In the swing
The Swing Bridge, also included on the Victorian Heritage Register, is said to be the oldest surviving still-operating bridge in Australia, working on the state canal. It was built in the 1880s and works on weekends, and every second Wednesday – get to it via the South Gippsland Hwy about 5km south of town. It was an engineering marvel when it was built and is still interesting. The Port of Sale precinct was revamped about a decade ago and is great to explore. You can take heritage cruises to get an idea of when the port was thriving. The town connected the railway to the Gippsland Lakes in the Gold Rush era.
Make sure you look up while you’re here because the large RAAF base at Sale is home to the Roulettes, the air force’s stunt flying team. You see them practising regularly. There’s also a strong navy history in the region, and the Gippsland Armed Forces Museum is a fascinating place. Apparently, in World War II, they thought a Japanese invasion might occur here, which is why we have such a strong military heritage.
Have a laugh
The performing arts centre’s actual name is the Esso BHP Billiton Wellington Entertainment Centre but locals call it The Wedge (100 Foster St). It has comedians, theatre, dance; all sorts of shows come through town. There’s also the Gippsland Art Gallery (at the Port of Sale Business Centre, 64 Foster St). Established in 1965, it has a diverse collection of modern art, with rotating and visiting exhibitions.
Take a break
The Red Catt Cafe is my pick of the cafes in town, enthusiastically run by Matt and Michelle. Redd Catt (192 Raymond St) has a great atmosphere, fantastic service and an interesting and tasty array of local produce.
The Hunting Ground on the Princes Hwy (102 York St), is run by Rebecca and Chris. They have a ‘superfood’ focus so there is great healthy eating. I don’t drink coffee but my colleagues at the RACV shop swear the coffee at The Hunting Ground is outstanding.