The Dargo Hotel’s rough-hewn log cabins with corrugated iron ceilings are a singular proposition in a world of brick, plasterboard and render. To stay here is to be transported back to another time, albeit with showers, mini fridges, electric kettles, lights and heating.

Likewise, the pub itself, established in 1898, feels like a proper frontier boozer. Every wall is covered in eclectic memorabilia: an illuminated neon sign for Stihl Power Tools, AFL premiership posters, rusted saws, hundreds of stubbie holders and an entire dirtbike. This isn’t to everyone’s taste, but you couldn’t accuse this pub of snubbing its constituency of timber workers and cattle farmers, who frequent the pub for its enormous steaks and parmas.

Dargo, located in a narrow valley in the Victorian Alps, is one of the state’s most isolated and self-sufficient towns. It’s a fair way from the clusters of wineries and cafes that service the busier parts of Gippsland. And that peace and quiet is really the reason to come here. The town is handily located halfway between Dinner Plain and Briagolong State Forest, making it an excellent base to discover the area’s natural beauty.

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Updated: November 9th, 2020

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