A Guide to Cardinia, Cardinia Shire, Entertainment, The Big Issues|

Cardinia Shire – Tourist Destination

Back in June, I did a small poll on Facebook. I asked the question: Do you see Cardinia Shire as a tourist destination.
You can see it just below – clearly the response was a resounding “No”. Keep in mind there is some bias in this poll – it was posted from my Facebook page, and while shared around a little, reflects the views of my audience.
However, I was still surprised by the heavy leaning of the results to one side, but it makes sense, in a way. Cardinia isn’t promoted as a tourist destination locally, and many people aren’t aware of everything there is to see and do here. I think we’re making some headway in correcting that, but I also believe a lot more needs to be done, because Cardinia is a great place to visit (as well as live), and it’s only getting better.

Let’s have a look at it, starting in the north and heading southwards. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll go by council ward – Ranges, Central and Port. This isn’t going to be comprehensive, and you may disagree with things I’ve included, but it might be eye-opening. Please feel free to add anything I’ve missed in the comments.

Beck Carter Catani Winter Sunset

Beck Carter Catani Winter Sunset

Ranges Ward is in the north, and is mid-sized in terms of geographic area. It covers (roughly) the crescent top of the Shire from Beaconsfield and Officer through Emerald, Gembrook and Cockatoo and across to the east a large part of Bunyip State Park. In no particular order:

Central Ward is the smallest geographically speaking, and the highest population density, because it covers pretty much Pakenham (even Pakenham Upper is in Ranges Ward). This one’s a bit touchy for some people.

Lookout - Arena Estate Officer - Andrew Snook

Lookout – Arena Estate Officer – Andrew Snook

  • Shopping – despite the lack of K-Mart, there’s still a variety of shops, small and large, to visit, from places like Lazy Frog Gifts to Robert Gordon Pottery. There are too many good cafes to mention all of them, although I would if I could.
  • Parks and Playgrounds – there has been a significant investment in to parks and reserves throughout the Shire, but Pakenham in particular has had some really good resourcing towards this. Deep Creek Reserve opens on October 26th, and that’s a real gem.
  • And, coming soon, a world-class motor sport complex.

Port Ward is the largest by area, and covers everything else, from Officer South down to Lang Lang and across to Modella and Longwarry (where we share roads with Baw Baw)

As I said, not comprehensive. In fact, I’m damn sure that any locals could well add a multitude of things to do and see to this list. but take a look at it. There are at least two – potentially four – world class attractions in there.
Sarah Muratore - Koo Wee Rup

Sarah Muratore – Koo Wee Rup

The potential for tourism, and for the local economy in terms of employment – is enormous. Now we’re coming in to the warmer months, get out and about (before bushfire season) and have a look for yourself. See what else you can discover in Cardinia – and let me know, so we can tell everyone else about it 😉
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