Jindivick, a tiny Gippsland town just 90 minutes from Melbourne, doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic. This charmingly diminutive spot has only one cafe. There isn’t even a pub.
But what the town lacks in Michelin stars, it makes up for with uninterrupted starry skies – which you’ll soon be able to glamp under. Glamping company Under Sky (who recently set up camp in the picturesque surrounds of Mount Buffalo) will be turning local dairy farm Gippsland Jersey into a luxurious country retreat this weekend, to coincide with The Village Feast, where chefs including Shannon Martinez, Alejandro Saravia, Victor Liong and Matt Moran will take over the main drag in town.
From March 29 to 31, glampers will experience farm life from the comfort of their own fully-furnished bell tents. Each one is designed to fit groups of two, three or four people, and comes kitted out with quality bedding and linens, bedside lamps, towels and a mirror. There’s even a phone-charging station inside, so you won’t have to go completely off the grid.
On Friday night, a Mexican campsite dinner will be crafted by Mamasita co-owner Nick Peters and head chef Martin Zozaya, with dishes based on meals and conversations the two have shared while camping on Phillip Island and in Lakes Entrance, as well as in Zozaya’s childhood home of Mexico.
“Martin’s family is Argentinian and he grew up in Mexico, so most times he went back to visit family they’d go camping, cook over fire, share stories from Mexico and Argentina and hang out with some gaucho (cowboy) buddies,” Peters says. “I drew on experiences I’ve had staying with family and friends in Phillip Island, Metung and Traralgon, fishing at Lakes Entrance, day trips to Baw Baw and more.”
The five-course dinner will feature Mamasita’s famed chargrilled corn with chipotle mayo and lime; tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa; tostadas with cured mussels, prawns and trout; beef tongue and cheek tacos with fiery ghost chilli and pickles; and rice bowls with pulled pork from local butchery The Jindi Pig.
On Saturday morning, there’ll be an à la carte brunch – choose from fried-egg tacos with salsa verde and cotija cheese, breakfast nachos with blackened chicken, or chorizo quesadillas. Peters and Zozaya have late-night snacks in the works for Saturday night too, such as Tajín shoestring fries and totopos. To drink, there’ll be a range of special cocktails including Micheladas (made with local beer, tomato juice, tamarind, chipotle, lime and salt) and White Ruxicans (tequila, Gippsland Jersey milk, vanilla and coffee), as well as local beers and wines. Expect acoustic performances around the “glampfire”, plus marshmallows to roast as the sun goes down.
During the day, grab a smoothie or milkshake from Gippsland Jersey owner Sallie Jones’s old-school milkshake caravan, and if you’re really committed to the farm-to-table experience, you can help milk the cows on Sunday morning. It doesn’t get any fresher than that.
Glamping packages start at $665 and include two nights’ accommodation for two people and entry to The Village Feast. The five-course Friday evening dinner costs $50. All other food and drinks are additional. More information here. At the time of publication, there are bushfire alerts in place for the greater Gippsland area. Visitors should check emergency.vic.gov.au for the most up to date advice.
This article was updated on Saturday March 9 to reflect a date change.