Taking a day off from the busy city life? Why not try exploring the high country? Yea is one of Victoria’s humble picturesque town and its only 100km form Melbourne. If you want to get close with mother nature, Yea is a perfect destination and has some great nature based attraction like the the Yea Heritage walk, Rail Trail and Yea wetlands.
Tourist information can best be obtained from the shire offices in High St, tel: (03) 5797 2209 or from the visitor centre which can be found in Marmalade Cafe or at Alexandra Information Center, tel: (03) 5721 1000 or free-call (1800) 652 298.
There’s a pamphlet which outlines Yea’s historical buildings and it can be obtained from the shire offices or the visitor centre at Alexandra.
For a bit of a town walk here is a bit of a suggestion. So Let’s start near the corner of High St (the main thoroughfare) and North St at the western end of town. Found at 16 North St is an intact private residence dating from 1876 it was made of local handmade bricks.
Walk back to High St and head eastwards (in the direction of Alexandra), you’ll find one of Yea’s earliest homes (Webster).
At 111 High St is Beaufort Manor, which is now a restaurant. It was built in 1876 and is made of local handmade bricks. By the corner of High St and Melbourne Rd are the shire offices. Behind them is Yea’s original schoolhouse, built in 1877 with extensions in 1885 and 1901.
In a grassed area by the bowling green there is a monument to Hume and Hovell who crossed the Yea River near this point in 1824 on an expedition which would ultimately lead to the settlement of Victoria.
Nearby, at Lyons and Pelissier, is St Luke’s Anglican Church (1869). Walk along Pelissier St then turn left into The Parade. Just along here, to the left, is the Sacred Heart Church which replaced the original timber building in 1902. The presbytery dates from the 1890s.
Return to St Luke’s and cross over to the corner of Station and Anne St. The second-hand shop dates from 1889 when it was erected as a general store for a well-known Chinese resident, Mr Lee. Walk along Station St you’ll find the railway terminus (1889), which is considered a fine example of a Victorian Gothic station.
Return to High St and cross the road to the Grand Central Hotel, built in 1901 as the Caledonian Hotel. Next door is Baynes Furniture Store which was built in 1891 but relocated to this spot in 1920. Just past it is a side street. Walk along here to the recreation reserve where you will see an old-style pavilion dating from 1891.
Return to High St and turn left. The Westpac Bank was built in 1901 for the Commercial Bank, Purcell’s commercial store was built in 1887, and the oldest section of what is now the Country Club Hotel dates from 1856 when it was built as the Commercial Hotel. At High and Wood St. is the old police residence (1894). The stable and storage store were added in 1900.
Cross back over High St to the Shire Hall. Originally a single-storey structure, but it was rebuilt in its present form in 1894. Carter’s Cafe, next door, was erected in 1887 as the Commercial Bank and it retains its original facade.