History & Heritage
The romance of Australia's Colonial heritage in the High Country rests with the Cattlemen and their huts - its the making of movies, but in Dinner Plain , the reality of their place in history is right in front of you with many of Victoria's Historic Huts within easy walking distance.
Discover the stories behind Dinner Plain the only freehold village which sits above the snowline in Australia and the High Country, from its aboriginal ancestors, to poineers, gold miners and cattlemen.
Gold was discovered in North East Victoria in the 1850’s. Miners flocked to the area to work claims in almost every creek and up to the sub alpine area close to Dinner Plain. In 1883 a road across the Alps from Omeo to Bright was completed. A weekly horse drawn coach service operated in summer months around 1900. They would stop for a midday meal at Dinner Plain – hence the name.
In the beginning
Dinner Plain Village was officially opened in 1986 by then deputy premier Robert Fordham. At the time of opening the village was home to the Dinner Plain Hotel and several chalets.
Along with construction of the Dinner Plain Hotel in 1986, there was also “Fords” now known as High Plains Lodge which owned by department store owners in Bairnsdale along with six other houses in the village. The original houses are still standing in Dinner Plain although some have changed names over the years including:
· Wattle Circle (Chamonix) - 1671 Drybone Lane
· Jackie Johnson - 165 Big Muster and 156 Big Muster
· Belltrees - 147 Geebung Road
· Rivendell - 146 Geebung Road
· Hinnomunjie - next to the Dinner Plain Hotel
The Dinner Plain Hotel license was the first to be issued in Victoria for 100 years in 1986. The opening plaque at the hotel states the opening date as June 8, 1986.
The developers, Dinner Plain Pty Ltd were fortunate to have many connections in the ski industry and government, they also had the expertise of architect, Peter McIntyre. Peter McIntryre's design of the Village features buildings architecturally inspired by the characteristics of the old cattlemen's huts.
Construction in the village is still restricted to timber, local stone and corrugated iron, with a limited range of colours approved. Strict covenants limit such detractions as antennae, fences and washing lines, and all buildings are subject to height restrictions.
The architectural success of Dinner Plain has since led to the development of the Australian Alpine style, which is now being adopted as a benchmark by all other alpine resorts in Australia.
Dinner Plain is a distinctive village in Australia’s only freehold land above the snowline. The homes, apartments and lodges reflect the heritage of the early pioneer buildings in the Victorian Alpine High Country. Built of stone, timber and corrugated iron and often boasting magnificent stone fireplaces, each blends in beautifully with the surrounding snow gums and the high plains landscape.