The Leongatha region was first settled in approximately 1845, with the first local post office opening in 1887, the area actually being known as “Koorooman” during this period. The area was renamed to Leongatha in approximately 1891 upon establishment of the railway and the official township that sprang up as a result.
Leongatha is something of a central hub in this part of Gippsland for education, history, arts and sports alike. The numerous schools include Leongatha Secondary College, Leongatha Primary school, South Gippsland Specialist School, Federation Training Leongatha Campus, St Lawrence’s Catholic Primary School, Mary MacKillop Catholic Regional College and South Coast Christian College. The exceedingly popular local sports groups are varied for such a regional area and include athletics, basketball, badminton, cricket, croquet, cycling, BMX, equestrian, football, soccer, golf, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, martial arts, netball, shooting, softball, baseball, squash swimming, table tennis, volleyball and more. If joining a sports club is your thing, Leongatha certainly has you covered! In terms of the arts, Leongatha’s Lyric Theatre Company puts on regular productions throughout the year and the Leongatha Medieval Society hosts regular battle re-enactments, displaying 14th century weapons, armour and fighting styles.
Along with sports, education, history and the arts, visitors to Leongatha can find plenty to see and do in the area. The popular Coal Creek Community Park and Museum aims to recreate the feel and look at the time of settlement and endeavours to tell the history of South Gippsland coal mining. Coal Creek Community Park and Museum offers ghost tours, self-guided media assisted tours, special events and more. A chance to learn all about local history in a visually entertaining environment. Local produce markets and galleries are numerous and present cultural events and festivals often throughout the year. The Great Southern Rail Trail stretches over 70km from Leongatha to Port Welshpool. You can take the entire journey if you’re so inclined or choose one of the many shorter segments that allow you to explore the different nooks, towns, sounds and sights along the way. This is a highly recommended way to experience what South Gippsland has to offer. If beautiful flowers catch your eye or you are a budding green thumb, The Daffodil Festival is held in September each year and features competitions for growers, open gardens and more for those visiting Leongatha in the spring time to enjoy.
If culinary delights or entertainment are what you seek, then Leongatha may also hold many treasures for you. There are cafes, bakeries and coffee shops galore along with some amazing health food markets and fine dining. Hotels feature live entertainment often. Grab a bite to eat, see a band or a movie at the popular Leongatha cinema or take a stroll through one of the beautiful local parks. Just a short travel to many of South Gippsland’s best beaches, Leongatha is well worth the visit for locals or tourists alike.