The gateway to South Gippsland's spectacular natural attractions.
Foster is the gateway to South Gippsland’s spectacular natural attractions. The town is just 30 minutes from Wilsons Promontory National Park and a short drive to other popular destinations including Shallow Inlet, Corner Inlet, Sandy Point and Waratah Bay.
Things to see and do
Foster is located approximately 175 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, around two hours travel along the South Gippsland Highway. V/Line bus services are available for travel.
Originally called Stockyard Creek after the stream which flows through the centre of the town, Foster was initially nothing more than a resting place for drovers travelling from Port Albert to Westernport.
John Amey, an ex-convict of Tasmania, took up land at Bennison, several miles to the east of the creek, in 1860. He established a profitable farm which shipped produce to Port Albert via packhorse and bullock dray. His daughter often accompanied him on these trips and thus she met and married Port Albert’s Crown Land Ranger. At that time, all logging was supposed to be strictly licensed by the Crown and the illegal logging of blackwood was being carried out around the creek. When timber staves were found washed up after a boating wreck, the ranger became suspicious and travelled to Stockyard Creek to investigate. While he was resting at Amey’s, his father-in-law hurried out to the loggers’ camp and forewarned them. They cleared the camp and, while pretending to be gold prospectors, actually discovered a rich strain of gold. The find was registered and a rush followed. One of the most profitable claims existed on the site of what is now the State Bank.
As there were no police at the site of the rush, William Henry Foster, a magistrate, was called in to adjudicate disputes in 1871. Objecting to carrying out the Crown’s business at an undistinguished ‘creek’ he suggested a change of name. Someone, with a wry sense of humour or an eye on winning the favour of the magistrate, suggested the name Foster which was unanimously carried.
A census taken in 1871 revealed 345 men and 24 women in the area. As a result, a mechanics institute and bank were established that year while a school and post office arrived in 1872. However, there were no outstanding strikes and by the end of the decade, the gold was drying up and the locals began to turn to dairying to support themselves.
Reef mining was taken up later in the century and mining was abandoned altogether in the 1930s.
The railway arrived in 1892 and two years late, the people of Foster successfully pushed for the creation of the new shire of South Gippsland.
Today, Foster is a popular destination for international visitors as well as other local visitors due to its proximity to Wilsons Promontory and mountain areas inland. In summer, the town’s population can increase by as much as two-and-a-half fold due to tourism.
– Foster Library – Main Street
– Foster BP Service Station, 94 Main Street
Long Vehicle parking
– McDonald Street, opposite Stockyard Gallery
– Complex at the back of the Main Street car-park behind Foodworks
Parks & Playgrounds
– Pearl Park, Main Street (Toilets & BBQ)
– Foster Showgrounds, Station Street (Toilets, Playground & BBQ)
– Playground, Station Street (next to Ambulance Station)
– Skate Park, Pioneer Street
– Endeavour Service Station, 3895 South Gippsland Highway
– BP Service Station, 94 Main Street
– Foster Australia Post, 22 Main Street
– South Gippsland Hospital, 87 Station Road
– Foster IGA + Liquor, 58 Main Street
– Foodworks Supermarket + Newsagency, 37 Main Street
– Population: 2,715 (according to latest Census data)
– Location 175 kilometres south-east of Melbourne
– Great Southern Rail Trail
– Foster & District Historical Museum
– Local gallery
– Foster Flora Reserve
– Prom Coast Festival (March)
Discover these other wonderful South Gippsland locations located not too far from Foster.