear of the road. The presence of a Murray-Goulburn Co-operative office in town indicates the strength of the milk business here (Murray-Goulburn operates a large hardware and farm supplies store called MG Traders)

Buildings in Yarram exhibit a wide range of ages. Some premises are less than ten years old. Other buildings, especially some along the main shopping area, are clearly fifty or a hundred years old and have been recycled successfully. But other buildings have not been successfully recycled and are in various stages of decay or dereliction.

During our time in Yarram we used it as a base for travels into the local area concentrating on the coastal area towards Port Albert and the Ninety Mile Beach.

yarram court house
Yarram Court House is one of the older buildings successfully adapted to a new life as the Information Centre and Art Gallery.  
Yarram - page 2
yarram
Yarram shopping street.  
older buildings
Older buildings still in use.  
dairy factory
The Dairy Factory, built in 1891 to process the output of the numerous dairy farms around Yarram is no longer operating but effectively sets the scene for visitors entering Yarram from the north and east along the South Gippsland Highway. The text says "South Gippsland Creamery and Butter Factory Company Ltd."  
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