Clubs and committees
Nowa Nowa has a small, but vibrant community made up of several community and sporting groups. These include:
The Nowa Nowa Community Development Group (NNCDG) is an enduring community organisation that represents the Nowa Nowa community and is the owner of this website. The NNCDG has it’s own page on this website with information about meetings, membership and hall hire, with the monthly community newsletters also available to download.
The Nowa Nowa Recreation Reserve Committee manages the reserve located beside Lake Tyers. This includes the maintenance as well as community events.
Nowa Nowa Pony Club operates from nearby the Recreation Reserve. The Pony Club is extremely popular and attracts riders from all over East Gippsland.
The Nowa Nowa Mens Shed is a place where men can get together, join in activities and talk about what’s on their mind. It is a fully equipped workshop where men with a wide range experience can share skills and time with each other, swap yarns and work together on community projects. Men’s Sheds is a charitable not-for-profit association.
The small community at Wairewa has a robust Hall committee, which is the social centre for everyone in the little valley.
Nowa Nowa has a Health Practice in the town run by Gippsland Lakes Complete Health.
It includes a GP and Allied Health options.
- Visiting GP on Wednesday mornings
- Clinic based nursing services Monday and Wednesday mornings.
- Home based nursing services provided as needed, which is up to 7 days / week for Hospital in the Home and palliative care clients.
- Social Support Group Tuesdays 10 – 2pm.
- Podiatry every 6 weeks on Thursday.
Please contact Medical Reception on 5155 8300 for an appointment.
6 Bridge Street, Nowa Nowa VIC 3887
PO Box 429, Lakes Entrance VIC 3909
(03) 5155 8300
(03) 5155 7296
Nowa Nowa’s history has been dictated by it’s geography. It sits at the junction of an estuary lake and the forested foothills that rise up to form Victoria’s high country, with the nearby locality of Wairewa nestled in the fertile sheltered valley of Hospital Creek.
Such a place can provide food from the water, marshlands, and forest: the waterway provides easy transport to the coast, while the freshwater creeks supply not only water but a guide up into the hills. These connections allow the trade and social connection vital to all people.
The Krowathunkooloong people of the GunaiKurnai nation inhabited this area for countless millenia, creating a culture that is intimately connected to the land.
The arrival of European people to the Nowa Nowa area created a time of great conflict and change from the mid to late 1800s.
Nowa Nowa township
Nowa Nowa was formally gazetted as a township in 1888 and became a thriving community based around timber harvesting, milling and transport. At the height of the industry, there were six sawmills in Nowa Nowa, and one in nearby Tostaree, together employing over 300 people supplying railway sleepers, power poles, bridge timbers and construction timber for housing.
Like many small, remote townships in Australia Nowa Nowa survived and flourished on the back of intense community spirit and a capacity to innovate and make do with what was at hand. Local people pulled together to build halls, fund schools and churches; they also held balls, dances, gymkhanas, sports days and film nights. They worked hard and played hard!
Travelling in and out of Nowa Nowa was initially by boat, then on very rough tracks and eventually by train. The daily service to Melbourne took over 10 hours from Nowa Nowa. This meant the businesses that gradually grew in the town – the hotel, post office, general store, tea shop were hugely important not only for the goods and services they provided but also the social interaction: the glue that holds a community together.
Lake Tyers Trust
‘The Trust’ was established in 1863 by Church of England missionaries, providing a safe refuge for the few remaining Aboriginal people after decades of conflict with Europeans. Over time many Aboriginal tribes from elsewhere in Victoria were relocated to the Trust. Management of the Trust was taken over by the state government in 1908, and a policy of ‘concentrating’ all Aboriginal people in Victoria on the one reserve. After years of activism and the creation of the Aboriginal Lands Act 1970, Lake Tyers reserve was handed over to the Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trust. Today the Trust is a community of approximately 100 Aboriginal people.
European settlers arrived in the valley in the late 1800s and many of their descendants, now fourth and fifth generations live and work there still. Different farming activities have been trialled on the now cleared land which was once tall forest: dairying, sheep and beef farming, orchards and vegetables. The forest also supplied timber for construction and sleepers for the railway, and also wattle bark for tanning.
Community was everything in this valley, where communication and travel to the outside world was slow and difficult. Living conditions were simple, with some families living in simple timber houses with earth floors into the mid 1900s: electricity arrive in the valley in 1966, allowing refrigeration and electric lights for the first time.
The GunaiKurnai people, who have inhabited the area for countless millennia are the Traditional Owners of the land on which Nowa Nowa sits. Aboriginal culture remains actively cared for in this area.
The GunaiKurnai people are deeply and intimately connected to the the land, air and water of their country: it provides all their needs, and the GunaiKurnai have a cultural responsibility to ensure that country is cared for.
The GunaiKurnai people are formally represented (as the Registered Aboriginal Party) in the area by the GuniaKurnai Lands and Water Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC).
The GLaWAC On Country team plays an active role in ensuring the protection, preservation, rehabilitation and sustainable use of our Country as guided by the Gunaikurnai Whole of Country Plan. This includes programs in Cultural Heritage protection, Natural Resource Management, Water management, Bushfire Recovery, Cultural burning practices, and Joint Management with other authorities.
To find out more about this living culture visit: https://gunaikurnai.org/our-culture/
The Bataluk Cultural Trail traces the story of the GunaiKurnai people Gippsland through a series of significant sites, and is an excellent introduction to many aspects of GunaiKurnai history and culture. https://batalukculturaltrail.com.au/index.php
Agriculture and Industry in Nowa Nowa
Since European settlement, timber harvesting and milling has been central to the economic life of Nowa Nowa, and many small towns in Gippsland.
The last timber mill in Nowa Nowa ceased operations in 2021: with a state government policy decision to cease all native timber harvesting in the state by 2030 the community is now looking for new ways to remain vibrant and viable into the future.
Forestry Management ( DEECA)
The Victorian Government Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action has a small office and works crew based in Nowa Nowa.
Wairewa Valley Agriculture
The Wairewa Valley is a small fertile farming area approximately 10 km east of Nowa Nowa: formerly a dairying community it now has diversified into other enterprises.
Vegetable and citrus farms
A small but vibrant horticulture industry produces intensive vegetable and fruit production, and is a significant employer in the area.
The balance of the land in the Wairewa valley is used for beef enterprises.
Nowa Nowa is blessed with superb natural assets: a waterway, native forest with numerous tracks and a low key, laid back vibe that invites both relaxation and exploration. Much of this is however invisible from the highway that sweeps through town, with the result that many people pass through the town for years without discovering it’s beautiful lake and walks.
The main accommodation in the town is provided by two caravan parks ( with the local hotel motel not offering visitor accommodation from September 2022), with food available at the cafe and general store.
The East Gippsland Rail Trail passes through the town, making Nowa Nowa a popular stopping point for cyclists undertaking the long distance ride. The cycling options are expanded by the small but fun Nowa Nowa Mountain Bike Park.
Families looking for a quiet holiday spot near the water, and keen fishers are the main overnight visitors to the town.