Why We Didn’t Fall In Love With Loch Sport, Victoria

Loch Sport

We had a great opportunity to housesit at Loch Sport in the Gippsland Lakes area.

What started as a five day housesit morphed into ten.  That worked out though because it meant we could settle for a while from [our road trip]. We could do some washing.  We could clean out the car and get it washed.  We could get some work done.  And, of course, we could hang out with the cats that we were looking after.

That was all good, but if we’re honest, Loch Sport was not a place we fell in love with.

A pretty lake on one side, 90-mile beach on the other, and capped by a National Park would be an ideal setting for a lot of folks.  But, there was something about the place we just didn’t like.  Something we didn’t quite connect with.

I still can’t seem to put my finger on why.

90 mile beach at Loch Sport

Loch Sport is pretty isolated.  I’m sure the place is jumping in summer.  It had that kind of vibe.  Fishermen and kayakers and SUP boards would cram the lake, elbowing each other for space.

During the offseason, the time we visited, the place was quiet as quiet could be.  I usually love the quiet, but it felt like we were invading the place.  True enough, there was not a wave or a smile given by a local when we passed by while out walking. Even when we were driving, we would receive suspicious glares from the few folks we did see.

It was kind of creepy.

Jetty near Loch Sport

It certainly wasn’t a place people would just pass by either.  You had to want to get to Loch Sport.  A very dull, empty stretch of road took an hour to drive to Loch Sport from the nearest town.

It seemed like the kind of place where fugitives went to hide.  Maybe that was the strange vibe I was feeling?  Maybe it was secretly a ‘witness protection’ kind of place? Seriously, it was a prime location to hide out from the law or from the mob.  There was a certain sinister feeling I couldn’t quite shake.

Even the ‘roos seemed in cahoots with the locals, threatening unsuspecting visitors from ever driving there again. There were easily 20 kangaroos (not wallabies, mind you, but the much larger and erratic kangaroos) to every car on the road around twilight in the area between the turnoff to Loch Sport and the township itself.

Loch Sport

When I looked at the lake, particularly the surrounding marsh, all I could imagine was the immense population of mosquitos, ready to spread the West Nile virus to any unsuspecting visitor.  Like they had an agreement with the locals to seek out the unwelcomed with nefarious intent.

That’s not to say that the place is all bad.  It has potential.  Maybe that’s it?  Maybe it’s the fact that it really could be a gorgeous place to hang for a while, but its progress seems stunted by the naysayers—you know, the people who have lived or summered there for generations and like it just the wait it is, thanks very much.

Loch Sport

Loch Sport had few shops:  A bakery, a general store and a golf club that was open only now an again.  It seemed sorely lacking in amenities.

To get your groceries, you had to drive on that long, boring road, into town.  Town, meaning Sale.  Yep, that’s the name of the nearest town.  Sale.

It kept throwing me off at first.  I thought shops were advertising discounts everywhere.  Everything said “Sale” and my mind (being the frugal mind it is) kept thinking “ooh, discounts!” But, no, Sale is the name of the town.

That’s not to say though that there weren’t bargains to be found.  The town offered the usual amenities for its size.  It had the supermarkets, some really great restaurants (we loved Redd Café and Centre Bakery), and pubs like every good Aussie town provides.

Loch Sport

Maybe it all comes down to the people after all?  Unless you have friendly neighbours and a positive atmosphere, what’s the point of being there?  If you’re not welcomed into a place, what makes you want to return?  What makes holiday goers want to go back every year?

I know we won’t be returning. Sorry Loch Sport.  Or maybe that was your intention after all?  Keep the tourists out and keep it for yourself?  That’s okay, you can have it.

LochSport.PIN

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21 Comments

  1. November 24, 2018 / 7:52 am

    Again, another comment that proves my point of the ‘unwelcome vibe’ very well. Thanks for that.

  2. November 24, 2018 / 7:50 am

    An interesting point of view compared to many other comments I’ve received from other locals. It’s good to know it wasn’t just my instincts that picked up on the vibe. I’m sorry you are experiencing it and hope you find a brighter future home.

  3. November 24, 2018 / 7:48 am

    I think your comment proves my point of the ‘unwelcome vibe’ very well. Thanks for that.

  4. November 24, 2018 / 7:43 am

    Hi Irene.

    Thanks for your comments on the post. We did like many aspects of Loch Sport, the remoteness and quietness about it was part of the lure. But, as I’ve said elsewhere, we didn’t fall in love with it. Not every place captures one’s heart. We seek places out that are remote – if people looked at other posts on this website other than the Loch Sport one, they would see that nature is our thing. I much prefer a good wander than a city.

    It’s not like we didn’t TRY to enjoy Loch Sport more, it’s just the locals we came across did not give off the ‘welcome vibe’, as it were. Maybe not being young, or not being in the senior track, we were looked at suspiciously, I’m not sure. I just know I could never shake off the very uncomfortable vibe while we were there.

    I thank you for the time it took to write your feedback. Seems like I upset quite a few with my post, but know it was not written with malicious intent, just a writer expressing an opinion about one place we spent time in and it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. As for sunsets, we enjoyed them as well and they were indeed ‘bloody spectacular’.

  5. November 24, 2018 / 7:35 am

    Thanks for your comment. Believe me, we love those places too. I grew up in a remote place like that myself. We seek these kind of places out actually – why would we accept a housesit there if we didn’t? – but you’re comments cement what I’m saying. The locals don’t want ‘other’ people there and that’s very clear.

  6. November 24, 2018 / 7:31 am

    Thanks for your comments on the post. We did like many aspects of Loch Sport, the remoteness and quietness about it was part of the lure. But we didn’t fall in love with it. Not every place captures one’s heart. I appreciate you providing more background on the town though. We tried finding out what we could but that was my point – no one would speak to us. We were grunted out, looked at suspiciously, and even ignored. So it’s not like we didn’t TRY to enjoy it more, but the locals we came across did not give off the ‘welcome vibe’, as it were.

  7. Barry
    November 11, 2018 / 10:08 pm

    Hi Tara, I think you have done the town an injustice. I have lived here for the last three years. During that time I have met many locals, am involved in two local committees. Firstly the local community house which provides activities for the community to engage in activities to participate and socialise. Very popular with many of the elderly. I am also a member of the local community representative group which coordinates with the local council to focus resources on improving town facilities of which in the last 12 months they have done brilliantly. You have not focused on the actual composition of the town. Loch Sport is a retirement town with an overlay of holiday makers. Out of season it is very quiet with many grey nomads heading north for their annual sojourn. In season it is a very vibrant holiday town. In between there are many locals who welcome anyone visiting. Loch Sport benefits from its isolation because it is not a town you drive through. You have to deliberately want to come here. It is outside the tourist loop but in season you will find a very vibrant community especially across the Christmas/ New Year week where our quiet town of 1000 swells to above 7000. When the hordes go home I love my serenity as much as I love the fact that people come here, enjoy a great time, support the town go home to allow us to recuperate. Out of season people come here to enjoy a quiet The average age in this town is over 65 as of the last census. The average of towns in Victoria and Australia is 37. Do your homework and maybe if you come back you will have a better time.

  8. Jane
    November 7, 2018 / 7:55 pm

    Your blog is a bit scathing. My parents fell in love with the place and bought a house in 1971 when i was 6weeks old. Then it was a quartz rough road with gates in. I basically grew up there. I lived there and went to school in that FAR away town Sale.
    My children have spent nearly every school holiday there. We walk the bush and beach.
    These days when I go, I go to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The quiet, the seclusion resets the mind. The sand in your toes, the sound of the water lapping on the shore. One of the only places in Victoria you can watch the sunset over water, and watch the sun rise over water.
    I don’t go for the night life, wildlife more likely.
    Yes of you saw me I probably looked at you weirdly. Not because I was suspicious but because your people. I don’t do people much when I’m there. I very much enjoy going for a walk and not seeing 1 person. A kangaroo, an ecidna, a galah or two and the many pairs of black swans are enough company for me. Having said that my neighbours are very friendly, look after our place while we are not there, we socialise sometimes.
    That’s the beauty of Loch Sport. The tranquility, the seclusion, the off the grid for a while place. The place you can go, not worry about what you look like, no makeup not bothering with your hair. Which I think you totally overlooked and missed the point.
    If you didn’t love it. Great. Don’t come back. The less the better.
    The best kept secret in Victoria.

  9. Irene Lester
    November 6, 2018 / 5:05 pm

    Hello Tara.
    I found your posting on Loch Sport a little disturbing as you need to take in consideration when this little town far from a major town was invaded by us humans. It was a Natural, Wildlife area which draws families to this quaint little town. We have the best of 2 worlds here with Lake Victoria being a safe lake for children to enjoy the sand, water, sunshine with open space. The adults also enjoy the lakes by travelling out there in their boats or yachts being able to pull into small places for a picnic or a pub meal right down to Lake Entrance even fishing on the way. The teenagers also have the enjoyment of Water skiing, jet Skiing,canoeing whatever they desire to do and knowing its a safe place to be happy. The 90 mile Beach is only across the causeway and offers a beautiful beach for families to enjoy whether its playing Cricket or Frisbees being thrown or a splash in the ocean plus fishing for that big fish for dinner. We have the National Park that offers so much enjoyment especially for children to learn about life and nature and there is no need to travel up to places like Broome for a beautiful sunset as we have an abundance of beautiful sunsets here within our Victoria Lake and The 90 mile Beach. I will say, “They are bloody spectacular” and we residents are blessed to be able to see this glorious wonderland we live in here at Loch Sport. As far as feeling not welcomed I have never felt that with holidaying here for 41 years and now in retirement living here for 5 years. This town is made up of “The very wealthy, the middle class and the lower class.” This is no different from any major town its only on a smaller scale and more noticeable in my eyes than like in the big city that is surrounded by so many of these categories not to be more noticeable. This town has prospered so much over the 46 years we have been here and now its growing with younger families moving into town and this community have done so much fundraising to make it a better place. We now have a great walkway to the beach we have a new Jetty our park has been upgraded and the children have a skating and basketball area also is art work done by the Primary School children within the new play area. We have a new Shopping Complex to be started in the New Year plus there is a new plan for “A SIX STAR INTERNATIONAL RESORT” to be situated off that long boring road into Loch Sport. As far as the Mozzies go they are part of our natural environment that us the residents or holiday makers we do decide to live and tolerate these so called Mozzies that are now not in abundance like they use to be because of the spraying techniques to control them at their peak time. I can even go to Inverloch and sit out on a verandah overlooking the inlet and be inundated with Mozzies or even in Melbourne this can happen not just Loch Sport. The infrastructure happening within this town is booming and the community can be recognized for this as its all their hard work that has made the town of what it is today and it will be thriving towards a near and better future of this little town out from nowhere.
    I am a happy camper that my week is fulfilled with enjoyment with the Seniors,Line Dancing,Rock N Roll nearby and Social Dancing,Table Tennis even Tia Chi and there is a lot more to offer in this town so none should say,”They are bored” as its a happy place if you want it to be.
    I could go on and on but had to voice my opinion as I don’t want people to be deterred from this beautiful town. Let them visit and make up their own minds if they like it they will be back if not they won’t and that’s that.
    Enjoy your travels and enjoy Earths Nature way.

  10. Don't Come Back
    November 6, 2018 / 10:36 am

    I am both offended and pleased by this article. Loch Sport is a sacred space, I have been holidaying here my entire life (I’m 27 years old) and seen it shift and morph into what it is today. Truly, you clearly did not appreciate the true vibrations of this place, as being between two bodies of water, so much negativity is washed away and calm reigns supreme. The locals are small town people, they don’t appreciate tourists because for majority of the year it’s a beautiful, quiet town then summer comes and it can be quite chaotic – many people are rude and don’t respect the town at all. Loch Sport is a place you either completely understand or just do not understand at all. You’re clearly the latter – most people on that don’t right articles about it, however. What pleases me about you documenting your disdain for this beautiful place is that perhaps you will discourage people like yourself from coming here. Glad you’re not coming back, more serenity for those of us that appreciate the gifts in this reality like Loch Sport.

  11. Waldorf
    November 6, 2018 / 9:47 am

    As someone who has lived in Loch Sport for some time now I can assure you that the unwelcome feeling never goes away. The people here are so horrible that we are desperate to sell and will likely never buy again because of our unbearable neighbours making us fear being tied down again. Many new comers have to get restraining orders against the locals for harassment. This town will be under water in the not too distant future and that’s honestly the best place for it, there is nothing good about the place.

  12. Spare Me
    June 9, 2018 / 7:32 pm

    Quote “I want to inspire you to take the leap to make changes in your life.” Yep, real inspiring.
    Did you instigate a hello and get rejected or did you wait for someone to run up to you for a hug and thank you for bestowing them with your presence because they could tell by your pleasant aura that you would enrich their day?
    It takes more than ten days to win over the locals in any town but maybe it’s just that you’re not as magnetic as you think you are and the locals at Loch Sport are a bit more discerning than most.
    It’s OK Loch Sport doesn’t need you to like them, they’re just fine without you but be sure to call ahead next time, they can bring out the Mayor and have an honorary sausage sizzle for the momentous occasion.
    Oh and apparently they’ll need to supply enough bread and milk for a small army too… and a Coles and Woolworths, a McDonalds and Burger King, a Chemist Warehouse, a Dominos, a Dimmeys, a Nike clearance centre…
    Seriously, you book a stay in the middle of nowhere and then complain that it’s inconvenient. If you want everywhere to be the same don’t bother travelling.
    What an asshole.

  13. January 12, 2018 / 1:30 pm

    Thanks for your comments Michelle. I knew my post wouldn’t be well received by some and your comments are all completely valid. I only stayed a few weeks housesitting but I can’t help but convey the feeling I got about the place as it’s different from everywhere else I’ve been. Honestly, I found the locals to eye us suspiciously and no one – seriously, no one – said hello, despite my efforts.

    I do understand the feeling of not wanting places to change too. I grew up in a quiet spot in the Upper Hunter Valley in N.S.W. and the coal mines were always a threat. But there also needs to be conveniences. To drive an hour one way just to get bread or milk (because the general store wasn’t open, or didn’t have when I needed) got old fast. I didn’t mind the ‘roos actually. I found their daily visits a pleasure. It was the road to Sale that scared the begesus out of me.

    Enjoy your place in the world. I’m sure there are many more layers to it than I experienced. And thanks for sharing the great parts about Loch Sport. I still stay in touch with the homeowner we housesit for and she absolutely loves it.

  14. Michelle
    January 11, 2018 / 7:47 pm

    Hi Tara,
    An interesting read,
    We have been holiday in Loch Sport for 10 years or so. We have made some wonderful friends over this time. It’s great to catch up with them in such a beautiful part of the world. However, even when they are not here I enjoy the tranquility, nature and wildlife – including the erratic kangaroos that you mention.
    How dare they venture out of the confines of the national park!!
    You are right in saying that the vibe in the peak season is very different….. and I will confirm your suspicions, we ( our group of friends and families) can’t wait for them to all leave.
    We love this place the way it is, we don’t want it to be Torque or Phillip Island, (also beautiful places) we chose Loch Sport for a reason.
    Enjoy your travels

  15. luke
    November 2, 2017 / 4:25 am

    i like loch sport but it lacks a town centre. Hence, no-where for locals and tourists to mingle, and no community vibe.

  16. September 27, 2017 / 10:41 am

    Hey Pete. Thanks for responding. It’s nice to hear a local’s point of view. Glad I wasn’t the only ones with the fugitive thought! The place was really peaceful and picturesque, especially with the morning and afternoon light (I am a photographer after all). It’s just a little TOO isolated for my liking – and I grew up in country NSW – but add in the attitudes… it was well, off-putting. It’s definitely a change from the city though! Good for you for getting out of the rat race!

  17. Pete
    September 27, 2017 / 10:01 am

    Hi Tara
    I’ve lived in Loch Sport quite a while and empathize with your experience. The locals are a mixed bag. There is a handful of nice people and then there’s…well – all sorts, to put it politely. The beauty of the place is what drew me in. And I wanted to escape the city. Not for being a fugitive – I laughed when I read your comments, because I’ve often found myself saying the same thing! Loch Sport suffers small town syndrome in a BIG way, but some of my friends who moved to small country towns in NSW and QLD forewarned me of this. You learn to adjust and keep to yourself. Regards – Pete

  18. September 6, 2017 / 9:53 am

    The people can change your whole perspective of a place for sure. We’ve seen other places that were a little sketchy, but once we chatted with some locals, we came to love the place. It goes both ways.

  19. Peter
    September 6, 2017 / 8:14 am

    Hi Tara
    I live in a village in the West Midlands of England – beautiful countryside in every direction; just wonderful.
    But the village I live in exactly matches your description of Loch Sport. I think you’re dead right – it’s the people that do it.
    Enjoy your travels.

  20. June 16, 2017 / 10:08 am

    Thanks Delphine. While we’re experiencing some amazing places, there are some places that just don’t wow us and why not be honest about that? I’d rather our readers know there are places, despite sounding interesting, just don’t resonate with us and maybe that’ll save someone else some time and money.

  21. June 15, 2017 / 4:34 pm

    Hi Tara, thank you for an honest post. Usually, travel posts are all gushy and sometimes you have to wonder whether it’s genuine… I hope your travels are going well!

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